Saturday, December 3, 2005

snow fun!!

When I posted about Bon Bon Panda last night, I went to check the link at jay is games and discovered another time waster -- SnowDays! Cut your own paper snowflake and see the work of others. Two things I learned so far: look at the little dots in the snowstorm, they're paper flakes you zoom in on too (I suppose it's obvious but it took me a while....); and, I suck at cutting out flakes in flash. In the real world, I'm actually good at it. But I'm terrible at these. Might be because I have a trackball and not a mouse. But anyway. It was still fun! And the most snow I'm seeing this month, most likely...

Friday, December 2, 2005

panda fun!

A while back I came across this Bon Bon Panda flash game, I have no idea how. Anyway, it quickly became a House of Fun addiction! Evan of course got obsessed enough to beat it one night (20 levels in all, "nothing exciting happened" he said, but then again we've been playing the Korean "bootleg" version so the official version might be different), but I haven't gotten near the end. Cute and fun, but easy to walk away from if you have to stop playing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

happy holiday!

Hope you all are having a relaxing and festive holiday weekend. And remember, like I said last year -- avoid CBS' crappy parade coverage!

Update - just got a mailing that Puffy (a.k.a. PuffyAmiYumi) will be in the parade! That's pretty cool. I must say though, notifying your mailing list at 1 am the night/morning before the parade...? Not too timely. The mailing also said there will be dolls coming out soon. Dolls that I already saw over a month ago, hello! (Dolls which I may have to get since I have the other two doll sets of Puffy...)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

this apron has a story

Since the Tie One On holiday theme was extended to December 1st (whew!) for November I want to share this apron with you instead. Now, if you know me well enough to know how I dress, you're probably thinking "white eyelet? that doesn't seem like you..." and you'd be right. No, I'd never pick white eyelet for an apron -- too lacy, too frou frou, too white (me and white clothes are a bad thing together...can you say immediate food spill?). But the thing is, I didn't pick it out. I bought this pattern because I'd been wanting this particular design for an apron project I had in mind (and still haven't started!), but the copy I found came complete with someone's pinned and cut fabric! I decided to go ahead and complete the apron on behalf of the original owner, and it was a really cool thing to do. There's no way to know when the fabric was cut out or why it was never sewn together, but I had a lot of fun speculating and thinking about the idea of finishing someone else's project for them. I hope someone would do the same for me!

I did have to make one alteration in the pattern though -- the shoulder straps are meant to cross over the back and button to the waistband, but when I tried on the apron to figure out where the buttons should go I discovered that the straps didn't get anywhere near the waistband! This pattern was definitely not meant for someone who's 5'10". So I converted the straps to a halter and it worked out just fine.

Here's to whoever started this apron -- glad I could finish that up for you!

this apron has a storysimplicity 1756
(photos link to larger images)

Monday, November 21, 2005


Even though it's absolute junk food, I do love me some cup noodle sometimes (although what I really love is Mug, which is apparently now discontinued everywhere but Indonesia, from what I can find out!). Anyway, trying to find out more about the fate of my beloved Mug, I discovered this crazy flash Cupnoodle site! Go to "Play and download" for lots of ridiculous (and short) Cup Noodle videogames!

Sunday, November 6, 2005

jones soda

More on the limited Jones Sodas: you may know this, but the whole concept started in 2003 with a Turkey and Gravy soda. In 2004, they had a whole Holiday Pack which added Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potato & Butter, Fruitcake and Cranberry flavors to their Turkey & Gravy Soda. I heard about it, but it's not like we found it anywhere for sale (not to mention, those are probably not flavors that an often-nauseated pregnant woman should even be thinking about, much less drinking). So, you can see, they've had a history of disgusting flavors that led up to those scary halloween sodas at Target.

And now the Holiday Pack for 2005 is about to hit. They're being coy about it on their own site still, but I find it listed as containing the famous Turkey and Gravy, plus four all-new flavors guaranteed to make you sick: Smoked Salmon Pate, Broccoli Casserole, Corn on the Cob and Pecan Pie. Now, I would definitely give Pecan Pie a shot. But...smoked salmon flavored soda? I swear, they make these sodas as a dare to the general public.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!!

