Friday, April 30, 2010

Flora Says

I've been knitting fish all evening.


No, they're not for you. They're for a headrest.

For what?

For Flora.

Yes, I renamed my car Flora after saying I was going to change it.

What's that? Fickle? Leave me alone. I'm done letting other people's opinions rule my head.

Even after trying to call my car several different names, I keep going back to Flora. Besides, my dad keeps whining that it's the best car-to-name connection he's ever heard.

This week is over and done with. Tomorrow I shall be next door, babysitting my five-year-old neighbor, here referred to as Choo-Choo. We will likely go hunting for fairies, make peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, watch Star Wars, and play hide-and-seek. It's the perfect salve for a psyche under attack this week. I've been feeling a bit bombarded.

AND...Lord Dunsany was waiting for me when I got home. (I love how creepy statements like this sound if you don't understand the context.) Something tells me I will be doing a lot of reading...

Seriously...have a great Saturday.

-The GLS

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Come Away.

I always have a hard time with the question "What is your greatest fear?"...because it's never been obvious to me what I really, truly fear. I mean, knives make me uncomfortable. As do spider crabs (can you say freaky??). But what do I fear most? I...don't know.

But today, on my way home from work, it struck me what I'm really afraid of. And it had to do with a certain aspect of my future, and I was overcome with a wave of panic.

And when I got about ten minutes away from home, I looked to my left at a red light and saw the road leading down to a beach near my house, and I changed course because I felt called down there.

In short: I walked the beach, had a good conversation with myself and with God, and got some things sorted out. I spouted all the fear into a humble little green rock and pitched it into Puget Sound, exhaled, then turned my back and headed up to my car.

I guess the reason I'm telling this story is because I know my fear is not "fixed". It's not like I'll never have that fear again. Sometimes we want something so badly--to be rid of something that irritates or even horrifies us, like my fears often do. But perhaps having the fear removed is not what I chiefly need. It's learning to trust God in spite of the fear, and move through, and remember that He's holding it all so much better than I ever could.

It's easy to write it, something altogether different to believe it, but I'm getting there. And I do feel peace. And I know that fear is a part of being human.

Tonight, I'm munching on granola and realizing that worrying over something is not going to make it better. If anything, it will only make the waiting torture.

Somewhere on a shoreline in Puget Sound a very unassuming green rock is holding a fear of mine. And whenever that fear rears its ugly head, it'll be nice to know that I can picture it being smothered under hundreds of thousands of millions of gallons of water and being crawled on--unconcerned--by spider crabs.

Ew. Spider crabs.

-The GLS
(PS: Riddle me this...SPIDERS don't bother me. CRABS don't bother me. But the combination...SPIDER CRAB...that's disgusting. To be fair, the kind we have around here look more like this.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor, Mr. Spock...


1. Either if Ann plays her ukulele, then Ben will dance; or if Carl plays his ukulele, then Doris will dance.

2. If Doris dances, then Ernie and Frank will laugh.

3. Ann will not play her ukulele.

4. Therefore, Ernie and Frank will laugh.

In TL:

1. (A > B) v (C > D)
2. D > (E & F)
3. ~A
4. C > D / E & F
5. C > D (D.S. 1, 3)
6. E & F (M.P. 2, 5)

Since E & F is the conclusion, the argument is valid, according to the Disjunctive Syllogism and Modus Ponens rules.


The above was to prove to myself that I understand logical proofs, seeing as how Logic and I are touch-and-go as of late. If I don't pass this class I will cry large tears of torment. Not just because of losing the ability to graduate, but because I know I can pass this thing if I just apply myself and stop horsing around.

To that end, next week I'm taking a break from Facebook, among a few other computer-related things. It's a time-killer and often I spend a long time on it doing nothing. I would take a break from the Internet altogether, except that my Logic class Doy.

Obviously this blog will still get updated every evening. But I need to pull myself out of the muck of low grades and figure this stuff out. So there.

