Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Corbin Fisher

The last random Wiki for August is about Corbin Fisher, an American Film studio focusing on gay pornography. You should stop reading here if you are underage or have any reason to dislike such subject matter. If you are of age and can handle the information, follow the jump.




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Buttercup

A short Tuesday Tales today. Buttercup is the story of a boy named Buttercup. He saw the old witch coming down the road and his mother hid him away. With the offer of a shiny new knife, Buttercup came out of hiding anyways. The Witch told him the knife was in her sack. When he climbed in to get it, she bundled it up and carried him off. At the end of the day, while the witch rested, he escaped the sack and replaced his weight with a root.

The next day, the witch again tempted Buttercup, this time with a shiny spoon. Again, he climbed into the sack and again she carried him off. He escaped when she rested for the night, replacing his weight with a stone.

On the third day, Buttercup was once more captured in the same way. The witch offered him a shiny fork. Except this time, she didn't stop to rest. She went straight home and turned him over to her daughter to cook into a stew. The witch went off to invite friends over for dinner. The daughter, not very bright, was unsure of how to kill Buttercup, so he demonstrated how to cut off his head by having her lay her head on the chopping block.

As soon as she did, he cut the girl's head off. He stuck her head in her bed and stewed her body. He hid on the roof afterward. When the witch and her husband came home (without the friends), they ate up the stew, remarking on the "Buttercup broth." After they ate, Buttercup caused a ruckus outside. The husband and wife rushed outside to see cause of the disruption. As soon as they got outside, Buttercup dropped the root and the stone on their heads, killing them. He then stole all their gold and silver before returning home.

I like this tale but I kept yelling at Buttercup to stop being so damn stupid. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Ya know? But the stupid boy gets tricked into the sack, not twice, but THREE times with shiny things! Really? He redeemed himself at the end in my eyes though. That was pretty slick with the witch's daughter.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Mood: Embarrassment

Ah. A Monday Mood everyone should relate to easily: embarrassment. We all do stupid things that end up leaving us red faced and scrambling to cover our tracks. We've done something dumb and people saw and/or found out about it. We shed a slight layer of dignity and then moved on.
Read after the jump for a funny story.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Sales: Clark Duke

The last Sunday Sales for this month is about another actor. The July post about Chloe Moretz is my highest viewed post of all the posts on this blog. The 2nd most viewed page,  my "Writing Voice" post, only has a 1/5 of the views. So today, I'm going to tell you about an actor that is going to be HUGE one day: Clark Duke. This guy was in Kick-Ass with Chloe by the way.

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

This is Clark in a shot from Starpulse.com in September 2008 while Clark and his co-stars were on the publicity circuit for Sex Drive. Click the link for a larger image and photo credits and then click the jump.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Solicitations: The Mercedes Thompson Series

I found a great urban fantasy book at a second-hand store back in 2007 titled Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs. I read it and then put it away for years. When I moved from my college dorm back home, I found the book again and reread it a couple years later. I enjoyed it so much the second time around that I looked it up and was stoked to find that the novel was part of a series called The Mercedes Thompson Series and I was lucky enough to have picked up the first book. Today's Saturday Solicitation is for that series.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five: Offline Time Wasters

I waste less time offline than I do online. Let's see if I can get 5 time wasters offline.

Number puzzles are first. Kakuro, sudoku, and fill-ins. I have books laying all over the house.

Second is whatever the current television show I am following. During the regular television season, I have been watching Glee. I love music and have been with the show since the pilot. The last show I watched every time it was on... well, that was Buffy several years back. This summer, I've been content with The Glee Project but now that is wrapped up, I'm waiting for Glee to come back! I ship Klaine and was Team Matheus for sure.

Third would have to be lying in the tub. I am really bad about filling my bath full of hot water (no cold water) and lying in it until it becomes tepid. I'm all pruned, relaxed, and sleepy. It isn't uncommon for me to fall asleep in the tub. I know, that is an awful idea.

Fourth is playing with the cats. My fur-babies demand constant attention which I generally ignore (because I'm working... I'm really not heartlessly ignoring my cats for no reason) so I try to take time each day to cuddle them, rub their chins, and let them fight over who is sitting in my lap. A friend has been rough housing with my big boy, Sam, so now Sam plays/attacks and I'm working on taming the beast once more. He doesn't have claws but damn his teeth are long/sharp.

