Sunday, December 21, 2014

Four Years Later

Four years ago this afternoon, I sat on a bench overlooking this view
and heard that my friend was gone.

Four years - a lifetime - a matter of minutes

And not a day goes by that I don't have trouble believing it
don't wish it had all been a dream
don't imagine I could still talk to you
call you up and shoot the shit
drop by your house and crack a bottle open, put my feet up, and kick back as all the old stories wash over us --
take you out for a drink, play cards until we got silly and made some new stories.

Four years ago.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Christmas Meme

1. Do you send Christmas cards?
   Usually, I try to...but this year, I've been so busy - my short week had me logging 50 hours at work so no.  No Christmas this year.

2. How soon do you start shopping?:  I traditionally wait until the absolute last minute and this year I haven't done any at all.  And probably will not.  I don't know if I can make rent this month so...Merry Christmas, it's the thought that counts?

3. Who do you shop for?:   Usually just my family.  Mom, Dad, and two brothers.  Um.  Yeah.

4. Do you put up a Christmas tree?:   My mom does. 

5. If so, is it fake or real?:   It's a decent-looking fake tree.  Easy to set up, easy to care for, and isn't infested with spiders.  Yay!

6. Do you like tinsel?:   I have nothing against it...but my mom does!  It's a huge mess.  I can live without it.

7. Do you use homemade or store bought ornaments?:   I think the tree is usually a mix of both.  I like the ornaments with stories attached - sentimental things!

8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?:   My parents have, in years past.

9. Do you put lights on the tree?:   I think the tree is "pre-lit".

10. How about popcorn and cranberries?:   These are things that cannot happen around pet dogs.  No.

11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?:  I believe my mom has several wreaths...

13. Do you hang up your stocking?:  My mom made stockings for all of us when we were little!  I love hanging them up because it's such a cool unique family tradition!

14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?":   I'm sure we did at least once...

15. Christmas Movie?:   Charlie Brown Christmas is probably my family's favourite Christmas movie...or A Christmas Story

16. Character from any Christmas Movie:   I'm a fan of Herbie, the gay dentist elf.  Makes me smile.

17. Christmas Song:   I very much like "Happy Xmas (War is Over)".  It makes me very sad, but that's okay.

18. Christmas Memory:   I can't talk about Christmas memories.  I like going to mass with my mom.  Yeah, me, an Atheist.  I like singing.  Sitting in the dark and watching the kids put on the Christmas play.  I always cry.  And I always bet my brother that the recessional hymn will be "Joy to the World" because duh, of course it is.

19. Give or Receive?:   I like giving gifts.  When possible.  But nowadays Christmas isn't really so much about the gifts as it is about the time.  I rather prefer that anyways - drinking boxed wine, baking cookies, eating said cookies with more boxed wine and playing games, just taking a break from the life and putting together puzzles.  That's the gift I want.

22. Ham or Turkey?:   Neither!  Ugh.  Gluten-free vegetarians will have stir-fry vegetables over rice noodles this year.

24. White Lights or Colored Lights?   I like those big, antique colored bulbs!  Any lights.  I have white lights in my room 24/7/365

25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights:  STILL LIGHTS okay I'm gonna be picky here for a minute.  Blinking lights are fun for a little while but then they become annoying, hurt your eyes, and generally make one feel more than a bit epileptic.

26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year?:   I was HELLA nice.  Ask anyone.

27. What do you want for Christmas this year?:  A good time.

28. When do you open your gifts?:   Christmas morning, AFTER coffee.

29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten?:   I'm not sure.  The past few years have been all about wine and quality time.  I like that.

30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?:   A funeral.

31. Who gives you the most gifts?:   My parents!  Hands down!

32. Have you ever had a secret Santa?:   I was going to do one at work but then stuff happened's better this way.  We did one in high school, that was fun.

33. Do you like wrapping gifts?:   I help my dad wrap his almost every year!  It's fun!  But everyone says I use way too much tape.

34. Do you put change in those red buckets?:  NO AND HERE'S WHY:  The Salvation Army is a very anti-equality organization.  If I had change to spare, I would give it to the ASPCA via shopping in a pet store or just to anyone busking nice Christmas music on the subway.  At least then I get to choose who receives the benefit of my charity and it doesn't just go to lobbying for causes I actively disagree with.

35. Do you burn a yule log?:   Nope!  Fake fireplaces all the way!

36. Can you name all the reindeer?:   Yes - with creative names.  Blinky, Fast-guy, Rudolph, Hoofy, Antlers, Ace, Brooklyn, and Fatso.  DONE!

37. Do you bake cookies?:   I think my mom already made her famous peanut butter blossoms with "festive sugar", so I'll help make buckeyes!  And maybe merengues!

