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!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Horrible Stories Of Woe

My weekend was great...well, mostly. The ER thing was not so much.

Don't worry, let me 'splain...

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Princess Bride quotes make me happy

Let's see, Friday night...

Friday night was an unremarkable night. The Kid and I had a little dinner, watched a Vincent Price movie (The House On Haunted Hill), and went to bed.

Then I woke up at 2AM or so feeling like Inigo Montoya himself was stabbing away in there with all the rage he could muster for the 6-fingered man.

Now I'm not a pain wuss - remember that whole avocado fight I lost? - so believe me when I say the trip to the ER was only after realizing that not only was the pain not going anywhere, but that I may actually die of it at any time. (Panic attack GO!)

I'm fine. It was probably just acid reflux or something, which I've never had before and now have total respect for and fear of if that was, in fact, what it was.

Or it was my gall bladder, but I'm not inclined to think so based on my exhaustive Googling on the subject.

Or it was nothing. One never knows. Humans are weird.

Anyway, thanks go out to Melissa for driving up to get me (they gave me a shot of something fun and so I couldn't drive), and my apologies to The Child for scaring the bejesus out of her.

I scared me too.

Not exactly the most spectacular of mornings - it was pretty weird, in fact, but everyone survived.

Saturday afternoon we were supposed to go to a Dia De Los Muertos event, but lacking a car (it was still at the hospital) that didn't happen. Instead we went to The Kid's grampa's for one of his daughter-in-law's birthdays, and then The Child was off for her night of merriment, and I went to bug TR awhile.

Saturday night TR & I went on a ghost tour and...



I won't say it was *bad* exactly, but it wasn't very ghostly. It was more a series of horrifying events detailed for us in a loud fashion. With spittle.

I know the guy really worked hard, and I will give him this - he knows his stuff! But...

Well, it'll make for good stories later, and it was definitely fun to dress up and look pretty, and plus 2 hours worth of holding hands with a cute boy on a bus doesn't suck at all, even if you *are* going deaf all the while and being...

What was the word? Irrigated?

Say it, don't spray it! (Also, cool photo)

Sunday morning we hit Dozens again because mmmm, Novo coffee, (and also Lucille's had a mega line again) and then it was back home to finish up some fantastic chili and head to a friend's for a Halloween gathering. It was very nice, and the chili was a big hit, and I got to see folks I don't see but every 6 weeks or so, all of whom are always glad to see me.

And that rocks.

Monday I had the day off (thus the late posting) to take The Kid to the airport. She's in Arizona with her grandparents there, doing homework (I hope) and helping them out a bit... wish I was there with her, since I miss my mom, but it's okay since she'll be coming out the week after Christmas! YAY.

Monday night the fabulous Pioneer Woman appeared at the Tattered Cover (conveniently located mere blocks from TR) and although I wasn't able to meet her in person it was cool to see her up close and personal!

Had I shown up about 3 hours in advance I might have had a shot at an autograph and the chance to thank her for inadvertently introducing me to the almost Mrs. Ms. Dandy, but by the time I got there it was standing room only, and I was at the back... there had to have been 500 people there!

I got her book (it was waiting for me when I got home), and let me tell you...

There will be cinnamon rolls. Soon.

Photo by P-Dub.

I hope you had a nice, ER-free weekend!