Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sales: World Fantasy Convention

Just a short Sunday Sales today. The World Fantasy Convention is coming up. It is October 27th-30th in San Diego, California. This year's theme is Sailing the Seas of Imagination. The big guests are Jo Fletcher, Neil Gaiman, Parke Godwin, Shawna McCarthy, Ruth Sanderson, and Connie Willis.

I always love reading about the WFC, finding the pictures and the audio links from the event. I never get to go though. This year is no exception. They have already reached their registration cap of something around 900 people and were wait-listing people the last time I checked their page. I really hope they open it up to a large venue soon.
If you live out west (I'm super jealous of you already) and like fantasy, you should consider getting on the wait-list. A full weekend pass is somewhere in the neighborhood of $175 but I think that is money well spent. I would pay that just to get to hear Neil Gaiman speaking. Probably the accent, but damn, he can talk to me all day long. If you are already registered, you lucky damn dog, send me pictures/video of Neil. Please and thank you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Solicitation: The Garden of Eve

Saturday again. I was in a thrift store somewhere in Tennessee a couple years back (maybe 2009?) and found this delightful novel: The Garden of Eve by K. L. Going. It was sitting on a shelf with costume jewelry and used makeup (ick). The book had never been opened... not even a crease on the spine. The blurb on the back piqued my interest so I bought it for .50. I took it home and set it on the shelf with the intention of reading it the next weekend after finals, and then promptly forgot about it.

I picked it up again last year and finally read it. I really wish I had read it when I originally purchased it because it was a very good read. The Garden of Eve is a middle grade (ages 8 to 12) fiction that explores life, death, grief, healing and growth. The story follows Evie and her widower father to Beaumont, New York, a cursed town filled with grey skies, dead apple trees, and broken hearts. After receiving a mysterious 11th birthday gift from the deceased orchard caretaker, Evie and the newest ghost of Beaumont, Alex, head out in search of those they hold most dear. It is a delightful story about losing and finding faith through the eyes of a child.

I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy from Amazon and donated it to the local library. I kept the one I found in the thrift store. If you enjoy young adult literature, no matter the genre, read this book. It is full of depth, message, and imagery. I could almost smell the apple orchard as I read it. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five: Words for Me

I'm trying to drum up ideas for Friday Five that are interesting and can provide a little bit of detail about me without being obsessive about me, me, me. That is really difficult. Friday Fives are very subjective! I was chatting with some friends a few days ago and asked them to describe me in five words. Below are the most agreed upon words and their reasoning. Some of the quotes are funny. Some are... not. The last one on this list is complements of my brother.

5 Words that describe me
1.       Manic: As someone that deals with manic depression, my friends tend to only see my manic side. When I'm on the other end of the spectrum, I avoid everyone except the cats. When I am *enjoying* my manic phases, I am hyper, clumsy, and spout random nonsense at will. "When you get into the climax of your mania, you just go haywire. I never know if you are going to go off into a Glee/Firefly tangent, start naming authors in order of writing instruments, or get sauced and hit on every gay man you see just because it is funny."
2.       Creative: I am a story teller. Anyone who knows me well understands that it is my nature to talk... and to never shut up. I can take a single detail and create an entire story within my mind that encompasses 10,000 years of history, civilization, and intrigue. Getting them out on paper is more difficult because my brain and my keyboard are not synched very well. "I love the stories you come up with. When you get into telling us a story, we really live it. Even if we don't want to, you have a way that force-feeds the story to us and it comes alive."
3.       Spazzy: I argued that manic and spazzy are the same thing really, but I was vetoed 5 to 1. Apparently, spazzy is more akin to my love of show tunes than my love of space cowboys. "Dude, you are such a spazz. Only you could simultaneously recite the dialogue from a Broadway show that you have never seen, dance to 90's boy band choreography, and make every man clutch his crotch in fear of a headbutt in 5 seconds flat." In regards to the last part of that statement, I am short so it isn't my fault that I was eye level with his zipper and he got in the way of my moves.
4.       Devoted: This I will agree with 100%. It is my go-to line to ask "Who do I need to kill?" when a dear friend is having a bad day. I am ferocious in my protection of friends and family. I'll go to bat for everyone I love, despite the fact that I am small. "When there are problems, you turn into this beast that attacks with everything you've got, I swear! You have a very sharp wit and a mean right hook. Only, it is like a Chihuahua that thinks she is a Great Dane! It is very cute." Damn straight. Woof!
5.       Argumentative: This wasn't part of the conversation with my friends but from my brother. He and I fought like cats and dogs growing up, but we are very protective of each other most of the time. We get very close and drift apart in repetitive cycles. "You argue about everything. People don't disagree with you because you are right about everything; they don't disagree because you'll argue with them until there is no room for anything but agreement!" Hmmm... I could disagree with this, but for argument's sake, I won't.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Thrift: 8 Tips for Thrifting

