Archive for November, 2011

Muir Fresh Harvest

November 29, 2011
What I made with my Muir treasures

What I made with my Muir treasures

I’ve been fighting making this confession for a long time. . . but I’m a foodie. And like any good foodie, I put a lot of effort into finding local food that costs less.

This past month I tried out two fantastic options.

The first is Muir Fresh Harvest. My friend Laura Muir runs this litte co-op type thing. You can pick up a bundle of food, which is 99% produce, on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

The bundle costs $35 plus tax, and there are several pick up locations throughout the valley. I love it for so many reasons. First, its fun to have someone else provide you with a grab bag of produce, and I like searching for recipes to use those ingredients. It also means less time spent at the grocery store – a task I HATE. Third, I’m supporting my friend Laura and local farmers and grocers. Fourth, it’s a big cost savings. The majority of my food budget goes to fresh produce so I’m excited to have a less expensive option.

Here is what is in our bundle for the coming week.

Taylor Gold Pears (6)
Strawberries (1 lb)
Heritage Blend Lettuce (1 lb)
Clipped Green Beans (1 lb)
Red Pearl Onions
Russet Potatoes (#5)
Green Cabbage
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)
Grotte Caputo’s Artisan Cheese (8 oz)
White Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pullman Style Loaf, Stone Ground Bakery

And this is what I’m planning on making –

Waffles with fruit topping
Coleslaw (and bbq beans)
Lettuce wraps
Tempeh Curry (recipe –
Green Beans and Pearl Onions

This is  our second bundle, and the only item I haven’t used up is the lettuce. I need to get busy making more salads.

I love the Muir Coop. It’s exactly like Christmas for a foodie! On Thursday I’ll tell you about another food coop option.


Editor’s note: Laura is taking the next six or so weeks off for the delivery of her second child. We wish her all the best and can’t wait til she gets back. So wait to place your order til January.

Doug Snow at the UMFA

November 27, 2011

Cockscomb II

Last weekend we were able to make it up to the UMFA and take a look at the paintings on display by Doug Snow. I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, but have been busy busy, so I’m glad we finally made it. The show will be up until January 8th, 2012. As far as I know, this is the first real retrospective of Snow’s work since his death in October of 2009, and my advice to everyone is to stop in and check it out. Doug Snow has been one of my favorite Utah painters since I became aware of his artwork, and the exhibit up at the U of U is the best representation I’ve ever seen in one place.

I don’t always like landscape painting, but I love quality Abstract Expressionist painting. Doug Snow blends his landscapes with an abstraction in a way that is just about perfect. The paintings at the top and bottom of this post are by far my favorites, but all of the artwork is fantastic.

University of Utah
Marcia and John Price Museum Building
410 South Campus Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0350

Road to Teasdale

The Circle of Life

November 22, 2011
Armor of GAWD

Armor of GAWD

Big Head

Big Head

It’s been six years since my first pet as an adult, an Airedale Terrier named Mimi died. She was my social lubricant, 99% of my friends were her friend first. She was my cross fit gym, my workouts weren’t just trail runs, but trail runs accompanied by the rhythmic squeaking of a stupid carrot toy.  Airedales hate anything that feels like work, but she did love her carrot. She was my fashion accessory, too. I know the hard core dog people will find this irksome, but there is something about walking a dog so beautiful that traffic stops. Everyone seems to look at you and sing: “She’s got legggggs! Sheer energy legggs!”

And the circle of life goes on. I have Amy Wicks, City Council Woman in Ogden, and Airedale owner to thank for finding my new friend. Amy told me a 14 month old “little” Airedale boy was homeless in Idaho Falls. Within just a couple of hours of hearing about him I got in my car and I drove. I left at four p.m., got him, and was back in the SLC about 9 a.m. I witnessed a heart-breaking parting, his owner was a good guy, but couldn’t afford to keep and house the pup. His loss is my gain. Jared had taken him through the hard part – the crying at night, teething and housebreaking. Terriers are not easy to house train.

