Saturday, December 26, 2009

F-Word Friday - Full Of Grace

Oh hi!

Me again, the girl who wasn't going to post for a week and a half!

Christmas was lovely; I'm sitting at 8AM in my friend Nova's living room, using her laptop (oh someday... someday) and enjoying the snowy view from her brand new windows.

Christmas Eve ended up being fantastic!

After leaving TR with his other gift (a bottle of mead from beautiful Lindisfarne - more on that later!) and a couple of awesome CDs (and a box of Happy Cakes), I made my way home, braved the grocery store (in and out in 20 minutes on Christmas Eve - I deserve an award or something), stopped at Papa Murphy's for pizza (take and bake is so the way to go) and headed home...

Right when my guests were arriving. AWESOME.

Thank goodness they know me well - they were not shocked.

I popped the pizzas in the oven, threw together all the salad makings, made a couple of people some hot cocoa perfection (it just takes a splash of milk), sampled a cupcake (I deserved it after all that running!), and then sat down with a glass of wine.

You know how it goes.

After our makeshift dinner (pizza always works), we sat and enjoyed each others company awhile, playing Wii Sports Resort (courtesy of TR - what a wonderful present!) and eating our very happy Happy Cakes (my favorite - Sugar Cookie). Then they (The Kid's uncle and grandfather and grandfather's girlfriend) headed to their respective homes and The Kid & I took a breath.

Then we did something that I hadn't done in 20 years, and The Child had never experienced...

Midnight Mass.

Ok, Ten PM Mass.

I'm not sure if it's just Longmont, land of Everything's-Closed-By-9PM, or papal decree (apparently the new Pope is too pooped to party that late), but I had to assume the former. It is Longmont, after all... maybe we were the inspiration?

Anyway, it was off to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, which was not the cathedral I was hoping for but pretty nonetheless, for lots of loud singing (my favorite part of the whole deal - I can harmonize and try for the high notes and only those nearest will really know) and a little inspiration.

I actually really liked the message the priest imparted... being a candle in the darkness. Sometimes all it takes is being nice to someone to set off a whole random chain of positivity. To illustrate this, they had handed everyone a small taper candle as they came in, and at the end of the service as he was talking about being lights in the darkness, everyone had their candles lit by each other, and then they turned down the lights and we all sang Oh Holy Night.

Not a dry eye, at least in my row.

And we were home by 11! The Pope is on to something.

After a quick trip to ferry our neighbor to the (thankfully open) convenience store for Midnight Milk, it was home again for us. The Child headed to bed, the presents went under the tree, and I settled in to watch my very favorite version of A Christmas Carol (the one with George C. Scott).

I made it through 10 minutes.

Christmas morning, we managed to sleep until 8:30 (remember those days of waking your parents up at 5AM? Or at least, waking up at 5AM, going to check if Santa came, and then going back to bed since you had been threatened with death and dismemberment the last time you pulled that?), and then it was up and on to the presents!

The Kid had a good bunch of stuff this year, in particular her brand new camera, which is super cool and I want one. She also got a few movies & CDs, but the camera was the main thing so, ya know...

Quality over quantity.

She didn't complain.

And I even got gifts! She railroaded her grandfather into "helping her get me gifts" (read: buying them and letting her take the credit), and I received a couple of really lovely-smelling candles from Yankee Candle.

She knows me so well!

We lazed around a bit, and then it was off to Greeley, where I remain at this very moment, and wait until I show you a picture of what my lovely friend Nova got me.

There'll be a picture-laden post soon, full of photos of goodies and things I made, but for now...

It's off to have a little breakfast and then head home and finish a few crafty things, and clean my house in anticipation of my mom and aunt and uncle and cousins arriving Monday for a week of insanity and bliss.

I hope your holiday, however you spent it, was lovely and peaceful.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Suck It, Lieberman

Okay so I lied... a new post despite my lack of internet!

Is it a Christmas miracle?!

Nay, just TR's Mac.

You always hear this Mac vs. PC stuff, but I don't know, seems like the same thing, just with different icons and a slightly different keyboard with symbols like "Command" instead of the little Windows icon.

And of course my Windows keyboard shortcuts don't work, not that it stops me from trying them EVERY SINGLE TIME. I'm a slow learner.

Anyway, I dropped in because I feel that you need to see something.

Okay well first I just need to share my utter joy that the Health Care Bill passed this morning. Merry Christmas! It's imperfect, and still has a little ways to go before it's really in place, but it's something!

I mentioned James Lileks awhile back, you might recall, and he is as yet not done with his quest to find print items from days of yore for us to apraise and appreciate.


How To Gift Wrap, courtesy of Patricia Rhyll, Ben-Mont Gift Wrapping Stylist.

She looks a little lit, actually. Think she's been hitting the 'nog a bit early.

Why don't I have that job? I want to be a Gift Wrapping Stylist.

Enjoy, and have a WONDERFUL Christmas Eve! Might even have a post for you tomorrow, if I can convince my friend Nova to let me borrow her computer.

Try to contain your excitement, and be safe! Don't do anything I wouldn't do!

(That leaves you open for ridiculous amounts of eggnog and cookies, followed by Tums and a sense of gastro-intestinal regret, just in case you were wondering.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time Waster Wednesday - Bacachun

Okay, so I'm behind the times...

I have no home internet.

This means that unless I miraculously make my way to someone else's house that *does* have the interwebs, you shall not hear from me until the new year.

It's okay, dry your eyes... I'll be thinking of you! And I'll miss you!

And just think, it'll give me all kinds of time to come up with entertaining tales to tell, and I'm sure I'll have bunches of pictures. Just bunches.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday, full of calm and no malls of any kind.

And lots of cookies.

I think it might be impossible to get a better version via YouTube, but you get the idea. I always loved this!

Thanks to the Formerly Almost Mrs. Ms. Dandy (Mrs. B for short) for reminding me that it's just not Christmas without Kenny & Dolly.

It's not! Don't look at me like that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Wherein I Blame Others For My Forgetfulness

I think next year I'm just going to buy everyone's gifts.

(No I'm not.)

I mean, it's just so much easier, and really what difference does it make?!


It's exhausting trying to make all these gifts for everyone!!


Then there's the unexpected winner gift. The one where you spend EONS making it just so, and then look at it and declare it offensive, but complete, and it's too close to Christmas to start something else, so you wrap it and hope for the best, but in the end it is a delight to the recipient.

Those make all the trouble entirely worth it. And remind you not to be so critical of your crafting skills.

No photo yet of the gift I'm thinking of (the elusive TR used his Jedi mind tricks on me to keep me from remembering to get a pic of him in his authentic Tom Baker-era Dr. Who scarf), but it shall be done.


Yes, it was early, but he needed a Christmas present.

He drove all the way up to the boonies to see me on Friday even though we didn't actually have plans (I quite possibly discussed having any such plans with him only in my own head. I do that sometimes - tell me you do too and make me feel better!), so it was the least I could do to give him something to unwrap and enjoy, which he did!

He also informed me that it perfectly fit around and protected 2 liquor bottles in his backpack on the way to a party the next night, so it's many purposes have begun to emerge. I bet it would make a great escape hatch from a first-floor window (maybe second floor after it's gotten stretched a bit more). Life as a hammock/floor pillow for 2 stripey cats is no doubt in it's repertoire... it remains to be seen.

Mainly though, it's warm and cozy, and just right for late-night snowy walks looking for ones T.A.R.D.I.S.