Fifth may or may not constitute a time waster but I do it to fill up time, certainly not because it is enjoyable. I get into spurts where I have to clean everything. And by clean I mean throw it away. My mom is a pack rat and tries to make me into one too. She will send me 15 bottles of shampoo, 32 packets of single use laundry detergent, 14 body sprays, bags full of cosmetics, etc. While I don't throw out stuff that I will eventually use, like the shampoo and detergent, the other stuff isn't useful to me. 1 bottle of moisturizer will do me for a year. Why do I need 19 of them sitting under the shelf? I give away what I can and then trash the rest. It is huge task that usually precedes a headache, backache, and general pissiness for the next few days so I try to limit this to once or twice monthly at the most.

Sweet, I actually came up with 5 things. Maybe I waste more time than I thought. o.0


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Thrift: A Quick Video

Here is a nice video from NBC about thrift shopping for today's Thursday Thrift. Follow as the correspondent searches for a poncho, jacket, purse, and skirt with the help of a thrifting veteran. Around the 1:25 mark, they start with a list of thrift dont's. I have written about those before, but it's always nice to have a little reminder now and again. It may have just been a glitch but the sound was REALLY loud so maybe turn your speakers down as it starts up so you don't scare your household.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Objects In the Mirror...

Today's random Wiki made me laugh. I didn't realize that phrases were a part of Wikipedia, but it shouldn't have surprised me I guess. "Objects in [the] mirror are closer than they appear" is today's page.

This phrase is a safety warning placed on side mirrors in the US, Canada, and Australia. The shape of the mirror gives a good field of vision while driving, but it also makes objects seem to be further away than they really are. Notice of this phrase is posted to remind drivers of the problem. The phrase has been lifted for music albums, novels, cartoons, and songs over the years.

I didn't realize it was the shape of the mirror that caused the distortion of distance/size in my car mirror. I'm not sure what I thought made it like that, but it certainly didn't jump at me that the mirror curvature would cause it. Maybe I should have paid more attention in science classes after all.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Get Fuzzy Part Trois

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

I know I have linked other Get Fuzzy strips here but this one is actually semi-related to my blog! Er, well... at least it is about writing. Darby Conley, you rock. This one was published on Yahoo on July 17th. Link is here for as long as it lasts.

As a side note: Treasury of the Lost Litter Box came out in May 2010 which was a collection of the strips from 2009's Ignorance, Thy Name is Bucky and Dumbheart. Collections are released every so often and then they are combined by 2's into a Treasury. I think it is neat. Anyways, you can find it here (I highly recommend it!). My personal favorite is the collection from 2002: Fuzzy Logic.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Fun Day today! Caution: Dirty Mindedness and Swearing Follows

So it is only 1pm and today has already been the most hilarious day ever.


Tuesday Tales: Brother and Sister

Ah, a return to the Brothers Grimm for today's Tuesday Tale. Brother and Sister is a well-known European tale, often confused with Hansel and Gretel because they both went by "Little Brother and Little Sister" at one point. This story is different from Hansel and Gretel though, so don't confuse the two.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Mood: Loneliness

Loneliness sucks. It is different for everyone but I wager everyone has felt it, even just slightly, at some point in their lives. Let's talk about it today for Monday Mood.

Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling of emptiness resulting from poor to no social relationships. Ever been the new kid at school? Remember your first day on a new job? Did you go through a breakup or divorce? There are so many situations that can cause someone to feel lonely if only for a short amount of time.

Severe cases of loneliness are more frequent in high population cities. Think about it. Everyone is in this big rat race, rushing from one place to the next rarely bothering to really interact with others. At the end of the day, one can feel alone even while surrounded by millions. Even online, people can find themselves alone in a sea of pixels.
Those that experience real chronic loneliness are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, and suicide. They are more prone to drug and/or alcohol abuse. It affects sleep patterns, blood pressure, and memory.
Treatment for loneliness can be as simple as finding one good friend to confide in regularly. Chronic loneliness can be treated with various therapies, medication, exercise, and communal living. I especially like the idea of pet therapy and spent many years researching it for various reasons. I don't suggest getting a Labrador if you have never had a pet before though. Maybe start with fish. Work your way up, or go volunteer at your local animal shelter.
If you feel like you are experiencing chronic loneliness, please seek medical attention before it leads to anything worse. Your local suicide prevention hotline can help you find resources in your area or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Their website is here.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Sales: Vegas, Baby!