I found this really neat post online that I wanted to share in today's Thursday Thrift.

It is from MSN Money. It is from 2009 but it is still applicable to our current needs. Beyond the basics of why thrift shopping is so awesome, the article lists the following:

  • Keep a list of needs for you, your children, looming holidays, etc.
  • Make a list of local thrift stores in your area.
  • Make a routine of visiting a few shops for 10 to 15 minutes each a couple times a month.
  • Learn how the stores price their items so that you are shopping for quality!
  • Sales usually happen on Saturdays due to most donations happening then and can run around 50% off!
  • Learn to be patient, as items that hang around longer are often cheaper the following week.
  • Try everything on and be nit-picky when looking over items to avoid damaged goods.
  • Don't buy it just because it is cheap.

That is great advice! Have you found anything interesting in your local thrift store? Email me and tell me about it. I'd love to feature your stellar find on my blog!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Briefs

Today's random Wiki cracked me up. Today's page is Briefs! Find it here (along with a couple pictures of men in their underoos!).

Briefs are a type of underwear that is short and tight. It is popular with athletes and those that like more *snicker* support than boxers provide. Okay, I swear, I'm going to stop being so immature. Maybe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tales: The Water Nixie

Today's Tuesday Tales may be less familiar to you. The Water Nixie was one of the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm in Hanau.

Simple story: Two children fall in a well and are captured by a nixie. She makes them work as slaves. While she is away, the children escape. As they are running from the nixie, they throw items behind them that magically change into obstacles blocking the nixie's way. A brush becomes a mountain full of spikes. A comb becomes a mountain with thousands of teeth. A mirror becomes a mountain with a slick surface. The nixie runs home to get an ax to chop through the mountain, only to find that the children have finally escaped.

The plight of the children has always reminded me of Hansel and Gretel. The kids get lost and then have to fight to find the way home. The Water Nixie is cute though and worth the read.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Video

Yeah, I'm in a "sit and listen to musicals" mood today. Here is another of my favorite songs. I get chills listening to this kid sing. I swear I'm going to go see Sister Act: The Musical one day!

Annie Re-Done

One of my favorite musicals is Annie and I was in the mood for a rendition of "Tomorrow" from the movie. I found some great audio and video clips of the song from the movie and from various folks around the web singing. I found one that had me literally laughing myself out of my computer chair. This kid is super cute and makes me really miss my days in drama club. Check it out:

Monday Mood: Wonder

The last couple Monday Moods have been dreary. So, here is a uplifting one: Wonder!

Wonder is a feeling like surprise when experiencing something rare or unexpected in a nonthreatening way. It is linked with curiosity, human nature, and intellectual growth. Without wonder, could we every really develop our little baby brains into walking, talking, creative adults?

Descartes claimed that wonder is the first of all the passions. Plato wrote about wonder being integral to all philosophy. Aristotle likened wonder similarly, as in viewing beautiful and horrible paintings with the same degree of wonder.

Wonder is a great thing. It is what makes people explore uncharted territory, learn why the sky is blue, and take up passions. Without wonder, I don't know that anyone could experience any other emotion. We might as well be robots without it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Would you look at that!

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued. Go here to read the Mashable article about the image going viral.

