Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip

Trader Joe's Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip

Tastes Like:
  It's not as spicy as you would imagine!  But it is EVERY bit as chunky as the name suggests.  It's not so much a "dip" as it is a "scoop" or maybe even a "spread" - use a fancy little butter or cheese knife to put it on bread or crackers.  I'll admit I haven't been around the block much on artichoke dips in general, but this tasted a lot like artichoke, very creamy, and with a VERY subtle kick from the jalapeño.

Great With:  Very hearty, sturdy chips or rice crackers - not gonna lie, it takes a little practice to actually operate this dip.  You can't really "dip," you need to "scoop."

Perfect For:  Semi-homemade crostini appetizers - because of the texture, it might be easier to dish this out in advance as opposed to having people try to dip it on their own. 

Must Know:  Not vegan, not labelled anything else.

Costs:  $3.69, making it a little more pricey than typical TJ fare, but it's SO rich and SO thick, that a little bit really does go a long way.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sunday Stealing: I'll Spread My Wings and I'll Learn How to Fly Meme


It has been scorching here in the city and I'm in the process of learning a new ghost tour!  That means I'm here in the air conditioning Googling crime scene photos from 150 years ago.  What have you been up to?  Samesies?  Mutilated corpses of NYC past?  Let's catch up but first, the stealing!

1. Have you ever had a pen pal?
Yes, but I'm honestly pretty bad at keeping up with it!  I wish that weren't true.

2. What’s your favorite breed of dog?

Oh no!  Don't make me choose on the internet!  I love pugs.  They're so humble-looking.  I love their personalities.  But I'm basically in love with any dog whose tongue is always sticking out.  Personality goes a long way with me.

3. Can money buy happiness?

Honestly?  Yes, it absolutely can.

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down?

Not on purpose, but music always does lift me "up".  I'll listen to music to psych myself up for something!

5.What is one thing you spend way too much money on?

Clothes, probably!

6.Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?

Yeah!  I'm getting a lot done!

7.What was the last thing you spent money on?

Two rolls of paper towels and a jar of sliced jalapenos.  To pickle eggs with.  Worth every penny.

8.Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color?

That is an interesting question.  YES, by a very narrow margin.  I dyed another inch of hair blonde, making my hair brown on the right side and in back, and blonde on the whole left side of my head just past my ear.  So YES, but only just barely.

9.Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?

My boss, my BFAM, and my BGF.

10.Were you in a good mood last night?

YEAH!  After making "rainbow" tacos - yes, rainbow tacos!  So, they have an ingredient from every colour in the rainbow in them:  red peppers, orange carrots, yellow corn tortilla, green salsa, (nothing blue sadly) and purple cabbage plus also Trader Joe's soy chorizo, cheese, and sour cream!  Well, after that, my boyfriend and I went to go house-sit for a friend, watered their plants and fed the cat.  It was such nice weather - not too hot! - that I begged a walk!  We got ice cream from the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck on Bedford Ave and splurged on goodies at Bedford Cheese shop, walked down to the water and peeked into super cool shops and then came back home to (oops) fall asleep during Starship Troopers.  Ooops!!  It was still a great night and really sweet.  I want to go for another evening walk the next time the weather isn't a steaming sweatbox outside!!

11.Do you have a reason to smile right now?

I have no reason NOT to smile!  I got a lot done this morning, had fancy cheese and coffee for breakfast, I'm leading a tour tonight...the only thing bothering me is a vague headache, but I'll go take an aspirin and be fine.

12. How often do you hold back what you want to say?

Never.  This will probably get me in trouble.  I frequently board the subways singing aloud about how everyone on that train is an idiot and an asshole (because someone blocked the doors and wouldn't let me on and the train doors closed on me even though there is tons of space but for some reason we just stopped dead as soon as we got on despite the fact that there are obviously singing people trying to board the train behind us?!?)

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place?

No, but rather, I think you will eventually become comfortable with the disorder and disappointment.

14.Are you currently looking forward to anything?

Next weekend is my birthday!  It is also my boyfriend's birthday!  We are three years and a day apart!  So, like last year, we (and a bunch of friends) are going up to his family cabin in the Adirondacks for drinking, boating, drinking, swimming, drinking, all of the above.  I can't wait!!

15.Do you have any TV shows on DVD?
I have two seasons of Doctor Who (the Rose seasons of the reboot), two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1 and 6), season one of Dead Like Me, and the first season of The Twilight Zone.  So you know a lot about me and my tastes now!

