Friday, November 30

My Golden Compass

I am a big fan of the His Dark Materials series (aka Harry Potter for grown ups) so I've been eagerly awaiting the release of the movie even though I realize it can't possibly live up to the books. Even so, I discovered today that I have my own daemon matched to my personality. What do you think? Is it a fit?

Thursday, November 29

dog at wounded knee

Happiness is a blur

Mel came in from sitting in the sun and I noticed a gash in her flank. I assume it's somehow an injury from chasing squirrels in the yard - or maybe it's from sneaking into the neighbor's yard. Either way, she was bleeding all over my new carpet.

Fortunately it's modular (thanks mom) so after a quick wash, it was good as new. She, on the other hand, was still oozing.

Poor, wrapped dog

So I wrapped her up in gauze and an ace bandage. Good as new for hours and no more blood on the carpet.

The amazing thing? She didn't even try to take it off. That either shows she's a good dog or an extremely lazy one.

Wednesday, November 28

Greetings from a Leper Colony

Fine. Technically, I'm not at a Leper Colony. I'm home, nowhere near Hawaii. But check out this postcard from the Ginny files:

There are several things I love about this postcard. At first glance my eye is drawn not to the view but to the people on the overlook. Those are some seriously high-riding red short shorts. Not to mention the sweet mini-afro. So the question is, why would you sell a postcard that involved people other than the purchasers. It's one thing to want a picture of yourself at the top of an overlook, but a picture of complete strangers? Perhaps the idea is that if you're too lazy to hike up there yourself, you can live vicariously through these two anonymous people. Of course, it's designed to be sent to someone else, so maybe the idea is that you can trick the recipient into believing that you too made the hike.

The second brilliant aspect of this postcard is the description on the back:

"LEPER COLONY, HAWAII...far below this lookout lies world-famous Kalaupapa Leper Settlement on the Island of Molokai. Here, while helping to care for the unfortunate victims, Father Damien contracted leprosy and died of the disease April 15, 1889."

So, exactly who's Father Damien? And is this one postcard just a single example of a line of postcards dedicated to his life? It seems like such an odd fact to point out about the colony. So then I googled Father Damien and it turns out that he's the patron saint of Hawaii because of his work with the lepers.

So there's your little ironic moment turned history lesson for the day.

Monday, November 19

Silverlake Wine

Have I mentioned before how awesome this shop is? It's by far the best wine-buying experience you'll have. Everyone in there knows a ton about wine and as soon as you walk in they actually offer to help you find something without being the least bit snobby. My kind of shop.

So yesterday Alison and I headed over for their Sunday wine and paired appetizer tasting. They had a fellow who's a cheese expert bring in a selection of raw cheeses to pair with four different wines. The most interesting part, in my mind, was his assertion that when pairing wine and cheese you don't actually want balance. Strong acidic wines call for strong salty cheeses. And fruity wines call for fruity cheese.

After two hours of tasting and chatting, we left the store with six bottles of wine for our Thanksgiving feast! If you're ever over here on the eastside and need a bottle of wine - HEAD to SILVERLAKE WINE on Glendale. Trust me, you'll thank me.

Saturday, November 17

Mercury Just Went Retro

Retrograde of course, which is infinitely worse than anything that bespeaks bell bottoms.

Case in point: Thursday night. I come home from working in an office all day (already not the top of my list of things I enjoy) and decide to make a delicious-sounding recipe of curried squash stew on Quinoa. I even had my camera all ready to take pictures. So I spend the hour chopping and dicing and I make the stew...and it's honest to God the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. I have no idea what went wrong with the recipe, but let me tell you it went bad in a major way.

So Fine. I can deal. Gonna drown my sorrows with some TV on the Internet and eat a fried egg sandwich. And I could not, for the life of me, fry an egg. I realized, as I was scraping the second batch of destroyed eggs into the trash can, that I'd recently used the pan to attempt some ill-fates hash browns and had clearly destroyed the perfect seasoning I'd developed in the pan.