Really, was the invisibility function a *good* idea? Perhaps not.

(I am having a stream of consciousness sort of day. My apologies.)

We had delicious Mexican food at Ajuua!! (you have to say it with an exclamation point and jazz-hands, or at least I have to - I'd never make you) in fabulous Niwot, Colorado. They have this thing called Azteca Soup, which is chicken broth with pieces of grilled chicken and tortilla and a bunch of cheese and cut up avocado. DELICIOUS.

Of course it was just a bowl of soup, so I ordered a tamale on the side so I wouldn't be starving later, but I didn't realize it would be your regular tamale, only covered in a bunch of stuff and on a big plate, so it looked like I was having two meals like a giant cow. It was tasty though, so whatever.

Anyway, then it was back home to watch more Rick Steves and plan trips to Britain for later; I think that's my favorite thing about watching his show, is the trip-planning. Will I ever actually go to all these places? Maybe not, but I know what they look like so that' s something.

I did make a selfish-parent decision though...

The first time I do real travelling, wherever it may be, I'm not taking The Kid.

I know, so mean.

But I want to experience it as myself, not as somebody's mom. I'll take her later. Or she can go with her friends, because I know she won't want to see the same stuff I will ("The train museum, mom? Really?"), and besides I want to be able to do things like get silly on the various and glorious alcoholic beverages to be had in Europe without having to completely forfeit my Mom Authority Card.

Or maybe I won't let her go with her friends, since I saw "Taken" over the weekend on cable and now I'm convinced she'll be kidnapped by Albanians.


The rest of my weekend involved a whole lot of crafts... a cape, a bunny, several birds...

And not even one photo. The Jedi Mind Trick was apparently time-release, but I'm good now so I'll get on those photos tonight, I swear!

Because I know you're just DYING to see the crap job I did sewing little eyeless birds and the most terrifyingly ugly bunny IN THE UNIVERSE.

Actually it's sort of cute. Just in an ugly sort of way. It's for a 1-year-old, and it's squashy and has no swallow-able parts, so she'll love it. Everyone else can just look away if the Fug Bunny is too much for their tender eyes.

I hope you had a lovely weekend; this morning I was treated to the following photo and a new website of captioned photos (one of my very favorite things)... Epic Win FTW. Slightly redundant title, but it's okay when you have this:

I wish my Starbucks was this cool.

Friday, December 18, 2009

F-Word Friday: Fabled

So here's the thing about biopics...

They're usually fluff pieces, or on the other end of the spectrum, total hatchet jobs. There's a reason they say "based on a true story".

Granted, sometimes they get close to the truth (The Basketball Diaries comes to mind), but most of the time everything has been prettied up and glossed over and in some cases, like A Beautiful Mind and The Great Debators, the endings themselves are altered in order to make a point or give a good, round ending to the show.

There's no real harm in that, of course, it's just a movie, but it does tend to create these myths about the famous people involved, justified or otherwise. Granted, in this modern age, we can look up the facts, but most people don't do so - they just take what they're shown and told and accept it as fact.

(I am resisting the urge to go off on a political rant on that subject. You're welcome!)

You'll understand, given these facts of movie-making magic, that I'm a little cautious about wanting to see The Runaways.

See, I love Joan Jett. She is such a badass, and doesn't care what anyone thinks of her, and can scream louder and with more passion than 10 big-haired glam-rockers guitarists vying for a backup spot on a Poison reunion tour put together and covered in fire ants. Plus, she's political and paying attention - if there is a better antithesis to the bad example of Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan et al as role models for my kid, I can't think of one.

I was also always fascinated by Cherie Currie, who was 15 when she joined The Runaways. (Cherry Bomb was written for her at the audition.) Can you imagine the life she's led? Incidentally that is *not* an example I'd like to make for my kid, except that it kind of is... she's lived exactly as she pleased.

She's a chainsaw artist these days. No I'm not kidding.

This movie aims to help you imagine what it must have been like to be Joan and Cherie and Lita and Sandy and Vicky/Jackie/Mickey/Peggy/Laurie (they went through a lot of bassists), but can they do it?

Who knows? Even if they get close, it won't be quite enough...

How do you Silver Screen the girls who actually came up with the term Riot Girl? Who modeled themselves after people like David Bowie and Leather Tuscadero?

You can't.

But I have a little faith... despite Kristen Stewart's lip-biting, there's the promise of the fabulous Dakota Fanning as Cherie, and I think she can pull it off.

And anyway, if I want realism, I can find it on YouTube. The movies are for fantasy.

Happy Friday, my little cherry bombs!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: That Time Of Year

Do you remember Winter Break?

The Kid is about foaming at the mouth because there are ZOMG 2 DaYs To Go!!!!one1!!

(If her speech looked like type, that's what it would look like. Take note, internet denizens... when you talk like that online, you look like a 13 year old girl sounds. Truth.)

I, of course, being a working stiff, don't get a 2 1/2 week break, and this is lamentable.

I should be even more jealous of the kids here on campus... they're off for a month!

I *should* be, but I'm not, because it's like a holiday gift for me... NO STUDENTS. No students blocking the road with their stupid skateboards and Ugg boots, no students making it take 20 minutes to get off campus, no students clomping through the hallway and leaving mascara on the mirrors. (More truth!)

I don't think I could stand to be off that long now unless I had something specific to do, like a cruise (RUTH - so jealous, you better bring me something good from the Carribean)... a few days putzing around is quite enough thank you.

I remember not being able to wait for school to start again after Summer vacation was done... well, for about a week anyway. Then I was totally ready for another break.

What's really putting the Thrill in Thrilling Thursday though is the fact that, because The Child is older now and homework is much more involved, being a Hovering Parent (patent pending) means it's almost as stressful for me as it is for her! I may not get to stay home for 2 weeks, but I don't have to think about her grades even once.


Dare I say...

ZOMG 2 dAyS To gO!!!!!!one1!!

I*will* be taking a little time off to spend with my mom the week after Christmas, as well as my aunt and her husband & 2 of her chilluns... it's a quiet week here on campus so it's a safe bet I won't come back to find a huge pile of crap on my desk.

I know I've been slacking on my posts this week; Joe "Asshat" Lieberman took over for Wednesday and I am now down 2 book reports (I'm so getting a D in that class), but I swear I'm going to do some serious reading over the holiday and make it up! I'm determined to read 52 books this year, but I think the book-a-week thing was a slightly lofty goal, at least without resorting to comics and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.

Although on second thought, I frickin' loved those books, so maybe it's not such a bad idea!

Anyway I swear my posts will be better after this stupid month is up; don't get me wrong, I love the holidays and stuff, but the stress level - despite my best efforts to keep it to a minimum - is starting to wear on me.

I can promise you a post just chock full of crafty pictures though, because let me tell YOU...

I have been a busy girl.

There may even be a giveaway... I got sort of carried away with one of the projects and now have waaaaaay more of them than I could give as gifts without seeming like one of those crazy old ladies that always have 30 year old butterscotch hard candies stashed in their sweater pockets and 46 afghans in the works.

To make up for my lame posting, here's a video!

You knew that was coming... but it's for all our good - I feel less lame, you get to see something cute, and we both get to spend 5 minutes not thinking about what we have to do for the holiday which is OH F!@# A WEEK AWAY. (ZOMG, etc.)

Too cute!

