Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dark Chocolate! It's A SUPER Food.

Howktown approves of SUPER foods. Why? Because they are SUPER! SUPER is really fun to say accompanied by a quick fist jab across your front, a shoulder dip, and a cheesy grin.

I've decreed that I'm the only one that gets to declare which foods in the house are super (as opposed to supper). Otherwise Doug will declare Pork Hocks and Sauerkraut a SUPER food, and believe me, they don't qualify for SUPERosity (yes, I know the correct term is superiority).

Now, there is no legal definition of superfood, which means it is perfectly reasonable for me to decree what is a SUPERfood and what isn't! Isn't that AWESOME!

::BREAKING NEWS!:: Howktown declares Dark Chocolate a SUPERFOOD! Oh yes I did. Add it to the list with Guacamole, people!

::NEWS ALERT:: Agreement between the cities of Howktown and Saarisburg on the best Dark Chocolate easily accessible to the plebeian masses is in question. Talks and sampling may be in order. Blog poll to help quell argument.

That's right, folks! I'm prevailing upon you to help me win this dispute by voting the poll on the right side of the blog here (you facebook and feed readers are gonna have to hop over to the official site to participate).


P.S. If you vote other, please list in in the comments section of this post so I can go out and try me some new SUPER food!

Friday, June 26, 2009

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Ever since I was 4 years old, I'd been telling people that I wanted to be an artist. I don't know how much was Howk Stubbornness and how much knowing your calling and sticking it out.

My mom would mention (somewhat vehemently at times), that she only had three choices for a career when she was growing up. Teacher, Nurse, or Secretary. She chose nurse. It's funny how kids can tell how you really feel about things sometimes. I immediately picked up on the fact that my mom didn't like that she felt she didn't have the choices available to her to do something else.

Being an artist was so exotic and vague that it left open opportunities that I wouldn't even have to define, even when I made it to art school. Oh, they would try to get you to write an artist statement, but they were pathetic.

Ironically, this vagueness is what deterred my art making abilities. Oh, I had the skills, naturally and learned. My four year old self was onto my inner being. After graduation, I worked as a photographer, graphic designer, photo re-toucher, and in web design. I was all over the place, had no direction, and pretty much hated every hipster, Jetta driving, art-snob I encountered, even though I was right in there with them.

One day, when I was stressed out after flowing copy into another credit card application letter, I felt the urge for Guidance.

"Almighty Google! Index of the Might Internets! Tell me what I want to know!"


And Google answered me with a list of the top 5 most relaxing jobs. Massage therapy was on the list. That part of me that knew that I was an artist also knew that I needed to pursue this further. For those of you that believe in the law of attraction, 2 months later by no conscious planning on my part, I had been given the 'opportunity' (industry talk for being fired) and found a massage school in my new neighborhood. Sign me up.

5 years later I'm happier than I've ever been in my career and my art flourishes in unexpected ways. Like face painting, and fashion choices, and snap shots taken with my phone, cause I'm too lazy to replace the camera I lost last year.

I'm of the opinion that you don't have to paint a painting to be an artist. You just need to be a vessel of creation and interpretation of the world around you.

I'll stop there, before Trey gives me the stink eye for not being funny.

Which Reminds Me:

Next Time:
Our Little Friend, Stinkeye

Howktown Approves:
Face Painting

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rocking out in Howktown

We went Old School and had some of the original Howktown Founders playing with The Totally Twins. This picture here shows my mom 'rockin' on the bass. Which you can tell by her very energetic posture. ;)

My dad tried a few songs, and then he was out.

Next mission to get Doug to sing. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Totally Twins are Here to ROCK YOU!

You know that when it comes to the type of bands that play in Howktown... well they are fake bands. The greatest thing about Fake Bands, is that I get to make them up. Their back story. Their albums, song titles. The gamut.

My favorite Fake Band is The Holy Hells and Damn' Yous. Here's a little bio that I wrote for my band persona that I converted to a wrestler for face book:

Fleur de LISA's rise to fame began, not as a world renown wrestler with a penchant for smack talk, but as a leader of super fake bands. The Holy Hells and Damn Yous were rocketing into stardom when her bass player mysteriously disappeared after a night of Intense Rock Action. She started another band, Wesley Crusher's Secret Lovers, when her Bass player started to turn Emo on her. It was then that she encountered Marlon Emocruncher and he disposed forthwith with the bass player. Finding that bass players were easy to replace and didn't need to have much talent in the first place (cause hey, The Doors didn't have any Bass) she formed the Fluer de LISAS and joined Marlon and Super Snarky Commentator on their mission to out wit and out fight the masses, replacing her bass players as needed from the plethora of options out there. As a side project, she's starting a new band with those who couldn't take the humiliating defeat, either by wit or fist. They will be called The Sore Losers and there first album, Turn Passed.

ahhh... I laugh when I read that. I had more fun making up my wrestler profile than actually playing the game. Which is why if you search my out on facebook, you won't see much Fleur de LISA action in the ring.

