Date Archives September 2007

Photoshop Friday

Recently, Nicki sent me a link to dress your wedding, and this picture:

“See that one on the left with short black hair?” she intimated. “That’s you.” I was thrown off for a few moments, because (a)hadn’t I already announced ‘No More Weddings’? and (b)was there something that she’d been neglecting to tell me? The answers to these questions were: too damn bad, and no, respectively; she was bored and was having fun playing with this.

Well, I am not one to be outdone. So I quickly whipped up some Goth Prom action. “See that one with the short brown hair? That’s you!” I crowed.

“Who’s the ring bearer?” Nicki wanted to know. “That’s not really a ring bearer in the strictest sense…it’s a midget. Gidget ‘Pepito’ the Midget.” We joked about it for a while longer, and then yesterday, she sent me a message saying that her friend liked my midget, and a link to the picture of HER wedding plans. “You know why this is so much fun right? All it is, is Barbies for big girls.”

I was never a kid that played with Barbies normally. They pretty much lived in a Barbie nudist colony and had tiny plastic orgies and then settled down to live in shoebox trailers and raise their bastard children dressed in scraps of t-shirts while chainsmoking. All this time, I had Britney Spears Barbie and didn’t even realize it! So if I was going to play dress-up with this thing, I was bound and determined to do it RIGHT and make it look like it would actually look, should I ever get married:

Now THAT is more like it. Not pictured here is Fat Elvis, our minister.

I had so much fun with this, I think the rest of you should do it, too. Take the tools the internet has so handily given to us and abuse them horribly. Create the greatest monstrosity known to man. Create the funniest thing you can think of. If you want the bridal party to be like the spectrum of the rainbow, go for it. If the given tools aren’t enough because you want everyone in candy pink standing in a post-apocalyptic underworld, screencap it and stick it in photoshop or paint or whatever you’ve got handy and go nuts. Just make sure to post it here, because I want to see it. Oh, how I want to see it.

Girls just want to have lunch!

As the weather is starting to get chillier and more autumn-y foods are becoming appropriate, I made some delicious squash and apple soup last night. Apparently certain bits of rinds and peelings and whatnot are not supposed to go through the garbage disposal, and the universe felt it was very important that I learn this lesson the hard way, with a backed up, overflowing sink this morning. The maintenance guy will learn the real lesson later this afternoon, which is basically ‘Don’t let Mellzah cook’.

In case you would like to make YOUR sink back up:

Ingredients: 5 3/4 cups chicken broth 1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-membraned, and cubed 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups of onion, vertically sliced 1 1/2 cups of granny smith apple, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put your chicken broth in a pot with the squash and sweet potato; bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat; cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is tender. Remove all those veggies from the broth with a slotted spoon, and mash them. In a skillet on another burner over medium-low heat, melt a tablespoon of butter, and put in your onions and apples; cook them until they’re lightly browned. It will take forever. It will be delicious. Promise. Stir those bad boys up occasionally lest they burn on the pan. Don’t get impatient with the process–the browner they get, the more delicious everything will be. When they’re cooked, remove them from the skillet, turn the heat up on that burner to high, and melt the rest of your butter. As soon as it’s melted, add a tablespoon of flour and whisk it CONSTANTLY until it turns golden brown. It won’t take too long. At that point, slowly add a cup of the broth from the pot and stir it in until it thickens–it will only take a couple of minutes to do so. After it’s thickened, add it, the mashed squash, the onions and apples, and your salt and pepper back to the big pot, stir everything up, and let it simmer for a little while longer. You could also add nutmeg and cinnamon if you’re so inclined. OR curry powder. But not both at the same time. Ewww.

When you realize your garbage can is full, in a moment of sheer laziness, try to put some of the squash peelings down the garbage disposal. Realize you’ve made an enormous mistake. Run the garbage disposal for 30 minutes continuously bright and early in the morning to ensure that the neighbors hate you. Show up to work late and angry but full of deliciousness.

