evany's extended cake mix
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Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006 | link
I did it! I said I was going to post every single day for three months, and look at me, I posted every single day for three months, including weekends! And really, if I can do that, I can do ANYTHING. Except remember to bring my keys with me (yes I locked myself out of the house last week, yes again). Also it appears that no matter how much I squint and quadruple-check, I will never, ever give up my habit of mistakenly buying horrible, non-fat versions of things that very much need to be fattened, such as chocolate pudding and half and half. Non-fat half and half? That should be covered in radioactive orange scull-and-crossbones warnings. In fact, they need to store it in an entirely different section, somewhere far, far away from the dairy aisle. And it needs a new name, like Sad and Sad. Or The Lesser Half.
It wasn't super easy, this daily posting schedule -- I found myself staring at a blank, blank screen at more than one 3am -- but I did fall into a pleasant kind of rut, one that I'm very much planning to continue into the new year. Only not this week. And not next week. Because I am taking the rest of December off to focus 130% on some hard-core holiday extended remix family time (wish Marco luck!). I might manage to get to a typing machine here and there, so you could see a few surprise posts (that ought to keep them clicking!), but I won't return with any earnestness until Baby New Year is well spanked and diapered.
Until then: thanks so much for reading my site! Happy Christmas! Merry New Year! And a glorious Boxing Day to you all!
When I was five, my mom and I moved to Sweden for a year, and one of my most distinct memories of the Scandinavian experience -- other than the manly nun who yanked out one of my loose tooths with a pair of pliers, and other than the swan that bit my tender girl bottom -- is of the small collection of Barbapapa books that I acquired while I was there. As I hazily remember it, the Barbapapas were a friendly family of multi-colored amoebic alien things who could blob their bodies into shapes of letters...and tents? I actually thought I'd made them up until I met this little kid on the plane to Seattle in September. He and his mother started talking about his Barbapapa books and I interrupted, all excited, to ask if they were talking about the hippie blob things? Who used their own bodies as a mold for their concrete pod home? The mother, looking more than a little startled, nodded. Yes, yes, that's exactly right. How did I know about these things? Clearly not many people they knew had heard of this race of problem-solving environmentalist amoeba things.
But we're not alone, it turns out! I just looked up the Barbapapas on the internet, and they're totally real (if French, not Swedish as I'd rememberagined):
Oh Barbapapas, how I've missed you! There's red Barbabravo ("He usually likes to be the leader! And he is overly fond of eating! With his tools of Sherlock Holms [sic] (the hat and the magnifying glass) and with the help of his faithful hound Lolita, he tries to act like a great detective") and yellow Barbazoo ("He knows all about the various animals and plants, the climate and the bad effects of pollution. In one word, he is a distinguished ecologist") and furry Barbabeau ("He is an artist. Still within the torments of his creativeness, he has not yet found his way through cubism, hyperrealism, surrealism, expressionism or conceptualism!"), and many more. Yes, "thanks to a few adequate shape changes and their brilliant imagination, they can bring to an end even the most difficult of problems, and always in the gentlest manner!"
The Barbapapas are even available on eBay; I'm now the happy re-owner of both Barbapapa and Barbapapa's Ark. And really, isn't that just the internet at its finest: helping me prove my freakiest childhood memories to be absolutely true?
Edited to add: Reader Nancy writes in to report that "barbapapa" is French for "cotton candy," which strikes me as ultra-good news. And according to reader Jennifer, Barbapapas are huge in Canada?!
Last Thursday it was champagne for Ivan's birthday, Friday was Sandra's company party at Bucco di Beppo, Saturday was the crazy drunk-fest at Stephen's, Sunday and Monday was the worst ever adult hangover in captivity, Tuesday night was the Adaptive Path holiday party, Friday night it was Borat at the Parkway (beer + Sheik sandwiches + naked, hairy ass-smothering!), yesterday it was Christmas shopping, football (for Marco), and more tree-crocheting (for me), then off to the city for a party with the spry McSweeners. Today more, more, more shopping, followed by a zombifying nap, and now we're heading to another fun party in the city. Next week, we race down to San Diego for a full-throttle family extravaganza (at which both Marco and I will be expected to wear Christmas-themed head ornaments). And then the second we return to town, it's off to a rager on New Year's Eve. Merry! Merry! Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
Oh how I love attending parties, and bonding it up with family, and eating! But I do wish there was some recovery time built into this schedule, a few down days between events that I could use to repair my drinking organs and work up a thirst for more. Which is why I'm thinking that next year, rather than pack all the joy into December like some kind of endurance test, we should distribute the holiday partying throughout the year. A tree-trimming party in January, an eggnog sip in February, a sleigh ride in July... finally each event gets the enthusiasm and gusto it deserves. The most wonderful time of the year, All Year Long! Do you hear what I hear?
