Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Land Beyond

365-212 Bridge Construction Hope
Day 212/365

Since the demolition of the Cleveland Cold Storage building nearly 6 months ago, it seems like very little has been done. The land where the building once stood has been excavated to somewhat gently meet the land below, near the foundation of the existing I-71 bridge.

365-212 Old and New
Day 212/365

A few white foundation pieces can be seen, a product of the pounding that resonates early in the morning into the evening.  I wonder what it would be like to fly through these bridges, like in Total Eclipse or Tron (Recognizers).

- Cassaendra

Monday, January 30, 2012

Just Another Berry

365-211 Another Berry Wall
Day 211/365

I'd love to eat these berries, even though they're shriveled up. If the birds haven't devoured them, they must be awful tasting or poisonous, or worse yet, a laxative.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Flip Flop

Yesterday, it snowed the first half of the day.  By mid-afternoon, the snow disappeared. This morning, it was sunny and clear.

With the sun's rays beaming unobstructed and the relatively warm temperature this afternoon, we decided to stop by Target to pick up a box of tea. When we arrived at the register to pay for the 9 items we suddenly decided we had to have, Bug suggested that I take a look out the window.  

365-210 The Wall Front
Day 210/365 - Waiting for me

It took a few seconds for me to register the wall of white. The weather flipped, as if someone pushed the lever to the next image on a View Master. The car was blanketed in white fluff as if we were in the store for hours.

When I carry my camera, I tend to lag behind to take pictures. With icy gusts roaring, Bug wasn't about to foolishly stand out in the open waiting for me. He sought shelter from the wind at every opportunity.

365-210 The Wall Side
Day 210/365 - Caught up

Akemi appeared unaffected in her thick winter coat. Actually, she enjoyed chasing after the leaves and rubbish that raced by.

I am excited about one of the books I picked up today, "The Art of French Baking," because I adore madeleines, macarons, and choux pastries.  If the recipes work out, I'll write about them. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to take some pictures of the results before they are gobbled up.

- Cassaendra

Saturday, January 28, 2012


"Schizophrenic" best describes our weather this winter -- 50s Fahrenheit one day, then 20s the next day.

365-209 Snow Road
Day 209/365

We woke up to warm temperatures just above freezing with a feather-like snowfall over the span of several hours. By mid-afternoon, the snow machine ceased blowing, the snow had almost all melted, the wind picked up intensity, and the temperatures dropped into the 20s Fahrenheit.

365-209 Puffy Southside Stacey
Day 209/365

Aside from creating a picturesque winter wonderland, road conditions were slick which resulted in an abundance of automobile accidents judging by the nearly continuous wails of emergency sirens all day.

365-209 Puff Akemi
Day 209/365

It was a nice day to remain locked away at home.

- Cassaendra

Dinner and Two Shibas

After a day of shopping for groceries and running errands last weekend, we returned home to a voice mail message from Bear's dad, our neighbor, inviting us to dinner and a shiba playdate. The idea is funny when you consider shiba are quite aloof.

Our meal consisted of bread with Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese with cognac figs, salad greens, and Brazilian stroganoff.

Dinner at Brians Cognac Fig Goat Cheese
Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese with cognac figs

As I mentioned in a recent post, our introduction to Mackenzie Creamery took place 2 years ago when I was looking for an unusual pairing by Jeni's, a Columbus ice cream shop, at the grocery store ice cream case. Goat cheese with cognac figs sounded interesting enough. I really did enjoy the ice cream, but at $10 a pint it is a bit too luxurious for us to buy with any regularity.

SBear's dad receives deliveries from a CSA year-round. In one of his recent shipments, he received some beautiful salad greens.

Dinner at Brians Salad

The slight bitterness and texture of the greens paired marvelously with the warm, sweet stroganoff.  The velvety stew was prepared with onions, garlic, beef, mustard, ketchup (tomato paste), oregano, cream, and hearts of palm (in place of mushrooms).  I look forward to our attempt making this dish!

Brazilian stroganoff

It was nice to be able to kick back with someone who understands shiba and kindly took the time to prepare a delicious meal. Perusing the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook was cool, too.

What about pictures of the doggie playdate?  Bear and Akemi acknowledged each other's presence -- no wrestling, no tumbling, no fighting, no smooching. Akemi ate some of Bear's kibble, burped, and wandered around the house, while he quietly observed us from the vantage of his sofa.

- Cassaendra

Another Day

365-208 Stemmed
Day 208/365

Looks like how I feel.

- Cassaendra

Dave is Here

We don't eat out very often but when we do, casual chain restaurants are infrequently a consideration due to a higher likelihood of being met with mediocre food and lukewarm service. There are a handful of establishments that we feel consistently stand out from the pack and, as a result, patronize at least yearly -- Five Guys, bd's Mongolian Grill, Famous Dave's, and Longhorn.