Niagra Falls mayor Paul Dyster finalized the (likely) first legal marriage in New York at 12:01am this morning. Look at the Falls and the building in the background. Incredible. Check the links below for a NYT about the lovely Kitty and Cheryl's big day and other articles of the celebration of love and equality!

New York Times: With a Kiss and a Vow, The Day Begins
Yahoo News/Reuters: New York State Celebrates First Same-Sex Marriages
Yahoo News/AFP: Hundreds of Gay Couples Marry In New York
Yahoo News/The Canadian Press: Gay Couples Begin Marrying Across the State...

Looking at some of the comments with these articles, equality still has an upward climb but we're getting there folks. Stay strong. Stand proud. Love is love, no matter the back story. Congratulations New York!

Sunday Sales: Chloe Moretz

I am a self-described potty mouth, overfilled with weird humor, random bits of knowledge, and sexual innuendo. That being said, I am also a big proponent of allowing children to be children and keeping salacious things away from those curious minds until they are old enough to understand it. Keeping this in mind, my Sunday Sales is about Chloe Moretz.

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.

Chloe Moretz is a child actress most recently famous for starring as the potty mouthed heroine of Kick-Ass. The movie is ultra-controversial. Chloe was just 12 years old when she filmed that movie. A lot of people had a hard time accepting all those lines coming from the mouth of a child. However, I have read countless times that her mom read the script before she allowed her daughter to read it and gave the okay. That is enough for me. If Mom is okay with it, then who are we to decide otherwise?

Anyways, controversy aside. This kid has been busy. Check her IMDB page if you don't believe me. She has been working in the business at least since 2004. She worked with Ryan Reynolds on The Amityville Horror and Jason Lee on My Name Is Earl in 2005, did the voice of Young Penny in Bolt in 2008, and was in (500) Days of Summer from 2009. Since Kick-Ass, she has 2 other movies that have come out (Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Let Me In) along with 8 other projects in the works. For 13 years old, she is incredibly busy and very talented!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

600 views and counting

600 views and counting! Whew! I never thought I'd get this much traffic in such a short amount of time. I'm loving this! To all you visitors, hello! Stick around, comment, and share!

On a side note, I was up uncharacteristically early this morning and found myself looking for something to do when it hit me that NaNoWriMo is officially 100 days away according to the site. I have spent the last 8 hours writing up my own NaNo dailies for October and November. I have yet to determine if I will write the regular dailies during October and November. It is a maybe for October, and a most likely no for November at this point. That is good and bad to me. The bad thing is that I love writing the daily blogs. They make me feel creative and productive, no matter how short or weird they get. The good thing is that a break from the dailies will give me time to come up with new material. Friday Five will probably stick around. Wednesday Wiki too since there is little chance that I'll run out of random Wikipedia pages. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday are all subject to change though. If you have an idea for something I could write about on a specific day, post a comment or shoot me an email.

Are you going to participate in NaNo2011? Check out the website and come back for NaNo dailies starting October 1st! I'll post my NaNo details sometime in August or September. I'm trying to decide if I should stay with my original home group or merge into the current local home group.

Saturday Solicitation: The 10th Kingdom

The Saturday Solicitation today is for The 10th Kingdom. This was a television mini-series that aired in seven 1 hour parts on NBC in 2000 (or in five 2 hour parts, depending on what you read). It stars Kimberly Williams, Ed O'neill, Diane Wiest, Camryn Manheim, Warwick Davis, and John Larroquette. The premise is that a young woman (Williams) and her father (Larroquette) are transported into a magical realm via magic mirrors.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Norway, You are in my Thoughts!

Keep the victims of today's horrible tragedy in Oslo, Norway in your thoughts. Whatever the reason for all this destruction, nothing could have merited the lives of 80 or more people, many of which were children. Read an article here if you haven't heard about this yet. Norwegians, stay strong. You are in my thoughts.