The leader was tall, snide, and slim–he looked like a gay Captain Morgan

197823_5347018939_2410_n

 

On Sunday, I drove to Portland to check out the Portland Pirate Festival. I’d spent Friday night and most of the day on Saturday sewing a new pirate costume, as much as I love the old one, it’s incredibly costumey and less ‘working pirate’. It seems like a large portion of my time lately has been devoted to costume work–in addition to this pirate thing, I’ve been working pretty feverishly on my Halloween costume. Mock me for my early preparation if you must, but I’m tired of having a costume that’s not as awesome as it COULD be if only I hadn’t procrastinated–last year’s Dark Helmet, for example. That, and my October weekends are filling up rapidly, and I have a feeling that if I don’t start wrapping this up now, I won’t have time later and I’ll have another halfassed attempt on my hands.

196015_5347593939_978_n

I think it turned out fairly decent; all it needs is a hat that doesn’t suck, and unfortunately, I don’t have millinery skills. I really should keep an eye out for a cheap sewing machine, though, as hand-stitching takes forever and a day. You can also see the most recent addition to the pirate bathroom–I found one of those hanging hippy-esque door curtain things, took it apart, and attached each piece individually to the glass doors–I quite like the look!

I drew a lot of strange looks on the trip down, but my favorite is when I stopped at a rest stop near Castle Rock; an older man (mid to late 60s) asked me what I was up to, and then told me the last time he was in Seattle, some outraged busybody asked him if he knew that an animal had to die to make his coat. His response? ‘Oh no! I didn’t think there were any witnesses…now I’m going to have to kill you, too!’. Too cool. I ended up talking with him for far, far longer than I intended to be at the rest stop; I’d just meant to grab some of the free coffee and keep going, but he was one of those cool grandfatherly types who knows something about EVERYTHING–we talked animals, biology, history, politics, religion, car engine builds and manufacturers–I was fascinated, and suddenly two and a half hours had passed. Shortly before I left, he mentioned that his wife had been dead for fourteen years, and I felt badly for leaving because he just seemed so desperately lonely, like he hadn’t had anyone to talk to for years. I suppose that’s part of life, but it doesn’t seem right to me.

Still, I needed to get back on the road if I was going to have time to do both the festival and meet up with hallucinas, so after the gentleman at the rest stop explained to me how the flintlock on my dagger/pistol worked, I bid him farewell and continued on my way to Portland.

205482_5347048939_1670_n

This piratical stilt-walker is Heather Pearl; she says she figures that she has logged a few thousand miles on her stilts over the eleven years she has been working fairs! I’m pretty sure that just one mile would feel like a thousand miles to me, although if I picked a good pair of stilts, it would be fucking awesome to finally be height-weight proportionate. HAR HAR!

206482_5347083939_8213_n

This pirate wench was working as part of the Pirate Parrot show; designed to be an educational show teaching the audience not only about parrots but conservation and whatnot. Between shows, people queue to get a chance to hold a parrot, which are surprisingly friendly and even cuddly–so different from the pet store parrots that threaten to take your finger off if you so much as pass by too near to the cage!

205690_5347098939_8742_n

I could never be 1st mate–I’m disqualified straight off with the ‘extreme patience’ requirement. How could anyone possibly need THAT much patience? Are they dealing with the Pirate Captain (pirate_capt_log) himself?

Disheartened, I went to the Rogue tavern for some rum to put me in good spirits again (see what I did there?) and was just in time to watch the pirate with ADD perform like some sort of entertaining monkey for the drunken crowd.

199572_5347128939_6502_n

200256_5347178939_2888_n

Here he is, standing on a ladder of swords, juggling knives, and staring directly into the sun, all while cannons are being fired at uneven intervals. If he’d slipped, he’d be short at least half a foot!

208716_5347198939_1958_n

This character looks the part so much, I couldn’t resist taking his picture!

