Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A nice girl in Blocksburg

Through the glory that is Facebook, I found out yesterday that my friend, Kristin Windbigler, is, among other wondrous and creative things, a filmmaker. Kristin is a Humboldt County girl who, like me, went off to other places as soon as she could, but was eventually lured back home by a force that can only be understood by those who've experienced it. She made this fantastic short film about returning to Blocksburg (that's a tiny little town southeast of Bridgeville, which is another tiny little town southeast of Fortuna) and its notorious reputation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Kristin also maintains a website about Blocksburg and helped to write a book about growing up there called Children From Our One-Room Schools.

Her films have been featured at the Western Folklife Center. You can also see more of them on her blog. I highly recommend Story Machines, which is a fascinating tale of her grandfather who was a logger and owned a machine called a Phonacord that created records, and how he used it to record her family's history. The film features old footage from Washington State and Mount Shasta, as well as from Humboldt County.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Like ice is cold, baby.

I've been getting my craft on like mad lately. My hair smells like hot metal, my fingers are blistered and my bottom lip has a bloody indentation in it from hard concentration. But it will all be worth it on Sunday because Arcata's hosting the first Humboldt County indie handmade market, the Snip and Stitch Craft Extravaganza, and I'll be there in full crafty glory.

There will be about thirty local artists, designers and crafters showing off their gorgeous wares, and the Monster Women and the Ian Fays are playing. It's going to be a great time, plus it's a wonderful opportunity to support local people making beautiful and uncommon goods instead of buying factory made crap from China.

So come to the plaza between 10 and 4 and visit me. I'll be the one in the Carnival Girl Designs booth smiling uncomfortably and looking like I need a drink because I'm an absolutely horrible salesperson.

Here's some of my latest adornments:

Bird pendants

Vintage sheet music pendants

Mexican loteria card pendants

Strange pictures from vintage dictionary pendants

and of course risque' French postcard pendants

Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Crush #562

You may remember my recent post about Humboldt County Bookmarks. It turns out that through the magical power of the interwebs, the owner of the bookstore, Steve, whose picture I shamelessly pilfered from a google image search, found out about the story.

And what do you know? Steve's got a blog too!

Last night I spent the best hour reading through the archives, and I can't wait to read more. There are posts about Bigfoot news, sightings and stories. There are posts about Steve's own Bigfoot travels and adventures. There are fabulous pictures of all kinds of things including black helicopters, giant salamanders, Bigfoot art like the picture above (also shamelessly pilfered. Sorry Steve.) and subway sandwiches. Plus there's enough dry wit and wonk talk to make me have to fan myself.

Check out my favorite post so far - you won't be sorry.

And if you're ever in the Crick, go visit Steve - and not just because you're hoping to find another Humboldt County bookmark.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the road to hell is paved with bad analogies

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I'm a big fan of a little spanking now and then. You know what I'm talking about. A swat on the behind just makes the day better. Those of you peeking through the fingers of your covered eyes and professing to yourself that you have no idea what I'm talking about...you're fooling no one.

So it was with glee that as I bent over to put some groceries in the refrigerator tonight, I felt a swat on the backside and turned around to see a familiar mischievous grin on Big Hands' face. I smiled at him then continued the kitchen chores.


Another one right when I least expected it. Then before I could even turn around, Thwack! Another rear end smack. I looked at him with surprise.

"I just can't help it," he grinned. "It's like my hand is a magnet, and your ass is a refrigerator."

That's right. Your ass is a refrigerator.

For a split second I thought about torturing him by pretending I was extremely offended, or worse yet, by bursting into tears and running into the bathroom. It might have been a good way to avoid dishes and get Indian food. But one glance at Big Hands' face, and I knew that with sheer terror, he also realized that he had just compared my ass to a gigantic appliance.

I couldn't help myself. I laughed until I cried for nearly 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Willa Crick Peaches

I love Tuesdays. Not only does Tuesday mean that it's not Monday anymore, but the Farmers' Market comes to Old Town. And not only does the Farmers' Market come to Old Town, but Los Bagels is now open on Tuesday so I can grab an egg salad on a salt bagel while trying to balance the plethora of multicolored veggies hanging off my arms because I've forgotten a basket to carry them in once again.

Yesterday I wandered up the alley toward F street in search of some big beautiful beets. I found them next to a big beautiful beet farmer and paid my $6 for a couple of bunches. Then I went looking for fava beans, but before I could find them I was distracted by a little table full of gorgeous ripe peaches. Could it really be? Yes, the first of the Willow Creek peaches have hit the market. Forgetting all about the fava beans, I spent the rest of my cash on heaven scented French white peaches.

I hurried back to my office and showed them off to my co-workers excitedly, who oohed and aahed in appropriate admiration. "What will you do with them?" one asked.

I paused as peach visions danced in my head. What would I do with them? Bake them in a pie? Slice them and eat them over ice cream? Leave them whole and eat them slowly with the juice running down my arms while sitting naked in the sun? I told them my plan.

"I'm going to make a peach arugula pizza for dinner."

They looked at me in silence as if I had said I was going to make stray kitten pizza. I didn't understand the horror. People put pineapple on pizzas, why not peaches?

So that's what I did. And it was delicious.

I used Tomaso's dough from the Co-op. I like to make dough from scratch, but sometimes I'm lazy, and Tomaso's is cheap and good. I sprinkled some cornmeal on the pizza stone, rolled out the dough and poked it all over with a fork. Then I put it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cut up three peaches, thinly sliced half a red onion and minced two cloves of garlic. I put these in a bowl with a handful of arugula and tossed them with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.

After the crust came out of the oven I grated some fontina cheese on top then sprinkled on the peach mixture. I then crumbled some Cypress Grove chevre over the top. I can't think of anything that isn't made better with a sprinkling of CG chevre.

Then it went back into the oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese melted and it looked all toasty and golden brown.

It may sound a little strange, but the flavors taste really nice together. The sweet peaches pair well with the spicy arugula and tangy goat cheese. The recipe needs work, though. I think next time I would have doubled the arugula and used more salt and goat cheese. The peaches were really juicy, so the pizza dough needs to be pretty thick in order to not get soggy. I rolled the dough too thin.

I told Big Hands of my critique and asked him what he thought would make it better for next time. He sat in thought, slowly chewing his pizza for a few minutes before answering.

"I thought it was perfect. The only thing that would have been better is if you were topless while you made it."

He's a smart man with a lot of homemade pizza in his future.