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Hi guys,

The lovely [ profile] schmooo has offered to ask her native French-speaking acquaintances/coworkers to translate a few sentences for me for a restaurant card. I'm leaving for France next week Wednesday, so I should really get going on this.

I want to keep this simple so that it's not confusing, but specific to avoid confusion. How does this sound:

I have a severe allergy to

  • Corn

  • Gluten

  • Wheat

  • Dairy
Please, no corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, wheat flour, breadcrumbs, croutons, milk, butter, or cheese.

Please be sure that sauces, dressings, and stuffings do not contain any of these, as well. Many spice mixes contain gluten or corn starch. Please do not use spices if you are not certain of the ingredients.

Could you please help me by suggesting a menu item that is safe, and please give this card to the chef?

Thank you for your help.

Table #: _____________

Here is the translation a native speaker provided me with:
Je suis sévèrement allergique aux aliments suivants:

- mais,

- gluten,

- blé et froment,

- produits laitiers.

SVP, pas d’amidon de mais, syrop de mais, doublé, farine de blé ou froment, pain, pané, croutons, lait, beurre ou fromage.

SVP, assurez-vous que les sauces, assaisonnements, condiments et farces ne contiennent aucun des aliments mentionnés. En cas de doute, je vous prie de vous abstenir d’utiliser ces ingredients.

Pourriez-vous me suggérer un plat sans danger, et pourriez-vous aussi transmettre cette carte en cuisine?

Je vous remercie de votre aide.

Numéro de table:_________________

I also want to be sure of translations/pronunciation for the following phrases/questions. In explanation of some of the weirder ones, I will specifically be at a music festival for three days, and may attempt to eat at food booths.

in case you don't give a shit )


Jun. 2nd, 2010 03:59 pm
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Oh yeah, Lukas put this up on his flickr a while ago. Here's a poorly-lit picture of my backpiece, right after we finished it.


Feb. 5th, 2010 10:28 am
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Today is my last day at my current employer. Next week I will be starting at New Job.

When people leave here, HR usually buys a premade cake and everyone stands around saying awkward farewells. They buy this cake even when they know that the person leaving cannot eat one or more things in the cake. They usually try to buy something small like a veggie tray for someone who can't eat it, but what they buy ends up usually being pretty miserable next to the big shiny cake.

I've been at this company for four years, and I have some pretty compelling reasons for leaving. But I've made some pretty dear friends here, and I'm sad that I won't be working with them any more. Not sad enough to stay, mind you, but I will miss them. So I'd like my last day and my Awkward Cake Party to be nice, yes? I most certainly do NOT want to have an awkward cake party where neither myself nor one of my dearest friends who is also my coworker can eat.

So last night, Olivia (my other food-intolerant buddy) and I got together and made gluten-free, corn-free, vegan Metalcakes. The decorations were inspired by recipes from the Metalcakes blog, but the recipes were taken from Gluten Free Goddess.

The specific themes I used from Metalcakes were Hellbent for Cupcakes and Edible Autopsy Cakes.

The recipes I used in place of the egg, dairy, wheat, and cornstarch-containing recipes, were: vanilla cupcakes with mocha frosting, and apple cinnamon muffins.

So far they look good, and the batter tasted good, but I haven't tried the finished product yet. I'll update after the Awkward Cake Party.


Tasty, vegan sludge.
Tasty, vegan sludge.

Hellbent for Cupcakes
Hellbent, hellbent for cupcakes!

Edible Autopsy - Cannibal Corpse themed cupcakes
Mutilated beyond belief, but still kept alive.

Ghouls! Attack the frosting!
Ghouls! Attack the frosting!

Hellbent for Cupcakes
We ran out of frosting, so there was one poor vanilla cupcake that was not invited to the S&M party.

And yes, we did listen to heavy metal, including Judas Priest, while making these cupcakes. We also had to make our own confections' sugar, since all commercial confectioners' sugar is made with corn starch. 1 tbsp potato or tapioa starch + 1 cup sugar in a vitamix with the dry blade attachment = Becca-safe confectioners' sugar.

