Mighty Life List
Dec 16 2014

Alone with Bob Dylan

The Swedish film series Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone) explores how much of our enjoyment comes from company. Among other experiments, they arranged for Bob Dylan to play a concert for one man. (via Kottke)

Are you a person who does things on your own? If so, I’m curious about what types of things. I’ve said before that I enjoy eating alone, I think I’d be happy at a movie too. But I’m not a huge fan of traveling alone, and if it came to a concert from one of my idols, I’d so much rather have a friend along so we could grin stupidly at each other.

Dec 10 2014

How to Make Tinsel Tassels

When I was a kid we always decorated the tree with Christmas tree icicles, so I threw some in the cart this year. Then I wondered if I could use them to make cheapie tassels instead.

After some clumsy attempts using twine and ribbon to fashion the tassels, I pulled out some craft wire and voila! They’re super quick, about $1 each, and you can even leave them up for New Year’s. You’ll need:

Tinsel, one 1,000 strand package per tassle
• About 10 inches of Fine-gauge craft wire per tassel
• Scissors

First you’ll make the wire loop that lets you hang the tassel. Loosely fold the wire in half.

Form a loop by giving the tail wires a couple twists.

Poke one end of the wire beneath all the strands of tinsel.

Pull the wires downward and gather the tinsel into a tighter bunch.

Twist the tail wires together to enclose your bunch of tinsel.

Carefully pull your tinsel out of the package.

You should have something that looks like this now.

Fold your tinsel down with a wire protruding from each side of the bunch. If you give the bunch a little twist, it will make a more attractive tassel head.

Now it’s time to secure the tassel head by wrapping the tail ends of the wire around the top of your bunch. Start with wrapping one wire tail in the direction of your twist until it’s wrapped all the way around.

Now for the second wire. You shouldn’t have to do anything special to finish the wires off, they should just lay flat with a pinch.

Now you have a tassel! Boom. Straighten out any tangeled strands by combing fingers through, or if you’re a perfectionist, you can use a wide-toothed comb. Gentle, my friend.

Clip away any uneven ends or unruly strands.

Yay! Now you can make one thousand more. And then heck, make yourself some pants. Let’s go dancing.

Dec 8 2014

Rancho Siempre Verde

Last year, we set out to cut down our own Christmas tree and stumbled on Rancho Siempre Verde, which is like something out of Gilmore Girls. It’s a tree farm with s’more roasting, and wreath-making tables, and a big ball of kids who roll around inside a cloud of dust.

There are half dozen rope and tire swings hanging from the Eucalyptus. I wish this photo were scratch-and-sniff.

Hank’s favorite part is riding around in the tractor cart when it goes to pick up trees.

My favorite part are the wreath tables — $7 for the wreath forms and boughs, but the local ladies bring berries and ornaments and ribbons and small animatronic animals to affix.

When I was making my wreath, the ladies at the next table were discussing who would drive them all home. They were a little smashed on thermos toddies. Who made the toddies? They are strong. Fortunately, one of them was on a cleanse, so they poured another round.

Next year, I’m bringing toddies.

Rancho Siempre Verde
2250 Cabrillo Hwy, Pescadero, CA 94060
(650) 326-9103

Dec 4 2014

Little Kid Scientist Gift Guide

As a toddler he was impatient to get to the moon, when she turned four she asked for a lab coat. A few gifts for our budding geeks. Live long and prosper, little ones.

Tattly Science Set of Temporary Tattoos, $15 Future founder of the first scientist biker gang.

Break Your Own Geodes, $15 Geology means you get to smash things.

Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste, $12 We’ve been through alllll the science experiment books around here, and this series is our favorite. Simple experiments, solid scientific explanations, and many of them work with stuff you’ll have around the house.

Miracle Fruit Tablets, $15 Condensed Miracle Fruit tablets temporarily bind to the tastebuds and make sour things taste sweet. So neat!

Crystal Growing Volcano, $8 Like a baking soda volcano, but you don’t have to do it in the driveway and change clothes afterward.

Dec 3 2014

Pregnancy Update: Still Pregnant

Do I want hot chocolate or a pickle? This is what I use my brain for now.

Nausea prevented me from eating much my first trimester, which made me pleasant to be around. A few of the appetizing meal choices I made in that period:

This last one is dinner on Halloween night.

That was a couple days before my appetite started to return, and just before I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Hey-ohhh!

So if you guys want to come over for some unsweetened soy hot cocoa and pickles, party’s at my place.

Dec 2 2014

My Twinkly-Kapow Tree Topper

Behold this little firework tree topper. Pow. It’s from Wendy Addison’s Theatre of Dreams, a boutique tucked away in magic Port Costa, CA. (If you’ve never seen Wendy’s work go look.)

My sparkly twinkle topper was $48, and if you want one of your own, I think you should get it. Drop her a line at shop@wendyaddisonstudio.com. She will cut it out, and glue it up, and make it sparkly, and send it to you with her hands. Thanks, Wendy.

Nov 25 2014

The Ferguson Verdict Links

The Washington Post has a decent synopsis of what’s happened since the verdict: What We Know About What Happened in Ferguson.

What You Can Do

10 Ways You Can Help the People of Ferguson from the Huffington Post:
• Support efforts requiring all state, county and local police to wear [dashboard and] body cameras.
• Advocate for the removal of the Pentagon’s “1033 Program” by signing the petition here
• Send condolences to Michael Brown’s family here.

A protestor retreats after being treated for tear gas. Photo Credit: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images


Darren Wilson Describes his Fear of Michael Brown
“Wilson said that Brown went for the officer’s gun, saying: ‘You are too much of a p—- to shoot me.’”

President Obama’s Press Conference
“We need to recognize the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges we still face as a nation. The fact is in too many parts of this country distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color.”
“We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. I have witnessed that in my own life, and to deny that progress is to deny America’s capacity for change.”

Photos of Nationwide Protests from Time.

Commentary on violence in Ferguson

2 Timothy 1:7 – For the spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. Photo by: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Brown Family’s Statement
“Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful.”

Dasha Jones, 19, is arrested for unlawful assembly during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo. on the evening of Nov. 20, 2014 from Time Magazine


Ferguson Goddamn‘ from Colorlines:

“I’m frustrated with myself for expecting, if only for a moment, that people who have historically not valued black life, would actually value black life. More than anything, I’m sad. I’m just sad. This is no way to live.” – Dr. Yaba Blay, director or Africana Studies, Drexel University

“Even as I expected the decision to be what it was, it still hurts deeply. Who can be shown their babies’ lives don’t matter and expect to feel anything but pain and rage? And fear? The decision leaves me in fear for the safety of the children I love so deeply.” – Asha Bandele, Author

Satire and Social Commentary

Young man wears a shirt mimicking popular shirts with names of television show characters, but supplanted by names of black children and young men killed through abuse of power. Photo by Time. (If you’d like one, it’s part of the And Counting collection sold here.)

Nation Doesn’t Know If It Can Take Another Bullshit Speech About Healing
Sometimes Unfortunate Things Happen in the Heat of a 400-Year-Old Legacy of Racism