Anger Burger

I Hope You Weren’t Planning on Sleeping Tonight

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I urgently need to show you something.  It is not related to anything at all, except inasmuch as we all care about the advancement of humanity: the internet has achieved, for me, the pinnacle of everything.  It is called Fashion It So.

It is difficult for me to be funny after reading this blog, because it sucks all the funny out of the any nearby consciousness in a predatory effort to use the funny for itself.  It is a vampire who bit me and drained me of all my wit, and I write this as the remainder of humor drains from my body, unable to sustain me.  But I don’t mind, because that vampire is so magnificent and sparkling that I want it to take my funny.

From a sheer copywriting standpoint, it’s genius.  Mike the Viking is paid to teach copywriting, and I suggested that he just instruct his students to read Fashion It So and try to emulate it.  But then he pointed out that he wouldn’t get paid anymore, and I sort of need that half of our finances, so that was that.

 

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Outtake

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

When we were deciding whether or not to rent this house, one of the very first things I asked the landlord was “There aren’t any bands that practice nearby, are there?”  He pointed out each house and the names of the owners, and their careers and his guesses at their ages.  No one was the house band type.

Which means that of course the grown-ass, professional career guy neighbor directly next door to us hosts a band practice in his basement at least once a week.

It is the drummer that really bothers me, the hour-after-hour repeat of the same beats and rolls.  He got one of those wooden cowbell things not long ago, of all the heinous tragedies.  We keep telling ourselves we are going to go over there to say something, but really, what can we say?  Hi, my name is Sunday, we live next door to you?  We borrowed your lawn mower the first week we moved in and you were really nice about it?  Yeah, I want to shoot myself in the face with a heroin gun because I cannot fucking stand living next to other human beings, least of all your fusion jazz ear-pocalypse.

I would like to present to you the very real face I make in response to this bullshit:

Mike happened to – just at the very moment the neighbor started up at his drums – take a test photo while we set up for the Lloyd Dobler photoshoot from yesterday’s post.  Captured at the up-cycle of the eye roll, no less.  Excellent work, Mike.

Shhhh. It’s a secret.

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm

A while back, I talked the Captain into writing a book. Not a cookbook, a regular book. A novel. And boy, did she write the hell out of it. It is hilarious and brilliant, as you would expect. It’s an alternate earth story which includes psychedelics, flying sharks, morons, bounty hunters, italians, and a troll. And I’m not even giving away the best parts.

For much of the past year, I’ve been struggling with formatting it for the Kindle- an agonizing process, at least the way I do it. HOWEVER! Some time in the not-too-distant, I will have it into a almost-ready-for-public-release shape. I was hoping that some of you loyal Burgerians would be willing to proof it and help me spot formatting and spelling errors.

Leave a comment if you’d like to volunteer- you’ll need some free time to read, willingness to take notes , the ability to get stuff done in a timely manner, and a kindle (not an emulator- sorry iphoners). Tell me why you’re fit to guard the rainbow bridge.

Thank you for your support.

Bloodthirstily yours,

MIKE the VIKING

 p.s. No blood-relatives of the Captain will be accepted as volunteers. For science reasons.

 

EDIT: Thank you all! Your enthusiasm is inspiring. I took a new approach to formatting (basically started over at the HTML/CSS level) and it appears to have worked. LEVEL UP! MAYBE! I’m going to give it a couple of going overs, then it will be your turn. I will be contacting you sequentially, first-come first-served. If you don’t have the time right away, I’ll move on down the list. That way maybe ALL of Y’ALL can be reading this before the Winter Ninja comes to call.

 

 

A Little Diversion

Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Since I swore I would not discuss knitting here on Anger Burger, let’s discuss what I’ve been knitting lately.

