Thursday, January 29, 2009


There is the LOVE performance coming up on February 6, 7, and 8 at Canopy Studio and I am in this show!! I am thrilled because this is the advanced student show and a way to present the aerial acrobatics we learned at Canopy.

single ankle hang.
For LOVE I will be performing a silks aerial piece to the song "Barbarealla" by the band Loveletter. The above photo is me doing a daring single ankle hang on the fabrics. This was at Canopy's birthday party a few years ago.

standing flag
I have been taking classes at Canopy since 2004. I started taking trapeze first (with some of my favorite teachers, Julie and Allison). This picture above is from my first show. It was around Christmas and the whole class wore pajama bottoms as a theme. We did our routine to a song from the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack. It was only about three minutes long! Some of my friends came to see me, which was so nice! In fact, they enjoyed it so much, they wanted us to do it again!

Well, I am pretty sore and tired from the extra practice sessions, so I am off to have a cup of tea! Come see the show next weekend and say hello and watch me perform from fearless heights!

Nilla Forty

Nilla on my bed.

You are getting sleepy...
Here is my kitty, Nilla. This time her photo shows her as a lounging lovely on my bed. Check out my new quilt, too. Notice how she loves the softness.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


TAFFY 3559

A little over a year ago we found TAFFY on an endcap in TARGET, mixed in with a bunch of post-Christmas items that were on sale. Her box was a little banged up and it was the only one left...and it was only seven measly bucks! You can't buy wholesome entertainment for that much nowadays, and back then, on a boring weekend wandering around a big box department store looking for something-anything fun to do, Taffy was the perfect antidote to a rather blasé afternoon.

With a little love and a lot of hot air, we brought Taffy to life. For a couple of weeks we rode her, groomed her, fed her, and sometimes cursed profanities whenever she fell flat on her face after tripping on a hurdle or small boulder during many a race. After a few weeks of mild-mannered amusement, Taffy was just content to sit in a corner and watch us play other video games on our old SONY PLAYSTATION, thinking that some day, we would return to her and her girlish fancies. Months passed and we would sometimes catch her smiling up at us as we moved from one room to the next, tracing our daily rituals. Sadly, we hardly noticed. Recently, we had gotten a shiny new NINTENDO Wii...we now filled our afternoons and evenings with racing karts and step aerobics. The Playstation now served primarily as our DVD player and Taffy....well, Taffy faded into our distant memories, like a sepia-toned photograph hidden in dusty cigar box, cast into the darkest crevice of an attic filled with other forgotten and now useless things.

Some say that it was the heavy exercise ball on her back that caused her to deflate, but we know better. It's true that you sometimes don't know what you have until it's gone. We may never know the sweet taste of Taffy ever again... are some photos of Taffy during happier times...

TAFFY 3536

TAFFY 3538

To make the gaming experience complete, Missy went and fetched her little red cowgirl hat...

TAFFY 3539

TAFFY 3542

TAFFY 3548

TAFFY 3544

TAFFY 3549

TAFFY 3554

TAFFY 3558

TAFFY 3561

Jay tried his hand at breaking our wild mare, but was soon frustrated by her rambunctious spirit...

TAFFY 3569

And then, alas...our poor, poor Taffy, earlier this week:

TAFFY 1950

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tin Roof! Rusted

RC 1919

RC 1921
(the little tin shed in the back of our house, built from construction yard scraps by the previous owners)

Here at RANCHO COCOA (the house, not the blog), Missy and I have been cleaning out all the "debris" in our backyard. For a couple of months now our yards, front and back, had been buried under an ocean of leaves, branches, and fallen tree limbs. These past couple of months have been too cold to do any yard work and it seemed like every weekend was too rainy or wet to go outside. Well, we finally had enough of the mess and forced ourselves to get our yards into a halfway decent state. Also, my sister is visiting from California this coming weekend...reason enough to feel motivated to work on our "curb appeal"...

Here, Missy poses with all the crap we hauled out of our backyard. Eventually, the city will come and turn it all into mulch:

RC 1899

After clearing the leaves from the flower bed out front we discovered some bulbs finally peeking up from the soil...I think these are tulips that Missy planted back in October:

RC 1902

We raked up and swept up all the fallen leaves that covered our stone patio and walkways. I should have taken before and after pictures...