38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Clause?:   Um, ew.

39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?:   Oh, sure! 

41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?:   Oh yes!  I'm looking forward to that this year as well!

42. Have you ever left Santa cookies?:   Yeah!  Of course!  And some veggies for the reindeer, too.  Cuz we loves the animals!  And they do a lot of work too.

43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap?:   Not recently!

44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with?:   My folks and my brothers and the dogs and whoever else happens to be there.  I'm drunk.  I don't really notice.

45. Where do you celebrate Christmas?:   At my parents' house in Binghamton.

46. Have you ever had a white Christmas?:   It's Binghamton, so it's white by Thanksgiving and they usually screw you on Christmas and you get a slushy, icy, muddy Christmas instead.  Bah, humbug!

47. What part of Christmas do you look most forward to?:   The drinking!  No, really.  Probably "not working".  Sleeping in past dawn!  That'll be sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?:  DUH OF COURSE!

Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Christmas Movies

1.  A Charlie Brown Christmas  you knew I was gonna bust this one out right out of the gate.  My Snoopy love is well-known and this has all the elements:  Charlie Brown feeling bad for himself, Lucy charging five cents for Psychiatric Help, Snoopy mackin' on the ladies...and the most quotable line of all, "It just needs a little love!"  Of course!  That's what Christmas is all about.

2.  For Better or For Worse:  The Bestest Present  this is the movie that will make you cringe when you hear "I wan my bunnnnnyyyyy" and then wish to whine it whenever you're just feeling upset.  Sorry for the poor video quality, but if you haven't seen this classic, here's your chance!

3.  A Christmas Story  is also a play...a play I was in...where I played a teacher (laugh all you like at that self-fulfilling prophesy).  We all know and love the Red Rider BB gun line and the subsequent dismissal:  "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"  There's a good reason this movie is seen on TV a lot leading up to the holiday, and I hope I have a chance to watch it this season, too!

4.  Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer  but mostly for Herbie, the flamboyant dentist elf.  "Why am I such a misfit?" is the eternal refrain.  And it's good to remember "There's always tomorrow!"  I don't want to spoil the story (as if you haven't seen it a million times yourself!) but I love a movie where even the villain is redeemed and everyone can be happy!

5.  A Muppet Family Christmas  Christmas is the Muppet holiday!  This movie has everything:  Muppets.  Fraggles.  Sesame Street.  Fozzie Bear takes a lead in this film, but don't worry, everyone from Camilla to the Swedish Chef has a chance to shine! 

November 28th:  Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For

December 5th - My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer

December 19th - My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th - New Years Blogging Resolutions

January 2nd - New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th - My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th - Conventions I've Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd - Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th - Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap!

I am way late in the game talking about my Thanksgiving adventures but here we go - I went upstate to spend the big day with my boyfriend's parents, then dragged him down to Binghamton to meet my parents...and drink a ton of Scotch.

Oh, to be fair, we didn't just drink Scotch!  I drank wine.  Ha!  And we learned all about Rugby, played cards and dominoes, made ice cream, played with puppies, introduced my BF to hibachi dining (Kampai WHAT UP) and saw all the local Binghamton sites like The Roberson Museum and Science Center, with their famous Christmas tree display!

They also have a historic mansion, Retro toys exhibit (those robots I DIE) and a collection of awesome random coolness liiiiiike...

This Dali is called "l'Escargot" - and there's two snail afficionadoes reflected in the glass, can you see us?

This is my sweetie pie!  My Ashton and his Boo-Boo Bear!  Always good to see my sweet puppy dear.

On the drive back to New York, we stopped in the town of Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania (which I learned means "Penn's Woods" which is adorable).  Speaking of adorable, Ashton!  Also, the whole town was absolutely lovely.  Antiques market, olde time ice cream parlour - to say nothing of the gluten-free Haitian restaurant we ate at with these awesome carver chairs!

So that was my Thanksgiving...I'm so thankful for what a sweet time it was!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Roasted Garlic Marinara

Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Marinara

Tastes Like:  Perfect tomato sauce.  A tiny bit sweet, a touch of garlic, savory and perfectly seasoned.

Great With:  Spiralized zucchini or yellow squash, brown rice pasta, or splashing over the top of an omelette.

Perfect For:  Stocking up as a cupboard staple.  Much easier than thinking about cooking is just throwing this already perfect sauce over the top of some noodles and maybe mushrooms or fake chicken and getting back to your sanity, that is to say, a night when you can't care less.

Must Know:  Contains soy.  Come on, guys, it's just pasta sauce!

