Wednesday, August 30, 2006

caught this article in today's Denver Post on internet curators who select interesting [consumed knowledge]-of-the-day for taste-minded internet visitors. there's plenty of featured categories, from music and poetry to art and films, hand-selected by curators/editors who give their authoritative electronically-published stamp of approval. it's the most general definition of dailycandy:
The Internet brings news about music, films, books and other art forms 24/7. But there's so much information out there it's impossible to sort through and separate the wheat from the Milli Vanillis. Now Internet arts curators are trying to help.

"People are barraged with so many things constantly, and they're looking for something great everyday," said Scott Blum. "Because there's so much they're trying to weed through, curation is becoming very, very important."

That, he believes, explains the growth of "... of the day" arts sites, which select a single song, movie, poem, film, book, photograph, etc., to highlight each weekday. They are like the popular Page-a-Day desk calendars.

But because they occupy virtual rather physical space and are free, it's not uncommon for Internet users to consult several each day. And they can feature music and video samples. Many but not all notify their fans via daily e-mail alerts.
what's brought up in this article is not wholy surprising, but it describes a phenomenon that really connects strongly to urbanhermes. it would be interesting to see if people could find affinity to others within a proximate location who also subscribe to the same poem-of-the-day site, or trust the same network of internet curators. in an infospace teeming with ridiculous amounts of information, it's useful to have some central distributors (hubs, portals, authorities) of knowledge that can unite like-minded consumers of taste.

it's truly fitting that i got notified of this article through my own subscription to a music-news-of-the-day via the dailychord of south by southwest.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

say hi to a new me.

(we're always renewing. resetting systems, to zero out, finally letting the pendulum swing still.)

i'm having a get-together at my place this friday to celebrate pretty much every reason imaginable, so if you're around and want the deets, please message me and i'll hook you up.

another cool thing to do on friday (aside from giving me a high five) is a live performance by final fantasy at p.a.'s lounge in union square. this is a ridiculously cool event, put on by none other than stacie of critique of pure reason.

i've been enamoured with owen pallett (a.k.a. final fantasy) since bill arning raved about him back in the day, and he poos clouds enjoys being on rotation on my radio show in the past couple months. i am so kicking myself that i cannot attend the show because of my own shindig, but you should stop by my place before or after the performance, and hopefully post-show he + stacie swing by as well!

check out other awesome upcoming shows on the critique schedule. my eye's on geoff mullen.

Monday, August 28, 2006

how do you pronounce plaid? rhymes with sad, or rhymes with shade? (no cheating via OED...)

find out by listening to tonight's weekly sonic extravaganza of sans serif. it's a ridiculously hot mix this week. i am in love with the new album in the station, the clear presents twisted love songs japanese import. the colour space cover art gives me a warm, HSV-induced tingle.

despite all suspicions, i'm still poking about in cambridge. writing, writing, writing. i'm reveling in my last moments at the media lab, while still looking forward to all the exciting things to come.

dear readers, if you have any or at all potential opportunities for me as a writer, designer, or producer pertaining to things along the lines of fashion, lifestyle, art, or technology, please don't hesitate to drop a line. i think the amateur gourmet ("HIRE ME!") says it best. you know, i wouldn't necessarily mind finding a job that involved intense moments of creative gastronomic pleasures, either... ;)

wicked wet weekend, from the downright chilly downpour on friday to yesterday's chill(y) session. saturday was the sandwiched climate highlight, the glossy egg between slices of boston brown bread. with the perfect balance of sunshine and breeze, i've deemed it the most glorious day of the whole year. i spent lots of time making errand treks, making pepparkakor dough, and spending a fantastic girl-date in davis square. (yep, watched devil wears prada a second time. of course, i still cried every other scene.) friday night i went with a roomie and friend to the st. anthony's feast in north end. to sum up, there was a lot of music, dancing, food, and food, and food, and... well, yeah.

some highlights...

st anthony's feast @ north end
saints, dollah bills, and bright, bright lights.

st anthony's feast @ north end
too-hip-for-its-own-good, but tasty enough, gelateria (note the superfluous color-changing LED wall...) the limoncello was unpalatably sweet, but thumbs up to the creamy green kiwi and pistachio flavours.

st anthony's feast @ north end
all hail konditor meister! it was a mind-blowing array of gorgeous pastries, from flourless chocolate mini-cakes to hazelnut toffee meringue tarts, for $1 each. $1. each. i had a tiny nibble of both christie's and lauren's treats, but man, this was the biggest steal of eternity.