Do you feel like you just NEED a vacation? I feel like that about 90% of the time. My brother and my dad went to Las Vegas and would not shut up about it forever so I decided to check it out... virtually at least.

There is so much to do in Vegas. Gambling, of course. The Vegas shows. Incredible restaurants. Spas and salons. The list goes on and on. I am not a fan of giving away money unless it is to charity so gambling holds no interest for me. Now the shows and food... yes, please. Between today and the end of the month, look who is going to be performing in Vegas: Charo, David Copperfield, Australia's Thunder from Down Under (OMFG this), Blue Man Group, Brad Garrett, Chippendales, Crazy Girls, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Men of X, Cirque Du Solei, Peep Show, Penn and Teller, and Stripper 101. That is a selection from just the first 3 pages of events (out of 37!). There really is a show for everyone. Of course, my friends and I am partial to the ones where the guys take off their clothes, but that doesn't fit the bill for everyone. Magic shows, comedies, musicals, bands, circus acts, vaudeville-type acts, etc. I'm sure my brother and my dad spent the whole time in a random assortment of casinos and golf courses, so I think they missed out on the real Vegas. Maybe my opinion is biased considering I'm staring at a picture of the Australians.

Also the food just looks wonderful.  It looks like the places with celebrity chefs require reservations (naturally), but the site linked above makes it all so simple to plan ahead. Check out Top of the World in the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel. The restaurant actually spins 360 degrees while you eat 800 feet in the air! While I am not so sure I could eat knowing all that, it looks stunning! Mcfadden's Restaurant and Saloon features half-dressed women dancing on a bar in the picture so that definitely looks like a place where I'd have fun. It is a given that I'd enjoy the copious amounts of available alcohol, but seriously, what is there not to love about an Irish pub... in the desert?

If you are thinking of taking a trip in the near future, consider Vegas (and take me with you!).


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Solicitations: The Chronicles of Narnia

I wanted to share a childhood favorite of mine with you today for the Saturday Solicitations. The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C. S. Lewis, was published as 7 novels between 1950 and 1956. As a child, I entered into Narnia with delight. The animals talk, magic is real, and good triumphs over evil. I grew up wishing Mr. Tumnus would invite me to tea, blaming the terrible Ohio winters on the White Witch, and wondering if the horses in the meadow across the street were Horses.




Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Five: Online Time Wasters

I procrastinate with the best of them. This week's Friday Five is about wasting time. I waste most time online. Social media. Games. News. Blogs. Whatever. Here are my top 5.
  • Facebook. I spend a lot less time on here since I blocked all the games, but the website stays open from when I get up until I go to bed.
  • Twitter. This is another site that stays open from rise to rest. I don't post much on either, but I read everything that comes through!
  • Cracked.com. This website is awful. Awfully wonderful that is! I frequently lose 2 or 3 hours thanks to the hilarious writers. I'll go to the site to read 1 article and before I can finish it, I have 12 more tabs open of other articles linked on that page. It really has become quite the problem.
  • NaNoWriMo forums. I can also lose several hours here. I'll go into a forum and before I know it, I have twenty different threads open that I *need* to read.
  • Last but not least, Hearts. Granted, I don't play this online, but it is on my computer so I count it anyways. Since my last reset (I do it often), I have played 48 games with a 12% winning streak. Granted, winning one means I came in 1st place... I don't come in 4th place very often, but finish in 1st place even less. It's that damn Queen of Spades. I get it every single hand it seems like. The only time I don't get it is when a computer player shoots the moon.
Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Crack.com Article

I love Cracked.com. I spend hours there. Imagine my surprise when I found this for today's Thursday Thrift.
Cracked.com's Top 10 Horrifying Thrift Store Finds

Thrift stores are a godsend for the poor and the tragically hip. You can find nearly anything there, and for dirt cheap, too! Even horror.