A visit to Famous Dave's, our favorite rib joint, was long overdue. On our last visit, we tried boneless chicken wings basted in Wilbur's Revenge sauce.

Yes, boneless wings.

Frequently, chicken skin is prepared floppy, chewy, and fatty tasting so I am generally not a fan of wings as skin and bones pretty much makes up 90% of those silly pieces. Uh, no thanks.

Back to Wilbur's Revenge. I won't claim to be a heavyweight champion when it comes to spice level, but I am not a wimp. I've never felt the desire to get into a Scoville-peen contest but would "rank" myself at around the 70th percentile. Wilbur's Revenge was spicy, but not unbearably so. It teetered just at the threshold where flavor almost didn't matter because my taste buds felt like I had been licking a cheese grater for 20 minutes.

After that experience, we decided that on our next visit, we would try the boneless wings with Pineapple Rage sauce ($9.49) because the graphic listed it as one chile pepper notch below Wilbur's Revenge, and a pineapple-habanero sauce was intriguing. Being rather weary of all things pineapple being dubbed "Hawaiian," I was also glad it wasn't called "Hawaiian Hottie."

365-207 Pineapple Chicken
Day 207/365

One pepper notch difference seemed to amount to 50% less heat. The sauce was not challenging in the heat realm; however, the flavor was addictive. As one would expect, the sauce sits on the sweet side of the fence with an appropriately smoky caramelized flavor.

Perhaps not as cool as their grilled peppery flatbread with smoky salmon spread, which is an absolutely stunning dish, I would definitely order the Pineapple Rage boneless wings again.  

As usual, I was undecided on what to order for my entree. Bug suggested the 2-meat combination ($14.49). When I scanned the meat choices, beer-battered cod stood out. Have I always been stuck on ordering beef brisket and other red meat items to not have noticed they serve cod, or has it just been that long since our last visit?

365-207 Brisket Cod
Day 207/365

Not one to miss an opportunity to savor their amazing smoky, tender, and saucy beef brisket, I ordered the brisket and cod with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.  Bug eased his Memphis dry rub baby back ribs and beef brisket fix ($19.99) with cole slaw (pineapple and horseradish) and potato wedges.

The cod was all right, but I squealed when I tasted the tartar sauce. The chunky bits of pickle had me a-smilin'.

This time of year, the corn on the cob is expectedly frozen, so I took a bite and enjoyed my rare taste of corn, two bites of the garlic mashed red potatoes, three bites of the cod, bit off the top of the corn muffin, and donated the remainder to Bug while I stole 3 potato wedges from him expressly to dunk them and the mushy-but-tasty broccoli into the tartar sauce along with my slices of brisket. Yum!

- Cassaendra

Famous Dave's
26410 Great Northern Shopping Center
North Olmsted, OH 44070
Tel: (440) 777-0200

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Square Pegs

More spindles, from bare bones to voluptuous.

I didn't realize how poorly painted the floorboards are...rather, the extra painting that was done.

365-206 Porch Spindle Square
Day 206/365

When I visited home recently, I spent some time at my grandparents' house. This was never my home, even though I lived on the same property the first 10 years of my life. I feel saddened with the stillness, without seeing my humble grandfather always tinkering with the landscape or fixing tools. With my grandparents gone, my uncle is the caretaker of this mansion. The majestic Victorian home is a shadow of a once gleaming estate. 

Victorian Porch Spindles
Grandparents' porch

My father likely reminisces more, as it was his childhood home. What is now a paved parking area and several apartment units my grandfather built, was an acre of tropical trees and lush grass along a hillside with flowing double blossom fuchsia bougainvillea bushes lining the front and an unobstructed view of the Pacific when he was a child.  

The weathered house stands strong, not accepting time, a testament of the workmanship withstanding over a century of kids, tropical storms, family parties, and termites, witnessing Hawaii as it was over half a century before statehood.

- Cassaendra

Peek the Cat

365-205 Peek the Cat
Day 205/365

Behemoth cat basks, crouched before the curtains, in the blustery crispness.

- Cassaendra

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chevre Day

We recently had dinner at our neighbor's house and were reminded of Mackenzie Creamery's cognac fig chevre, which was served with bread. 

365-204 Cognac Fig Apricot Ginger 
Day 204/365

Our first taste of their cognac fig goat cheese came in a pint of Jeni's Mackenzie Creamery cognac fig ice cream two years ago. At the time, I enjoyed the ice cream but felt it was a bit too pricey.

Fast forward two years later, Bug thoroughly enjoyed the cognac figs at dinner so we set out to purchase some for ourselves the next day. The cognac figs are not as sweet and more textured by nature of the fruit, while the ginger is subtle with the vibrant apricots.

