Friday, September 12. 2008
Wait -- what?? There's a question?
People generally agree that Superman's Kryptonian. Also, that Krypton is a fictional planet somewhere very far away, and (thanks to a degrading sun... depending on the version/ret-con you're reading...) Krypton exploded, leaving few survivors.
Superman is the first survivor we meet.
But Superman, rocketed out of his exloding home planet, was never born on Krypton, he was born in Cleveland.
Specifically, in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. It's maybe 5 miles from my house.
(I know. I talk about Cleveland a lot. There's a lot to talk about.) (No, really.)
You may be suprised to learn that his parents were NOT the Freudian 'gods' Jor-El and Lara-El, nor the rural WASP-ish Jonathan and Martha Kent.
Superman and Clark Kent were birthed through the flowing ink of an imaginative but shy Jewish boy named Jerry Siegel, whose father had just died.
There's some argument in the family regarding the specifics of his death: one half claims Mitchell Siegel had a heart attack as a result of an armed robbery as he was closing his haberdashery shop. The other half insists Mitchell suffered 3 gunshots which caused his demise. Either way, a gun was involved; in the Action Comics #1, he did not fly, see through walls, or use heat vision. He certainly was invulnerable to bullets. This question has influenced Brad Meltzer to write his new book The Book of Lies. Read my post from yesterday for more information and links.
This is a long, round-about way to get to what I wanted to share with you. I hope it was enough to catch your attention.
I love my city, and ordinarily I am button-poppingly-proud of it. I like to share with you what makes me proud and what local news is craft-worthy. This one instance, however, is a failing of my city, the city in which Superman was born.
The Siegel house still stands. It's a different family living in it now, and when people come to see the Superman house, they warmly welcome these strangers in. Of course, they do: pilgrims to see the very room where Jerry Siegel scribbled his first images of The Man of Steel?? Visit this room and picture the whisperings and embryonic concepts of young Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, simultaneously masterminding and foiling plots on paper meant for schoolwork; feel the tingle down your spine and (alas) see the plaster crumble in time with it. No strangers to imagination themselves, this family understands the passion that drives people from far and wide to pay homage.
Sadly, the house is a disaster.
The outside is painted Superman red and blue, but the inside is crumbling.
It ought to be a landmark. There should be a historical marker, there should be funds to protect it. It's cultural history. But the City of Cleveland is falling short.
I like his passion. The whole concept of ordinary people doing things where traditional leadership has failed is as beautiful as a well-crafted, properly fit, hand-knit sweater.
My extra post this week serves several purposes. First, to bring the issue to your attention, so you have the opportunity to participate if you choose. Next, to share some trivia about my city and comic books (and exhibit once again what a supergeek I am). Finally, to show you that, for all that I brag about this city I love, I am willing to show you the warts as well, because I DO believe this is a major failing, and I also believe in showing all sides of a story. Cleveland has helped save, mark, or celebrate other famous homes (the Christmas Story House, the Heisman house, others). The Superman House certainly deserves consideration.
in primary colors and hand-written itallicized all-caps,
PS? Edith, I love your post. I didn't realize until today Rick and I had an AntiWedding. We just rejected everything the wedding industry tried to throw at us, but that was just us being us, nothing particularly activist about it (for a change). Good to know there's a name for it!!
Thursday, September 11. 2008
I had something else, something about painting using paint ball guns, but I'll bet you'll let that slide 'til next week, right? And the bit about how the Earth took a direct shot by a very impressivly huge gamma ray -- both are movies, and both are true.
They both take a heavy duty back seat to this one:
I just finished Brad Meltzer's The Book of Fate on Wednesday morning, after picking it up Tuesday. (My take? Good. Although I kind of expected more Dan Brown/Chris Carter conspiracy, not so much Bourne chase scenes. Still: I was entertained. It's good when a comic book writer can convincingly make the jump to pages without pictures.) That noon he was being interviewed by my local NPR station for This. Very. Book. No lie.
engulfed by fate,
PS -- I was informed by A Very Enlighteded Librarian that Mr. Meltzer became known as a writer first thanks to his novels. The comic books (and I think we have all of them, so far) came later. Thank you for the correction, Katie!
I always enjoy hearing from you folk. You're extraordinary! And I'm not just saying that in contrast to the pharma-spam the blog usually kicks up...
Wednesday, September 3. 2008
Locally, our air show is over, as of this weekend, so I don't know what to do with all my very tongue-in-cheek, left-over paper airplanes. Other than yet another daft mobile...
So, trolling the Web for inspiration, I came across Polly Verity's amazing site.
