Monday, December 29, 2008


The Vegan with a Vengeance chocolate chip cookies are AMAZING, you guys. Really. Whenever I make them, they receive accolades from vegans and non-vegans alike quite passionately. Sometimes I find them a little too sugary, though (but that may be because last time I may or may not have added an extra cup of sugar on accident while talking to my housemate across the room...oops).

If you haven't already done so, run out and buy VwaV ASAP.

I received a number of other cookbooks for Christmas, as well:
The Joy of Vegan Baking
Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen
(really lovely approach to cooking local, seasonal meals in this one)

Monday, December 08, 2008

faux pasta

Okay, you guys. I'm really excited about this "recipe." I'm finishing enjoying it as I type.

When I went home for Thanksgiving for a few days, my parents sent me back to school with a spaghetti squash. I was nonplussed, to say the least. I mean, some cookies would have been welcomed with open arms, or a sourdough baguette in the very least (can you guess where my true allegiances lie? It starts with a "c" and ends with an "arbs")

Honestly, it was my utter lack of food that led me to use it at all. Let us count the things lining my cupboard walls:

1) olive oil
2) approx. 1/4 cup dry red lentils
3) approx. 1/2 cup brown rice
4) 1/4 bag frozen spinach
5) 1/8 bag frozen bell peppers
6) flax seeds
7) baking powder & soda
8) whole wheat pastry & ap flour
9) Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes

Pretty pitiful, no?

Now, forget that phrase, "Dire times call for dire measures" because, obviously, dire times lead to delicious measures!

Note: I adapted this cooking method from this Emeril Lagasse recipe. I've taken the liberty to copy and paste some of the instructions.

Dust in the Cupboards Spaghetti Squash

(Apologies for the poor photo. This is definitely not pretty food, but black and white makes everything classier, right?)

1 spaghetti squash
sliced bell peppers (frozen or fresh)
spinach (frozen or fresh)
Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
Italian spices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Now, here come my additions.
Heat a skillet. Toss in how ever many bell peppers and handfulls of spinach you desire. If frozen, cook according to package instructions. If fresh, steam until tender. Add the spaghetti squash. Add a few spoonfuls of the crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle in some Italian spices and mix. When warm, serve and enjoy! Topping with some Parmesan cheese may prove especially delicious.

Alternatively, for a prettier plate, you may consider plating the seasoned squash then topping with the tomato/spinach/bell pepper mixture.

Once again, I apologize for the lack of measurements. Just make it up! Change your add ins! I trust you'll make it as delicious as I managed to.

I definitely see more spaghetti squash in my future.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

just do it

Have you read The Tropical Vegan's blog yet? If not, you should. I mean now. Go.

Theresa, vegan extraordinaire, recently turned me on to one of the more amazing things I've been a part of on teh interwebs.

The rules are simple:
I will send the first three people to leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days (that’s my kind of time frame!)
I am willing to post anywhere in the United States and Canada, so don’t let that stop you commenting.

The catch is that you have to have a blog and be willing to do the same thing....

If you’ve got a blog come and join in the crafty fun, I promise Il'l make something special! Leave me a comment and make sure to leave me a valid email address/link to your blog so that I can contact you for your address.

That's it! I've just outsourced Theresa's (with one exception...I can't afford international shipping!) rules because they seem fitting and lovely and doable and all that good stuff.

What are you waiting for?


I've officially a seller on Etsy, you guys!

After purchasing two items from eBay that were too small, I decided to try my luck at reselling them on Etsy. I've been a HUGE fan of Etsy since 2006, but have never bought or sold anything there. That is, until yesterday!

I listed:

These lovely Italian leather equestrian boots. They sold in one day!

This skirt is still for sale, if anyone is interested! Check it.

I wasn't looking to turn a profit on these items, just get the money back that I spent. I mean, without a job and an ever rumbling tummy, I gots to sell something. Word.

Monday, November 17, 2008

the jury says?

After making a list of my interests, I've come to a conclusion: I am profoundly uninteresting. Here it is:

j lieb
san pellegrino
peanut butter
vintage clothing
social incompetence
thrift shops
being warm
invisibility cloaks
craigslist missed connections
being dirty

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ah, instances of brilliance like this are what I live for. After skipping out on class to sit at home, eat, and procrastinate, I walked into the kitchen with an idea in mind. Where did it come from? Who knows! Does it even matter? No! Not when the result is this delicious. Imagine a warm, comforting drink that is both creamy and spice-filled brimming with the taste of fall-- pumpkin.

First, you'll need:
Plain soymilk
Coconut milk
Canned pureed pumpkin
Maple syrup
Chai-like spices (I, however, only had cinnamon on hand)

Fill a mug about half way with plain soymilk. Add some coconut milk until you've reached your desired taste and thickness. Drop a few spoonfuls of the pumpkin into liquids and mix well. Stir in some maple syrup for sweetness. Add any spices you desire. Plop the mug in the microwave and let 'er rip! Drink up and enjoy.