Go get yourself these cool Halloween comps from Oddio Overplay and have a great night!

tie one on - October!

apron-oct-thumb.jpgThe theme for this month was mixed media and my apron is done! Update: Gallery is up!

I worked my way through a ton of plans on this one, unlike the other two. Originally, I wanted to do potato prints of kitcheny icons. But, I couldn't find fabric paint in the colors I wanted, and I couldn't find fabric I thought was suitable for making the actual apron. So I had just about resigned myself to not doing it at all.

But then, on the way back from the symposium at Duke, we stopped to get gas and found this huge thrift store (where I bought a bunch of cookbooks and some baby clothes for Emily) -- and in the linen section was the perfect dishtowel for making an apron! And amazingly. still clean and white (it was from a linen service, and the others were all stained) So I brought it home and did a quick-and-easy dishtowel apron. But then, what to put on it?

The potato prints were out, I had never found the colors I wanted. At first I thought of doing a comic (maybe of someone making a recipe or something) but I realized I'd never have the time to write it, much less draw it. Then I got the idea to do a mini-version of our House of Fun classic series "Life's Great Rewards" (these strips are pages of small panels, each containing iconic things we love. Evan and I have both done them.) but I couldn't settle on which things to draw. As I was trying to make a list in my head, I realized I was mostly thinking of food. And mostly, food that started with a "C"!

So, thus was born this month's apron, "C Is For...". Drawn freehand on a dishtowel apron in marker (panels ruled with a piece of junk mail) and colored in design markers.

Tie one on OctoberTie one on OctoberTie one on October
(photos link to larger images)

a few follow-ups

My September tie one on apron was made from a vintage towel with "Swedish Weaving" or huck embroidery on it. As it turned out, another tie one on contributor had a collection of similar towels and almost had made an apron like mine! She ended up doing some research on the technique and has some lovely photos of it here.

Evan's comic shop radar is still in effect; on our way home from Duke last week we pulled off the highway to find a Subway and a few doors down from the sandwich shop? A comic store. It's ridiculous, really it is.

You know those Target Halloween sodas we forgot to buy? Well, a kind fairy left some for us at our hotel!! So now we know what they taste like. And can I just say, "Ewwww!!" "Caramel Apple" ought to be called "Poisoned Apple", and "Candy Corn"...well, it didn't taste like anything but chemicals. At least Caramel Apple tasted of apple in a really nasty way. But thanks, kind soda fairy!! It would have irked me forever to not have known.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I heart kabocha

kabocha + kabochaI love pumpkins, and I love winter squash. Recently, we've been trying out all the squash I'd never cooked before (spaghetti squash, mmm!) and finally I bought a kabocha at Mitsuwa a while back. I already knew how much I loved the seasonal kabocha wagashi and croquettes I got at Mitsuwa. And now that I've cooked the actual squash, I think that it just may be my favorite winter squash of all! So far, we have had the basic roasted/steamed side dish, a fantastic soup (no peeling necessary! fyi, I went with the mozarella on top), and I've roasted the seeds using this recipe (with great results, although I think I will try cumin instead of cayenne next time). I've also made kabocha yogurt for Emily about a zillion times and she loves it (as well as the plain cooked kabocha). Next kabocha gets turned into this recipe for simmered kabocha. Plus it's fun to say. Kabocha kabocha kabocha!

Last night I completely forgot to mention: I also made these cookies from a recipe I found online. They were pretty, but they tasted like cardboard. Rancid cardboard. I am on the lookout for another cookie recipe to try.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Oh, bento!

bento thumb.jpgAs someone who prefers to eat small amounts of several foods at any meal possible, I love bentos -- looking at them, eating them, thinking about them...and I have often thought about how much I would love to make them when Emily goes to school someday. (Of course, I doubt I'll have the time and patience to make fancy anime bentos like these!) But the idea of sending her off every day with a lunch that's attractive, fun and well-balanced really appeals to me.

My only hesitation was that it might be too strange for an American kid to take to school. As I read here, the experiences of kids taking bentos to US schools has been mixed. But then, I discovered the waste-free lunch movement, and the accompanying Laptop Lunch Box, and I started thinking that maybe it wasn't such a weird idea after all. With bento-like lunch containers coming out here, by the time it's an issue I think it just might seem normal!