speaking of cakes and such, i'm turning 24 tomorrow! that's such a nice, even, easily-factorable number, though i do enjoy being prime from time to time. i remember when growing up my bdays were always celebrated with swimming parties at the nearby pool. lots of crazy diving and going down the water slide, and then followed up with cake and ice cream (sometimes at once, thanks to baskin robbins and their brilliant combination of both desserts) at home. underneath the backyard gazebo and a mylar banner, my parents would look on as we gazillion kids in bathing suits went to town, yelping with freshly sugared stomachs.

we'll see how this one turns out.

two more tidbits:

ihop incoming
maybe i've been out of the loop-d-loop, but has anyone noticed that there's an IHOP moving into harvard square? i would have killed for waffles at 4am as a student, but now that i have a more grand perspective i hope that the nearby local diners dont suffer for it. zoe's, prevail!

matt + nat 'harriet' messenger bag
my lurvely new bag for my incoming macbook. i've been hunting for a while (longer than i'd care to admit), but they were all either too simple, too geeky, too girly for girliness' sake, too expensive, poorly constructed, or underdesigned. this one i picked up at luna boston, my favourite place to caress bags, and the brand matt + nat foremost makes wonderfully designed accessories. they happen to be vegan-friendly as well, which is an extra bonus on top of everything. i'm a convert to this montréal-based label, and it's just the most perfect blend of euro-chic minimal structured substance. i couldnt ask for anything better.

i'm waiting until the last possible minute to purchase a new personal laptop, since i want to take advantage of my educational discount but wish to anticipate any upgrades or price differentials that may come with the merom / core 2 duo processor upgrade in the next month. ah, gotta love moore's law for making any large electronics purchase an intense strategy game in optimizing and timing.

niknak came back yesterday after a glorious european conference cum vacation. bars of slovenian chocolate, glossy italian fashion magazines, and heartwrenchingly beautiful accounts of bolognese feasts ensued.

plus, dishing details on the awesomeness of canopied scooters:

happy, safe and sound.

Monday, August 21, 2006

hi hi.

i'm not a huge stasher, but the time has come. i am selling some of my yarn. :) first come first serve! everything is all new and coming from a pet-free, smoke-free environment.

yarn stash sale
yarn stash sale


debbie bliss alpaca silk
80% baby alpaca, 20% silk
colour 08, a golden buttery apricot (all same dyelot)
10 skeins x 50 gr = 500 gr

this is *seriously* the softest yarn EVAR. really. trust me. it's like a cuddly baby alpaca right in your hands.

asking for $55 or best offer.

yarn stash sale


jo sharp silkroad aran tweed
85% Wool, 10% Silk & 5% Cashmere
colour 124 jewel, a rich berry (all same dyelot)
10 skeins x 50 gr = 500 gr

be a tweed fiend. it's very rowan-like.

this yarn is now sold under queensland kathmandu aran tweed.

asking for $55 or best offer.

yarn stash sale


mission falls 1824 cotton
100% cotton
colour 420, "sea" (dyelot 40212)
2 skeins x 50 gr = 100 gr
colour 104, "sand" (dyelot 28254)
1 skeins x 50 gr = 50 gr

i could see these being used as awesome dishcloths, stripe accents, or knitted toys! rowr.

asking for $10 or best offer.

please comment or email [ me {at} cmliu {dot} com ] if you're interested in any of the above. i'm willing to negotiate - and i'll throw in shipping for free. thanks everyone!

get a sweetsourness of margarita (re)mix with the latest edition of sans serif.

i playfully tossed a little coconut into the cherry trees; after a pinch of tuff love it's cut deftly with the knife.

a splendid little recipe for disaster.

are you ready? salt your rims and go for a listen.

after a sleepy, RESfest-y bus ride, this morning i finally crossed the borders and safely channeled my way into boston.

suffice to say, it was a wonderful weekend. in a nutshell, i can say maine is gorgeous in the season, organic food tastes waaaay better here, and you *must* see little miss sunshine with friends. alyssa and arlen (and the menagerie of feathers and fur) were lovingly hospitable. beyond that, details forthcoming. here are some photos to tease and tide you over in the meantime...

