Thursday, May 28, 2015


Yes, it's true, I'm officially moving to Brooklyn this weekend!  The nightmare that is moving in NYC (don't get me started) is more like a dream come true!  As I write this, there is a perfectly passionate thunderstorm rolling overhead and my first thought is, "I can't wait for my first thunderstorm in BROOKLYN!!"

Just, ah, please wait until after the move.

(I'll take a rain check!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Will Fear No Evil

What do you get when you put the brain of a dying old man into the body of an impossibly hot young woman?  I Will Fear No Evil explores every possible angle of a horny old man being surgically implanted into the body of his secretary to prolong his life.  Questions like, "Where is the essence of our selves biologically located in the body?"  "After we die, does any of our consciousness remain?"  and "How many chapters are about orgies?  Seriously!" 

Yes, in fearing no evil, Heinlein takes us into his deepest fantasies of penetrating a lovely young blonde - in the brain region, that is!  Instead of writing from the POV of a female narrator (such as in Friday or To Sail Beyond the Sunset) or a male character (Time Enough for Love, The Door Into Summer, etc etc) he writes from both points of view - talking to each other. 

Is this confusing enough yet?  I hope not.  It helps to fear no confusion when more and more characters with interchangeable names (with nicknames!) enter the scene, furthering the confusing spiral of identity and bed-hopping. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli

Trader Joe's Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli

Tastes Like:
  Pasta!  You probably would never know the difference if I snuck this to you on the sly and never tipped my hand.  The uncooked brown colour fades and the pasta looks like regular wheat pasta...if maybe a little more translucent.

Great With:  Anything you normally pasta with.  Great for Sunday Gravy, served cold in a pasta salad or - get ready for this - atop a smear of hummus, topped with roasted veggies!

Perfect For:  Instantly satisfying brown-bag lunches at work (I put it over hummus in a Tupperware, top with edamame and tomatoes, and eat it cold).

Must Know:  Says "Gluten Free" right on the outside! 

Costs:  $1.99 for a whole lotta pasta.  I make up half the bag on the weekends and distribute it among five lunches.  Such a cheap pantry staple to have, and so versatile, it's worth always keeping some around to have as a last-minute meal!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Very Much Questions Meme

1. What was the last clothing item that you bought?  I went to my favourite Goodwill and bought two skirts:  a yellow corduroy one with pockets (cute!) and a pink tight miniskirt with a ruffle that I'm planning to debut tomorrow.

2. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose? 
I used to think being 23 was the best ever, but since turning 30 I think it's pretty awesome.  So much more relaxed than 29!

3. When you say “lol”, are you really laughing? 
I would never lie about laughing out loud.

4. What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past year? 
Even though it's been nothing short of an absolute disaster, I think getting a job teaching has been interesting.  It's probably the worst job I can think of, and there is no amount of money that could convince me to teach again (...maybe) but it was definitely a good learning experience.  It showed me what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, and I learned that it's okay to try something new and fail completely at it and the world will still spin and I won't fall apart.

5. If you started a business, what would it be? 
A podcast or something?  I don't know.  One of the things I learned from this year is that I am not a good team player.  I am self-motivated and independent, I would only work for myself.  Meaning, I am very good at holding up my end of the work, and I will do other peoples' work if they drop the ball, but it stresses me out and makes me really bitter to have to clean up other peoples' messes.

6. Do your friends/family/coworkers know about your blog? 
Oh yeah!  Sometimes it gets me into trouble...

7. How long does it take you to write an average blog post? 
Minutes, if I'm feeling it.  If I'm trying to do something that I just don't feel, I'll probably never finish it.  I'm not lazy....

8. How do you keep up with the blogs you follow? 
On my phone.  It's much easier through the Bloglovin' app.

9. What is your bedtime? 
9:00 or so.  I need to leave the house before 6am!

10. Introvert or extrovert? 
I went through a breif extrovert phase after college, but lately I feel that old anxiety creeping back in.  I'm trying to get over it, but I watch myself from the outside and just cringe. 

11. What is your biggest wish? 
That my body would cooperate.

12. What is the best job you ever had? 
I love being a tour guide.  Been doing it going on five years now.  I feel amazing when I'm spinning a yarn and their eyes get wide...and the tips are good gravy, too!

13. Dog person/cat person/both/neither? 
I love anything furry, but dogs will make me stop and stare.  Living in NYC means lots of dogs!