Friday Five: Drinks

I am very picky when it comes to drinks. I don't like ice in anything unless it is a daiquiri of some sort. I can drink warm pop from a can. I frequently drink 2 pots of coffee a day... and then wonder why I can't sleep. I can out drink most men in an Irish pub (as long as they are buying!).
My Top 5 drinks are:
  1. Coffee
  2. Pineapple Upside Down Cake shots
  3. Frozen Cherry Coke
  4. Pepsi
  5. Stormcloud shots
On a side note, there are some drinks that I just refuse to drink... I'd rather die of thirst. Red Cream Soda, Code Red Mountain Dew, most teas, Jägermeister, and Dr. Pepper are at the top of that list. Root beer is on this particular list as well unless it is combined with vanilla ice cream.

RIP Borders

I considered writing a statement about the looming closure of Borders, but my friend wrote a eulogy that is so sad, funny, and full of history that I'd rather share his instead. Booksteve spent years working for the chain under several names, logos, and positions. His insight into what would eventually lead to the demise of this chain is undeniable in a literary world. Check Booksteve's blog/eulogy here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Thrift: National Thrift Store Directory

This is a very short Thursday Thrift. If you are unsure of how to find local thrift stores, check out the National Thrift Store Directory. Enter your zip code or city and state to get a listing of stores near you. They have a list of almost 10,000 thrift stores in the directory! They also have reviews of the stores, a forum for us thrift geeks, and a photo gallery for all kinds of neat thrifty finds. There are a lot of ads on this site, but so far, I've only seen ads for thrift stores. Let me know if you see anything wonky!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: News Gothic

This Wednesday Wiki happened across News Gothic, a type of font. Check it out here.

This specific type of font was developed by Morris Fuller Benton and released in 1908. I am unfamiliar with most of the terms in this article describing how it is like other sans serif fonts. Two-story lettering, blunt terminus, weights, and tails. It took several readings and comparing News Gothic fonts to other fonts before I began to understand, while not able to define, those terms.

News Gothic was named appropriately though, as it was the font used most in newspapers and magazines in the 20th century. It has many variants, stemming from digital usage.

What I liked reading was all the people/companies that employ News Gothic in their logos. Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster, the opening text of the Star Wars movies, and Polaroid used the font. Neat huh?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Bearskin

If you aren't familiar with the Brothers Grimm, you should make yourself acquainted. They collected fairy tales from all over and recorded them for future generations. Today's Tuesday Tales is for Bearskin. It follows the folk tale tradition of a man gaining fortune and a beautiful wife by making an agreement with the devil.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Mood: Shock

Ah, what a day. Today's Monday Mood is appropriate. Let's talk about shock. Shock, a.k.a. acute stress disorder, is a psychological condition resulting from a terrifying or traumatic event.

So, someone experiences a traumatic event where they are incredibly (read: way beyond the normal every day occurrences) disturbed, frightened, stressed, or pained in an event involving (actual or threatened) serious injury or death to themselves or others. Shock is a variation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

People in shock typically start out dazed, sometimes semi-conscious, with an inability to comprehend or pay attention to stimuli, and can appear disoriented. They progress to withdrawal or extreme agitation. Anxiety, impaired judgment, confusion, and depression tend to follow. For most folks, these episodes go away after a few days. Many people don't remember the events leading to and through the shock. Those unlucky enough to suffer from PTSD may deal with it for the duration of their lives.

Someone that experiences true shock really needs to get to a counselor, a doctor, a priest... somewhere that they can get treatment and work through the shock in a healthy manner. Statistics show that people that experience shock and shock-like symptoms for longer than 30 days have a much higher risk of PTSD. Medication and counseling can help prevent a lifelong disabling ordeal.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Sales: Dirty Girl

My Sunday Sale for all things random.