Marbles that cat has suddenly discovered the ever-expanding forest of crochet trees.
Marco (after listening in on the tail-end of a phone conversation I had with a friend): What's "such a disappointment"?
My Bleep Bop arrived, and it is so perfectly chubby and tidy and squeezy -- the whole package was such a treat, all wrapped in delicious vintage tissue along with a handmade card and a sweet little button, oh! Best of all, it came to me from My Imaginary Boyfriend, thereby making way for a whole series of "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific"/"Nut 'n' Honey"-style misunderloguing ("Does Marco know about this imaginary boyfriend, and if so, is he threatened by the gentleman's most excellent taste in felty tree ornaments?").
And on the topic of robot love: have you seen the holiday wrapping paper at Old Navy these days (not, for some reason, available on their website)? Such a triumph.
My friend Jessica (scroll down to the "Kashi GOLEAN Crunch!" review) crocheted a herd of lovable stuffed trees (inspired by the trees posted at Craftster) for Saturday's party, and then each of us got to take one home!
These past few strange nights I've been applying my busy brain and my feeble crocheting know-how to hooking up a misshapen (I think mine need to be fed a little more stuffing), bald-spotted (and crocheted a little tighter) forest of friends for my perfect little tree. Their umbilical chords still need to be cut, and they still need ornaments -- maybe some embroidery-thread blue, pink, and red stars? Or pear, apple, and banana beads from the frayed, vintage plant-hanger my aunt Cordy gifted me? -- but even naked, they're elementally satisfying, especially en masse:
And here they are all together in a nocturnal shot, looking strangely guilty:
This news about Leslie Harpold has just sent me reeling. How can this be true? I still keep hoping that maybe it isn't. This whole morning my friends and I have been calling and typing each other, struggling to wrap our heads around it. It just doesn't seem possible! Less than a week ago, I went to lunch with a mutual friend and the word was that she was doing so well in her new little house, that there was a garden being gardened, that she was settling in and loving her new turn as a homeowner. This internet feels like such an inadequate place to be talking about such terrible news, but to not say something here feels like all kinds of wrong, too. Because for me, Leslie is such a huge part about what's good about the web. I've only met her a few times in person -- drinks in NYC, a hectic BBQ, a lovely brunch -- but I've always tuned in to whatever she had to offer online, and really she did such amazing things here (Smug, the annual advent calendar, oh so many things, and wow could she write). I'm just sick with sad that this is the last we'll be hearing from her.
Updated to add: more voices and info here and here and here and here and here. Oh, I'm so sad!
And even more links: some of my favorite people share really nice words about Leslie here and here and here.
Tonight I saw a commercial for American Express with the Spinal Tap anthem, "Gimme Some Money," playing in the background, apparently without a stitch of irony or self-awareness. Though maybe they were going for some kind of ultra-subtle hilarity? Like the funny lies in the fact that American Express knowingly chose a faux-faux-ho song about money to give their message a winkie dab of piquancy? Either way -- oblivious or subversive -- these are not qualities I'm really looking for in a credit card company. Can't they just give me a lower interest rate? A quiet, parental air that fills me with feelings of trust and calm? A prettier, more opalescent card? Money? Can't they actually just gimme some money?
I thought one of the only good things about getting old was the wisdom it brings. But I'm 36 years worth of old and I still don't know how to drink right. I just spent the last fifteen hours oscillating between slowly dying on the couch and slowly dying on the bathroom floor, all thanks to the world's worst hangover. And yes I know I already had a hangover this week, though that episode felt like a sweet baby deer's kiss compared to today's humble-a-thon. Happy holidays!
I wasn't able to even think about food until just a few hours ago, and the only thing that sounded remotely edible was a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich, and Tap Ramen, and a towering Coke. Because that's what 36 year-old ladies eat after they hurl the day away like a giddy college girl.
Just look what Caroleen got me at the CCA craft fair today!
Private to Evany: Maybe a Somerset goat-cheese-baked-tomato scramble with home-made sourdough toast, potatoes, and side of cinnamon roll isn't the best morning-after chaser for a full-on Roman eating orgy at Buca di Beppo? No, not the best, but pretty close to it, hoo!