14. If you had $1,000 to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it? 
I would buy my sweetheart a couch for our new apartment (coming next week!)  SURPRISE!  I'm moving to Brooklyn to live in sin!  That's a beautiful sentence, isn't it?  But I want so badly to be able to bring something amazing into the new place, besides my giant plastic Brontosaurus.

15. How do you “dress” your toast? 
I don't eat toast!  I don't eat gluten!  I can't even fake an answer to this question!

16. How do you feel about snow? 
My feelings for snow become less and less favourable as it approaches the ground.

17. What was the worst job you ever had? 
For one day, I worked at a vet's office that specialized in euthanizing animals.  Then I cried for 18 hours straight and quit.

18. What song can you not stop listening to? 
Lately I've been listening to Amy Winehouse in the morning and really love "Some Unholy War"

19. Love your name or hate it? 
I used to hate it, but it's becoming less common.  It's hard to love your name when everyone else has the same one!  But now I'm the "only Meghan at the party" most of the time, which is great.

20. How did you choose your blog/twitter handle? 
My twitter and Instagram handles are all my name, so is my URL, but the blog name is supposed to be an oxymoron:  who can have "adventures" in "mediocrity"?

Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Nerdiest Things I've Ever Done

Time to spill the beans:  the nerdiest things you've ever done!  I pretty much think everything I do is pretty nerdy, and I'm pretty sure I'd get a lot of backup on that one as well. 

1.  Work for a walking tour company
  unlike some items on this list, I'm really proud of this!  I think some people might consider this to be pretty nerdy - walking around town with a lantern, giving tours of New York City - but I think it's awesome.  And enough of my guests think it's awesome, too.  So there.

2.  Dressed up my toy bronto  okay so technically it was my brother's toy bronto but I played with it all the time!  I was raised on Littlefoot (even though I'm totally Cera but don't get me started) and brontosauruses are clearly the hawtest dinosaur.  Those tails!  Those necks!  Obviously.  So when I had the chance to bring home anything I wanted from my parents' house over Thanksgiving, OF COURSE I nabbed this guy.  And probably the dorkiest thing you can do to a "pet" brontosaurus is dress him up in outfits.  But make it a "Couple's Costume" and you're entering dangerously nerdy territory.  The one above is "Brontos at Tiffany's," in case you were wondering.

3.  Collect an entire author's body of works  I'm sure tons of people do this, but from what I have experienced, there are fairly few contemporary fans of The Dean of Science Fiction.  Which is TOTALLY WRONG because Robert A. Heinlein writes some of the most amusing, page-turning, engaging, heartbreaking and bizarre (and sexy) fiction I have read!  I currently own 16 Heinlein novels (three new ones as of last weekend, including Starship Troopers, one of his most famous works) and I love all but one of them to DEATH.  I don't think I could pick a favourite...maybe top three?  Top five?

4.  Get an "I Heart NY" tattoo
  okay, maybe it's a little more subtle than all that...but on the fifth anniversary of my move to the Big Apple, I ticked one off the bucket list by waltzing into a tattoo parlor on St. Mark's Place (Addiction NYC) and just up and getting this tiny apple.  He's a good companion to the heart on my other wrist, and while not the biggest tattoo I have, it's one of the nerdiest...

5.  MY HEDWIG TATTOO  the year was 2003.  I had just seen the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch and it made my brain absolutely explode.  I ran out and got this split-face tattoo on my arm and have wearing it ever since.  When I added the rest of the piece around him, I loved the way Scarlet Sinclair made him stand out, and he's only gotten better with time.  The amazing recent addition to this story is that, while my friend was in town, we WON LOTTERY TICKETS to see John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig on Broadway just before his run ended!  We were in the LAST ROW on the floor, but I could still see his face and just cried my eyes out the entire time.  I will never forget how amazing it was.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Salt Water Taffy

Trader Joe's Salt Water Taffy

Tastes Like:
  Taffy!  Very sticky, if you're a stickler for texture.  The Red Licorice flavour is, surprisingly, my favourite!  Followed by the Watermelon, which is just a bit more unique than average watermelon flavour.  The Strawberry Banana is just this side of cloying (still good!) and the Sour Apple flavour is not so much "sour" as "tart".  It took me a while to warm up to the cherry flavour, as it was a bit strong, but if you really love cherry flavoured things, you'll probably dig it!

Great With:  Dental floss!  When I say these suckers are sticky, I mean it!

Perfect For:  Bribing your students to work harder...just me?