And then yesterday I came across the Vegan Lunch Box, which documents the (vegan, obviously) lunches packed every day by a mom in WA using the Laptop system. Great ideas, feedback on how the system works (and doesn't -- more lids are needed, I agree), examples of bento-style lunches of (mostly) Western recipes, and some idea of how well it goes over in her son's 1st grade class (very well, apparently). I'll be keeping an eye on this one and taking notes!

So, looks like Emily will get bentos and I get to have fun in, well, another 5 years or so!

More resources: fantastic bento photo blog from Mizuko Ito (this a great companion to the Vegan Lunch Box blog); flickr bento box group (drool!); Cafe Japan, which I have; Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go, which is on my wishlist; and if the Laptop system doesn't work for you, there's also the Zojirushi "Mr. Bento" lunch set and Zojirushi "Ms. Bento" lunch set.

Friday, October 21, 2005

wild animals -- loose on the internet!

I've been watching WildCam Africa on the National Geographic website whenever I get the chance lately. It's a live webcam (with sound!) that's bringing you video from a pond in Botswana 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, since it's live the best viewing hours are not East-Coast-living-with-a-baby hours, but even so we've seen elephants, zebras, steenbocks, hyenas, a jackal, an ostrich, and loads of other birds. It's very science-fiction, the idea that you really DO have a window that can show you sunset in Africa live as it happens, and it's really fun to watch animals in the wild without actually having to go there. It'll only be running until December 8th -- but I hope it's only the first of many such experiments!

Friday, October 14, 2005

"sisterhood, riot grrl and the next wave"

That's the name of the upcoming symposium at Duke University on "the power and relevance of primary materials to the history and future of feminism". And because one of the topics being covered is girl zine history, there will be a large exhibit of zines and other works, many from my collection, on display, and I will be a guest speaker! I'll be participating in the "Modes and Methods of Feminist Publishing" session on Thursday. We've been so busy I'm a litle out of the loop on what else is going to be going on there, but it looks pretty interesting and it's free, so if you are for some reason in the area, check it out!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Action Girl!

Live and in person! Well, sort of. See our pal and cat-sitter's Halloween costume of Action Girl! (Circa...1999? Or thereabouts.)

Friday, September 30, 2005


So, earlier this week we stop at a Target to check out this year's Halloween stuff (they've had better offerings but there's some cute stuff) and in the candy aisle we notice some soda cans with Halloween graphics on them. "Hey, look!" I say. "Someone made soda you can give to trick-or-treaters!" "Mmm, yeah," says Evan (or something like that, actually I don't remember). Both of us thinking it's going to be some crappy house brand orange and grape sodas, we keep walking. So imagine my dismay when I find out we passed up this year's limited edition Halloween Jones Sodas!! And we won't be near a Target again for months, most likely! And you all know how we like trying out ridiculous sodas....feh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

tie one on - September

toosept-thumb.jpg This month's tie one on assignment was to make an apron from a tea towel (or dish towel, kitchen towel, bar towel, etc.) Easy as pie, and after one false start (okay, maybe not as easy as pie) I had this cute pink apron made from a vintage kitchen towel.

the apron

side view, showing panels

close-up of the embroidery

the original bar towels I bought

the apron-that-wasn't!