I should defend myself, weakly, by saying that I’ve given the dog a massive dose of prescription sedative since she, like most dogs, hears a single firecracker and immediately thinks HOLY SHIT IT IS THE MOTHERFUCKING APOCALYPSE RUN FROM ROOM TO ROOM AND DROOL ALL OVER YOURSELF. But! Before you think that the sedative means that she is now blissfully unaware, you are wrong!  Because she is 100% committed to being an asshole, after a dose of sedative that should drop an animal twice her size, she remains panicked and slobbery, and emits a high keening noise not unlike a fluorescent bulb.

Anyway, I don’t have any food to write about.  I want you to know that I do not talk about the knitting for a pretty straightforward reason: it’s not easy to just drop into a knitting conversation, because there is such a drastic spectrum of skill levels.  And I really don’t know what I’m doing.  I wing it a lot, I make a lot of mistakes, and I do terrible math that results in things that I have to completely tear out.  I choose the wrong yarn.  I wash things wrong.  But I have some successes, and I will tell you about them.

First and most important piece of knitting advice: join the free knitting social/networking/data site Ravelry.  It is the single-most utilized knitting tool I use. People obsessively document their projects, which means that you can cross-reference literally almost anything and see, for example, what brand of yarn everyone else prefers to knit that project with (and then learn details about that yarn, such as what it commonly retails for, the yardage, etc.) and then click on individual projects.  I swear, I would not be as voracious a knitter as I am without Ravelry.  Before I start a project I see what everyone else seems to think about it; I’ve decided not to knit things due to overwhelming complaints of a bad pattern.

My friend Amani asked me about this photo:

She asked, did I knit that sweater? I did.  It is a popular free pattern called Aidez, and it is my favorite house sweater.  CAVEAT: it is my favorite house sweater because I sort of don’t care if I fuck it up. I chose the wrong yarn (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky, curse you!) and it pills like a mother. I swear I’m picking off mouse-sized wads of yarn fuzz from the underarms every single day.  I don’t understand how there can still be a sweater left, frankly. And the color, “Porcini”, looks alright in this photo, but in person is a very flat, very off shade of putty that really looks grim. I’d have named the color “Dead Oatmeal Barf”.

I made some changes to the pattern because why would I just do something normally. I don’t feel like listing them or anything.  See?  This is why I don’t talk about knitting.  But I will say that the sweater is looong and I shortened it by an inch and wish I’d shortened it by several more. And I knit it in the round instead of in pieces. The pattern also commits my biggest pet peeve: it instructs you to simply “reverse the stitches” for the opposite side, rather than writing them out.  C’mon!  It just means that I have to write them out in the pattern margins.  Is it really saving that much time for the pattern’s author to not do it herself?  Foop.

I knit this hat for a friend’s daughter, the a pattern this basic, but it’s just so goddamn cute.

I used Cascade 220 Superwash wool, which is a little expensive, but the word “superwash” means that it is machine washable.  Which, if you are knitting for a child, is basically rule #1. And it comes in a bazillion colors. And it feels good to knit.

The zig-zaggy fringe on mine won’t stand upright like the pattern shows it will, but I sort of like the disheveled berry look.

The most successful sweater of recent years has been the Beatnik:

In addition to being a free pattern, it is one of the most effortlessly best-fitting sweaters I’ve ever made.  If you feel the urge to tackle a cable-knit sweater of moderate challenge, this is it.  It’s really not that hard, I swear.  Also, I followed this knit-a-long tutorial for knitting it in the round, which is a little more work up front but makes for a much better sweater later. Another sweater that I expect I will make several of, in several colors, so that I can basically always be wearing it.

I’ve knit this scarf probably half a dozen times:

It’s the “Waves of Grain” scarf, yet another free pattern, and a tricky but worthwhile venture into lace knitting.  In fact, it was the first lace I knit, and I went on to love it and knit many other lace things. If you have been burned in the past by knitting clothing that doesn’t fit, I suggest trying to knit a complicated scarf like this one.  One size fits all.  And also: it doesn’t have to be knit on fine yarn and tiny needles, you can try it on a slightly larger yarn and corresponding needles first.  It’ll make a huge scarf, but at least it will help you get the hang of it. My example up there was also my first attempt at beading a knit piece, and that was a pain in the ass like you wouldn’t believe.  But: pretty!  Maybe don’t try it your first foray into lace knitting, you will hate God and man and all things living.