maine weekend - portland, waterville, and elsewhere

maine weekend - portland, waterville, and elsewhere

maine weekend - portland, waterville, and elsewhere

evocative, no? either that or seductively savoury. :)

i cant believe i will only have two more weeks at mit! i'm done my thesis but i'm technically still a research assistant until the end of august. by the way, if you get yourself to a bookseller or magazine stand (independently run, preferably), see if you spot the last-last-last issue of PC magazine, the august 8, 2006 issue. it sports a blue cover and the story is the future of tech: 10 amazing technologies that will change your life. the cover story is titled the 10 coolest technologies you've never heard of and guess what?

urbanhermes is one of them!

it's listed as viral fashion. i would be totally oblivious of the news if it were not for one of my friends, who admitted he was flipping through it while at the airport the last week or so and spotted the shoutout. yay! it was a big proud moment. :) never mind that the article text itself is a rehash of an older writeup and that my name is not mentioned, but nevertheless i was pleasantly surprised! and strangely... vindicated. in any case, rah rah smg!

in other, completely unrelated news, this is my lust object of the day:

could. they. be. any. cuter?

spy the fornarina 5720 mina. i am tickled that they come in metallic blackberry leather. *swoon* mmm, i think i could use some vitamin c...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

right now i am sitting on a chair upholstered in velvet, surrounded by cooing birds and a endless amounts of wood, with a cup of dean + deluca earl grey tea on my knee and the ripples of a lake about twenty feet away. i'm living in spoilt rural style on the cusp of waterville on the cusp of augusta on the cusp of portland, maine. and did i mention the mellow chocolate lab with sleepy eyes named ella? *wag wag*

i'm here just for a weekend vaca with my friend alyssa and her consort arlen, whose folks live up here. it's been so picturesque and dreamy, with the organic milk (by maine cows, moo) composing the most perfect morning café con leche and local blueberries in the fridge. yesterday 'lys and i hit stylish downtown portland and briefly visited the wild, freaky consumerist village of freeport (with the l.l. bean mothership herself!). i'll have pix on flickr soon, but my fav store was this place milo portland, a small independent boutique hosting emerging designers such as they're house brand milo in maine and canada-grown the people have spoken. a very charming used bookstore and café casco bay books adjoins the space. i loved these shirts, and snagged one up:

organic and abstract, very hipster à la maine.

i'll indulge with more news later; we're about to head out the door to watch little miss sunshine on this very much not-sunshiny-at-all day. droopy and grey and very inviting for curling up with a book.

however, two small tidbits.

i just designed a tshirt for wmbr; it'll be given out to new students during orientation and flaunted all over the station.

lemme know if you want me to hoard one for you ;)

also, i am re-falling in love with trashy diva, a vintage-inspired high-end boutique in new orleans. i actually visited the store, years before the whole katrina disaster -- glad to know they're still in business.

super sweet and oh-so red hot.

p.s. portland has a scandanavian specialty store that has everything marimekko and moomin troll. needless to say, i was in umlaut and double vowel heaven.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


so i've been in a complex state of euphoria, anticipation, fervor, and languor since friday. thought it's not so clear exactly why... let me see, nothing really happened lately except


it's over!

at approximately 10:28am on 2006.08.11, i had my two copies of double-sided archival madness complete with signatures and plenty godspeed, finessed into the hands of the powers that be. the tears and sweat and espresso drips were surprisingly invisible.

but not to me. ;)

it was a glorious day. perfect. the weather beamed. i skipped on the sidewalk. i actually found myself smiling in public. it was great.

if you feel really*and*truly compelled, you can read my thesis online [pdf] right here. as a teaser, i can readily confess that if you read carefully you'll find referential nuggets such as the knitted Ferrari, Marc Jacobs, frosted cupcakes at Magnolia, and the word 'beyotch'. don't say i didnt warn you. :)

here's a list of memorable things i did post-glory-moment, through the weekend and beyond:

1. celebrated with nick over dinner at oleana!

