Sunday, May 27, 2012

The weird world of the Asian Market

Phoebe has been begging for us to visit the Asian Market as her Vietnamese friend has gotten her hooked on seaweed chips. I was interested in going as well. As a former expat I'm well aware of the foreign supermarket experience, and I never did bring my camera to the market in Bariloche (Argentina) to document all the odd unidentifiable items.  So the Asian Market will have to do!


The market sells not just Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food there were some local items and a whole isle dedicated to Mexican food items.

We found ourselves in the fish department right off.  It seems they sell not just lobsters, fish and crabs but also these little snails that look like bait.

 

These are the live shell oysters... Quite ugly for shell fish.

The beverage isle was fascinating.

I wasn't aware you could consume aloe, but good to know!

Grass jelly drink. I guess it could be good.

I drink soy milk all the time. Never saw the black variety though.

What was great about the Asian Market was that everything was also labeled in English (unlike when you're actually abroad where it's not always the case).  The translation is maybe a bit confusing on these cakes.  The part I highlighted says "Anti-counterfeiting packaging".
On these other cakes in the same pile, this package says "The False Packing".  I really don't know what they're trying to say, but it's like a little mystery while shopping.  Maybe I need someone who can read Mandarin. 

We found the mushrooms and fungus isle. These mushrooms looked alright.

I wasn't that interested in buying fungus though.

The white fungus looked better, but I have no idea how to cook it.  It must be popular however-there was a whole isle full of it. I've probably eaten it in some Vietnamese restaurant.


Naomi liked this critter full of cookies.

They do that strange thing I've seen before on some people's houses where Christmas decorations become the permanent decor.

Naomi found a mini watermelon... Not practical for a family of five.

Quail eggs in water.


Some pre-cooked salted duck eggs.

And the bitter melon-Which I'm curious about.

This is the closest thing to alfajores I've seen in the US.  They have marshmallows though instead of cream in between the cookies, like the ones in Argentina.

This is a seaweed that we can use to make a jello like treat that the kids wanted to try.

In the end we got a bunch of stuff and I can tell you now the Chinese beer was pretty good! (At least I think it was Chinese, I couldn't tell from the bottle.)

 In related news, my husband's new comic book story, "Order in Take out Chaos" has been released from  Monsterverse Entertaintment. The book is called Bella Lugosi's Tales From The Grave #2, and his big feature is a horror story set in a Chinese food restaurant!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Another show and the story continues

Today I found a dollar in the road when I went to pick the girls up from school.  It was laying there all rolled into a little tube just past the ice cream truck.  Which is great because it took the edge off the "ice cream tax" we had to pay by arriving on time when the bell rang. Since we arrived on time we could only find parking next to the opportunistic ice cream man's truck parked at the end of the block up the street from the school.  In the end the kids got a treat, and I got a discount. Everyone's happy. :)

Last Monday was our radio show again and we had some really fascinating guests. Artist and sculptor, Jason Soles shared with us about getting bronze casts done in a foundry. The famous illustrator and children's book author Chris Van Dusen joined us from Maine and gave us insight on the world of children's book publishing, and Matt Brundage talked about his latest comic book series and his career in commercial art.  Listen to the archived show here! 

In other exciting news our web comic of "The People That Melt in the Rain" has come out of it's 10 month hiatus and is back with a new chapter "A Door in The Wood"!  To be updated every Friday. This is the first page.....
Today I teach my art classes and we're drawing spaceships and dogs, and for the older kids it's a comic strip! It should be fun. Have an excellent holiday weekend for those of you in the U.S.A.!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Peering into the sun

 Friday I came across an article about today's solar eclipse. How awesome is that, a solar eclipse? I've never seen one.  Then in a panic I realized it was too late to order viewing glasses through Amazon.  It wasn't until yesterday afternoon that I had a chance to search around for where I could buy some locally.  After reading about how they were selling out in the LA area I rushed over to the gift shop at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa park.  There were a only couple of people in the store and I casually walked to the register and asked for six pairs.  They had a huge stack next to the register and more boxes in the back and I felt ridiculous for worrying....

