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Long Time, No Post


Hi Everybody,

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to let you know that I am not dead and I still love you. There have been a lot of exciting things going on lately. I got my very first freelance design gig. I am working on rebranding a local winery. How exciting is that? I am also working on some illustrations for a friend who is getting her teen fantasy series published. I’m super excited for her. My husband is in a job transition phase and I’m back in school full time for both Graphic Design and Makeup Artistry courses. It’s been an all around exciting past couple of weeks. Hang in there with me as I get used to the new routine and I will do my best to post at least once a week.

Cheers,
Mel

In the Company of Chefs


In his book Kitchen ConfidentialAnthony Bourdain described working in the kitchen like

being on a pirate crew. Chefs are a bit of a rough and tumble crowd. They spend their lives playing with knives and fire. Their busiest work hours occur when the rest of the world finally settles down. They spend hours in cramped conditions while fires, tempers, and egos flare. When their shift is finally over, once the final beer has been emptied, they return home weary with fresh battle scars on their hands.

The shiny, clean, non-potty mouthed versions of chefs portrayed on food network seem a bit disturbing to me. Real world chefs are more Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey than Rachel Ray. Pixar‘s Ratatouille did a better job of portraying your common kitchen characters than the Food Network really does. You know the guy who supposedly killed a person using only his thumb? Those are my kind of guys. In a bit of a side note, Pixar actually consulted with Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry during their production. Thomas Keller is one of the top chefs in the country right now and I would love to eat in his restaurant someday. Ratatouille’s legit. Ahem. Anyway, I’m not a chef, so how do I know about their wily ways? I’m married to one, and therefore married into the pirate crew.

I generally get the same reaction from all women when I tell them that my husband is a chef. They sigh and become extremely jealous exclaiming, “Oh my God! You’re so lucky!” I’m sure they all have this picture in their mind of coming home from a long day of work and finding Fabio in chef whites (hair still blowing alluringly in the wind somehow). He lays out a gorgeous gourmet meal for two, complete with candlelight and flowers with some sexy mood music playing softly in the background. I have to admit that there is something incredibly sexy about a man who can cook and my hubby does look pretty amazing in his whites, but the whole Fabio scenario is far from the reality. We actually eat a lot of Chinese takeout.

I have the good fortune to be married to a romantic. He does give me those lavish gourmet dinners when we have time and when we

My Chef, Jeff

can afford those kinds of groceries. What the chef groupies don’t understand, is that chefs have a very rough schedule. They work long hours over nights, weekends, and holidays. We have to celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days before or after because a chef would be laughed out of the kitchen if he tried to take that, the busiest of restaurant nights off. Chef groupies don’t imagine soothing burned hands and patching up cuts. I actually had to fetch half of my husband’s finger off of a mandolin slicer once. I’m scarred for life.

The best part of being in the company of culinarians is the adventure. We vacation with our stomachs. We are always seeking out new restaurants to visit and new and strange foods to try. Going to dinner with a group of chefs is a unique experience. The menu and our choices are thoroughly discussed before we even talk to the server.

No one will order the same thing off of the menu. When we receive our food, a communion of sharing and tasting dishes commences. We pass our plates around, and if something is exceptionally good, there is much shouting and elation. We have terrible table manners and the restaurant people either seem to love us or hate us. I guess it’s a good thing that the culinary community is a small, tight- knit network. All of the local chefs seem to know each other, so our antics are generally well-tolerated and even appreciated at times.

So, do you still want a chef in your life? Here’s my advice:

1. Be open to new experiences.
2. Do NOT be a picky eater. I’m not much of a veggie fan, but I am willing to try brains, so it works.
3. Leave you prudeness at the door. Cuss words will fly and massively inappropriate conversations will be had. You’re on a pirate crew now, remember?
4. Stop caring about things like Valentine’s Day. Know he loves you and don’t make him feel bad about not being with you on that particular “holiday.”
5. Get over any blood aversions. You’re a nurse now!
6. Cook for him once in a while. He’ll appreciate it, even if it’s just mac & cheese.


It’s amazing the kind of influence Hollywood would have over beauty and culture as a whole. The development of early Hollywood is a very interesting story. Take a look at these 1920s era publicity photos. They’re gorgeous!

CNN Photos

As Hollywood films replaced the live theater scene in the 1920s, producers responded to the public’s interest in the leading actors by photographing the rising stars.

Film historian and collector John Kobal was “one of the first people to turn the attention from the star of the photo to the person who created it,” said Simon Crocker, chairman of the John Kobal Foundation.

Initially, fine-art photographers made portraits of the main players, which often had a similar feel to photographs of Broadway actors. But in the mid-1920s, studios hired in-house photographers to help advertise upcoming films and stars.

“It was a pretty sophisticated set up,” including a marketing system to send the photos out to be seen by the public, Crocker said.