This is from that epic walk last night, as referenced in #10.
Completely sober, I insisted that this broken object and I were a partner act.
I have my fun.

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Get Outta My Dreams...

Hey!  You!  Today we're all nerding out over fictional vehicles we'd totally hitch a ride in...

1.  the TARDIS  of course!  I would straight-up want to plop down into the TARDIS when David Tennant is driving..."Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" indeed!  Reference to "Tooth and Claw," anyone?  Total nerd alert there.

2.  The Battlestar Galactica 
yeah, it's a touch overcrowded, but with Starbuck and Apollo protecting you (and the Old Man driving!), you're probably safest here from Cylons than you'll ever be.  It's not even networked! 

3.  The Dora  she is always listening, which is a little creepy, but I'd ride in Lazarus Long's ship anyday!

4.  Yellow Submarine
  sky of blue, sea of green!

5.  Billy Ocean's car  dude, how could you not?  This song is so catchy, even cartoons want in on it!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Challenge

On the road to being considered "banned," a book must first be "challenged."  Fun fact!  When a book is "challenged," it is debated based on its merits and themes, to be certain that it meets the same moral standards as put forth in fine, upstanding pieces of popular literature, such as the best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey series.  Here, we "challenge" several commonly-challenged books to see if they make the standard.  Fun!

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

If there's anything fundies hate, it's FAMILY VALUES!  So when penguin parents adopt young Tango to raise and love him as their own, it is in direct violation of God's divine plan that every fetus be carried to term and then abruptly abandoned.  Shame on you, penguins!  Unwanted children are supposed to disappear off the face of the Earth after being born, not raised and cared for by same-sex parents!  For shame!

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz

If you grew up in the 90's like I did, you probably
remember reading this book, having bad dreams, then severing your head at the neck just to see if, as in the story, a single green ribbon could really keep it on steadily enough for your husband of many decades to never find out your shameful secret.  This book had to be banned after children began bringing home cursed big toes in droves.  Alvin, you irresponsible adult, what were you thinking??

What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras

Don't tell girls what's happening to their bodies!  Jesus Christ!  This book undermines the authority of the ones who really ought to be teaching their girls about their bodies and body image, that's right, The Kardashians.  Lynda Madaras, how dare you purport to know more about how girls should approach their changing bodies than the mainstream media, music videos, and the 8th graders in the back of the school bus??  For shame.  Bury it where it will never be found, right next to common sense and best intentions.

Flowers for Algernon
, by Daniel Keyes

Now, we all know there is no cure for stupidity.  Let's just turn on the TV and stop pretending like there is, or ever will be, anything we can do about it.  Look!  The Kardashians are on!

James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
This graphic and harrowing novel shows us the dangers of genetically-modified produce.  Giant peaches?  God never intended for such a thing.  GMOs violate the Good Lord's plan for peaches!  Ban it!

Where’s Waldo?, by Martin Hanford

Short on words but long on controversy, eerily silent Waldo attempts to blend in to large crowds for the purpose of secretly carrying out obscene and possibly violent acts in public.  Little can be known about him, or his motives from the narration.  What we do know is that Waldo is known as "Wally" in the U.K. and outside North America - what evil deed(s) is he running from, exactly?  With his uncanny ability to blend in to almost any hypothetical surroundings, is Waldo attempting to school a new generation of urban terrorists?  His (no doubt drug-addled) desire to lose himself amidst the populace is clearly a Communist allegory.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Plain and simple:  this is a book about banning books.  In the vernacular of our culture, this book is asking for it.

Just what, exactly, is he hiding from?
I hope we never find out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Raise a Glass

Today, you would have been 32.  Gone, but never forgotten.  In honour of your day, let's raise a Woodchuck Cider and watch this video I know you would have appreciated.  Thanks for being my friend all those years.  RIP.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Let's Not Be Difficult

I'm a day late
because I just got back from Buffalo to celebrate my grandmother's 90th Birthday Party!  It was a good time, but a long trip, so I'm ready to get back to the swing of things and start stealing!

1. Do you like your movies and books to be more light-hearted or serious?

I enjoy light-hearted books (Heinlein is so silly sometimes!) and serious movies.  Case in point?  Lately I've been reading comedic memoirs and watching gut-wrenching documentaries.  Strongly recommended reading:  Night Terrors:  Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things by Ashley Cardiff.  Recommended viewing:  Blackfish  (just be sure to do them in reverse order, because that movie is SO SAD)

 2. What’s more important, first impressions or lasting impact?

I think first impressions are very important - they lead to the next impression!