However, though the Fleur de LISA is a band name, my rockin' alter ego has evolved to be called Fleur de LISA (or just Fleur for short). My fake co band manager/producer/leader Trey has a number of great bands, as well.. Though I haven't heard from him in a long time, he must be on a fake bender or in fake rehab. Maybe his fake comeback album will be really fakey.

Anyway, this weekend I was introduced to the ultimate in FAKE BANDNESS that irks real musicians (oh, you guys, you know I love you too) to no end. Oh it tickles me how much real musicians hate the games Rock Band and Guitar Hero. ::giggles::

I tried out every instrument... and I have to say. My favorite was actually singing. Cause I can totally make a fake persona like that! My singing range is limited... but I love to sing and make a jackass (a real one) out of myself in my basement. Kylie and I have a new band, we're The Totally Twins (cause people think we are twins even though we totally are not!)

I am also extremely jealous of how much better Kylie is at playing the Fake Guitar.

Later in Howktown:
Pictures from the Gig!
My Mom Rockin' the Base!
Onion Tarts and
A Dark Chocolate Comparison!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Did IT

I tasted tongue.
It tasted me back.
I didn't explode.

and... it was damn tender.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wait, you want me to eat what?

Speaking of tasting things, 5-6 years ago, I still considered myself a vegetarian. Oh, I had noble environmental reasons that I had acquired in my numerous conservation biology classes. I knew the number of gallons of water that was saved by one person avoiding meat, the nutritional benefit of reducing meat intake on your heart, liver, and cholesterol. I didn't have a problem with people eating meat, if they did it in a responsible way, but the problem was I was lazy... and hungry.

I have food allergies and limiting my diet even further proved to be an obstacle that I grew weary of after 6 or 7 years. My down fall was that my group of friends, by matter of attrition and natural change evolved from mostly women to mostly men. Red blooded, steak eating, American men. Men who had a side of meat with their meat.

Chris was the first to start and convince me that bacon was not gross if cooked in the proper way. He pointed out that you had to cook it at a lower temperature and not just cook everything on high until its burned. It was a slow process, but I started to accept that bacon was really vegetable, so its okay.

As you may be able to guess, I learned to accept bacon and beastie boys (another boy lesson learned) as a necessary part of a full life. I eat less meat, but I don't consider myself a vegetarian any more. Aside from the bacon, however, I didn't generally include pork as part of the dietary picture, and offal was out of the question.

So today, Ii find myself sitting on my patio while my boyfriend smokes three racks of pork ribs... for the second time in two weeks. Sure, his brother is visiting from Colorado, so you have to feed the guests their man food. Last week he had pork hocks and saurkraut. I tasted it, but I was wasn't overly enthused about it. Granted, I love a good day of grillin', so it is quite possible that I will be turned toward the piggy mess when it comes to rib. My friend Chris was aghast when I was frontin' on the ribs, but what I can I say? I like black berries and yogurt.

All this stuff, I can see a natural progression to, but then Doug suggested I try this:

Beef Tongue.

Ah. Sorry Doug, I don't like to taste things that can taste me back.

"But it's the tenderest piece of meat there is!"

Hey, I've seen langua tacos on the menu at the taco joints. I know people eat tongue... but in all honesty I'm a midwestern suburban girl. We don't eat tongue. Then the haughtier side of my kicks in and I think, "but I'm not like the girls I grew up with. I'm more daring, independent, and open minded"

Oh alright, I'll try it, but don't describe what I'm eating until after I've tasted it. I've eaten eel and octopus for God's sake, and midwestern suburban girls don't eat those things either. What harm could it do... right?

I'll have to keep you posted, as their are not many restaurants that serve tongue in the Farmland, MN. Though I have a feeling Doug's not going to give up on this one. It may be years from now, but I know their will be a day when I'll have chewed cow tongue, praying that their isn't a brain in there tasting me back, *shudder*

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tastiest Thing My Tongue Has Licked

After we finally were seated at Buster's and were able to peruse the menu... a wonderful thing happened.

It was something akin to the phenomenon that occurs when four people signing in perfect harmony create a fifth voice... or when you achieve the perfect ratio of the four flavors to produce what is called 'unami'...

I had been eying the chorizo mussels, but having never eaten a shelled creature such as oyster, clams, or mussels... I was afraid. I looked down the list for an alternate, when Andrew pipes in with "You guys like mussels?" I quickly look to him with a gleam in my eye, and Jo pipes in "I've never had them."
"I was thinking of getting them" he said.
"Would you eat the whole dish?" I eagerly ask. I had a devious plan in my head to eat some of Andrew's mussles.
"Oh No, definitely not." Perfect, I thought.