The ends of the towel had different motifs, which worked perfectly for my idea, which was: to cut the towel in half off-center, making one longer panel for the main part of the apron, and then make two shorter side panels from the shorter half. You can see the side panels in the second photo. (The apron fits me a bit better than it fits my skinnier dressmaker's dummy -- skinnier because my dummy didn't give birth 9 months ago!) I serged the raw edges of the side panels, stitched them to the front panel, gathered the whole thing and then just used a length of some leftover black bias tape for the waistband/ties.
I'm much happier with this apron, actually (than the last one) because it's very usable. The side panels protect without getting in the way, and the fabric is a textured and very absorbent cotton (I think). See detail photo for the texture -- also for a close-up of the embroidery. I know there is a name for this style of embroidery but I cannot remember it and I don't have any of my needlework books handy to check. And it's totally washable. The fabric is a bit thicker and stiffer as well, which also helps. Definitely will be avoiding the potentially limp fabrics in the future, no matter how much I like the color!
Now, for the false start! The day this month's theme was announced I thought, "this will be so easy! And perfect! Now, to find some cool vintage towel or two on ebay"...and I immediately found an auction that was about to end, for a set of vintage bar towels (well, I'm assuming they're "bar towels" by the motifs, but they're kind of bigger and linen so they may really be "kitchen" towels). No-one bid against me, I won them a few hours later for just a few dollars, and then I waited excitedly to get them in the mail.
My plan was to take the two towels and match up the designs, making a big color-blocked towel, then cutting it down to a good length and just using bias tape to make the waistband/ties (see photo for a mock-up of the apron that didn't happen). I thought it would look really neat, and I think it would have except...when I got the towels I thought "this will be the coolest apron", but I just couldn't do it. I hung them over a chair in the dining room for a couple days and thought about it, and when Evan asked "where did we get these really cool towels" I decided I just couldn't cut them up!! So, they became our new cool vintage bar towels, and I began searching for another vintage towel. Luckily I found the pink and black one and it was shipped quickly so I had plenty of time to make the apron.
Update: see more photos in my flickr apron set!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Who knew? All this time, I had a theme song!! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here.) Of course, I have no idea what they're actually saying but still, it's pretty funny and actually a really good song. I wish I'd found it years ago!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ninja stealth apron.

Now that's an apron! From I only wish they'd say where these pictures came from.

UPDATE: mystery solved!! Thanks to Popgadget, I found out that it is (as we suspected) an artwork, by Japanese artist Aya Tsukioka, and is part of a series.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Instant baby bibs!

Well, practically instant, anyway, and depending on the materials you use, they may even be free!








It's true that you really cannot have too many baby bibs while you are in the really messy stages of feeding a baby. And through trial and error, I figured out that the best bib (for me) has a few important features.
It involves no velcro -- velcro inevitably opens up and snags something in the laundry, plus Emily can pull them off pretty easily.
No plastic -- I know people like those Baby Bjorn-type vinyl bibs but Emily hates them, and they look uncomfortable to me.
A textured surface -- those bibs you can wipe off sound great -- until you realize that the smooth, wipeable surface means that everything that hits the bib will slide off into baby's lap!
And preferably, it will be made of something soft and absorbent so it can pull double duty and be used for clean-up afterwards.
So what's the best bib, then? A simple bib of cotton terrycloth with good coverage and comfortable neckties. And how can you get one? Like this!
photo 1: All you need (besides the obvious scissors, thread and sewing machine) is a washcloth and a 32" length of some sort of folded (or foldable) binding. The washcloth I'm using here is from a pack of a dozen I bought for maybe $5 at Costco, but was technically free for this project since it's about two years old and I just went and got it our of the bathroom. I would say you need a washcloth that's around 11"x11" or 12"x12". Any bigger and it'll be covering up baby's arms. Any smaller and it won't be covering much of baby! The binding is also technically free as it was leftover from another project. This is definitely one of those projects where you can spend anywhere from nothing to a lot, depending on what you decide to use -- free leftover as I've done here, or super-plush new washcloths and pretty ribbons!
photo 2: fold the washcloth in half down the center, and choose which edge will be the top (my washcloth only had one band woven in, so I put that at the bottom). Measure 3" down the fold from the top, and 2" across the edge from the center. You might want to use a washable marker for this, but I was lazy and used a sharpie.
photo 3: draw a curve between your two marks.
photo 4: cut along the curve to make the neck opening. Take your binding and fold it in half, lining the center of the binding up with the center of the neck opening.
photo 5: enclose the cut edge of the washcloth inside the folded binding and line up the centers, pin in place. You may want to pin the binding closed around the neck opening to the edges to be on the safe side. Me, I like to live dangerously. (Okay, I'm lazy.) Starting from either end of the binding, sew the open edges of the binding together to make the ties. As you approach the neck opening, slow down and make sure the cut edge of the washcloth is well enclosed. Sew around the neck opening, then sew closed the rest of the length of binding. Trim threads and...
photo 6: ta-da!! Instant bib!! And perfect for my needs -- no plastic, no velcro, a surface that'll catch those slimy bits of banana and spilled yogurt; and best of all, when she's done eating, I can run it under a little warm water and wash that kid down!
photo 7: here's an optional step -- binding the outside edge of the washcloth as well. This will give the bib a little more stability and it looks darn cute. Although, I have to confess, that isn't really a washcloth there. It's an 11"x11" piece of hemp/cotton brushed terry I had left over from another project. Using a square scrap of something works great (remember to round off the corners!) but you will have to bind the raw edges by either serging them or using binding like I did here. It really is quite the swanky bib though!
I can think of lots of alternatives for this bib -- big satin ribbon ties; adding appliques or trim; using something that will function as well as the terry but look nicer, like a soft cotton velour; using washcloths with embroidery, texture, stripes , prints or patterns; the possibilities are endless! This kid's going to end up in bib heaven....