There is a movie coming out that I really, really want to go see. Dirty Girl will be released in August of this year, so I am trying to be patient. The blurb from IMDB is:
It's 1987 and Danielle, the high school 'Dirty Girl', is running away. With her is chubby, gay Clarke, a bag of flour called Joan and a Walkman full of glorious 80's tunes.
Okay, so that just sounds like a riot to me. To go a little more in detail... The movie is a comedy that follows Danielle, the dirty girl of Normal High School. She is sent to special education class due to misbehavior (ahh, the 80's) where she meets Clarke, described as an "innocent closet case." They head off on a road trip to discover themselves. It is supposed to be really funny. I hope I am not disappointed.
Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Tim McGraw, and Dwight Yoakam are just a few of the cast. Please, please don't disappoint me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Soliciation: The Princess Bride

This Saturday Solicitation is part film, part novel. If you have any sense at all, you have watched The Princess Bride. It came out in 1987 so you have had plenty of time to catch it. The film has garnered an incredible cult following. It was directed by Rob Riener, and stars Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Andre "The Giant" Roussimoff, Mandy Patinkin, and Wallace Shawn.
The story is told by the narrator (Falk) as he is reading a story to his sick grandson (Savage). It follows Buttercup (Wright) as she falls in love with poor farm boy Westley(Elwes), is wooed by Prince Humperdink (Sarandon), and kidnapped by Vizzini (Shawn) and his minions, Inigo Montoya and Fezzik (Patinkin and Roussimoff).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Five: Cartoons

5 Best Cartoons of all time

·         Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers (I used to sing the theme song everywhere I went!)
·         Daria (She was the coolest chick ever.)
·         Darkwing Duck (Also sang this theme song all the time. It is imprinted in my brain!)
·         Doug (I liked the Nick version much better than the later Disney version.)
·         Snorks (These were my go to morning cartoons!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Once In A Blue Moon

Not all thrift stores are local. Once In A Blue Moon is an online thrift store. Find them here! The website is really great. You will find a newsletter, a blog, shipping information, a Wish List dedicated to helping shoppers find items they need, and Wanted section for specific items the company is seeking. Their items are separated into categories, like $1 Items, Collector Plates, and Costumes. While I hate buying items I cannot see in front of me (that goes for buying anything online, through eBay, Etsy, and Amazon type stores), sometimes you have to take a chance if you really want something bad. Shipping is flat rated based on purchase prices and a neat layaway plan. The shipping on the layaway kind of sucks, but it is a Paypal fault, not OiaBM's fault.

I check the women's clothing and Jewelry categories pretty often. So far, I haven't found something that screamed out for me, but I know I will eventually. If you are addicted to online retail therapy but your bank account hates you, check these guys out before you jump over to eBay!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Get Fuzzy, part Duex

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.

Ah, how true this is. My cats don't come when called either. In fact, the only time they make an appearance is when they haven't been called.

*Okay, I've edited this post 3 times and still can't get it to line up right on the screen. That makes me a sad panda. Go here to see the strip easier. It won't be up for more than a couple weeks though. You can probably zoom in or enlarge the screen to see it too.*

Wednesday Wiki: Detroit Grand Prix

Today's random Wikipedia page had little more information that last week's page. Today, I found the Detroit Grand Prix page.

The Detroit Grand Prix ran Formula One (fastest single seated races in the world) races from 1982 to 1988 in Detroit, Michigan. The course was on Detroit city roads, rather than a track, that covered just shy of 2.5 miles and contained 17 turns that included a tunnel and railroad tracks.

In 1989, the race was moved to Phoenix, Arizona after a plan to create a new course fell through. Check the article for a list of the winners of the yearly race from '82-'88.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Secret Aspiration and Not-So-Secret Ambition

I didn't get up until after 3pm today. Why? I went to bed at 11pm last night so I definitely got enough sleep, it would seem. Except I didn't actually fall into real sleep until after 4am, woke up at 8am, again at 9am, and so on until I finally forced myself to get up at 3 when thunder started shaking my windows. I've been abnormally stressed the last few days and I feel that old familiar feeling of depression sneaking up on me. I've lived with that for most of my life, so it is quite familiar unfortunately. I've done really well combating it all these years, but sometimes it just grabs me up and shakes the shit out of me. When I finally see what's happening and find some way to get out of that grip, it leaves me exhausted, moody, and emotional. A little while ago, I was sitting in the house and Sabriel nuzzled my elbow from the floor. I burst into tears. That was when it hit me that I was having one of those days and I needed to snap out of it.