-The GLS

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For the Love of Dunsany...

"And then next day there came a message in plain Morse from an unknown station, a message followed by Terner's initials, A.V.T.: several stations got it and many private sets, and no one knew where it came from: and Jorkens got it on Terner's own set, that he had kept for him all those weeks, fixed at a certain wave-length that Terner had given him, and with the stop out night and day. It said: 'Victory. Victory. Victory.'"
(Excerpt from "The Slugly Beast" by Lord Dunsany.)

In case you're wondering: yes. I did just give away the absolute ending of one of Dunsany's short stories. Take that. But it's still worth a read even if I DID just give it away. You know how things out of context sound pretty normal (or even boring), but IN context can give you the happy shivers? I promise, if you ever read "The Slugly Beast", the quoted paragraph above will give you an amazing amount of delight, even to the point of smiling and chuckling openly in the empty staffroom on your 15-minute break. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)

Seriously, I think I'm having a literary love affair with Edward Plunkett. It's getting a little ridiculous how much he satisfies my intellectual needs. (Could this train of thought get any creepier?) He always knows how to twist the story just-so. Not overly much. No deus ex machina for Dunsany. Just a fable well-told, and sentences that make no sense suddenly coming alive with hilarious meaning.

Like this one...

"'The difficulty,' said Jorkens, 'was getting enough ducks.'" ("The Escape from the Valley)

I mean, how could you resist that?

I think I'd like to write a few short stories, like Dunsany did. I liked short story writing. Maybe that'll be my next project...

-The GLS

Monday, April 26, 2010

Love, Logic, & Hawkeye Pierce

(I've been watching old MASH episodes! It was my favorite show when I was young. Seriously. And tell me Alan Alda wasn't the most charming anti-patriot surgeon you ever saw?)

Today was a Monday, in every sense of the word.

Nah, to be fair, it wasn't terrible. It ended pretty okay, except for a few frustrated tears over my online Logic class. If I'd known it would be so math-intensive I might have been less gung-ho about it. But I'm in it now, so I need to buck up and learn the material. No more crying.

My gutsiness is actually...yet to come. I often stay up way too late, so I thought tonight I'd use that to my advantage and be productive. How, you ask? By cleaning off my pit of a desk.

It's sad, really. My whole room looks fantastic, but my desk looks like I moved all the crap from my floor and placed it right at eye level. Yuck. Needs a makeover.

Now that my Logic homework is done (for now), I thought I'd take EVERYTHING off the desk and put it on my bed. That way I have no choice but to get rid of it before I go to sleep. I like to work my own neuroses against myself, because I can't sleep on a cluttered bed. Physically unable.

Hope by tomorrow night I'll be blogging from a clutter-free desk...

-The GLS

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh, How He Loves Us

Today, I had a lot of gutsy (read: unusually productive) things on the list. And, as per usual, none of them got done.

However! Today was an incredibly constructive (as opposed to productive) day.

I can't entirely explain it all. But some of the highest highlights include dear friends. And church. Church tonight was...phenomenal. And I was able to pray out loud for a stranger, something I haven't done in a LONG time. God is SO good. He is healing hearts and lives and bodies all the time. I was undone, this evening.

But the more easily explained gutsiness is...I bought more housewares at Value Village.

Nesting dry-goods canisters, to be exact.

Copper ones.

With brass labels that say FLOUR and SUGAR and stuff like that.

I love them.

But you can't tell me I'm not having some sort of weird attack of nesting-instinct. Now I just need a house with a really cute kitchen to put them in.

-The GLS

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Facebook Format

The knitting a new scarf for her mother. One with drape, and a touch of lace. One made from baby Alpaca.

The celebrating the completion of her melted-hat-handwarmers.

The GLS...spent $20 on one skein of yarn, today. (For what it's worth, the yarn is absolutely gorgeous.)