Oh and in case you weren't sure whether or not the "Obama's A Socialist" people are completely crazy cakes, I offer you the following.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Obama's Socialist Christmas Ornament Program
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

I should have put that in WTF Wednesday, huh? That's right, Obama is trying to indoctrinate your kids! By getting them to contribute ornaments to the White House! And showing civic pride! And, like, being nice and stuff!


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WTF Wednesday - The Party Of ME!

I think this picture sort of speaks for itself, don't you?


Oh, well go Google "Joe Lieberman Is An Enormous Jerk" and you'll see what I mean.

Nothing like holding the nation hostage, Joe! WAY TO GO!

That is all.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Introspection

It was a very long week last week, one of those stretches of time that doesn't seem to fit its moniker. It felt like a month.

I don't even remember what I had for dinner on Friday, I was that exhausted. I just remember waking up Saturday morning feeling more refreshed than I had in ages!

I don't know about you, but everyone I know has been having really bizarre dreams the past week or so, and I'm no exception. Friday night's dreams must have been doozies (I only remember a curly haired girl), and done their part to work out whatever anxieties I'd been having.

Saturday afternoon we headed to The Kid's grampa's house for one of his future-daughter-in-law's (Megan) birthdays. She is very very silly, and so we get along rather well.

Shocking, I know.

She got some neat stuff, including what is apparently quite the hard-to-find book, the recently-published Red Book of Carl Jung, who apparently went a bit off the deep end for awhile and wrote a lot of strange and disturbing stuff which his family wasn't too keen on anyone seeing. Fast forward nearly 100 years or and the grandkids relented.

It's amazing, if you have a chance to browse through one I recommend it for the art if nothing else!

So, um... tell me about your childhood?

Saturday evening I took Megan, her sister Amber, Amber's daughter and The Child to the Longmont Parade of Lights, which was fun as ever, and blessed with lovely weather. Considering we had been laboring under sub-zero temps the past week, the 38 degree evening was practically tshirt weather!

Sunday was a lazy day. We headed back to The Child's grampa's house so she could work on a Science assignment (he has the interwebs), and I watched the Broncos get their butts handed to them by the Colts.

I spent the afternoon finishing TR's gift, and getting a good chunk done on my mom's gift as well. Yay for being productive!

Finally, last night TR came by and we watched some of his very cool new acquisition, the complete 80-episode set (2000-2009) of Rick Steve's Europe!! I've always loved that show. We watched one of my favorite episodes, the one set in Salzburg, Austria with the alpine slide and schnapps and gorgeous shots of one of the places I want to see before I die, Hallstatt.

Seriously, look at this place...


All in all, it was a great weekend! I couldn't possibly ask for more.

I'm going to attempt to get my next Tome Tuesday post up tomorrow; you may have noticed its absence last week, but probably not because you have a life! It's a crazy time of year, and unfortunately reading for more than a few minutes seems to be out of the picture right now. Luckily it's only the beginning of the Cannonball Run yet, so I have plenty of time to make up the gaps.

I'm determined to pull off the 52 books goal!

Friday, December 11, 2009

F-Word Friday: Fa-La-La-La-Lame

Okay, this is going to sound really bitchy, and full of spiteful non-Christmas-spiritness, and will fly in the face of anything resembling a world view containing knowledge of those suffering around me.

I'm warning you in advance.

Are you sufficiently warned?

Here goes.

The Rickets are cursed. Cursed forever to get the absolute shittiest present-swap presents on earth. Though I, and Mama Rickets before me, have always taken careful measures to assure that our swapees get something catered to them, or in the case of a White Elephant, to get something that anyone would be thrilled to have, inevitably...

We get skunked.

Every time.

Today was our office party (I made matzo ball soup, and it was awesome), and as tradition dictates we had our White Elephant. If you've never heard of this practice, it's a little like a grab bag, only you can steal the presents from others (up to 3 times per present), and it can get pretty rowdy and fun.

Depending on the group doing it, there are different schools of thought on the gift-procurement process. For some, it's a $10 limit and should be something at least passably nice. For others it's a chance to offload that horrible tea cup set they got from Aunt Mable last year.

And I *always* get the tea set, so to speak. Every time! Even when I have the coveted last or second to last number and get my choice of all the bounty before me... I still manage to pick the crap.

It's a gambling problem, of sorts...sure there's that fabulous DVD of The Princess Bride over there, and a hot chocolate set that The Kid would just drool over hiding behind that woman's hands on the end (she's hoping I won't notice - she need not worry). There's a set of tea towels, just begging to be embroidered or otherwise craftified, RIGHT NEXT TO ME.



There's one more gift on the table. It's wrapped in sparkling paper, it's got a big red bow. How can I resist?


Every time.

What exactly do I think is going to be in that gift, anyway, a new car?

And don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to receive any gift at all, but why do I end up with the Nuns Having Fun calendar?

The dollar-store candle-scaping set that the gifter probably had sitting in the attic for a few years, as evidenced by the candle which is CRACKED UP THE MIDDLE?

The antique chocolates circa the Nixon-era White House, that literally have dust in the crevices of the yellowing cellophane?

Cursed, I tell you.

Well, the good news is, I've got my White Elephant gift all tied up for next time!

Have a wonderful weekend! Me and my candle scape (excuse me, my candle scape and *I*) will be finishing up some gifts and lounging around the house.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Pretties

Lazy post today... I've had lots on my mind (no worries, kids, I'm working my way through it - good advice and support have been invaluable, even when it's just a pat on the back), so I'm a little tapped out this week.

A weekend full of refreshing rest will no doubt perk me right back up. You know me... I'm a perky malcontent, remember? You can't keep me low for long.

Before I offer you some thrilling videos today, I want to show you something I made!

I have so many crafts on the pile - a couple of scarves, a hat, etc etc etc - really why do I always end up scrambling 2 weeks before the holiday? I swear every year I will start in August, and sometimes I even do, but I bargain myself down to December 5th every single time.

Naturally, being in a bit of a rush, I felt it necessary to make The Kid and myself some mittens. They paid off though... we've had frigid weather here just lately, so some woolly mitts really paid off!

Click to embigafy if you'd like to see the details, but don't look too closely, I totally screwed up the pair on the right! The ones on the left are mine, made from a thick wool blend, and were the second pair so the pattern worked out the way it was supposed to. The ones on the right are The Child's, an amalgam of two colorways of marino my aunt gave me for my birthday... the skeins weren't *quite* big enough to cover a whole pair, so I improvised! Unusual, and kinda cute, and The Kid loves em', and thinks the flaws just make them cooler.

(FYI, lest you think me a mean mom, I did let her have her pick. I would have worn the wonky ones.)

The nice thing about the deep freeze, combined with the Colorado sunshine, is that all the ground snow is sticking around for once (whereas it's usually gone in a day or two), while the roadways are clearing, so I get to truly enjoy the beauty of winter without worrying about driving around in dangerous conditions. It's been nice, despite the numb extremities!

And now for your thrilling videos...

First, something cool TR found, as he so often does. It's oddly joyful, or maybe just odd, but either way I can't seem to stop watching! It's lovely, to say the least, and plus - Mary Poppins! You just can't go wrong.

Amazing! The guy who did this is fairly young, and did it in hours. Kids these days, I tell ya.

Here's another neat one he did using Alice In Wonderland.

FAR OUT. I mean, Alice In Wonderland is trippy all on its own, but he really takes it way past far out and into the land of "who slipped me a mickey?!".

