Updates

I'm pleased to announce that the puzzle is complete. (I know you were all dying to hear about it.) The big surprise is there wasn't a piece missing even after buying it used (for $0.50). The sense of accomplishment in putting that last piece in its place is great (greater than it should be, it could be argued, as a jigsaw puzzle is rather inconsequential). Many thanks to all those that helped out. I'm hoping to do another one in the waning time I have the dining room table to myself, so feel free to stop by and lend a hand.

Being that we are halfway through February, I thought I would report on how the movie marathon is going. Thanks for all the suggestions, both in the comments and via e-mail. Also, thanks to all those who have joined in FMM, so I haven't had to go it alone! So far, I've seen Zoolander, Little Miss Sunshine, Rumor Has It, Pirates of the Caribbean II, Royal Tenenbaums, Because I Said So, Clerks II, Garden State, and The Departed. (I know, it kind of looks pathetic with them all listed like that. That's okay though.) Two thumbs up for Royal Tenenbaums and Garden State. Two thumbs down for Because I Said So (How could you, Diane Keaton?). Still on the list are Celestine Prophecy, Syriana, and Howl's Moving Castle.

Lastly, don't forget to vote on the recent Roses are Red... poetry contest. Submit your vote via the contact page or by e-mail.
Friday February 16 2007File under:

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Roses Are Red...


Roses are great
But let's be honest
What you really wanted
Was a poetry contest
In the same spirit as the Haiku Challenge, I offer up another poetry challenge. This time, the rules are this: your poem must follow the standard ABCB "Roses are red" rhyme/stress pattern, it must make reference to either "red" or "roses", and it must be completed by 11:59 pm PST, Thursday Feb 15. Then come back on Friday, read the entries, and vote for your favorite by e-mailing me or contacting me via the contact page. The winner will get a big smootch from yours truly or some other just as worthless "prize". (Remember, put a <br> after each line to get it to display correctly)
Wednesday February 14 2007File under: poetry, contest

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Game Night - Laughs, Fun, and Extremely Poor Drawings

In honor of the McCool troop (no pun intended) being in town, we all got together for another edition of the world famous game night. We had many of the usual players in attendence as well as some first timers. Many thanks to all who made it, some on very short notice.

Highlights included [baby] Max, plates of spectacular food (thanks Keith!), mozzarella cheese (thanks Tyler!), a house full of laughs and smiles (thanks everyone!), Chantiel Krav, and an artistic rendering of Katy (thanks Sean!) (Note: artistic rendering not posted by request)

A little on-the-fly javascripting (courtesy of moi) and you can check out some of the drawings from the draw your friends game! Also, here are some examples of pictionary telephone done well and, well, interesting.
Sunday February 11 2007File under: games, events

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ACFL Pulling Party

One of the big assets Anacortes and Fidalgo Island have going for it is the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. There are enough trails too keep even a long time resident exploring. These days, I find myself out on hikes in the forest lands at least 4 times a week. I'm so grateful for the commitment to preservation of these lands for everyone to enjoy.

Since I spend so much time out enjoying the forests, it is only fair that I pitch in a little. I've known about the monthly work parties for some time, but until now, I haven't been able to find time to go join in. Today's work party happened to coincide with the most beautiful winter day (although it almost feels like spring). About 8-10 people showed up at Little Cranberry lake to pull non-native invasive plants.

After a little lesson in which are keepers and which need to get the kibosh, it was off into the forest. I spent an hour pulling english ivy and an hour pulling daphne. While my own feeling regarding non-native plants are not strong, it was great to learn how to identify them and a little about their history around this area.

The next work party is on March 10th at Whistle Lake at 10:00am. I had so much fun this time, I hope to make it to the next one as well.
Saturday February 10 2007File under: events

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Sloppy Lennies

Ever since I ran across this recipe for sloppy lennies on the [amazing] Vegan Lunch Box blog, I've been dying to try it. When Andrew got me the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook for Christmas, it was all the more inspiration. Last night, I rolled up my sleeves, dragged tits over a hot stove, and prevailed.

Sloppy lennies are vegetarianized version of sloppy joes. Basically, you replace the meat with lentils, and tada!, you've got goodness. As it turns out, the VLB cookbook didn't have the recipe. I had to track back through the blog's archives to come up with this recipe. But in looking through the cookbook, I came across a great idea for a side dish: tater tots. Again, there was no recipe for those, just the suggestion to buy some from your grocer's organic frozen foods section. Since I am not one to contest authority, off I went.

