Saturday, January 31, 2009


A poem by Shelly Chang

From a couch far, far, away, there once were tears

Shed not for sadness and grief nor caused by fears
With cheeks of rose and light shining from his eyes
They were the kind of tears that held no cries
There were only a few, perfect in shape and form
But with each came the culmination of a perform storm
Of the suppressed emotions of a young boy seen
Wearing black and gold on mental fields of green
In an instant, the boy surfaced on the man’s face
No longer sleeping, but now in a race
For this senses to capture each moment of joy
That was the realized dream of this man-child boy
With is yellow towel he wiped his tears away
Then silence as there was nothing more to say
Will we see this boy again on Sunday?
Perhaps, if he does not get geeked up on Tuesday


Will “Will Joe Cry?” Make you Cry?
A review by keychanger

With nervous anticipation I jumped into the recently penned offering from Shelly Chang. It has been almost a year since she stormed the literary scene with her heart wrenching debut “Ode to Farve.” Soon to be answered questions raced through my mind……….would she suffer the sophomore jinx that plague so many poets and slowly vanish into the world of one-hit wonder trivia?..........was the subject too ambitious, foolhardy, or just blatant hubris?.........could anyone truly capture - with mere words - the pure, raw, unadulterated emotions of that day? I was there! I witnessed this! How dare she soil my memory with her interpretation?!!?!!

Yes, the framework of my review already etched. Reading the poem only perfunctory. I need a good laugh.

Immediately immersed, the smirk now gone, swept back to that moment. The tears, the silent joy of my comrade – all back. I share that couch.

Shelley Chang has done it again. Now only one question remains………..can even the mighty Stillers do it again - bring back that boy?

Keychanger is a freelance critic in Carlsbad, CA where he lives with lovely fiancé, Shelly Chang
Reprinted with permission of New Yorker Magazine

Friday, January 30, 2009


A poem by Shelly Chang
Dedicated to groomygroomy, position 34-42 of “pick’ems” the last three years

It was he, the one I adored
It was he, number four
All the memories, all the scores
That night in Oakland, his heart soared
And then one day, he said no more
At that moment, my heart tore
The NFL now a bore
Can I pick the pieces off the floor?
Aaron Rogers, my esprit de corps?
Unprepared for what was in store
He came back like a whore
Not because he was poor
Just unable to walk through that door
He went to New York, to my abhor
Rather than retire for $20 million more
And pitch Viagra like many before
That’s when I felt we were at war
Once my hero, now no more
Once a privilege, now a chore
Does it matter whose jersey he wore?
Then he played, still “he” at the core
He, creator of dreams, maker of lore
I could not stay mad at him anymore
And from then, I was his, forevermore

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My trip to Houston

or The Antics of Mira

Yes I went to visit Carla in Houston at the beginning of the year. We did a lot of exploring the city. The first day we went and checked out The Guild. This is where she scored on her bedroom furniture. It was awesome and chock full of great stuff. Neither of us left empty handed. Here are the goods.


Here are Carla's pretties.

I bought her this one because it's from Ohio too.

We also made a trip over to the LYS. Yarns 2 Ewe This is a great shop if you are in Houston. They have just about every yarn imaginable in stock. We had a good old time in there as any two knitters would.

Another adventure was exploring Rice Village, we went to a very tasty Turkish place. The food was super delicious and I tried rice pudding for the very first time. The waiter recommended it because it was made fresh that morning. Guess what? rice pudding tastes like...rice pudding. It was tasty. We spied Lot 8, that's Chloe Dao's shop. You may remember her as she was the winner of Project Runway Season Two. We checked that place out. It is a very nice shop with lots of cute dresses, but you really need an occasion to wear them. There was also a fabric shop that had the most outrageous prices ever. Almost double what you see in most places. Carla was absolutely flabbergasted. She just couldn't believe her eyes when she looked at the prices. We got the hell out of there lickety split.

Due to my shopping at The Guild, I needed to ship home my purchases. That would be one emerald green Anchor Hocking pitcher, 4 pyrex escargot plates, and a green, three-tiered tin. I also stuffed the pitcher full of Malabrigo Silk that I picked up over at Yarns 2 Ewe. Over in Rice Village we found a mail place to ship my packages. That place was a hoot. It was a hot mess inside. It was like walking into an honest to goodness sit-com. Shirley had her schtick and Marcelle was her straight man. Now Shirley worked there, but Marcelle just sat there in the middle of the store. It was pure entertainment. Carla and I were shoveling peanuts. Shirley had a system and told me she knew what she was doing. She was wearing slippers. She gave me a price without weighing the package. I paid her and we left laughing at the hijnks we just took part in. It was worth the price of admission. (The package did arrive and nothing was broken.)

