Saturday, October 9, 2010

i'm not at NYCC (sadface)

But if you're going to New York Comic Con, you should say hi to my friends there and have them sign some books I've edited!

Adam will be there with copies of both I Slept With Your Imaginary Friend and Stays Crunchy in Milk in Booth #349 in the small press area, between Bob Burden and Dr. McNinja. Yes.

Actually, you could stop by Bob Burden's booth while you're there and see if he's got any copies of the Flaming Carrot/Killer Robots crossover photocomics, which I worked on as well.

And if you're there with kids and/or think that bodily functions are kinda hilarious, you should visit Angela of Fierce Fun Toys, who might still be there today at the Laughing Ogre Comics booth (#3016) with copies of Norman PhartEphant: First New Day and bunch of adorable, apologetically rude plush toys.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

consumerism WOW: huh it's October

Adam and I somehow lost September. In a tragic accident. Involving gummy fish. Apologies, faithful Consumerism WOW readers! To balm your wounded hearts, we offer this October edition of Consumerism WOW! For those of you who look so confused, a) your keys are probably in the vegetable crisper again and b) Consumerism WOW is where either Adam P. Knave or myself (in this case, myself) professes desire for several commercially available products, then the other of us (in this case, Adam) tries to guess why the first person wants said products. And the guesser is usually so wrong that we then threaten their pets with sporks.

Thing #1

pendant made of a crystal and a bullet casing

Adam: You want this "Phantom" quartz bullet in order to shoot The Phantom Menace. I can see it now -- you with a sniper rifle, one bullet, and only Jar Jar between you and a shitty trilogy ending for all time.

Lauren: No! Well, yes. Well, I mostly want this because I think that turning something functional and potentially violent into pretty jewelry is nifty, and also you can't prove that I've been playing so much Halo: Reach just to practice my sniper skills. Also, no jury of my peers would convict me (unless they were 6-year olds, and this is precisely why we don't let 6-year olds sit for jury duty).

Thing #2

high on stress shirt

Adam: Are you saying you're stressed, Lauren? Is that a jab at our working relationship? Do I stress you? Are you stressing at me? Are you? Because I don't see anyone else here.

Lauren: I like to think that I'm not stressing at you, but rather with you. There is no "I" in "Oh fuckcakes, when were we supposed to have that done?"

Thing #3

steampunk controller shirtsteampunk controller shirt back panel

Adam: The steampunk controller is pretty cool, but looks like it would hurt your thumbs. Why do you want to make people hurt their thumbs, Lauren? WHY?

Lauren: I'd rather people hurt their thumbs than have to live without video games merely for having been born in the Victorian era. Also this shirt has a bit of design on the back as well as the front! Comprehensive use of the whole t-shirt canvas is important to me.

Thing #4

batgirl shirt

Adam: I 100% approve of this. Just, you know, watch out for really pale men in Hawaiian shirts knocking on your door late at night, 'k Babs?

Lauren: I always do! (A good friend of mine taught me that much.) Just to be clear, you mean this guy, right?

Thing #5

vintage-inspired jewelry with stylized bees

Adam: I can not approve of this. It is not a real bee. I thought, perhaps, it was a real bee. Cast in metal. Cast down! But no. It is a wireframe bee. A faux bee. Which is close to a Flow-Bee. Which is even worse. So no. I do not know why you would want a flow-bee. Perhaps you like Tron?

Lauren: No no, I want this jewelry because when I'm wearing it, people who want to flirt with me can say, "I like my women like I like my coffee -- covered in bees!" And also because I love bees.

Thing #6

floral print silk purse with wooden handles

Adam: I enjoy how the handles look like wooden mustaches. I just thought I would throw that out there so that if you ever got this bag you would forever think it. I say things like that because I care, Lauren. But as to why you want it, well, that much is obvious. But I will tell you right now you're wrong. You can not smuggle kittens in that bag.

Lauren: I don't think there has ever been a mustachioed purse, ever, in the entire existence of the Universe, that has been more suited to smuggling kittens. C'mon, they could keep themselves entertained by playing with the beaded tassels! Don't you try to ruin my most-adorable-ever smuggling ring.

Thing #7

authentic and delicious shirt

Adam: Oh great. I know you want this because you think it will go with your steampunk corset and jodhpurs. However, it will also end with far too many people asking to taste. And your baseball bat arm will get tired. Just a thought. Respect the swinging arm.

Lauren: But you forget, I will have a tortuous yet intriguing game controller with me. When people start to ask for tastes, I distract them with the controller and then their thumbs are bleeding too much for them to think about saying inappropriate things.

