Angst on a Shoestring

Friday, April 28, 2006


The Boy designs...

His version of a Living Dead Doll.

This is Scary Baby. And why is he scary?

Because he has a full diaper, and YOU have to change it.

Plus he has a mustache that outdoes Snidely Whiplash.

Living Dead Dolls



I finally found a straight forward approach to putting a banner at the top of the page:
Blogger for Dummies

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Arrrggggh CSS confounds me!

I've been trying for days to make this my banner. Waaaaaaaaah!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


In case you had any doubt...

Friday, April 21, 2006


Voting Rights Act: A Promise in Jeopardy

From the Voting Rights Act site.

A Promise in Jeopardy: Three crucial sections of the VRA set to expire in 2007
In the 40 years since its passage, the Voting Rights Act has guaranteed millions of Americans the equal opportunity to participate in the political process. One of the most successful civil rights laws ever enacted by Congress, the VRA abolished literacy and other tests which had been used to deny blacks and other minorities the right to vote. The genius of the act was not simply that it outlawed discrimination at the ballot box. It also gave voters new tools to ensure fundamental fairness in the voting process. In 2007, some of these important mechanisms will expire unless Congress acts.

This Act is too important to ignore. If it is allowed to wither, every American's right to vote is in jeopardy. In fact too few of us realise how important our right to vote truly is. Too much blood has been shed to take it for granted. Go to the site and see how you can help.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Morris Cox

I like the look of lino/woodcuts alot. One reason, because I totally sucked at doing a proper print. So I was browsing around and I came across this piece by Morris Cox, called Licking Cat 1948. I think what caught my eye is the color and stylized cat itself. His love of Japanese woodcuts is very apparent here. To be honest at first glance I thought it was a Japanese print.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Illustration Fridays

How cool is this? A website that gives you a word and you have to interpret that word visually.
From the site:
Illustration Friday is meant to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It's a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art. Curious about collage? Try it here. Never even picked up a colored pencil? Why not now? Just have time for a doodle? That's okay, we'd love to see it. You don't have to be an illustrator or an artist to participate. Just pick up a pencil, for the love of pete.

I like this idea. It's a great way to jump start yourself.

Monday, April 17, 2006


The "Oy"s of Passover

Matzah is hard to digest. Period. When I eat it, I feel like someone is stomping on my chest. So I eat egg matzah, which is for the "aged and infirmed." Bastards. Calling me aged and infirmed. Oh wait. That -is- me!
Yesterday we had a "Spring Holiday" meal with my Aunt and Cousin. Since the whole "Wicked" thing, my mother has not spoken to us so no invite for Easter dinner. But then I've had more fun at funerals. Holidays with my side is a study in bad family dynamics. So having a dinner at our house was much more fun. We did keep it Kosher for Pesach and I even made(!) a Matzah Charlotte. Why Charlotte, I have no idea.

The Boy helped me and did great at cracking the eggs. Only one piece of shell!

Matzah Charlotte

Preheat your oven 350 degrees

8 to 9 boards of matzah
8 eggs
1 cup of sugar or Splenda
1 cup of chunky apple sauce
4 tablespoons of melted margarine or Moove Over Butter
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
(Optional: a cup of raisins or sultanas, chopped walnuts, cranberries)

Hold back one board of matzah. (you'll see)
Break up your boards of matzah into small pieces (don't pulverise them!) over a strainer and then
soak your boards of matzah in warm water. I let mine really soak it up. It takes like a minute.

Then squish out as much water as you can. If you feel it's too wet, crumble up another board into the wet stuff.

In a big bowl, crack them eggs and scramble it up. Add the apple sauce, sugar, spices. Now add the matzah mush. Add the rest of your stuff and give it a good mix.

In a greased 9x9 square pan, turn it all out. You can sprinkle more cinnamon on top if you like.

Pop it in for about an hour, this is a dense mix. Just check on it at the 30 minute mark. I checked on mine at the 50 min mark and the fork test was fine.

Serve and enjoy the comments on how it's not quite his mom's but good.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


It's the first night of Pesach..

And it's all the matzah you can eat! I have a love/hate relationship with Passover. I dig the whole getting out of Egypt thing but the way food manufacturers go nuts, floors me. I converted so maybe I'll still looking at it with a set of "Raised Catholic" glasses.
I start getting antsy at any kind of religious function if its going into hours as opposed to the 45 minutes in Church.

float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;Plum Party
You can get a bag of Plagues to act out the punishments that befell the Egyptians. Of course the Boy has one. Not sure how I feel about it, though. But I am dressed with the "Plague of Frogs" theme in mind. Frog earrings and a big hunk of silver ring that's a frog sitting on my finger. We'll do the "Speed Reading" verison of the Haggadah then complain about how the matzah bowl soup has no flavor whatsoever. I wish all my fellow Jewish GBR's a peaceful Passover.

Friday, April 07, 2006


The Wonder of ZeFrank

float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;
I make frequent trips to Ze's place. It's a big breath of fresh air out on the net. All sorts of interactive toys, games and we can't forget the educational videos. I sit in constant amazement at his Flash work. I can barely eek out a decent HTML thing!
My all time favorite toy is Oranges.It's a simple, relaxing toy, allowing you to plant your orange tree and watch it grow.
Also not to be missed is My Advice to You I try not to be eating when I browse his site as I tend to do spittakes. Do go and visit. Editor's note: I made that banner up there for Ze as a belated birthday present. I hope he liked it better than socks.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Joys of Being Disabled..Part The Second

What I think really bugged me about this whole disaster, is how helpless my mother has become. Now she and I have different health issues. I have a disease, she's got new hips and knees. I have to take needles three times a week, take huge amounts of pain meds, I avoid places that I know I'm going to have trouble maneuvering.