Full Flickr Set (not that many extra pictures.)
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Sketch. Ooof.



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Beneath a sky of maggots I walked
Until those maggots began to fall
I gaped at God to receive my gift
Bathed in maggots till the planet shit

--Gwar, "Maggots"

So yesterday morning, I noticed that my dog had pulled a few things out of the trash during the night, as he has been doing lately. This is a problem, but not a huge problem, so I've been putting off dealing with it. Additionally, I haven't really been able to catch him in the act, which is what I need to do to prevent the behavior. Since I was in a rush, I simply put the few items that were on the floor back in the very full trash can and went to work.

When I got home from work that evening, Kuma had knocked the entire fucking thing over, and every single item in the trash can was on the kitchen floor. I noticed that a few of these items were leftover mexican food and leftover bbq meat from the previous weekend, but didn't consider what that might mean until I picked up a plastic bag and saw a SEETHING, SQUIRMING PILE OF MAGGOTS, which then scattered unbelievably quickly, trying to make their way to a dark, hidden place.

I think many people would be freaked out by a squirming pile of maggots, but I, especially, have a phobia. See, back in like, 2003 or so, I [may have] accidentally ingested some pantry moth larva. At the time that I [possibly] ingested them, I was not actually that upset: I said "Hey, free protein!" and shrugged it off. But over the course of the next several days, I began to have more and more trouble eating. I would remember looking down and seeing several squiggling white worms on my plate, and suddenly everything would taste like sawdust. Over the course of the next several years, I've let this fear of squiggling wormy things turn into a full on phobia.

So, when I saw the pile o' maggots, I screamed like a girl and immediately dialed Eric, who did not at first understand the severity of the situation. He first of all didn't realize just how many god damn worms there were (the picture does not capture it, as I did not think to get a camera out until the situation was under control) and secondly did not understand that I was panicked. I am usually a pretty level-headed person, so often people are shocked when I get hysterical. And also me being "hysterical" is probably calmer than a lot of people on a good day.

But I was hyperventilating and crying, and once he realized that I was not doing so well, he did his best to be supportive boyfriend guy, making jokes and reading me Cannibal Corpse lyrics while I tried various methods of killing them. Man, those fuckers move FAST, and are incredibly hard to kill. I even tried just grabbing (squirming, disgusting) handfuls of them and putting them back in the trash, but they would crawl out unbelievably quickly and end up back on the floor. I tried pouring bleach on them, but that just made them move fast.

In the end, I put plastic bags over the top of them and stomped on them, grape-smushing style. This was not as effective as you would think, though, as they curl up like pill-bugs when stomped and seem to survive if you don't really grind your heel in. So every once in a while, I would see a lone maggot making its way out of the central trash pile towards the cupboards and would scream, "Where the fuck do you think YOU'RE GOING!" and stomp it to death.

Gosh, I wish someone had caught this on video.

Jason came home after I got the last of the maggots (I hope) and mopped the floor for me. Then I went out and drank some whiskey. Though after my second drink, the adrenaline left me and I crashed HARD and ended up home and in bed by 9pm. And now I am well-rested and have this awesomely disgusting story to tell you all.
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fish balls, originally uploaded by chrysslyn.

I put them in soup. Yes, I did.

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Dear Seattle Metal Fans,

I thought you were entirely lame, but last night you proved me wrong.

Love, Becca


The awesomeness, in list format:

  • Skeletonwitch was amaze-time live. The sound was good at this show (which it was apparently not when they played the Funhouse recently), and of course the musicians were awesome. While I knew the vocals were going to be FUCKING SICK, Chance Garnett was seriously entertaining to watch as well as to listen to. I like it when he beats his chest. Even if his interspersed comments about wanting some weed or women to present themselves to him after the show were pretty fucking annoying, he still put on an awesome show.

  • Trap Them was motherfucking awesome, as well. Even though only four of us seemed to be into them at all, while everyone else stood around with their arms crossed looking self-conscious. The music sounded as rage-filled as on the album, and the vocalist was seriously into what he was doing. Also, he totally chose to stagedive directly onto wee Eric, who was standing mostly by himself. That was nearly bloody.