As the eclipse approached this evening we headed back over to the Science Museum to watch the event with others who were gathering.
Our glasses were in high demand.  Apparently the Science Museum sold out of all their glasses in a matter of 15 minutes this morning.  We shared with anyone who asked.

People had many creative ways of viewing the eclipse without them...
These guys built some crazy box contraptions.

I think the boxes worked pretty well.
Other people used pinhole paper and a separate piece to project on (this was working the photo just doesn't show it. There's a tiny image that was blurred out.)

Other folks just desperately waved their hands in front of this wall (I don't know if this worked but it was very amusing to watch!).

This man from the museum came out and set up this incredible projection. He was quickly crowded around and seemed to have a lot to say, but from where I stood it was hard to hear him.

I did manage to take this picture of the partial eclipse through the glasses. It looked so amazing in person! It was only a complete eclipse for those north of us.
Like everything in San Diego it was an event.  The kids got balloons and as the crescent sun started to slip behind a distant palm tree, a man in a suit offered me $20 for my glasses.  Ummm... YEAH!  It was time to go, anyway.  Naomi sold hers for $2 as we left and Chloe and Mike gave theirs away. Only Phoebe hung on to hers and gave us constant updates on the state of the eclipse as we drove home for dinner.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Random Moments

#1- For my birthday I recieved two fantastic gift cards for Target! A couple days ago Mike and I were there getting rung up for a handful of items.  When the cashier finished I handed her my gift card,  and Mike said...
"What'd you give her? A sticker?"
"No, silly, it's my butterfly money."


#2- As I walked with Phoebe on the river path that runs behind the condo we noticed someone's mysterious message written in big chalk letters:
COME FIND ME!!

#3- Today I visited the second grade over at Jones Elementary and after showing them some of my art and books, I worked with them on creating big head monsters like I did in my art class a few weeks ago. At the end after the bell rang I entered the rapidly filling courtyard when one tow headed little boy bolted past me waving his monster drawing overhead and ran around screaming,
 "Look at my monster!! That lady showed me how to draw monsters!!!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Farewell and a Birthday

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
- Maurice Sendak



Goodbye Maurice, you were a great artist and an inspiration to us all! 
 Good luck on your next journey.

The day after Maurice passed was my birthday....


The kids made me lemon cupcakes, which we ate on our visit to Torrey Pines State Reserve.

We stopped in at the lodge and played with the sand....
 Apparently the sand here at the park is really magnetic!  (It was really pretty cool).
After messing around with magnets we decided to go hiking.

We took the beach trail and headed down off the cliffs.


Down and down... It was 300 feet down to the beach.

It was a beautiful beach very peaceful with few people.

Hiking down is one thing but hiking up?

Well... We made it. :)

Right now I'm watching Mike prepare for his big trip to Portland tomorrow. It's another Lovecraft Film Festival, and he's a special guest . They're also showing some of his "Cthonic Doodling" movies that he made.  Anyway we're not going along this time.  I have loads of work to do, as a big important review of "The People That Melt in The Rain" is coming out soon and I need to have our web comic come out of hiatus. Have a Happy Mother Day to all  the mothers out there!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fiesta!

For cinco de mayo we took the girls and a friend over to Old Town for the big festival. 

It's not really any fun if we don't pay for rides!

It's not a ride if we don't spin violently around.

These chihuahuas showed up ready for the fiesta!  

These ladies added atmosphere.
She let Naomi pet the pony. We also bought some taffy (I know, not very Mexican, but still good!)
Things I've learned about cinco de mayo....

1. It's sometimes called the "Mexican St. Patrick's Day" (probably due to all the bar hopping that happens around this holiday)
2. It's not the Mexican Independence Day- that's on September 16th
3. It's celebrated more in the US than in Mexico (they like to celebrate their Independence more than "cinco de mayo" which just commemorates an unlikely victory in a war that was ultimately lost).
4. I've also learned that cinco de mayo festivals are really crowded and really hot (at least the one in Old Town was!)

¡¡¡Feliz cinco de mayo!!!
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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