Last but not least, here's one from one of my favorite versions of The Secret Garden.


Go check out more of his stuff! I should... I don't know if "warn" is the word, but fore-arm you that the kid has named himself a not-terribly-kid-friendly name...

Although you're all adults, and as such are not new to the internets and have learned by now that link-jumping is going to eventually land you in the realm of "oh god my eyes", I also know that some of you, my fine readers, have school-age kids and goodness knows they love to read over our shoulders.

Have a wonderful day... stay warm!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - Adjustment

I haven't done a Wonder Why in awhile, but all around me people have been growing and changing and morphing (in not-disturbing ways, I swear - no extra limbs), and I've been seeing again and again all these videos and articles about people who have had life-changing events occur.

And it got me wondering...

How do you deal with change?

For me it depends on the nature of the alteration... was it planned, or was it foisted upon you?

Did you choose the change or was it chosen for you?

The common viewpoint seems to be that when the unexpected occurs, it's acceptable to fall apart, but that if it was something you chose or knew was coming, you should just suck it up and deal with the fallout.

I think that's crap.

Too often I think we shy away from being really open with our emotional responses - I'm guilty of this, for sure.

I've changed jobs many times in my life, and every time, even though I've chosen to leave, it's been emotionally draining to do so. The response to expressing this feeling, though, has often been "but you wanted to leave, aren't you happy?".


I don't believe that just because you choose to do something, it invalidates your right to express sadness or regret, or even just to bitch about it.

Then there's the idea of change thrust upon us, altered states we don't choose but which are chosen for us.

The natural, acceptable response seems to be to lose one's mind over it... and if you *don't* freak out, people wonder if you're holding something back. Bottling it up. Keeping it in.

But what if that shock of change opens your eyes? What if it makes you appreciate your life all that much more completely, and put you in a state of serenity unmatched in your past?

The most completely perfect example of this was shown to me this week via a video of Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor who died in 2008 of pancreatic cancer, giving his "Last Lecture" (it wasn't really, but that was the idea).

If you can find an hour to watch this, I can't recommend it enough... I promise you will be inspired.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Tarantula!

You should go listen to some Bob Schneider.

I know what you're saying... "Who?"

He's a very talented, funny, occassionally deeply raunchy and completely prolific singer/songwriter (are we supposed to use that term anymore?) who's been around for many a year now, and despite a huge and rabid fan base often gets that "who?" look (I was guilty of this myself).

Today, I'm doing my part to change that, because I have seen the light.

So go visit his music site... It contains tons of his songs for your listening pleasure (generous, in my opinion), plus what amounts to really amusingly bad answering machine messages as information about each song (I leave really awful ones myself - I know my own).

Go! (He, like myself, enjoys using swears - fair warning!)

Also, listen to this song, which has been in my head all weekend...

...and this song, for which I now know the dance, which is good because it makes me shake my ass a whole lot and I need something to do with my hands so I don't look like Elaine.

Also, my mother will love it.

Not the best video in the world, and not the whole song, but you get the idea

He was just in Boulder & Denver last week, and I am lame and didn't go but I am so happy to finally be on the Bob Train. Thanks TR! You always have the best music.

Friday night was lovely, and involved the best pizza I've had in ages, plus Star Trek and lots and lots of music and lovely conversation and that redhead I may have mentioned a time or two. Really what more could I ask for after a long week?

(Cannot... resist... grammar... correction... For what more could you ask? Ah, that's better. Like scratching an itch in the middle of your back.)

Saturday and Sunday were sleep-in kinds of days, which is exactly what I did. I hope you had a chance to do the same!

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 4, 2009

F-Word Friday: Funnies

Okay kids I am totally swamped this week... so you get another lazy post.

I will write something totally scintillating next week, about war and peace and the nature of our humanity...

But for today, you get the following video, which made me almost get in trouble for guffawing out loud in my office.

My boss really wanted to know just what was so funny - I had to make something up about how the invoice I was reviewing was just too ridiculous to be believed.

Happy Friday!

Alan! Alan!


The first one up there made me think of the following, so here it is... your double-bonus obscure music of the day. You're welcome!

Ellen! Ellen!

PS... I totally didn't know this was a cover of ABBA song until right this minute.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thrilling Thursday - I Bowled A 20 Last Time

Well I guess yesterday was kind of thrilling so how can I thrill you today?

That sounds like I'm taking your order, doesn't it?

Your porn order, maybe.

(Sorry, I'm just in that kind of mood today.)

I spent all morning being trained on a new expense system I don't want to use, ever.

I shouldn't complain, this is creating more job security than one could ever really have a right to expect, but still.

Since the expense system ate my brains, all I really have left is my favorite lazy post standard...


Oh wait, I posted video yesterday. Shit.

Well I know you'll forgive me...

Especially when you see just how cool the video really, truly is...

Enjoy! More laziness tomorrow!

Tell me you didn't totally smile. Thrilling right?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time Waster Wednesday - We're All Made Of Stars

TR sent me this, and it gave me chills.

Carl Sagan always thrilled me. I remember first hearing him speak about our place in the universe when I was maybe 11 or 12, and he made me feel alternately small and connected.

And I heart Bill Nye.

Put em' together with some other smart guys (one of whom is just so gleeful about his musings that I can't help but smile every time I see him) and some lovely music and it's Mimi Rickets Bliss.

Your time waster today? (Not so much a waste of time as a distraction for you to curse me about later.)


(Cleeck the peectures!)

The coolest of the cool, especially if you love maps.

Link is for the videos... a little ad-heavy but really interesting stuff!

A virtual tour, how cool!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tome Tuesday #5 - Stacked: A 32DDD Reports From The Front

I'll admit, I've been slacking on my reading... with the holiday looming (and the many crafts I'm trying to pull off) I find myself exhausted, hands sore from crocheting like a fiend, and too tired to look at words in print anymore.

Maybe I should switch to books on CD. No no no, that's cheating.

Anyway, enough whining... on to today's book!

Stacked, by Susan Seligson, is all about boobs, in particular hers.

She is blessed (or cursed, depends on the day) with enormous breasts. They stick out, they get in the way, there are stares.

Why all the fuss?

That's the question she set out to answer, more or less.

The book is more a series of short essays about the nature of breasts than it is an autobiography of her personal experiences, and she covers a lot of ground. Amongst other subjects, there are interesting treatises on...

* Various theories on the reasons behind the sexual appeal of what are basically baby-feeding devices.
* A run down of the various nicknames out there and where they come from, my hands-down favorite of all time being sweater puppies - it's just so cute!
* Finding the perfect bra (it's nearly impossible withough some special handling and a lot of bucks).
* How size affects success in the sex industries - apparently the large, fake breasts of women like Maxi Mounds (yes really) are considered offputting and more a gimmick than an alluring feature.
* The history, pros and cons and realities of breast augmentation, from increasing to decreasing (there's an hysterical rundown of a day with Dr. 90210).
* Some thoughts on why so many women feel the need to change their breasts.
* The lengths to which girls will go to grow bigger boobs, and the lies they'll believe.
* Learning to love your boobs as they are.

The last part really struck a cord with me personally. Something you may not know about me is that I have enormous boobs.

Imagine how defeating, even upsetting, it is to see all these magazine pictures of huge breasts that sit somewhere around the armpits. That's not natural and we know it, but when you're shown it enough times you start to think that your rather normal, gravity-challenged breasts are gross and unattractive.