I’m glad he is a boy, because if he weren’t I know I would drift back in time and mistake him for Mimi. He spooks just like her, like a horse. He leans like her – leaning on a human’s legs is the highest compliment in big dog language. He plays like her, big paws punching me in the face. He sniffs crotches just like her, no hesitation, wet nose all the way up. Just like Mimi, he is the official welcome wagon of the dog park, smoothing out conflict to prevent fights and being the “rabbit.” He relies on brawn and bravery to “win” the games rather than speed, a tactic I thought was all Mimi.

And like Mimi, we named him a name that no one else likes. His name is Armor-of-God Sampson Horatio West. Armor-of-God is a character in an Orson Scott Card book I read when I was 12. Horatio, of course, was Hamlet’s best friend. And Sampson was his original name, which we liked, but it seemed a bit too obvious. You can call him Armor, or Army, or dipshit. If you look at him and smile when you say it, he will prance on over.

I’m grateful that his original owner is still involved. I text him photos and he is going to visit over the holidays. Army is taller and thinner than he was two months ago when we brought him home. His physical stamina is improved. He is a beautiful boy who always needs a bath. I have to admit, I feel so much more like myself with a sexy, bad ass dog at my side. It feels so right. That said, you never, ever forget your first love.  I think of “Big Orange” the original often, especially when I watch my tall, curly friend bounding ahead.

Leaping Airedales

Leaping Airedales

The Death Mask

November 20, 2011

People have probably been making death masks since civilization began. In the ancient world, these masks were usually buried with the dead. At some point though, they became a keepsake, something kept in the house to help remember the dearly departed. In the West, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face. The death mask became very popular during the 19th century and some famous faces from that time, like Beethoven, became common household decorations. Here are a few people you might recognize, and a few you probably wont:

Abraham Lincoln


William Blake

Ancient Chinese Death Mask


Walt Witman

Veroica Giuliani

Benjamin Franklinstein

Bruce Lee

Unidentified Drown Woman



Isaac Newton


Joseph Smith

Julius Caesar

Leo Tolstoy

Mayan Death Mask

King Tut

Mary, Queen of Scotts

Aerial Arts Performance Lab Class

November 17, 2011
Hannah in Air

Hannah in Air

Aerial Arts of Utah will present a student showcase called “Aerial Rendezous” on Saturday.  Performances are at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The 4 p.m. performance includes the youngest students.  The event is free, but donations are accepted. My friend, Hannah Mount, will perform in the show case. I’m super proud of her.

Here’s the deets:

Saturday, November 19 · 4:00pm  and 7:00pm
1301 E. Miller Ave. (3128 S)
Salt Lake City, UT

I asked Hannah about her interesting hobby and here is what she said:

“I was looking to do something different shortly after I moved to Utah,” said Hannah.  “What’s awesome about the show is we each have a different style and each piece is very reflective of our personalities. My piece is very introspective and shows a side of me that not very many people get to see. It’s a peek into my mind and the emotions that drive me.”

I’m a dog I’m a workin dog I’m a hard workin dog

November 15, 2011

Sampson Working

Sampson Working

I met a working dog not long ago.

He’s not a cow dog. He’s not a rolling over dog. And he’s not a watch dog.

He’s an accounting assistant! Now that’s a recession proof choice, boy. Good boy!

The dog’s name is Sampson. And he’s very cute. And he doesn’t crunch numbers. What he does, when people come to the accounting office where he works is this – he says hi. He lap sits, and he licks their hands. Sounds like a job I could do. Do you think they have any openings?

Sampson Sampan Ampersand is Barton Moody’s dog. Barton is living the dream in a historic duplex at 9th and 9th where he does taxes. Barton does taxes for a lot of artsy fartsy people like me and Todd.

Here’s the story of how Sampson found his job, and his forever home:

“I met Sampson on the shoulder of a guy that I barely knew and I fell in love instantly. He was just barely weaned and I said to this guy (whose name I don’t even remember) ‘If it doesn’t work, let me know.’ The next day I received a phone call from the guy and this unnamed dog evidently had spent the entire night destroying the guy’s girlfriends shoes. ‘It is me or the dog’, said she.  Now, after a few pair of shoes and glasses, the problem is now regulated to the past.

Sampson comes from dachshund and shiatsu roots. He is an elongated beastie and he can curl around upon himself, hence “ampersand”. His middle name is from the Sampan restaurant, which was the take out treat at the time. We are more Chanon Thai folks, now. But, Sampson’s favorite food is the jellybean. He likes meats and cheeses, like dogs do. But when I go for the jellybean jar on my desk, he is right there.”