celebratory dinner at oleana
celebratory dinner at oleana celebratory dinner at oleana

i have to confess that despite the fact that i have lived in cambridge for six years (wowee) i had never been to oleana, gastronomic gem, headed by ana sortun (the spice queen). it was definitely a treat and niknak and i shared the most wonderful evening. we waited for a table on the patio (worth the wait), perched on the bar. the drinks (i had a ginger-sake fizzy thing, glimmering in the palest pink) were delightful, though the bartender was a little too slap-dash for us, the clear bourgeousie. no matter, despite the spills my drink was pink. :)

we got seated at our table and nestled among the flourishing greens and happy eating people. (the best people, imho.) there was a cute little potted herb plant on the table, which i fondly named 'poppy' as i patted her green leafy head. we started with the armenian bean and walnut paté, which was lovely and complex, especially when spread on tiny cubes of yummy focaccia. next were light bites of fried mussels, with some surprising peppers in the batter, and drizzled with a fine white sauce which i later learned was made from almonds, lemon juice, garlic, and white wine. i really liked the lettuce underneath it all (is eating the garnish a faux pas?), being soaked in yummy mussely goodness. next we shared a salad (i forget what it's called, but the one that's like tiny curried noodles with chickpeas and wilted greens) and the turkish lamb. i would love to come back because OMG THE LAMB WAS AMAZING. we had it done medium-rare, and the crust of the meat was soooo delicious. i wanted to cry. there was also part of dish with ground lamb, sort of like the insides of moussaka. a savoury mound of tastiness.

once we got the dessert menu, although i do love me some chocolate-mint and creamy-whatever, i just cant ever resist anything flavoured with rose. we got the rose and currant sharbat, which was the most precious and perfect ending imaginable. a tiny glass housed the sharbat (basically sherbet, but a little thinner) which just powed your mouth with intense fruity rose. on the side was a bit of creme custard housed inside a crisp ROSE-FLAVOURED meringue shell. i think i almost died. fresh currants and raspberries dotted the plate. i think it was heaven. i think nick was amused at how easy i am amused. our meal spanned day to dusk, and we left the patio bathed in moonlight. it was so happy.

2. partied with a few good friends!

the same night, a bunch of friends were celebrating the last few moments of their apartment house before it gets demolished by the new mit landowners. it was great to just relax, feel pretty, go on a roof, meet some new people, see some old people. no marshmallow roasting this time, but the basement discotheque still beckoned.

3. have been keeping healthy and happy!

i've been keeping on a good regime for the past two weeks or so, running a few miles every other day and doing the bar method the others. august is like my rejuvenation period, so i want to keep myself in shape. if you wish to follow my very egocentric (in the dear-diary sense) fitness blog, it's here. but basically its just trying to sustain a balanced lifestyle. the weather has been spot-on gorgeous, which definitely helps! hear that, boston? keep it up!

4. put holes in my head!

so i've revisited the earring thing, and i just came to the conclusion that i'm ready. before saturday, i have had nonpierced ears for all my life. i just never got it done. but i've been doing the clip-on thing on and off this summer, and i LOVE the look. i love the accessorizing freedom! but clip-on earrings either (1) are too tight and make your lobes hurt, and (2) are comfy but can fall off at any given moment. the clasp-via-friction isn't the most secure thing. this happens with both clip and screw-back findings, i've discovered.

life is just better with earrings

here i am with clip-ons custom designed by green tangerine. they are just perfect! so anyway, i love earrings. clip-on earrings dont really love me on a consistent basis. so on saturday i got holes done at 'the jewelry store' in downtown crossing. they had a little better (i.e. not cheesy) selection than claire's, and the assistant was really helpful. (you have to give some credit to the clip-ons; she originally thought i wanted second holes done because the dangly clip-ons i had looked pierced!). i got these matte silver stars; no bling, please.

so now i'm doing the rubbing alcohol thing. patience is not one of my immediate virtues, but hopefully this next month of cleaning the holes and keeping the earrings in (training studs?) will go by quickly so i can have some fun. just four weeks...

5. felt ambiguously adventurous about the new fall look!

so i have to admit, i did a lot of roaming and window shopping this weekend. i was looking for some stylish dresses and skirts. i went to H+M and i am just *not* feeling the whole plaid, 80's brit punk rock aesthetic. it looks pretty trendy, so trendy i think the trend died already. i've getting tired of bold black-and-light stripes, and the oversized herringbone and houndstooth things (especially in bold colours) will be incredibly dated. i do have to say i love the look of soft, ruched leather bags. i like the round toe over the pointy toe (at least for my style), but i still think it's kind of unnatural looking. too cutesy, maybe. i think i prefer the more natural toe curve, a peep toe, a vintage silhouette, a ballet flat. something not so... geometric.

i stepped into the GAP in central square and asked if they had any dresses. can you believe there were ZERO dresses in the store? and like, one skirt, which was a denim pencil? i guess the look is more sporty prep. eh. though, i noticed in general that sweater dresses are back. *gag*. all i can say is itchy, droopy, unflattering, and sweltering. there.

can i have kara janx? now?