It isn't helped, of course, by the fact that best we big-busted girls can hope for in a sexy AND supportive bra is a little lace, at least if we don't want to shell out 100.00 a pop and go to some hard-to-find specialty store. It ends up being one or the other, supportive and BEIGE or pretty and a constant threat to others... those straps could go any time!

So to read about a woman who has learned to accept her breasts as they are, who even extols the virtues of lettin' em' hang free, is rather empowering for me. I don't think I'll ever be able to go bra-less in public and feel classy, but I have suddenly found myself whipping off the restraints the minute I get in the house.

It's bliss.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Still Full

You know the thing about long weekends is that you get used to them really quickly. It's the saddest thing, setting that alarm Sunday night.

Oh well, I'm employed so I won't complain.

So! The weekend!

Wednesday night saw the viewing of the New Moon movie with teens in tow. It wasn't bad, better than I expected actually considering the reviews (not that I expected those to be very kind). It stuck to the book, Jacob was dreamy (underage, but still), Edward was whiny, and Bella frowned a lot. Pretty standard stuff.

Side note, Dakota Fanning is a ridiculously talented actress. She can express more thought and feeling in a twitch of her eyebrow than Robert Pattinson can impart with all the pouting he can muster. (That would be Edward, dontchaknow.)

Thursday morning brought the usual Macy's parade goodness, and...


Fans of Almost Mrs. Ms. Dandy will recognize the recipe, and she will be amused to know that the entire time I was mixing, the phrase "even snotty sheen" was rolling through my mind.

Well, she'll be amused when she gets around to reading blogs, that is, because right now she's busy getting ready to get hitched in 5 days! Everyone go visit and give her good wishes!

Once they were done, as you can see, I dipped them in melted Nestle chocolate chips. Because oh yes.

Thursday afternoon, the macaroons, the Kid and I all headed to fabulous Parker, CO to have dinner with our friend Melissa's dad and stepmom and various neices and nephews and such. It was delightful, I didn't have to cook, and with the exception of the wasp (!) it was a lovely time.

Friday was spent doing exactly squat, with the exception of dinner at a coworkers house in the evening, which was interesting and very sweetly presented on her finest dishes. We walked down to the main drag of her town and watched the muckitymucks light the Official Tree, which was very cute and involved a brass band. I half expected Robert Preston to come marching around the corner, but I'm glad he didn't because he's dead and if he *had* shown up it would have meant zombie apocolypse.

Or something.

Don't blame me for my stream of consciousness writing today - I blame the turkey coma still in full effect.


Because Saturday was Thanksgiving #2! Dinner was at The Kids' grampa's house, and came complete with all the trimmings.

I am not even remotely turkey-ed out, either.

Sunday was spent making a mitten and shopping for whale supplies with Nova. She's making her daughter a plushy, whale-shaped pillow, and we scoured Hancock Fabrics until we found the perfect thing, a light blue super-plush fleece. *I* want a giant whale pillow made out of it, although where I'd put such a thing I have no idea. But you get my point.

Oh, and we put up the tree.

It's a Charlie Brown tree if there ever was one... short, lists to port, shedding plastic bits everywhere, but it's up, and covered in lights and all our favorite ornaments, and so it's lovely.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time Waster Wednesday - 50 Ways To Cook Your Turkey

(Note from the editor - to properly appreciate the title of this post, you must have this song in your brain, like I do right now. Also, that is one bitchin' mustache, and is that Korean?)

When I was young, I was convinced it was the same all over.

At approximately 5AM Thanksgiving morning, mothers all over the country would haul themselves out of bed and start cooking the enormous bird - 5AM because they knew they'd need to thaw it (and swear at it for still being frozen) for at least 2 more hours.

By 7AM at the latest, the creature would be trussed and roasting at a balmy 325, to be faithfully basted every hour on the hour, as the kids of the house alternately watched the Macy's parade and tried to find the tights and/or ties necessary to dress up for dinner (which they fought all urges to call lunch since it was so EARLY) later.

Or maybe you were lucky enough to be going to someone *else's* house for the day - well then you were still up and watching the parade, trying to decide if a dress was really a must or if your mother was just trying to torture you.

Around noon or so, relatives would start to show up or you would show up somewhere else, bearing rolls and pies and other goodies, and by 2PM everything would be laid out and looking gorgeous.

Everyone would gather together, say a prayer or just dig in, and by 2:32 it would all be over.

As an adult, I finally got to host Thanksgiving in my very own house a couple of years ago. This involved, most importantly, cooking my first turkey.

How to do it though? A quick Google search will elicit no less than 5,000 ways to cook your turkey the PERFECT WAY. Brined, oiled, deep-fried, baked, grilled, breast-up, breast down (not to mention the dreaded Turducken)... there are literally endless ways to cook and eat the yearly avian offering.

Of course there are vegetarians out there saying "there's really only one way to make Tofurkey", and while I respect their decisions to not eat meat and, in particular, turkey, it's Thanksgiving and I am *not* a vegetarian. At all.

I do, however, buy the free-range happy turkeys if at all possible. I do my part.

So what's the perfect way to cook turkey, really?

YOUR way. That's the perfect way. Do you love how your turkey comes out? Then you're doing it right.

Here's to a wonderful day of eating and hanging out with your family and friends - even one other person is enough to make the day. Go find one!

Me, I'll be eating someone else's food, hoping for a little bit of leftover turkey as a door prize, so I can have my very favorite Thanksgiving tradition...

The Midnight Turkey Sandwich. Oh yeah.

Happy Thanksgiving! No Thursday or Friday posts this week, as I'll be computerless. I'll miss you too.

Oh, and just to stick with the theme, here's a completely unrelated to Thanksgiving time waster... unless you draw a turkey, in which case it's totally perfect. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tome Tuesday #4 - Children of Morrow

This week I was all set to write a post about boobs, but it's going to have to wait until next week because I'm not done with that book yet.

I'm sorry.

I was distracted by my favorite post-apocalyptic children's book (you don't have one? Psh.), Children of Morrow by H.M. Hoover. It was sitting on my dresser, all shiny in its library-plastic cover, and I was (for the 100th time) compelled to pick it up.

I came across this book lo these many years ago. I picked it up from the St. Margaret Mary's library shelf in 1986 during 6th grade free-time, and I took it out of the library probably 5 times a year after that.

Tia & Rabbit are two children living in a village of primitive people ruled by their worship of an old warhead. Tia is considered a witch by everyone but Rabbit because of her intelligence, and he himself an outcast because of his strange looks and intense stutter.

Tia & Rabbit discover they are both hearing the telepathic messages of a distant woman named Ashira; Tia can also see pictures in her head of the wonderful place Ashira lives... The Sea.

After Rabbit accidentally kills the head cook, he and Tia have to make a run for it, guided only by the voice of Ashira and the promise of a better life. On the way they pass through what is described in the book jacket as "a vast, open plain, where they come across the strange deserted ruins of an ancient 20th century city".

Years later I had forgotten the name but never the story, and never the scenes of "life after people" it held. Thanks be to Amazon (despite their many faults) for the ability to search strings of text - some parts of the book were so ingrained that a quick search of "Tia and Rabbit" and "Simone" brought it right up.

I of course snapped up a copy on the spot.

Reading it as an adult, I see the deeper meaning of Hoover's story, which seems a bit of a warning about cults and the repression of individuality and intelligence as well as the more obvious warning about the effects of war, but as a 12 year old lonely kid all I really saw was a girl who was misunderstood, who found out she belonged somewhere else and had a higher purpose, and who had to go on a long, dangerous journey to get to that place she should be... and when she got there, she knew she'd be accepted for exactly who she was.

