You can also Search


Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

Twitter Facebook Instagram
Subscribe Pinterest Flickr
My other social media.
Search Blatherings

Use this search field to search Blatherings archives, or go back to the Main Blatherings page.

***Please note: You are browsing Debbie's personal blog. For her kidlit/YA writing & illustrating blog, see

You can browse by date or entry title in my Blatherings archives here:

 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010+ (current archives)

I'm Bored Bonus Page
I'm Worried

Entries in Food (9)


Complacent cats and custom-made comic books

Duffy is full

Above: my mom-in-law's cat, Duffy. Duffy is extremely affectionate, particularly toward those who are allergic to cats. Like me.

Jeff and I spent the weekend doing Christmas stuff with his family and mine. For Christmas this year, we put together comic books for each of the nephews and nieces on his side of the family. I sent out short e-mail surveys last month, asking for info to help us make stories that much more custom-made for each child -- favourite TV shows, for example, and anything exciting that had happened during 2008.

It was fun to see the kids' reactions as they opened their gifts from us. Though the youngest wasn't all that impressed at first...he yelled, "I DON'T LIKE IT!" and tossed his storybook across the room. But he warmed up to the idea of getting a book as his Christmas gift when his mother read it to him later in the evening, and pointed out that HE was the star of the book. Heh.

Soon the kids were all reading each other their own storybooks and comparing adventures.

We used Comic Life to put together the comic storybooks, using a combination of photos from our archives, plus the occasional artwork by yours truly.

Fun to put together and fun to give. :-)

Tea Rituals


My tea cravings changes with the seasons and more often than not, with the day as well. Today was a Lapsang Souchong day. I took a mug down to my office and cupped my hands around the heat; the taste brings memories of smoky campfires and a moonlit lake, sparks wafting up in the darkness.

Urban Tapestry podcast interview online (plus a shameless plea)

Thanks to Jodi for alerting me to the fact that our podcast interview is up on the Balticon website. Allison, Jodi and I had a lot of fun with the charming Paul Fischer, who interviewed us for his podcast. So much fun that he managed to convince us to sing a song a capella during the show.

UT and Paul Fischer

As part of the move to a new server and format, I’m gradually updating the Urban Tapestry song list. The first I’ve added is Library Boy, a song that we performed for Rand Bellavia as birthday surprise in 2002. We don’t tend to perform this song since I stopped being able to play guitar, and I’d be thrilled if anyone out there wanted to cover it — I’m pretty happy with how the song turned out, and it’s still being requested in open filk.

Whoever sings this song should probably :-) be female and be able to sing bluesy/torchy-like. Rand isn't mentioned specifically in the song, so it's a suitable song for anyone who appreciates libraries and/or books.

If you’re willing to give it a shot, please let me know and I’ll send you the chords/lyrics as well as hunt down a recording. Right now I think I only have a cassette tape recording, and I'll have to figure out a way to digitize it. Thanks! (with fingers crossed very hard)

Halloween pics and OVFF highlights (part 4)

Pumpkin faces

Only 19 kids came by on Halloween night! Still, I had fun putting up decorations. I hung up a string of Mars Attacks lights that I had bought at an Interfilk auction last year, some plastic bats, a sparkly Halloween theme banner, a "Happy Halloween" sign on our front door, hung dangly skeletons from the Japanese maple, spiders on our mailbox and the wall beside our front door, stuck a scared-looking cardboard guy in the grass beside the front walk, made ghosts out of white cardboard and white tissue paper then set up a floor fan to get the tissue paper moving.

Ghosts in the window

My pumpkin carving knife broke a few minutes after I started using it and a regular knife was too tough for me to cut with (I didn't want to aggravate my old tendinitis) so I cheated and drew faces on the pumpkins instead.

To see impressive pumpkins, you should check out pumpkins by Joan S., Lissa A. and the Snyders.

Thanks to my friend John for helpfully pointing out a site that explains how to properly tie an Obi in only 28 steps!

But back to OVFF highlights...

Jodi, Allison and Andrea at North Market

Ice cream with Andrea, Jim, Allison and Jodi at the North Market in Columbus, OH. We went to Jeni's Fresh Ice Creams, where they let you have as many tastings as you want. YUM. My favourites: Salty Caramel, Thai Chili and Cocoa Zin Gelato (with zinfandel).

Seeing Diana Huey again! Diana dropped by the convention to say hi to people.

Irish music session in the hallway on Sunday.

Finding out that Andy and Jenny Eigel have opened up a coffeeshop in Cincinnati, OH! It's called Roxx Coffeehouse and Games and sounds like an incredibly cool place.

The Pegasus Banquet. Congrats to all the Pegasus Award winners:

Best Filk Song: Uplift by Andrew Eigel
Best Classic Filk Song: Archetype Cafe by Talis Kimberley
Best Performer: Vixy & Tony
Best Writer/Composer: Seanan McGuire
Best Tragedy Song: Black Davie's Ride by Cynthia McQuillin
Best Comedy Song: Close Your Eyes by Daniel Glasser

Pegasus Awards Banquet

Photo by Walter

I don't go to events like the Pegasus Awards Banquet for the food (though the food this year was good!); I go for the people -- to pay respect to and celebrate the guests, nominees and winners, to hear the speeches, and to catch up on filk-related news. I also enjoyed chatting with filkers I don't normally get much of a chance to speak with, plus it's always fun to see people decked out in their finery. :-)

Thanks so much to Walter for being my date at this event!