Paradigm shifted, I may not see paper as a mere flat surface again.
folding and scoring,
Tuesday, August 26. 2008
Well, I did better than survive the epic bike ride; in fact, I had a great time! We train for this all summer, though, so all we hope for on the weekend is good weather and no accidents. The weather was great, and the accidents were minor.
Anyway, back to FIBER!! Fiber other than my well-exercized moral and muscle fibers, that is. I can put those away for now.
Lark Books has a book series called 500, and a new one already being compiled will be called 500 Quilts. Editor Ray Hemachandra has sent the call for submissions of quilt photos. The deadline is October 24, 2008.
These photographs of quilts can be art quilts or traditional, modern or historical. CLICK for more information and the all-important entry form.
You'll also notice on the same page (scroll down) that Mr. Hemachandra is doing another book, Pretty Little Mini Quilts, though if you're interested, you'd better get cracking, because that deadline is this Tuesday, September 2!
I hope some of you are motivated. Still -- keep in mind that we've got our own deadline coming up, with a special emphasis on "Dead"; Day of, that is. Peep a bit below this entry, you'll see what I mean. Please submit! Our readership is what makes our magazine so fine.
Scissors flying, needles diving, knuckles cracking,
Thursday, August 14. 2008
I'm late with my blog post this week because I have my hands full with my bike team.
The phone is ringing and my email box is full with questions and answers regarding the 150 mile bike ride we're all taking this weekend.
We've been training all summer to do this, and it's finally here: Pedal to the Point, with BikeMS.
The ride itself is important for the purpose of raising the general public's awareness of Multiple Sclerosis. What's far more imporant, however, is how much money all the participants raise.
I'm appealing to you. I'm an ordinary woman. I am not in Olympic form; in fact, I'm kind of embarassed to be seen in my spandex bike shorts. In my opinion, I'm a little too fat for them. It's not pretty to be behind me when I'm on my bike.
I'm not doing this to make a statement about chubby girls on bikes, I want to make a serious difference for people who suffer from this disease.
If you can help at all (seriously -- even $5 is something!), please click HERE.
Thank you. Thank you on behalf of the people for whom I ride. I ride for them because they can't.
Some I know who have MS wouldn't mind looking as silly as I do on my bike, simply for the chance to ride for any length, let alone 150 miles. I'll make sure you see a picture.
Gearing up (and down; and then up again...),
PS?? I WILL be keeping up with Ravelry Olympics when I'm not on my bike. Knitting and crocheting projects are already packed, except the ones I'm currently working on!
You can follow me and my team's progress this weekend on my blog. My husband can't stand it when I blog from the bike saddle. Somehow that makes it more appealing...
Tuesday, August 5. 2008
Here are some bookish things to mourn and to celebrate.
First the sad news.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Passed away Sunday. Read more here.
Sophomore year of high school I was caught reading The Gulag Archipelago by my future Honors English teacher. The next year, he changed the curriculum to impose A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich on the whole class. I thanked him profusely. Turned out I wasn't alone. So I mourn the passing of this extraordinary man. Rest in noble peace, sir; if anyone anywhere ever deserved it, it's you.
Changing gears, now...
Hopefully, this is good news!
Those of you Harry Potter fans who read about the book within the final Potter book who wondered how long a writer like Rowling could possibly put off publishing it could do so, well!! The answer is: it's ALMOST THIS LONG.
Pre-orders are being taken now for The Tales of Beedle the Bard. There are two choices!! There's the reasonably inexpensive standard version, which most people will find perfectly satisfying. Then there's the really over-the-top amazing version, a reproduction of JKRowling's handwritten original. The cover is decorated with a metal skull, metal corners and clasp, a velvet ribbon to -- oh, just CLICK, and see for yourself! I'm not here to sell it!! (But if you let me handle your copy, I promise to wear a bib so I don't drool on it...)
The collector's edition comes with a collector's price, too, so I'll be happy with the standard edition (12 fewer illustrations...>sigh<), but it's all the same stories, which is what matters most to me. At least, at this point in my bank account. I can make up more pictures in my imagination.
Wednesday, July 30. 2008
Each year DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, hosts a whopper of a fundraiser to, well, fight AIDS. And as they are wont to do, they show off their mad design skilz in the process.
What's a party without decorations, right?
Take a look at this!
Want a closer look?
Wouldn't that have been fun to do? A single pillow will never feel like a challenge again.
Make sure you look at some of the other pictures, too. Benjamin Moore used paint chips for a prismatically brilliant construct as an homage to Roy Lichtenstein' sculpture series House. And then there was this one, which was to my taste a bit formal and froufy (except for the tree, which thrills me), but masterfully and exquisitely crafted.
