Category Archives: Art & Design

On my way to Tales of the Cocktail…

Because I couldn’t just spend the weekend celebrating the 4th and packing for Tales, I:


  1. made a batch of hot sauce from farm-fresh chiliespeppery
  2. created a tincture of shiso
  3. made a gallon of traditional umeshu
  4. improvised almost a gallon of apricot/pluot “umeshu”
  5. infused a bottle of Hendrick’s gin with cucumber and persimmon
  6. devised the Tomcat Collins with the aforementioned gin (recipe posted soon)
  7. hosted the “Squash Blossom” dinner party with the lovely TSB (we may not be together any more, but we still throw one hell of a dinner party), where I served the aforementioned cocktail the following hors d’oeuvres
  8. deep-fried two kinds of cheese-stuffed squash blossoms (chevre and mascarpone) with 4 dipping sauces (southwestern salsa, spicy tomoato, lemony aioli and a green onion sour cream).

Old Project, Rediscovered

I forgot about an old project I played with in grad school. I dug up old images from a repository of ephemera on the Library of Congress website, and repurposed them into whimsical little things with no relevance to their original intentions. This photograph of a munitions storage area from the Civil War seemed dreary, so I livened it up a little.

For What Should N.E.R.M.O. Stand?

This isn’t about ideals; it’s about abbreviations.  I kind of hate myself for the title grammar, but I’d rather be awkward than wrong.  Wait, I’m not sure that’s true.

Anyway, I’m at a nerd conference and at this and other moments when I’ve worn my URL on a name tag, people ask me what Nermo means and I create an elaborate, absurd fiction.

nermofugu2The truth of the matter is that I found it by searching expiring web address registrations with 5 characters excluding numbers and dashes.  Let’s face it, all the real 5-letter words are taken, so I was happy to find something that looks like it could be a word.

I’m calling you all to suggest a good meaning for Nermo as an acronym. Maybe the letters N-E-R-M-O can acquire meaning actually relevant to the site.

Alright, start submitting those comments.

Hangover Brunch Menu

exteriorlivingTSB and I are renting a gorgeous house in wine country with two other couples this weekend, with the intent of getting out of the city, spending Saturday tasting wine and spending a few days just having fun.  The girls snatched up menu responsibilities for Friday and Saturday dinners before I had a chance to interject, but I love to cook for a crowd and I don’t suffer from hangovers, so I’m taking on post wine-tasting Sunday brunch.

diningdining2I’ll be serving duck hash with poached eggs, a perennial winner, which can be prepped ahead and quickly sauteed in the morning.  In the news lately, science supports bacon’s hangover healing powers, but  I’ve already covered savory/crispy, so I’m making a braised pork belly, which I butchered myself in class over the weekend.  I still have a ton of marmalade, so I think I will feature it by offering crepes, toast and yogurt with kumquat marmalade along with mimosas and spicy bloody marys.

Friday List: On My Radar This Week

Booze Reviews:


  • I’m a big fan of the Nirvino community of cocktail reviewers.  Mine can be found at
  • 97 Bottles is a new brew review site.  I haven’t explored much yet, but it seems like a straightforward review site
  • Snooth offers a full community experience with links to online wine merchants to score the best prices

Design Contests:

  • Going with the Grain: design a flat pack object from one sheet of plywood and minimal hardware
  • Hugo Awards Logo: create the logo for the annual sci-fi lit awards.  Be recognized by nerds across the world!
  • The 4th Bin: design an e-waste bin to help NYC keep old computers off the curb

Stuff I don’t actually want, but briefly desired:

  • Snow White MacBook made me want to mod my MBPro. Garden of Eden or roasted pig with the apple in its mouth?
  • My own TV show or video podcast. I don’t want to be famous, but it might be the motivator to get me in better shape
  • Moleskin is now letting you customize your little black notebooks.
  • Skinny LaMinx offers a great view of her process creating cut paper designs, but who has time for that?

Funky Friday Morning

Here’s what I’ve been up to now that I am ready to teach at noon:

1. Picking out a weekend rental in wine country. I like Le Petite Olivet because it’s on a vineyard, but Mark West Retreat for the architecture.

2.Listening to DIEHARD, my muse Liz’s new band. I wish they had more than 3 songs up.  Catch them Tuesday 3/31 at Union Hall in Brooklyn.

3.Warming up for the opening night party at YBCA for the Nick Cave (not of the Bad Seeds) exhibition.

4. Working on some recipes for homemade bitters that I hope to make some time soon.

5. Playing with how to structure the new dresser that I am designing so that it is Ikea-easy to assemble, sturdy and visually perplexing.

5-Drawer Dresser

dresserI’ve been distracted of late (spring is always so busy for my “real jobs” and so my passion projects tend to get the red-headed stepchild treatment), so I haven’t done much in the realm of designing furniture, but this morning I had an image in my head that I need to get on paper.

Actually, paper was the tough part, so I ended up using 3-D modeling software to “sketch” the dresser I was picturing. It’s a chest of drawers that swing on a pivot rather than sliding out, and the outside of the dresser is a rhombus, rather than right angles, but the inside spaces of the drawers are regular rectangles. Take a look at the pictures to get the gist. I realize I need to do a little structural work, but this is just a concept. Thoughts?

BaconCamp T-Shirts

I’ll recap BaconCamp soon, but for now, I need to follow up on the silkscreening.

I had a blast, printing about 20 BaconCamp t-shirts and then, upon refilling my ink bottle, the screens locked up and wouldn’t print.  I had to send away another 20+ unsatisfied baconistas, promising to print more in the coming weeks.

Making a Bacon T-Shirt for the Mad Meat Genius
Making a Bacon T-Shirt for the Mad Meat Genius

If you want to order one, they will be $10-12 and all proceeds will still go to the American Heart Association.  Once I am done giving midterms today, I’ll figure out how to make this happen. In the meantime, just email me and I will reply to everyone with ordering details once I have them. Click here to order.

My sign photographed by Ekai
My sign photographed by Ekai

I also want to credit Pete Hottelet for the fantastic Bacon Camp logo that we printed on one side of the shirts.

Another satified bacon t-shirt customer by kveton
Another satified bacon t-shirt customer by kveton