6. got a glimpse of the life of a nyc editor!

on sunday i got to meet a really fun and creative person who writes, edits, and produces in the magazine publishing biz in new york. she was in cambridge for the weekend. i showed her around campus and (marveling at the saarinen and gehry), and i got to learn some bits about her work experience. it was a good eye-opener to actually talk with a professional (she loved the devil wears prada and confessed, 'that was pretty accurate to my first few jobs') and to educate and inspire my next personal steps.

7. actually knit some stitches!

razor shell bamboo scarf WIP

a work in progress using the luscious raspberry-tinged alchemy bamboo yarn from my AMAZING one skein secret pal! here's the free pattern i'm using for the razor shell lace scarf. it's basically a subway project, despite the fact the stitches are as slippery as sin. the little red rubber sock point protectors definitely come in handy. :) it's delciously soft and slinky!

8. renewed my love for harvard and trident bookstores!

if you come to boston, you must not miss the harvard bookstore (not to be confused with the harvard coop) and trident bookstore with its free wi-fi and comfy coffee-friendly booths. that is all.

9. went rock climbing! plus bonus roommate bonding!

my roommate regularly goes to a climbing gym, and last night i went with her to try it for the first time! the place, metrorock, is apparently one of the best climbing gyms around. i have to confess it takes sooooooo long to get there and back, since it's in the warehouse district of everett. taking public transportation there takes about an hour. one way. nver mind that driving would probably be a 15 minute ride.

i learned the ropes (ha) and got to climb! the place is enormous, with colourful nubs and bits scattered all over the rock walls, and people dangling in harnesses from everywhere. it was definitely like walking on another planet! the first thing i thought was that awful zion stuff in the matrix. although, this luckily had bright lights, fun people, and a/c. :)

you have to get over your fear of heights really quickly because you scale walls that are around 40 feet high. i learned all the knots and belaying skills, but nothing really preps you for how your first climb feels. i knew enough that you use your legs for power up more than arms pulling up, but as i slowly crept higher and higher, i looked down and sweat like the dickens. you're held secure by rope and someone's taking up your slack, but it's ridiculously different than anything i've ever done before. when i finally reached the top, i'm like 35 feet high and peering down below. so then they have me ready to rappel down. i cant tell you how much trust i had to bestow on my rope / harness / knot to just lean back, suspend, and let go. it was incredible.

after the first go, i felt more and more comfortable. i think as time goes by you really just know how things feel, and how secure the rope system really is. but there definitely is a risk factor (when you go climb, the waiver form is like 5 pages long and you have to keep signing off to not hold the gym liable... IF YOU DIE! it's legalese, i know, but still spine-tingling). there's a palpable risk, since you have to trust someone else with your life as you tool up, but i think it just comes naturally.

it's definitely worth another visit, for me or for anyone! it's a very friendly, social, and supportive vibe, and all i can say is that the climber's physique is very, very attractive for both sexes. good to know.

10. coddled up the courage to sit and compose this intense, composite writeup!

yay and hooray.

so yes, there you have the explanation for why this blog has of late become dreadfully stale. but close your eyes and keep eating -- i think it still has some taste in it. ;)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

so close i can almost taste it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


where are the valley girls?

read this article on web 2.0 rockstars, and it'll all make sense. plus, check out the slide show. there's not one female, except for a ponytailed chick used as a styling implement.


from the title of the article (Valley Boys) to the overwhelming hetero-male culture ("Rose was mobbed by fans and even photographed signing a pretty brunette's cleavage"), what is up with that?

cheers to mena trott for six apart, but the gender disparity is just soooo ridiculous. i wonder why that is... maybe because women have something better to do than code 24/7 and throw everything (money, relationships, pride) down the tube for profit? i dont want to do reverse sexism here, but i'm just trying to figure this out.

"These aren't the khaki-clad MBA dropouts that clogged Highway 101 six years ago. They're the geeks who write code because they love tech and the Internet. "

i doubt any of the ladies were khaki-clad, ahem.

btw, shameless name-dropping: i lived in the same dorm as mark zuckerberg (of facebook fame) and was taking the same mathematics class as him (math152 methods of discrete mathematics with paul bamberg; best. class. ever.) when he was coding up facebook alpha. i was in the midst of a web 2.0 rockstar, whoaaa! i knew him when!