Ooow, it turns out that fine champagne (the only kind you'll ever find at a fete hostessed by the inimitable Liz Dunn) makes its way down the gullet with disturbing ease, then it hangs a sharp U-turn and goes right to your head. And then it loosens its cummerbund, kicks off its shoes, and settles into that soft, pink spot right behind your eyeballs and promptly gets down to the dirty business of pain. Almost a full day has passed since I bubbled down -- a calm, quiet day with no sudden movements -- and yet I'm still feeling the horrible fragility that is the champagne hangover.
If I didn't have such a rotten headache, I would be squealing over the new-found fact that my book is now available at Urban Outfitters' online store (in addition to its in-the-fleshedness). I must say, it's such a thrill to see my little book all done up in multiple views, just like a real item in a real internet store:
I've also spent much of today internal-squealing over the Lola "cargo bag" from Bungalow360. I want this bag so ferociously bad, it makes my heart sweat. But...which version? The fierce and firry tree fabric one?
Or should I head into deeply cute fish fabric territories?
It almost makes me mad, being forced to choose between two such glorious options like this. It's like pitting chocolate against hamburgers, or the smell of chimney smoke versus the sound of kittens purring. It can't be done! Not with this champagne-damaged noggin it can't. Oh how I gently shake my fist at you, Bungalow360!
The reading was so fun! Fancy cheeses, god-made cookies, fresh margaritas, pomegranate champagnes, and the oldest dog that ever was -- it was out of control! And so many pals were there: Angela, Jordan, Eli, Chris, Andrew, Barb, Anna, Trevor, Heidi Meredith, Heidi Pollock, Liz, Michele, Matty, Adrienne, Lori, Laura, Scout, Megan, Julia, Addison, Rebekah, Stephen, Jessica, whew, plus a bunch of new friends, including the amazing Stephen Elliott and Daniel Handler, wow, as well as one incredibly nice and pretty Jennie, who came to the reading simply because she read about it on these very pages -- I so love it when that happens. Hurrah for new friends! I drank many delicious drinks and ate grapes and signed lots of books, and it was a truly great time. They really put on a classy act at the Candystore, and I am one very lucky thing to have such lovely opportunities and such present (and so very presentable) friends. Happy, happy! Lucky, lucky!
And then cut to me, at 5am this morning, wide awake and awash in shame, panic, and regret because...because...I hadn't publicly thanked the Candystore at the end of my reading? Because what if my slideshow didn't make any sense? Because sometimes drinking drinks just makes you wake up at 5am awash in shame and panic and regret? Whatever the reason, I definitely woke up on the wrong, bad, crab-apple cove side of the bed this morning. So I went off to this AM meeting I had scheduled in downtown Berkeley, and then I decided to walk off my disgrunts and worries. At first I was going to simply tool around Berkeley for awhile, but after I got going, it felt so good, I just went whee-whee-whee all the way home, all six-point-however many miles.
My "march back to sanity" march took me the full length of College Avenue. And let me tell you, they really went all-out on the Holiday decorations this year:
I'm not quite sure you can see it in these strange, strained photos that my cell phone can't help but take, but each tree in Rockridge has been festooned with one, solitary red ball. Marco and I actually saw the guy putting these up a few weeks ago, and at the time, I thought that he was just doing one color at a time. Surely someone would be by later with the green balls, followed by the gold balls, and then the silver? But no, that was it. Just...one ball for each tree. Did they run out of funding or something? If so, maybe a better plan would be to fully decorate each fifth tree and leave the others blank. That would be better, right? Instead of this row of sad, sad Charlie Brown goose-egg trees? Though, like so many things I complain about, I'm beginning to wonder mid-fume if maybe the approach that so riles me is actually way more awesomer. Yeah actually, I think I'm going to withdraw this complaint, and instead offer my congratulations: hats off to you, Rockridge, for having the balls to go uniball this year! And hats off too to my marathon stroll, for stomping the irrational regrets right out of me.
Now Marco and I are off to another champagne-pumped event. The non-stop train of holiday woo has officially chugged into gear!
Remember not to forget tonight's drink-fueled reading! That's right, TONIGHT! From 7 to 9! The puppy-and-pony show part will probably start at around 7:30, so just as soon as that whistle blows, come and get it whet at the Candystore (on 16th at Valencia)!
CU there, QTs!
My little sleep book is spreading its wings! It's busting out of its safe independent bookstore world and tearing right into Urban Outfitters everywhere, where it's rubbing pages with the likes of Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming and Penis Pokey. It's totally going to come home covered in hickeys and reeking of cigarette smoke, and it doesn't even care!