 3. Order these areas of psychological health from what you need the least improvement into what you need the most improvement in: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual

Spiritual is least important, then physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental (still got to set up the office!) and social.  Social is a huge struggle for me.  I'm very candid here and SURPRISE!  I'm very candid in real life.  This sometimes leads me to feel incredibly awkward with people - either I don't trust you enough to talk about the weather, or I'm giving away too many (albeit hilarious) gory details of my last doctor's visit.  Being around people used to be so easy!!  I'm really working on it.

4. Do you react appropriately to things and control your feelings?
I'm going to say NO.  Because of the statue.

So I came home from a late night of tours to undress for bed and go to sleep when I saw a SUSPICIOUS SHADOW IN THE BEDROOM READY TO POUNCE!  I wheeled around and it was this statue of a dancing woman (READY TO POUNCE!)  and I flew into the living room screeching "!!WHAT IS THIS?!?"  and admittedly I could have handled that better but I was ALMOST KILLED OKAY????

5. Do you have stable relationships?
I think so.  Since we already talked about being candid, we can say that I'm the type of girl who gets in relationships a lot - "serial monogamist" they call it I suppose?  Pretty much everyone I date wants to "go steady" early in which I think is a credit to my stability in relationships.  I try to be open to new things, be exciting, be communicative, I consciously try to be sharing and listen and I think that's why I have stable relationships.  I never have "fights" either, not in my romantic relationships.  Why do that?  Just state your feelings and work it out.  What good is fighting??

6. Do you need to be in a relationship to feel good about yourself?
No.  I've enjoyed being single but I don't feel nostalgic for it.  I've enjoyed my relationships but I'm not nostalgic for the past either.

7. Which is the clearest and most concise, your thoughts, your speech or your writing? Which is the least clear and concise?
My writing is probably the most clear and concise because I can go back and edit!  My thoughts are probably least clear and concise, because I need so much editing.  Speech is in the middle.

8. Are you always trying to learn new things?
Of course!  Eventually I'll find something I can do RIGHT!

9. Do you feel at peace?
At the moment?  No.  I'm looking for my next step in employment and it's nerve-racking trying to think what I can do that I'll enjoy and be good at and be able to support myself with.

10. Do you have strong morals and ethics that you believe in and adhere to?
Absolutely!  I try not to hurt anyone or anything, ever.  That's very important to me.

11. Do you think of the needs of all humanity or just the needs of yourself and those you know?
All of humanity in the abstract. 

12. Do you recycle?
Like a boss.

13. Are you active in your community?

14. Are you sensitive to the needs of others?
I try to be - but it's so hard to pick up on unspoken signals!  Why can't we all just say what we mean??

15. Do you dress up to go out?
If I'm going more than two blocks away, YES.  There's a very big street two blocks away, and if I'm crossing that, I'm going to be dressed cute, or at least wearing a bra.  Within my two block radius is the laundromat and the lame grocery store and I don't care if they see me without makeup.  It's ridiculous to get so fancy to sweat it out in the laundromat in the summertime!

16. What could make you lose respect for someone?
Casual racism/homophobia/transphobia/sexism.  Basically, if I find out somehow that you're a shit person on the inside. 

17. If you won $1,000 every week until you die, would you still go to work?
I would like to say "no," but I probably would.  I haven't had a steady 9-5 (or 6-6) in over two weeks and I'm getting a little bored.  I probably wouldn't do traditional work, but I'd definitely have to come up with something to keep going.

18. What trend has been getting on your nerves lately?
I can't abide (and never have!) the wearing of leggings as pants.  THEY AREN'T PANTS!  You AREN'T A SUPERHERO!  You can't wear spandex all the time unless you can see through walls or fly or set things on fire with your mind.  Learn to do any of those, or some comparable skill, and THEN YOU WILL HAVE EARNED YOUR TIGHTS.  And NO, yoga is NOT a superpower.

19. Do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?
It depends on the size and type of mistake.  If I accidentally put something in the dryer that shouldn't be dried, yeah, I'll get over that.  If I hurt someone emotionally or make a social gaffe, I'll turn it over in my head forever.  For example, I'm famous for saying the dumbest goodbyes.  I want my goodbyes to be special!  Meaningful!  A reflection of our time together!  So if I meet someone at a party and we bond over, I don't know, killing plants by accident, I'll want to incorporate it into my goodbye like so:

"Bye!  Nice to meet you!  Good luck with your plants!"