. . .

back to work. here's a pic of a well-dressed finn (from HEL looks) to distract you (thanks danielle!):

oh yeah, check this out. it's a summer smg project. log in to chitchatclub for the deets. btw, yours truly illustrated and designed the website. :)

Chit Chat Club
is now live

In a cafe in downtown San Jose, three inhabitable sculptures sit at
tables, waiting to be brought to life.

One is an undulating form, another a chair just starting its
metamorphosis into human form, and the third is a giant spoon.

Be one.

August 7-13
8am to 10pm Pacific Time

ISEA Interactive Cafe, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

i had this massive plan to compose three witty, amusing, thorough blog posts tonight. it was my reward after i completed today's tasks of completing my system diagram figures and getting screenshots without crashing the nokia 770s (no small feat!)

but speaking of feet, tonight i managed to get a monstrous, nontrivial splinter--nay, shard--lodged in my foot from a jagged grain within my apartment's hardwood floors. i was just skeddadling from the kitchen to the bathroom (barefoot, like one should be free to do so indoors) when i felt a sharp pain, like i stepped on some sharp bits or glass or small particles. i scanned the floor with my hands and eyes, feeling nothing, and then glanced at the bottom of my foot. it was scratched about two inches, and only after further inspection and lots of painful prodding did i realize that the gash line was actually an entire splinter that had gone straight through.

i tried coaxing it out on my own, but i feared either massive pain, infection, or fainting with regards to my own mini-surgery. i couldn't walk without gouging it even further.

thanks to sam and his father's quirky sedan, i got a ride to mit medical on campus where i got most of it extracted by a doctor's deft forceps and received the most painful pain-relief (ironic) serum via administered syringe. all i can say is, any shot through the soles of your feet (one of the most sensitive parts of the body) is probably one of the most dire things you could ever survive. though i'm not particularly needle-phobic, i screamed so loud from the pain that sam, in the waiting room, could identify me.

anyway, long story short, i'm back at home, with a fresh tetanus shot, and wearing house shoes inside until further notice. exhausted, and pretty much wanting to do nothing except snooze and pretend this whole thing didnt happen.

dont worry, i called the landlady. she better remedy this before another crippling incident strikes again...

Monday, August 07, 2006

ooh la. guess what, ladies and gentlemen?

the 40th episode of sans serif aired tonight. i invite you to lap it up, drink in the remix, and clean the rest from your whiskers.

only a couple more weeks of the wmbr summer schedule, after which i officially become an alumni station member. ooh, the perks, the perks. well, maybe not really. but i love love producing radio. i hope wherever i go, i'll have the opportunity to do some non-commercial broadcasting on the sideline, if anything to keep myself up on the underground...

i love this

i love this
Originally uploaded by SwanDiamondRose.

think i could pull this off? she's one of my flickr friends, just because i like her vintage style. the dress is on sale on ebay for $14.99. the colour in the silk (100%!) is killer, i'm just wondering about the waist business, if the gathering would look horrific on me.

it's so modern and clean, very euro.

bits of curiosity have gotten the better of me this morning. i offer two simple questions:


why is kitkat in america manufactured by hersheys chocolate...

confection websites

while everywhere else in the world it is made by nestlé?

confection websites


how come asian chocolate snack websites

confection websites

confection websites

confection websites

are so ridiculously amazing? there are like toppo-puppies and kitkat i-sticks and pine cream flavoured pocky. i think in the battle of east vs. west, i think there is no contest. we must surrender now.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

i always do this.

i have this backlog of bloggable items that rack up in my brain. i think i'm up to 4 or 5 or 82401 to my gills now. things that occur to me when i'm walking down newbury street (dodging the sunglasses glamazons and furry white dogs underfoot), or when the store i desperately seek is suddently and unexcusably gone (am i the last to know that harnetts, featuring natural / organic / holistic goods, went out of business?). i saw the devil wears prada yesterday and pretty much cried (of empathy and delight and drama) throughout the whole thing, and did a fair share of domus-cleansing, city-slicking, and horizon-peering this weekend.

