Here, feast your eyes before I come to my senses: a nearly flattering photo of Rach! Now, ordinarily I would only feature the most hideous pick of the flickr litter-- it's just a compulsion of mine. Maybe the holiday season has left me feeling benevolent. Maybe it's the aftermath of jet-lag, or a bit of undigested New York bagel. I don't know. What I do know is this: she recently got a haircut that makes her look like Janet from Three's Company, or maybe even a blind woman who has never seen her own hair and allows friends to convince her to get something "fuss free" and gender-neutral for the sake of convenience. In other words, fans of my usual draconian approach to photography can breath easy, for this foray into forgiving pictures of Rach will be decidedly short-lived.
Oh yeah, I was in New York for a week. More on that when I start feeling like myself again, and as usual, more pictures on my flickr.
For a shining moment last weekend, my bleak social life caught a glimpse of hope, as Rach and I met up with friends in the east bay for all kinds of jollies! We enjoyed cheap Indian fare in San Francisco, played games, went to a karaoke joint, and stayed up into the wee hours making egg sandwiches at an impromptu sleepover in Oakland. When we awoke, delicious french toast with Real maple syrup was heaped on plates before us by our generous host, Spencer.
You might notice that my friends appear to be showing wild and deranged excitement and energy in these photos. Really, it was Rach who was behaving manically, and the looks on our friends' faces could in all likelihood be fear. You see, Rach interacts socially even less now than I do, and all the excitement of genuine human contact made her jumpier than a grasshopper'n a bed a' hot coals. (I'm trying to incorporate some "spicy contry sayins" into my vocab for a quick and easy injection of "quirky personality." Is it working?) In fact, her high-strung and lunatic-like skylarking soon began to irritate me so much that an "unplanned" detour into this ravine to dispose of her discretely was in order. As you can see from this pictoral, she did not scamper playfully down to within pushing distance of the water as I'd hoped, and instead stood high on the hill, training her suspicious eye on the camera and snapping (terrible) photos of Jamie and myself.
I guess Rachel was hip to our tricks all along, because this photo was obviously taken at gunpoint!
Just when I had eaten the last of the Honey Nut Cheerios and was between Netflix acquisitions and life was more unbloggable that usual, I stumbled on this treasure trove of photographic gems! There's at least three browsable hours worth of semi-hideous polaroids from the 50s through 70s in here! Boredom effectively ended.
No, really, I manage to stay pretty busy. I mean, in addition to being a full-time student, I have that job grading math tests, which is really less of a job and more a thrilling hobby comparable to spelunking, kayaking, and of course, crocheting. I really can't even begin to list the hilarious cuts-ups and characters I meet in the Math Department. Ok, granted, no one in the Math Department really looks me in the eye or has done anything to give me the idea that they've made any kind of human interaction in their lifetimes. But I think after 3 to 5 years of constant cajoling (and possibly some icebreaker games/intense therapy) that their inner boisterousness and sense of humor will slowly reveal itself, maybe in the form of a head-nod or an audible sigh. When it does, I'll be ready.
My social life in Santa Cruz has slowed to a crawl, but good news: the pie season is upon us. No time like the present to hop a train up to Sactown and try some of mom's heavily sugared varietals. Now, dear reader, it should be noted that I did not indeed "hop" the train; that was just a figure of speech. I do not condone such flagrant disregard of train safety. I boarded the train cautiously and legally, and even volunteered to wear a life vest although Amtrak staff deemed this practice to be both very unnecessary and grossly unappealing. The woman sitting next to me asked the conductor if she could move, as the life vest, inflated to full capacity, was "encroaching on her space" and "should have purchased a ticket if it wanted its own seat." "Safety first," I said, sneering at her as she pouted. Some people have no class.
