Summer Festival of the Arts

This weekend was Youngstown’s Summer Festival of the Arts. (Pictures in my flickr, just click on the sidebar pics to see them all). It was held on YSU’s campus. I hadn’t been to the festival in years. Last year I’d been at Readercon in Boston when it was held, and missed it. I was glad to be home to see it this summer. It’s grown so much since the last time I’d attended in 2004. There were artists from all over the states, so many vendors, tons of great food from various ethnic communities in Youngstown, and lots of music, dramatic skits and so on. My mom drove out and visited the new apartment beforehand, then we went down and spent the afternoon at the festival eating haluski and pierogis, seeing old friends and buying stuff (mostly Marcie Applegate’s jewelry, which my mom loves).


It was good to see such a huge crowd of people, and all the really beautiful things the artisans had made to sell. After my mom left, I drove back to the festival to hang out with my friends Brooke and Rob for a little longer. Brooke bought us all Hawaiian Ices and we walked around talking about the upcoming season of plays and musicals for the Oakland Center for the Arts, and my upcoming book launch party for One for Sorrow, which will be at the Oakland at the end of August, and how really nice it is to see the arts scene

coming back to life in Youngstown. Rob’s tongue turned blue from his ice. People felt the need to comment on this. Brooke wore a really big hat Rob had made for a drag queen benefit show for the Oakland, and people kept stopping to ask her which artist was making the hats. Come to the next Stage at the Oakland, which is on July 21st, my birthday, and maybe Rob will have the hat with him. Hmm, maybe you could commission him to make one for you, if tall drag queen hats that make Audrey Hepburn’s hats look

understated is the style you’re looking for. It’s my birthday, but I’ll be there. Hope to see those of you nearby people there, too. Afterwards I’m thinking birthday martinis at Imbibe. Come buy me one! 🙂

Comfort food

I’ve been not feeling so good the past couple of days, which finally emerged as the sore throat that conquered the world.  It hurt to even swallow last night, so I made myself comfort food my adopted mom in Japan had sent me, and took the day off from school, and slept in, and am finally beginning to feel a little better.  The Japanese food was a comfort.  When I get sick now, I always want miso soup and rice.  It warms me up without feeling so heavy.  In any case, my adopted Japanese mom is always putting up pictures of recipes she’s made on her webpage, so I’ve decided to keep that tradition, especially since most of the stuff I made was stuff she’d sent me.  🙂

Behold the beauty of Miso soup with wakame (seaweed) and tofu.

Miso soup

Marvel at Japanese rice generously arranged with furikake (vegetable sprinkles)

Rice and furikake

Feast your eyes on the miracle of oden, a Japanese winter dish of daikon radish, potato, konnyaku (a gelitinous creation made from dragon root), fish cakes and boiled egg.


And now onto trying to get some work done.  Have a good weekend.