i had this backlogish issue when i was (was! was! see that, past tense! hee!) writing my thesis... when i set myself to write, i have a ginormous amount of ideas i want to spew out as text. things that i hear in my head (yes, the voices), the phrasings, the turn of phrase or witty double entendre or the structure or the internal flow. it's all inside, ready to be poured out like a big bad batch of chocolate fudge. however, somehow i want to write everything all at once in a simultaneous haze, but i cant, because i have to go word by word, and then the bottleneck grows fuzz and i end up with a hoover dam of thought. irrigation is the trick, perhaps, but i suppose the best i can do is just drop the baggage and get typing already...

anyway, remember the stash of vintage finds i got from that neighborhood yard sale a month or so ago? tucked among them was the HOSTESS GUIDE from JELL-O gelatin circa 1967. it's a pack of cards in a paper sleeve, probably something you sent away for with a couple of UPCs and a stamp, with lots of handy 'tips' for winning hostesses on index cards. i thought it'd be fun to go through all 35 tips, one each day. i dont have a scanner handy, so apologies for the snapshotty quality. however, i may get creative as time goes on. so remember, if you want to know how to plan a discothèque for the younger set, you'll just have to come back to visit my blog through the next couple weeks. :) i personally am looking forward to the kaffee klatsch...

and so we commence... i will also type out the text for search engine's sake.

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JELL-O hostess guide


The thirty menus, the recipes, the tips on planning and serving, the suggestions for decorating and entertaining that you will find on these cards are intended to make entertaining your family and friends easier and more enjoyable for you.

No doubt you'll make changes in the menus, substitute your own recipes for some of ours, adapt these situations to suit your own occasions, but we hope it will all add up to happier hospitality... with lots of help from Jell-O Gelatin!

JELL-O hostess guide

Table of Contents:

[2] Your Party Plan, Table Settings
[3] Table Decorations, Flower Arrangements

[4] New Year's Eve Open House
[5] Valentine Party for Teen-Agers
[6] Holiday Brunch
[7] Halloween Hi-Jinks
[8] Thanksgiving Dinner
[9] Christmas Tree-Trimming Party

[10] Birthday Party for Preschoolers
[11] Birthday Party for a Teen-Ager
[12] Company Dinner
[13] Father's Day
[14] Dinner on Trays
[15] Picnic "On the Road"

[16] Sunday Night Supper
[17] Welcome Aboard
[18] Father Rules the Roast
[19] Shower for the Bride
[20] Card Club Luncheon
[21] Come for Dessert and Coffee

[22] Dinner for the Gourmet
[23] The Beautiful Buffet
[24] Guest Luncheon
[25] Christening Tea
[26] Birthday Party for an Adult
[27] Wedding Anniversary Dinner

[28] Discothèque for the Younger Set
[29] Prom Night Party
[30] Wedding Reception at Home
[31] Family Reunion
[32] Church Supper
[33] Kaffee Klatsch
[34] Cakes that Rise to the Occasion
[35] Party Frostings
[36] Coffee -- Plain and Fancy
[37][38] Index

The recipes for all menu items preceded by an asterisk are given on these cards.

7845 General Foods Corporation Printed in U.S.A. 1st Edition 1967

JELL-O hostess guide

Your Party Plan

Basic recipe for a party: take good food, a cup of cheer, a warm welcome, and congenial guests; spice with interesting conversation, fun, and games; blend thoroughly and serve on an auspicious occasion.

We plead guilty to oversimplification, but you, too, can simplify your party-giving with a detailed plan. Put it all down on a big sheet of paper. Study these Hostess Guide menus and recipes; then adapt them to your particular situation. As each recipe is chosen, put down its name and the correct card number. Go over each recipe, listing just what you must buy and when you will need it. Don't forget garnishes, sugar and cream, condiments, flowers -- every smallest item. Check linen, china, and silver. Plan table decorations.

Now list what is to be done each day, from preparing each item of food to filling the salt and pepper shakers. Have an hourly schedule on the day itself, including tasks you have delegated to others, and keep everyone strictly to it. As each task is completed, check it off.

Knowing that you have everything under control is the most important factor in the success of your party -- even you can relax and enjoy it.

JELL-O hostess guide

Table Settings


Card tables or tray tables can be set up with linen, silver, salt and pepper, butter, and rolls; or guests can eat from trays on their laps. Leave room near serving dishes for guests to put their dishes down on the table while serving themselves. Arrange dessert on side table, or when first course has been cleared away, arrange dessert, plates, and silver on buffet. Or pass trays of desserts to seated guests.