All for the sake of saving people's lives, and preserving the quality of those lives who have already been stabilized. Art is good especially when it can do good.
Oh, and btw? Switching subjects here. My cousin-in-law-in-law (my husband's cousin's husband: got it?) had this to say about my part (well, the whole thing, really) the big Guardian thing yesterday:
That's cool as frick!
Yeah. He's an engineer and a mountainbike racer. He really talks like that. Fast, and hopped up on adrenaline.
But I totally agree. I just used more of the thesaurus yesterday.
Wednesday, July 23. 2008
I made a blog post earlier today, including Superman, and forgetting his birthday. His 70th birthday.
And he looks MIGHTY FINE for SEVENTY. I've got my thoughts. They're fairly 'adult'; I'll bet you've got yours, too.
Folks: he's paper and ink.
Still, there are ways to celebrate this landmark birthday occasion. My husband and I are having a birthday party somehow. It'll be late. We'll make an excuse of some sort, like he was out diverting a nuclear device or something. I'll probably tell you about it after the fact. It'll probably involve Superman Icecream. That's pretty much a given. That was a college breakfast staple (mixed with cocoa puffs or count chocula), back when I was in liberal arts. (It was a dry campus. Hard for Lutherans.)
Here are the correct instructions for your enjoyment of my earlier blogpost, which occurs further down as you scroll.
1. Please be sure to hit the a. Restroom, b. Comfort Room, c. W.C., d. Any Other International Designation For Room of Sanitary Emergency Human Waste Evacuation.
2. Please swallow all drinking or eating matter before clicking on the oh-so-attractive (oh!shiny!!) Arrow Of Playing, which commences the video in my blog posts. This will preserve your keyboard. Perhaps also your monitor. Perhaps keep you out of the ER, too.
I'm only saying...
Again, keep scrolling d-o-w-n. Ju-u-u-u-u-st a bit.
Had enough of the Superhero Movies yet?
Is the market supersaturated with comic books?
Want more?? Me too!!
Here's the very first one made:
Still not satisfied?
Submitted for your viewing pleasure, regardless of the computer platform you're chained to. And for Truth, Justice, and The American Way. Whatever that happens to be this week.
PS: Yeah. That title. I'm not afraid of the term "wet dream". See? I used it there. I'm just not fond of the tons of spam I get when certain key words or phrases are used in a blog post title. Please let the record show I'm not a chicken; I hope this edifies and educates. End of PSA portion of the post.
Wednesday, July 16. 2008
I know this summer has a bunch of great-looking comic book-inspired movies, but this isn't THAT "Transformer". (That was a toy first, anyway; the show was the marketing ploy.) I'm talking life-changing stuff.
If you can get there, see the exhibit Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Indiana State Museum.
It's a travelling exhibit, and it's only there through August 24 (I couldn't find any info on where it goes next, so please share that if you know, K? Thanks.), but it looks like a truly amazing event. Plus, they'll even let you knit or crochet.
There's a slide show here.
You'll learn about how men and women have used textiles to change social policy through history. You'll learn how it's still happening.
Well, yeah-huh, it's still happening!! Points towards the AIDS Quilt!! Arguably, one could say the growing demand for items that are "fair trade" or "sustainable" is a direct effect of activism. Many of the wares offered are textiles, or support textile-producing communities.
Look closely around, you'll probably find dozens of exciting, grass-roots -- and bigger, broader, more far-reaching -- movements available for your participation locally. Sometimes it's a single event, sometimes it's (like the exhibit in Indianapolis) a lengthy museum thang. Which is nice, because that means you can vist a bunch of times, dragging along lots of people to show them how cool it is what you do, and how many amazing people there were before you helping to hone Fiber's razor-like edge!
I'd love it if you'd use the comments section to mention the Fiber/Textiles Actions that mean the most to you. Links would be a big bonus.
I like the "Victory" knitting ("Knit Your Bit") during the WWII for soldiers -- and the Red Cross continues that tradition today. I also admire Judy Chicago for her Dinner Party installation -- it took many years and dozens of ceramics and textile artists to create that amazing work, and now at least a small part of women's history is on permanent display in Brooklyn, NY.
Gandhi encouraged his countrymen to not only harvest their own salt (Salt Satyagraha, was what the movement became known) but to spin their own cotton. "Homespun cloth" (khadi) was to be worn, forswearing all cloth thrust upon them by the opressors; it also became a mantra that assisted revolution.
There are so many more. I can't wait to read what inspires you, too.
Knitting/crocheting/embroidering/weaving/felting/beading/shibori-ing/screenprinting my bit,
Tuesday, July 8. 2008
Joss Whedon proves once again why his scary-big forehead is so practical and how he puts it to good, creative use.