Costs:  $1.79 for a jar.  Here's where shopping at TJ can save you Mega Money.  Pasta sauce can really run you - a jar of good stuff in the regular grocery store can be upwards of $7!  What the hell?!  Buy the cheap stuff and it's usually loaded with sugar and not much flavor (I'm looking at you, canned pasta sauce.) and you have to doctor it up with garlic salt or Dijon mustard (try it now, thank me later) to make it palatable.  This sauce - THIS SAUCE - is crave-worthy alllll on its own and cheaper than the cheapest of cheapos anywhere else.  Pantry staples at TJ can save you mega-bucks and are amazing and versatile to have on hand for these cold winter months when you reeeeeallly don't want to get all dressed up just to go buy food but you reeeeallly can't afford to get sushi delivered every day of the week. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Batman: Endgame

Confession:  I'm getting kind of tired of the Joker.

I got through Death of the Family but just barely:  those rambling romantic Batman/Joker dialogues nearly lost me forever.  But when a friend tipped me off that Batman:  Endgame was going to be epic, I had to check it out.  My first impression was...not the best.

Oh that Joker!  With his crazy science chemicals and whatnot!  Making...things!  And...stuff!  Ohhh he's just so crazy!  Yeah.  Okay.  Whatever.  So basically, we're treated to a red herring opening sequence that was all just a dream.  And buckle up, kids, because anything that happens here on can all just be...just a dream.  Hooray.  Thanks a lot, Joker, for setting us up with THAT great plot twist.

But then...

WONDER WOMAN?  What's going on?

Whaaaaat?  The plot thickens!  Suddenly, interesting characters are involved!  Wonder Woman!  The Flash!  Um...Aquaman!  (no, seriously, Aquaman.)  Oh man, what is going on?  Could this possibly get any worse?

Ohhhh yeah.  It gets worse.  Much worse.  Because that was all issue #35.  And in issue #36, we find out why everyone's gone bonkers:  THE JOKER.

Sigh.  Yes, the Joker.  It's all about HIM again.  STILL.  Always.  Sigh.

Oh boy, more sappy analysis of the complicated relationship between Batman and the Joker.  Peppered with awesome references to the last time Joker did anything cool, i.e. cut his own face off.  Okay.  Enough.  But then...

Issue #36 ends with a chilling inside look at the life and crimes of another Arkham resident by the name of Cordelia.  Her short story, capping the boring Batman ramble, is worth reading the whole comic for.  I dare you not to ache for her in her insanity.  The series sets up three more Arkham residents to tell their personal case stories, too.  So I'll keep reading Batman:  Endgame... but only for the ending.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Have You Ever...?

1) Have you ever gotten lost in a maze? 

A corn maze!  Maze of maize!  Amazing maze of maize!  I'll stop.

2) Have you ever been attacked by a wild animal? 
No, thank goodness!

3) Have you ever ridden a camel?
An elephant - on two separate occasions!  But never a camel...not yet!

4) Have you ever pet a rat? 
Yeah, friend in high school had them as pets!  Just like gerbils.

5) Have you ever been a member of a gym? 
HA HA HA HA HA nope.

6) Have you ever been in a helicopter? 
No, and I don't know about it.  I don't really like flying all that much.

7) Have you ever cheated at a test? 
NO NEVER.  I'm such a "goody-goody," as my students say.

8) Have you ever ridden a tractor? 
Sort of...I've been on a hayride that was towed by a tractor!

9) Have you ever passed wind/gas in an embarrassing situation? 
UM who hasn't?  Luckily New York City is so crowded that you can usually give an accusing stare at someone else and pass the blame.

10) Have you ever played the bongos? 
You'd think I would have but I actually don't think so!

11) Have you ever handled a snake?
UH I don't know, you tell me!

12) Have you ever assembled furniture by yourself?
Yes occasionally disastrous results, but it's the thought that counts!  Isn't it?  Oh, it isn't?  Huh.

13) Have you ever been scuba diving?
No.  I can't swim (I know, I know, I need to learn!  Many people harangued me last week for that confession and I do plan to learn!), so scuba isn't really a thing.

14) Have you ever had a disastrous interview?
I've had some insanely amazingly bad auditions - including one in a man's SOHO loft (his personal home!) where he asked me to stand on my toes and hold my hair up, whereupon he chided me "that's what you'd look like if you wore high heels and pulled your hair back."  He then asked me what my sign was and apparently, my sign was "Not Cast-able" because surprise surprise, I did not get offered that role.

15) Have you ever sold your services?
Like prostitution-wise?  No.  But when I give ghost tours, I feel like I'm selling the very best parts of me - my wit, humour, and ability to perform.  I think that counts!  Tips are validation.  So are stellar internet reviews.