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

the comic shop magnet

So recently we've discovered that one of Evan's superpowers is the ability to find a comic shop anytime, anyplace. It all started about a month and a half ago, when we went on a short day trip to have lunch and do some book shopping. On the way home, we decided to get back on the highway in a different direction, and what did we see? A comic shop!! A few weeks later, another day trip, and on the way we take the wrong exit off the highway (different highway). We're trying to turn around to get back on track and pull into a shopping center to do so and, you guessed it, we found another comic shop. We get to our destination, pull into a parking place randomly, literally look up through the front windshield and what do we see? Uh huh, comic shop. And finally, just a week or so ago, we take Emily to her cousin's birthday party and take an alternate route home....and pass a comic shop! It's uncanny!

And the two questions are: When and how did he develop this eerie power? and: If there are so few comic shops left, how are we finding them everywhere we go?

(In case you're wondering: Shop 1 -- we went in. Your standard large, mostly empty, all mainstream stripmall shop. Shop 2 -- didn't go in, looked like it might be decent. Shop 3 -- went in. They were just moving in, so it was very messy, but they had a huge selection that included manga, indie books, toys, magazine, etc. It was the first comic shop I've actually seen Shojo Beat for sale in! Shop 3 -- didn't go in but looked good from the road.)

Monday, September 19, 2005

illustrators on tv

Looking for something watch for 10 or 15 minutes the other day, I discovered that new channels have been added to our lineup again. So far I've found Logo and Current, and who knows what else they've added. Anyway, I sat and watched Current, which I found pretty interesting and about 10 minutes into having it on a "gig" segment started about illustrator Tara McPherson. I didn't recognize her name, but I realized who she was when they showed a few of the covers she's done for DC Comics (although the segment doesn't mention that she works in comics at all, just that she's a poster artist) -- Evan is a big fan of her stuff and had shown me her work a while back. Her work is really fantastic and while I wish it had covered more of her process, the segment is really interesting and well-produced, and heck, how often are illustrators or cartoonists featured like that? Especially in a non-genre context. Very cool. Anyway, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to find out when something's airing next on the channel other than scrolling through the current schedule (they appear to be involved with Google but their site has no search function...huh?!) but if you happen to have gotten the channel, look for the Gigs segment called "Siren of Art". And check out the channel in general, I'm not too keen on the hosts but so far a lot of the content I've seen is really worthwhile.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

aprons, aprons, everywhere!

In honor of the tie one on project, there's a massive set of links to apron images over at red current. Some pretty neat stuff to look at! I have to add two of my all-time favorites though, the catbus and totoro aprons (officially licensed) that you cannot get anymore.Which is sad because I need that totoro apron!! I bet I could make one someday... (there was also an apron of Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service but I guess I didn't save the link)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

notable quotables II

Another quote I'm very fond of is this one:

"All you ever need is to be nice and friendly" -- Prince Fleaswallow

But he also said "I can sell a bottle cap like this" so, you know, you have to take what he says with a grain of salt.

Friday, September 2, 2005

the apron!

Sarah's apron on flickr

Originally uploaded by angry chicken.