It turns out that Jo was thinking the same thing and we decided that we would all order a delightfully sumptuous and slightly outside of our ordering comfort zone appetizer and we would all share. It was dining perfection. We had cod ceviche and chorizo mussles (and I believe we were required to get the fresh cut french fries on principle later on when Chris arrived). It was a delight, to be sure... however I felt that I needed more. One more flavor to satify my own personal dining unami. It was right there on the menu: a scoop of Izzie's Ice Cream. The best ice cream in the city. The very ice cream that won a Throw Down with Bobby Flay.

The menu described the portion as a scoop, so I decided to order one scoop of mocha ice cream and a second of salted carmel. Andrew went for strawberry and Jo just didn't think she wanted any (fool!). The portion size was actually two scoops of each flavor, I didn't think I would be able to eat of it, so i offered Jo a taste of the carmel, while I took a bite of the mocha. Andrew happily was eating his strawberry when Jo blurts out "Oh my god, this is good!"

I take a bit of the caramel and the spoon stops dead in its tracks. My tongue has to lick every last taste of this ice cream off. I look over to Andrew and my eyes say it all "You HAVE to try this ice cream". Andrew dips in, and groans. "Oh God, I don't want to even eat this pathetic strawberry ice cream, which 2 seconds ago I thought was awesome" replies Andrew to my all knowing inquiry on what he thought of the ice cream. This was too much goodness to keep to myself, so the large portions of all the flavors were divied up between the three of us and we all bathed our tongues in sweet creamy goodness with abandon. The other flavors were good, but the salted carmel, was heaven. We stopped ourselves from picking up the bowels and licking them clean... but just barely.

It was the perfect ending to our dinner and the surprisingly awesome night that I thought for sure was going to be uncomfortable and long.

Howktown Approves:
Izzie's Ice Cream
Fresh Cut French Fries
Stella Artois

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am not real artsy or anything

I am not especially artsy or anything, although I know artsy people and they seem pretty cool. So in the course of my day's work, when I was called upon to write yet another story about the "artist of the month" at our local art gallery, I was less than enthused. These people are never satisfied, and if you write one story, they expect you to write something every time they get an idea. Anyway, I was having a slow story week, so I accepted the droll little assignment.
The interview was actually interesting - they guy paints with oils, which is one of my favorite mediums to view at museums.
Anyway, he directed me to the website of his mentor, Jeffrey Larson. In a moment of slight boredom, I went over to see it.
WOW! that is all I can say. You guys totally have to see this guy's work. Like I said, I don't know much about art, but this guy makes oil paintings that look like photos. Check out his website, which I linked here, and look at the one called Reflections of an Artist in the New for 2008 section. It is amazing, that is all I can say.

That's What the Stools are For.

You know how sometimes you plan this great evening. You know... "We are going to Snobby Bar and Restaurant and it is going be SOOOO AWESOME" and it turns out to be just average or something. It's just food and drink, after all.

Then, you have those nights where you call up your best friend and say "I'm bored, entertain me" and she says "I've got plans with my work friends from a job I no longer work at, but you can join me..." Your first thought is... 'well, I'll feel completely out of place while they're all reminiscing and will get tired and want to go home early' and your second thought is 'why the hell not, i'm bored and want to see my friend'. So you go, and have the most amazing food at a little brew pub in an obscure neighborhood and have a great time yukking it up with the co-workers because it turns out they've known your friend for so long that you've actually met them several times at various Halloween parties. It ends up being, as the kids no longer say since the invention of Homeland Security, the bomb.

I had one of those expierences about a month or so ago.

Jo and I met her friend Andrew and Chris at Buster's on 28th.

To start off I wasn't super keen on the whole night. I was kind of nervous, because I am the "out-of-town" friend that knows more about Jo than any one else, but nothing really super current. There was a mishap with a phone that left Jo and I wondering what to do. I decided to suck it up and wait at the bar... by myself... while she got business taken care of. It should only take 20 minutes tops.

"Alright, Howk, people sit at bars all the time by them selves. That's why they have stools. You can do it." I order my draft of choice (STELLA!) and hand the pretty darn cute bartender (why are they always so cute!) my ID and prepare myself for idleness.

The cute bartender returns "Where do you live?" as he stares at my ID. I name the town and wait. It's obvious to me that I'm significantly over 21, but you never know what others think. Plus I had long hair in my pic, which I haven't had in a number of years.

"Oh, I grew up in the next town over. Just didn't expect to see that here in Minneapolis".

This interchange sparked a conversation between the the older couple sitting at the bar next to where I was standing. We talked about southern Minnesota, Omaha (where their son was going to school) and draft beer. We shared a drink of each others beers and laughed at jokes. I was suprisingly at ease with these strangers and I hadn't even imbibed one complete stellar STELLA (which I was sure to text Kylie that I was consuming)!

The next thing I knew Jo was at my side and I had been talking to strangers in bars... in a friendly adult sort of way! It was liberating!

Stay tuned for the second part of this story where I reveal "The Best Thing My Toungue Has Ever Licked!"