Easy Craft Project of the Day

Build a LightboxMany people sell things online for fun or to supplement their income, but few of those people seem to realize the importance of good photography in their product listings. Check out this guide to building your own lightbox from Handmadeology. There are some Photoshop steps involved, but they are very easy to follow. If Photoshop has too high a price tag for you, I recommend downloading GIMP for free, or asking your sketchy neighbor to bootleg you a copy. Everyone wishes they had an Asian pirate roommate like I do, but sometimes you must be resourceful all on your own.

I like this person’s idea because it is pretty inexpensive. Decent 50″ tripods can be bought for as little as $10-$15 at Amazon or Best Buy. A DSLR camera isn’t a total necessity for a project like this one; I got through two college-level photography classes on a Nikon Coolpix that was full of beach sand. In my humble opinion, I think you should skip using your iPhone for a project like this one. Everyone can tell an iPhone photo, even especially with the Instagram filter.

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I (Still) Like Birds

ESomebody who thought I was homeless tossed me $25, so I saw Eels with some friends last night at 9:30 Club. Although I didn’t get an autograph on the pretend gig poster I made for Eels as a school project in 2010 (weak!), it was a great time. Nicole Atkins and Puddles Pity Party opened. I enjoyed Nicole Atkins but Puddles and his monkey lady friend terrified the shit out of me. Since I work as a graphic design monkey for a series of Italian overlords, anything remotely resembling a Pulcinella makes me want to reach for the Xanax. However, in spite of appearances, credit needs to be given to Puddles for his beautiful singing voice.

Eels is amazing for a lot of reasons besides willingness to color coordinate matching Adidas tracksuits. E just keeps changing his style and getting better all of the time. Throughout the show he lauded his band for their performances, and we received three encores. Their set list was great-I only wish I could have heard “I Like Birds” live. Oh well, I am sure that E is tired of every female on the planet asking to hear that song.

I really enjoy 9:30 Club as a venue, but last night they did this weird thing where they used the guard rail for the stage as a cattle catcher to push all of us towards the door after the show. The guys leading the bum’s rush even ridiculed my friend for jumping out of the way. It might have bothered me less if I had been able to duck out of the way as well; some immovable hipsters behind me were deep in conversation and somehow didn’t realize that I was being squished against them in an effort to not lose any toes. Weird. If anyone from my five followers knows any staff at 9:30 Club, perhaps you can request that they wait a full five minutes after the show ends next time before they start the plow.

My photos aren’t great since I was using my Cybershot, but here they are in case you want to be able to recognize Puddles in a dark alley.

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If You Can’t Cook This, You’re Retarded.

McCormick White Chicken Chili

McCormick- A staple of middle class cuisine since 1889.  Today I discovered that the McCormick World of Flavors store is located in Baltimore, which means I know what the fuck I’m doing this weekend.

But I digress.  The purpose of this post is for me to actually be constructive for once and introduce you to the principle of the “Sunday Chef.”

Because I work two jobs and one of them has a variable schedule, I like to cook a lot of stuff on Sunday and have it for lunch/dinner all week. If in your opinion having to eat the same thing every day for a few days outweighs the benefit of only spending about twenty bucks for an entire week’s worth of food, then this is not the post for you. IF you are still reading, get your ass to the spice aisle at Giant and buy a McCormick spice packet, follow the instructions on the back x2, and enjoy the extra time and money you save by outsmarting the M-F grind and cooking all of your shit on Sunday. I made McCormick White Chicken Chili last night, and with prep time it takes less than an hour. If you make too much you can freeze half or send it over to your neighbor, since you know her man won’t hold a job.

This week’s special- White Chicken Chili.

All Work is Honorable

mike-rowe-1I found today’s LinkedIn post by Jeff Haden particularly inspiring after two guys argued and took bets on what color my underwear was while I was working my night job at the gas station yesterday. Note: I said gas station, not strip club… Although if there’s another tax hike I might end up on the pole to pay my student loans.

I really don’t understand people who degrade others based on what type of work they do. Too many Americans think that they are too good to wait tables, work construction, or do other labor, and they regularly harass the people that do. I guarantee you that no hourly worker is compensated enough to make up for the annoyances and outright harassment they put up with from idiots that come into their work. This country has really lost touch with the value of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to earn an honest living and support your family. What do you want to bet that taxes paid on my night job are paying for the two guys from last night to sit at home all day dodging child support payments and watching cable?

If Jeff Haden’s article isn’t enough to convince you to respect others equally, here is a letter that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs wrote to Mitt Romney last year. I don’t know if Mitt ever offered up an answer, I think he was probably still trying to puzzle out how the middle class can be struggling when we all make 200k per year. He wrote a similar letter to Barack Obama, who (according to the site) never responded, presumably because he was too busy doing this. I won’t hold it against him, I don’t like to discriminate…

The Ghetto Gourmet

Cookin' With Coolio When you are living on a budget, a little bit of culinary guidance can go a long way. Yesterday I learned that for about six dollars I can make enough chili to last two weeks. Where would I be if I had known this a year ago? I would be eating all chili all the time and probably have all of my college debt paid down via only spending 12 dollars a month at the grocery store. I would have the cleanest colon this side of the DMV. I might even have had enough savings to pay my taxes this year (Maryland likes to help themselves to a little extra, I guess what they are getting from my shit-ass meager paychecks year ’round isn’t enough to get the clean hookers. Dickensian mufuggaz.).

If you are like me and don’t live close enough to raid your mom’s refrigerator when you’re shit-ass broke, I highly recommend that you drop eight dollars on this culinary and literary masterpiece. Even if all of your food turns out poorly, Cookin’ With Coolio is still worth it for the entertainment value or as a gift for any friend who is semi- literate and has a sense of humor.

I like this book because as a novice at cooking, I get a lot out of Coolio’s earthy bits of wisdom, such as “Having the right utensils is a good start, but then you gotta show them who’s the boss up in this bitch.” In that sentence Coolio provided me with more tools to succeed than the career services department at the shit-ass university I went to.

Coolio also stands behind the quality of his recipes. Instead of offering my usual disclaimer when I serve my barely edible, charred bits of aliment to my boyfriend and roommate, I can now throw them a curveball.

“Seriously, if someone don’t like this appetizer, you gotta grab they scruffy ass by the back of their neck and throw them out on the lawn. I can’t help people like that.”

If Coolio said it, it must be true. I can no longer help the shit-asses who don’t understand the genius of my cooking as a result of this book.