Once my tum was properly pie-filled, I decided to call up Rach and see what she's been doing. Apparently she's been doing a whole lotta nothing, but we did go to the local fake British bar, The Bonn Lair, wherein we participated in an impromptu "light rock" trivia contest. Drunken thirty-something age single men sure are impressed with our 80s hits knowledge, it seems. Today Rach gave me a much needed home haircut in her backyard while her parents looked on with suspicion and perhaps even anger. Now I'm ready to go back to S.C. and really razzle-dazzle those fellow math majors.
Out of Earl Grey? What the hell?! What a crude misrepresentation of a coffee house you are, Lulu's! Another morning ruined when my unusually commonplace expectations for tea have failed to be met.
Once your rage (and mine) subsides, direct your attention to this lady's blog, as she strives to make every recipe in The Joy of Cooking. I do enjoy cooking from time to time, particularly baking, as autumnal fruits (persimmons! pumpkins!apples!) are practically screaming at me to render them into seasonal sugar snacks. "Shut up shut up shutup!" I sometimes scream back. Mostly, though, you'll find me spooning the contents of a Trader Joe's brand boxed Indian Assortment onto some white rice, chuckling softly to myself over my latest netflix selection. Oh W.C. Fields, you are so drunk!
Well, Rachel has flown the coop to Sacramento as it were, taking her Hall and Oates records with her and leaving behind a trail of chatchkies and tears. I know she'll have to come back to Santa Cruz eventually for her Garfield mugs and her copy of Joy of Cooking that she can't even make a salad without, but in the meantime I'm kinda lonely. The pictures that follow are from our farewell driving adventure to beautiful Watsonville, California. We also stopped in Corralitos to go to pig out on sausage, and before you even suggest something, no, I was not speaking figuratively!
Here I am taking pictures, enjoying myself as I typically do-- with fun-loving flare!
Please note that I crocheted that blue scarf myself using thrifted yarn (I love a good bargain). Look how it enhances my natural beauty, as I am making my "Parisian Coquette" face.
What do you get when you type my name into google? It could be purely coincidental, but judging by her use of my patented Quiet Scorn Face, I reckon this old gal is a bona fide relative. I wish I could get my hands on this trading card of her and, oh, I don't know, glue it onto a paper doily. That would be a pretty classy affair.
So, Cassie has moved to New York to do what the New Yorkers do-- eat excellent cheese, and possibly get famous-- so that means my friend count is down by nearly 40%. These pictures are from our recent farewell. We're at our favorite "french" bakery, a place that might as well be called Bourgeoisie's but is in fact called Kelly's. It is there that Cassie and I used to chat for hours amidst the aging hippies, pregnant yuppies, and delicious pastries. Sadly, this is no more. I'm trying to just pour my heart (and more importantly, some sauces and jams) into my canning hobby, but I can't help but feel a little blue. I guess I can start courting my friendship with Rach with new ferocity. She took this picture of me as we were enjoying luncheon at the Indian Food Buffet. I bet you are thinking that the Indian Buffet is not conducive to romance. I bet you think that a visit to the Indian buffet is only good for inducing hours of painful gas. Gentle Reader, you are partially correct, but despite my intestinal rumblings, I can still muster a twinkle in my eye! And once the twinkle subsides, pictured here is the exact moment of painful gas onset.
Well, the public has spoken, and as it turns out, you want MORE pictures of me doing mundane things. So as per your requests, here are 3 pictures of me taking the Capital Corridor train from Sacramento to San Jose. The last picture is Rachel's attempt at being "artistic." Right now you are maybe wondering, "What requests? I don't remember requesting this. Who else reads this, anyway?" Ok, to be perfectly honest with you, no one requested this. And no one else reads this.
Do you ever buy way too much of one kind of food because it's on sale, and then wonder how in the hell you're going to eat it all before it spoils? If you're like me, this kind of bargain-hunting consequence happens all the time. The solution? Have a food-specific party, and pawn it off on your friends! Last week I bought over 30 artichokes at a roadside stand in Castroville, simply because it was a "better deal" than buying the 2 or 3 that I actually wanted! Also, my dad popped in with a crate of Mexican Cokes, clearly another victim of the Fredenburg Grocery Shopping Complex. So really, I couldn't think of a better time to host an Artichoke and Mexican Coke Soiree. Rachel took some hideous photos which are typical of her "style." I can't explain why everyone looks so crazed. Maybe in addition to the use of real sugar instead of corn syrup, Mexican cokes also still include cocaine. In any case, I think they were a hit.