I left the grog garden just in time to see the Pirates of Puget Sound cross blades to settle disputes–‘this one stole my banana’ ‘this one’s shiny eyepatch blinds me in bright sunlight’ ‘this one ripped my teddy bear’–serious pirate grievances. They fought with real, sharp blades, so anyone who stood too closely to the battle area was quickly shooed away as pirates, much like the amish, don’t carry insurance for that sort of thing.

206949_5347343939_5788_n 207049_5347308939_7503_n 207823_5347618939_5898_n 208355_5347628939_6511_n

199423_5347543939_7497_n  199729_5347348939_6097_n

206381_5347313939_7961_n

I’d like to take a moment to say that I wholeheartedly approve of the pirates in leather pants trend. WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

199195_5347633939_6823_n

Right nearby was a pirate puppet show, intending to teach children that stealing is wrong and teamwork can help save the day. Is this a pirate show or some sort of hippy festival? Seriously!

I wandered around the marketplace for a while, but nothing caught my eye as a ‘must have’; some things were nice but ridiculously overpriced for something that I could make myself with enough time and inclination, and to my surprise, there wasn’t a decent pirate hat to be found! Felt pirate hats always look crummy and cheap.

195975_5347588939_682_n

As I walked by, I couldn’t tell if the above skeleton was a costumed person or just a decoration outside of a stall, and really, really stared at its face to see if I could see eyes–I was so engrossed in my study as I was walking by that when the person inside wolf-whistled at me, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Congrats, skeleton guy–you are part of a select few people who have scared the bejeezus out of me, while hitting on me, even. Hats off to you!

After checking out some wares, I gave hallucinas a call, and since she was free, I went over to her house so that we might eat at the Pirate Tavern, home of Portland’s vegetarian pirates. We’ve been planning on going there for approximately a year, so we were full of anticipation and excitement when we pulled into the lot…only to discover that they’re closed on Sundays. Why must you disappoint me, Pirate Tavern? Why? And whilst I was bemoaning their unfortunate hours, the owners came out, just to add a layer of awkward to the mix. Why, yes, I was just standing in your parking lot wailing ‘noooooo’ like Darth Vader, why do you ask?

All was well, however, when hallucinas took me out for some super-awesome veggie pizza. Super-awesome, and free, which only serves to make the whole experience even better. While I was there, I also picked up a commission I had ordered from her for my Halloween costume, which looks fucking FANTASTIC. Have I mentioned that my friends are amazing artisans? Because they totally are.

Pirates of the Burning Pee

Last night, the folks at Flying Lab software hosted a pirate party at the Seattle Aquarium; they rented the place out and had game stations set up, swashbuckling music blasting, and the Seafair Pirates along with their mighty ‘sailing’ vessel, the Moby Duck. Notable Flying Lab galley slaves fraxl and gehn were not present as they decided visiting Boston was more important than piratical activities, which says SOMETHING about their priorities. Pft.

After people had a little time to consume food and beverage (I abstained as six bucks for a beer is highway robber–er, piracy!) they had a video presentation in this room from The Pirate Guys (the guys who started International Talk Like a Pirate Day), declaring that Pirates of the Burning Sea is the official game of Talk Like A Pirate Day. The CEO of Flying Lab was supposed to give a short talk after the video, but had had been captured by irate Seafair pirates!  000xyyyd        

Their demands were simple: Put them in the game, or the pitiful corporate ‘captain’ would be keelhauled under the Moby Duck that night. My vote was for keelhauling, but since the Earth does not revolve around me (yet), the Seafair Pirates will now be making an appearance in POTBS.

000xzcr9

The aquarium folk gave us a nice after-hours tour; we saw them feed the otters and sea lions, and they pulled out a sea otter pelt that was on loan to the aquarium from the federal government for everyone to touch. With up to a million hairs per square inch, the fur is amazingly plush and luxurious. This winter, if the power goes out again, I’m going otter hunting at the aquarium.