Must Know:  Says "Gluten Free" right on the outside!  Right, why would there be gluten in taffy, I know.  It's nice to be reminded sometimes  (This carrot is gluten-free!  This water is gluten-free!)

Costs:  $1.99 for a bag that looks small, but packs a whole lotta taffy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

When the Tripods Came

Full disclosure:  this is a children's book.  Yes, friends, this is how 1988 does YA dystopian sci-fi.  No icky love triangles, no pseudo-sexual undercurrents, no preachy abstinence subtext.  Just tripods.

What I love about the Tripods is that they're unpredictable.  No little green men screeching "TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER," in fact, I have no idea what they're all about.  This is a series (groan, I hate serieses!) and I need to catch the next one to keep up.  However, there is still plenty of action to get you going here. 

The characters are complex in their desires and fears:  our narrator, 13-year-old Laurie, has a complicated relationship with his family that doesn't change overnight simply because Earth is being invaded.  We don't get to know his friend, Andy, as well, however he acts as a sounding board for Laurie most of the time.  Most importantly, nobody is a cliche and we root for all of them.

And we really need to, because this invasion is dark.  There's no shortage of death and danger.  The book leaps right into the action:  No long, tiresome exposition!  Get to know the characters along the way and keep up or fall behind and fall prey to the Trippies! 

I really enjoyed this start to the series and am genuinely looking forward to getting some answers!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Random Meme

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as? 
Long story, I have a powder blue ball gown that fits like a glove that I've never worn outside the house.  Give me 20 minutes, you've got Punk Cinderella.

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? 
I haven't eaten meat in over 15 years, and I've been gluten-free (thank goodness!) for almost two.  But if you could make me a veggie patty on a gluten-free bun, I'd top it with cheddar cheese, fried egg, and avocado.

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask? 
What's the biggest bummer about being president?  I suppose that's a bit of a downer, but I'd like to get the honest answer.

4. It’s your first day of vacation, what are you doing? 
Exactly what I did today.  Stroll around Williamsburg with an iced latte in my hand.  If every day were just like that, my heart would explode from joy.  I'd take my camera around and photograph the odd buildings, people at work, the waterfront, and the graffiti.  Instagram followers, apologies in advance:  my gram's about to blow up come July!

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies? 
Popcorn with extra butter (obviously), anything Reese's, Swedish fish, nachos...

6. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email? 
Pop-up ads.  Gmail is pretty good about keeping me spam-free, but even the pop-up "JOIN OUR MAIL LIST!" will make me scoff in disgust and navigate away.  Really?  Y'all too thirsty.

7. What do you think Captain Hook’s name was before he had a hook for a hand? 
I should know this because I saw Peter and the Star-Catcher!  But I forgot.

8. Rock, paper, or scissors? 
Paper - the unexpected win.  Everybody goes for rock.  Be unexpected.

9. Let's say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your 'cleaned up’ swear word? 
At school, I will say "Son of a blister!" and the kids try to get me in trouble.  Exactly which of those words was objectionable?

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet? 
I have to say, too quiet.  I have such a hard time sleeping in the suburbs.  The opposite - trying to sleep through obnoxiously loud music - is almost easier for me at this point.  I've been conditioned!  Thanks a lot, Harlem.

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person? 
I can't quite find the word, but... genuine-ness?  Lack of pretention?  That's pretty rare, I think.

12. At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter? 
Cinnamon bears might be too much to ask, I'll settle for taffy. 

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city? 
Oh hell try ALL OF THEM!!!  Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Statue of Liberty...take your pick.  In case you didn't guess, I live in New York City.  Home of the Distinguishing Landmarks.

14. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other? 
Sports.  Just can't do it.  Unless you're telling me how YOU sports.  But I can't care about athletes I've never met.  Nope.

15. How many times did it take you to pass your drivers test? 
Passed on my first try, only got five points off for not parking close enough to the curb - there was a snowbank in the way.

16. If you had to have the same topping on your vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what topping would you choose? 
Hot fudge.  Gotta go hot fudge.

17. What food item would need to be removed from the market altogether in order for you to live a healthier, longer life? 
Ice cream, probably.  But let's not and say we did, okay?

18. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second? 
50/50 odds on the $500?  What are my chances, here?  I'd probably gamble, I have nothing to lose...

19. If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet? 
I haven't had cable in 12 years.  Don't miss it a bit.  It's probably more dangerous for me than the ice cream...

20. What is your highest level of education? 
I have a Bachelor's Degree...and that's as high as I'll go until America gets smart and starts subsidizing higher education.