The natural slight sourness paired with the lightly sweetened fruits makes a delicious and indulgent appetizer and dessert spread on sour dough bread, multigrain crackers, waffles, or just licked off a spoon.

- Cassaendra

Mackenzie Creamery
P.O. Box 325
Hiram, OH
Tel: 440-226-0772

Sunday, January 22, 2012


365-203 Akemi Sunflower
Day 203/365

Akemi enjoys the best of both worlds - sunny, warmer weather and frolicking in the snow.  It was ~45°F (7°C) this afternoon.

We spent a part of our day sealed up in the darkness watching "Red Tails," a movie about the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. At the start of the film, it felt like this was going to be a waste of my time and money, rife with hokey scenes, cliches, and cut-out characters. As the turbulence settled, I was able to enjoy the movie, despite playing by the numbers.

"Red Tails" was not a horrible movie, but the movie should have been a lot better to honor the real people, the struggle for acceptance, and the monumental achievement this was to have portrayed.

- Cassaendra

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oh S-Noes!

365-202 Snow Nose
Day 202/365

With fresh snowfall overnight everything looked beautiful.  Some areas received 7-8" of snow, while we received a couple of inches.

More snow snacks means more trips outside.

This dog is smart.

- Cassaendra

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nose Knows

365-201 Only the Nose Knows
Day 201/365

Funny how 20°F (-6°C) feels warm...compared to the single digit ambient temperatures we had last night. Despite being bundled up, even the occasional whisper of wind made my skin feel prickly and my nose felt like it had fallen off.

365-201 To the Right
Day 201/365

When my face has been ice-blasted, my belly always craves a steaming bowl of pho tai. Ahh, the spectacular spices and floral flavors and aroma of pho... *homesick for Hawaii*

- Cassaendra

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sneaky Shiba

365-200 Snow on the Range
Day 200/365

Akemi loves fresh snow because she gobbles a lot of unsanctioned snow snacks. It comes with a side of scowling Bug scolding her the entire walk.  She doesn't mind.

- Cassaendra

Tuesday, January 17, 2012



365-199 Feathers
Day 199/365

When I took the photograph, I was reminded of "Blade Runner." Perhaps I'll watch the movie Friday night, as I plan on finishing the last two episodes of season 2 of "White Collar," and a movie, "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman tomorrow night. Meanwhile, I am in the midst of reading two books, "Blueprints of the Afterlife" by Ryan Boudinot and "The Leopard" by Jo Nesbo.

Since we don't have cable television, most of our entertainment comes from what is available in the vast vaults of our library system; a wonderful resource for education and entertainment.

In case you were wondering... boa  snake  Zhora, the exotic dancer in "Blade Runner"

- Cassaendra

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dead Calm

365-198 Dawn
Day 198/365

Dead calm of dawn.

- Cassanedra

Sunday, January 15, 2012


365-197 Urban Tundra
Day 197/365

To keep warm, people dress in all sorts of ways with scarves, hats, or hoods. Sometimes, it's all of the above. The snow machine has stopped briefly with rain in the forecast the next few days, followed by snow -- rinse and repeat.

365-197 Bench at the Park
Day 197/365

Akemi eyes the empty park bench between sneaking snacks of snow clods.

- Cassaendra

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Zoo Music

Continuing with the winter wonderland theme...

365-196 Tree Antlers
Day 196/365

When I saw these branches, it reminded me of a reindeer -- at least my recollection of reindeer antlers from my visits to the zoo.

Thinking about antlers reminded me of the bunny ears (television reception antenna) we used when I was a kid, prior to cable television, are using, and the aggravation of having to rotate them when the connection weakens. ARGH!

- Cassaendra

Friday, January 13, 2012


Were you expecting exotic fish, colorful coral, blue rubber fins, a swim mask, and bubbles in the warm water of the tropics?

365-195 Snorkler
Day 195/365

To describe this picture, "snorkler" was the best I could do; snow + sparkler.

Snow has been flying since last night. By flying, we are experiencing gusts of wind that feel like they've traveled through a wormhole straight from the Arctic Circle and through our skin like neutrinos. My fingers went numb without gloves in just a few minutes.

Okay, okay, the ambient temperature is only 21°F (-6°C), not quite as cold as the Arctic (-29°F). Yeeesh!

- Cassaendra

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tired of Listening

Mary appears to be tired. 

365-194 Tired of Listening 
Day 194/365

I would be tired if I had to listen to gossip and complaints from next door...

How can one not think of Bauhaus' song "Rose Garden Funeral of Sores" when seeing Mary? Well, I suppose if you have never heard of Bauhaus then you wouldn't necessarily think of this song.