After the tour, it was time for another Moby Duck drive-by, meaning that a bunch of us piled unto the Moby Duck, and we went screaming through downtown, siren wailing, shouting at everyone we passed. ARRR! and AVAST! and SURRENDER THE BOOTY! and SCURVY DOG! (at tiny dogs) and PREPARE TO BE BOARDED! and WALK THE PLANK! and just about anything else piratey you could imagine. I called one group of ladies ‘buxom bilge whores’. I invited one gentleman to join the fine porno pirate crew of ARRRdor, Inc–all of it as loudly as I could possibly shout. I’m having a little trouble talking and swallowing today, but I swear that it was all worth it.

000y5ead

As you can see, Moby Duck is like a large parade float that goes entirely too fast considering everyone aboard is standing up and waving at least one arm to threaten passersby.

000y6p77

All of these pictures would’ve been way better in the daytime, I think, but I guess we’re like…night stealth pirates or something. Only with a siren. And lots of yelling.

000xwzrh

All ARRRBoard!

000y1b4t

AVAST ye scabarous dogs or flintlocked into next week via yer face ye be!

s640x480

I’ve met this guy on several different occasions, and I still can’t remember his name. Luckily, our Boston correspondents, fraxl and gehn should be able to fill you in if it’s important that you know. I would hate for any of you to lose sleep over it!

000y39tx

Look at those exhilarated faces!

000y4aqz

The pirate captain is working his pirate mojo. “Me sword be lookin’ fer a sheath, tis true!”

000y72da

This is the last photo taken on a discarded camera found near the Seattle Aquarium. One can only assume that the photographer, lovely as she must have been, was…captured by pirates.

Ride the SLUT

aka the South Lake Union Trolley.

Oh god this made my morning. I would totally wear a ‘Ride the Slut’ t-shirt. How did they not notice this before?

Maybe they could go back to calling that area ‘Cascade’ and then they could call it the Cascade United Northwest Transit System.

Oh, Seattle. I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed. And dying of laughter.

I wanna roll with the gangsters, but they say I’m just too white & nerdy

On Wednesday, I accompanied delicateman to the Puyallup Fair, where the motto is ‘Happy is Good’, which is pretty much equivalent to saying that ‘Fire Burns’, ‘Earth is round’, and, my particular favorite, Safeway’s brand new, ‘At Safeway, a dozen is twelve’.

But I wasn’t there for motto-mockery, or mockery in general for pretty much the first time in my entire life. I was there for WEIRD AL.

I came to be invited because delicateman‘s father was involved in an unfortunate incident involving a raccoon, a tiny dog, and some ferocious mauling of his leg and was therefore unable to attend. His loss (of a mouthful of flesh or so) and my gain!

000xqg9g

Even though I’ve liked Weird Al for forever and a day, this is the first time I’ve seen him perform–he was performing at Summerfest one year when I had tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters with grey_jedi, so I got to hear a snippet as I walked by, but I couldn’t stop and watch. That’s my biggest gripe about festivals in general–if there are multiple stages, generally the only two acts I’ll want to see will be performing at the exact same time, whereas in a perfect world, everything would revolve around my schedule.

000xhs2p

Al is an incredible entertainer; between nearly every song there was a costume change to reflect the style of the artist he was parodying. Sometimes he’d change costumes WHILE SINGING. Sometimes I wonder if his entire career is constructed around the idea of wanting to be paid to play dress-up…

000xkrz4

And then I see him in a silver lame suit and I know it’s the truth. I’m just jealous that I don’t get to play dress-up every night.

One of the reasons I left so impressed might’ve been that I could actually see the entire show–most shows I attend, some basketball-playing bodybuilder makes a point of standing directly in front of me, regardless of where I am. Why didn’t that happen this time? It wasn’t incredible luck–it was that everyone stayed seated until the encore. What the hell? I’ve never seen that before. The family behind me actually MUTTERED AT ME when I got to my feet as he got onstage. SIT DOWN, YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE! Seriously, what the hell?

