Friday, December 09, 2011

street trash

these were on a contact sheet with pics of the Big Dig, so likely they're from 2000. In order: original; followed by filters/layer styles—halftone; charcoal; photocopy; gradient map; shadows/highlights...

street trash street trash

street trash street trash

street trash street trash

Monday, November 28, 2011

stuffed pumpkin recipe

close paraphrase of Fred F's Facebook status update; published with permission

• Hollow out one small pumpkin
• Cook up brown rice, and then some hamburg, fish, or ground turkey in a frying pan with chopped green and/or red peppers, onions, and garlic.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Smear butter on the inside of the pumpkin and add a few of your favorite spices
• Smear butter on the outside.
• Fill the pumpkin with the rice, etc., put the "hat" on it
• Wrap the pumpkin in aluminum foil, and
• Bake it at 350 degrees for 2 or 2.5 hrs.
• Poke it with a fork to check if it's soft enough.

Beverages will be either a hearty red or an amber hard cider, which is Fred's pick.

And don't forget to bake the pumpkin seed! They make a great snack.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

good earth mediterranean chicken

old world style meets 21st century convenience

Recently I prepared and enjoyed "Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta," a new to me product from Restaurant Favorites, a company that's recently come onto the scene.

restaurant favorites mediterranean chickenThis good earth meal starter is such a good deal and tasted so good, I'm going to stock up on a few more to keep on hand. Since you need to provide your own fresh chicken, some milk (I used sour cream, yum), olive or whatever your oil of the moment may be and a cup of water, it's not quite complete off the shelf, but with those additions the kit provides plenty sufficient to feed two people generously. I've given it only 4 instead of 5 stars because it is a bit too salty, but otherwise nicely seasoned with possibly a tad too pronounced on the oregano end—or maybe not, depending on your own preference. I also detected a citrus overtone that blended in nicely with the other ingredients.

Not only was the sale price an incentive, this is the kind of meal starter you could vary by making it with pork chops, adding in other sautéed veggies or, as I did, using chicken thighs with the skin still on. "Chef-inspired tips" in a box on the instructions side of the box suggests similar changes or additions. I realize the manufacturer suggests boneless skinless chicken breasts for their purportedly greater healthiness and already-almost prepared convenience, but to me they're also too bland. Whole grain pasta is a nice touch, since it hasn't been bleached into nutritional near-oblivion and offers a classic nut-like flavor and slightly chewy texture that accompanies the other ingredients nicely. What else is a plus? The package doesn't advertise the word "healthy" anywhere that I could see it, but does promote its "not artificial flavors / no preservatives." Try it, I hope you'll like it and return for more.

my amazon review: old world style meets 21st century convenience

Saturday, November 05, 2011

gourmet rich!

duncan hines chocolate chip cookiesAlthough I didn't buy this cookie mix on Amazon, I needed to write a review and tell the world of cyberspace how outstanding the cookies are! The recipe couldn't be easier, and uses the common ploy of having the baker add eggs and butter that could have been included in the mix so they'll feel they're actually doing something. I tried to underbake them just slightly and they came out moist, rich, and flavorful, tasting and feeling like a high-end boutique bakery product. I stored them in a closed container and they still were moist 24 hours later, which is a real plus. Duncan Hines long has made good products that aren't unrealistically expensive; this is one to keep on your shelves in case of sudden guests or an unexpected potluck or other invitation.

my amazon review: gourmet rich!

Friday, October 28, 2011

pizza salad

You can alter and improvise this basic recipe according to taste and available ingredients; the main thing is to assemble it – except for the cheese – as least 24 hours ahead of time. This is one of my favorite things to take to a potluck, and I like to save a serving for myself and eat it about a week later, though I'd never take anything that aged to a polite gathering.

•1 yellow bell pepper
•1 red pell pepper
•1 orange bell pepper
•1 green bell pepper (I vary the peppers according to current price)
•1 medium red onion
•1 container cherry tomatoes - cut each into halves or quarters
•1 or 2 4-ounce cans of sliced black olives
•1/4 ellbee sliced pepperoni
•Italian salad dressing

Slice all the above ingredients either coarse or fine, but for appearance and mouth-feel I'd advise being consistent. Pour on Italian dressing, toss, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Before serving or taking to event, drain excess Italian dressing, add and toss to blend well: shredded mozzarella cheese - I buy it already shredded in those bags and use about 1/2 of the bag (not sure what weight, but not the giant size—maybe 4 or 6 oz.) per regular-size salad 1/3 cup grated parmesan or parmesan and romano cheese.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

one day my soul...

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth, by Iyanla VanZant. "About Iyanla" at the back of the book describes her as a Yoruba priestess, an ordained minister, best-selling author, workshop leader, lecturer, who has been a criminal defense attorney and hosted a radio talk show.

