Wednesday, June 27, 2007

rope, styrofoam, and a touch of love

100 Delicate Chocolates: Ingredients: 1 10"x 10"x 1 1/4" block of blue foam, 1 tub sculpt-or-coat, brown, black, red, white, yellow, and purple paints, and 2 artificial flowers.
Serves 0

Cute oversized lollipops: yep, they're cotton rope.

"wickering" an aluminium table. note the unpainted yarn.

Before: yes, the clorox was necessary to kill some of the mold that had been growning in this chair for the past few years. Each of the little buttons had to be individually prised off. the red material behind them was some horrible version of pleather.

And After: the Prince's vanity chair for Cendrillon. The director hasn't picked out the edging yet (no, it will not go into performance with exposed staples.)

Just a taste of what i've been working on lately.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the Organic conspiracy

I think I'm onto something. The other day i was at Safeway, comparing breads, comparing prices, and I came across an odd dichotomy. For those readers who may not be aware, Safeway has its own organic food line, called "O" Organics. For organic its mediocre, but at least they're trying. Anyway, I picked up a loaf of the Safeway Selects brand whole grain bread and looked at the ingredients list. After "enriched bleached flour" there wasn't actually anything I could pronounce. All sorts of "partially hydrogenated" this and "high-maltose" that, with plenty of Xs and Zs to baffle the vocabulary of even second-place spelling bee contestants. I put it down, disgusted, and picked up the O Organics variety, and found an ingredients list I could appreciate. Whole grain this, all-natural that...for twice the price of the other subset of the same parent company.

which got me thinking.

Does anyone else suspect that food manufacturers are doing this on purpose? Making the "regular" type of food so jam-packed with artificial ingredients and petroleum-based emulsifiers that its Entirely inedible, so as to force the consumer to purchase the higher-priced natural or organic option? There's absolutely no reason for bread makers to put That much garbage into their dough except to make another option more attractive. Its like selling pantyhose with runs in them for what you might consider a reasonable price, while selling the intact version for double. It generates a feeling in the purchaser of "well if that's what it costs broken, i guess its not unreasonable to pay a bit more for something useful." We assume, wrongly, that the corporation is willing to sell the holy pantyhose at a loss in order to get rid of them, and the good tights are sold for suggested retail value. But they're selling the trash for a reasonable price so as to justify the mark-up on the products we actually want!

I admit. I lived in Berkeley for a while. Everything in that area is organic, or at very least natural, and if its neither its sold in the trash grocery stores that nobody really shops at. Good local produce is reasonably priced and bountifully available. All-natural bread is sold by the heap for a pittance. Cereal doesn't have to include high-fructose corn syrup! There are options besides $4.00 tofu and stale granola! But now I am in the middle of the country where nobody expects that, and if you want it you've got to be willing to pay to ship it. People pay hard-earned money to buy canned stench that makes my nose bleed because some asshole company's marketing department has convinced folks that they want it. People buy mononitrate diglyceride sodium laurel and/or laureth sulfate partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or canola oil-infused breads because for some bizarre reason its cheaper now in our better-life-through-chemistry economy. And the folks who actually bother to read the back before they bite in are going to just have to pay more for being a smartass. Well excuse me for not wanting to eat soap. The Man wants me to pay more to not store non-digestible plastic products in my abdomen? When did THIS become a concern? WHEN THE HELL DID REAL FOOD BECOME A LUXURY ITEM?????

No, thank you, i don't want day-glo orange lab-created UHP artficially flavored dairy-free powdered cheese product on my chlorine-bleached wheat-germ-extract-and-talc-based French-style bread product, nor would I like any 0% juice blue raspberry flavored high-dextrose corn syrup sweetened beverage to go with it. I just want a beer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

yesterday on I-70...

(click to enlarge)

. . . While listening to Pearl Jam. Rock the Rockies.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

its just too pretty out here

In other news, i swore at my boss today after he knocked an artificial tree onto my head and, in lieu of apologising, said "well i warned you." (he didn't.) i may have upped the already teeth-grinding tension in my shop. the social friction in there is so intense the lights flicker. i have a bruise now.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

switch, bitch

Three weeks ago my job involved creating things such as this:
(note: the yellow cart, not the welder itself.)

but since i got out here my job involves projects more of this flavor:

Er...yeah. I have no idea.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Bar

I'd never had a regular hangout before I moved to Central City--a cafe or bar or park where I would arrive and expect to bump into people I know, where the bartender would know my name, and I could even leave an outstanding tab for a number of days 'cos they know i'm good for it. Sure there have been pubs and coffeehouses that i've frequented and the barista or staffer would smile with vague recognition, and occasionally i'd run into a friend, but up until now I'd never actually had a bartender look up when I came in and say "Evening, Kristen--the usual?"

Its quite nice, actually--knowing there's somewhere I can go when home gets too cubical--like Cheers, or Moe's, or the Drunken Clam... it does mean i'm showing signs of alcoholism, true, but it also means i'm getting out more. I've lived here two weeks and i've already established my social position--not just the crowd I run with but i've picked out bosom companions and a couple of mortal enemies. Elsewhere its taken me months or even years to get my societal bearings (and in instances such as middle school, i never actually landed a place at all) but i figure that in a situation such as summer stock every aspect of human interaction has a certain rushed quality to it. In the backs of our minds we all know that our likelihoods of encountering one another anytime soon after the close of our contracts are fairly low, so we work to have a well-rounded three month social experience that can end cleanly when the theater shuts its doors. We meet in a large heap, we get a vague notion of one another's interests, experiences, and qualities, we evaluate one another based on those impressions, and from there we branch off. some become cliques, some date, some fight, some never cross paths, but at the end of the summer we all feel that everything--not just the theatre season, but the friendships, the brief loves, the teeth-gritting feuds--are over and moot. After a few months we forget everyone's names and are only reminded of each other's continued existence by the occasional Facebook post and the random search through one's phone book. Just the other day i came across a name in my cell phone which prompted the thought "oh yeah! he know i know him..." and it took me a while to realize he was once my boss. But that's the lifestyle.

so yeah. the bar. Its fun to realize that you can look over at a friend and ask "you going to the bar tonight?" and both of you know exactly which bar, at exactly what time. (partly because there's only one real bar in Central, but it's run by good people and the mayor makes pizza on weekends so we don't mind.) I like this concept--my home bar.

In other news, i wrenched my back this morning and may have to seek out a chiropractor. I'm walking like C-3PO.

Friday, June 01, 2007

welcome to Central City

Believe it or not, people really do opera out here.