Only I don't say anything as cool as that.  It comes out as:

"Bye!  Nice to meet you!  Even though you're an unrepentant killer!"

or worse:

"Bye!  Nice to meet you!  Stay away from pets and babies for crissakes, you danger to society!"

Ugh.  Moral of the story?  I should never leave the house.

20. Is ignorance really bliss?
Absolutely.  Overthinking ruins everything, every time.

21. What can be described as ‘even better than the real thing’?
Almond milk in coffee.  Tastes better than regular milk!!

22. What’s in your wallet right now?
Twelve dollars cash, debit card, driver's license, MetroCard, two fortunes from fortune cookies, a strip of photos from a photobooth, my ticket from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and a billion store loyalty cards!

23. Do you write letters that you never send?

No!  Not even emails that I never send!


24. Do you ever get the feeling people are laughing at you?

Of course not.  I get the feeling that everybody loathes me.  See number 19??

25. Who’s the one person you’d like to drop a house on?

Ugh, this guy on the train in front of me yesterday was trying to engage everyone in conversation by bragging and being gross.  He pelted the guy next to him with questions about where he'd travelled and how much money he makes (while of course listing all of his recent vacations and his salary) and then turned to the girl across the aisle from me and asked her lewd questions about the tiny tattoo on her foot:  "Can I just ask (ugh, the intro of douchenozzles everywhere) did that hurt?  Or did you like it?  Going zzz-zzz-zzz into your skin?"  EW!  GROSS!  Drop that house!  Just don't hit me in the process.

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Con Swag

Speaking of Con Loot, everyone's pictures of SDCC looked so fun and yes, I fell for the internet prank of the Firefly cast reuniting.  Quick subject change!  Showing off some of the cool swag I've bought myself at NYCC:

1.  Dalek shirt 
which is so soft and comfortable and lovely!!!  Also hilarious because when I was teaching, I felt like I was screeching in a monotone and hated all of humanity - IRONY!

2.  Unicorns  buying unicorns at Con is a tradition for me now.  I've been three times.  I have three unicorns.  Do the math.

3.  K-9 
was such an impulse buy because I was dressed up as the Fourth Doctor, and I was like "I need a prop!" and so there ya go.  Oh, impulse control and cons do not mix well.

4.  Pinkie Pie t-shirt 
has an overly-excited Pinkie Pie.  I mean, you just can't explain the happiness Pinkie Pie brings.  You have to experience it yourself.

5.  Doctor Who blind box minifigs - Pertwee and McCoy! 
so I realize now that I get really excited by allllll the Doctor Who merch at cons and that explains more than half of this list.  Whoopsie!  No regrets.  I can't wait to get the shelving up in the office to organize all my books stage elaborate fight sequences between these two doctors and Dalek minifigs!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

If I Dated Fozzie Bear...

Today we discuss what would happen if I, hypothetically, dated Fozzie Bear.

Why date Fozzie Bear, you ask?  Well, Kermit is unavailable, Gonzo is too desperate, Rowlf is clearly married to his career.  And Doctor Teeth & Electric Mayhem?  I've dated enough "musicians" (read: one) to know that's a bad idea.


He's a bear!  Bears are cuddly, virile, furry... if you're in need of any further explanation, I'll turn this over to an expert in this field, DaddyB:

Corny, but good jokes  every girl wants someone to "make her laugh."  Fact!  High priority in a potential mate is a "good sense of humour." 

Wears pink and bows  and everybody knows that a man wearing pink is not afraid of his feminine side.  Why, the bow is not only a fashion statement, it's a sign of masculine security!  He's got nothing to prove...if ya catch my drift.


Very close to his mother
  ...so prepare to spend every holiday at her farmhouse.

He's an aspiring comedian  and you know what that means, ladies...having to support his standup career by attending open mic nights on weekdays!  GROAN!  You know why there's a two-drink minimum on a Tuesday night?  Free comedy.  Free comedy, by the way, is never free.


Here's how I see this relationship going:  we go on a couple dates and hit it off.  Hot and heavy at first, because don't shame me, you know you want to cuddle that (woof!).  He makes me laugh, and is desperate to please.  After two months of seeing each other only during the day on weekends because I staunchly (take notes) refuse to attend open mics at 11:00pm on a Wednesday night I just won't!, we'll take an Amtrak out to Long Island to meet his mother.  You didn't know Fozzie is from Long Island?  Please, that nasal voice?  Anyway, eventually the strain of his odd hours trying to break into comedy will drive a slow wedge between us that all the cute texts in the world just won't be able to compensate for.  He'll shed on my couch, and I'll snap.  It will be our first and last argument.  That's what I get for dating a comedian.  Throw them in the lot with musicians!