Here's something for all who (like me) adored the "Once More, With Feeling" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That was the musical episode. (Yes: "Oh yeah, THAT one.")
Popular in my household? Heh. >monalisa smile< I'll leave it at that. Though if you've missed the Whedon-penned Astonishing X-Men, I do recommend rectifying that. Make friends with your local comic book shop and pick them up in trades (Vols. I-IV: Gifted, Dangerous, Torn, and Unstoppable); they're good brain food, and a very excellent way to rest your hands after labor-intensive work. (See? Reading helps you craft better by keeping you well-rested and well-informed! This tip is only for those few who need an excuse to read.)
So, here's some news that should thrill my fellow Whedon fans:
Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.
Set your alarm clocks for next week and reserve some computer time. Need more information? Click.
I consider it my civic duty to pass along this information. I know how much this means to my household (my husband's ringtone is "They Got the Mustard Out"). It's not just us.
Wishing you all serenity! (Mm hmm. It WAS Nathan Fillion in that clip!!)
Wednesday, July 2. 2008
Whether Friday is a holiday for you or just the 4th day of the month (a tip o'the baseball cap to our international readers, and Happy Canada Day to the Great White North!), there will be a glorious display for you if you happen to be looking skyward.
Many in the U.S. will be watching fireworks displays. I'll be trying to find a patch of sky free of city lights and gunpowder debris.
I'll be looking for the spectacular planetary alignment: Saturn, Mars, and the crescent Moon with Earth-shine. "Earth-shine" is that peculiar phenomenon where the Moon is a sliver, yet you can see the darkened round completed due to reflection of light bouncing off of the Earth. You may doubt your eyes, but it's there, and quite lovely.
Now, if you're at all like me, you're going to find this inspiring. You're going to want to translate this into a project. Here's a start. Follow the link. You'll see what I mean. Not the frog, specifically, but imagine what you can do with your OWN design...
I hope you'll look for the sky show, I hope it inspires you to a new project, and I hope you have a safe celebration!
Wednesday, June 25. 2008
Can't get enough of bacon? Read on. Tired of it? Catch another blog post. Sorry.
Were you puzzled that The AntiCraft -- of ALL folk -- didn't have their own take on that most hallowed of all American food items, the BaconBurger?
I've done it. In fact, I've AntiCrafted it. It's steampunked.
Fire up the grill!!
A bit of back story, while we're waiting for it to heat up.
My friends have this way of beating the winter blahs every end-of-January-into-February. We have four weeks of Iron Chef competitions. We gather at one home (it's big. REEEEAAALLLLYYY big.) and ingredients are supplied and we separate into teams. This year we had a theme imposed upon us which was the movie "The Great Race," a movie based on an actual race which passed through my city in 1908.
So each week of this competition was to be based on a different leg of the movie race, and the first week would honor the 'wild west' leg. We competitors were each given 2 lbs. of ground beef, a pile of the same ingredients to use or not as we chose, and assorted one-of-a-kind ingredients to fight over or to use for barter.
We all had to make something different. I heard "chili". "Meatloaf." "Something Else" -- clearly, it was sooooo not a player... And there was a vegan option, too. I couldn't believe no one chose "hamburger": SOLD. And there was an unclaimed package of hickory smoked bacon. Again, a no-brainer: ch-ching and SOLD.
This recipe, by a record-breaking overwhelming vote, was the first winner of the 2008 Friends & Family Iron Chef Competition. I also served it at my Father's Day picnic, and both my Mother-In-Law and my dad's fiance asked for the recipe. (It's written up for submission to the magazine because it was. But there's only so much room, and it's not fair for the editors to take up ALL the space!!)
It is made of pure win. Make it for Canada Day AND Independence Day.
PS: There are pictures of this on my blog.
SteamPunked Bacon Burger Meisterburger
It felt like they were breathing down the back of her neck, but they were in fact at least twenty-five, maybe thirty miles behind.
Still: too close for comfort.
But it wouldn’t do to skip meals. That trophy could never happen on an empty stomach. This strip of road? No double arches, no giant cowboy hats. Not here! Gonna have to do it herself.
She pulled to the side. A glance in the cooler, some rapid mixing, deft application of aluminum foil. A pop of the hood and the metallic packet nestled securely on the manifold.
As she drove the next 230 miles the aroma of cooking meat tantalized her, speeding her across the continent.
Victory smells like a juicy bacon burger.
The Great Race (1965, rated “Approved”)
Wacky Races (1968, rated G)
# of burgers = 8-12, depending on the size of the patty
2# ground beef
2 packages onion soup mix
1 1/4 C (151g) dried bread crumbs
1 medium onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
3 T (29g) minced garlic
2 t (5.7g) fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 t (2.45 g) cayenne pepper (or to taste -- I prefer more!)