16) Have you ever raised money for charity?
Many many Christmases ago, I did magic and balloons in the subway to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for a child whose name had been given to a charity list.  I ended up getting a ticket for obstructing traffic, and the ticket cost the exact amount I had managed to raise.  Also, I got harassed by cops, which was terrifying.  I ended up paying for the gifts out of pocket, so it was all a wash except for the funny story of that time a cop threatened me with a billy club while I brandished a balloon poodle.

17) Have you ever won a giant sized cuddly toy from a fair?
No, and I'm okay with that.  I got nothing to prove!

18) Have you ever milked a cow?
No.  Tell me, am I missing out?

19) Have you ever used the phrase "back in my time" to someone younger than you?
ALL THE TIME around my students.  I bet they appreciate it as much as I did when my teachers did that to me.

20) Have you ever invented a fairly unique meal or drink?
Do my ice cream recipes count?  I think the Balsamic Vinegar ice cream was pretty stellar!

Join the link-up at Sunday Stealing!

Friday, December 12, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Dear Santa...

Dear Internet Santa:
(or the intern elf in charge of responding to internet wishlists)

Because you know I live in an apartment, and have no way of storing fun gifts, please just bring me gift cards this year.  I take full responsibility for seeing that I don't accidentally try to swipe them like a MetroCard.  I realize it may be gauche to ask for gift cards but seriously.  Greyhound bus.  Seriously.  And so...

1.  Target
  is where I get all my socks from!  See, I could ask for socks...but then I'd have to transport all those socks via the aforementioned bus.  NOTE:  I will never NOT want socks.  But a gift card is like socks...only flatter.

2.  Bath & Body Works  home of the amazing scented candles!  But you know what's hard to bring home on the bus?  Amazing scented candles. 

3.  Amazon  is my source for know...heavy, heavy books.  Save yourself the trouble of shipping the books from the North Pole, and just let Amazon do that for you!  Go ahead - give me an excuse to clean out my Amazon wishlist!

4.  Sephora  because sometimes a gal like to feel pretty, ya'know?  And sometimes a girl likes to go in and smell perfume samples and draw all over her wrist with eyeliner pencil for HOURS and Santa, you want no part of that experience.

5.  H&M  owns my liiiiife.  Getting out of H&M without losing a fortune is insane.  The lines to try on clothes ALONE are maddening!  Send me a gift card, and you'll never have to know about the hours I spend preening and posing in the fitting room mirrors.  That little secret stays between me and my best friend who gets all the dressing-room photo texts "does this dress work?"

I know you're busy and overburdened around the holidays, so I appreciate you swinging by my blog!  I, er, promise to be better next year.

November 28th:  Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For

December 12th - Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me
December 19th - My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th - New Years Blogging Resolutions

January 2nd - New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th - My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th - Conventions I've Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd - Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th - Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Strawberry Fields Forever

My favourite December tradition is to go to Strawberry Fields on December 8th and sing around the Imagine mosaic.  This year's crowd was as chill as the weather and I barely noticed that I spent nearly two hours outside in the cold singing allllll the hits, up to and including the entire B-side of Abbey Road. 

Apologies for the poor quality of this video - I always get really hyped for "Hey Jude," and yes, that's my nasal off-key voice "NA"-ing at the end:

Just watching this video days later reminds me of the peace and beauty of everyone coming together to live out John Lennon's vision of peace and joy.  I got emotional at times, and I was so glad to have the opportunity to go this year.  I wish with all my heart that the message and the feeling of this magical time could last all year, but until then, I'll keep this video of my overenthusiastic crooning on my phone to remind me of how truly beautiful life can be, even at those darkest moments.

Thanks for giving us a soundtrack for our hopes and dreams, John (and George and Paul and Ringo).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Channa Masala

Trader Joe's Channa Masala

Tastes Like:  The perfect Channa Masala!  This favorite dish of mine can be SO hit-or-miss...sometimes it's so mild it's like it barely exists at all.  Other times, the spice is so overwhelming that the flavor (and enjoyment) just disappears!  But TJ nails it here with the perfect level of spice.  Tomatoey, garlicky, chickpeas in tangy, lovely sauce.

Great With:  If'n ya wanna get all fancy with it, you can serve this over rice and alongside Trader Joe's Palak Paneer.

Perfect For:  Oh just have this on hand!  Keep it in the freezer for that emergency "oh-no-the-ceiling-caved-in-and-I-can't-leave-the-house-but-must-eat-my-stress" time OR

Have it on hand for an easy dinner night!  Heat in the microwave and plate it up nicely and pretend like you ordered delivery!  I will keep your secret safe.