RC 1927

RC 1932

RC 1907

RC 1914

RC 1923

RC 1935

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Wind-Down #40

FIT 1898
(Missy's collection of ceramic Holt-Howard Pixieware)

This year, Missy and I have decided to "give up" HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. It's just one part of our plan to get fit this year. Since the start of the year we've become way more aware of how prevalent HFCS is in food and were even shocked to find it in foods that we had previously thought were "healthy". For example, we found it listed in the ingredients to these wheat buns that we like so much; we found it in some supposedly healthy Minute Maid grapefruit juice; and we even found it in our favorite brand of hummus...IT'S FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE! So, we've been pretty vigilant about reading food labels lately, and really, we feel like it's making a big difference in the our overall health.

FIT 1887
(Et tu, Hummus?)

On top of that, I made a pledge to myself to consume 365 apples in one year, for an average of "an apple a day"...did I mention this already? I want to see if "an apple a day" really will "keep the doctor away". Thing is, this past winter, I got sick four different times...I NEVER get sick! Over the past two years I've managed to work my way into the worst shape I've ever been in and I'm sure that's the main reason I've gotten sick so many times. Anyways, so far, I have probably eaten more apples this year than I have in the past two years, maybe even three years. I'm hoping to eventually be able to make a "five a day" pledge next year, if not later this year, and actually start eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Between giving up high fructose corn syrup, eating healthier, and doing moderate exercise almost daily (more on that later), I've managed to lose nearly 10 POUNDS since the beginning of this month. My plan is to lose about 2 pounds a week until I reach my goal weight. I'm trying to be patient and lose weight (and gain muscle) intelligently and slowly, so that I don't screw up my metabolism. Mostly, I just want to feel good and have more energy...and to not get sick again and suffer like I did throughout most of November and December of last year. Also, I do not want to get the diabetes...

FIT 1885

MISSY - Getting lots of good mail yesterday.
RAOUL - Steelers going to the Superbowl!

MISSY - Hearing about another break-in in our neighborhood.
RAOUL - Finding out that our neighbor's house got broken into last week.

MISSY - "Bible Belt"
RAOUL - "Bear witness to my fitness"

MISSY - The mashed potatoes and mac & cheese I made.
RAOUL - Missy's mashed potatoes.

MISSY - Milk!
RAOUL - Is "mexican" a flavor?

MISSY - Wash my clothes.
RAOUL - Pick up my sister Cynthia from the airport.

MISSY - Laura Marling, Lykke Li, Loveletter's "Barbarella"
RAOUL - Seefeel, John & Mary, Guv'ner, Grandaddy, The Polyphonic Spree, Busy Band, Action Biker, Karl Blau, Flying Lotus, Teenbeat Records 2000 Sampler, Teenbeat Records 2001 Sampler, Mochipet's "Daly City Records" mix on XLR8R Podcast.

FIT 1896

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Do You Believe In Magic?

SCORE 1854

SCORE 1847

Earlier today, Missy and I scored some great finds at AGORA, one of the best thrift/used/vintage/antique shops here in Athens. We found these two vintage craft kits, both in their original boxes with all their parts and instruction booklets. The first one we found was KNIT MAGIC, by Mattel. It's a little plastic machine that knits in the round for you. You just thread the yarn of your choice through the machine, crank the handle and...taa daa! You've got a knitted tube, in no time flat. The instruction manual has different projects and actually, I'm a bit surprised at all the different things you can make with the Knit Magic. Missy has already taken the spinner for a test drive and it works like a charm. I can't wait to make a life-size knit boa constrictor with it!

We also found this super Seventies SWINGIN' PURSE KIT. It comes with a wooden, barn-shaped purse and little cut-outs that you can decoupage onto it. The kit came with some paint, but of course, it was all dried out. Missy actually has a Swingin' Purse already...but she had found it in a thrift store already decorated, not knowing that it was part of a "craft kit". Now that she has a blank canvas, there's no telling how she'll decorate it...

SCORE 1857

(check out that serious five-head!)