So, here's the apron. Obviously, the full-size one is on the left. It's based on a vintage "hostess apron" pattern that I have. Unfortunately, the photo is not so good and Crushy slept on the apron for a few hours before I took the photo, making things worse. (Cats and fabric -- argh!!) The mini apron is for a Gene-sized doll, and fared much better -- no sleepy cat laying all over it, for one thing. The scale of the smaller one makes the fabric much stiffer, and makes me want to redo the pattern in a taffeta or something, I think it looks much better. I also like the bows better on the smaller one -- I did them that way because it was easier but they turned out nicer. It's a nice size and the pockets are great, if a bit deep. So I think I'll definitely rework this pattern in the future. Still, even though I'm not 100% happy with the results here, it was just pretty exciting to participate in something for the first time since that BABY arrived. ^_^

Thursday, September 1, 2005

a project!

OMG! Like, a project! Very little in the way of projecty stuff has been going on around here since the arrival of the E.M.I.L.Y. cyborg. But, a friend of mine came across the very cool tie one on site and since I love sewing, love aprons (but, oddly, never remember to actually wear them) and have recently actually started two pretty major apron projects it seemed like a perfect thing to try. I've submitted my very badly photographed results and hopefully they'll make it into the August gallery. Sheesh, some people can pull off a gorgeous illustration every week in their spare time, me, I'm excited about a simple apron once a month. Or less.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

notable quotables

My two favorite quotes right now.

On parenting:
"The days are long but the years are short." - John Leguizamo (InStyle Magazine, July 2005, via Metrodad)

On life:
"everyone is as happy as they choose to be" - Abraham Lincoln, paraphrased by my mom. (Okay, before someone gets persnickety, the quote is really: "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I like my mom's version better.)


my E.M.I.L.Y.

My Electronic Mechanical Individual is 8 months old! And right now, definitely yelling!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

deadly sin of the day: envy

A friend of mine has tickets to the Studio Ghibli Museum today, and I am soooooo jealous! I hope we get to go there someday (and take Emily!) But hey, you have fun without me, A!! ::sob sob::

Saturday, August 13, 2005

happy day

Since the IMDb lists it, it's hardly a secret that yesterday was our anniversary. (Curiously, someone has added that I was born in Louisiana -- which is true -- no idea who knew that though!) We decided to keep it low-key because of time and $$ constraints, and this awful heat!! So we went to our beloved Mitsuwa with Baby Em and spent the afternoon having fun, even though half the place is closed down. We goggled at the way overpriced but super cute baby toys selection (Mitsuwa is so NOT where I got Em's swanky Totoro stuff!), Ev drooled over all the new vinyl Kaiju, we pored over (but did not buy) the Ultraman Daddy and Child Care Book, and I did buy a book of kid's clothing patterns & designs ("Child's Collection 2005" -- I love those books!) which came with free Usahana fabric to make a little tote or something. There's a fantastic plaid dress that's slightly Goth Loli and super-cute! I'll be making that one when she's big enough, definitely. We then got way too much food (even though half the restaurants were closed as well!), featuring tonkatsu for me, sushi & tempura for Evan, and Baby Em's first taste of tofu! And then I got my heart's desire -- more boxes of Re-Ment miniatures! (Their site is down, but here're some pictures). I cannot begin to tell you how much I love Re-Ment, I mean it's well-known that I love miniature kitchen stuff, fake food, miniature food, and especially fake mini food, so it's like this stuff was created especially for me. I only wish I could afford to actually collect them all!! Finally, we picked up some wagashi -- at last I got the goldfish bowl wagashi I always miss every year (from the rotating seasonal selection) -- and then we started home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

on book covers

156.jpgI just have to comment on the cover of the book I'm reading right now:
Mortal Engines
, by Philip Reeve; I first found out about it in a British book about cover design, and I have to ask, what on earth were they thinking when they put the US edition out? The original cover (see left) is so nice, a great illustration in a classic children's book style -- and they replaced it with this boring, murky, pedestrian cover that from more than about 2 feet away looks like a whole lot of nothing. Honestly, I just don't get it. I guess some editor just had to put their "stamp" on it. Anyway, so far I'm enjoying the book enough that I will probably want to actually add a copy to our library (and get the sequels). So,, here I come!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

a string of links

So, I'm only like, a year behind on links to things here. But let me try and slap a few up so I can clean them out of my "things to link to" bookmarks!