So think about it. You have two people that have trouble standing on their own pins. Don't you think the first blasted thing you would ask about is special seating/accommodations? I am so very tired of having to be Captain Obvious.

Never once, did she or my father for that matter, ask me what is MS? Never once did my brother or sister ask me what does it do to you?

I think I have issues, don't you?

Thankfully I have other family members that show concern and what to know.

The Joys of Being Disabled..

Ya know, GBR's, rarely do I go off on tirades about being a crip. I walk with a cane, have iffy balance and I have a fear of heights. Because, you only have to bump a Weeble for them to go spinning out of control.

But I think I reached my limit this past Thursday. My mother bought tickets to see Wicked for Christmas gifts. It was my Aunt, my cousin (our sissy), The Boy, my mother and myself. Now mom has new knees and new hips. And walks, poorly, with a walker. So when you see us moseying along it looks like we escaped from a home. Now back when she told me about the tickets, I reminded her (yet again) about asking for Handicapped Seating. Hey look, if there's any benefit to being a crip, its getting better parking, better seating, better bathroom. I fully take advantage of the ol' ADA.

Get a cup of coffee, this is a long entry. I'll wait.

On Tuesday of last week, she asked me if there was a way for her to get in to the Theatre. I fought the urge to bang the phone against my head. I very slowly asked if she called the Academy to ask. She hemmed and hawed. And my blood pressure rose.
She has to do some things on her own. I can't make the arrangements for everything. But the first thing I check is that whatever venue it is, is it ADA compliant?

So here comes Thursday and all day I'm dreading this "treat." I pick her up and she's already telling me she's hurting. Her gait was very slow and shuffling. (She didn't do the therapy like she should have ~sighs~) I get her into the car and The Boy is watching me closely. He can pick up the fact I'm nervous as hell.

I get down there and there's a little alleyway that I can pull into to drop her and Boy off. The trick was backing up into traffic.
I got her in and went to park the car. Across the street. I had another cigarette and prayed to who ever is listening to get me through this night.

I catch up with her and Boy, she's sitting on a plush chair one of the ushers brought her. I did the final bathroom run for Boy before the show. There was an elevator, I'm thinking, good, good. The operator asked to see the tickets and says "Amphitheatre." Which pretty much means that you and God will be sharing kneespace.

I find my aunt and cousin as Sissy was in a show for high school and I had Barry bring them down. So we go to find our seats.
When I looked in and saw the steep drop to the seats, I just about fainted. A mountain goat would have felt right at home.

My mother's face was set in sheer panic. Not a drop of color. And my aunt just about went postal. The Boy, Sissy and I just stood back. There was no way in hell she was walking down any of those steps. We squeezed into our seats, knees about ear level. The Boy was very excited by the set which was very cool. There was a big map of Oz and he was pointing out to the couple next to him where to find the Witch's castle (Winkieland.) The usher sat my mother in a seat close to the door. And the rage that was rolling off my aunt was so palpable. Sissy was tearing up and I felt helpless. I am no good with these kind of seats and the height element was really freaking me.

My Aunt was angry because the usher told her she would have to help move my Mom if the person that has the ticket for that seat shows up. She muttered about that the woman said Sister, and my Aunt hissed something about me being the Daughter and I should do something. But what?

I felt his hand slip into mine and I looked down. He was frightened, not by the seats but the anger. He misses nothing. I was thankful the couple sitting next to him didn't mind his "Map Tour of Oz."

Wicked-The Official Site

The show starts and it is a great set, even from up there. The show draws alot of teen age girls. And I can see why. They identify with Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West.) She's not really wicked at all, just very very misunderstood and used.

Elphaba is "Defying Gravity"

The book that started it all.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Found, whilst browsing..

I stumbled into this site:
Fin de Siècle

If you're into Fin de Siècle, which is Symbolist Art from the late 19th Century.
The site's description:
Welcome to a website dedicated to a generation of dreamers. Much neglected by contemporary scholarship and art connoiseurship, symbolist art artists of the late 19th century pioneered modernism, probed the newly acknowledged Freudian subconscious, and chased elusive and forbidden pleasures - all the while struggling to catch the dying gasp of Beauty.

Artists like Arnold Böcklin, Paul Gauguin, Gustav Klimt, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes are represented. It is a feast for the eyes.

Self -Portrait with Masks, Oil 1899
And they have James Ensor!

(yes, this is where I post They Might Be Giants salute to James Ensor)

Meet James Ensor by They Might be Giants, on John Henry

Meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

Before there were junk stores
Before there was junk
He lived with his mother and the torments of Christ
The world was transformed
A crowd gathered round
Pressed against his window so they could be the first

To meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Raise a glass and sit and stare
Understand the man

He lost all his friends
He didn't need his friends
He lived with his mother and repeated himself
The world has forgotten
The world moved along
The crowd at his window went back to their homes

Meet James Ensor
Meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man