“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

My dad recently quoted the above Benjamin Franklin to me. I’ve been doing a lot of tattoos and other things recently that step outside my usual comfort zones, and it seemed awfully topical.

Brian and his sister got matching black and grey ferns from myself and Betty Marie. I love to do black and grey but do more color (and love that, too), so it was fun to work like this for a change.

Apologies as usual for the godawful iPhone photo. It looks so good on the phone and so bad on the blog. I finished Scott’s gritty anatomical rib piece on Wednesday. Scott is so awesome and so fun to work with!

I covered some old punk tattoos on Alena the other day. Crystal flowers!!!! I love doing crystal flowers! Wow, this was fun. Alena is the most fun ever.

Teigen got a lovely compass rose. This one was so fun to draw and to do! I love doing compass roses. Come get some more, Portland!

I started this Harry Potter themed chestpiece on Kim. I’m really excited about it; the magical smoke will be grey and purple, and we’re doing some awesome stippling in the magical bursts off the wands. Also pictured: golden snitch, elder wand, Harry’s wand, Deathly Hallows, Ravenclaw motto. Guys. I love Harry Potter tattoos. I can’t wait to work on this again!

And I finally was able to finish Faye’s dancer. I love this tattoo and this lady! It was so wonderful to finish it, and I’m SO pleased with how the blue skeleton came out.

I’ve also been eating a little meat in the leadup to going to Ireland for a lot of reasons, and the other day I roasted a chicken. It made feel kind of sad because I am a hippie. I probably won’t continue with it once we get back, but it’s definitely a necessity for the trip. I stuffed it with thyme and garlic and rubbed it down with olive oil and salt and fresh pepper, and then roasted it with onions and potatoes. My fellow says it was good, which is excellent because I have nothing but 12 years of vegetarianism and some foggy memories of chicken fajitas upon which to base the result.

I also made this risotto from Serious Eats’ Food Lab a week or so ago. I highly recommend it. I made some edits so I’ll post my version below, even though probably it was more sticky and less saucy than the author suggests. It tasted totally great so I’m unrepentant.


Mushroom Tomato Risotto:

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 13.5 ounces) risotto-style rice (see note)
  • 1 quart Imagine brand “no chicken” broth (it’s just a mild vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup diced italian tomatoes from a can, with juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter (plus more for finishing if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 a small onion, small dice
  • about 1c total fresh mushrooms (I used chanterelles that I had the good fortune to forage myself with my friend Lisa! but something else is fine. Maybe crimini? Whatever you want!), chopped
  • about 1/2c milk or more to taste
  • 3 ounces finely grated parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped herbs or other garnishes, as desired


  1. Combine rice, stock, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Agitate rice with fingers or a whisk to release starch. Strain through a fine mesh strainer set in a 2-quart liquid cup measure or other large bowl. Allow to drain five minutes, stirring rice occasionally.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add rice and cook, stirring and tossing frequently until all liquid is evaporated, fat is bubbling, and rice has begun to take on a golden blond color and nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add garlic,onion, and mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently until aromatic, about 1 minute. Give reserved broth a good stir and pour all but one cup over the rice. Increase heat to high and heat until simmering. Stir rice once, cover, and reduce heat to lowest possible setting.
  3. Cook rice for ten minutes undisturbed. Stir once, shake pan gently to redistribute rice, cover, and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender with just a faint bite, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Remove lid and add final cup of liquid. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and shaking rice constantly until thick and creamy. Off heat, fold in milk and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in herbs as desired. Serve immediately on hot plates.
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