This is by no means an exact recipe. It more of a smattering of ingredients thrown together in a hurried, inspired experiment. Next time I'll be sure to add some more spices and take a picture!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I picked up a wonderful bounty at the farmers' market yesterday. Walking around with a few friends and running into a few more was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

The highlight of my trip was the loaf of Whole Wheat Four Seed Mix Sourdough bread from Companion Bakers. Straight out of Santa Cruz, Companion Bakers specialize in artisan sourdoughs. Right from the Companion Bakers' mouths, "Our sourdough loaves are rustic, European style, stone baked breads. We use seasonal organic ingredients and hand-mix all of our batches. Our loaves contain only flour, water and salt, plus whatever goodies we add to vary the loaves (seeds, herbs, dried fruit, olives, garlic, etc.)." Organic, vegan, and local--what is there not to love? However, at $8 a loaf, I doubt I'll be making this one a weekly tradition.

My wild card this week is the beautiful rainbow chard I picked up. True, I did set out to buy kale, but c'mon...who can resist those colors? Once I decide how to use it, plus the others things I bought, I'll be sure to post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the odyssey

Ants have made a graveyard in my bathtub. This is:
+ mind boggling
+ slightly disgusting
+ odd
+ not the first time
+ fitting, considering it's almost Halloween

I'm going to attempt to post here more often, but don't believe the hype, kids. I'm really not all that fascinating.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

i love this

LA city officials hire goats

A herd of goats has been hired by city officials in Los Angeles to clear wasteland earmarked for development.

The goats have been brought in to 'eat' the site clean and are a cheaper and greener alternative to human workers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

no paint allowed

Having recently come into the possession of the largest room I've ever inhabited (plus the largest bed- it's a queen and giant and I can streeeeeetch all the way out, yet i constantly find myself curled into a ball with half the comforter of the floor), I've been daydreaming for a week now about how I'm going to furnish it. Having design on the mind, I thought to share a few of my favorite inspirations rooms.

I'm mad for maps. I've a world map and a Monterey Bay map in my room at home, and a globe and world map shower curtain in my new room at school.

Such pleasing juxtaposition.

This sheet is a brilliant way to center this room.

Light blue walls, mismatched frames, and odds n' ends. Perfect!

To be continued.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

en bici

I've been in a bicycle mania as of late. I spent a few hours today removing rust from my old hand-me-down (thanks again if you ever read this. I'm basically indebted to you for life) Shogun mixte and trying to figure out what basket and grips to get. I was leaning for the Wald 585, but it looks HUGE. The medium Wald from Rivendell seemed nice, but the side walls are so low. And then, to make matters worse, I read a very well put argument for the superiority of front baskets from CETMAracks so now the Wald 137 (plus a lovely Lemolo Basket Bag) is in the mix! Egads.

On the simpler side, I've recently acquired a Miyata Track frame. New project!

miyata track

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

painting predicament

For my new home in Santa Cruz, I need to bring all my furniture up with me or buy it there. I've been passed down this dresser that I need to paint before I go up, but I've no idea how to do it! Any ideas? The only thing I can think is to paint it a bright color with white over, then distress it so the bright color and wood underneath show through.

and no one wanted brownies

Somehow, this has become the most viewed photo on my Flickr. It has 110 views, more than double my 2nd highest viewed photo. Someone please explain this mystery to me!

To do before Friday:
Sand and paint dresser
Buy comforter/duvet
Learn to drive the Expedition on the freeway...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Dear anyone who manages to find/lurks this space,

I have a quandary! A free round trip flight on Southwest is waiting for me to use. I can go anywhere SW flies, but both flights must be before October 9th of this year. I've narrowed it down to two cities: Portland and New York. Thoughts? Somewhere better? Help me choose!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Out with the faux-intellectualism and in with the vanity! My mind has obviously been devoid of anything blog worthy for months.

I took Eric to his first show. HEALTH at The Smell.


As you can see, he was not pleased. Potential reasons why:
a) I dressed him.
b) He was "tired."
c) I tore him away from his video game.
d) Out of his element.
e) Boring.
f) Would rather be playing Warhammer.

Sparky came for a week. We broke into Foothill.
Am is coming. We will most likely not break into Foothill.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"Buy direct. The Jewelry Exchange in Tustin!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I wished I was someone else, and I wished it was warmer

I've been making mixtapes lately. Trying to make one that feels like this:

My emotions change so frequently that I have to keep starting over, so I keep making tapes for people that will never end up in their hands. I usually don't tell them, though, except one time. I burned the CD, scrawled cryptic allusions to what I was feeling that night in orange Sharpie all over the front, but it didn't feel right. I kept it to myself, as a diary of sorts.

