Friday, May 25, 2012

A Cat Photo Shoot

I have always enjoyed to take pictures of animals, but I have never done a cat photo shoot. So, I have taken photographs of a famous cat named Mambru. Below are some of my favorite shots from his photo shoot. This was a lot of fun and he actually was a great subject to photograph! The first one is an early picture taken when he was just a little kitten.

Interview with a DJ and Musician

I love art and music, and a chance to interview someone who truly knows about music is a great opportunity that I truly enjoyed. I for one, am not so good with remembering artists and names of albums, but it doesn't take away from my enjoyment of music in the least. Usually when I like a song, I like it, and can go years without ever even knowing who sings that particular song.
Everyone is different though, and DJ Santiago Páramo truly knows his music. In an interesting and insightful interview with him (below) he told me a few things about himself and his musical career. Santiago is such a personable individual and he immediately puts anyone around him at ease with his fun and open personality.

Me: What is your favorite music?
DJ Santiago Páramo: I love World music! I play music from all over the world! I really enjoy funky beats and jazz too.
Me: What got you into DJing?
Santiago: My great love for music. I grew up listening to my father's music and his love for music inspired me to pursue a musical career.
Me: Do you play an instrument or just DJ?
Santiago: Yes I play many instruments. I studied music and love playing all kinds of instruments, but my main instrument is the guitar. I also compose music.
Me: How do you view yourself?
SantiagoI am an art driven individual with a special interest in music composition and performance art pieces. For the past five years, I have had the honor of calling Atlanta home, and through my music I have branched out to many fellow artists and organizations in the city to create with them a wide range of art expressions such as: sound installations, dance performances, sculptures, paintings, live music, and many other art forms. I have over 10 years of experience as a professional DJ. 
Me: So you enjoy being part of the artistic scene in Atlanta. 
Santiago: Yes I love it!
Me: Do you play anywhere on a regular basis? 
Santiago: Yes, a few places in town, but you can find me every Saturday at Apres Diem in Midtown Atlanta. It's a fun place to enjoy and hang out with friends and listen to some funky tunes.
Me: Where can we listen to some of your music online?
You can also listen to my music at the following link

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taste the Wines of Georgia

Driving to Chattanooga Tennessee from Atlanta on I75 North, there is a sign for Georgia Winery and I have always wanted to stop and taste their wines. Today I tried 10 different wines and actually brought some home. You can even see them making wine, and there are tours of the winery on Saturdays. Since it isn't Saturday I had to settle for tasting the wines. I am not a huge fan of wine and prefer it on the sweet side, but they had some lovely wines and it was a very enjoyable hour. One of the most wonderful things was their wine slushies!  It was something I will be doing again.

There were so many wonderful flavors like muscadine, blackberry, and peach wines. All wonderful to the senses. My favorite was a wine called Tennessee Tangerine. Just wonderful! Of course I bought some.


Carve Cute Food

So I cook. Yes, I do, but I am not a person that loves to be in the kitchen for hours and cook. For me it's in and out as fast as I can make something I enjoy eating, that's fairly healthy, and can be cooked as quickly or efficiently as possible. This is not to say I never spend time on a special meal, it's just that I don't normally count my time in the kitchen as relaxing or something I really enjoy. So, when I see cute little food items I always wish I could do that and make the food I serve and eat not just good, but pretty too. Anyhow, I tried I really did, after three radish carvings I was back to "Just let it taste good!"
Here is my attempt at pretty food.... at least I tried it once. First I made a mouse, but then I though, "Who really wants a mouse on their plate?" and then a butterfly that I think looked more like a crab. Last I made an attempt to carve a flower which just went from okay to not so okay. My food will just have to be good, fast and healthy, without all the "cute" thrown in!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Try a Social Experiment

One of the things I have never tried, is a social experiment that will benefit me instead of someone else. (Even so, this blog may also be of benefit, even if just for entertainment purposes.) I have always loved change and hated it at the same time. New things have always been something I might do one day. Sometimes I get around to them and other times I just put them off. Change is one of the hardest things to do in life, yet once done seems to always work out somehow. So, as I try new things, go new places and meet new people, I will also be doing new things in my life that will bring great and wonderful changes. The sky is the limit, because the only way I am going to the stars is in my imagination. Even the smallest and simplest new things will be something I have never done before, making them just as wonderful as the very exciting new things I have in store. Instead of saying I would like to do that one day, I will strive to check it off as done. I will not try 'anything' at least once, but I will try many things.... and I will be glad I did.

Tried Painting with Oil

Having always chosen to use acrylic paint when I paint, I decided to try using oil paints. I discovered that although I did like my oil painting, once it was finished, I prefer using acrylics to paint with. Mostly because of the hues and  also the fact that it dries faster! I don't like having to wait for the paint to dry. I just seem to want to get on with it!

So, That's How You Cook A Leek

Never having tried leeks, I set out to try cooking them in hopes that they are something delicious that I have just been missing out on. After purchasing them along with acorn squash I asked friends for their recipes for leeks. What I got mostly were blank looks and even a few "Whats a leek?" comments, so I went to the web for my recipe. You won't believe the amount of recipes for leeks! I never knew! Everything from soups to dips and more! Wow and then I had to choose! All those wonderful things and I had to choose which one I wanted to make. The easy decision of course was to go with a recipe that called for what I had at home so as to not make another trip to the store. There is a local fresh vegetable and fruit stand within five minutes from my home, so I was willing to go there.
So I chose Quinoa With Kumquats and Leeks... and here is the recipe I used (I added a few of my own ingredients changing the recipe I found a bit, but I must say it turned out wonderful!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 kumquats, thinly sliced
salt to taste
dash of black pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups of chicken stock (or just water if you are vegetarian)

Over medium heat add olive oil to skillet, cook and stir your leek, kumquats along with the garlic until all of it is brown and add the salt and pepper.
Next cook your quinoa and stir it into the kumquat/leek mixture for about a minute.
Add the chicken stock to the skillet and stir occasionally till it boils then reduce the heat for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Then enjoy! I would guess this goes great with a vegetarian meal or even with fish!

I liked them so much I made them with mushrooms and hominy, seasoned with fresh cilantro, sea salt and pepper.  These wonderful flavors mixed together were delightful!

Fix 'Em or Toss 'Em?

Usually if jeans get ripped in places that just don't allow you to keep on wearing them they get tossed, but recently there were two pairs I thought I might try to patch. I have never done that before, so I got some patches for a dollar and with the iron fixed two pairs of jeans that would otherwise have been tossed or used for scrap material. It was so simple, I almost didn't want to write about it, but my mom always patched my brothers jeans and I thought to myself... "One day I will do that too" and I did.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Have Never Heard Kudzu Grow

I heard somewhere that if you sit quietly where kudzu is growing, you can hear it grow. This is something I always felt skeptical about, but I am willing to give it a try today. After finding some information about kudzu on the internet, I learned that each vine can grow up to seven feet in a day, it's used for medicine research, and has over 60% digestible nutrient value. I also learned that in Japan people actually eat the stuff (not just goats)  and make paper and even clothing out of it too. The fact it grows so fast seemed promising, so I drove to the North Georgia Mountains to search out a patch of kudzu. (Believe me when I say it's not hard to find! That stuff is everywhere and it grows over everything in it's path!) I found a beautiful area filled with kudzu close to a lake and sat for a while enjoying nature. I heard insects, the wind, birds; and although I truly tried, I can not say I actually heard the kudzu grow... but I did it and I am glad I did.

Next time I try something for the first time, I hope I enjoy it as much as I did trying to hear kudzu grow.