We also tried a juice place and a Thai restaurant. We found a discount home fabric store that rocked. I cannot remember the name but I know Carla remembers. I bought Carla a vacuum for her new place as a housewarming. It's called the Boss and it is quite possibly the only thing that Mira is afraid of.

Speaking of Mira, her she is.
Playing fetch.

Checking out the goods.

She has to be in the middle of everything.

She really is part Tasmanian Devil.


She is always in a state of pounce and laying in wait. Pure Crazy and we love her.

Now I realize I didn't take that many pictures when I was with Carla. We were running around and having fun. And I didn't even get a picture of us together. Bummer. Next time I will be a better fool with the camera and not just with Mira.

Talk to the paw, humans!

She really is a bad ass. Can you tell?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Out and About: Eagle Rock

On Sunday last, the hubby and I decided to go try some place new for lunch. We headed out to the Oinkster in Eagle Rock.

The Oinkster bills itself as Slow Fast Food.

The hubby and the 1/2 chicken with black beans, rice and plantains.
The hubs is a fool for some rotisserie chicken. No joke.

I had the signature Oinkster Pastrami sandwich
Which has gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and red slaw.

Now to remember this is slow fast food so we had to wait a few minutes for our food. But when the order came all we got was the chicken plate. The chicken had great flavor and delicious skin on it. Everything else on the plate was okay. To be honest, the hubby makes better rotisserie chicken and it wasn't as moist as the Beer Can Chicken we have at home. They do make all their own condiments at the Oinkster, including the ketchup. The chicken is served with a garlic aioli. The hubs felt it was too garlicky for his taste, but I noticed he dipped into it a few times. Finally my sandwich arrived. I am sorry to say that I did not love my sandwich. I love pastrami, but I like mine lean. They cure their own pastrami and it had good flavor, but it was fatty. Big fatty meat is a turn off for me. Also the gruyere wasn't melted, but maybe that's because they had to remake mine in a hurry. I don't know. We also tried the Oinksterade, which is lemonade made in house. It was a little too sweet for me. I like a little bit of tartness in my lemonade. The sweetness did not help to cut the taste of my fatty sandwich, but a little bit of acidity would have. Overall I gave the place a solid B. It was good and worth a try. It was busy as all get out so the food really appeals to people.

On an A food note, on Saturday, we went to Cafe Bolivar (18th & Ocean Park, SM) on Ellen's recommendation. We split 3 different arepas (mango & avocado, ham & cheese, black bean & cheese) and they we all delicious. This is a definite place to stop and have some lunch if you are in the nieghborhood. For pictures of arepas check out Ellen's blog. My camera battery was dead. It was a great snack and then we met up the Fariview knitters for a few minutes. It is a really nice group of people. The library arhictecture is really cool too.

Back to Eagle Rock.
I had never been to Eagle Rock. It was just a famous rock and city I passed on the way to Pasadena.

Since I had never been to Eagle Rock we decided to drive around a little bit. We turned on to Eagle Rock Blvd. and lo and behold I saw a yarn store.
That Yarn Store 5028 Eagle Rock Blvd.

Well I had to drop in and support a LYS in these economic times. There was a pretty large group sitting and knitting on comfy couches when we walked in. I noticed that there wasn't a lot of stock in the store. I was greeted by David the store owner. He's was super sweet, with a big beard and bare feet. He wanted to know who the knitter was. That would be me, not the man following me around the store. He then told me that the store would be closing at the end of the week. It was terrible news and I could tell he was really sad about it. The store looked to be a place that had a real community surrounding it. The store offered poetry readings, spinning and sewing classes on top of the knitting and crochet classes.

It was sad to hear about another LYS going out of business. Although their online business would stay up and running, David wasn't sure what the step was going to be for him. From reading on the website it was a real family venture too with wife and kids involved in the enterprise. I wish David & his family lots of luck in their current and future endeavors. They seems like a very creative group and the type of family that knows how to make lemonade out of lemons.