Tuesday Tales: Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday Tales today should remind you folks of a previous post (The Top 10 List of Things Based on Alice in Wonderland). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or Alice in Wonderland for most, was written in 1865 by Lewis Carroll, a.k.a. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

The story follows a little girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into the amazing fantasy world of Wonderland. Wonderland is full of fantastic creatures like White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, the Duchess, the March Hare, Caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, and Mock Turtle. Alice encounters magic food and drink that make her shrink and grow. She plays croquet with live animals. The story is rife with plays on logic and has been considered highly influential in the fantasy genre.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Mood: Anxiety

Yay for Monday Mood! So I've been stressed out the last few days so today's mood is anxiety. Anxiety is one of those emotions that has so many different causes, effects, and symptoms that it is hard to define it without a doctoral degree.

Anxiety often happens without any kind of known stimulus so it is hard to pinpoint an identifiable cause. Are you sick? Suffering an existential crisis (death, fate, guilt, spirituality)? Taking an important test or getting ready for a huge task? Freaked out by strangers or crowds? Making an important decision? Poor coping skills? Yeah, so many possible causes. Keep reading.

Some effects/symptoms of anxiety should be familiar to everyone.
  • Heart palpitations, fatigue, nausea, headaches, sense of dread, panic attacks.
  • Irritability, restlessness, paranoia, nightmares.
  • Prolonged thoughts on suspected dangers, like death, heart attacks, brain trauma.
  • Withdrawal from social situations or stimulating experiences, insomnia, nail biting, and increased motor tension (like foot tapping and pencil drumming).
Ever experienced any of this? Yeah, me too. But not everyone that has experienced these things have experienced anxiety. They could genuinely be ill. If you find yourself experiencing many of these symptoms in tandem, please see your doctor.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Sales: The Bitch is Back

So I am very excited about this Sunday Sale. Elton John is on tour!!! I love him. I grew up listening to his music (Yeah, I was born a few decades late. Whatever!).

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.

He has some oversea dates through July, but will be coming back to the states in September. He will be hitting a couple places in New York, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan before setting in Las Vegas from September 28th until October 23rd. November and December take him overseas again, mostly to Australia, with one stop in Ukraine, Russia, and New Zealand each.
I got to see Elton on his Peachtree Road tour back in 2005. I still have the concert booklet and ticket stubs somewhere. The pictures were lost in the Great Hard Drive Crash of '07 though. 8th row baby! Guess who rocked one of his really awesome hats? Yeah, not me. The crazy old lady in front of me took it away (literally snatched it out of my hands). *sniff* It was the best concert I have ever attended!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday Soliciations: One For the Money

After reading Janet Evanovich's How I Write, I decided to give her novels a try. I picked up One For The Money, the first of the incredibly popular Stephanie Plum mystery series. I was highly skeptical about reading this book, as it was fairly short, featured a female heroine in a male dominant genre, and it isn't fantasy. Boy was I surprised.

At 290 pages, this book is full of fast paced, heart stopping action from the second you open the book. Stephanie Plum is a likable underdog that is just trying to make it in Jersey. She is a character that is immediately likeable. The situations she manages to get herself in are wacky and out there, but not at all unrealistic. The language and sexual descriptions are pretty colorful, so this is definitely not for kids. I would say not for teenagers either, but that's the momma bear in me that wants to allow children to retain innocence way beyond reality.

I was pleasantly surprised with the novel. I don't know that I will pick up another in the series, but if I do, there are plenty. I think the 17th novel just came out and is sitting pretty snuggly at the top of the New York Time's Best Seller's list. There is no denying that these are very popular books, and after reading the first one, I can see why. Maybe I'll keep reading them as I get time.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Five: Places to Visit

5 Places I Really Want to Visit in no order of preference

·         Ireland (I love the pictures I see of the old castles and the country side covered in mist... it is a writer's dream vacation spot!)