Mei & Satsuki's house. At the World Expo in Aichi, Japan, there is a replica of Mei & Satsuki's house from Totoro. Apparently it's such a popular attraction that going to the Expo does not guarantee that you'll get to see it! They are planning to move it elsewhere at the end of the Expo though, so perhaps it'll find a permanent home somewhere.

amaztype. A super-cool little thing someone dreamed up where you can spell any word out of book covers from an amazon search. If you use an author's name, it'll spell it in their books! Yes, I've done both our names, it's pretty fun!

Uwajimaya. Also amazon-related, asian grocery store Uwajimaya is now online at Amazon. Get your Pocky fix no matter where you live, straight from Amazon!

Retro Arcade. Found this flickr photoset on scrubbles, and man is it a killer. Evan was mesmerized.

The Lewis Carroll scrapbook at the Library of Congress. Not exactly enthralling but a really interesting object. Note his clippings from Punch!

Superdickery. You've seen this, right? Everyone probably has, but just in's a hysterical collection (one of the many) of vintage comic covers. No wonder it's been so hard for the medium to get any respect, right?

The Mod bullet is public domain. (warning: link is to a pdf file) Okay, a little dry and you'll want to skim, but I actually found it fascinating reading. And on that note, have you seen our ska baby clothes? That "Rude Baby" is so cute on Emily it kills me.

and finally for today:
My "Diry" of My Trip to Peekskill, a really entertaining photo tour of Little Lulu's home town!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Oh, I only desperately want to get this kid's Hello Kitty bike for Emily!!

Saturday, July 9, 2005

how can people afford anime?

Seriously. I was all excited to find out that Kodocha was being released here, since I never managed to get fansubs (that whole baby thing having kept me pretty busy). Evan was going to get it for me until we realized: It's $30 per 3 episode DVD. And there's 102 episodes. That's $1,020. Even at Amazon prices, or with discounts....that's a ton of money. But obviously they think there's a bunch of people out there that have it! When we realized how much these series are costing people we just couldn't believe it. I know DVDs aren't cheap but...the Emma Peel Avengers megaset cost us $99 for 51 episodes, for example. The recent Pee-Wee release? $80 at Amazon for, I think, 48 episodes. How are the anime companies getting $10 per episode? And do "the kids" really have that much allowance to spend? Holy wow.

Friday, July 8, 2005

more mocca

Ah, and I finally got to the very funny Animal Party, by Julie Klausner. Also recommended, and it looks like you can read it online at her site!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

more on mocca

Evan already posted about our MoCCA mini-comics haul, which he looked through far more thouroughly than I did. I agree with him 100% on that Eleanor Davis story, it's amazing. I think this may be her site, but I'm not 100% sure. There could be two Eleanor Davises at SCAD. But I doubt it. Also really enjoyable (and I snagged it away so Evan didn't actually read it yet) was the completed Catfight by M.K. Reed. We got the first part of it last year (I think -- I don't remember MoCCA 2004 too well as I was holding back Emily-related nausea most of the time) so I was excited to see it finished. A really good read -- and I also highly recommend the story "Cold As Ice" on her site, I literally could not stop reading once I started!

Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm A Scottaholic

because Scott Pilgrim is Da Bob-Omb! There's only one thing about it that sucks: just two volumes are out, and #2 just shipped sooooo who knows when there will be more?

Friday, May 20, 2005

more dishes

Okay, I wasn't going to make another baby/kids post but then I found these super-cute French Bull kid's sets, kitty and monkey being my obvious favorites, with Dots a close 2nd. Man, there just isn't enough money in the world for all the cute things you can buy a baby these days (or the space!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

feeding the baby

Warning: link heavy baby stuff post ahead!!

316784000L.jpg We're creeping up on the introduction of cereal for little Emily, and so I've been checking out baby tableware. And wow, are the options out there daggy! If nothing else, than for the weird preponderance of dark purple and green (what, does someone in the baby design world love Jack Kirby?)

