Stop Touching Things

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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Howktown approves of Camping?

Isn't my fashion sense tré chíc! Nobody made fun of me at all!

My dears, it is quite true. Howktown does approve of camping. As long as there is no fashion requirement, and air mattresses are allowed. Who cares if I'm wearing toeless knee high socks, capri pants, slippers, and a sun hat! It was the perfect outfit for the day. It is true that every kid and adult gave me serious once over to make sure I wasn't 'special' or to wolf whistle mockingly at me... I took it like an adult. By which I mean, I planned a confrontational argument with each one of them, called a couple a bunch of punks, and then dove into my bag of popcorn and raspberry marshmallows.

Howktown also approves of bon fires and tending the coals. I wouldn't quite say that I'm a pyro -maniac, I keep it to reasonable levels. So we only had to light the fire twice due to the expertise of myself and my sister Sara (the mayor of Ingvaldia).

Of course you can eat sushi camping!

Howktown also approves of not conforming to camping food to make life more interesting. Moroccan Sweet Potatoes over Quinoa, Spinach Fritatas, and 4 Alarm 5 Bean No Meat Chili where on the posted weekend menu. We also added California Rolls, Smoked Paprika Popcorn, Handmade Raspberry Marshmallows, Sunflower seeds, and Captain Morgan to the mix. No hotdogs in the bunch!

Did I mention the tent had a 'skylight' that left the view of the starry night open to us as we slumbered peacefully in the perfect July weather?

When the dice rolls like it did last weekend, of course we approve of camping. Not to mention I had the company of my cohorts Sara and Kylie. Who needs a therapist when you have sisters, a campfire, and a little Capt'n in ya?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Howktown Approves of Puffs Plus

We hearb at Howktowbn, tryb to be pobitive. So web don't likeb to say weeb don't approbe ob anybing...

SO.. I Hab found a way to keep it on the bright sibe. I LUB Puffs Plus.

Eben doh, I'b been sick, I stillb went camping with my sibsterbs and went to work.. Which that last onb may hab been a mistake. Consibering the amount of errors I mabe this week.

More to comb when I knock this colb down a notch!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Culinary Gods Have Blessed Us Once Again

Howktown approves of vegetables!

As you can see here, the Czarina of Saarisburg is wafting the aroma of Stuffed Zucchini which she consumed at "The Best Restaurant I've Ever Been To (according to Kylie)". There was also salad and beets included with this scrumptious meal, but I will leave it to her to describe it to you, as I was blessed with the opportunity to eat my favorite of foods... Tacos.

I unfortunately did not get the other picture taken with my phone saved to disc, so there will be no more visual aides for you! You will just have to imagine Moroccan Mojitos, Lemon Thyme Martinis, and Mahi Mahi Tacos. Did I mention the Beet and Chevre Raviolis? No? Lamb Burger? Walnut Pate'? Well, I leave you to drool over the mere idea of these scrumptious plates while I reminisce about dessert.

Oh, Flourless Chocolate Cake, remember how you sat on the carmel drizzled plate with blueberry sorbet atop your decadent, rich, mouth watering, slice of heaven? You were only a half inch thick, but each centimeter was dense, gooey, perfection. Only a small forkful was enough for all four sets of eyes of the tasters to roll back into their heads and wonder what they needed husbands for anyway. Then.. then the sweet, cold, bursting blueberry sorbet dribbled into our mouths and surrounded the chocolate cloud; bringing us one step closer to the pearly gates. This was not the food of the devil, for we each looked at each other knowing we wanted it all to ourselves, but to deny it from each other would be cruel, cruel torture. We opened our hearts and plates and made sure that each one of us was granted 'one more bite'. We forgot about that other dessert on that 'other' plate. The other desert that could hold no comparison and would just as likely be found on the menu at Applebees.. adequate, but never the divine concoction that currently graced our presence. I remember you Flourless Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Sorbet. I think of you every day since we met.

Whew. ::wiping tear from the corner of my eye:: That was such a great dessert. I suggest you find a way to procure yourself some. Just head on over to Spoon River Restaurant in Minneapolis, fools!

And eat your vegetables!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nothin' quite like a Popsicle to the back.

Reference above photo: Notice the foreground woman enjoying her bomb-pop on a hot summer day, lounging in her backyard. In the middle-ground, notice the boy, also enjoying his bomb-pop, but not in the traditional way. No, this boy is rubbing the ice-cold treat on his recently sunscreened back, leaving a trail of red and blue dripping down into his waistband. Directly after doing so, he took a lick of it. Yum, summer.

The Results!

As you know, science in Howktown is very scientific. We use polls, which everyone knows are accurate and tell the truth. There is no worry about not sampling a large enough audience, because I have at least 9 readers! Well, minus me and Kylie... 7 readers!