Rose Garden Funeral of Sores by Bauhaus via You-Tube

Brought to you by the letters, B, A, U, H, S, as well as the letters Y, O, T, B, and E. Very 1970s/1980s of me to say, eh? *sigh*

- Cassaendra

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rose Garden

365-193 Rose Garden Funeral
Day 193/365

(a) bouquet of roses
(b) goth Tribbles
(c) scarf
(d) Squirmle / Mr. Fuzzy
(e) caterpillars

- Cassaendra

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hat Tree

365-192 Banyan Hat Tree
Day 192/365

Just swinging on a hat tree branch in our little corner of the urban jungle.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bye Bye Bobbins

It seems like just a few weeks ago we walked by Tremont West Development's space on Professor Avenue and witnessed the transformation from a conference room to a storefront. Cosmic Bobbins opened its doors in this spot as its temporary base of operations, and that day "a few weeks ago" was November 11th, 2011.

365-191 Basket of Bobbins
Day 191/365 - Basket o' bobbins

Last evening, we noticed a few things amiss and a couple of naked mannequins. From the start, this was a temporary deal, but a lonely storefront transmits a lonely vibe.

365-191 Naked Bobbins
Day 191/365 - Mannequins

The bohemian storefront feels vacant without all the glitz and glam on display, from bottle cap belts to colorful brochure bags and ladybug goblets.

365-191 Belt
Sling of caps

While their nifty upcycled styles are sold online and numerous boutiques in the city, I wonder where the next Cosmic Bobbins sign will pop up? 

Cosmic Scarf
Scarf at sunrise

Hope 2012 brings more cool shops to this space, and the return of Cosmic Bobbins, as well as Yellow Cake!

- Cassaendra

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cat Woman

365-190 Cat Walk
Day 180/365

A peculiar sight greeted us this morning. An old woman was walking across the street, following her was a red cat. At first, we thought the woman was taking her cat out for a walk, not thinking about how unfathomable that idea sounded.

The cat slinked around the woman, walked ahead of her, then behind her, and back to circling her, as she kept her steady pace forward.

365-190 Cat Woman
Day 180/365

I stood at the corner and watched as the woman plodded down the block. When she reached the park near the end of the block, the cat sat, scratched itself, and meandered into the park, while the woman plodded on.

- Cassaendra

After the Snow

365-189 Salt
Day 189/365

It may not seem like a scorcher, but the temperature yesterday soared into the low 50's (°F). Towards the end of the afternoon, my office was uncomfortably warm as the building's climate control was still operating on temperatures outside between 20-30°F.

In the last couple of days the pile of snow that sprinkled upon us on Monday has melted. All that's left after the snow are abandoned smatterings of salt here and there that weren't consumed. There is still 4 more months of winter, so it won't be long until the next brigade of snow comes marching through.

- Cassaendra

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lament Over the Shadows

365-188 Brown Flowers
Day 188/365

Here are some flowers to brighten your winter day.

We will be taking a brief vacation from freezing temperatures, and enjoy partly cloudy skies and temperatures near 50°F. It'll feel like a heat wave.

- Cassaendra

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Long and Winding

365-187 Long and Winding Rd
Day 187/365

This picture reminded me of the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road." I haven't heard the song in a while so I queued it up. 

"Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles

This is the version I prefer and recognize. It may not be the one that most people remember, however.

The internet is great. Let's keep it free.

- Cassaendra

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dead Rising

365-186 Dead Leaves Rising 
Day 186/365

Almost all the trees that aren't evergreens are bare this time of year except for this tree. Its limbs are covered with leaves that are dried and dead. When the wind blows, the whispering in the summertime turns into a raucous rattle in the winter.

- Cassaendra

Monday, January 2, 2012

Eat Snow

365-185 Not Monorail Squirrel
Day 185/365

Dog rang the bell.
Woke up. Dog rang the bell again.
Cat meowed.
Shuffled to the bathroom.
Cat followed. Dog sat at bowl.
Fed the dog. Fed the cat.
Dog burped.
Leashed the dog.
Looked outside. Squirrel on a chair.
Picked up boots. Looked outside. Squirrel on a chair. Yelled for a camera.
Squirrel stopped eating snow. One eye stared back.
Husband stumbled with the camera.
Squirrel on the railing.
Took a picture. Then another. And another.
Dog whimpered at the door. Husband paced. Dog paced.
And another.
Laced boots.
Slung camera over shoulder. Raced outside.
It's cold.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year?

365-184 Over There
Day 184/365

This morning, we took Akemi out for her first walk of 2012 and were greeted by a detached finger.

It was fake. Otherwise, we would have likely witnessed the finger creeping along the sidewalk with the aid of a procession of ants. Being an early Sunday morning, it may have been quiet enough to hear the faint hum of a funerary brass band marching along.

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings renewed hope, good health, many dreams fulfilled, and growth!

Thank you for tuning in! :)

- Cassaendra

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