Especially horror.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Massacre of Tranent

The random Wiki of the day is the Massacre of Tranent.

In 1797 in Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland, the Massacre took place over a disagreement of locals and the military. The locals objected to being forced to join the military. They drew up a proclamation and gave it to Major Wight, the commanding officer of the recruitment squad. When the proclamation was ignored, they confronted the troops in protest. The soldiers promptly killed several protesters. The fleeing protesters were routed across the countryside by Cinque Port Dragoons, who killed indiscriminately as they went along. 12-20 men, women, and children were killed as a result of the massacre, plus unaccounted wounded. It is said that the soldiers went on to rape and pillage the small town, no doubt adding to that number in the process.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tales: The Boy Who Drew Cats

I don't read much in the way of Japanese fairy tales but I thought The Boy Who Drew Cats would be a nice short one for Tuesday Tales.

A small and weak farm boy was not cut out for life on the farm, so instead of doing chores, he drew cats. Lots of them. His parents, tired of feeding a mouth that would not work, sent him to the temple to become a priest. The priests were pleased with how quickly he learned, but he again drew cats everywhere. Finally, they told him that he could not become a priest and sent him away. Before he left, one of the priests advised him to avoid large places at night and to stick with smaller places for safety.

As he wandered, he encountered a big temple and thought he might inquire about them taking him in. He found the temple abandoned. He didn't know the priests had been driven away by a goblin. He found a light burning within and was pleased to find large screens erected around the room. He drew many cats on the screens until he decided to rest for the night. Remembering the priest's advice, he found a small cupboard to sleep in.

In the middle of the night, he heard an awful battle happening within the temple. He stayed within the safety of the cupboard until morning. When he climbed out of the cupboard, he was amazed to find the goblin-rat dead in the center of the room and all of the cats he had drew the night before had wet, bloody mouths! The priests hailed him as a hero and he went on to become a famous artist. Of course, he still only drew cats.

So what do you think? I thought it was an incredibly cute tale, even if it was a little confusing when the goblin turned into a goblin-rat.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Mood: Happiness

Don't worry. Be happy! Happiness is a feeling of well-being. Money, education, and the weather do not affect happiness like many believe. Such things can improve happiness for a select few, but if we believe the stories then probably not. Philosophically, being happy means living a good life, full of simple pleasures, environmental engagement, social relationships, meaning (religious, self, etc.), and accomplishments.

I suffer from manic depression but I do have a good life. I fight battles with myself every day but when it boils down to it, I'm happy more often than not. I like the idea that happiness can be improved by multiple factors. I love the simple pleasure of sitting in a hot bath until my fingers are pruned and the water becomes tepid. Some people are at their happiness when at the center of attention in a room full of people. I know countless people who are so strong in their faith that they are truly happy in their life; no trials or tribulations change their demeanor. Finally, I can attest that a happy work environment makes for a much more productive employee.

So don't worry. Be happy! If you are unhappy, find something that makes it better. I recommend a hot bath and a good book. But that's just me.


Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hope for a Better Future

I know that time is ultimately progressive and that as a nation, the US is slowly catching up and starting to make the kind of progress other parts of the world segued into years ago. But there is still so much hatred spewed in the media and on the streets by ignorant people. Between the Westboro Baptist Church, the Teaparty, and other extreme right-wing nuts, it is no wonder that the US is lagging behind in LGBTQ civil rights. However, we as a nation have moved progressively forward over the past few years. Minds are changing, mostly in a good way. It might be a painfully slow change, but its happening.

Now, I usually avoid talking about religion in any forum. However, something was shared with me today that is just too good not to share. "What Would Jesus Do If Invited to a Gay Wedding"

This blog post was published today by John Shore on LGBTQNation. I'm not sure if it originated on LGBTQNation or if it was reblogged from another source. Anyways, John poses the famous "what would Jesus do" slogan toward invitations to a few weddings by gay friends. What follows are several verse quotes from the books Mathew and Mark, inspection of what exactly Jesus had to say about homosexuality, and some tongue-in-cheek humor. The last 5 paragraphs of the post are incredible, in my opinion.