  • Unlike many Seattle metal shows, there were tons of women there, and not "girlfriends" or "vampire queens." Cap Hill hipsters, sure, but they were at least there for the music and not a dude, and were dressed to do something other than stand at the way back and try not to fall off of their platform shoes.

  • Becca Convention: In addition to Cap Hill hipsters, there were at least two other women who were interested in rocking out, both of whom were also named Becca. We were all in the pit for Skeletonwitch, and one of them totally headbutted me by accident. It was hilarious.

  • There were NO idiots doing the nazi stomp in the pit! Though there was also no one willing to truly start a circle pit, either. The singer kept calling for an old-school circle pit, and no one was freaking doing it. I thought about doing a round or two just to show them how it's done, but I fell victim to the same lame self-consciousness as everyone else.

  • And today, I only hurt a little. My neck muscles are not nearly as sore as they have been from rocking out not nearly as hard. I think the alcohol helped- self-induced whiplash is less likely if you are relaxed. :) I do, however, have a killer bruise on my shin and inexplicable trouble moving my left ankle. I was wearing Chucks to the show because I forgot my boots in Olympia, and I probably got kicked/stepped on quite a few times.

Should you wish to check out either band:
Skeletonwitch: Beyond the Permafrost

Trap Them: Seizures in Barren Paradise

So um, buy it if you like the preview, eh?


Skeletonwitch - hands summoning the riffs from the guitar.

Trap Them

All photos in this post were stolen from Josh Manderville, who is a genius with his iPhone.
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... starting next week.

Right now they're being cut across the department evenly. This sucks, but will be okay, I think. Except I don't start school till next september, so right now I am just getting less pay and there is no educational benefit to it. But when school starts, I will be getting exactly as many hours as I want, and other people in the department will be able to work a more normal amount of hours because of it.

I think I will just try to enjoy the extra time off until school starts. And try to not spend as much money as I have been, somehow. Sigh.

It'll be okay, as long as both the housemates keep paying rent. I might have to get a third rather sooner than I thought, which I am not looking forward to. Will be doing spreadsheets and shit this weekend. Along with baking pies.


Jun. 11th, 2009 06:39 pm
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There needs to be a pho place that delivers.

I'm partied out. I had plans to see Afton this evening, but we rescheduled for the next time she comes through town because I'm just too fucking tired. Going to locate some food and curl up and watch some Lucio Fulci with my dog.


Jun. 11th, 2009 11:58 am
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Show last night was motherfucking awesome. Even though all the good opening acts dropped, the guys they got to fill the bill weren't so bad. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by both Rumplestiltskin Grinder and Sothis. Neither of them were.. em.. something I'd come out to see on purpose, but it could have been worse. Much worse.

Absu kicked my ass all over the place, of course. I rocked out hard, but Phil (I think that is his name?)  from Drakul wins the prize for having the BEST TIME. Oh my god. Dude whipped me in the face with his hair so many times, and was like, totally falling all over everyone he was rocking out so hard. After the last song, I gave him a big fucking hug for being so awesome.

In other news, the "Fuck me Jesus" Marduk shirt I inherited from my black metal big brother got a lot of compliments. :)
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Friday night I went to BlackenedFest in Seattle: Mayhem headlined, along with Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation, and Withered. Er, there were two other bands that we didn't see, but I really don't care.

Friday afternoon I took off from work early and went up to selfish and zahgurim's house in West Seattle. I've known those two for, shit, nine years now, and visiting them always feels like visiting family to me. We spent some quiet time in the house with the dogs, during which I gained the title of Black Metal Grandma when I admitted that I always carried a baggie of spare earplugs to shows in case any of my friends had forgotten theirs.

Black Metal Grandma says:
"Did you remember to eat dinner?"
"Do you need earplugs? I have extras!"
"How are your bowel movements? Are you getting enough fiber?"

Note that this has to be said in a very nasal fake east coast accent. I may well do a phone post to demonstrate.

We had a nice family dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall Pho place down the street, and then it was time for the family trip to the show. When we got into the car, zahgurim said, in his best Dad voice: "Everyone buckled in? Time for metal!"