Here's just a snippet of a conversation Rach and I had about my habit of ironing plastic bags together to make a tarp-like fabric:
Rachel: So what are the advantages of ironing plastic bags together, exactly? Me: Well if you have a billion plastic bags and you only want one plastic bag...
God, isn't it obvious what the advantages are? Frankly I'm sick of dealing with these doubting Thomases! Maybe that's why I only leave the house once a day to buy specialty yogurt from the health food store. Sometimes I think I'm just destined to go it alone, for there is no place for ingenuity such as mine in this world of conventional thinkers. And so I remain, a sailor out to sea, Julia
The other night I had a soiree to celebrate a blackberry pie I made. In keeping with the DIY spirit with which I perform all tasks (but especially tooth brushing), a friend and I picked each and every blackberry used in the pie! It took over 5 hours, and I withstood many injuries, and the friend I picked them with won't return my calls, but I think it was worth it. I wish there were pictures, but my photographer was too busy guzzling table wine to notice that my pie was the best thing she'll probably ever eat. Maybe when she recovers from her hangover she'll realize that my pie makes a Marie Callendar pie look like it was baked with all the artistry of a 13 year old boy in a home economics class.
It is eye! I have been home from the Fredenburg Family Great White North Car Adventure for about a week now. I meant to post sooner, but I needed some time to recuperate from all the strenuous sitting and competitive tea and toast consumption, not to mention the fact that I probably lost 30% of my hearing from listening to Canadian NPR broadcasts too loud. "Don't stop the rock!" I have been known to say, just 3 decibels above a whisper. This relatively mild-mannered and pleasant trip was definitely the wildest time in my life.
Take, for example, our 2 camping experiences. After driving the lenghth of Vancouver Island, we got to Port Hardy and the cupboard was bare-- our hotel reservation was basically deleted. Mom was fuming-- her lips were slightly pursed! We decided, at 3am, to camp. 2 and 1 half hours to sleep-- not bad really, considering that I am usually awake at 6:30am to start brainstorming felt village patterns anyway! Here I am looking chipper in the tent. I offered to construct a tent myself out of yarn scraps and leaf litter, but my parents insisted on getting the real thing from some outdoors store instead. Amateurs.
Camping trip #2 had a little more planning involved. This time, we camped by the mosquito and gnat ridden shores of Lake Anahim, which was otherwise beautiful. And as it turns out, West Nile is totally not as bad as the media hype makes it out to be. More on this later. If you can't wait till later, check out my photos
If you are one of my many friends who have been wondering, "Where in the hell is Julia? Where has she gone?" and you can't even remember the last time you saw me, and my facial features are but a foggy memory to you now, well don't worry! I'm not lying in a pool of my own filth somewhere. I've just been sewing like a fiend! Felt has given way to cotton in this hotter part of the year. I made this dress, and showed Rachel how to make one too, which was the first time I had seen anyone in over a month. This dress is only one of about 25 things I've made lately. I'm thinking of featuring some of the items on a real crafts blog (as apposed to this one, which is entirely fake and full of lies and half-truths). I'll feel like less of a total recluse if my friends and family can see me through several internet windows. But that blog won't be up for awhile now-- I'm going on a roadtrip to the lesser-known parts of Western Canada at the end of this week, and I haven't even built my suitcase yet or knit my passport together!
