Recently, I submitted an entry into a sewing contest. For it, I motivated myself to finally learn how to make an ao dai (ow-yai, meaning long garment), the national garment of Viet Nam, my country of origin. I used a pattern for a base, Folkwear 139. However, I customized it to fit a 5’10” friend who was my sewing model. I also fixed how the shoulders were done because sewing it as instructed left a very jagged shoulder “dart”, which was essentially what I was doing more than sewing it together as a seam. Then I extended the neck line from the body up so it didn’t leave such a big collar. Finally, on my real garment, I redrafted the front and back pieces to remove the vertical darts so as not to disturb the beautiful big print, and took out a dart on the sleeve.
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Recently, I ended up with a lot of full leaf spinach (the way they’re harvested), green onions and cilantro from a grocery trip. It was my first time getting such spinach for myself, usually getting them in pre-packaged bags without long stems. Summer abundance meant the bundles I bought, along with the green onions and cilantro, were also excessive, so I had a lot of vegetable stems on my hands all of a sudden. Not being one to waste food, I thought about what I could do with all these stems, since they weren’t generally appealing to me if they would have been used like the rest of the stock. I didn’t like the crunchy nature of the stems, and the green onion stems were just a bit odd in flavour for my liking. I usually eat the green onion stalks a bit into the white where it starts to bulge into the bulbs, but this batch had a lot of white before it bulged and I was going to challenge myself to eat a good portion of it rather than waste it.
After some thinking, stem soup was what I came up with.
Just watched Our Nixon on CNN, and my favourite part was this little rag at the end! A cute little ditty by sung by Barbara Foster and written by Myron Ace, its theme denounces the Washington/political tourist crowd that bombarded San Clemente after Richard Nixon moved to San Clemente’s coastal hamlet and bought the Cotton’s estate. To this day the home is still known as the Western White House.
I don’t think this song has ever gotten the attention it just got now on CNN! I get the feeling it’s gonna be sung a lot more often now with its catchy chorus of “Mr Nixon, you’re to blame” and Nixon’s image associated with the Watergate Scandal that seemed like everybody around Nixon went to jail for except Nixon.
Mr Nixon, you’re to blame… Mr Nixon you’re to blame…