Dear audience, if you could fantasy date a Muppet, who would it be?  Sweet, wholesome Kermit?  Wild, hairy Sweetums?  Or would you throw in with a jerk like Sam Eagle?  Hook me up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Biotin

Trader Joe's Biotin 5,000 mcg

Tastes Like:
  Don't taste it, just swallow it.  This is a dietary supplement that I've been taking for over a year now, and let me tell you.  My hair used to fall out every time I washed it, there would be a whole Wookie worth of hair in the tub.  It was alarming.  Not only that, but my nails used to flake off and break all the time!  Then I read somewhere that Biotin is good for your hair and nails and figured, well, it's worth a try.  Over a year later, I hardly EVER see hair in my brush or bathtub, and my nails are strong as steel!

Great With:  At night, after a meal - it can sometimes upset an empty stomach.  I try to take this with my nightly cranberry juice, so I remember to do BOTH things.

Perfect For:  Strong and healthy hair and nails - take it from me!

Must Know:  Labelled vegan, and contains no sugar, yeast, gluten, corn, soy, milk, egg, shellfish, or preservatives, but also bears the warning:  "people with medical conditions should check with their physician before using this or any dietary supplement."

Costs:  $8.99 for 120 capsules.  Taken once a day, you'll only need to buy 3 of these a year, which is not bad, considering how much vitamins can cost at a traditional drug store.  Which is to say, twice as much, occasionally BOGO free, but you're still paying the same amount as you would at TJ's.  Here, and with other vitamin supplements, is where Joe really saves you money!  You GO, Joe!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Podkayne of Mars

I can't wait to introduce you to Podkayne of Mars!!!  Told as a diary written by Poddy Fries, nine Mars years
old (which is like 16 Earth years - because of the longer orbit, duh, Heinlein thinks of everything) and about to embark on the journey that will change her young life!!

But then - life happens.  It's remarkable to me that Heinlein, an old dude, slips into the brain of sixteen-year-old Poddy and embodies her so fully.  I shouldn't be shocked, of course, having been bowled over by his fully realized female character Maureen Johnson in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, but he is a true writer bringing life and excitement to Podkayne (and her little brother!) as they cruise across the solar system to EARTH! 

I greatly enjoyed this book - it stays true to his "children's books" type (see also Have Space Suit -- Will Travel) without falling into the "third act surprise blitz it's over" trap that happened with Orphans of the Sky and Time for the Stars

In summation, this is one Heinlein I would strongly recommend to first-time Heinlein readers, along with The Door into Summer and Job: A Comedy of JusticeIt's also a great summer read for avid younger science fiction fans, and still holds up today thanks to Heinlein's vivid imaginary future!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Stealing: I Wanna Be Famous Meme!

Blazing hot-hot-hot here in Brooklyn and I'm enjoying my first full week of summer vacation!  I love hanging out in my apartment (hello air conditioning, it's blazing hot out here right now!), walking around my new neighbourhood, basically everything I said I wanted to do once I was free!!  So that's how my week has been - on to the stealing!

1. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

I would love to be a famous (or even just successful) stage actor.  Alas, that ship has sailed...

2. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

Yes, OF COURSE.  Otherwise I would ramble - you should hear some of the five-minute voicemails I leave and at the end:  "...oh, this is Meghan, by the way."

3. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

I'm going to try to be as specific as possible because I feel like my initial reaction (after quelling the urge to quote Lou Reed's song Perfect Day) was to say "I dunno, anything, really."  Here goes:

Waking up to a long bath, rubbing lotion on and letting it sing in, drinking two cups of coffee, and the Benedict Bowl at Champs Jr (ah, Champs Jr!).  Getting mildly lost in Williamsburg, taking pictures of odd graffiti, drinking a lot of coffee, taking my shoes off and feeling real ground under my feet, having a spicy dinner in a dim restaurant, semi-sweet cocktails (no more than two!), returning home to pass out!

4. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I was howling "Easy To Be Hard" in the shower this morning.  You know, from the musical Hair.  I don't know if it accurately reflected my sentiments at the moment, but there you go.  I can't remember the last time I sang very clearly, but during a student's coughing fit I once busted out with Cosette's protest from Les Miserables:  "You will live, I swear you're going to live!/It's too soon, too soon to say goodbye."  And the whole room got silent and someone piped up, "Wow, Ms. Karre, you can sing!"  which is more, I think, a testament to the low standards set by the music industry these days, and not to the quality of my voice.

5. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

I feel like I've answered this question already, and it was the matter of much debate because I chose the body of a 30-year-old.  I stand by my reasons:  avoid the aches and pains, retaining the wisdom of my advanced age!!

6. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

No, and I'm very superstitious about it, so I don't even want to think about it!

7. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Right now, I am so grateful to have a supportive boyfriend myenh myenh pbbbbblllttt.  It sounds super corny but he answers my insane questions ("does this look normal to you?"), and picks up soy chorizo at Trader Joe's for me on the way home, he's overwhelmed by work but spends the whole evening stir-frying and teaching me to dance.  This guy is the absolute best.  Level-headed and goofy and sweet.  I thought it the moment I met him, and have never stopped believing he's the absolute best guy in the world and I'm so beyond lucky that he's there to press on my knee to make sure it's not broken when I trip on the floor in our apartment and go sprawling.  He even assures me that I looked "awesome" (my words) when I flailed and flew across the room.

8. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? 

I would be raised by wolves.  NO!  I was raised by totally sane people in a good school district, and when I abruptly decided I'm not eating meat anymore, they let me!  Totally fine!

9. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? 

I would give myself the ability to computer.  Like, coding, building websites, whatever.  I feel like that's such an important skill these days, if I could do it, I'd be so much more "hireable" and relevant in the modern world!

10. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? 

I don't want to know anything.  I'm in a really good place right now where I'm confident just waiting it out.  I'm working my tours, which I really love, I'm looking for another job I'm going to love just as much, and I'm still getting paid from my last job so I'm financially secure for the time being!  We're in summer vacation mode!

11. What does friendship mean to you? 

I love my lazy friendships - we can go days without talking and then pick right up where we left off.  School made me really busy and I was not the best friend but now I have time to converse, give fashion advice, complain about movies, be engaged in my friendships and be receptive to them as well!!

12. What roles do love and affection play in your life? 

I love being superfluously affectionate with my close friends.  Years and years of trust and vulnerability can now be hugs and "I love yous!" that are totally heartfelt.  I also enjoy being in a secure and comfortable place where I can be affectionate in my relationship without fear of rejection.  I'm in a good place here with rainbows and puppies and love and happiness!!!

13. When did you last laugh? 

My boyfriend has a tone of voice that he uses sometimes that's kind of a cute growl, but today I told him he sounded like a "gruff Muppet" and that's totally it and we laughed about it!!

14. Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

Definitely a morning person.  Today I slept until 9am and I feel like a failure!  I'm usually up and noodling about at like 7am, but it was a late night for everyone so I can't feel too bad.  I have to learn to relax and sleep without feeling guilty!  It's Sunday, and I gave a KILLER tour last night.  I'm so pleased and can't wait for my next one!

15. Seen anything weird lately?
I live in New York!  I see weird things constantly!  One thing I almost took a video of this week was a pair of pigeons fighting over a crust of bread.  Doesn't get more New York than that!  Tough-ass Brooklyn pigeons.  Fighting over a crust of bread...with a whole loaf just feet away!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Spin Spin Spinoff

I'm not a fan of spinoffs, generally, since Angel was such a disappointment after Buffy.  Most of the things I love just happen to wrap up in tidy, complete packages.  I can't imagine, for instance, continuing the story of Les Miserables, or Battlestar Galactica, or Love in the Time of Cholera.  So I struggled immensely with this prompt.  But in the end, I think I have spun-off some successful concepts - feel free to pick up on these!!

1.  The Adventures of Ragdoll  (yes, I know everyone was blown up, but when has that ever stopped DC from resurrecting a character?)  This could be a prequel to the first run of Secret Six, if need be.  Though I must say, the current one is shaping up pretty decent as well!  But I would follow this complicated, hilariously unpredictable character through new adventures!

2.  Law & Order:  Elliot Stabler's Unit  Chris Meloni is a BOSS and I would follow his "unstabler" moments through any ridiculous post he might be reassigned to - even TSA - or parking garage security - or ensuring kids don't get stuck in crane machines...any kind of detective work, as long as he keeps being "unstable"!