And that is that.  Right at this moment I have a project I just finished for Mike the Viking drying and waiting to have buttons sewn onto it, and when it is done I will show it to you.  I call it the Hobbit Vest, because the green tweed I used has given the whole thing a rather Tolkien-y air.  You should know that I knit an entire front panel of it that I then tore out and re-did after realizing that it was too big.

Which leads me to my last piece of advice: if you are not patient, do not bother with knitting.  You will make mistakes for which the only solution is to obliterate your work so far and then start again.  This often means losing hours, if not tens of hours, of work time.  You will never hear me say this again about anything, but with knitting, for me at least, it is not the finished product I am looking for.  It is the construction of it.  Please don’t make me paraphrase it into a lesson about destinations and journeys. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking frustrating. But there is a kind of zen place I go to of pleasant tactile textures and beautiful heathered colors.  There is order from chaos.  It is not at all unlike cooking, now that I think about it. Of course I can go buy a sweater or a pie, and it will be cheaper than the one I had to make myself.  But look at that thing! I have serious post-apocalypse tribal cred! You want socks after the department stores have all burned? I’m your girl. I am fucking useful.

40 Posted in Totally Unrelated

Happy Place

Posted by on May 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

Let’s go there.

This is a tiny taco salad in a dog bowl.

For a very lucky dog, for no real reason at all other than it’s nice to see someone be totally happy and unworried.

I’d be that crazy dog lady that carried her dog everywhere if Thinktank wasn’t 30 pounds.  Instead I wrap her in crochet blankets my mom made me and feed her taco salad.

I’d say it was cheap entertainment, but to date Tank is the single largest financial investment of my life.  And of course I’d do it a million times over, if I had to.  Who knew I’d love a barfing machine this much?

6 Posted in Totally Unrelated

Welcome to Fig Manor

Posted by on Apr 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

There is not enough murder in the world to deal with the emotions produced by moving.  I’ve tried my usual coping mechanisms, but alcohol just makes me sleepy and hungry, and until today I didn’t even know where my toaster was, let alone a plate or fork.  We moved in last Saturday, and then each day I spent 10 hours out of the house at work, came home, unpacked for maybe one hour before becoming magnificently grouchy and delirious, ate either a banana and some crackers or a cold cheese sandwich assembled with a dirty knife, and then passed the fuck out and did it all again the next day.

Friends have asked “Aren’t you excited to be all moved?”  And I have a totally automatic and unintentional facial spasm that I imagine is not unlike what my dog looks like before she throws up a bunch of mucousy grass.

Because right now, this is my new dining room:

It looks like we live in a box fort.  A box fort that we a pay a lot of fucking rent for.  But at least the kitchen is… well, it’s a total disaster.  I can’t even take a photo of the rest of it, it is just too dismal.  Why do I have so much stuff?  I feel like I got rid of so much when we moved out of the Guacamole House, but The fact that I’ve uncovered the 7th large box of just pantry goods pretty much proves me wrong.

We are pros at moving now, but this move we really fucked up on a couple of things.  Because we had friends help instead of hired dudes, we felt pressured to just get the stuff into the house in any way it would fit at all, and didn’t boss them around on breaking things down into room-by-room piles.  We always fix up the bedroom first so there is at least one retreat in the house, but we keep finding more bedroom shit and the whole thing never feels complete.

But you know.  Fuck it.  House.

The goal is to get the kitchen done today (ha! ugh) and then… The rest of everything.  Oooooh, man.

 

15 Posted in Totally Unrelated

“Thou art directed to return to thine own solar system immediately.”

Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Short version: we will be moving into a new house in a few days (huzzah!) but there have been some postponements (hiss!) and I can’t even really show you photos of it yet or anything because I basically haven’t seen it since we signed the lease a month ago.  This is my long, beleaguered sigh. This next week is going to be brutally, awfully painful, combining moving with an extra day of work that I’m not paid for that involves an actual test (bloodborne pathogens certification! Sounds SUPER FUN), and!  Easter!  With the extended family!  I actually want to do that last part, but still: Oh my god I’m going to die.  I keep telling myself that this time next month I’ll be mostly settled into my own house.  This time next month.  This time next month.

Meanwhile at the bar the other night a guy sat for hours drinking beer and watching ST:TNG on his laptop.  He’d pause when he got up to get fresh beers.

My friends and I sat and talked about nerd stuff for hours, and every once and a while we’d look over and find this sort of universal comfort glowing back at us, this perfect, gentle encouragement that even though were are all broke and overworked and bewildered at how we got here, there’s still Q.

Back at my dad’s house, ThinkTank’s favorite TV show is Animal Planet’s Too Cute: Kittens.  I swear I am not shitting you.  Look:

We eventually have to turn the channel because she watches it so intently and with so many muscles flexed that we’re afraid she’ll hurt herself.

 

0 Posted in Totally Unrelated

Hongray Games

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

What I hadn’t anticipated was how few adults at The Hunger Games premiere had actually read the books. So that when you show up looking like this:

Instead of being all “Way to kill those asshole kids, Katniss!” they were all “Are you girls alright? What happened?”  The fourth and final adult that asked my cousin and I what happened to us, I had this actual conversation:

me: “You didn’t read the books, did you?”

adult: “No, I haven’t.”

me: “So you’re not aware you’re about to watch a movie about 24 teenagers trying and mostly succeeding in killing each other for forced sport?”

adult: “No, but — wait, what?!

My boss is a tattoo artist, but when he was a kid he wanted to do monster makeup for a living.  He saved his allowance and mail-ordered one item of professional movie makeup at a time.

Now we are grownups and can do whatever the fuck we want, but he sadly doesn’t get much casual opportunity to do theatrical makeup.  When I asked him to make us look like we’d barely missed throwing knives, tracker jackers and fireballs, he grabbed his kits and got to work.

We spent maybe too much time Googling bruises.

(this is not my head)

It’s strangely satisfying to make bruises.  They are pretty.  And there’s my detriment to feminism for the day.

(neither is this)

Neither my cousin or I wanted to remove our makeup at the end of the night.  We felt tough, as if we’d actually earned them rather than sat primly still for fifteen minutes while an internationally award-winning tattoo artist gently poofed our faces with baby powder to set the makeup Online Pokies.

How was the movie? It was great!  The experience of waiting in line at a premiere is always it’s own experience, and while I was supremely bummed to miss out standing in line with my friends Krista and Jess (there was an IMAX misunderstanding, and we ended up with tickets to different theaters inside the same cinema), the energy of the theater and the excitement of the movie itself actually kept me awake past midnight, which I don’t think I’ve done since New Years Eve a few years ago when my friend lied to me about the time in order to trick me into staying out.

I’ve spent the last few days explaining to various people what The Hunger Games trilogy is about, and as much as I want to say they are full of great subversive politics and are the actual antidote to Twilight-brain-madness, once you’re in a theater of a zillion teenage girls screaming and clapping when the girl finally kisses the guy (who may be lying about liking her in order to kill her later! and she knows it!), you kind of have to sit back and will yourself 15 years old again: Katniss is a badass.  There are two cute¹ boys. And oh-em-gee the chariot ride costume!

So what if you only got five hours sleep between two 10-hour work days.  That’s why the internet sells bulk crystalline caffeine.

¹ Sort of, I guess. They didn’t do anything for me. I mean, we’ve got Discount Thor on one hand (also: Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend fiance, so, no), and Forgettable McWhatever on the other hand.  Even my cousin is holding out for Tom Hiddleston, bless her little heart.

What I Wouldn’t Give for a Guacamole House Right Now

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

No.  No.  No.

House hunting is one of my least favorite things ever.  I kind of like moving into a new place, of getting everything settled and learning the way the light moves through the windows at dawn, or how the eaves shake in the wind.  I don’t necessarily want to become familiar with the way the carpet squishes in the toilet dungeon – oh I’m sorry, I mean third bedroom with en suite.