Right now The Mountain Goats and Carissa's Wierd keep winding their way onto these mixes. Songs that feel like autumn. Songs that make my chest hurt. We'll see if I ever give this one to the recipient.

I doubt it.

In the Hidden Places -- The Mountain Goats

Monday, June 09, 2008

Concerning that last update:

I have learned so goddamned much this year. It's astounding the lessons you can learn in only eight months. This year I've had some of my greatest highs and my worst lows, I've met so many amazing people, and I've really started to come into my own. Before this year, the question of "Who am I?" constantly plagued my mind, but now I'm beginning to find out. I've made mistakes, and I've grown because of them. I've forgiven and I hope I've been forgiven. I've given, and I've taken. I've been used and I've taken advantage. Though sometimes I think I'd take certain things back, in the long run...I just don't know. I have regrets, and I've had remorse. But, you know, through it all, I'd like to never forget.

This year is one to remember.
It's remarkable, really.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

From PostSecret.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


This just in (for me, at least).

Lil' Jon, rapper known for his extremely verbose lyrics and exquisite grasp of the English language, is marketing his very own wine label, Little Jonathan Winery.

"I'm not no 'drink wine every day' kind of dude," he said in a telephone interview. "I'm not like an expert, so don't ask me no questions ... I just like the taste."

"My full name is Jonathan," the Atlanta-based artist said. "The wine is more nature: I wanted to not just have a direct connection, but make it just a little bit more upscale than regular 'Lil Jon.' ... This is not no ghetto Boone's Farm; this is some real wine."

Count me excited, because this is clearly some classy shit. Clearly.

overly sensitive

And then Americans got all huffy and had the advert pulled.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Help me with my Johari Window.

Clicky click.


Friday, April 04, 2008

vintage style. modern commodities.

View the entire user submitted collection here.

give your love to a cowboy man

Apparently, this is the Canada's straight answer to the Village People.

Skatt Bros. My new favorite band.

(Yes. I said straight.)


If I a) had money and b) liked soda, then some of these would be in my fridge at this very moment.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Once upon a time, whilst in the middle of attacking one another via foot jabs on a swing set, the idea of turning common playground objects (such as a swing set, slide, see-saw, merry-go-round, etc.) into energy generating tools was thrown out there for discussion. It seems like some smart ladies and gentlemen out there could come up with a way to do this, right? The spinning of the merry-go-round, the back and forth motion of a see-saw or swing, or the friction from a child going down a slide could all be turned into energy somehow. Granted, I know basically nothing about this subject but it seems like a pretty good idea.

Well, hey. Turns out it wasn't all that far fetched.

It's called the PlayPump. Installed in more than 1000 African communites, just by "spinning on the merri-go-round, clean water is pumped from an underground well into a 2,500-liter tank which is built seven meters above the ground." Neat. It's not quite what we had in mind, but it's sort of the same deal. Plus, it's clean water (which is so super important that I can't even get into it...okay, maybe it's just because I'm lazy. Either way, clean water = important). And I mean, look how much fun they're having! Hands in the air, pumping water, smiles...But then again, despite the obvious benefits of the PlayPump and surely future inventions in the same vein, what's the point of a playground if there is a point?

Also, if you really need to kill some time. Like, we're talking major time and intense boredom levels here. Only mildly bored? Try harder, you can find something better to do than listen to this. Thanks to the Alfred Wegener Institute's autonomous research observatory PALAOA, you can listen to all the exciting, adrenaline fueled, hardcore action underneath Antarctica. Like, totally rad, man. You can just, like, chill out to the constant undersea static hiss while eagerly anticipating every click and pop that's coming your way, bro. I'm twenty two minutes in already. Time flies when you're under Antarctic ice.

Monday, March 31, 2008


One of the few exciting things I did over break (The rest would be: organizing my room, dreaming of haunted portraits, not planting the vegetables I was supposed to, eating two boxes of cereal in four days, baking peanut butter muffins, getting a decent amount of sleep, spending too much money on records, and the activities pictured in the previous post).

Sam, Eric, and I went to the Irvine Farmers' Market, bought Mediterranean food, then had a beach picnic. The ankles on my pants were too tight to roll beyond my calf so I couldn't go in the water, but eh?

Also. When you're the one with all the cameras, no one ever takes any photos of you. Hm.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

climbing fences

Being on my own for the majority of last week, I took it upon myself to rediscover a few of my childhood haunts.

the post in which the dangers of my extreme penchant for tea finally reveal themselves

Against my current timidity concerning putting this up, I promised certain people that it would eventually surface from the jumbled mess that is my hard drive and make its appearance on this very site. Where this modesty disappeared to on Wednesday night, I've absolutely no idea. This is what four massive mugs of tea will do to you.