Sampson is a good boy, and maybe around tax season you will look Barton up, take your receipts over, and get introduced.

Moses’ Horny Head

November 13, 2011

“And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tablets of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord,” Exodus 34:29. “And they saw that the face of Moses when he came out was horned, but he covered his face again, if at any time he spoke to them,” Exodus 34:29.

It’s known that these two verses from the Bible might not have been translated correctly. The word horned should be something like ray of light instead, and some versions of the Bible have changed the verses to read that way. Personally, I’d rather have horns. I think it’d be pretty sweet if all of the ancient prophet’s foreheads started to calcify and sprouted horns. Maybe they did. One thing is for sure, Michelangelo deliberately carved two short ram horns on the top of Moses’ head in his statue which is now in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli at Rome.

Tomb of Pope Julius II

Horns are an interesting symbol. Sheep are surefooted climbers, and remember, Moses had just come down from the mountain after visiting with God. When domesticated, sheep are so gentle that religions all over the world have  incorporated them into their art forms. Apollo, Hermes, and later Jesus were all pictured as Good Shepherds with lambs either resting at their feet or carried on their shoulders. In ancient times, horns were also a symbol of divinity and physical power. When Alexander the Great was initiated by the oracle at the Temple of Amon, he accepted a great horned headdress so all would recognize him as a leader and conqueror. There were the Celtic druids, whose god Cernunnos was known as the “Horned One”. Or Pan from Greece. Even the marauding Vikings wore horns on their head to symbolize their power.

At one point, symbols were wielded by wizards and priests, symbols were worthy of respect and sometimes caused superstitious fear. Simply drawing an icon or writing a word was a magical act. Dressing like an animal could make you that animal. These days, it all seems so mundane. Symbols are so common and ordinary today that we hardly even think about them, and we tend to overlook their power. Maybe this is off-topic and should be the subect for a different post, but think of all we’ve accomplished through language and art. Pretty much everything we do, especially when communicating with others, relies on symbols. Even science uses language and images to communicate ideas. As I spell these words, you could say I’m casting a spell. We all do whenever we write. The words you’re reading right now are made from symbols that create ideas in your head. The icon you clicked to open this webpage was a symbol. And on and on and on. So damn common! And still, the words we use, the art we make, and the faith we might have all use symbols to communicate and express ideas.

As the adopted son of the Pharaoh and heir to the throne, Moses would have been educated in Egyptian philosophy and worship, and he would have been very aware of all the symbols that they used. Michelangelo, who was well educated in Neoplatonism, Christianity, and mythology, would have also understood the meaning of this symbol. With these horns, Michelangelo showed Moses to be a man of power and station. Moses had stood with God, and had the inner strength to become one with his own divinity.

WHAM, those horns did grow! I think they are fantastic! Someday, I hope to sprout some horns on my own head.

Art Swap

November 10, 2011

Do you have more art than you can fit on your walls? I do. On Saturday, if you take it on down to Art Access, you can trade with someone else. Details are on the attached flyer. Happy spit swapping. . . er I mean art swapping.

See music? Taste shapes?

November 8, 2011
Many artists are synthetes, like David Hockney

Many artists are synthetes, like David Hockney


What is it? Well, it’s cool as hell. Have you heard phrases like “she’s so sweet?” Or “eye candy?”People with synthesia, or synthetes, invented metaphors like this. It’s because many of them can actually see music, or taste shapes.

I’m a synthete. I suspect my expanded sensory experiences are one of the main things that makes me “weird.” That said, I think even most non-synthetes can relate to the experience, because there is SO much sensory confusion in our language. My version of synthesia mainly manifests in personification – in other words – things that aren’t alive have personalities in my world. And I’m not crazy, I have an extraordinary ability.

Synesthesia is not a disability. It’s actually an enhanced ability, kind of like ESP, at least in my fantasies.  Those who have it typically become artists, writers, musicians and chefs. Those who weren’t blessed with this genetic quirk may encounter it when under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Some of us are lucky enough not to need them.