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city? What was the highest it’s been? 
I don't think I could tell you.  I vaguely recall once hearing gas was $4?  I know it's cheaper in New Jersey, but that's all I know.

22. What kind of lunch box did you have as a kid? 
I can't remember...I vaguely recall a pink cloth one?  Am I making this up just to have an answer?

23. What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur? 
Housekeeper, definitely.  After a 50-hour work week, the last thing I want to do is spend my weekend scrubbing the bathroom.

24. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator, or stuck in traffic?
Stuck in traffic, for sure.  Elevator sounds way too claustrophobic!

Friday, May 15, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Binge-worthy

This week's prompt is your most binge-worthy TV shows!  I have so many that when I start, I just can't stop.  I don't have "normal" TV, so all I ever do is stream, stream, stream on my Hulu! 

Here's my most guilty binge-pleasures:

1.  Battlestar Galactica  is like Pringles - you can't have just one!  YOU JUST CAN'T!  Start with the miniseries, next thing you know, you're at the finale.  AGAIN!  It's like a fine wine, getting better with each (repeat) viewing.

2.  Bob's Burgers  is a show I've turned my boyfriend onto, and I'm so pleased! 

3.  Say Yes to the Dress  is the guiltiest pleasure possible.  Watching other women spend more money than you've ever had in your life on one dress?  You would think that would be depressing, but if you could think for yourself at that point, you wouldn't be pressing "play" on the 23rd episode in a row, would you?  Say yes.  Always say yes.

4.  Doctor Who  classic story arcs are multi-epsiodes so you must watch four at a time!

5.  Teen Mom  YES!  Secret's out!  I'm a total fan of this show.  Can't even deal.  I'm totally hooked!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Mile in Grown-Up Shoes

Let's face it:  being an adult is hard, from your head down to your toes.  You not only have to think and act like an adult, you also have to dress like one!  I have been mostly successful at avoiding this until yesterday, when special circumstances warranted that I wear...grown-up shoes

I picked a pair that I deemed "comfortable" and decided to wear them to work during the day to "break them in."  They cushioned my feet well, and were not slippery to walk in (why are women's shoes so slippery?  Are they afraid we'll run away from the patriarchy if we can only gain traction?) and all seemed fine.

Yet, by the time I got to work, I already cut up the back of my heels!  One sure sign of childhood?  Band-Aids.  Big ol' "I have a boo-boo!" Band-Aids.  Which now adorned BOTH my Achilles.

Once I was properly mummified, however, I managed to last the day at school.  My next problem with grown-up shoes occurred while standing in line for the concert I was attending that evening.  My feet started to get sore, my back was sore, Oh!  I felt like a grumpy old man waiting in line in grown-up shoes!  Luckily, once the concert started, I felt aaaaalllll better and kicked up my heels to classic Beatles tunes once my "Hard Day's Night" was over (oh my god I actually made that joke).

Concert finished, on to the afterparty!  It was to be my first time dancing under the spinnage of Questlove, so I was worried about my feet holding up.  Rather than splash out on a taxi between venues, my group walked and. it. sucked.  My feet hurt and I was sore at doing the money-saving, responsible thing by walking all the way to da club.  Boo, grown-up shoes!  Who wants to save money on cab fare and hoof it instead?  Grown-ups.  Shucks.

HOWEVER!  Once the music picked up, my shoes were fine with my twist, shout, and grinding all over the place!  We all danced to the wee hours of the morning and had a blast, shoes be damned!

The moral of the story (clearly) is this:  Grown-up shoes only hurt when you're doing grown-up things like saving money, waiting in line, and going to work.  It's not the shoes, it's where you wear them!

     Hint:  Grown-ups wear them on their feet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Vegetable Panang Curry

Trader Joe's Vegetable Panang Curry

Tastes Like:
  Slightly sweet (coconut?) surry with a nice medley of vegetables over AMAZING RICE.  I am not usually a rice fan, but when rice is done well, it's excellent.  And this rice that you cook in the microwave is excellent.

Great With:  A little extra-firm tofu thrown in.  Or not.  This is a fully-realized meal all on its own!

Perfect For:  Gluten-free vegans, single-portion "not-takeout," a splashy office lunch (provided your office has a microwave.

Must Know:  Vegan AND no Gluten ingredients used!  SCORE!  Now, the down and dirty:  the container boasts two compartments:  one for the rice, one for the veggies/sauce.  I find it's easier to eat this in a bowl - scoop the rice out, then carefully pour the veggies/sauce on top.