Wow, nothing like a glimpse at my psyche, huh?

Of course it's not just me. There's a reason that books like the Harry Potter and Narnia series are so widely loved - every kid wants to feel like they're special, and more than a few kids feel like they're alone, especially as young teens. Hand them a book where the geeky, unpopular kid comes out on top and they'll be enraptured.

Even Cinderella appeals - put-upon girl on her own makes good, and pwns her stupid stepsisters in the process. Who could wonder at her appeal?

Besides the kid-makes-it-out aspect of the book, I've also always had a fascination with the post-apocalyptic genre, I think mostly because I like knowing everything, good or bad, and feel deeply cheated by the fact that I won't get to see what happens 1000 years from now. I know I'm not alone in that one either.

In the book, the people are living in the world after the "Great Destruction", and the baser Family group Tia & Rabbit escape worship a warhead and are physically deformed by the effects of living in that world; even their crops suffer still in what is clearly a thousand years or more after the event that ended the old world.

It wasn't subtle, and although it was written in 1973, when I read it in 1986 we were constantly in fear of nuclear holocaust so it really hit home. The thing I feared the most wasn't the end of the world though, it was the end of humanity - the idea that all the art and music and culture and remnants of our existence would never seen by anyone who would understand it again.

Books and movies like this and The Stand and The Time Machine and Logan's Run and even Planet of the Apes contain such powerful imagery of our most iconic symbols left in ruins that it's hard not to feel like they're some kind of time travel to the possible future. Rotting books that have become so much meaningless paper, fallen monuments nobody can put a name to, buildings left to rot but which are still recognizable, if to no-one but us as the viewer/reader... those images of nameable destruction put a face to the fear that we all have.

The fear we'll be forgotten.

But at the same time, they give us hope that somehow, a piece of the humanity we recognize will survive and thrive, even in a small part. We won't live to see it, but at least we know we'll go on.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Wuhu!

A lovely weekend!

Friday night yielded an unexpected sleepover with The Kid & her buddy, which was fun and very sweet, since the two of them decided it was their Friendiversary - their 5-YEAR Friendiversary in fact - and bought balloons for each other and a cake which was so thickly coated in chocolate ganache it was nearly candied. They have declared that the reason they are still such good friends is that they both continue to be total dorks regardless of what anyone else thinks of their behavior.

How can I express to you my pride? I can't. I just totally can't.

Saturday morning was an early start with a trip up to Fabulous Greeley to visit with Nova & Family. We had breakfast with them and then ran a couple of errands, and I talked Nova out of some black countertop. I know she wanted it, but I think she'll thank me later.

Saturday evening saw the making of Pastor Ryan's Mexican Lasagna**, which is just so awesomely awesome. How do I know?

TR & The Kid each had two helpings. That is proof enough for me.

TR contribued excellent cupcakes from Happy Cakes and Mexican Cokes to the mix (just like regular Coke only without all the gross high fructose corn syrup), and all together it was enough to make us not need much more than coffee the next day.

Well, except The Kid, because she's a teenager.

Sunday was an interesting role-reversal sort of morning, wherein my kid who usually sleeps until 1 if I let her was up at 7AM playing the extremely addictive Wii game TR brought, and I got to sleep until noon. It was delightful!

We took a walk around Main St. after grabbing some coffee, and hey! New book store! It's a neat place, and TR found a cool book with all sorts of interesting facts about different places along Colorado highways. I love that kind of stuff.

Something cringe-worthy that happened this weekend of which I am deeply ashamed:

I don't know if it was the Saturday night food fest hangover or being tired and under-caffeinated or what, but Sunday after obtaining our coffee, The Kid declared hers too bitter and, spying Winchell's right next to us, I went in and took 4 sugar packets without buying anything or even asking first! I felt terrible, seriously what came over me? I never do that kind of complimentary-item-snitching, I can't even take a free sample at Starbucks unless I really feel like I'm going to buy something (I make The Kid do it, she has no shame).

By the time I really took stock of the situation I was already out the door, my ill-gotten white packets tucked into my hand, and really what do you do at that point? Put them back?

Luckily TR helped save my sugar-packet-thieving soul by buying a couple of donuts for The Kid. Team work!

(This is really how my brain works.)

Something good that happened this weekend, which was already full of good things:

I learned (again) that most of the time, things eventually work themselves out to be the way they should be, and all that time I spend trying to figure out how to MAKE things happen in such a way as to make everyone happy is, while not a wasted effort, probably useless stress.

It's not wasted effort because, at least for me, thinking out loud and going over something repeatedly even if it's only with myself helps me figure out how I really feel about it. I'm all about the self-analysis.

I hope you had a fine weekend!

**Pastor Ryan comes to us courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, who the Less-Than-Two-Weeks-From-Being-A-Mrs. Ms. Dandy got to meet over the weekend. SO JEALOUS, but so excited for her at the same time. I'm complicated like that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Moon Unit

Talk about thrilling...

They found water on the moon! I'm sure you heard about when they bombed the moon, and this is what they were hoping for so go NASA!

What does it mean for us? Probably nothing at all right now, but seriously how cool is that?

Apparently, they didn't just find water, and I have to say I love the "scientific description" by Anthony Colaprete from NASA...

"There's a lot of stuff in there."

I can't wait.

In other thrilling news, my stomach is feeling much better, thanks be to Prilosec. I'm still being cautious of course, but still!

And I finished my Christmas ornament swap... you can see that post here.

Here's what I sent...

Bad photo lighting is bad

The theme was "Enchanted Forest". I think this works!

Happy Thursday... hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - WTF Edition

Have you heard about this?

Apparently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has decided that women only *really* need mammograms after age 50. Even then, only every 2 years.

Because, you know, mammograms only really save maybe 15% of those women.


Even if they only save 1 woman a year, it's worth it!

I'm so upset by this, but I'm glad to know that everyone else pretty much is too. Most doctors interviewed have said they will continue giving mammograms regularly (the currently guidelines are 40+, and yearly).

I understand that a lot of unnecessary surgeries and fear have resulted from faulty mammogram tests, but isn't a little fear followed by a "false alarm!" worth your life?

But okay, fine, if you're not high-risk, then you just do self-exams, right?

"They also recommend that physicians abstain from teaching women how to examine their breasts for signs of cancer because of a lack of evidence that it is of any benefit."

Um, what?



I wish I knew what to do about this. All we can really do is continue to teach our daughters and nieces and sisters and friends who come after us that self-exams are a must... we'll just have to teach them ourselves.

On top of the outrage regarding this, the Republicans are using it as yet another reason to keep Health Care Reform from going forward - what they don't seem to realize is that these recommendations were made and we don't have reformed Health Care. So, ya know, way to miss the point there, kids. Anyway.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tome Tuesday #3 - Equal Rites

So. Discworld.

Apparently there's an absolutely huge following for Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, which is easy to do considering it spans 37 novels (according to Wikipedia), so you know... nothing like spreading yourself around to really gain readership.

I tend to shy away from things like this that I haven't found my way to naturally like the Dark Tower series. I've been reading Stephen King books that exist in or at least live next door to the Dark Tower universe since I was 8 or so, and I've got all the background information needed, but trying to catch up (which involves basically reading everything) would take ages, so if I wasn't already where I am with it and presented with the reading list required, I'd never even try to get started. There's just too much.