 

More dress-up. In between songs, they played clips of ‘Al TV’ and various TV shows and movies that have name-dropped him over the years; not only does he comment on popular culture, but he’s become quite a slice of pop culture himelf!000xsckt

This was my favorite costume of the night, because I’ll be goddamned if I don’t love fishnets and tutus, and the combination is particularly awesome. Spongebob is merely the icing on that cake of awesome. This one was worn during a rendition of ‘You’re Pitiful’, a take on the horrid James Blunt song ‘You’re Beautiful’, a song that apparently Atlantic Records will not allow him to release on a record…so it’s available for download on his website.

000xr3y9

delicateman and I wandered around the fair a bit, watched some baby pigs being born, talked about how carnies who operate rides may or may not be amazing drunken scientists, and then made our way back into the grandstand to see if they were selling any ‘white and nerdy’ sweatshirts; no merch, but we saw a few people who looked like they were waiting around with some purpose in mind–they were hoping to meet Al/get autographs/whatnot. It wasn’t more than 10 people, so I was surprised when he didn’t at least poke his head out; it wasn’t exactly an intimidating, ‘rip your shirt off’ crowd. Once again, if everyone just did everything *I* wanted them to, life would be even more awesome. For me.

Speaking of fun musicians, my favorite musical crush and the future father of my incredibly talented babies, That 1 Guy, is playing at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard tomorrow, at 7pm. If you haven’t seen him perform, I can’t reccommend coming to the show highly enough.

s320x240

How could you say no to that face?

All pictures of Weird Al taken by delicateman.

I don’t want no mates, there’s too many captains on this island.

On Sunday, Jez had invited me to attend the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. On the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, I finally became alert enough to notice my surroundings, and goosezilla‘s necklace. katy With the super-sensitive sixth sense every woman has regarding when people are staring at her chest, Katy noted my drooling, early-morning half-lidded gaze, and hurriedly explained that the center bit is a toe. A TOE, damnit! 000x1y7p Our first stop was in Port Gamble, at the Sea and Shell Museum. The downstairs bit is one of those stores they have in every crappy, low-population, tourist-oriented town–full of stuffed animals and mugs with cutesy, treacly sayings. The upstairs, however, is pretty much the world’s most dilapidated museum. 000x2696 The googly eyes totally make this fish awesome. I’m pretty sure that ANYTHING is made more awesome by the addition of googly eyes. 000x34f2 Here are a bunch of jars of preserved…things that haven’t been preserved super-well; I’m pretty sure that the fluid isn’t supposed to evaporate. From left to right on the bottom row, I’m guessing: Shark, fish, jellyfish, eel, The Blob. 000x4bs9 When they ran out different kinds of shells to display, but still had extra cases left over, that’s when the magic happened. Shell handicrafts, shell stamps, things with shells embroidered on them…it goes on and on. Of course, the very best one is the CRUCIFIED JESUS SHELL. 000x5ce8 000x621z This crab has a masturbation problem, and he’ll kindly thank you not to make fun of his one overdeveloped giant crab arm. He blames all of the scintillating material made available to him by Arrrdor, Inc. 000x72x1 As we left, Jez noted that one of the flags on the museum was upside down. Distress call, mistake, or prank pulled by the Masonic house across the street? 000x8589 We arrived in Port Townsend just in time to board the good ship Adventuress; a historic schooner at nearly 100 years old, originally owned by ‘gentleman’s adventurer’ John Borden II, who commissioned it to travel to the Arctic to collect bowhead whale specimens. I was delighted to learn that this was a ‘working’ tour; we’d all be working together to haul the lines to raise and lower the sails. 000x9p8s s640x480 Captain Kate, taking control of the ship when the Lady Washington challenged us with her cannons. For all the bragging in Pirates of the Caribbean–“This is the fastest ship in the Caribbean”; “There’s no real ship as can match The Interceptor”, we smoked it. That’s because with her square rig, she can’t sail into the wind the way Adventuress can. 000xdb3e OWNED. After a while, I got to play captain for a bit, steering the ship, while deckhands goosezilla, James, and Jez hauled lines at my whim. Muahahahahaha! My turn was up all too quickly, but it was said that I wore a shiteating grin the entire time I was behind the giant wooden wheel. I’ve got soft hands, city hands, so by the end of the day, I had some twinges of rope burn on my fingers, but actually helping work on the ship was incredibly satisfying. Jez ended up giving me the cd he won in the on-ship raffle, and suggested I could have it looping continuously in the pirate bathroom. This I considered to be a fantastic idea until I actually heard the cd, at which point I determined that it’s close to, if not THE worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life. There’s a whole track of SNORING. The people singing the chanties don’t actually know them, so they screw up words. People are coughing in the background on the track that talks about the ship’s history. This is an item they SELL. WOW. …Maybe I should just loop it when I’m gone, in the hopes of driving out the upstairs neighbors.