Costs:  $2.99, which is considerably cheaper than ordering delivery or running down to the bodega for a salad during the day for lunch.  It's nice to have in your freezer for that day when you just can't even and cook it up in 4 minutes.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle

Nightwing may get top billing in this two-part Convergence story, but it's Oracle (Barbara Gordon) who clearly steals the show.  Told mostly from her perspective, the story examines the more human aspects of being trapped under the giant dome.

In very few well-chosen words and images, the reader quickly understands the psychological implications of being trapped under the dome.  While Dick Grayson is thriving...

Others, not so much.  Barbara doesn't let on that it's affecting her as much as it is, and that is her internal struggle even as she cracks witty jokes and carries on being Oracle.

She is soon forced to face her feelings as the dome dissolves and oh yeah this happens:

Then, the pair find themselves engaged in war over Gotham city.  Dealing with their relationship while engaged in a seemingly hopeless battle, you'll absolutely cheer with delight and gasp out loud reading the second issue. 

Best of all, if you were put off by the cutesy-wutesy rendition of Babs in "Hipster Batgirl," prepare to be delighted.  Oracle/Barbara Gordon is a sarcastic, powerful, yet still introverted and relateable strong female character.  She is more fully realized and real in these two issues than in all of the "New Batgirl" comics put together -- sorry, fans.

If you have a few minutes, read this two-part story by Gail Simone and I can promise, you'll be left cheering by the end!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Caps Lock Meme

1. YOU HAVE 10 BUCKS AND NEED TO BUY SNACKS AT A GAS STATION. WHAT DO YOU GET?  This fantasy is totally hot.  I'd get Cheetos, Reese's cups, Sour Patch Kids, and a Diet Coke...cuz I'm healthy!

Probably a Pomeranian.  But I'd like to think I'd be a Daschund.

My GBFF.  He's not aware that he's a ginger, poor thing.

Huevos rancheros, if they're on the menu, are the go-to!  Avoiding gluten at brunch can be tricky, but eggs are usually safe!

Full book?  Time for the Stars.

Four Weddings and a Funeral.  I tried to watch, but fell asleep again during, Blade Runner (which is totally not my fault and does not reflect how I feel about Blade Runner)

I am not ashamed to tell you I buy my underwear in packs, and they're all the same.

Okay.  So we cleaned out the cafetorium at school, and my friend on the math team challenged me to a footrace, and between my slick boots and the dust on the floor, I almost beat him but took a nasty tumble and bruised both my knees.  The left one still hurts.  I should probably check it out.  I've been trying to "walk it off" for weeks.

Something to make my life easier!  How about, a way to keep my skirts from sticking to my legs or blowing up?

In theory, rock concert, but today I am so tired I'd say symphony.  I wanna get mild, not wild.

a heavily-edited tricked-out photo of the IMAGINE mosaic in Strawberry Fields in Central Park.  I love that thing.

Lime Jarritos.  I had it at my favourite taco place and it was AMAZEBALLS.

Pistachio, bitches!!

Pedicure.  My nails chip immediately, so that's a waste.  But I feel like I never get nail polish on my toes properly.  I'd get gel done on my feet for summer so when I slip off my shoes to go running in the grass barefoot, it's a surprise.  "Oh, she's a hot mess, but her feet are so perfect!"  That's the dream, folks.

Links to my social media accounts...SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM!  No, but really.  I like to keep it simple over there.

That I read?  Somewhere in the twenties.  Some are blogs I follow just to keep tabs on friends.  Some are dead blogs who only post a couple times a year, but I can't bear to unfollow.

A powder-blue prom dress to wear to an event that I thought required fancy dress but now it looks like they don't want you to dress as fancy?  Whatever, it cost $18 and I'll wear it, even if it's just at Burningman later this year.

Days of Daze

I feel absolutely dreadful for not keeping up with this blog how I used to.  And then I remember I feel absolutely dreadful in general.  I'm one of those people who spends the beginning of allergy season in a complete daze.  I can't stop sneezing.  I can't sleep at night because I can't breathe.  I took the picture above as soon as I arrived at work on Friday to prove I was actually cute that day, because by the time I saw my boyfriend 15 and a half hours later, I looked like Old Gregg, except instead of seaweed, I was covered in snot.

Not exactly the look I was going for, TBH.