Look at that expression on the face of the cat in the fish tent. It's like he's saying, "Is this some kind of karma payback nightmare, some strangely comfortable, machine-washable karma payback nightmare?" Being digested has never been so plush. And I'll bet the cat in the MC-Hammer-pants-print tent is beginning to doubt his heterosexuality, big time! See how one paw is placed coyly outside the flap, beckoning the cat in the adjacent cottage to "come hither." But sadly, the other cat's legs have been bolted to the floor for the photographer's convenience, and he can't come-a-courtin'.
I'm sure the mastermind at Simplicity who thought of these cat tents is going to be milking the cash cow real soon. I can't believe someone thought of this before I did! Yet again, I've overlooked opportunities in the burgeoning cat humiliation industry and sat at home in my "house outfit" making food I don't even plan on eating instead.
Ever since I graduated college, it seems that I keep finding myself posed elegantly underneath sunbeams. If only this picture had been snapped moments earlier, when I was coaxing shy deer from a nearby wooded glen using nothing but the melodious sound of my own voice! So far I am enjoying the summer and the various graduation related parties I've attended.
Here's mom and pop Fredenburg having a characteristically jolly time at Rachel's Graduation party:
This was shortly after a rollicking bout of Irish Sea Shanties and bear hunting stories.
I'm still waiting for a golden opportunity to debut the summertime felt bikini I've crafted, but I have my reservations about it anyway.
Now he's gone and done it. My dear ol' dad has created a blog. Now it's even easier for the internet public to keep up on the hilarious, yet slightly stoic escapades of the Fredenburgs.
There's only one drawback: now that I know my dad reads my blog, I will really have to censor some of the lewd and lascivious content. You know what that means, folks-- my upcoming entry about sexy (and flammable!) felt lingerie will get left on the cutting room floor.
So I took some pictures this weekend of the memorial day festivities. My aim in taking these pictures and posting them on the World Wide Web is twofold. First, I wanted to make the food served at my friends' barbecue look unappetizing, and at the same time, I wanted to ensure that neither of these girls would get dates in this town ever, ever again.
Now, why would I want to do this to my two closest friends?! Gosh, I just don't know, but I've done it before and I'll do it again and again without even thinking about it! Check out my flickr!
Tonight I had a jam session at my house. Basically, I had a bunch of friends over, told them to bring some fruit, and I'd show them the "Fredenburg family secret" for making delicious jam. Only 2 people out of 13 were crestfallen to discover that the Fredenburg family secret can be found in the informational insert in a box of prepackaged fruit pectin.
It seems that a successful blog is a specific blog. My pal Siri's blog is a hit because she sticks to fashion, and who doesn't love that? My interests and my posts are eclectic; so where do I fit in the blogosphere? Surely I can't have a news-crafts-jam-cookies-cats-math-and-drama-of-my-life-blog. Though if I did...
...then I'm pretty sure my readers would be confined to midwestern housewives, kindergarten pupils with incredible reading comprehension levels, and well, cats. Mostly just cats. The third cat down represents the "drama-of-my-life" faction.
Rachel and I have encouraged our dads to start blogs, so that at the very least, they will be reading this. Then we can have a "family" blog!
p.s. the word "blog" was used 6, no, 7 times in this post.
I was just fondly recalling some good times with Rach. This is a picture of that time that she ate an entire box of cheez-its. Look at that worried expression on her face, as if to say, "Julia, is this gonna hurt?" and I said, "Yes," but she didn't hear the answer over the crunching. She probably didn't even buy those. In fact, I bought them. I bought her snacks and then I drove her home and she wouldn't let me leave until I read her The Velveteen Rabbit. Then I had to make her a plush Velveteen Rabbit out of scraps of felt and tears from orphans. Stupid bitch.
I just realized that I went 4 years in college without joining an outrageous subculture. Is it too late to become a bike punk? Oh well, I'm really much to busy with math homework. Crap-- it's 11:26-- I should have been in bed hours ago.
So I'm thinking to myself, "It's a friday night, I'm an attractive 20 something, and single, maybe I should go out and see what kind of trouble I can stir up." But then, as if God's own hands had guided mine, I typed the word "felt" into a search engine instead.