For all of us, I know we have all made promises to cut back on the massive yarn consumption and are looking for ways to adjusts our budgets. But I guess there has to be some balance in supporting our local business owners and creating a more penny-wise budget and stash for ourselves. I went in with the intention of supporting a LYS, even if it wasn't exactly local to me. So I picked up some sock yarn. Yeah, me, who doesn't like small needles. But I thought I might give it a try sometime this year. If I don't manage to get the yarn on the sticks I know just where to send my yarn. Over to Fernwood Woolworks. They make a nice pair of socks. I know because Ellen gave me a pair for Christmas. But that's another post for another time.
happy feet

sock yarn
That Yarn Store closes on January 31

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Year of the Ox

Happy Chinese New Year!
It is Year of the Ox.

Wikipedia says:
The Ox ( ) is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Ox is denoted by the earthly branch character . In the Vietnamese zodiac, the water buffalo (zodiac) occupies the position of the ox.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.

The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.

The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Another time to kick off a New Year, a new day, a new morning! I love it.

I am a Fire Horse according to Chinese Astrology.
What are you? You can find out here (just scroll down to the Table of the Sixty Year Calendar).

Have a great day, a great year, and a fresh start!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Birthday Recap

A week ago Friday, the hubby took me out to The Little Door for dinner. It is very romantic inside with candle lit tables and fairy lights on the patio. It is place where industry people frequent. The "industry" in L.A. being Hollywood. This was confirmed by sighting Doris Roberts, most recently of Everyone Loves Raymond, and Dustin Hoffman eating at nearby tables. The food was good but not sublime for the prices, but I guess you are paying for atmosphere too, which is beautiful.

The next morning it was off to Chinatown
(photo by Ellen)

with some friends & family
(photo by Joe with Ellen's camera)


(photo by Ellen)

Dim Sum. It was delicious.

Then there was the post-prandial walk around Chinatown.

Let's see what is on the herbalist William Woo Yiu Fai's menu
the herbs

that's what it says
Penis Shrink Inside? Is this the antidote to viagra. Hmmm...very interesting. "Chicken breast" was also on the menu. I have no idea what the affliction of "Chicken Breast" is, but it cannot be good. Something was definitely lost in translation.

Here is Ty making the most of his first Chinatown experience.
watch out

Later that night
on the spur of the moment, the hubby and I went bowling. We also played air hockey and pinball. It was damn good day.

The birthday fun continued by celebrating my cousin's 50th birthday on Sunday.
the big 5-0
She was wearing this sombrero when I got to the party.

Mary Lynn and Debbie
This is my Aunt Mary Lynn and my cousin Debbie.

On Monday I was taken out to lunch (le Petit Greek) by my friend Mitch and Darcy took me out for margarita's and dinner (Don Cuco's) on Tuesday. I was well feted this past week with my family, lots of great friends, great food, and great gifties. It was a good way to start the year.

In my old age there is a good chance I will look like this
me in the future
Just call me Grandma Bling Cha-Ching!

Lori recognized me in this card and has been saving it for me for almost a year. Thanks Lori! I can only hope I grow old so fabulously and sparkly.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dog Pimp

Look at these adorable jail with no get out of jail free card.

Here's the dealio. These 6 Black Lab Mix puppies were found in the middle of the road. They are is desperate need of homes. The person who found them doesn't have the space for such a big brood (no yard) and has been unsuccessful at finding a no kill shelter or rescue willing to take them (no room at the Inn). If you know of anyone looking to adopt a pup contact me. I can hook you up with an adorable pup.

Dog Pimp

This is an urban legend that has been going around for about 10 years. I was verifying the contact info with my cousin when she sent me this

SOooooI am going to write a happy ending for these about 10 year old dogs. They all were adopted. They are entering in to their golden years and have been enjoying the love of good two leggers in their forever homes with annual check-ups, daily walks, and many a tennis ball to chase after.

Thanks dog lovers for your good wishes and loving hearts.
The Ex-Dog Pimp

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Parade

Hello Everyone!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
What a beautiful prelude to Barack Obama's inauguration tomorrow.

We are definitely entering a new era in America with our new president coming in and the present economic times. President Obama has his work cut out for him. It will not be easy to find solutions for our present concerns as a country. For Barack Obama, I hope for much success in his new presidency. I hope he will be feeling the love as I tune in tomorrow to watch the inauguration.