Another thing contributing to my dazed existence is the long hours of school.  Out of the ten hour day, I spend 7 hours actively interacting with high-energy kids whose ears seem to be strangely deaf to the pitch of my voice.  I've actually had to blow my safety whistle on them.  It didn't even work!  I feel like the world's most ineffective sheepdog.  Okay, not all the time.  About two hours of my day are lovely groups of manageable, interested kids who do the work and make my job worthwhile, debating me on the merits of communism and anarchy and writing amazing Vonnegut-inspired fan-fiction.  But the rest of my life (tack on two more hours of commute) has me completely exhausted.  All I do is sleep, work, come home, shower, sleep, work, come home, shower, sleep, work, come home, shower...until the weekend.  What's a life?  I don't even know anymore.

I sympathize with this haggard-looking drawing of Harrison Bergeron, here.

Add on top of this the fact that I'm in a bit of limbo on deadlines.  School ends soon, and I don't really know what my life will hold after that (besides getting more than 5 hours of sleep at night, not complaining there).  I'm also on the precipice of moving, which has me alternating between ecstatic and terrified.  While I'm scrolling Pinterest for tips on how to create a gallery wall, I'm beating myself up emotionally because I don't feel like I deserve to be happy.  Isn't that truly terrible to admit?  Here I am, with a lovely opportunity to be really happy, and all I can do is torture myself inwardly because I feel unworthy.

So that's what's been going on with my life lately.  That's why posting hasn't been as easy as I'd like to wish it was.  I'm really trying to get my groove back, I swear!  But if I don't, you know where to find me.

Under the mound of used Kleenex.

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: OH MAMA!

In honor of Mother's Day (probably?) let's dish on favourite moms!  Kinda weird, but okay...

1.  Joyce Summers
  was the coolest of the cool teenage vampire slayers' moms.  Sure, Buffy and her's relationship wasn't always perfect, but she stuck up for her daughter and was pretty badass in her own right - esp. with Giles in "Band Candy"

2.  Maureen Johnson  mother of Lazarus Long, the most important man in the universe.  And a fascinating woman in her own right!

3.  Alana from Saga  is quirky, snappy, but a hopeless romantic in the most subtle and fantastic way.  I fully need to get caught up on this one!

4.  Littlefoot's Mom from
The Land Before Time  sorry sorry sorry for bringing back sad childhood memories BTW you guys

5.  Mama Fratelli from The Goonies  is so evil!  Don't put Chunk's hand in a blender!  Oh jeez.  She's a seriously twisted villain.  Gotta love that!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Tomato & Basil Hummus Dip

Trader Joe's Tomato and Basil Hummus Dip

Tastes Like:
  Sweet, creamy tomato sauce!  This is the THING!

Great With:  Carrots, corn tortilla, maybe even crickets!  Just kidding.  Maybe.

Perfect For:  Hummus ennui - when you think you've been around and had it all, and can't tell the difference anymore.  This is a game-changer to shake up your palate and give you renewed faith in hummus!

Must Know:  This is not labelled anything specific, but I'm assuming it's gluten free and haven't had any indication otherwise.

Costs:  $1.99, a pretty decent price where hummus is considered, but very expensive at the rate I go through it!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Currently... in May

FEELING:  reinvigorated:  blue skies are my high.  I'm a summer baby, through and through.  Seeing sunshine (even though it's still blustery and cold) is giving me hope for warmer temperatures ahead!

WATCHING:  The Twilight Zone for my lesson planning.  Work has consumed my life.  More on that later...

LISTENING TO:  Mad new wave.  Two new favourites:  "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths and "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" by Pet Shop Boys.  And Erasure, duh.

READING:  re-reading Welcome to the Monkey House also for lesson planning because, as I said before and bears repeating...

WORKING ON:  WORK HAS CONSUMED MY LIFE!  Just when I think I'm on top of things, something stupid and small gets changed and my whole world looks like that Jamiroquai video "Virtual Insanity."  

THINKING ABOUT:  What now?  What can I do?  What should I do?  When did life get so hard?

EATING:  Hummus?  I can't get over hummus lately!  Larabars (gluten free!) helped me survive this month of standardized testing - nothing says glamorous like inhaling a Larabar while peeing because you don't get five minutes to be human in a day.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  new adventures ... new boroughs ... stay tuned!

