MANIC HOUSE

Fear, Loathing, & DIY

Design Blog Photos (or pictures of really pointless knick-knacks)

July 15, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I go to a blog, click a link to a house tour, and then find that the tour is full of  close-up shots of the top of one book shelf, or side table, or a corner of desk–small areas that are albeit well composed in a photograph, but in no way show what the space as a whole looks like.

What is the purpose of these shots? Is it to show that the photographer or homeowner really likes that one small area? Or are we to believe that because this one small space looks cute in a picture, that this home is suddenly a mecca of well designed cute shit?

Or is it that the people who submitted their homes to a house tour are so in love with themselves and their things that they think we really want to see a bunch of statement necklaces and some unframed pictures?

House tours on design blogs are obviously for the proud, middle class, showy few that make up my generation. I get this. I get this as I type these things into my own stupid blog, but can we not expect more? Can these folks reign it in just a little? Can we not ask our selves why people need to see the corner of this room? And then reply with: They don’t. They really don’t.

Sick Trees

July 15, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

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Depp’s Cry Baby will always be my go-to stoic cry face.

After the first round of this year’s spring growth, something terrible started to happen to several of my plants. Something terrible that may have been the April cold snaps we got in Austin, or some kind of fungus or mildew. I’m leaning toward fungus or mildew though, and have treated the surviving plants thoroughly with a spray. I also re-potted them in a rockier soil, something made specially for bonsai, and gave them a good watering of a 10-10-10 fertilizer. But I am not sure this will do the trick. These planties are gunna die!

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas

June 12, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

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I love sweet potatoes and lime. One summer I spent months eating sweet potatoes covered in salsa and lime with grilled chicken and sometimes rice, all mixed together in a sloppy bowl. I gained a ton of weight, but it was all I wanted! And the flavors hit all the right spots–sour, spicy, fatty. This recipe is sort of like that, but, I guess, not really.

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Some Lydias Found A Home

June 7, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

I have some Lydia stories up over at Wigleaf this morning. They are the last ones you’ll get before the top 50 are posted. Go check them out? Lydia pretty much needs you to. Wigleaf.com

(& a big cat hair covered thanks to Scott for including them!)

Food Review: Homemade Coconut Butter

May 28, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

I recently discovered Earth Balance’s Organic Coconut Spread. We had a container of it at the office and it quickly became my go-to topping for my breakfast toast. The stuff is seriously good. It renewed my interest in toast. It’s perfect. It has a buttery salty flavor with just a hint of coconut, plus it’s (obviously) non dairy, and my acne prone skin loves that.

But I have a serious excess of time on my hands and I wanted to figure out if I could make it myself. Through a bunch of googling. I discovered several popular blogs talking about homemade coconut butter. People were raving about how delicious it was on everything from chocolate to toast to crackers to elbows, AND I WANTED TO MAKE IT.

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Chocolate Chia Pudding with Saffron Sour Cherries

May 24, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

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Making chia pudding always feels like a cheat because it’s so easy, but I cheated even more and used a packet of hot chocolate for my “flavor base.” (“Flavor base” is not a thing.) Also these cherries were not something planned but a random occurrence, one that was just OH SO RIGHT.

WARNING: I gave up on measuring anything here so everything below is a rough estimate. WARNING: The pudding was just an excuse to eat these cherries.

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Time management

May 22, 2015 by Kirby | 3 Comments

For the past three years I’ve more or less been a hermit. I woke up, performed my morning rituals (internetting, coffee, watering plants, breakfast making), then maybe I went to school, maybe I did nothing, or I read, I roamed the isles of Target, then gymed, then went back home again. It was an easy lifestyle. It was a privileged lifestyle. Regardless of how weird or dull it made me, I was living it easy.

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You CAN Judge a Journal by Its Cover: Editors on Cover Art

April 3, 2015 by Kirby | 0 comments

I was invited to speak on several panels at AWP this year and, while I’ve organized a few before, I have never been on one. So when I took on the editorship at BWR and was suddenly getting invites after last year’s conference, I was feeling a little bit like HOT SHIT, but was also petrified at the idea of being an authority on anything.

Thankfully, the one panel that was accepted by the conference is something I feel I can speak on, quite easily. So If you’re there, join me for it. We can talk about the blending of art and literature and feel fancy.

Hit the link for all the info.

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Restored! Hanging Rattan Chair

March 21, 2015 by Kirby | 1 Comment

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This guy used to be my grandfather’s. I remember sitting in it reading books as a kid when he had it on their upstairs balcony. It was the perfect cocoon for a kid! And I could never climb out of it without falling or hurting myself! It was great! Then for the longest time it was stored in their barn–which is more like a shed but significantly larger. So of course, I took it this winter when I was home.  The chair was really dry though and the frame, orange from rust. It needed a lot of help, and I was just the unemployed person to help it.

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