 

We’ll keep looking.  MEANWHILE!  My mom had a birthday.   An important one, but I guess they all are.

There’s no real explanation, but she wasn’t really feeling her birthday this year.  The winter storm we just experienced was costly for her, having had to hire a professional to come clear her driveway so my stepdad could attempt to get to work and help my grandpa get a massive tree cut up and hauled from his driveway.  I really wish we could have surprised her with an Alaskan cruise or a room full of pug puppies, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way.  So what’s a family to do?  Eat at La Tarasca, for starters.  And then Harbor City dim sum for seconders.

 

And for dessert we tried Olympia’s new Jewish deli, Kitzel’s, which is a source of great drama for generally Jew-free Olympia.  Not the Jewish part, the skimpy-but-expensive-portions part.

My salted herring plate was $9 and actually too much food for me to eat.  Well, specifically too much salt.  Which is unusual.  I need salt like most people need water.  But the herring is magnificently, astonishingly salty, which is why there’s a heap of underseasoned potato salad and two pickled tomatoes on the plate.

My mom and The Viking shared a pastrami sandwich, which at another $10 wasn’t exactly a deal, but was enough food for them to share as a modest lunch.

I do have to call total and utter bullshit on them for charging $1.50 for a bagel (okay, I’ll let it slide) but $3.50 for a bagel with cream cheese.  TWO DOLLARS FOR CREAM CHEESE.  And!  Just when I sort of calmed down about that, I noticed that a bagel with butter was $2.75!  A dollar fucking twenty five for a pat of butter!  Oh ho, oh man.  That.  That is… ballsy.  And insulting.  The show-down at Yelp gives a good idea of the dramz, but the one thing that really irked me has been taken down: Kitzel’s gave themselves a five star review and then sassed back to every bad reviewer about how their prices and servings were the same¹ as elsewhere in town.

I like the sass, but I’d like it backed up with some substance. And by substance, I mean that I’d like to not spend four dollars on a bagel and a schmear.

¹ They are actually more expensive, but who cares, facts are for meshuggeners.

Dear Diary

Posted by on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:33 am

I’m tired.  I’d say it’s a Crohn’s thing, but I’m at the point where I can’t honestly place the blame on having an autoimmune disease that prohibits my body from absorbing useful nutrients.  It might be more honest to say: I’m winter tired.

Don’t get me wrong, here.  I love winter.  I missed winter.  It had been a handful of years since winter and I had a chance to be intimate, and we’ve been making up for lost time, let me tell you.  But I had imagined something a little more romantic, something log-cabin-hot-cocoa-bear-skin-ruggy, instead of coming into work and finding that someone thought it’d be a good idea to have a vent drilled through the sterilization room during work hours.  For example.

My mom accused me of being unhappy, and I can tell you and her with all sincerity that she is wrong.  I missed the Puget Sound more than I was willing to let on, and each day I slog to work through sideways rain I breathe a sigh of somewhat damp relief.  Weeks are flying by faster than I care to acknowledge, and the internal timeline I’d had for getting back on my financial feet is now a hilarious blip in my review mirror, but you know.  It’s winter.  We hibernate by watching too much TV and eating nachos and telling ourselves that the reason we can’t find a second job is because it’s winter.

And then!

My co-workers and I crawled into work like a cannibal soccer team each morning to see if the power was on (mostly!).  Ice-encased branches ripped from trees with the heart-stopping sound of china breaking.

It’s always heartbreaking to see the damage of an ice storm, and I worry every single minute about my mom out in the forest by herself with just a little generator and spotty cell phone connection, but it’s just so fucking gorgeous, I can’t stand it.

Every blobular twist, each straining and drooping branch; nature simply cannot more clearly put her arm around your shoulder and steer you back toward the electric heater and say “Just one more cup of tea.  You’ll have time to go down to the basement and start the laundry later.”