The show was incredibly early: doors were at 5:30! We managed to arrive at the venue late, but just in time for Withered, which was pretty much the only opening band I really gave a shit about. We all started out together on the balcony area, away from the crowd, but a song or two into Withered's set, I just couldn't deal with not being down in the crowd anymore. Not only was there better visibility for me, but I really do like to be close to--though not quite in the middle of--the action. They were damn good live, though not as mind-blowingly awesome as I'd hoped for. I like their album, Memento Mori, quite a bit; I really should have picked up Folie Circulaire at the show, but of course it did not occur to me.

Cattle Decapitation was much better than I expected; the whole band clearly means it, and the vocalist is quite a sight to behold. The faces he makes are just amazing. Seriously. Cephalic Carnage was quite good as well, though the heavy stoner theme was not my bag. I just don't really get "pot culture" and people who want to talk about smoking pot all of the time, especially as banter between sets. But the music was good, and I did rock out aplenty. In fact, I rocked out so hard that my messenger bag got briefly moshed *off* of me, and I had to retrieve it from the floor without getting stepped on.

Yes, I regularly go to shows wearing glasses and a messenger bag with pink miso and sushi on it and then hang out right on the edge of the pit and play guardian.

But Mayhem were my reason for being there, and they did not disappoint. In addition to the (literally) awesome music, the stage show was fantastic. Attila stayed in character for the whole set, only speaking in a metal growl, with his robe and noose and other accessories. The combination of the music and the theatrics had me FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. In fact, I got so fucking excited towards the end of the set that I accidentally headbutted the guy in front of me during a mutually mistimed headbang, punched some chick in the back of the head with my invisible grapefruit, and then when the wee kid next to me got knocked into me by the pit, threw an arm around him and insisted that he rock out with me for the rest of Pure Fucking Armageddon.

Both photos stolen and shamelessly hotlinked from Gravemusic Gallery.

I crashed at selfish and zahgurim's house for the night, and then we had some breakfast together before I left around 11am the next day.

selfish's quotables, post-show:

[When talking about insecure teenagers who are clearly dressed up special for the show sizing her up.]
"I'm judging you WAY HARDER."

["Over breakfast" is the only context you get here.]
"Big butts gets mans."

I really need to get some screen printing supplies soon and make some t-shirts.

I managed to continue rocking out in one way or another until Sunday/the wee hours of Monday, when I attended a tiny little show at Sizizis where Chris played some of his new solo music, in the general vein of dark/apocalyptic folk. But this post is getting entirely too long, so I'll leave the story of the rest of my weekend for another time.


Jun. 4th, 2009 11:05 pm
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IMG_0542, originally uploaded by chrysslyn.

Dad, sister Sirikon, stepmom Somying


Jun. 4th, 2009 10:59 am
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I've got a +1 for that Jason Webley show, yes I do. My favorite pretentious polyglot bookworm is threatening to haul his ass over from Boise in July to attend this show with me.


I was already excited for this show. Now I am excited +2.
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I've posted about this artist before, but I like him so much that I'm doing it again.


Jason Webley is a musician from Seattle who started out as a street performer, playing guitar, accordion, and a vodka bottle filled with coins. His music is best described as a blend of folk, punk, and gypsy rock. Some of his work has been compared to Tom Waits, mostly because of his gravely vocals. His live performances usually incorporate pranks, props, and audience participation, and in my opinion are worth attending whether you like the kind of music he makes or not.

Videos of his work behind this cut. )

Here's the thing. I haven't seen Jason Webley since his release party for the Eleven Saints single in 2006. That night, a boy broke my heart in about a thousand pieces in the cursed driveway of my friend's rental house, which coincidentally was owned by one of Jason's very good friends. This heartbreak took me quite a while to recover from. Sometimes I'm still not sure I'm completely recovered from it. Since then, I have unconsciously and illogically associated his shows with that heartbreak. It isn't like I've outright refused to go see a show, I just haven't, you know, gone out of my way.