With that being said, what could be more hopeful than a baby parade of pictures from my recent trip to Texas. Cookie and Kiss are 10 months old now. Kiss got her first tooth and Cookie is cutting two at the same time. He has been drolling for 3 long months now in a profuse Niagra sort of way.

Kiss is a super fast crawler and is pulling herself up onto everything. She is pretty steady on her feet so she will be taking some steps in the near future. She also loves to eat, in a two fisted kind of way. I call her the woodchipper. She devours her food. She has a very healthy appetite and totally wants to feed herself.

Cookie, on the other hand, is a very laid back little dude. He is crawling but not with the same intensity or speed. He's a little get along or I'm coming type of guy. In the eating department, he is the little prince. He really has it all figured out. "Why should I do it when everyone else is willing to put it in my mouth directly." Pretty smart little fellow, but if they don't leave him to his own devices he'll never get the eye-hand coordination that will be vital to his video game future. hehe. It looks like he will possibly be a southpaw too.

Thank you for all the Birthday Love!
It was truly a fantastic birthday.

Friday, January 16, 2009


(Me & Cooks on my recent trip)

Today is my birthday.

There was early morning yoga class. I little bit of shopping. A mani/pedi in the afternoon. And a nice nap.

Everyone called to wish me a Happy Birthday.

My spinning wheel was my Christmas/birthday present but the hubby gave me more presents today. I got the first three books of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Fun reading...I love it. He also got me a messermeister knife roll and we are taking a knife skills class together in February! Woohoo...I am soooo Top Chef.

Right now I have to pack my knives and go...

get ready for our dinner date tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't panic

That is me I am talking too. Here I am causing world wide panic with my cell phone post. Which I have deleted. Lesson learned to better research my post before posting.

Thanks to Christine this is all you need to know.

The Truth about Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry


You do NOT need to call.
Thanks Christine!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Behind his eyes

this is what he dreams of.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Snuggle Bed

It looks like Tank has a fairy godmother. Charissa has two doxies of her own and sent Tank a snuggle bed for Christmas. Dachshunds like to burrow. You can find Tank under a pile of blankets most of the time. This bed comes with it's own blankety top and is right up her alley.

Tank jumped in
a new snuggle bed

and snuggled down.
she likes it

Although for Wiggs it looked like a good place
so does Wiggs
for a cat nap.

Thanks Charissa! This is the perfect dog bed for a snuggly pup.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Buttermilk Pie

Before I became afflicted with the cold that would not go away, I made a Buttermilk Pie. Never had I heard of Buttermilk Pie, but I stumbled upon it at Knot Sew Crafty who found the recipe over at Springtree Road. There was buttermilk in the fridge and a pie dough I was itching to try. It was to the kitchen for some making.

buttermilk pie

Buttermilk pie is a custard pie that hails from the South. Although in my four years in North Carolina I never did run across one. Apparently it's a cousin to Chess Pie, which I have had. The Buttermilk Pie was golden, creamy and delicious. The top forms a lacy crust with sweet custard below. If you like custard pies this is one to try. It's an easy recipe too.

The recipe called for an unbaked 9-inch pie shell. I am all in favor of the Pillsbury pie crusts. They are reliable and always turn out a good crust. Why mess with a good thing. However, this year I was feeling adventurous.

Some time last year I picked up this book.

In it is the recipe for No-Fear Pie Crust.
The secret to this tasty flaky crust is a little bit of cream cheese in the mix.

So far I have made three recipes from the book and all the recipes have been great. It was from a promo Cooks Country Magazine that I stumbled across the ratings of the instant-read thermometers (their recommendations also made the book). The hubby was wanting a good instant-read thermometer and he got a Thermoworks Super-Fast Thermapen for his birthday. It rocks. We use it for everything...bread and meat. It works fast and accurately. They really test their stuff over at the those Test Kitchens. The Test Kitchen must be a fun place to work.

What's your favorite pie? As a kid mine was pumpkin. Now in the summer it's peach and the winter it's sweet potato. Oh I love key lime too. Pie....yummmmmm.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Wishing you a year full of...

Joyful Abundance
Kiss & Cookie

Good Hair Days

Happy Knitting

Happy Baking

Special Projects
Daddy's little boy and afghan

Anonymous Giving

Good Eats
best dinner ever

Creative Costuming

Happy Sewing
Carla pins

Good Friends & Sunshiny Days
Ready Girls?


and lots of snuggles.
puppy snuggles