Thing #8

magnetic star ring

Adam: You want this ring because it symbolizes both Captain Planet and Jem for you, at the same time. Bravo.

Lauren: ....Well now that you mention it, yes. This ring is clearly From The '80s, and therefore fabulous. Radical. Tubular?

Thing #9

pixelated dino shirt

Adam: So are pixel fossils from 8-bit game monsters? Are you a video game archeologist? 8-bit-ana Jones? Wow, that line was bad enough I won't snark at this shirt. Sorry. Next.

Lauren: First off, this shirt has a glow-in-the-dark pixelated T-rex on it, you shouldn't snark at it anyway. Secondly, check out those tiny little glow-in-the-dark pixely T-rex arms! They're so vestigial and becoming! I think that's a trend that genetics should bring back.

Thing #10

star-crossed merpeople shirt

Adam: Look, Lauren, I know you liked Finding Nemo, mmmkay, but this is a sickness. Stop getting your fishpron on. It's upsetting. And it makes us wonder about lobster suits and raise eyebrows.

Lauren: It's clearly not fishpron, it's tragic, star-crossed merpeople lurve! I hope that by next month you'll have grown enough, heartwise, to realize the value in unbees, cute contraband, and emo merpeople.

And so, with a challenge issued and sleep to be had, we leave you each on your own in the consumer-Internet wilderness for another month! Be brave out there, intrepid readers!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

guest post on Ginger Lemon Girl

During all the hubbub of September, I completely forgot to mention: A cookie recipe of mine appeared last month as a guest post on Ginger Lemon Girl, a guilt-free, gluten-free cooking blog! My lemon-lavender-almond cookies, moist & chewy with almond meal, really lend themselves to being made gluten free, so I reworked the recipe for Carrie & her friendly readers. (I also made the baking instructions less rambly, 'cause, guys, I tend to go on a bit. Perhaps you've noticed?) Check out the resulting version of the recipe here:

Gluten-Free Lemon-Almond-Lavender Cookies

lemon lavender almond cookies, photo (and cookies) by Lauren Vogelbaum

Saturday, October 2, 2010

creature comforts in Boston

New job has been full of learning curves! Thrilling, anxiety-inducing, curly-wurly learning curves. But it's also been full of friendly, nerdly people, being encouraged to tweet for fun & profit, and a trip to Boston during which the aforementioned nice people introduced me to restaurants with delicious foods.

My first night in town, after a ridiculously long day of travel/office shenanigans, extraface, @rubicantekid, and I grabbed pre-collapse dinner at Chutney's, which lives in a tiny food court space in The Garage on Harvard Square. It's an Indian fast-food sandwich shop -- like Subway (a franchise of which the owner also runs), except the breads you choose from include naan, roti, and paratha, the components you choose from include aloo chana, basmati rice, lamb kabob, and chicken tikka, and I've never been offered tamarind chutney at a Subway. I got the paneer tikka with rice, tomato, cucumber, and mint & tamarind chutneys on naan. They smooshed the ingredients inside the naan and then toasted the whole thing in a panini press, and it was near-terrifyingly unabashed comfort/junk food, the textures all gradients of soft and the flavors warm & savory-sweet with just a touch of heat. I very much recommend the place to hungry students and weary travelers.

The following night, with a bit more planning & wherewithal, extraface, Ian, and I headed to Central Kitchen in Cambridge on Central Square. Tucked into a space no larger than Brick Store minus the Belgian Bar, Central Kitchen's cozily dim tables and short, seasonal menu of increasingly intriguing comfort foods made me feel instantly at home. The craft cocktail list, beginning with the old-standard Aviation, helped too. My Tom Collins concocted with house-made rosemary simple syrup was somehow refreshing and savory at the same time in a way that was lovely rather than conflicting.

For food, Ian and I shared a daily-special appetizer of spreadably soft, creamy chicken livers with rich balsamic gravy and a kick of sweet & sour cooked berryish things (currents, maybe?) over soft, just-caramelized toast -- which was pretty much transcendental. Dave had the cocktail shrimp, which were elegantly presented and reportedly delicious. My entree of seafood bouillabaisse was a tad bit salty, but the squid, mussels, and clams were all perfectly chewy-tender, and the cod, shrimp, tomatoes, and saffron conspired to make the broth both bright & rich. We tried two of the desserts -- a baked chocolate pudding that was nearly sensory overload (think solid, spoonable hot chocolate) and a deceptively simple butter cake with berry sauce (like a warmer, denser berry shortcake). I absolutely recommend Central Kitchen to gastro-geeks.

Let me know if there's anywhere in particular I need to go the next time I'm up Boston-way!