This year, though, Jason's big show promises to be too much to miss. Among other amazing artists, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls will be part of the show. As much as I like his recorded music, it's really the live performances that make him such a fantastic artist. He's an excellent showman at any time, but when he goes all-out for his big shows, it's really something special. This is, after all, the guy who was banned from Bumbershoot for baptizing people in the fountain, and staged a pirate invasion of Bainbridge Island.


He has this way of connecting with his audiences' inner child and bringing them into his world. Which is how, at his Halloween show in 2004, I ended up wearing a headband--hachimaki style, with a tomato on it instead of a rising sun--and raising my fist in the air with the rest of my fellow flag-waving, headband-wearing tomato warriors, singing "Tomaaaay-ay-ay-to!"

To illustrate the types of antics he instigates: After the show, we walked to the the nearby park and engaged in rituals at different stations along the way, ending in a theatrical "death" that involved a giant paper-mache tomato. (If you look reaaaaally closely at the picture below, you can see my head, with blue and black dreadlocks, in the lower right-ish, looking up at the aforementioned boy.)

Stage 1: BalloonStage 2: FeatherStage 3: BoatStage 4: Tomato
All photos from this show taken by Michael Hanscom

Once I decided that I was going to go to this show, I went out and bought his newest full-length release, The Cost of Living, and listened to it in my car this morning.

I'm really, really bad at reviewing music other than saying that I liked it or not. So I'll just say this: I was teary the entire time I listened to it. Maybe it was hormones, or maybe it was the sunscreen I was wearing dripping into my eyes, or maybe it really was the music.

In any case, if you are in the Seattle area, or you can get to the Seattle area easily, I highly encourage you to attend this show. I think it will sell out, so you should get advance tickets here. I already have two, though I don't know yet who's coming with me. Someone will, and even if they didn't want to in the first place, they'll thank me later.
Cost of Living-Digipak.indd
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An excerpt from my work's Summer 2009 Almanac:
A dog with a fresh bone looks so happy that her entire body seems to shout, "I was made for this!" But fresh bones are more than a source of joy..."

Unfortunately, this is being edited out in the next press run.
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Metalcakes is a blog of cupcake recipes inspired by metal bands. Photos of finished projects are included.

Damn it.

May. 31st, 2009 04:34 pm
becala: (Default) needs to come back online so that I can tell someone, anyone, how much I absolutely detest the new Hammers of Misfortune double disc set. I can't believe it got good reviews on metal sites, or anywhere at all. I mean, I've not been super impressed by any of the releases after The Bastard, but I've liked them well enough. But this? Is. So. Terrible.

I'm going to give it a rest and give it a listen in my car when I'm feeling a little more generous, but I just doubt I will like it any better later.


May. 31st, 2009 04:16 pm
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The show last night was probably one of the most terrible shows I've ever been to in Olympia. Well, no, that's not true. I've seen many many terrible shows in Olympia, but none that I actually paid to go see at a venue that was not also a bar, so I could at least drown my sorrows over the poor music. The venue, which is a new space, was just utter shit for acoustics due to a long, narrow space and plywood walls. And I don't know much, but I have my doubts as to how competent the person running sound was, as well.

Regardless of the reasons, I couldn't actually tell you what the fucking bands that played really sounded like. Though I do know whether their bass player was any good, as that was all I could fucking hear. The guitarist/singer for Bone Awl was apparently so pissed about either the sound quality or the crowd, or something that he threw his guitar down and stomped off as soon as their set was finished. Doh.

Well, at least I got to hang out with some internet friends who came down from Seattle who turned out to be some of the funniest motherfuckers I've gotten to spend time with in a while. Though, once again, my poor decision-making skills in shooting whiskey at the beginning of the night probably resulted in me talking some mad stupid shit right out on 4th Ave, and this town is so small that it will probably come back to me eventually. Oh, lympia.
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Tomorrow, I'm going to go to the woods to visit with this guy:

... and other wonderful people...

to celebrate the 5th birthday of these ladies:

I still intend to go to that show in the evening, but the beautiful folks at the farm insist that they will conspire to convince me to stay. I'm awfully stubborn, though.
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