From the article, we learn this: You have no right to judge others, and when you do, it goes directly against what Jesus preached about in the Bible. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, because that is the greatest and most fundamentally spiritual thing you can do.

Both of those are things that Christians on this side of the issue have been preaching. These are amazing progressive people that have figured it out.

The Christians on the other side continue to spew their hate and manipulate doctrine to their support their beliefs.

I am definitely on the pro side of this issue, but I am guilty of judging others just as bad as the right-wing. Because I judge the right-wing. I roll my eyes when they are on the television. I call them all sorts of names in public and private. I honestly think they are the ones that will end up in Hell, and have told a few of them as much. So yeah, I am judging them. And I shouldn't. I shouldn't bring myself down to their level. They make it so easy to do so, but what's good for the gander is good for the goose. Or as I like to say, what's right for the apple is good for the orange. I'm going to try to stop judging the crazy, homophobic, intolerant, bigoted, self-centered, egotistical, back sliding, deluded, hatemongers. Really, I'm trying.

I'm going to end this post with my newest blog thing, my own personal signature!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday Sales: Pottermore

Did you get into Pottermore? Ugh, I didn't. Pottermore is the website by J. K. Rowling that features e-book and audiobook versions of the Harry Potter series. First announced in 2011, fans were encouraged to register with the website quickly, as only the first 1 million fans gained access to Pottermore between July 31 and August 6th, 2011. Those first million were the clever/lucky ones that found the Quill and then solved the riddle to gain entrance to the site. Everyone else will have to wait until October 1, 2011. The big draw aside from (finally) authorized e-books, was the interactive reading experience. Information about the site says that once users create a user name, they will be able to follow Harry through the chapters, visit Diagon Alley, sort into Houses, and learn spells.

I am a huge Potter-fanatic... at least the book versions. I keep saying how I am not a fan of books made into movies because they usually screw them up. Granted, the Harry Potter movies have been pretty good. I have not seen any of them in the theater though. I'll rent them after they come out on Netflix. I am seriously stoked about real e-book versions coming out. I am partial to e-books, mostly for portability, so the news of Potter e-books totally made my month when I heard about it.

So did you get into Pottermore? I wanna hear about it! Do you like it? Did it meet your expectations? Have any gripes yet?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five: Snacks (not Snakes, as I tried to type it 100 times)

This post has been difficult to write! I posted it as a regular post instead of scheduling it first (all Friday Fives are written ahead of time and scheduled for later in the week... Fridays suck for me! lol). Had to delete it because it wouldn't go away. Then, I realized I wrote "Snakes" instead of "Snacks" in the title and repeatedly wrote it wrong. *sigh* It's been one of those days.

So I'm going to try this one more time. Here is my Friday Five for Snacks:

I can get very wrapped up in writing and tend to forget to eat. It sucks because I love food. It also sucks because I am mildly hypoglycemic. I think that is the right word. My sugar bottoms out if I don't eat. Anyways, to combat this (passing out is not fun), I keep some snacks handy. Pretzel rods, gold fish crackers, fresh fruit (apples, oranges, and blackberries oh my!), yogurt (strawberry and keylime), and cubed cheese. These are my go-to snacks. If I hadn't absolutely forbid my better half putting a mini-fridge in the living room by the recliner, I would bring a mini-fridge into my bedroom and stash it under my desk. Besides, what would the guys use to lay their Magic: The Gathering *cough nerds cough* cards on if I took the mini-fridge? I made them get rid of the kitchen table so I had room for a deep freeze!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Rachel Ray Video/Link

I love Rachel Ray and I found that she did a thrifty episode back in June 2009. Check here for an article where Project Runway's Kevin Christiana talks thrift and fashion. Make sure you watch the video!
A quick highlight of his tips: Don't go on Monday; Go on Thursday (when all the new stuff goes out). Tag sizing should probably be ignored... things shrink and stretch when they are second-hand. Gowns found at thrift stores were likely only worn once. Avoid rips, tears, and stains, but replace buttons and zippers!

