Monday, February 19, 2007

Cupcakes and Dolphins

I spent Valentine's Day with my boss and one of our clients discussing divorce at length (with good reason that I won't go into) until they both declared:

"You should never get married."

Now, I'm definitely not one for the consumerist-hallmark-card version of Valentines Day, but this was going too far in the other direction.

Which has nothing to do with the rest of the post.

These are my two new wonderful things to enter my life. The first appeared magically from Ikea last Saturday and little more needs to be said about storage space and apartment kitchens.

I haven't been keeping track of whether I make a new recipe a week or not, but I have been cooking a lot of new things. These are The Big Hit. I made a batch and brought them to my parents just to prove what a Big Girl I am.

Let's just say they are like coconut flavored clouds with light pineapple frosting. To make matters worse, they are easy to make.

The recipe is the Fluffy White Cupcakes from the woman who does Vegan Lunch Box, the frosting is only to be found in the book. Following the direction of some of the commenters I replaced soy milk with coconut milk.

Don't worry, I plan on making these at the weakest excuses.

Finally, I finished these socks a few weeks ago but wanted to wait until the stars aligned properly to photograph them.

Can you see the dolphins?

Details to be found at Romancing the Skein.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Weekend In Marin

In Marin/San Francisco...

It rains everyday.

Your neighbors may be Elves...

... or banana slugs large enough to own a house...

... or wild turkeys who occasionally go into trees and make Very Silly Noises.

The grates carry the wet away, which you can't see but you can hear.

The view is pretty...

but the sky is prettier, even if it brings more rain.

Tiburon exists for the view.

But Novato is nothing to write home about.

Sausalito is spelled most impractically.

And the Boy is adorable.

(As a final note, the camera on my phone is Awesome.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Living on the Edge

I spent one summer at the beach. Everyday my father would herd me and my younger brother the five blocks down to the ocean where we'd pass most of the afternoon. The days were sweet and blissful and absent of sunscreen and I'm not sure how I got away without ever getting sunburned.

The summer ended, and I went back to school, and at some point I became a young curmudgeon who decided that she didn't like the beach or the sand or the sun. That was around the era that "Your Favorite Band Sucks" started really getting to me and it was far easier to dislike everything than like anything.

But that's okay, because when I changed my mind the beach was still there.

I can imagine living in a different state (maybe) or a different city (perhaps) but I don't think I could ever get too far away from the coast. I'd miss the salt in the air and the sound of the waves in the morning when the streets are quiet.

This morning a Renewed (but still Recovering) Tech Support took me to a Caribbean restaurant not too far from the ocean. Afterwards we walked down and across the sand and stuck our fingers in the water.

When I got back into the car I had sand in my shoes. I had to get to the job. The job is about twenty minutes inland, so far away that even in the quiet mornings you can't smell salt and hear waves. And there are good things about this place, but rather than taking my sneakers off and shaking them out, I let a little bit of beach come with me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Urban Secret Passage

Once upon a time there was this girl, and for hazy but unpleasant reasons she had to go away and live somewhere dreary and cold. England maybe. The house, more like Manor actually, was large and old and had way too many rooms. Her room was in the corner of course, and had not been lived in for Some Time. Being a little girl left all alone with a healthy curiousity she had to explore her room in the corner's corners, which were dusty and untouched for years and years and years.

Here's where all the movies and TV shows and episodes of Scooby-Doo get it wrong, because the wall doesn't give away in easy victory but groans and grunts and struggles so hard against being opened that the girl has to sweat to get what she wants. Even when she's opened the doorway to who-knows-where she isn't rewarded. There are no convenient torches on the wall to light her way. She has to struggle against damp moldy air, dust, cobwebs, and the possibility of discovering that missing ancestor.

I can't remember where I read that story, or maybe I just got over imaginative with Clue, but I know as a girl I looked for those secret passageways. My house was old and creaky and leaked in the rain, but I lived in Southern California and though there were strange deep closets they didn't lead anywhere. Then I got older, and secret passageways didn't matter so much as SATs and AP tests.

And I'm walking back home from somewhere and the alleyway catches my eye and I have to stop and look and then do a little thinking. Because why does the alleyway stop me when that tree with the pretty white flowers warranted only a smile?

I take a picture. I think.

The alleyway is a different creature from the sidewalk. When you walk down an alleyway you see little houses and apartment buildings that were hidden from the front. The cracked concrete and broken furniture can be treacherous, and you stand at more than a little risk of stumbling across something unpleasant.

I like to use the alleyway to pass unnoticed from place to place, or just to stop and stare and wonder how far they go, whose backyards they reveal, and where they end.

So here were my Secret Passageways the whole time.

All I Want To Do Is Knit Socks

There has been progress in the cooking, but it came to a halt when the Sick became an issue. One thing you do not feel like doing when you are coughing, sneezing, and being overtaken by the chills is cooking.

The Sick has finally gone by the wayside however, and I am on my way to full recovery. In celebration, here are a picture of the boys new socks.

For full details on them you can hop on over to the Romancing The Skein entry.