The book is also making new friends over at Urban Outfitters' older, wiser, but-still-able-to-squeal-over-a-perfect-skirt sister store, Anthropologie (thanks to reader Melissa for the heads-up!):
One sort of bad thing: the version that Anthropologie is carrying is a reprint, and it's not quite as cute as the original run (as seen at Urb Out). The fabric is rougher, the bite of the imprint on the cover illustration isn't as deep, the color of the end pages is off...it's all just a slightly less than yar, which makes my stomach hurt. But still...Anthropologie!
Good news is coming in fast from every corner of my network of golden pals:
Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic, also known as Keckler from Television Without Pity gives us CocktailSmarts: "It's a booklet! It's a game! It's some brightly colored coasters! With recipes!" An educational drinking game that teaches you stuff that makes you want to drink even more? It's like Quarters, only better. I KNOW! I've already ordered three: one for me, one for a Christmas gift for some secret special someone, and one just so I'm prepared the next time an emergency hostess gift scenario rolls around.
This past Sunday, dear Maggie appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition show! Maggie was so eloquent, and her shopping advice so compelling, that half the world clicked over to Mighty Goods, creating a traffic storm so frenzied, it temporarily choked the site. And as a long-time fan of Maggie's writing and sixth sense of style, I absolutely understand all the hullabaloo.
The Bellyachers (superfine friends Brian, Sandra, and Peter) have just launched a stylish little mini-trampoline of a site, lovingly designed to give you the jump on their new album, "300 Letters to God Found in the Atlantic," which they'll be releasing song by delicious song.
And friend-since-third-grade China Adams has assembled a majestic sampling of her tight body of work. Looking at her stuff all in one place like this, I'm awestruck by how smart and talented and inspired and funny and, wow, just so incredibly hard-working she is, and how lucky the world is to have her. (Back to me: though my photo isn't one of the ones up on the sample site, yours truly was one of the ten people photographed for her Blood Consumption project -- I donated a pint of blood and everything. I'm kind of a patron of the arts that way.)
How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by such a candy cloud of smarts and talent? I wonder.
'Tis the season for giving, I know. It really 'tis! But I just keep finding more and more things that I want, want, NEED for myself:
My last Desperate Housewives recap of 2006 is now alive, and there won't be another episode to recap until sometime in January, hallelujah, joy to the world, and jingle all the way! It's a very special holiday episode, so I decided to celebrate with references to both herpes and crabs:
"Next Susan finds an 'ADMISSIONS FOR COMMITTED PATIENTS' form, dated 1981. And the reason for commitment is listed as 'Psychological Depression,' which just sounds so, so made up. I mean, isn't the 'psychological' part implied on a mental patient's commitment form? That's like a general practitioner diagnosing you with 'Physiological Herpes' or whatever. So, so dumb. FYI: Orson's birthday is listed as June 28, 1964, which makes him a Cancer. Really? Because all his persnickety cleaning habits totally stink of Virgo. And oh my god I've just fallen down a long, deep well of obsessiveness. It's so dark in here! And I'm so cold."
"Happy New Year, all you lovely Desperate fans! May the presents under your tree be exactly what you hoped they would be (versus, say, crabs, which no one wants down there, no not at all, especially not at Christmastime)."
Also inside: applied usage of two of my favorite manufactured terms, Bershon and P-Touched, plus a link to this photo!
Hello pretty friends!
It turns out I'll be signing my book and maybe doing another little slip-slide-y show this coming WEDNESDAY at the Candystore (in the Mission) along with the funbulous Lisa Brown (author of the Baby Be of Use board books). Reportedly there will even be a sampling of cocktails on hand!
So please come on by after work for some sipping and staring. Bonus: If you've never had the pleasure of Candystore, it is the cutest place ever, full of fancy clothes, jewels, and other temptations, so you might just get some holiday shopping in, too.
Note: The event got a mention in today's Daily Candy (?!), so it could be crowded. Come early to make sure you get plenty of booze!
I sure hope to see you there,
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I finally got hold of the November issue of Penthouse Forum, and boy are my hands...dirty. But it includes a nice mention of my book, in which they declare that it "has its tongue firmly in cheek." Which, given the context, sounds unexpectedly titillating.
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The book is also supposed to be out in a smattering of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores. (Yay!) I haven't managed to visit either store in a few weeks, but I've been checking their sites and it's not for sale at either spot yet, at least not online. Has anyone seen a copy in stores? Please let me know!