One Day My Soul... It seems as if most of us spend most days going through times of transition, doubting, planning and wondering, anticipating that "one day" everything just might come together for us. On Christmas Day 2001 the person I shared dinner with gave me her extra copy of this book partly as an after thought and partly because she'd read it and discerned it might help me during that particular time of transition, doubting, planning and wondering what now. Since then I've read and journaled through this excellent handbook and I've seen Iyanla VanZant on TV. She impresses me as smart and savvy and someone I might relate to as spiritual director, therapist, counselor, or life coach (a type of intervention I've never pursued). The person who gave me this book is someone else who now is out of my life and comparing oneself to others or even to our former selves and states of being isn't usually a great idea, but said person commented she believed both of us were more spiritually advanced than sage and guru Iyanla. Be that as it may or maybe not, this seemed like a good book review for this blog, preservation project, though it would have fit desert spirit's fire!, my main theology blog almost as well. Providentially i've blogged quite a few times there this month, so here it is.

I journaled through One Day My Soul using a board cover, prettily designed, non-looseleaf notebook and found the readings and exercises settling, centering and helpful. Although there are places in the book to write, even if I didn't have the hardcover copy I definitely would have journaled separately, but some people like an all in one arrangement.

The biblical number of 40 days worth of chapters include topics such as creativity, choice, compassion, disappointment, fun, surrender, lonely, authenticity (you get the general idea), working definitions, a short commentary on each topic, what to remember, some fairly direct advice, and writing topics related to emotions, realizations, affirmations and resolutions. It's divided into ways to honor the Divine, honor yourself, honor others and honor the process, in which hopefully others, God and self will be intricately interwoven and involved. Although it's somewhat New-Agey, nothing conflicts with the great Abrahamic faith traditions and I imagine working and feeling through One Day My Soul Just Opened Up could benefit almost anyone of any age or gender, any religious of spiritual practice or tradition or maybe even someone who claims none, though it feels oriented toward women.

I appreciate the daily workbook format, but definitely would like a table of contents. Especially if you were working through the readings and exercises a second or third time, it would be very helpful to be able to go to the section or subject you needed at that time. Possibly later editions have included a ToC or an index, I don't know. Quotes from scriptures of different traditions or from writers known for their great wisdom would be an asset, but you can add your own choices as you go along. In any case, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up is a keeper!

my amazon review: that one day might be any day now

Monday, October 03, 2011

dino's gyros

Dinos Gyros GYROS

Dino's Gyros, "Centrally located in the heart of Clairemont Towne Square."

Especially now that they have a website, it's high time I gave a shoutout and review to Dino's Gyros. For several years I've loved to pick up their 1/4 Lemon Chicken Plate on Fridays--no special reason for the day of the week, except my Friday afternoons frequently are unscheduled. I've enjoyed their trademark gyros a few times, too.

Dino's Gyros opens onto a food court on the side of Clairemont Towne Square that includes a multiplex cinema as well as discount fabric/home textiles and hardware stores. There's inside seating for maybe a couple dozen, with outside tables and chairs for at least half that many. Large art prints of characteristic coastal Grecian scenes decorate the walls and help set a Mediterranean mood; everything about the place always is bright, light and uncluttered. You'll find the counter staff essence of politeness and hospitality and being able to observe the chefs cooking and assembling adds to the ambiance. Although there are no rest rooms, there's a no-cost community loo next door that's always clean and well maintained.

My favorite meal, the Quarter Lemon Chicken Plate, includes choice of white meat (breast and wing) or dark (leg and thigh). I always order the moister, more savory dark, except for the rare times I'm not there until after 4 and only the half chicken plate is available. I also routinely choose the simply perfect French Fries rather than the flavored rice option. Each order includes a small cup of tzatziki sauce, pita bread cut into 8 triangles and a tossed salad: tomatoes, lettuce, onions, black olive and pepperoncini, all lightly coated with tangy vinaigrette. At less than $7.00 including tax, the quarter lemon chicken is comparably priced with other offerings on Dino's Gyros mostly Greek bill of fare. They also have a wine and beer menu and specials for kids.

This definitely is a casual, come-as-you-are and enjoy-who-we-are venue. If you're in the Central San Diego area, I hope you'll visit Dino's Gyros and maybe even tell them Preservation Project sent you!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

home sweet home 5

Today Songbird hosts a home sweet home 5 and tells us, "I've got home on my mind: what it feels like, how we make it, what we carry from the past and how we separate other people's leftovers from objects that really reflect our identity. So here are five questions about home."

A few minutes ago I did something interesting and a bit unsettling... since this far by faith, my testimony blog where I used to Friday 5 currently is inert, I've been playing on desert spirit's fire!, my main theology blog. However, this one, my "urban" blog was at the top of my blogger page since that's where I'd last posted and automatically I clicked "new post" and when I thought I'd made a srs mistake, navigated away from it, but it looks as if this 5 indeed is part of a retrospective preservation project that's a necessary piece of a prospective one. So here it is.

intro: A short while ago Christine/ Abbey of the Arts Poetry Party was about homecoming in a sense that could be simple, complex, multilayered or other. Though I never finished or really began an entry for the party, I commented "in this town military homecomings are on TV on a regular basis... all the too many times I believed I was going home in a very physical and total sense and as it turned out, instead I was turned away. Now what?" But today I'm playing in a simple way, recalling Erik Erikson's observation that to lose the sum of your possessions is to lose evidence of who you are.