Check the sidebar of the article for more thrift tips, clothing repairs, and repurposing tips from Kevin. Also, you'll find a link to Bang for your Buck, a story category from the show full of interesting ideas and tips for us thrifty folks!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Habitat

Habitat is today's Wikipedia article. Habitat was a 1997 sci-fi film written and directed by Rene Daalder. The environmental film mixed sci-fi genetic engineering and themes of angst and redemption.


The story follows Hank Symes, on the run from the government, and his obsession with saving the world. An accident in the desert turns Hank into an "ethereal life form" and he begins changing the house into an entity which threatens all who enter. Hank's son Andreas is a teenager struggling with teenager things. His dad tries to change things for his son and show him that miracles "still happen."


The movie artwork looks neat. I can't really wrap my mind around an accident turning a guy into a plant creature, but I can see how it could work. The film earned a Global Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography so it should at least be pretty right?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

<------- Picture

In an effort to keep my blog, Twitter, and Facebook as uniform as possible (that whole "branding" thing), I changed the blue fairy picture that I have been using for the past 2 months to my own original picture. It isn't pretty but it'll work for now and I know I am not using someone else's work without permission. I want to thank Rosie Piter for allowing me to continue to use the blue fairy image for as long as I did.

I have made quite a few changes to the layout of the blog. The colors have changed a bit too. Let me know if it is difficult to read or just looks funky. Oh, and I finally figured out how to link my Twitter to my blog and my Facebook. Nifty.

Finding Your Writing Voice

I found this article today called 3 Steps to Finding Your True Writing Voice. I thought it was very funny, well written, and relatable. In the two months since I have launched my blog, I have heard several folks talking about the "voice" I have developed in my posts. Honestly, until I read this article, I had no idea what they were really talking about. After reading this, I am confident that I have found my voice and that feels pretty damn good.

Cori's 3 Steps are easy to understand. Speak your reader's language. Know why you are writing. Brand it. Well, maybe "brand it" could be confusing to the casual reader. But, she explains it beautifully. I've been pouring over my 101 posts since reading this article, trying to pinpoint and confirm for myself that I have indeed found my voice. You know, just to be sure. This is what I have found out so far.

This is very long. Grab a cup of coffee before you settle in.

My 101st Post

Alright you all, this is my 101st post! I planned to have this update be the 100th, but the London update was more important. Anyhow, maybe I talk to much. Maybe I don't talk enough. I'm still learning this whole blogging thing. But I am enjoying the hell out of it! I cruised passed 800 views sometime last week without realizing it. In fact, I'm beyond 900 already. I'm super excited about all of this. Thank you all for the visits, the comments, and just for being around. You all rock!

Some statistical information for you all if you are interested after the jump.

A London Update

It seems that things have calmed down this morning across the pond. Clean up crews and police are out on the street attempting to help where they can. Yahoo had an article, you can see it here, that just gave me chills. It pretty much summed up most of what I read about for hours last night.

If you use Twitter, I strongly urge you to follow @riotcleanup and check for the updates through #londonriots, #PrayforLondon, #riotcleanup, and #prayforengland. I'm sure there are many others but those are the ones that I've been watching.

If you are a London/Birmingham/Bristol/Nottingham/Liverpool area local and are able to help, please do so. It looks like the clean up crew has more than enough people right now, but that may change over the next couple days. If you are not a local, send your support (thoughts, prayers, donations, etc.) to those affected and the volunteers, but please don't go gawking at the damage. You won't be helping anyone that way.

I found a nice picture on a Tumblr that was pretty freaking cool. BTW, I have a second Twitter for celebristalking and only 3 of those celebs even mentioned the rioting. Neil Gaiman gave regular updates for a good portion of the night. David Krumholtz at least mentioned it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave regular updates as well. I follow 80 celebs and those were the only 3 that even let out a blip about it on Twitter. Sure, they could very well know about whats happening and be thinking/praying for those affected but it wouldn't kill them to show a little vocal/textual support. It takes only a couple seconds to type it. Yeah I'm being bitchy but this is kinda a big deal. /end rant

Here is a video of a woman I would love to hug big time. The video has *lots* of cussing so if you are squeemish of potty mouth or at work, you probably shouldn't watch it. I thought she was brilliant.