MAKING ME HAPPY:  seeing sun when I go into work and when I get out!  Warm enough weather for adventures!  Warm sun on my skin!  And when I get handed a pint of chocolate ice cream on my way home.  That's pretty killer, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos

Trader Jose's Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos

Tastes Like:
  Tiny little super-crunchy chewy tacos.  These were My First Taquitos (awww!) so if you have had taquitos before, you may find them similar to what you're used to.  Flavorful filling, not too spicy, perfect corn tortilla that crunches up beautifully.

Great With:  Salsa, guacamole, and rice on the side.

Perfect For:  How can I say this and still sound respectable?  These are the perfect drunk food.  Uhh, case in point.  I'd had a few too many on an empty stomach one lovely Sunday afternoon and came home hungry.  Luckily, I was still able to operate the toaster oven.  These babies came out perfect despite my abyssmal cooking skills and advanced state of tipsiness.  They pair lovely with three martinis and Broad City on Hulu, in case you're wondering.

Must Know:  They didn't agitate my stomach (YES!) and the label doesn't indicate any glutenous ingredients.

Costs:  $3.69 for what they claim is three servings.  Not bad!  These are absolutely worth it. If you love Fritos and black bean dip, I'll expect a thank-you note in the comments after you taste these miracles!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Time for the Stars

As far as Heinlein goes, this one is probably one of the least convoluted, and most child-appropriate.  That said, he falls into what I like to think of as his "short-book" pattern, where the first half is slow, plodding character development.  You get to know someone, get to like them...and then in the third act, we throw in crazy aliens and rescue him and send him back to Earth (hello, Have Space Suit -- Will Travel). 

The premise is solid:  telepathic twins Tom and Pat Bartlett are separated to perform the ultimate science experiment.  While I greatly enjoyed getting to know Pat, the narrator, and Tom through Pat's eyes, I felt the ending was rushed.  SO VERY RUSHED.  I get the happy ending that Heinlein always delivers, but it feels less satisfying because there's not a lot of buildup or reason behind it.

Overall, I didn't dislike the book, but it may not be the one I recommend.  It's a good, fast read.  Just don't expect it to change your life like Heinlein sometimes does.  If SIASL and TEFL are feasts, this one's a snack.  Expect to be hungry again in a few hours.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Funky Twenty-Five

1. Most unflattering hairstyle you ever had? What made it so unflattering? 
I got a really unfortunate bang trim a while back and actually stopped going to that hairdresser because of it!  I don't really know how to explain what she did, so here's a picture - it made my forehead look like a toe.  Does that make sense?  You tell me:

2. Favourite movie(s) that were made in the 90's? 
I can't name a single '90s movie.  The 80's was where it was at.  Earth Girls Are Easy.  I'm pretty sure I spent the '90s watching '80s movies in syndication on Comedy Central.

3. Do you rent movies? If so, from where? 
on Hulu!  Does that count?  Sort of?

4. Do you like cookies better when they're just out of the oven or after they've cooled? 
Gluten is my mortal enemy!  I shall nevermore enjoy freshly-baked goods...

5. Do you still talk to the person who gave you your first kiss? 
No.  But we're "friends" on facebook, if that counts for anything (spoiler alert: it doesn't).

6. Did you go to pre-school? If so, what was the name of it? 
Dude, I was in pre-school.  I so do not remember it.

7. How do you take your coffee? 
I used to take it black black black, with extra black.  Now, however, I've been adding almond milk.  Supreme coffee delight comes from half-coffee, half-almond milk, and a single packet of Splenda.

8. Do you like fuzzy things? 

9. Favourite kind of chocolate? 
somewhere around a 70% dark chocolate. 

10. Are you more optimistic or pessimistic? 
My worst quality is my overabundance of hope.

11. What about Do you think the site is mean, funny, or both? 
100% mean.  Really.  Why do you care what other people dress like when they buy auto parts and shampoo?  For that matter, why do you care what people dress like on the red carpet of the Oscars?  Does it have anything to do with your life?

12. Do you like fat sandwiches? If so, what does your favourite one have on it? 
Alas, the gluten.  But I do like tacos - kind of sandwiches, but can be made with corn tortillas!  I kind of adore super-tiny designer tacos with like, fresh pico and grilled mahi mahi mmmmmm

13. One restaurant you'd never been to but would like to go to? 
I keep hearing good things about this bonkers sushi restaurant on the UES, I need to check it out!

14. Last time you got a haircut? Do you need one? 
My last haircut was like, a week or two ago?  And it's amazing and fabulous and I adore it.  When the time comes for a trim, you can bet I'll go back to Mariah at Mure Salon - she's adorable and she always makes me look like a rockstar!  And never like my forehead is a toe.