Episode One of Things Never Done.

So there it is. Happy? Now you can listen to Sam and I mess about for an hour and eight seconds any time you want.

1. Time to Pretend -- MGMT
2. Hyperballad -- Dirty Projectors (covering Björk)
3. Black Panther -- Crystal Castles
4. Young Marks -- The Mae Shi
5. Moonage Daydream -- David Bowie
6. Bullets -- Tunng
7. Feminine Effects (live on MPR) -- of Montreal
8. Fatalist Palmisty -- Why?
9. Strawberry Letter 23 -- Shuggie Otis
10. Figure 8 -- Elliott Smith

As I sit here, drinking my Adina Gin-Jah and wondering when Santa Cruz got so cold, I'm begging you: please don't download this. Owe me a favor? This can be it! Feeling altruistic? Like you just haven't done enough good deeds in your life? Skip out on this mp3 and consider it an act of kindness for all of humanity.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Star Wars the UAE shall be come

Dubai is getting a Death Star.

Ras al Khaimah is too.

Both via OMA.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

of goats and red rain


I've heard of raining cats and dogs, and even real-life cases of raining frogs and fish, but the idea of red rain sounds altogether freakier than amphibians falling out of the sky. Red rain makes me think of the closing scenes of the world's all-time scariest movie, Carrie. And that's not a good thing at all. The molecules in this picture, however, have nothing to do with Sissy Spacek, or pig's blood - at least, as far as we know. They fell from the sky in 2001, in Kerala, India.

Between July and September of that year, showers of blood-like rain poured from the heavens, staining clothes and scaring the bejesus out of the locals. There were also reports of yellow, green and black rain. Just to make the downpours even creepier, they were preceded by thunderclaps and flashes of light. And more creepy still, leaves on trees apparently shriveled and fell to the ground.

Theories on what was going on started to fly around. Was it fallout from a meteor that flew past the earth or burst nearby? A dust cloud that had been sucked into the passing storm? Airborne spores from algae (trentepohlia) that had grown abundant during recent rains? Blood from bats that had been sucked into some kind of climatic vortex? Or best of all, could they be extraterrestrial cells falling from space?

"In 2003, two scientists (Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar) at the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam suggested that the red rain was made up of cells from a living, possibly extraterrestrial, creature. Could this be alien bathwater? Blue ice from a UFO? The jury is out on whether the particles contained DNA, but it doesn't seem to be beyond the realms of possibility.

"Perhaps the thunderclap was a sonic boom caused by a small comet exploding upon entering the earth's atmosphere and carrying spores of alien lifeforms? No-one knows for sure, and specimens gathered from another reported red rainfall last year have yet to be examined. Exciting stuff. RM

Images: Dr Godfrey Louis

And on a moar cuter note...

Here's a story that's hard to believe at first, but is so well-documented that there's no doubt it's real. Goats that climb trees. Tree-climbing goats. Yes, really. In southwestern Morocco, it seems, goats have a soft spot for the fruit of the Argan tree. So much so that they'll climb these rather spindly-looking branches to get hold of them.

Apparently this tree-climbing activity benefits everyone (though there is some talk of the poor trees being overgrazed). The goats like the fruit but can't digest the pits, which they either spit out or, erm, excrete. Then the farmers collect these to make argan oil. Something to remember when you're next in Morocco - don't sit under an Argan tree.

Images: Remo Savisaar

dear lord

"Japanese 'Mega Pizza'
This Pizza Hut monstrosity, exclusive to Japan, brings America to Asia. The crust is made of hot dogs wrapped in bacon and rolls of molten cheese. The center is built with hamburgers, cheese rolls, sausage, bacon, ham, bacon bits, mushroom, onion, pepper, garlic and tomato sauce. The pie also comes with two toppings -- ketchup and maple syrup -- and a world of shame once you're done."

If this isn't a sign of impending apocalypse, then I don't know what is.

See the rest here, but really this is all you need to see.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Songs on repeat comprise my days, my weeks, my life, I suppose.
Over and over and over and over into my headphone covered ears, a mood is created, deepened, and expanded.

In third grade it was "Don't Speak." Age eighteen was "Between the Bars." With nineteen came "We Were Born the Mutants Again with Leafling". "Jezebel" marked this week. We can't all be original all the time.

The songs we listen to on repeat remain endlessly fascinating to me. It's like a 3 minute glimpse into someone's soul that little else can give you.

you make my heart stop

i feel exhausted and perfect

from a softer world

Thursday, February 28, 2008

highlight of the week

It was a sunny day, so an exploring side trip was in due order. It was short, sweet, and simple, like some of the best things in life.