Must Know:  This is sometimes labelled gluten-free, sometimes not.  It IS gluten free, and totally delicious!

Costs:  $2.29 for an entire dinner.  I don't need to tell you how much less expensive that is than getting Indian food delivered to your door.

Monday, December 8, 2014

To Sail Beyond the Sunset

And if you think the cover is racy, just put the book down right now.  Because underneath the cover (heh) is a whirlwind of outrageous sexual exploits beyond your imagination. 

Still with me?  Okay.  That having been said, I don't want to spoil anything for you, but to say that from page 1-2 you will be hooked.  Here's a little taste for you:

So you know, Maureen Johnson is the mother of Lazarus Long, hero of Time Enough for LoveSo if you've read that one, you're already familiar with her, in passing.  But this book brings you close to her in ways you'd never imagine.  And in all the best ways.  Without spoiling anything, I will just say that this book is such an intimate portrait of a loveable character that when you experience highs along with her, you're elated!  And when she goes through lows, well, I was in such a state of depression for days.  And like Time Enough for Love, just when you think the book is over, it brings in a high-octane third act that will have you cheering from your subway seat. 

Lovers of Time Enough for Love won't be able to put this down.  It speeds along, thanks to an absence of the time jumps present in TEFL, closely following Maureen Johnson through her rise, fall, and re-emergence like a Phoenix from her own ashes.  I can't wait for you to fall in love with this book.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Are You...?

Today's Sunday Stealing meme is a nice, quick and kind of weird up with the rest of us!

1) Are you psychic in any way? 

2) Are you a good dancer? 
Not in the least!

3) Are you a good singer? 
No, but I'm a decent imitator, so I can fake the sound of a song as long as it's not important that I carry a tune.  That's my theory on the matter.

4) Are you a good cook? 
NOOOO.  I'm slowly picking up basic skills like "boiling pasta" and "flipping omelettes" but I'm not great.

5) Are you a good artist? 
Like, can I draw?  No.  But I have, I think, good artistic sensibilities for say, collage!

6) Are you a good listener? 
No, probably not.  I'm often thinking about my contribution to the topic.  I can be a good listener when I try to be, but that's not often and it's hard when say, speaking to bosses.  I get nervous and stop listening and start worrying that they hate me and stuff.

7) Are you a good public speaker? 
Yeah, I think so.  I'm not afraid to be foolish on stage!

8) Are you a good babysitter? 
NO, I'm TERRIBLE.  The one and only time I ever babysat ended with an almost lost dog and a very scraped knee.

9) Are you a good mechanic? 
I can put together a Rube Goldberg-esque yes?

10) Are you a good diplomat? 
OH YES.  I can put on my kid gloves and deal with the most outrageous personalities...a quality of myself that is currently being very much put to the test at my new job...however...

11) Are you a good employee? 
YES VERY.  Remember when this happened?

Employee of the month!  I totally deserved it...for being a good diplomat!

12) Are you a good dresser? 
I'm convinced that I must be.  I get cat-called on the street for my outfits.  ALL THE TIME.

13) Are you a good swimmer? 
Actually, I never learned to swim!  So this would make me THE WORST swimmer.

14) Are you a good skier? 
I've never skied before but that's something to add to the list to try!

15) Are you a good gift giver? 
Sometimes.  I can be when I try to figure out what someone really needs and give it to them.  But for Christmas, it's such terrible pressure, I usually give everyone the same thing, which is usually what I want for Christmas.  Something functional and easy to transport like socks or tiny bottles of liquor.  Which may be this year's gift: socks filled with tiny bottles of liquor.  The "fun stocking".

16) Are you a good musician? 
I'd say, passable.

17) Are you a good comedian? 

18) Are you a good cleaner? 
I clean things when I notice that they are dirty so yes?

19) Are you a good actor? 
Darling, absolutely.

20) Are you a good writer? 
I surely hope to think so!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Scientifically Perfect Chocolate Ice Cream

I whipped up a batch of this (with some help from my boyfriend's mom) on Thanksgiving morning...could this be a new tradition?  Ice cream instead of turkey?  It's easier to carve and if you ask me, it's a lot more delicious!

As a bonus, here's a shot of "helper" dog, Rosie...  who supervised:

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Troll the Ancient Yuletide Carol

Hello, Nerdy Girlies!  Hope you're trimming your trees with tiny spaceships and Tetris pieces and jammin' out to your favourite Christmas tunes!  I can't wait

1.  White Wine in the Sun - Tim Minchin  is probably the closest to my actual feelings about Christmas.  I'm not particularly religious, not into the commercialism as much, but I like drinking wine and eating cookies at my family home, doing puzzles and playing Dominoes.  Of all Christmas songs, this has be the most wistful:

2.  Christmastime is Here - A Charlie Brown Christmas
  seems to be playing constantly around Christmastime in my family.  My mother's love of Snoopy and the gang seems to have rubbed off on me and the holiday specials are a MUST.