Debbie and Tony

Photo by Allison

The Sunday jam and the Sunday filk. I know I've mentioned these before, but I had SO much fun. One reason I usually try to stay until Monday at conventions is because everything always seems so much more laid-back on Sundays. Plus there's usually more opportunity to just hang out and chat with people because there is less structured programming.

Debbie Ohi
Photo by Walter

Playing the concertina. I don't know the name of the fellow who was kind enough to let me try it but in case he's reading this: thank you!

Seanan McGuire with a chainsaw and monsters:

Seanan with a chainsaw and monsters

Hearing Lady Mondegreen again.

Hearing the Ropers do their Apology song. They're SO cute together. :-)

Mary Crowell's rendition of Alien Salad Abduction by Chris Conway.

Getting my copy of Pondside's new CD! Juliana had bought one of my paintings and asked for permission to use it as a cover image. I'm looking forward to listening to this CD; I love hearing this lady sing.

I mentioned the Sock Monster I made for Brooke and Sib in an earlier report. You can see Allison's photo of Brooke with her monster here; Brooke has named hers Zomg.

Andrea and Jim

Hearing Vixy, Seanan and Tony perform -anything-.

Kidnapping Erin's camera when she wasn't looking so I could take photos like this one and this one and this one.

Chatting with Merav and Talis about sewing and the Halloween costume Talis was making.


Seeing Amy let loose during an instrumental in Wild Mercy's mini-concert. Wow. it's clear that Amy usually holds back when playing backup or playing with other musicians, either to purposely not outshine the singer or because she pays close attention to matching the type of music (probably both). I am SO going to nominate Amy for a Best Performer Pegasus every year until she wins. :-)

Going to Panera's (I think that was the name) with Andrea, Mary, Walter, Allison and Jodi. The place gave us a couple of freshly baked loaves of bread for free because they had accidentally made too many!

Keeping the bread safe

Seanan's description of people's "screensaver faces."

The con suite: perfect place for hanging out and meeting people, plus a lifesaver if you were hungry but didn't have the time for a full meal at a restaurant. I grabbed a peanut butter and jam sandwich here.

Brooke Lunderville's performance of "The Wreck of the Crash of the Easthill Mining Disaster," with highly entertaining sign props.

Mary Crowell's slippers:

Mary's footware

In an earlier con report, I mentioned that Vixy, Jeff Bohnhoff and Maya Bohnhoff surprised me with a song about me to the tune of "Barracuda." Well, Walter has good photos of my reaction as did Michael. :-)

Many thanks to Debbie Gates for sending me a recording of "Debbie Ohi"! I had it posted on the FilkArchive, but Martin GK gently (and very correctly) reminded me that even though it's a parody, the original tune is copyrighted, so I pulled it off. Congrats to those few who managed to get it during the brief time it was online; next time you'll see it will likely be in the FilKONtario Interfilk auction.

Photo by Walter

Hearing the Three Weird Sisters do anything. Bill looks pretty good as a fourth Weird Sister, doesn't he?

And one of my favourite photos taken at the con: Brooke's photo of Mary Crowell and I battling it out while Bill Sutton calls out our match. Heh. :-D

Hanging out with Sib and the Bohnhoffs at the airport:

At the Columbus airport

Running into my friends Helen and Dan at the airport in Toronto. They were in town for Cory Doctorow's wedding.

Surprise encounter with Helen and Dan

Okay, there are obviously WAY too many highlights and cool photos for me to post here. I'll be posting the occasional few in upcoming Blatherings, but considering the end of my official OVFF report.

Many thanks to the OVFF concom and guests for making this past weekend such an enjoyable event. Allison, Jodi and I had a fantastic can read Allison's report and see some of her photos in her Livejournal.

Our next convention as a group: FilKONtario!

Running For The Cure

Allison in reflection

Happy birthday to my music partner and friend, Allison! Do drop by the virtual birthday party and say hello. Party ends at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. Because of the Viva strike (and because I'm still sick :-\ ), we weren't able to get together last night for our Urban Tapestry birthday bash and rehearsal.

We also rehearsed virtually as well, exchanging e-mails and soundfiles -- we ended up successfully figuring out a three-part arrangement to "Running For The Cure," our new song. I've enclosed the lyrics below.

We have other songs as well; how many we sing will depend on how much time we have. Learning from our experience at Relay For Life a few years back, we purposely chose songs that were upbeat and catchy; people will likely be milling about in Nathan Phillips Square after the run. Hopefully we may even get a few people dancing. :-)

I wrote the chorus first, based on my experience with the Run for the Cure. It's always inspirational, seeing how many people participate, and in so many ways. Some people run, some walk, some push strollers, and some are in wheelchairs. You'll see people dancing, singing, and holding hands -- it's an amazing feeling, being in the midst of it all, knowing that you're part of a greater effort striving for a worthy cause.

If you're planning to attend the event and are at the main stage when we sing this song, feel free to sing along on the chorus. We're scheduled to perform from 10:43-11 a.m. in Nathan Phillips Square at the CIBC Run For The Cure this coming Sunday.


By Debbie Ridpath Ohi
For performance by Urban Tapestry at the
2008 CIBC Run For The Cure

Gonna run, gonna walk, gonna roll
Gonna dance, gonna sing for the cure
Gonna cry, gonna laugh, gonna stroll
gonna find some hope and Run For The Cure.

It began in '92, small candle flame
burning bright
Years pass, that flame grows stronger still
Fire in the night.


We run for our mothers
sisters and aunts, and daughters dear
We run for friends we haven't met
There are no strangers here.


Breast cancer affects us all, we'll
never give up, we will fight it
Runners, walkers, volunteers
Canadians united.

CHORUS (twice)