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Another t-shirt

September 9, 2012

…in the window of a fancy boutique catering to Japanese tourists.

I really can’t even begin to make sense of this one.


I’m not sure what they meant…

September 7, 2012

…this tasted like tea.



September 6, 2012

on the sidewalk in Middletown, CA last summer:

Hooray for math!

New dress

September 5, 2012

I made myself this dress. I really like it! It’s from Vogue 8810, if you want to make your own.

I made the following changes:
1. At the shoulder, the pattern calls for gathers, but I used little pleats. This was better suited to the fabric, which is this superawesome lightweight cotton that someone very special gave me for my birthday last year. I realize that many of you might be putting away your white shoes and are not into bright tropical florals this time of year (or ever), sorry. One of the upsides to living on Guam is that bright tropical florals are always appropriate.
2. I changed the grainline on the skirt to be centered in each panel.
3. It has a self-tie belt, but I think it looks nicer with a real belt.
4. I made a narrow hem using Susan Khalje’s method, aka “possibly the most annoying hem ever.” Note to universe: a narrow hem foot would make an excellent gift.

New Rules

September 4, 2012

Dang it! Missed a day (or two, ahem) already. For today I have two new rules to live by, which I learned last week in school:
1. If your teacher will let you sing a song in class instead of writing a “personal values statement,” go for it. It won’t be the first or last time you look foolish.
2. If three bad things happen in a day, just cash in your chips and go back to bed. (This one I haven’t tried yet, but it sounded like good advice.)

Bitter Melon Pickles

September 1, 2012

This is my new favorite thing to do with bitter melon. Bitter melon is one of those love-it-or-hate-it vegetables. I started loving it when I tried a super-salty pickled version at a friend’s place. He let the bitter melon sit in finadene (for you mainlanders, that’s Guam’s favorite condiment, a mixture of hot chiles, soy sauce, and lemon juice or vinegar) for a day or so. This is my version, which isn’t as salty. These are delicious as a snack, or with rice and a fried egg on top, it’s dinner.Image

3 medium-sized bitter melons
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt (plus additional for step 1)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (or to taste)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh giner

1. Prep the bitter melon. Slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and cottony bits with a spoon. Next, slice crosswise. I like thick slices, about 1/2 inch, but if you want your pickles less bitter, slice them at 1/4 inch. Put the slices in a colander in the sink and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand about 20 minutes, then rinse and drain the slices.
2. Put the bitter melon and the ginger in a clean one-quart glass jar (or equivalent).
3. Make the brine: combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and chile flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil (or heat sufficiently for the salt and sugar to dissolve). Remove from heat.
4. Pour the brine over the bitter melon slices and ginger in the jar. Screw on a plastic lid and refrigerate. The pickles will need a couple of days to reach their full potential.

Little experiment

August 31, 2012

Folks! I am going to attempt to post something daily here, and try not to be such a lousy blogger.

For today, a photo from the “large insects at the University of Guam” series.