– I’m listening to Pitbull right now on my Dancey Dance Pandora radio station. I can never hear any Pitbull song without remembering what my friend Jose said about him at Melynda’s birthday party: “He’s like the Sesame Street of music. He’s really good at his numbers!”
– My sister is visiting from Virgina for a few weeks and Isobel has been making up for lost time by spending as much time attached to her as possible. She’s been spending her nights alternately sleeping with us and at our parents’ house. On the second morning she looked at me with a mischievous grin and said, “I left a surprise for you in the toilet!” I must have turned white because she said, “Don’t worry, it’s just toilet cleaner!” Turns out she had cleaned the front bathroom for us, including scrubbing the toilet.
– My aunt and uncle dropped by some vintage canning gear (which I can’t wait to try out) and we talked briefly on the front step. At some point during our conversation Squirrelly climbed in their van and hid under the seat. They were halfway home before they heard the pathetic mewling. When the opened the door of the van she flew out, tail puffed up like a bottle brush, and ran straight into the house.
– We recently bought Isobel a copy of one of my favorite movies ever, My Neighbor Totoro. We’ve owned this movie, along with pretty much all the Studio Ghibli movies for a long time, but like any good otaku we owned either the original sub or fan sub and eschewed the English dub versions. With the exception of Ranma 1/2 (who’s dub is just as good as, if not better than, the original) it seems like English dubs kill anime stone dead and render it completely unwatchable. Cowboy Bebop was like nails on a chalkboard; Naruto was an abomination. Since Disney acquired Studio Ghibli they pumped enough money into the dubs so that most of them came out pretty well. It may have been Princess Mononoke’s dub that did it for me. I can’t remember. But the Kiki dub was great (even if they changed a few details) and Isobel certainly loved it. She’s loved the other Ghibli movies we’ve shown her but we didn’t own an English copy of Totoro until last weekend. She loves it, which makes me so happy.
– My Grandma is approaching her mid-90s this year and since my sister was in town my aunt and uncle came down so we could have a large family dinner together. She is too frail to leave the nursing home but we decided not to let that stop us: we ordered a huge Chinese food feast from her favorite local place and reserved the conference room which had a table large enough to accommodate all of us. The staff was nice enough to provide place settings and we brought the food and the chopsticks. I had found an adorable tiny pink cheongsam for Isobel while thrifting and she grew into it just in time for our feast.
– Eating Chinese food when we all get together as a family is a tradition for us. Our favorite local place, Golden Hour, was the scene of many family dinners. I still know the favorite dishes my late Grandaddy would always order, and my late Nana too. We knew the owners. My Dad grew up with their kids and his mom gave them piano lessons. My sister got her first job there and worked waiting tables and preparing food for years. Later, while having dinner there as a family, Anthony asked me to marry him. We ate a huge and boisterous rehearsal dinner there with all our favorite people the night before the wedding. Golden Hour sadly closed its doors toward the beginning of the recession. We’re all the poorer for it. A lot has changed in life, but when we all get together as a family we still like to sit around a large table and talk and eat Chinese.
Scrapbook: Isobel & Baby Ryan. Her only first cousin, Ryan, aka Baby Smooshumz.
In The Garden: Bee Garden. Depeche and the secret of bees.
Thrifty Giving: Mid Mod Housewarming Gifts. A walnut tray that belongs in Mad Men, and Japanese woodblock coasters.
Recipe: Creamy Avocado Dip. We need more ways to work avocado into our food, right?
Snapshot: All my secrets. As per usual.
Follow Friday: San Francisco Succulents. Weekly dose of photos and funny.
Cats dressed as sushi. That is all. I showed this video to Isobel, expecting she’d love it, but instead looked at me and said, “What was that?!”
Adrift. A stunning video about San Francisco’s fog. Via fog-enthusiast Ellen.
Throng of Theremin Players Performs Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Have you heard of a theremin? It’s an electronic musical instrument that is played by waving the hands near, but never actually touching, two antennae. I have a few friends who make electronic music and have experimented with it before. This video of the Legend of Zelda theme on the theremin gives you a better idea of how it works and a closer listen to its eerie, haunting sound.
Speaking of Legend of Zelda themes, this one on the marimba is absolutely fantastic.
Moon cycles affect human sleep. The full moon isn’t great for a good night’s sleep. I wonder if we have tides, too?
Every Library and Museum in America, Mapped. “That picture includes zoos, arboretums, historical societies, art galleries, aquariums and just about anything trying to teach people about a collection of something.”
Home Movie: Sing Sing Sing. An elderly couple swing dances into my heart.
Recipe: Impromptu Stuffed Tomatoes. Where there’s fresh tomatoes, there’s dinner.
Scrapbook: Water Park. Anthony was home recovering from shoulder surgery at this time last year.
Scrapbook: Jacob’s Garden. My inspiration.
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