Five For Friday

home sweet home1) My very first home was in Bay Minette, AL, and I left at such an early age I've no recollection of it. But as much as I love the desert, I've always felt most at home, the greatest all-around comfort when I'm near the water, whether ocean, lake, river or alongside the bay.

2) Every now and then I dream about places I used to live, in most cases I'm with former friends (okay, many were acquaintances or "casual friends,") doing fun things like attending a party, putting together a meal, riding on the trail, out at the mall.

3) If again I could enjoy a meal with one person from my past, it might be Torie, my cousin I thought I'd reconnected with very well and quite thoroughly, but who again disappeared from my life and world some time during fall 2005 after we'd been emailing some and talking on the phone now and then.

4) I don't really have a favorite room in my current living space but I really like the way they're all in progress, and all reflect some of my history as well as my color and style preferences, generally light, bright, natural and casual.

5) Where I currently live I actually have quite a few material objects that represent home as a place and time and as a way of being. I'll single out the furniture I've either repainted or refinished. A few pieces are from my grandparents' abode, a few from yard sales or thrift stores, and several were ground scores found by myself or an acquaintance just waiting to be claimed.

Thanks, Songbird! I needed to remember and recall, so thanks once more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

HMS Surprise, USA Flag, Star of India

from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

Star of India viewed through the HMS Surprise

Exy & Irving Johnson, Bill of Rights

from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson

Bill of Rights

the city and the star

from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

City of San Diego, Star of India, color sketch

City of San Diego, Star of India

the star and the city!

from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

Star of India

Star of India, City of San Diego

Surprise, Star of India...

Star of India viewed through the HMS Surprise and the City of San Diego viewed from the Star, from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

Star of India through the HMS Surprise

City of San Diego and Star of India

Star of India

from my afternoon at the San Diego Festival of Sail 2011 on the Embarcadero

Star of India

Star of India

Monday, August 01, 2011

indigo summer 2011 favorite season and a yearning mood...

Indigo Summer

Central city scene
Soft morning silence, dusky rose following a
nightlong rain
Colors as fresh as this new August month
slowly creeping into a world still first light quiet
Breakfast by the window
ground parched tan under the deck
dry earth underneath the rain sprinkled leaves of the trees

Lunch at the restaurant at the mall at the
end of the line
Bright colors splash

in the windows
of the house
at the end
of the street
at the edge
of the park

cloudless skies and southern california sizzle

Scene at the beach
hot sand, sparkling sand
wet sand and breaking waves
a night still empty white and hopeless
longing for dawn
waiting in hope for hope

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wake Up Mr. B!

Wake Up Mr B!
Wake Up Mr B!
by Penny Dale is a book for lovers of dogs in general, airedales in particular, kids, art, books, animals, pets and people. I bought it at the local library sale because the enchanting illustrations were irresistible. My copy is bound in boards and durably sewn in signatures; Amazon listed several copies of the paperback version and there were a few on eBay, too.

Rosie and Mr BWhat a visually lovely book, and the narrative's easy to track, whether you do it via the gentle pictures or the very sparse large-type text displayed in simple sentences at the bottom of some of the pages. Rosie's the daughter, Billy's her brother and Mr B is the big, sort of shaggy, airedale-style family dog. Although the brother and sister appear to be caucasian and they live in a 2-story dwelling, the story could be set in almost any Western hemisphere country, almost any small town to large city and even almost any time from the latter part of the 20th century (the © is 1988) into the current 21st. In other words, these are regular people living regular lives almost anyone could relate to and appreciate.

Rosie and Mr BVery very early on an unspecified day of the week, Rosie wakes up and gets out of bed rarin' to go and ready to play. She can't drag her brother Billy out of bed or rouse her parents from their sleep, but she goes downstairs and convinces Mr B to wake up. Rosie gets dressed and dresses up Mr B and they play play play, imagining and acting out driving to the seashore, getting into a boat, sailing around the world and flying to the moon. The last page outcome? Rosie and Mr B end up falling back to sleep themselves, and the rest of the family wakes them up for the rest of the day.

Rosie and Mr BWake Up Mr. B! is an excellent choice for any teenager or adult who loves beautiful art and illustrations, or for preschool through grade 3 or 4 kids who love to look at pictures, place themselves in a different world and read for themselves. You'll enjoy everything about this book!

my Amazon review: kids, a dog, imagination and art

Rosie and Mr B

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

citizen schools

trash can citizen schools
on a corner of the Shawmut MBTA RedLine station in Dorchester...summer 2000. The acronym for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - sometimes called "The T" - is pronounced exactly as it's spelled and commonly referenced as such.