3.  Happy Xmas/War is Over - Plastic Ono Band  has probably always been my favourite song.  We hit a rocky patch back in 2010, I couldn't listen to the song without wanting to cry or throw up, it gives me that much feelings!  But I've slowly allowed myself to feel and it's once again become the simple, sweet song that I adored.

4.  Merry Christmas, Darling - the Carpenters  know how to sing a Christmas song.  I picked this one to mention, in spite of the "logs on the fire/fill me with desire" lyric that I used to snicker at as a kid.  It feels truly sincere, and if there is a "Christmas love song", of course the Carpenters would nail it:

5.  A Christmas Together - John Denver and the Muppets
  is so perfect I can't pick a single song off the album so I choose ALL of them! 

Listen for this perfect moment between Gonzo and Miss Piggy:  "Piggy pudding?!?"  "FIGGY pudding.  Made with figs!"  "OH!"  "...and bacon."  "WHAT"

November 28th:  Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For

December 5th - My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer
December 12th - Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me
December 19th - My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th - New Years Blogging Resolutions

January 2nd - New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th - My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th - Conventions I've Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd - Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th - Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

Thursday, December 4, 2014

#tbt The Gothic Renaissance

Kids say the darnedest things.

I'm in my second week working at the school and already I've heard some amazing and truly terrifying conversation happening around me.  But perhaps the funniest thing came from one of my students who, upon noticing my predilection for dressing all in black and my fondness for skulls, recently asked me:  "Are you a gothic?"

It did call to mind my tenth-grade English teacher who asked me if I was a goth when I dyed my hair dark reddish-black - accidentally! - holla at me, home hairdressers.  You know how unpredictable boxed hair dye can be.

Nevertheless, my gothic nature may just be a recurring theme:  check out this super cool mirror selfie from autumn 2010:

Oh my god would you look at that baby and her itty-bitty tattoos?  How 'bout that bullet choker?  Hey!  Nice home-hair-layers!

What about THIS mirror selfie from summer 2013??

Bigger tats...bigger hair...bigger goth.  I seem to just be growing into my goth groove as I get a fine gothic wine, or smelly gothic cheese.  One thing's not changed though:  still doin' my hair at home, and still getting misunderstood.  Sigh.  Ya feel me, Morrissey???

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Apple-Strawberry & Apple-Coconut Bars

Trader Joe's Apple-Strawberry & Apple-Coconut Bars

Tastes Like:  Solid applesauce.  Like a solid form of applesauce, if you can grok such a thing!  The Apple-Strawberry flavor has just a hint of tart, berry sweetness to it while the Apple-Coconut flavor is packed with dried coconut flakes!

Great With:  Oh, these guys need no introduction.  They are the opener AND the closer.  The end.

Perfect For:  Emergency snack attack!  You know, when you get out of work, have to run errands, and realize it's been hours (hours!) since you've eaten and suddenly all the tourists turn into grotesque gargoyles and the cabs morph into horrible dragons and the crowd sweeps you along like a horrible tsunami and you're like HOLY CRAP I NEED A SNACK!  That thing.  There, there.  It'll be okay.  Eat this.

Must Know:  these are gluten-free AND vegan, in case you have those predilections.  Two ingredients, guys.  Apple + [other fruit].  Also, you might want to know that the Apple-Coconut flavor tends to result in lots of pieces of coconut getting jammed into my teeth, which is not that bad, but if you're self-conscious, you know, just make sure that the person you're making out with is ALSO a coconut fan.

Costs:  $.99 per bar, like the Apple-Banana and Apple-Mango Bars I reviewed months (months!) ago.  Yes, a little steep, but as a Low-Blood-Sugar life-saver, it's worth it to have one in your bag at all times.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Currently... in December

FEELING:  Excited and challenged!  I have a lot of catching up to do at my new job but I'm so excited to feel so useful, and I love hoping that I can make a difference!  I feel like I should have done this a long time ago.

WATCHING:  After watching Cold Case at the laundromat to avoid making conversation with a creepy lady, I remembered how much I loved cop dramas and started catching up on Law & Order: SVU.  I've also gotten my boyfriend hooked on Bob's Burgers and have been trying to catch up on past seasons of South Park myself!

LISTENING TO:  It's finally okay to listen to Christmas music, and I'm actually really happy about that!  I'm still enjoying my Big Band/Swing/Classics Pandora station, but want to phase in some dreamy old holiday standards as well.