15. What's your favourite pattern for clothing (stripes, plaid, etc.)? 
I find myself wearing lots of florals...I love florals...I actually have flowers tattooed on my chest, so sometimes I worry that wearing too many florals makes me look like a walking Claritin ad.  But whatever.  I love flowers.  BRING ON THE BUDS!

16. What's your age backwards? 
03 - but my students say I look like I'm in my twenties and that's the only reason I haven't strangled them yet.  (Kidding!) (maybe)

17. When you see typos in a survey, do you correct them? 
YES and I change the spelling to add u's.

18. When was your last vacation? Did you go someplace special? 
Binghamton/Owego/Corning/Buffalo.  YIKES!  It was a lot.

19. What's your favourite kind of pancakes? 
This is the third question about gluten.  I'm offended.  Just kidding - I never really cared for pancakes all that much, anyway.

20. Do you like movies with computer graphics, like Avatar? 
bleh NO I mean look at the ORIGINAL Star Wars trilogy - all that magic, pre-CGI bullcrap and THEN they added all the stupid stuff and it just looked DUMB and POINTLESS

21. Do you know how to sew? 
well enough, yeah.  With some practice, I could make costumes.  I used to!

22. Are you good at wrapping gifts? 
My family would answer this with a resounding "no."  They allege that I use too much tape.  I counter that tape helps keep the present a secret.  VIVA LA TAPE

23. Do you like flavoured yogurt? 
only of the "fro" variety.  Regular yogurt, I prefer plain and tart!

24. How old will you be in December of 2015? 
31!  I'm getting oooooold.

25. What's the age difference between you and your siblings? 
I have one brother 2 years younger than me and another 9 years younger.  Oldest child, here.

New York Transit Museum

This post is SO belated but a million years ago, my boyfriend and I and his friends from work went to the New York Transit Museum!  Which is conveniently located betwixt our respective workplaces, in "downtown Brooklyn," whatever that means (NOTE:  I seriously do not know what that means.

If you're an "old stuff" junkie like me, you'll love this place.  You start out by walking through a claustrophobic exhibit on how the subways were built - possibly to force the feeling of cramped tight spaces on you, like the workers must have felt.  Then, the space opens up to an interactive play area to teach kids and clueless adults how the subways run on electricity!  I remain clueless.  But my favourite part from the upstairs was the exhibit about the FARE HIKES!  Did you know that a single ride stayed the same price for like 60 years?  Nudge nudge, MTA.  Also fun:  Slugs Used to Avoid Payment of Fare.

Speaking of "old stuff", apparently my boyfriend used to con the subway with a German nickel instead of a ride token.  Adorable!

The coolest "old stuff" is downstairs, where - on the tracks below - are OLD TRAINS FROM EVERY ERA!  Remember the "Holiday Train" I caught back in December?  Well, here they all are, ready and waiting to be grammed!  I could have grammed all day, the vintage ads and the cool interiors of the classy old trains with cushioned seats, leather straps, and electric fans!

If you're looking for some "new stuff" to do in NYC, consider checking out some of the "old stuff" at the New York Transit Museum!

Friday, April 24, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: GAMES GAMES GAMES!!!

I lurve lurve lurve games.  I was taught card games at an early age by my family, later to share them with friends and become an obsession.  My Odyssey of the Mind team were among the first to jump on the Apples to Apples bandwagon.  There are so many "secret" rules to my version of Settlers of Catan (mostly puns about sheep) and I'm actually embroiled in never-ending games of "Tiny House" and "Name the Doggie."  Choosing just 5 is going to be hard, but I'll try!

1.  Seven Up, Seven Down or The Sevens Game
  is basically a glorified team solitaire handed down from my grandmother (by way of her family) to my friends in high school. 

2.  Settlers of Catan
  is all the rage but for a very good reason!  It's fairly easy to learn, more competitive than Monopoly, and by now, most people have learned the rules so you can plaaaay!

3. Ticket to Ride  is easier than Settlers, faster than Monopoly, throw in a dash of steampunk charm and you'll adore this game!  Also great is their iPhone game app.

4.  Five Crowns or "3 to 13"  is a new family favourite at gatherings.  It's kind of like Gin Rummy, easy enough to learn, and SO SATISFYING/FRUSTRATING.

5.  Apples to Apples  is the closest thing to Spontaneous in Odyssey of the Mind.  I love this game and cannot resist "arguing" my answers which ARE ALWAYS THE BEST.

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