So, deciding that I couldn't stand the chunky green-and-purple caterpillar look (or the metal spoons dipped in rubber) I went searching for tableware I'd like (since she could care less).

I treated myself to the very reasonably priced infant set from Combi Japan (pictured), and also a couple items by Tigex (who should bring out the rest of their line here!) With a couple of cute pieces from Ikea thrown in, she's all set for now.

When she's bigger, more Combi (there's a toddler set as well), more Tigex if I can get it and these cool plates and bowls scouted by my friend Christine at Crate and Barrel. (Okay, they're technically barware, but how perfect for kid's food?) I'm also attracted by this Fishy Dish, and Trebimbi's frost set is on my shopping list for her 1st birthday.

Of course, another year or two and it'll be Disney Princess all the way, no doubt. But for now, I'll love her dishes even more than she will.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Best Loved Tales

walt_disney_best_loved.JPGWe went through our records again recently to sort and purge and I found a record I'd been looking for! It's called "Best Loved Fairy Tales", produced by Disney in the early 60s (and rereleased with a book around 1970) and featured Rica Moore narrating a group of fairy tales over bass and bongos. And pretty weird...I coudn't find much out about Rica other than she was a singer for Ray Coniff and did several Disney recordings. No sign of it ever being released on CD, and my copy was well-thrashed (it's amazing it survived, actually, my brother and I played the hell out of our small record collection!) so I'm happy to report that I scored a clean copy on ebay just days later, and assuming there's either still a turntable in the house or I manage to digitize the tracks, Emily will get to hear my favorite record too!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

stroller for the dads

And some of the moms! Available in Japan only from Combi (their US strollers aren't quite so spiffy) is this:


Can you tell what it is? Yep, it's the "M78 ultra man dream baby buggy". I'm normally not too into character goods on this scale (you may find that hard to believe but it's true). And I love the stroller I got for Emily. But for this, I might have made an exception (and I know Evan would have!). All you need is $350 and a trip to Japan to find one.

And when baby's too big, you can move on up to the "M78 ultra man dream junior seat":


All I can say is wow. Why is it that here baby character goods seem limited to Mickey Mouse and (urgh) Precious Moments? We want cool characters too!

Monday, March 7, 2005

in memoriam


Thanks to everyone who wrote or posted kinds words about Pixie. Truthfully I don't believe in such things, but I'd like to think he really is with the Mama Cat right now and feeling much better.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


You know, I knew there was some link I wanted to post. Actually, there's quite a few, but this is "time sensitive" as all my junk mail likes to say. Kids or no kids, you must check out the Kiddie Records Project and start downloading all the amazing vintage kid's records they will be putting up (one a week) this year. I'm already amazed by the selection! I'm hoping that they somehow will have a copy of my personal favorite kid's record, which, of course, I can't even remember the name of right now (it's this very odd beatnik/jazz fairytale record, with the stories narrated by this very world-weary Susan Tyrell type -- it was one of my favorite records when I was little and I Wore. It. Out.) Anyway, bop on over and start your collection today!

how 4 weeks can seem like a year

Emily Jane is 4 weeks old today. My lord, does it seem like it's been forever. She's starting to settle into some routines -- not on a schedule or anything, but I'm beginning to be able to figure out when she'll sleep for a while and let me get things done. And I'm even managing to deal with all the crap that was waiting for me when I got home from the hospital, like the insurance claim to get the garage fixed; being summoned for Federal jury duty -- again!; and a couple other household management-type things that I really didn't need to deal with this month. (The good news is -- just today I finally found out that I was excused from travelling 2-/12 hours each way to sit in a jury pool, seeing as how I have a newborn baby and all -- in fact, I'm excused for 10 years. Which kind of rules.)

Anyway, got to take the baby girl out today in 18° weather. Think I'll start dressing her now!

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Please welcome Miss Emily Dyer!

Less than a day old, and ready to sharpen pencils and spot blacks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

hello everyone

thanks everyone for all the well wishes and congrats -- if you don't know what I'm talking about, our daughter Emily Jane Dyer was born last week on December 30th. Evan posted the news so you probably saw it there. He'll be the main point of contact for a while as I recuperate and we both adjust to baby. Here's to a happy new year for us all!

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