What began as promotional material for movies at the beginning of the century transformed into a historical lens looking at the early era of cinema. Kobal was…

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I just stumbled onto this and it’s something that I really needed to hear right now. Thanks Faith!

faith dwight

When I worked as a magazine editor, I had a great friendship with our publisher.  Her name was (and still is, actually) Brenda. She was in her mid-40s and one of those women who just oozes confidence.  She had a wicked sense of humor, a commanding presence, and a really, really nice shoe collection.  She’d done very well for herself –  an editor by 26 (like me), a decades-long career in journalism, with a knowledge of the industry that made me want to sit at her feet and soak up everything she knew.  She was one of those people who knows how to get what she wants by treating people well, but also has an ever-so-slightly intimidating edge – just the right amount to keep people from messing with her.

Anyway, I was sitting in Brenda’s office one day, having a discussion about an upcoming issue of the magazine, and…

View original post 619 more words

The Pin-up Maker


This is the Melanie pin-up I made using the Pin-up Maker.

Check out the Pin-up maker. You can create you own pin-up by customizing clothing, hair, make-up, and tattoos. It’s fun and feeds my addiction to pin-up art and fashion. Enjoy!

Omaha.com : Henry Doorly named top U.S. zoo


Omaha.com : Henry Doorly named top U.S. zoo.

If you haven’t been there yet, I highly suggest checking out our zoo the next time you’re passing through the Omaha area. You won’t be disappointed.

You may hate me for this…


Pardon me while I rant. I promise that I will try to keep my political posts to a minimum. I was just reading the news today and became enraged by all of the articles about people banding together to overturn anti-descrimination ordinances that were passed in Lincoln, NE to protect the rights of gays. Apparently, a couple of Christian groups banded together to get people to petition against the new ordinance. They managed to get over 10,000 signatures. The new ordinance states that employers, landlords, etc. cannot deny employment and housing to individuals based on their sexual orientation. I think that sounds pretty reasonable. What was even more upsetting were the online comments left by the paper’s readers, with one referring to gays as a “tyrannical fetish group”. Seriously? Homosexuality is not a choice and is perfectly natural. Also, what is so tyrannical about a group of people wanting basic human rights and to be treated as equal in a country that was supposedly founded on those very ideals?

More and more I see American politics being overrun by the agendas of major religious groups. When did the line between church and state become so blurred? America is not a Christian nation. America is a nation of many cultures and many religious beliefs. This is what makes our country so beautiful. Imagine what it would be like if we actually embraced that diversity like we claim to. I have no problem with religion, I just don’t think that one should claim prominence over all the others in a country so diverse. One nation under God? That was actually added to the pledge during the height of the Communist scare in an attempt to liken patriotism to religious piety. I guess it worked, but it’s not what the founding fathers intended. What happened to E Pluribus Unum? Out of many, one. Now that’s beautiful.

Another point I would like to make is if a person insists upon clinging to one or two Bible verses, they should a) know what they are talking about and b) not just choose the verses that suit their cause. There are a lot of interesting rules in the Old Testament. Let’s look at a few:

– You can’t wear clothing of mixed materials.
– If a man rapes a woman, he has to marry her and basically pay her father a fee for the damaged “property.”
– There’s a whole lot of animal sacrifice. There are several occasions for sacrifice and specific animals prescribed for the occasion.

Now is the time when many would argue, “Well, times have changed. Those were written for that specific period.” Those rules are found in the same place as the verses that argue against homosexuality.

So, all of these rules are in the Old Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament actually has very little to do with the teachings of Christianity. Honest. In fact, there are several occasions where Jesus actually speaks out against the dogmatic old ways. Many scholars view Jesus as a great reformer and after his arrival, the teachings of the Old Testament become irrelevant. Jesus actually never mentioned sex, let alone homosexuality in his teachings. The only time he even speaks about marriage is when he speaks out against divorce. Jesus claimed that people who remarry after divorce are committing adultery in the eyes of the Lord because once they are married, the couple remains spiritually married in the eyes of God. How do you like that, America?

More than anything, let’s take a look at the core of Jesus’s teachings: To love one another. Remember that Jesus always cared for the outcasts of society? He associated with lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes. All of these people were considered extremely sinful and were hated during that time period. This actually earned him a lot of enemies because people didn’t understand. Jesus’s message was one of love, acceptance, and understanding. Think about it. It’s disgusting that so many Christians are so filled with hate. It’s horrifying that such hateful acts are carried out in his name. I realize that it has happened throughout history, but that doesn’t make it right. Love one another. That’s all you really need to do.

When it comes time to vote on such things as gay rights, or anyone’s rights for that matter, I hope you at least take some of this to heart. What would really be the Christian thing to do? I realize that I probably won’t change any minds. In the end, people will believe what they want to believe. I’m sure that’s how this post will be dismissed. I do hope, however, that I offered you something to think about. If you stop to ponder for a second or two, even if it’s to write me hate mail, I will be happy. So, dear reader, thanks for hanging in there and sticking with me.

 

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