Tuesday Tales: The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen

I enjoyed last week's tale so much that I revisited the thievery this week for Tuesday Tales with an Irish tale called The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen. In this tale, we have princelings, evil stepmothers, and quests. Sounds familiar.




Monday, August 08, 2011

London

My heart and thoughts are with London tonight. Today is the 3rd day of rioting, looting, and incredibly vile actions of some thugs. Be it motivated by the shooting of the father a few days ago, or just an excuse to cause chaos and disorder, shameful. I can't put into words how I feel about this as I'm seeing more and more pictures and videos popping up around the web. Innocent people are hurting because of this stupid shit!

Stay safe out there folks. Keep your elderly neighbors and children in mind if you must evacuate. Stay strong.

Monday Mood: Shyness

After a recent visit with some friends, I found myself wondering more about the featured Monday Mood for today. For most folks, you are either a people person or you are not. Most people enjoy the company of others. Some people would love to enjoy the company of others but they are hopelessly awkward and feel more comfortable in one-on-one or small group atmospheres (that is me... hopelessly awkward lol). However, social awkwardness should not be confused with shyness. Shyness is "the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people." It can be a result of genetics, or a result of rearing.

When kids are shy, hiding their faces in their mother's neck or their father's pant leg, we chuckle and smile at how "cute" they are. Yeah, I get it. Some kids take a while to warm up to strangers. In itself, that isn't a terrible thing. Don't talk to strangers rule holds up well in such a situation. However, children should grow out of this behavior! Humans are social creatures. We rely on others in a give and take world that requires social interaction outside of giggling behind Daddy's knee. At a very minimum, kids need to feel comfortable addressing groups of people in a scripted, controlled environment (like a speech class). Children exhibiting extreme shyness as they progress through adolescence are at a huge disadvantage compared to their peers. If they can't speak in front of classmates they have known for 12 years, how on Earth are they going to manage sitting through an interview? Heaven forbid they walk into a panel interview!

In 1980, shyness was classified by the DSM-III as a rare social phobia. In 1994, the DSM-IV reworked it into commonly occurring social anxiety disorder (SAD). The prevalence of social anxiety disorder was in part due to doctoring by prescription-pushers looking for the next big drug wave. The actual numbers of those affected by SAD is unknown as those that truly suffer from the disorder are unlikely to visit a doctor's office for help in the first place!

Parents, pay attention to your child's behavior. What is cute now may develop into a very real problem later in life. Help them to develop social skills that allow for them to interact with society without feeling like the ugly duckling. Some kids really can't do it alone. If, despite your efforts, you find your kid entering grade school and still taking every opportunity to hide from your friends, your mother-in-law, and the neighbors, you might want to consult a doctor or therapist. You are your child's first champion and advocate.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday Sales: Take A Walk

Today's Sunday Sales is a bit different than usual. This Sale requires you to spend no money. None what so ever. Today's Sunday Sales: Take a walk. Heads up, this blog post is kinda long so go get a cup of coffee before you click the jump.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Lucy!

Lucille Ball's daughter has a request for all of the fans marking today's 100th birthday of her mom. She wants everyone to be joyous! Read this article from Yahoo for sweet words for a very one of a kind woman.

Saturday Solicitation: Good Omens

This month's Saturday Solicitations are going to be for some older books that I have loved for a long time. Today's is for Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch was published in 1990 in a collaborative effort between two of the (in my opinion) biggest names in the Fantasy Genre. Pratchett is most famously known as the author of the Discworld series, while Gaiman wrote The Sandman comics, American Gods, and Anansi Boys. Good Omens was Gaiman's first novel.



Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday Five: Languages I Want to Learn

Today's Friday Five is about Language. I have an average to above average understanding of the English language, even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. I took two years of French in high school. That resulted in me being able to say "My name is Dee" and that is pretty much it. I took 2 years of American Sign Language in college. I have done a lot better retaining ASL. I am decent with finger spelling and can remember some vocabulary.  This list is the top 5 languages I'd like to learn (or relearn).