READING:  The latest instalment of Batman - but not for Batman at all!  I need to find time to pick up a book, but for now, work is keeping me busy!

WORKING ON:  Knitting projects I've been commissioned by friends, mostly hats of various types.  I've got my work cut out for me!

THINKING ABOUT:  Christmas plans, family, and the wonderful new life I'm leading.  I'm always thinking about how to excite my students - or how to get them to sit down!  I'm so absorbed by my new job and the holidays happening!

EATING:  Rarely - I'm trying so hard at work to grab a bite between classes and copying papers but I'm having some success with pasta + fake chicken.  I'm having a half (gluten free) bagel in the morning and grabbing some fruit to go and eat on the way, and coming home to cookies before I pass out for dinner...uhhhh...shouldn't have said that last part.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  Going to Central Park to sing on December 8th.  It's my spiritual time, and it was so amazing last year (when I serendipitously went, see photo above) that I'm eager to go this year!  Also, my good friend is coming in to visit me this upcoming weekend!  I'm not a big Christmas person (the season reminds me of tragedy) but I'm surprised to feel warmly towards decking the halls and getting all jolly and whatnot...I have big plans for holiday decorations that I can't share yet but I'm so excited!

MAKING ME HAPPY:  MY NEW JOB!  Getting to see my family for Thanksgiving - a rare treat!  I can't get over the fact that I actually got to see them and go home and hang out in the hometown for two days - that makes me elated. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Shop on the Corner

Join the Sunday link-up fever at Sunday Stealing!

What kind of job did your mom have when you were growing up?  
my mom was a librarian (and my dad worked in libraries too!) for most of my childhood, and then started working in school libraries around the time I was in high school.  She just retired!

Have you ever known anyone that's been on TV, including you?  yeah, I've been on TV!  I had a small (SMALL!) part in a Stop DWI PSA that aired on cable!

What was the most interesting animal that you have seen in the wild?  When I was sixteen, my family went to California and we saw these big ugly mule deer romping around.

What holiday do you enjoy the most?  I love Halloween, but just had the sweetest and most relaxing Thanksgiving, so that's gotta be the winner!

What was the first video game you ever played?  Does Commander Keen count?  We weren't really a big "video game" family and to this day, I'm terrible at video games!

What is one thing you own that, if it got lost, you would be bummed?  Any of my jewelry...or my phone!!!

Do you have a favourite breakfast item?  I love bagels...but they don't love me.  I'm a huge fan of Udi's (gluten-free) Everything Inside bagels...they're enough like the "everything" bagels of my childhood but they won't make me break out in a rash, lose, my hair, and puke.

What do you find yourself buying all the time?  Besides food?  Rings on Amazon and yarn.

When was the last time you got a real letter in the mail?  Right before I left to go visit her for Thanksgiving, I got a Thanksgiving card from my mom in the mail!  No complaints here - it had a bulldog puppy on it!

Do you have a most prized piece of jewelry?  All of my jewelry is special...but especially my heart-shaped necklaces from my grandmother, my star necklace from my mom, and my Tiffany necklace that I bought myself!  I am also fond of my horseshoe ring off Amazon (seriously, it's the best ring - buy one for a friend for Christmas!) and my Cynthia Rybakoff square-shaped ring which is getting a little scratched-up, but that's a sign that it's been loved, right?

Do you own any board games?  The best ones - Apples to Apples and Settlers of Catan!  I need to teach my boyfriend how to play Settlers, but the fact that it requires three very patient players is an obstacle.  That's a New Year's Resolution!!!

What chore seems the most daunting right now?  Laundry is the most daunting task!  It's so exhausting to do during the week because it takes three hours or more, but I hate spending valuable weekend fun-time sitting in a noisy, hot, crowded laundromat!  What to do, what to do...

Were you born in the state you love in?  Yes - I was born in Buffalo, New York, (briefly moved to Ohio), grew up in Vestal, New York, and currently live in New York, New York!  Empire State, HOLLLAAAAA

Have you ever lived in a house that has been broken into?  No, but I did live in a HUD house that had toxic black mold.  Huzzah!  The silent killer.

What is your favourite cheese?  I love all cheeses but I'll always order burrata if it's on the menu.

Who do you know that watches the most sports?  My dad, no question!  He has a banner from ESPN hanging proudly in his "man cave." 