Given that sort of devotion usually required of a long and involved series, I think it's understandable that I've never tried to jump into Discworld (or Pern for that matter) because I was pretty sure I just wouldn't get it, and frankly don't have time to figure out where to start.

I was mistaken.

Terry Pratchett is ridiculously clever, howlingly funny, and writes his novels in such a way that someone (like, say, myself) who's got no knowledge whatsoever about what Discworld MEANS TO PEOPLE (you know who you are) can enjoy it thoroughly.

Just to keep everyone on the same page, he does explain Discworld, and does so thoroughly enough that I know what he means later in the book when he talks about this or that feature or member of that universe, but also fairly succinctly so that long-time readers I'm sure don't feel the need to skip the first chapter of every book.

That's a rare gift, I think.

Equal Rites is the tale of Esk, a girl from the town of Bad Ass (yes, really) who inherets the powers of a dying wizard as she's being born. The problem... wizards in Discworld are male.

Everyone decides to ignore this and just hope for the best, but as she grows up, Esk starts exhibiting powers and it becomes clear she needs to be taught to control them (at one point she turns her brother into a pig - not that he didn't deserve it).

Granny Weatherwax, the local Witch, hopes Esk can be taught as a Witch herself, that being the acceptable female-oriented magical role in Discworld, but it just can't be done and so it's off to the Unseen University, where all Wizards are taught. Refused entry, they get in the only way they can figure, as servants - the hope being that Esk can observe and learn in a side-lines sort of way.

Esk links up with a Wizard named Simon (whom she had met on the way to the University) and together they manage to get into trouble (there are monsters and other dimensions involved), but in the end come out alright and end up creating an entirely new way of thinking.

The thing I love about Pratchett's story is that although he could easily have taken this on a Quarterback Princess-style route wherein Esk gets into the University on a technicality and PROVES HERSELF EQUAL (you know the drill), instead he takes the tale in a realistic direction (all things considered).

In the real world, without some serious legal action, you wouldn't be accepted into a club that didn't want you without some sort of subterfuge, and maybe you'd prove yourself, or maybe you'd just make a mess of things and have to clean it up, and if you were very lucky maybe once it was cleaned up there would be changes made.

All in all, this was a great book, and I look forward to reading more of his work soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Catchup: If It's Not Scottish It's CRAP

I had a delightfully uneventful weekend.

Friday night *was* to be filled with screaming teen girls, but one got grounded and the other had a long week, so it was just me, The Kid and Terry Jones Medieval Lives.

Awesome. Go Netflix it.

Saturday we helped The Kid's grampa get some stuff for his ailing wife, and bought a garage door to replace the one that's busted.

I miss my garage. I'm so spoiled now... this whole week it's been cold in the morning and...


I've had to WARM UP MY CAR! And scrape frost from its windows! What the hell!

Saturday afternoon after it started snowing, The Kid & I headed downtown to walk around and enjoy the snow and the Christmassy windows in the shops there. We grabbed some 2-for-1 hot chocolate at our favorite coffee shop, bought a used book and a cabbage burger (not in that order) and generally enjoyed each others company. Nice!

Saturday evening I finally got to try Chik-Fil-A, which just opened by my house and it wasn't bad! It wasn't the best chicken I've ever had, but I think maybe it's a regional taste. Not everybody likes White Castle, but I could live on it. Granted I only tried the chicken nuggets, and they *just* opened so you know... I'll give them another try after they've settled in a bit.

We also watched UP, which I loved and you should see.

Just FYI, you'll be a bit verklempt in the first 10 minutes. But then you will be filled with hope and glee because PIXAR is awesome like that. Granted I'm contractually obligated to say that, because they own my soul, but in this case it's true.

Sunday was spent doing not much of anything besides a LOT of super far on TR's Christmas present, started my mom's gift which is GORGEOUS (I think so anyway), and have almost finished a scarf.

I'm an almost-accomplished crafter!

I did manage to complete one thing, however... Scottish shortbread.

Tasty, and also made excellent barter material for the neighbor boy who plowed my driveway for me. I love 9 year olds, they take cookies in payment for services rendered! Why isn't the whole world like this?

Friday, November 13, 2009

F-Word Friday: For Real?

I'm not a huge fan of remakes.

There have been some decent ones I'll admit, and I'm all for a franchise if it's well done or at least pleasantly cheesy, but really if it was done well the first time, and everybody loves it, why mess with a cultural icon?

I just saw the trailer for the remake of Clash of the Titans and I just don't see why it was even done, except that someone loved the original and wanted to see what they could do about CGI-ing Calibos and the Kraken.

"Titans Will Clash" = dumbass tagline, but whatever

Why the Jock Rock soundtrack? It's a Greek myth!

I think Ray Harryhausen said it best...

"When they make it too real with CGI, it loses that fantasy quality."

I completely agree.

I will forever love the original best... HD and CGI are all fine and good, but *nobody* does it like Harryhausen.

RELEASE THE KRAKEN! That's my battle cry for the weekend.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Video Killed... Uh... Me!

Ah, the 80's.

You were there, so you know.

Having been there, I also know you'll appreciate the following video, presented here for you in all its terrifying 80's-ness.

The screen shot alone makes me giggle uncontrollably

The kids dressed up as Icons of 84 cracked me up (Ric Ocasek, really?) and had me thinking of all my favorite 80's videos...

And through the miracle of You Tube, here's a couple for your enjoyment. (Ooooo, lazy post, but I know you forgive me.)

I loved videos like this... arty, what-does-it-have-to-do-with-anything type things that were there merely to add atmosphere to the song you loved.

And I loved this song. Listening to The Smiths still makes me feel like I did then, and I find myself wondering where my flak jacket (the one I got at Belmont Army Surplus that stunk like patchouli and had a Bauhaus symbol on the back) and old art supplies got themselves to. I can almost smell the cloves.

I really wanted to post some Cure videos but they're all "embedding disabled by request". Fascists.

Speaking of Bauhaus, their videos were weird (but oh I loved Peter Murphy) and I loved them, but somehow I always preferred Love And Rockets... they weren't nearly as depressing.

I apologize for the eyestrain you got at the beginning there

TR played this the other day, and I almost time traveled.

Okay, just one more, because it's my blog and I can.

It's New Order, what can you do

True story, the first thing I ever won from a radio contest (I was 11, and it was WXRT) was a free tape from the local music store whose name has since been lost to the ages. I chose New Order's Technique and I listened to it until it died a sad, tapey death several years later.


What's your favorite 80's music?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WTF Wednesday - Dispepsia

Okay I think I have an ulcer.

I think that's the actual, real life, no-I'm-not-being-a-hypochondriac answer.

I hate the internet when it's right!

Now lots of people deal with these, and I will too, and I shouldn't bitch about it anyway because HELLO it's Veteran's Day and there are so many people out there with bigger problems than this, but...


On the no list? (God I hope it's temporary.)

Hot sauce.
Orange juice.
Italian dressing.
Carbonated beverages.
Raw broccoli and cucumbers and pretty much all raw veg.

CHOCOLATE. Did you catch that?

So pretty much... my entire diet. Out the window.

Oh and obviously... no ibuprofen.


That's it for today, please forgive my whiny post full of whining.

To offset my pity party, I give to you some solid cute. See ya tomorrow!

That looks spicy. Good thing I don't want to eat it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tome Tuesday #2 - Candy Girl

Okay! Week 2!