1/4 C (20g) dried parsley
Hickory smoked bacon (1 pkg.)
Grill, grill pan, or griddle
Metal spatula, large
One very effective way of forming the hamburger patties is to make a very large ball of ground beef, wrap the bacon strips around the ball so they intersect twice (once above, once below), then flatten the patty on the bacon intersection points. Your burgers will keep their shape, and the bacon will not shrink or squeeze the meat out between the strips.
Preheat your grill, if you plan to use one. You want a warm grill, not hot -- this burger needs to cook a bit slowly, due to the bacon. If you’re “grilling” this burger on the stove, use a medium-low flame/comparable electric setting.
Mix all ingredients together except the bacon. Form into patties. Wrap the bacon around the patties in the form of Xs (see Chef's Notes). Make sure there is an X on both sides of each patty. Press gently to embed the bacon in the surface of the patty.
Place the burger patties on the cooking surface. Let them cook at least 5-8 minutes without pressing or lifting it! (Seriously -- walk away if you have to! I know the temptation is unbearable for some.) Cook these burgers sloooooowly. Flip after 15 minutes. Flip again, watch and make sure the bacon doesn't cook too fast for the burgers; cook until the burgers are done to your satisfaction.
The fresh vegetables in the meat actually steams the burger from the inside while it grills. It will be VERY juicy.
Serve on toasted sesame buns with onion and tomato slices, with a little barbecue sauce and horseradish. Or don't bother with the condiments. This burger's got plenty of flavor on its own.
Wednesday, June 18. 2008
I'm one of the many deeply saddened by the passing of Tim Russert.
I'm a news geek. I know I've mentioned both here and on the forums that I'm an unapologetic NPR addict. I have a lot of respect for the way Mr. Russert respectfully, yet firmly interviewed his guests. No one got away with anything; Sunday mornings won't be the same.
There've been other significant passings this month, and that doesn't surprise me; it's June, and in my experience, that's when it happens.
So it got me thinking.
Some of my favorite Mementos Mori are embroidered samplers. I thought I'd share a few with you. One is actually called 'Memento Mori'. It's extraordinarily elegant and more than a bit on the Edward Gorey side: perfect, in my book.
There's a whole page here, complete with a bit of history.
I hope that's enough to get you a little interested in the topic, and to help show you that samplers can far exceed the flora and fauna, poems, and alphabets that many of us have found familiar and comforting.
Needlework of all sorts can provide more comfort than just the images of the comfortable. It's occupation during a trying time. It's a portable gravestone for an early American family driven to follow the call west, desperately gambling on the frontier. It's a record of time passed and time past.
Now, go and do likewise!!!
(Um, the needlework thing. Not the needing to be memorialized. I've had enough of that, thanks.)
Wednesday, June 11. 2008
Father's Day means that it's time for the annual Duct Tape Festival.
Avon, OH makes its mighty claim to fame as the "Duct Tape Capital of the World" because Henkel Corporation, the makers of Duck(R) Brand duct tape, is located there. Also, (and I heard this in a radio interview with a Henkel rep 2 days ago while promoting the event. It was NPR, so it must be true... >wink<) no one else in the world has staked a claim, so why not?
Anyway, it looks like fun. Check it out. If you're in the area, go! It certainly will be colorful!! There are 20 colors of duct tape, and I have no idea if that includes clear, which is inexplicably my favorite.
If like me, you can't make it, there's always the Duct Tape Club. You don't even have to go to meetings.
Now: why can't I go, when this marvelous festival is just on the other side of my county?
Because I'll be here as part of Parade the Circle (this link has a slide show with very colorful pictures). (I know you're jealous. Yes, it's EXACTLY like going back time to a real Carnevale festival.) It's practically in my front yard, though since it's not literally, I'll be riding my bike. Valet parking is provided for bikes. No kidding.
OK, so where does the 'wabbit' come in? My backyard. Squint; my cameraphone isn't great about nature's camouflage, but it's there. Right in the center, at the base of the lupine.
We have a nest of four baby rabbits in a flower bed right in the center of my backyard. Oh yes, very sweet. And as long as they stick to eating just the daisies and buttercups (which are legion), staying away from the more unique plants such as my lupine and 2 delphiniums (fine, '2' is not 'unique', but still!!) and others, they will remain welcome.
I'd prefer to avoid spiraling into the murky depths of the dreaded "where's my lunch, where's my hassenpfeffer" syndrome.
Happy creating, happy hunting!