Hooray for singles! However, if you’d like to stuff a twenty into my pants, I’m not going to object.

On Friday night, Igby threw a ‘hooray, I’m single’ party, complete with a penis cake and assorted shenanigans. When you arrive and see a car like this parked outside, you know you’ve arrived at a vortex of awesome:

car

Igby herself started the party in high spirits; meaning, of course, that she was consuming a LOT of spirits. Everyone was, actually–it was one of those parties where games like shots and ladders are not only welcome, they’re EAGERLY welcomed, which means that A)I was one of the oldest people there and B)not a single person would go unscathed by Lady Liquor’s horrible wrath.

000wp22e

I’m pretty sure that drinking wine out of the bottle is equivalent to being a college-age hobo. The next step is to jab a bubble-tea straw into a box of Franzia–the adult juice box.

It’s also a party where homemade penis-shaped cakes are eaten with gusto.

000wkd7x

000wh39e

See the girl in the Horrorpops shirt? I’d never met her before, I don’t remember her name, but halfway through the evening, we ended up drinking in the street, walking to meet a friend of hers, and immediately afterwards, she was making me drinks like I was one of her best friends. Drunken stupidity is a powerful friendship adhesive. Also, it turns out she is the owner of the Vehicle of Awesome pictured above.

Then things started going wrong; Igby’s ex showed up and ruined her night. She ended up crying, getting very, very sick, and a sort of gloom was cast over the festivities. People started brainstorming ideas to try and cheer Igby up–one of her roommates (I think?)announced he knew what to do, and that he needed someone short and pliably drunk, glanced over at me, and said that I would do just fine, and that I should follow him into the basement.

That’s when things went HORRIBLY wrong.

tiger

s640x480

Yeah. That’s me. Me in a motherfucking tiger costume. That’s Ryan behind me, while I try to throw up the horns. Even though most everyone saw me go into the basement with the stranger, and the stranger leading a tiger back up the stairs, Ryan was the only person who figured out it was me inside.

So since I was a costumed non-entity, they had their way with me.

000wz832

000wyw5r

000wx719

After people finished having their fun, I made my way to the bathroom where Igby was camping out. I got in behind her and started rubbing her back, trying to say soothing things even though my mouth was disgustingly full of costume fur. I don’t know if she thought someone with English Mushmouth had sneaked into her party or what, but she looked up to see who was making sympathetic noises and screamed when she realized it was a tiger. Screamed.

Somehow I don’t think it made her feel much better. Just saying.

I managed to shout out ‘AMBER, I’M SWEATING BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!’ and somehow it became the new catchphrase of the drunk and stoned.

But seriously. Sweating. It was hot and gross inside the costume, I couldn’t see, it was constrictive and difficult to breathe, and when I finally managed to remove the head, boob-grabber up there screamed as well because apparently she thought she was molesting a GUY.

Soooo…let us never speak of this again.