I did not, as yet, finish the more involved book I started awhile back (is it cheating if I don't actually finish the book in a week?), however I *did* find time to read something fast this week, and I've gotten some great recommendations so I think I'm off to a great start!

Candy Girl is the true story of Diablo Cody (she of Juno fame) and her year spent stripping and working in the sex industry in Minneapolis in the early 2000's.

(Point of note... this is not for your teen daughter who loved Juno. Not even a little. This is definitely a NSFW book full of really graphic descriptions of exactly what you might imagine.)

She had been working a normal office job and decided on a whim to try stripping with the blessing of her then boyfriend (now husband). She figured she'd make a little money, have some fringey, slightly risky fun... where's the harm?

The refreshing thing is that, with the exception of a few bruised knees and most likely a lingering lower-back issue (those heels!), there really *wasn't* any harm. Truly after all those horror stories you hear about strippers and their dangerous lifestyle choices, had I not known the outcome from the start (she being a rather famous face and all these days) I probably would have been waiting for the other stacked-heel platform to drop.

She wasn't raped, she wasn't debased (without her consent), she wasn't forced to do drugs or do porn. She was in control of herself the whole time, and when she got tired of it, she quit. It's certainly empowering if nothing else... it's not going to spur anyone into going to their nearest booby bar for an audition or anything, but you come away feeling like she was pretty brave to do what she did (I mean could you?).

She had fun, in fact, and in all likelihood doesn't regret it at all.

I, in turn, enjoyed the smutty fun of getting the nitty-gritty descriptions of what goes on in those clubs and shops with all their red lights and neon.

The only real issue I had with the book was...



I mean she seems nice, I'd love to have lunch with her, but she strikes me as sometimes trying a little too hard to be cool. I kept finding myself distracted by her constant need to work counter-culture elements into everything that only a limited demographic would get.

Of course, not everyone's going to pick up a book about stripper, and since she is who she is her fans *do* get her humor and references, but it still seems a bit over-reaching, like she's trying really hard to show you how edgy and alternative she really is, from referring to her move from her apartment in Chicago to be with her boyfriend in Minneapolis as having to "motor" (Heathers refrence, check) to describing the ad agency she worked in as "Kubrickian" (film dork, check) to her use of the word "rad" (saw Point Break/hearted Anthony Kiedis/lusted after skater boys, check) on a regular basis.

Okay, Diablo, we get it. You can hang.

I have to wonder of course if it's my own desire to still be in the cool crowd that makes this stick out more to me, and if that isn't why I truly do like her not despite this need to be edgy all the time, but because of it. I understand her, I think...

She's a dork with tattoos and way too much pop culture knowledge.

Takes one to know one!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Somebody Flipped The Old Lady Switch

I've come to the conclusion that the Hot & Sour Soup Of Doom (thanks for the moniker, TR) is absolutely to blame for my recent digestive tract issues.

I wish it would stop already... it's cramping my style.

What the hell, stomach? Seriously!

In lieu of an exhaustive rundown of things I did this weekend, I'm going to just post photos of stuff if I can find good corresponding imagery.

It works!

Click to enlargify

If you can, go to the Denver Art Museum and see it for yourself. Me, I want it in my living room.

There's an old drive-in speaker stand in front of the paintings, and if you lean down you can hear what is either the sound of cars passing along the highway, or the wind passing through the tall grasses of the empty field.

Possibly both.

I was entranced.

The artist, Don Stinson, is definitely prolific... go check him out!

I found this painting particularly interesting...

Is that what I think it is?

Another artist I admired at length was Daniel Sprick.

I thought this was a photo at first. Nope.

3 other things that made me happy this weekend, though they were not the only ones...

I hope your weekend was lovely!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Stiff Upper Lip

So up in Nederland, CO - a mountain town if there ever was one - they have a yearly festival called Frozen Dead Guy Days, in honor of "Grampa in the Tuff Shed"... he's been in there 20 years this March.

No, I'm not kidding.

Mountain folks are a special breed... I think it's the lack of oxygen.

I haven't been for a few years, but I think this year it might be a must...

You can read all about it here, and it's even featured in Roadside America!

(I sense next week's Time Waster Wednesday, by the way... check that site out and you'll see what I mean.)

Lazy post today, but I did work late... and I'm not done yet!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Time Waster Wednesday - OMFG IMMD FTW

For your time-wasting pleasure today, and because it's 8PM and I'm still at work, I give to you...

It Made My Day.

A series of short blurbs about things (some of which I can only guess are made up) that made someone's day.

Some are your classic got-cut-off-and-the-butthead-got-pulled-over variety, some are kids of a tender age doing awesome things like re-enacting the Dead Parrot routine with their grandparents at the pet store, some are just silly, but I guarantee all will have you clicking that "next" button like it's going out of style.


Wow, dull post, so to coincide with the Dead Parrot bit...

Here's the Dead Parrot bit!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tome Tuesday #1 - You Suck: A Love Story

Is there an echo in here?

You may remember reading a few weeks ago that I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and read a book a week for a year as part of the Cannonball Read project at Pajiba... well I neglected to notice that it didn't start until 11/1.


So, to answer your unasked question, yes you *have* seen this post before, and yes you're also probably hallucinating too.

Crack is whack!

"You Suck: A Love Story" by Christopher Moore.

I picked this up, admittedly, because the cover and title amused me.

I probably would have enjoyed it more if I'd known this was a sequel to Moore's first vampire novel, "Bloosucking Fiends" and read that first, but somehow I doubt it because it wasn't so much an "I'm lost" dislike that comes from dropping in at the middle as it was a "he phoned it in" feeling.

Our story begins with C. Thomas Flood (Tommy) waking up to find he's been turned into a vampire by his girlfriend Jody.

"You bitch! You killed me! You suck!" says he...

... and wackiness ensues. That's about it.

The whole book just seemed too thrown-together for my taste, less a series of events that relate to each other and more a bunch of episodes of bad judgment and miscommunication tossed at a wall, and those events that stuck made it into the final draft.

My main problem with the whole thing was that just didn't find myself sympathetic to any of the characters. I don't know about you, but that's essential to me being able to have any interest in what's going on. Tommy & Jody just seemed whiny, Jody's "maker" is boring and one-note and more lecherous than evil, and Tommy's n'er-do-well grocery-store employee friends generally just seemed like a pack of assholes with no ability to function as adults and who instead make knee-jerk bad decisions that perhaps a fan of "Jackass" might find hilarious, but which just irritated me. (It's subjective of course - I don't begrudge you enjoying Johnny Knoxville giving himself another concussion, it's just not my cup of tea.)

Plus, there's a blue hooker. Why?

The one exception to me not caring about any of the characters was Abby Normal, a human teen with goth tendencies and a dirty mouth. Her diary entries throughout are hysterical, typical "OMG" teen-talk peppered with the purple prose I remember so well from my very own black-clad youth - even there, though, the schtick is used so often here that it gets tiresome after awhile.

This one's getting donated to the library - someone else might enjoy it, but it wasn't my favorite. Give it a shot if you've read "Bloodsucking Fiends", but if not...


Since I usually like Christopher Moore (a good recommendation: "Practical Demon Keeping") I wondered if it was just me, but a quick perusal of the Amazon reviews seems to support the theory that this wasn't his best work... then again lots of people loved it, so who am I to say? I'm no critic.

Happy Tuesday!