3.  Haruka & Michiru:  Love Never Dies  I'll leave this one here.  Just more screen time with these two.  #shipping

4.  Podkayne of Earth (...and Beyond)  I can't wait to tell you about this Heinlein novel next week, but one book isn't enough!  I wish he would have, as with so many other books, expanded the Podkayne franchise.  I wanna know if she hooks up with that billionaire she was cozy with!  I wanna know what trouble her brother gets into!  And the triplets!  There's so much more left unanswered and I would follow Podkayne all the way to Earth!

5.  Fast Times at Sunnydale High  when you're attending high school in the Hellmouth, who KNOWS what can happen?  I would gladly tune in to watch the original cast of Xander, Willow, and Cordelia try to figure out why all their classmates have such weird-looking hickeys?  Take me back to Sunnydale High!!!  Go Razorbacks!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Living With Roommates vs. A SigOth

As soon as you announce that blissful decision: 

"We're moving in together!"

well-meaning advice mongerers will load your ears with fears about living with a partner.  

So much has been said about the drawbacks, that I want to preach the benefits!

When you live with a roommate, you are a constant thorn in their side.  Your dishes.  Your dirty tennis shoes.  Your noisy breathing!  To your roommate, you are a necessary evil they literally must  live with because they can't afford the rent on their own.  In fact, if you think about it, you don't even really live there:  you're just squatting at their place until you get your shitty life together enough to move out and live for yourself.  So the place you share with a roommate isn't your place.  You can't put pictures on the wall, ice cream in the freezer, and everything comes with implicit apology. 

"Sorry the kitchen smells bad!" --  I was cooking.
"Sorry I took so long in the bathroom!"  --  I was showering...
"Sorry for the dishes in the sink!" --  I just forgot!  I'm only human!

This is totally the opposite with a SigOth:

"Thanks for doing the laundry!"  --  I was washing my own, it wasn't any trouble!
"Thanks for doing the dishes!"  --  I always do the dishes, it wasn't any problem!
"Thanks for making the bed!"  --  I sleep in it, too!  Of course I would make the bed!

Sure, this seems rosy and yeah, there have been some Tough Times in this apartment (see the weekend when the plumbing broke and he had a stomach flu) but when you're invested in the relationship with the person you live with, you actually want to take care of problems for them.  Meaning running to the bodega for Pepto Bismol and ginger ale, and sitting up all night with the plumber while he takes apart your bathtub ( !!! ) and fetching a basin to be ill in.

Meanwhile, it feels more like my home, too.  I know that if I leave something out, I don't have to apologize for it inconveniencing him.  He's also on this team, so leaving the bathmat and laundry on the shower bar to dry is in his best interest, too.  Have you ever stepped on a cold, wet bathmat?  Or pulled on a pair of damp jeans?  I think that boils down to trust.  I feel trusted to hang clothes to dry, hang artwork on the walls, even hang out on the couch watching bad television without having to justify myself.

So overall, I much prefer living with my SigOth to living with roommates.  He's trusting, supportive, and oh yeah - it doesn't hurt that he makes the most amazing stir-fry in the galaxy, either.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Cheddar and Horseradish Flavored Potato Chips

Trader Joe's Cheddar and Horseradish Potato Chips

Tastes Like:
  Your new favourite potato chip.  Extremely cheesy, with a spicy aftertaste.  Look, these chips absolutely deliver on that flavor promise in a BIG way.

Great With:  Cold beers, seltzer, and possibly plain sour cream as a dip, but these are delicious all by themselves!

Perfect For:
  Those Some who Like It Hot  -  a slightly different spicy taste than Sour Cream & Onion chips.  Would be most welcome at any barbecue, house party, or heck - even pity party (yes I have, and you know it).

Must Know: 
Not labelled "gluten-free," but they haven't caused me any problems.

Costs:  $1.99 for a bag that may disappear a little faster than you'd intended.  The chips will settle after a time, so it looks like you only get half a bag (chips!  Why do you always do this?!?) but the flavour is so potent and intense, it's worth every morsel!

Monday, July 6, 2015

How I Want To Spend My Summer Vacation

What a ride the past nine months have been!  It felt so much longer.  I got incredibly drunk (one - ONE frozen mojito!) after school with my coworkers on Tuesday to put the year behind me and look forward to this summer.  Of course, I'm looking for a new job - but I'm also going to enjoy a little bit of freedom that I "earned" this year and here's how (and also, a drawing from my favourite student):

Gaining my vitality back (climbing stairs again much?)