·         London (The weather greatly influences my mood, but not in a normal way. Rain fills me with energy and I have heard that it rains a lot. I could be wrong... maybe I've watched too many movies.)

·         The Outback (My first love was animals and the Outback is chock full of them! To see some of the wild animals that I loved seeing at the zoo as a child, that would be truly memorable. I'm throwing the Great Barrier Reef in with a trip to the Outback.)

·         New Zealand (My irrational fear of water that I cannot see through aside, New Zealand has some of the most beautiful waterfalls, lakes, and rivers I have ever seen in pictures. To be able to sit in an open glade with a waterfall at my back and a river rushing past would basically make all of my fantasy world come to life.)

·         Italy (I have a soft spot for Gothic architecture due to a random art history class in college and I absolutely love it. I want to see the Domme de Milan, Siena Cathedral, and the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. They are beautiful!)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Clipart! My first Uh-Oh!

I ran into something entirely new to me today. I have used clipart as a picture for various reasons, mostly due to a high regard for my privacy. Also, I hate having my picture taken and so there are very few of me. So I have a file full of clipart fairies, dragons, wizards, and various animals that I downloaded from clipart galleries all over the web.

I was contacted by the woman that runs today, letting me know that the blue fairy I have been using belongs to her. She has very generously allowed me to continue using the image provided I give credit where credit is due. Please visit her site to find all kinds of excellent clipart. She is really great! A permanent credit is in the static biography on the right.

I know that this kind of thing is the nature of the internet but I do not pirate anything, especially not another's creative endeavours. I do apologise and will look for some other suitable picture to use for my blog, facebook, and twitter pictures. Maybe I'll use a picture of one of the cats. Anyways, until I find something suitable (provided the illustrator does not object), I will continue using the blue fairy. Again, thank you to for being incredibly nice and allowing me to use the image.

Thursday Thrift: The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a huge name in thrift shopping. They are a Protestant faith based Christian organization founded in 1865 by William Booth and his wife Catherine. They preached to the poor and sought donations from the wealthy, adopted their own military style uniforms and flags, and reached out to the people through the three S's: soup, soap, salvation. Catherine Booth was considered a minister, which was highly unusual for the time.

Today, you should recognize them at Christmas, ringing their bells beside the red kettles. They are also involved in musical ensembles, a large chain of thrift stores, disaster relief, family tracing service, and youth groups. Since Hurricane Katrina hit, they have donated almost $400 million dollars in relief funds, in addition to mobilizing immediately after the disaster to operate 178 food units and 11 field kitchens where they have served nearly 6 million meals. The family tracing service is devoted to assisting people in reconnecting with lost loved ones.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

400 Page Views!

I posted a few days ago that I had reached 200 page views since the blog started. That was 200 views from 6-9 to 6-25 in 17 days. In the 11 days since, I have doubled that number! Most visitors are from the United States, but I also have collected visits from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, France, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, and United Kingdom. To all of you, hello and thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit to my blog. Feel free to contact me about writing and any of the myriad of posts that I have made. Happy Hump Day! Also, today is National Kissing Day in the States so *smooches* to you if you are so inclined.

Writing Tech

There are so many different programs available to writers. I use yWriter, Word, and Notebook almost exclusively. I have trialed many others. Here is a list of some of the ones that I have checked out. Check the links if one looks particularly interesting. This is somewhat long so read on after the jump.

Wednesday Wiki: A Crime in the Neighborhood

Today's random Wikipedia page disappointed me slightly. It is titled A Crime in the Neighborhood. You can view it here. All it says is that A Crime in the Neighborhood is a novel by Suzanne Berne and that it won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1999. Since the Orange Prize had a link, I checked it out and it is a literary award for female authors published in the U.K. Slim picking today.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Say HI to me!

So Facebook isn't having anything to do with Blogger today. Figures. This might be a good time to list ways to contact me. I get that you are on Blogger right now so you probably have that addy figured out, but I may want to copy this later so I'm covering all my bases. Hehe. All your bases are belong to us. Way too much coffee today. I'm running away from the computer before I blow it up. Have a great day folks!