Friday, November 28, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Black Friday

First, a word:  this is my hypothetical list.  I do not condone IN ANY WAY the further abuse of retail workers around the holidays by participating in "Black Friday" or worse, "Black Thursday," wherein not even the holiday itself is sacred.  Not that it really ever was, but try to keep in mind that there are people who don't get to spend a moment of the holidays with their families because they're too busy listening to you whine about getting things they can't even afford for Christmas.  So, here's my - how about this?  Cyber Monday list.  I would sit up all night for a crack at a deal on some of these products I've had lingering on my online wishlists:

1.  Joan of Arctic Sorel Boots  have been an object of my lust for some years now.  SO EXPENSIVE.  I go through boots in the winter like tissues during winter....because I blame my winter colds on my inability to obtain and maintain non-leaky shoes.  These are so tough-looking, so (allegedly) durable and SO FLUFFY!  They'd have to be like...90% off for me to afford them.  Keep dreaming...

2.  Graphic Novels  are so expensive buuuuuut...if there was a buy one, get four free Cyber Monday deal, I'd be all up on these!

3.  iPhone 5 
I may need to upgrade my phone.  My current phone had 6GB of space, all of which is used up.  I need to make space for tools for my new job, and I just can't part with any apps!  I suppose if I clean off all the music, I might be able to make it work...OR, if there was an amazing sale on iPhones, I could just upgrade my ancient iPhone 4 (yeah, not even a 4S!) to something with bigger GB and be able to have it all!!!  Yeah, baby!

  Fortune Cookie Locket  is a stupid splurge I've been holding back from pulling the trigger on for A WHILE NOW.  It's hard to find a 14-inch chain, which is my ideal necklace length, and just the right angle to the cookie.  I LOVE FORTUNE COOKIES.  Well, not the taste - I mean, WHO DOES.  But collecting fortunes is such a hobby of mine that my mother (Hi, Mom!) saves them (oh and thanks for doing that, too!) for me in bulk when she finds a particularly inspirational message.  I even have a pair of them in my wallet:  "Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure" and "The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, and passion."  I know it may sound corny but these two bits of advice actually have helped me through some trying times and some difficult decisions.  Laugh if you like, but if this necklace would go 50% off, I'd pull that trigger - Choice love and passion indeed!

5.  H&M dresses  oh my H&M I love you, but you make me poor.  I just splurged (oh no) on four new dresses (for my new adult-type job!) and now own this dress in red, black, gray, and purple which if you think about it, gives me almost a week of school without having to think about putting "outfits" together.  But imagine...imagine if there was some kind of "Buy One, Get Three Free" sale.

November 28th:  Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For

December 5th - My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer
December 12th - Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me
December 19th - My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th - New Years Blogging Resolutions

January 2nd - New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th - My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th - Conventions I've Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd - Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th - Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

Thursday, November 27, 2014

#tbt The Traditional Thanksgiving Butter Turkey

Ah, 2012 - spending Thanksgiving with my mother's family.  As the only gluten-free vegetarian in the family, Thanksgiving is kind of a lame holiday for me.  I am reminded of the Mean Girls quote, "Is butter a carb?"  No.  No it is not...

...which means that I (fortunately!) am able to enjoy the family traditional BUTTER TURKEY.  Yes, it's not a holiday unless you carve something out of butter and no, I am not related in any way to Paula Deen.  here you see the start - the "marble" from whence the turkey shall emerge - and in the background, a model upon which the eventual Butter Turkey shall be based.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who doesn't work in retail and to those who do, please go on strike.  This "Black Thursday" thing is just ridiculous.  Call out sick.  Seriously.  Where does the greed end?  Greed greed greed.  And on Thanksgiving of all da-  oh.  Yeah.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Spicy Hummus

Trader Joe's Smooth & Creamy Spicy Hummus

Tastes Like:  Garlic - very strongly of garlic with a jalapeno aftertaste.

Great With:  The usual vegetable suspects:  caulifower, yellow pepper, and carrots.  Of course, you can get fancy with Trader Joe's Quinoa and Black Bean Tortilla Chips - or you can lick it off your fingers because who does THAT amirite?

Perfect For:  You know how they say "some like it hot"?  In case you think you might like it hot but aren't sure if you like it that hot, this hummus is a good place to start.  In my opinion, this is less spicy than other spicy hummuses out there by a country mile.  Less pure heat, more flavour!  But isn't that what you really want, anyway?

Must Know:  Kosher, gluten-free, and somehow not vegan.  I know!  I read all the ingredients twice and can't figure out how this hummus isn't vegan.  It's totally beyond me but if you're a vegan who eats hummus, watch out, I guess.

Costs:  $2.99 - acceptably affordable for hummus, I should think.  And perhaps it's an optical illusion of the container, but I feel like you get MORE hummus with TJ than other leading brands of similar texture (cough Sabra cough) - however, it's only a deal if you manage not to eat the entire container at once while hovering over the cupboard but who does THAT amirite....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...