We are even scientific enough to hold blind taste tests!

The three totally objective judges are me, my mom, and Kylie. The chocolates in question:

Dove dark chocolate, Hersey's Dark Chocolate Bliss, and Lindt Exellance 70% Cacao.

My darling Doug disguised the chocolate so that we couldn't tell the difference between the chocolate and tasting commenced!

The first taste was familiar and delicious, and yet Kylie found it repugnant. My mother recognized the taste right away. We didn't reveal which chocolate it was until we cleansed our palate with a swig a joe and moved on to the next plate.

AHHH! Now this bitter, fruity flavor was REAL chocolate! We all agreed that this was some high quality choco! But, before we became too smug we tasted the last plate.

I thought it was good, but years of avoiding dairy turned me off from things that are overly creamy. It seemed too sweet and creamy to me, and less chocolatey. Kylie on the other and who is still in the throes of mourning dairy loved the creaminess and flavor.

The order revealed: Dove, Lindt, Bliss. At first Kylie and I were at odds, but then we realized that we did agree on the the higher quality chocolate. On a personal level, I am happy to note that the readers poll agreed with me, that between the commercial brands Dove is the best.

The three person blind taste testing was a Howktown scientific discovery worth filling our candy bowls over!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I miss that satisfing "CA-chink"

It's true. There is photographic evidence of the very scientific blindfolded taste test. Evidence that will be shared once I remove them from my phone. Yeah... my phone.

Oh, hey! Did I tell you, I was a photo major in college? Yeah. Spent years studying photography, and now my main source of photography is my phone.

My first camera was a Fisher Price/Kodak 110 camera when I was 6 years old. I've had a camera ever since. My God, I thought I was THE SHIT when I purchased myself a 35mm point and shoot. I wouldn't have to have those crappy tiny 110 cartridges any more. You actually had to load and rewind your film correctly. You had to have SKILLZ to do 35mm... Then I purchased my first SLR and oh boy, I was big time. It was a Pentax, and I loved it. My best photographs were taken with it. I loved it... but I didn't feel it was cool enough for a serious photographer.

I was young and easily influenced. I was convinced that if I didn't keep up with technology, I would be lost with the novices. I was a budding PRO-SUMER.

In my 20's something happened. I saved a chunk of money and purchased a high end SLR with auto focus lenses and a snooty brand name... and then I freaked out. I became scared! Scared that I didn't make the right purchase, that it would soon be outdated and I wouldn't be able to upgrade, that someone would steal it, that it would break, that I wouldn't be able to afford to use it! That I would look like nerd with such a fancy camera and someone would think I was some kind of tourist(despite the purple hair and local train tickets).

So I didn't use it as much as I should have and it sits on my bookshelf, out of date and too expensive to use. My decade working in photo labs, darkrooms, and portrait studios ruined me on average film and development. No. I would not take it to Walmart, or use generic 200iso film. The only person who thought I looked like a nerd, was myself... and maybe my sister. It isn't broken, stolen, or cheesy.. but it is pretty dusty.

Luckily, I was able to stave off the atrophy of my photographic skillz with a P/S digital camera. YAY! Something else to play with! They were small, inconspicuous, harder to break, and easier to replace than my heavy SLR. I was happy with with that, until it slipped out of my pocket while watching a Fire Hockey Game in Mexico.

That was over a year ago. I've been using my phone ever since. What has been holding me back? Mostly indecision (and partially cause I'm lazy).

I'm balancing my previous career experience, Wants vs Needs, reality vs fantasy, and missing the super cool darkroom dance that I'll likely never participate in again.

So, all this to say, I need a new digital camera. Any suggestions out there for a picky photographer type with a lower budget? OKAY GO!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hershey's? For Realz?

We had the dark chocolate rematch, and much to my surprise, in my blindfolded and palette cleansed state, I chose Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bliss over Dove Dark Chocolate.
I am just as surprised as you are.
I abhor Hershey kisses and their waxy, fake chocolate taste, but the Bliss is creamy and sweet. I found the smell of the Dove most off-putting. And as Howktown chose Dove once again as her favorite of the commercial brands, we sat there starring at each other, wondering if we could still be twins with this difference in chocolate preference.
The issue was resolved when we realized that our chocolate tester had thrown in a third chocolate for us to try and we all agreed, for our dear mother tested them with us, that this third option was best. The tangy note on top of the deep chocolately background screamed Lindt 80% dark to all of us.
This realization brought a rush of relief as we realized we could remain the family we have always been, even if our opinions of lower chocolate differ.
And the upside, is that dividing up the leftovers was simple.
Check back for photos of the event.