There are many varieties. Some people see a private laser show when they listen to music. Others associate colors with letters of the alphabet. My personal experience with it is that numbers have colors, genders and personalities. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve always had a strange bond to the number two. It’s yellow, female, gentle and kind. Often, synthesitic experiences are somewhat logical. For example, a book I read said that a gentleman tasted sausages every time he read the word village. It rhymes so it must be true!

I have other symptoms of synthesia. For example, Thursday is burnt orange. Colored days of the week and picturing time in a physical space is also common for synthetes. Tuesday, for me, of course is yellow (like its friend, the number two). People and animals often have colors and flavors for me too.

Since it’s pet month, I’ll disclose more of my weirdness. My pet Scout is butter pecan or peanut brittle. My Airedales have both tasted like pumpkin (in my mind, though I haven’t taken a bite, yet). My dog Cowboy is white bread, biscuits and country gravy. He’s an all American boy. And Todd’s dog, the Rottweiler is licorice and anise.

I’m told about one in twenty people have synesthesia. I would love to hear from you, if like David Hockney, Tori Amos and Duke Ellington, you have it too.

DC Comics and the New 52

November 5, 2011

Starting last September, DC Comics relaunched their fictional universe with 52 new issues, character redesigns, and new back stories. This is an attempt to consolidate their 75+ years of continuity and bring it into the 21st century. This is nothing new really, and both DC and Marvel comics revamp their line of characters every ten years or so. Sometimes the changes are drastic, sometimes there are minor tweaks. Even though this revamp is nothing new, I have to admit I was curious. Especially because with this revamp DC has also started to release all of their new issues to digital devices on the same day as their print issue. Going digital like this is a big deal for any industry, especially an industry that has relied primarily on more traditional distribution methods.

Anyway, I didn’t try and read each and every issue. I don’t have the time and there are some characters that I just have no interest in, no matter what DC does. All-in-all, there were probably only 10 to 15 issues out of the new 52 that caught my eye. Now that there have been a couple three issues released of each title, I can say there are maybe only four or so that I’ll continue to pick up with any regularity, and I’ve listed those below. Since the stories are starting over and characters are being reintroduced, now is a good time to give them a try.

Superman: Action Comics
I’m always surprised when I find myself actually liking a Superman story, but there really are some good ones. There is just something about the character that can get under my skin. But when he is handled right, ya can’t go wrong. One of those Superman stories that I enjoyed from years past would be Grant Morrison‘s All Star Superman. So when I heard Morrison was going to be writing this new Superman, I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It isn’t perfect, but Superman and Clark Kent are being introduced and fleshed out in an interesting way. And Lex Luthor is a true weenie, just like he should be.

Forget being surprised by Superman… but Superboy? Really? I honestly have no idea why I even picked this one up, on a whim really. But damn, it is pretty good. This Superboy is a clone grown from a mix of Kriptonian and human DNA. A very unique approach, and handled in an unexpected way. Kind of an amoral character with god powers, which makes for an interesting story and it will definitely hold my interest if they keep it up.

Swamp Thing
I’ve written before about how much I love Alan Moore‘s run on Swamp Thing from the early 80s. Well, so far writer Scott Snyder is proving that he is able to take the series and keep the story moving forward. There are a few things that he has changed, like making Swamp Thing a human again instead of a plant that thinks he is a human, but if I complain about that I’ll feel like a goofball nerd. So I won’t complain, because it’s off to a good start. Yay, Swamp Thing!

Animal Man
I’ll bring up Grant Morrison once again, only because he did a story line on Animal Man in the late 80 and early 90s that was decent. Maybe it wasn’t as good as it could have been, but I always thought there was a lot of potential in the character. So far, this new Animal Man realizes all of that potential, and goes even further. This new series is written by Jeff LeMire (who is one of the best writers in comics today, as far as I can tell) and might be my favorite. Bizarre and creepy, but beautiful.

There are other titles that are also pretty good that I may or may not keep picking up as well. Titles like O.M.A.C., Resurrection Man (yeah, I will keep getting this one too. It’s good), All Star Western, and maybe Demon Knights. Even though I don’t buy a lot, I’m glad DC Comics made this change. Superhero comics can get stale very fast, plus this digital initiative is just what the comic book industry needed.


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