SCORE 1859

We also found a pair of wooden trays with these cool little vignettes painted on them. Featuring canine characters, the paintings depict scenes from "THE ROMANCE OF FIFI AND PEPE", two french poodles who are falling in love. According to the printing on the bottom of the trays, the illustrations are actually "Scene 2" and "Scene 3" in their courtship. Where was "Scene 1"? And was there a "Scene 4"? I wonder if we'll ever find other trays with the missing parts of their story...we'll probably have to do a bit of research on the internet. The trays were made in 1952 by the Kentley Corporation, so I guess that's our first clue to finding the missing parts of their romance...

SCORE 1861

SCORE 1868

SCORE 1866

SCORE 1878

SCORE 1872

We were bound to have a good shopping day today...previous to hitting up Agora, we scrounged through the sale bins at BORDERS and found this great cookbook for only $4.99...when we went to go pay for it, we found out that we had earned a five dollar credit on our Borders Reward Card, which we promptly used to pay for our book. Score!

SCORE 1883

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nilla Thirty-Nine

Nilla loves some See's candy!
Here is my lovely kitty, Nilla. She is sitting in the kitchen while I had some breakfast. She saw we had some See's Candy sent from Raoul's family, and I really think she was eyin' it for sure!

Seen ya eyin' it!
I mean, look at how she just stares at the box of those famous old time candies!

Nilla making a face at me.
I know this photo is a little blurry, but I love the face she is making here. How can you resist my cat that is sweet as sugar and soft as snow?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Extra Kool

I was gonna do a proper post tonight, but got caught up watching Top Chef and talking to the neighbors...anyways, I had wanted to post this KOOL & THE GANG video for their song "Open Sesame" last week (after we had seen them play live) but totally forgot, so I'm posting it now. If you know me at all, then you know that I'm a sucker for bands with a horn section (I'm a trumpet player, so it goes without saying), and nothing is more SICK than the horn riffs on this song...and those outfits are pretty dope too. Also, this song has been featured a couple of times on the closing credits of STRANGERS WITH CANDY, during their obligatory dance sequences...soooo, yeah.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Marshmallow World

See the marshmallow?
With all the snow that is falling at my family's house in Pennsylvania, I thought it was only appropriate to write about the marshmallows I made. Like many a blog friend, I too have made these tasty treats. My brothers ask for them when we visit at holiday time. Only this time I had to mail them for Joey's birthday.

I used Martha's recipe and it works like a charm. I do wonder if you can substitute agave nectar for the light corn syrup - has anyone tried? I think next time I might try using a vanilla bean, too. I want my 'mallows to be speckly like the vanilla bean ice cream that is so yummy.

My marshmallow a-floatin' in my cocoa one morning.
I made a cocoa to take to work the other morning, and I think it got cold on my walk into the building - it was that cold outside! Here is a link to a very cute marshmallow video from Design Sponge. If this does not get you in the mood for marshmallow making, I don't know what will!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Wind-Down #39


We're having a bit of a lazy Sunday today. Actually, we did a lot of cleaning, a lot of washing, did some grocery shopping...and now we're watching some football. It's not normally a favorite pastime of ours, but the PITTSBURGH STEELERS are playing and they are, at the moment, half-a-game away from going to the Superbowl once again. EXCITING! We even pulled out our TERRIBLE TOWEL in order to cheer on the Steelers, nice and proper.



MISSY - Getting my check from Craftland!
RAOUL - Losing 2 more pounds.

MISSY - Still feeling sick.
RAOUL - Eating way too much mac & cheese the other night.

MISSY - "We'll share conjee and toast"
RAOUL - "Do Work!"

MISSY - The mock chicken salad I made...and the smiley fries.
RAOUL - Super Nachos at Willy's

MISSY - Make soup, clean up some more, and frame some art work.
RAOUL - Watch the inauguration, lose two more pounds, put together shelf.

MISSY - Chase.
RAOUL - Sleep.

MISSY - Mirah, Siouxie Sioux, If.../Siesta Records "Songs For The Jet Set" comp.
RAOUL - The Sea And Cake, Seefeel, New Order, Vampire Weekend, Beirut, Miss Murgatroid & Petra Haden, Marriage Records Mix on XLR8R Podcast, Asthmatic Kitty Mix on XLR8R Podcast.