Experimenting with performance art/Looping

Watching Charlie Brown cartoons in the air conditioning with a cold glass of seltzer

Learning how to swim

Singing at the top of my lungs at the camp

Exploring and getting to know Brooklyn

Celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday 

Improving my blog content

Reading Squirrel Girl, Saga, Batgirl, and Secret Six!

Juicing fruits and vegetables

Boating - somewhere!

Giving lots of ghost tours

Getting a new tattoo

Cooking new recipes

Building shelves and work space for the office

Hanging artwork in my apartment

Sorting my clothes to donate ones I haven't worn in ages to Goodwill

Falling asleep (probably) under the stars during the Summer Screen movies at nearby McCarren Park

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Mash-Up Meme

I am quite late to the game this week, having just come back from a vacation upstate so rural that there WAS NO INTERNET!  Road trip selfie (to prove I was in a car) and on with the stealing!

1. What’s overdue for a good cleaning?

The "office" in our new apartment has kind of yet to be built...currently, it is boxes and bags and a mattress (anybody want a mattress?).  It will get there!!!

2. What’s overdue for some kind of professional examination, service, maintenance, or upkeep?  

The sink in our bathroom leaks...which is kind of a bummer.  I'd like to get that looked at sooner than later.  It also doesn't drain very well...it's definitely time for maintenance!

3. Who’s overdue for a phone call or letter to you? 

I haven't heard much from my BFAM lately - that's Brother From Another Mother.  Usually we're in close contact, but the end of school was very busy for me and I'm just now getting back to "life."

4. What’s overdue for an appearance in your neighbourhood? 

A really good grocery store.  Nice, organic, vegetables, the whole works.  We reaaaallly need that!!

5. Who’s overdue for a good comeuppance? 

Sheesh!  I'm not nearly that vindictive!  But I would say Donald Trump.  Proof that having lots of money doesn't make you classy.

6. What’s a gross food you like anyway? 

Loads of things!  I mostly eat vegetarian, which means I gladly wolf down things most people turn up their noses at - eggplant, brussels sprouts, asparagus, and TOFU.  Then I also like the weird seafood stuff - sea urchin, escargot, even crickets!  And I'm forever inventing gross new foods, too - putting peanut butter on this and that, hot sauce over here, hummus over there...

7. Who’s an unlikeable person you like anyway? 

As far as celebrities...  Yoko Ono and Courtney Love.  Rock and Roll widows, artists in their own right, generally vilified women but why?  I have a decent amount of respect for both of them.  Why they must be called "crazy" and dismissed again and again, I do not understand.

8. What’s an unpleasant task you enjoy performing anyway? 

I truly don't mind washing dishes.

9. What’s a dumb song you enjoy anyway? 

All of them?  I can't think of any songs I love that are dumb.  "Dumb" is too subjective, anyway!  All the things I love are cool to me! 

10. What’s a lousy restaurant you frequent anyway?

Starbucks, I suppose?  I know there's better coffee out there, but when it comes to frappuccinos, in the summer months, I have a hard time turning one down...  especially when I'm already there to use the bathroom (ah, New York!)

11. What's your favourite Sci-fi film/program etc?

That's hard to say, I really love so many of them!  I adore classic Doctor Who from the 70's and 80's - can't beat those special effects!!  And Battlestar Galactica, the more recent reboot.  But Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a special place in my heart - I should really rewatch that whole show!!

12. Have you ever had a proper Tarot reading?

Nope.  I suppose I draw the line just ahead of that.  I'm not big into astrology, horoscopes, or tarot.  I just don't really see the basis in science.  Birth order makes sense to me - it's behaviour conditioning!  Cultural influences - sure!  But predicting future based on cards?  Naw.

13. Have you ever used the phrase "back in my time" to someone younger than you?

ALL THE TIME to my former students.

14. Have you ever done something really unbelievable, only to have no one around to see it?

I'm very glad I have pictures of me on the trapeze, because otherwise... nobody would believe me!  Also, I'm a champ getting tattoos.  I fell asleep while I was getting the outline on my arm done.  Actually dozed off!  Woke up to it (luckily I didn't jolt or start and ruin the whole thing) and was like, "Oh yeah..." which I think makes me a total tough cookie!  Alas, the only witness was the artist, so my toughness shall not be legendary...

15. If you were famous would you want a statue or a building names after you?
Sure!  Why not?  I'd rather have my name in a credits somewhere, but I'd take a monument in my honor.  Maybe a set of hand prints on the Walk of Fame...

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