[fig. Away from the wall] [fig. Against the wall]


Set the tea table for two-way traffic if possible, with similar plates of sandwiches and cake on both sides. Have tea set up at one end, coffee at the other, with a hostess presiding at each to serve the guests.

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hope that'll give you an introductory taste. i already can sense the pretension, the tone, the ever-so-slight push toward getting all the ingredients at the ready, including, oh, well, let's just say... JELL-O. so stay tuned for lots of gelatinous hostessing to come.

p.s. i find the archaic spelling of teen-ager to be strangely captivating...

clarification -- my birthday has not yet come to pass! the last-last post with the kara janx dress was only in anticipation of my actual birthdate, which is august 29. (i only pulled the birthday bit because there is no other method in which i could ever acquire that dress... expensively beautiful!)

any guesses how old i will be? :D

i love catmum (my one skein pal) for many, many reasons! (pix of loot to come...) however, my life has not been the same since her introduction to me of...


(and accordingly, muffin films and big bunny)

the animations are amazingly good (she worked for a spell at south park, it seems), and the muffin film series basically comprised her mfa animation thesis at ucla animation workshop. i haven't (yet) watched all the episodes from the three series, but i feel this is my new, cutesified, emily-the-strange-esque homestar runner. in short, lots of bits of flash-driven amusement.

may i not have a big muffin (ok, i can settle for a bunny) as part of my thesis too?

Friday, August 04, 2006

today's lust object:

a dress for my birthday? hee.

go kara!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

mod floral print

i just snagged this gorgeous mod print from winmil yesterday for $2.98 / yd! they're really slashing prices on spring prints, so i'd jump on that. they also seem to carry a small selection (like 3 patterns, 2 colourways apiece) of cotton broadcloth (around the bend, near the neon nylon and shiny denims) that's a bit more modern for things like pillows or skirts or handbags.

this was the last 2 yards of the cutting. i really want to make a sassy little dress with this... any suggestions on patterns?

just looking online brieflly i found halter dress from mccalls, and similarly this halter dress and dvf-esque wrap dress from simplicity. my first issue is... i dont have enough fabric as called for on those patterns (i have 2 yards of a 50" wide piece, and i would need to make the 36" bust size). my second issue is... i like these styles but would probably more likely wear something that's bra-friendly. (you know what i mean.) i'd rather not get tangled in whatever contraption that's necessary to wear backless things. but what i like is the vintagey silhouette. simple but subtle.

please let me know of good sources, or a particular pattern you may have in mind. i'm also wondering if 2 yards is just cutting it way too close for a dress... hopefully i can do it!

* * * * * *

missing nara

my cutie-pie nara. it was her time to go.

i will miss her.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

you know you're in boston when you step into a fabric store and you overhear the saleslady say yea, so you want a yaaaaaaaaaaahd of this?


by the way, i officially DESPISE the T. i was tempted to write a how do i hate thee, let me count the ways ode to the mismanaged labyrinth of doom this morning after suffering the T's woes on seriously the hottest day ever, but man, i was too exhausted to do it. the occasion will come 'round, i'm sure.

that is one thing i will not miss if i ever leave boston. probably the only thing. for a commuter and the mbta, it's less of a love hate thing and more of an abusive relationship, if you ask me...

just coming up for air...

a checklist, for those who are curious:

seriously, when do you graduate?
within two weeks!

how's the thesis?
i've already waltzed through the denial, depression, deliberating, drilling, and drafting. now is just detailing and soon, delight! i have my paper out to my readers, and i should be able to finalize everything soon.

where will you go next?
not sure... i'm not formally constrained. wherever life takes me... boston, new york, san francisco, LA, chicago, washington dc, london; it's all up for grabs!

get a job yet?
it's going... there will be news when there is news!

crafty recently?
i have a couple pokey subway knitting projects but it's too hot to even fathom fabric. i do have a CPU cozy on my plate to do this week for ISEA. check out the website i did for smg's project, chitchatclub. anything other than that is seriously on hold.

random goodness?
this pop beauty ribbon gloss from sephora is the best lip gloss ever. so smooth and non sticky and oh-so-portable. i purchased 'red ribbons', and i even helped the store staff sort out the confusing display with the mismatched color labels. for those into modular systems and press-fit (oh yeah!), the jouer packaging is really innovative. however, talk about expensive! $18 for a single lego-sized cosmetic is not exactly pocket change. i wish the prices were more conducive to collecting, configuring, and matching... then i'd be more likely to mix and play...