Tuesday Tales: Sleeping Beauty

I'm trying to keep today's Tuesday Tales short. That is unfortunate because I could probably fill two pages talking about Sleeping Beauty, but I doubt anyone wants to read a two page blog post. It has had many different forms over several hundred years, but most people are either familiar with the Grimms version called Little Briar Rose, or Disney's 1959 animated version.

The basic story goes that a princess was blessed by fairies at her christening. One fairy was not invited and so she cursed the girl to prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and would die. The last fairy somewhat is able to reverse the curse, rescinding the death so that the child would sleep for 100 years instead.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Monday Mood: Hope

The mood for today is hope. Hope is defined as the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Not to confuse it with positive thinking (where one uses such thinking in order to avoid a pessimistic attitude), hope is a feeling of good things coming, despite a bad situation.

A huge movement of hope is hitting our nation through the It Gets Better Project created by the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention hotline aimed at helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth find alternatives to suicide. It Gets Better Project is aimed at providing hope to the downtrodden, sending out the message that no matter your situation, it can and will get better. People all over the world have uploaded messages of hope for those suffering from bullying and identity issues, urging people in need to reach out to the community for help.

President Obama has lent his voice to the movement of hope. He has taken a stance against bullying, saying:

We've got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage; that it's just some inevitable part of growing up. It's not. We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our kids. And for every young person out there you need to know that if you're in trouble, there are caring adults who can help.

Hope is something we as a world-wide community need. Find what gives you hope and share it with the world. Make a video for the It Gets Better Project. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter or veteran's home. Give back where you can, and you can help give hope to the world.

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Have a safe 4th!

Alright so some of you probably started celebrating on Friday (I did!) or yesterday, so this may be a bit late but I wanted to tell everyone Happy 4th of July and stay safe out there folks! Don't drink and play with fire, please. We did that as stupid teenagers and a friend of mine still doesn't have eyebrows!

The party is just getting started here at the house so people are arriving, that cats are refusing to come out of my bedroom, and I am a hot mess trying to play hostess. I am the designated (emergency) driver tonight so no drinkies for me. Once everyone gets here and I have all the keys, I'll be leaving the front of the house to them and retreating to my bedroom to console the kitties. I do believe I'll rewatch a couple awesome movies, do some editing/filing, and go to bed. Heaven help these people if they wake me up before dawn. Hehe.

So Netflix, please have A Knight's Tale, Ever After, and Happily N'ever After available for streaming. Sabriel, Sam, and I would greatly appreciate it!

Edit: 8/15/2012 Images removed. I don't want to be sued.

Sunday Sales: Imogene's Last Stand

In time for the Fourth of July, this Sunday Sale is for Imogene's Last Stand, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. ILS was published by Random House in 2009.
Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.
This children's story follows history buff Imogene. Her first words were "Four score and seven years ago." She finger painted a map of the Oregon Trail in preschool. Imogene champions to preserve the historical society building while dressed like Paul Revere, shouting "The bulldozers are coming! The bulldozers are coming!"

The story is full of famous quotes, a ton of humor, and mini-biographies of the biggest names of history. I found it to be incredibly entertaining. Your kids might as well!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Saturday Soliciation: Fablehaven, the Series

I reviewed the 1st Fablehaven book earlier this month. My opinion of this series has not changed. I really enjoyed the fast paced adventure, the plot twists, and the characterization throughout the novel. I have been a Harry Potter fangirl for a long time and I'd say that if I had to space out my readings of Fablehaven like I did the Potter books, I would probably have become a fangirl of this series as well. Too bad I didn't find it when they first started coming out so that I would have had years to pour over them, rereading exciting scenes and waiting excitedly with the junior high schoolers for the next to come out. Don't judge me to harshly, please.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Five: Favorite Food!

My 5 favorite foods:
  1. Alfredo pasta from Pizza Hut
  2. The Salad at Olive Garden
  3. Gold Star Chili Cheese pups with mustard, no onions
  4. Jalapeno cheeseburgers from White Castle
  5. Meat loaf with lots of ketchup