Friday, November 14, 2008

Cupcakes Cupcakes Cupcakes!

Straight from

If one thing was going to bring the east coast and the west coast together, it certainly would be cupcakes!

To celebrate the launching of Open Source Cupcakes, the home of IndyHall’s now famous Cupcake Thursdays, we will be hosting Cupcake Camp East! The original Cupcake Camp was started June 2008 in San Fransisco.

Bring your favorite cupcakes! We will be eating and sharing cupcakes all afternoon. For just a few hours, IndyHall will TRUELY be the happiest place on earth!

If you’re baking, please bring copies of your recipes to share! We will be posting them on

When: Nov. 16th 3-5pm
Where: IndyHall

Please RSVP on Upcoming or Facebook

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Is this for real?

It's a piece of plastic -- but it makes the tiny speaker in the iPhone loud enough for a room?!? If this works as billed, the Griffin Air Curve is my new must-have device. Awesome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall into Music

A few years ago, I started classifying all my music by season, and I realized I had way too much fall/winter music, and not enough spring/summer music. Today, Jim McGuin of XPN felt my pain, and said:
Usually I think of the fall musically as a time of reflection and melancholy, and that will certainly be reflected in today's Top 5. BUT - it will also include this manic anti-fall ode by one of the best live rock and roll bands in the world, The Hives.
Now, clearly, this is actually a summer song ABOUT fall, but I'll serve it up anyway.

Adventures with Chef Jane

I have cooked before. I am a master of Kraft macaroni and cheese, rice crispy treats, and eggos. I liked to think I've mastered the grill. I've even been Anne's sous chef on several occasions. My time living in an apartment has taught me that I am only capable of mastering things out of a box and following directions given by someone who can cook. In the past 24 hours I have melted a spoon and made our whole place a delightful shade of smoky.

The spoon could have happened to anyone. I was making chicken that instructed me to fry it. So I had 1/4 cup of oil in the pan and of course I had to keep mixing the chicken so it didn't get burnt. The oil got hot. The plastic spoon did too. The photo explains the after effects. My roommate explained that I can't just leave a plastic spoon in hot oil, but I didn't! That chicken was going to burn otherwise. Despite my best attempts the chicken did get a little black. Mastered -- plastic chicken.

Also, I just made a sausage sandwich. I generally go for pb and j for lunch. I'm a low maitenance eater. Today I was faced with one butt of the bread -- not enough for a sandwich. So I was crafty and had sausage. Too bad while cooking it the whoel apartment got smoky. Nothing caught on fire. I don't even know how all that smoke was produced. Needless to say, I realized that we need to replace the batteries in our smoke detector because if my sausage cooking didn't set it off then I'm 100% sure a fire wouldn't either.

I've been wikihow-ing most things I cook for fear that I might mess it up. I'll have to wiki-how this -- "How to produce less smoke while cooking." Here in Boston my whole life is an educational experience. Learning isn't just for class time!

Stickers for grown-ups.

The Hollywood Farmer's Market has a stand, Sticker Planet, which filled me with joy when I saw it. It was a tiny shop, full to the brim of sticker rolls! I went in, hoping to get Caroline some classic from childhood -- a fuzzy sticker, perhaps, or an oily, or, best of all, the bear that you could stick sticker accessories on. Sadly, it was all modern stickers -- Blue's Clues and Dora and the like.

But today, boys and girls, you need not just look to stickers for nostalgia. No, now you can look to them for wall decorations, thanks to Blik. You may have already seen their Nintendo wall stickers reading one of your nerd blogs, but they make other designs, too. My current top picks:

Moon Kite

99 Luftballoons

But Jane and I spent about 40 minutes sending links back and forth, so if you think one is cool, let's click together!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Guess who's coming to blogger?

Kitten has decided that the best way to cement our friendship is that time-honored tradition, becoming co-bloggers. In the grand tradition of the Dialogue Project, I was going to kick this off with a transcript of a chat we had a few months back, in which kitten explained to me exactly how to write a romance novel.

Sadly for you all, the transcript of this conversation was lost in time. However, I can accurately reproduce my part of the chat:

Helen: heh.
Helen: mmm.
Helen: hahahahahahaha
Helen: you're kidding me!
Helen: no way!!
Helen: you should totally blog this.

So, hopefully, kitten will be able to recreate her portion of the chat in her first post :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Robert Ebert, I love you.

Not for inventing the two thumbs up system, but for saying to a broad audience what I've been thinking for the last 3 election cycles (feel free to substitute Bush for Palin, and President for Vice-President):

I think I might be able to explain some of Sarah Palin's appeal. She's the "American Idol" candidate. Consider. What defines an "American Idol" finalist? They're good-looking, work well on television, have a sunny personality, are fierce competitors, and so talented, why, they're darned near the real thing. There's a reason "American Idol" gets such high ratings. People identify with the contestants. They think, Hey, that could be me up there on that show!

My problem is, I don't want to be up there. I don't want a vice president who is darned near good enough. I want a vice president who is better, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq. Someone who doesn't repeat bald- faced lies about earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere. Someone who doesn't appoint Alaskan politicians to "study" global warming, because, hello! It has been studied. The returns are convincing enough that John McCain and Barack Obama are darned near in agreement.

I try not to let my blood boil too much when it comes to politics in this country, because I've watched Steven do it twice, and I think it gave him high blood pressure and life rage. Because, hey, after 4 years of Bush, we elected him again! Because, when I was in India in October 2004, the family who was showing us around Mumbai had more information about and more critical analysis of the upcoming election than most Americans I had talked to in the preceding weeks. Because I know enough about marketing and advertising to see that intelligence, critical thinking skills, logic, diplomacy, or any other thing that might actually qualify you to make decisions about our multi-trillion dollar budget, the most powerful military in the world or regulating a consumer base that dictates economic patterns around the globe, has absolutely NOTHING to do with your ability to get elected in this country. Because, for all this talk, I know that most times, you're just choosing between two people who are equally unqualified to do the work of governance, and you just hope that they are good at hiring qualified people to work for them.

Honestly, I don't have a beef with Sarah Palin, anymore than I have a beef with any other Republican of her ilk. And I know it wasn't her choice, but I'm frankly kind of nauseated that the way they've decided to sell her is this "aw, shucks" hockey mom crap. The people I have a problem with is an electorate that thinks that the person who'll go shoot some hoops with you is a better choice than a policy wonk, that commercials and sound bytes are a legitimate source of information, that being well-educated, well-read and well-traveled is a reason NOT to vote for someone, rather than seemingly minimum basic requirements. The Republican Party is selling Sarah Palin the way they're selling her now for one simple reason: it works. It worked for the last two elections, and it's the tactic they've decided to use again this year.

This is just a rant about the state of politics today. There are no action items, other than, there are no angels and no devils; no one running this year or any other year will make magic happen, or ruin the world (though the Bush administration has certainly tried its darndest.) Stay informed, stay engaged. And demand more than sound bites.