Irish/Gaelic: I have always loved Ireland. I want to go there for a summer. First on my list is Irish. Yeah, I know only a small number of people speak this language but I think it is really pretty. Plus, any dog in my future would be better off trained in Irish, considering there is less than a million native speakers world-wide (per Wikipedia, which may be sketchy).
Spanish: Here in the States, we have a growing Hispanic population. Spanish is a very diverse language and I would genuinely like to learn it for my own personal benefit. Also, I like to eaves drop on people and it is difficult to do when I have no idea what they are saying.
French: Another diverse language, French varies from France, Creole Louisiana, to parts of Canada. I really enjoyed taking French in high school, even though I retained almost nil. It is very pretty and with practice, I think I could pick it up again. Conversationally, it shouldn't be hard given I am alright with ASL (which is based on the French language).
Portuguese: This is a recent interest given that my favorite contender in The Glee Project is from Brazil and half his communications to/from fans is in Portuguese. I have abused Google translate so much being nosy. The "hear" function has made it so I really want to learn the language. It is very melodic.
German: German has been on my to-do list for a long time. My heritage is incredibly mixed and I ask very little about my family, but I am almost positive my great-great grandfather came here from Germany. Or maybe I mistook it for German when it was Polish. I don't know. I just know that I was really young when I told my mom that I wanted to learn German one day. It is still on the list twenty years later. One of these days.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Thrift Blogs

Just a quick Thursday Thrift today. Have you checked out all the neat blogs about thrifting available online? I found a few with a simple Google search here on Blogger and I think they are pretty great.

  • 1st up we have The Thrift Shop Romantic. This blog has archived posts from way back in 2006 up through this month. It has seen less action this year but the whole blog looks fantastic. The blogger, Jenn, hails from close by my neck of the woods in the Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio area. She features a Treasure Box Wednesday that started back in January '08. Many/most of her posts have some beautiful pictures to go along with some incredible thrift finds.

  • 2nd we have Thrift Store Whore. This blog kind of hurts my reader sensibilities. There are an ass load of links to look through. I can't guarantee that all of them are legit so click around in there at your own risk. Also, I can't find a list of the blog posts or dates for that matter. I have no idea how many posts there are or when the last update was. I'm not internet/Blogger savvy enough to figure it out either. Suffice to say, there are many blog posts with a lot of useful information on living frugal. There are how-to videos, thrift shopper bios, and some great article links.

  • 3rd blog recommendation is All Things Thrifty. This site is run by Brooke and is phenomenal. Brooke's blog has great pictures, decorating ideas, and do-it-yourself tutorials. The site is updated regularly with stunning information. This chick is very creative and seems to have a knack for this sort of thing. I'm super envious of her creativity and know-how. Scroll down to July 27th to find a beautiful flag made from barn wood. Excellent site!

Do you know of any particular sites that would be worth checking out? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Oskar Messter

Today's Random Wiki is about Oskar Messter, a German inventor and film tycoon of early cinema. Messter built and sold his first movie projector in 1886. He, along with Max Gliewe and Robert W. Paul are often credited with building the Geneva drive, a device used to create the intermittent motion of film. Gliewe and Messter joined together later to sell film projectors. Messter built the first film studio in Germany and by 1897, offered 84 films. His first sound film premiered in 1903 at the Apollo Theater in Berlin.

From 1909 to 1917, Messter saw 350 films through production before selling his company in 1918. Prior to his death in 1943, he donated his collection of historical equipment to the German Museum in 1932. IMDb lists 360 films under Messter's producer credits from 1896 and 1924.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves/ Arabian Nights

There is just something about fairy tales that make me smile, even if they are really gory or scary. Today's Tuesday Tale is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (or Arabian Nights for some). There is some dispute as to if this particular story was originally part of One Thousand and One Nights or if it was added later on. Regardless of origin, this is a pretty good tale.




Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday Mood: Curiosity

Here's a light Monday Mood. The drive to learn new things is called curiosity. Natural inquisitive behaviors, like learning, investigation, and exploration are rampant among humans and other animals. This includes primates, cats, reptiles, and fish. Similar to wonder, curiosity is what drives humanity further through science and the quest for knowledge.

Curiosity stimulates both hemispheres of the brain and helps to increase long term memory. This is especially handy for those that work in the scientific field or actively enjoy trivia! Without a curious mind, where would we be today? My bet is on nowhere. For a fun read, check out any one of the "Curious George" books!