Eventually I was able to cobble together a pathetic-looking egg sandwich, and sit down to the internet. Desperate to numb my brain, I clicked on the internet icon, only to discover the internet running at about 1/8 it's usual speed and completely unable to play any kind of video.

So Mercury has gone Retro on us. I'm expecting to butt my head against similar annoyances until the end of January, when it gets back to normal.

Wednesday, November 14

Rebuilding San Diego - AGAIN

San Diego keeps burning down and the Moser clan keeps building it back up.

Some background:

The 2003 Cedar Fire wiped out several communities in San Diego, the most important of which, at least in terms of Moser involvement, was Scripps Ranch. My parents got involved to help organize a community of tract-home owners to jointly hire a builder to rebuild the houses at much lower cost than a custom builder. Enter Stonefield Development. Stonefield is actually a custom and one-of-a-kind builder who took on the project and rebuilt 81 homes in Scripps Ranch. The project completed a year or two ago. There were block parties to celebrate the return of everyone home.

After the Last Rebuild

Fast forward to the October fires of 2007. That 100 year fire that happened in 2003? Turns out it was more of a 4 year fire. This current one knocked out a lot of homes in the Rancho Bernardo / Escondido areas of San Diego. My parents and Stonefield are out there again, trying to organize a group rebuild project.

To that end, I've spent the last couple of weekends in San Diego helping photograph and film the completed houses from last time around and the Stonefield informational meetings.

Currently, I'm keeping myself busy typing this because I'm waiting for my turn on the new fancy mac. I'm trying to cut down the 2+ hour meeting from last weekend into a couple of 5 min highlight clips that we can post on the Stonefield website. Bryan has the day off so he's busy cutting our movie.

We Kramers are as busy trying to save the world through existential entertainment as we Mosers are trying to rebuild what has been destroyed. I think the Mosers may win in the greater doing of good, but that's just because our final cut isn't finished yet.

Monday, November 12

Belated Halloween (or it's been a month since I last posted!)

This is yet another photo from the Ginny files. I'm not sure what those two on the couch are dressed as (not to mention the masked dark figure to their left) but I'm pretty sure they're not sheep.

So it's been over a month since I last posted. I'm finding I'm tired of restarting this blog but life keeps getting in my way, which is altogether frustrating. I'd list off the myriad of things I have going on, some of which pay, some of which - not so much, but I'm tired of listing off all those things as well.

Mostly what I'm tired of, however, is the lack of writing I've been doing lately. I'm frustrated because I feel like the thing I like to do best has seen the least amount of effort and time on my part. Stupid rent...always getting in the way of art.

So here I am. Back again. This time groveling.

I was talking with a writer the other day, and we said how easily life gets in the way of writing, and how important it is to force yourself to write a bit everyday. These are, of course, not new sentiments, nor are they new to me. But these days I'm thinking of grad school in a year or two, and finding that when I'm sitting around, my head tends to go to thinking about writing more. I've got another novel sitting on the brain, peculating, if you will, but I don't want to get started until I've at least retained an agent for the last book. (and by the way, not to toot my own horn or anything, but that book is being looked at by a couple of people who seem pretty responsive, so keep your fingers crossed for me)

Anyway (not "Anyways" because I know that drives Alison to distraction) my point in all of this is though my garden is overgrown with weeds - in a major way, it's bad news and I'm terrified for the next time my landlord decides to pop in, as she is want to do - and though I haven't been spending much time working out recipes in the kitchen, I am going to write every day, even if it's just a post like this which talks about having nothing to write about. So bear with me. My inspiration will come back, even if I have to force it kicking and screaming.

In the meantime, I'm considering starting up a second blog that is more review (of books and movies and culture) oriented and less casual here's-a-picture-of-my-dog like this one. Because lord knows that if I don't have material for one blog I should clearly start writing two. Am I the only one whose brain works like this? Anyone else out there feel like their reaction to being busy is to take on more work?

Don't worry. I'm not contagious.