Verdict (as Mrs. Shmoo would put it): The tater tots were a hit. The sloppy lennies were pretty good. I had to unveganize them with a slice of american cheese (and maybe some dried milk powder in the english muffins), but I still took down two of them (with plenty left for leftovers). 3.5 stars.
Friday February 9 2007File under: food, links

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Style Runs in the Family

Anyone who knows me know that I couldn't find style even if someone gave me its GPS coordinates. I'm pretty sure flannel shirts with torn shorts, if they ever were in style, will never be again. That's okay though, because I live in my own world where "functional-lazy" is all the craze. (If anyone is interested in functional-lazy, there will be a runway show in Milan showcasing the spring collection in early April.)

For those who live in the real world, check this out. My step-brother Sam has always been the sylish one in the family. At his website, you can admire this sense of style in his clothing line and even find out where to get it yourself (sorry non-Washingtonians, it is currently only available in Seattle.) While at the website, be sure to check out the amazing glass and artwork too.
Tuesday February 6 2007File under: links

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Puzzle for a Rainy Day

Jigsaw puzzles can be a great way to pass time on a rainy day (or rainy week as the case may be). With both time and rain in abundance, I figured there is no better time than the present so I biked down to the local thrift shop to snatch up a puzzle. One thousand pieces for $.50 (not bad), however the pieces kind of smell like smoke (not good). The scene is of a beach, with trees, people sunbathing, waves, and lots of sky. Anyone hankering for a challenge, I'll set aside all the sky pieces for you.

Speaking of puzzles, I ran across this one the other day in my internet meanderings. It is simple but challenging. I'm somewhat ashamed to say that it took me the better part of an hour to solve although I did solve it. Anyone familiar with tangrams (Mrs. Doran alums, I'm looking at you here) should have a hoot of a time with this one.

I say, let it rain!
Sunday February 4 2007File under: misc

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Let There Be Light!


For those of you who have ever been to my house, on your next visit, you might notice something. (For those of you who haven't, this post might not quite do it for you.) Notice anything funny about the angle of this picture taken? Yes, that is our kitchen. Yes, there used to be a wall there.

In an effort to get more natural light into the kitchen space, Ma decided to sacrafice my old bedroom. Step one: pour through accumulated crap stashed in closet. Step two: remove wall. Step three: clean up. (That pesky drywall dust gets everywhere.) Step four: enjoy the open space created and the light allowed in. Everyone that has seen the change has approved. Here it is from another angle.
Friday February 2 2007File under: pics

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February's Movie Marathon

I like watching movies. Whether they are mindless Hollywood action blockbusters or quirky independent films, I usually enjoy them. I've often been accused of poor taste in movies, but I like to think of it more as an indiscriminate palette. How's that for a euphemism?

Anyway, while I was on that other continent over there (you know, that big one with lots of people), I fell behind on the whole movie scene. Even before that, the commuter lifestyle I led didn't really lend itself to free evenings to rent a movie or two. Now that I have nothing to stop me and the weather is still on the "stay inside" side of warm, I hereby declare February to be a movie marathon here at Chez du Wren. I've been keeping a list of movies I want to watch (or re-watch) for some time. First features: Princess Mononoke and Little Miss Sunshine.

Anyone in the area looking for a night at the pseudo-cinema, drop me a line and join me. Anyone not in the area, leave a comment with any movies I simply mustn't miss. (Scary movies need not apply)
Thursday February 1 2007File under: movies

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Word Racer Wrap Up

Alert ESPN. Someone call Will Shortz. The results are in from BdWs first officially sponsored event, the Word Racer Meet Up. The results are: FUN!

Four states from 3 time zones were represented by the full house in social lounge 6, including the trifecta from Jamaica Plain, MA. It was fast paced action with great performances by all. Highlights included "quieter", "sunset", "molten", and "emoted" from the Great Finds category. For Comical Inclusion, "shat", "booty", and "hooty" all deserve a mention. "Veg", "hoy", "wen", and "cole" top the list of Words I Didn't Know Were Words. As for the I Could've Sworn Those Were Words category, we'll leave those for insiders only.

A big thanks to all those who participated! Keep an eye out for WRMU II soon!
Tuesday January 30 2007File under: events

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