The watching Father Mulcahy perform an emergency tracheotomy while Hawkeye gives him directions over the radio. Radar helps.

The GLS...watched Leatherheads this evening. It wasn't what she was hoping for, but George Clooney is nice.

The GLS...doesn't actually know why she's writing in some sort of Facebook status list form.

The GLS...really ought to stop this nonsense right now.


Yeah, that was my day. I've decided that Saturdays are my do-nothing day. Sundays are my somewhat-productive day. I already have a list of things that need to get done. But that's for tomorrow...

-The GLS


Here's a quick list of my fantastic Friday before I pass out:

1) Good day at work with the kiddies. They were in a remarkably good mood for a Friday. Typically the end of the week is tough...

2) Unexpected dinner out with Indefish and her sister, Mother-of-Cheeks (soon to be Mother-of-Brother-of-Cheeks...both of whom desperately need new labels in this blog). Ate smoked salmon chowder (yuuuuuumm!), caesar salad, and creme broulee. And a bite (or two, or five) of everyone else's food, of course.

3) Then, a gathering of camp folks for belly-aching laughter, a few inappropriate jokes, and a lot of funny stories. Also fudge. (Wait, fudge on top of creme broulee? Yes. Stop judging me.) It's so nice to be among such wonderful people. They're crazy, and I love them. :)

Now, I must take a Logic quiz. Which definitely is a bit of a downer on the evening. But as soon as I take it, it will be over for the weekend, and I can sleep in tomorrow morning! Good news...

-The GLS

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Something Wicked...

"I knew by every record we have of witches, every tale that has ever come down to us, that she would change as soon as I married her into something lovelier than the folk of the other world know, something only known of in ballad. I knew all this; I knew it well. And yet somehow those tawdry ornaments, dull houses and trite ways, of the world of every day had got hold of my heart-strings. It was at the turn of the tide with me; and I was veering back, in my folly, to ordinary people, ordinary events and ordinary things. Yes, I made my choice; I said No to her." (Excerpt from "The Witch in the Willows" guessed it...Lord Dunsany)

Argh, I love this man.

On another note, just finished watching "Prisoner of Azkaban". I never really got into Harry Potter much. I stopped reading after the fourth book and have watched most of the movies only once.

None of the books really gripped me, you see. And none of the stories really moved me. I read the first through fourth books back in middle school, and I really didn't give a care about them.

Except PoA. Except this marvelous, marvelous story. (I speak mostly of the book, though the movie is pretty good, too.)

This is a whole other blog post, but there is an interesting love/hate relationship between JK Rowling and I (one of which she is...of course...unaware). In short: I like that she tells good stories, but I've never liked her writing style.

Except PoA.

Prisoner of Azkaban is, in my humble opinion, worth the price of admission for the whole darn series. It is fascinating, gripping, scary, funny, and has just enough complexity to keep you guessing. It is a tightly-written, marvelous story. It's just plain good reading.

And time travel. Um, hello? Awesome.

What's that you say? What does this have to do with gutsiness? Oh...right...well...I'm gutsy enough to stand toe-to-toe with anyone and argue that PoA is the best Harry Potter book out of all seven. And this coming from someone who doesn't care.

That's gutsy enough, right?

Yeah, I know. Not really. Tomorrow is a new day...

-The GLS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Supertramp, Anyone?

First, a quick deviation: Really? Child's Play 2010? With Brad Dourif as Chucky? How long does poor Brad have to play that particular role? It's been 22 years, people. 22 long years. Let him go. Just let him escape with a shred of dignity intact. Please. Go the way of all remakes and GIVE THE ROLE TO SOMEONE ELSE.

Or not.

For the record, I've never seen any of the Child's Play films. But I spent a great deal of time as a rabid fan of Brad Dourif back in high school, and I still feel a sense of loyalty to the man. It just makes me sad to see the same old films on his filmography. A little variety, maybe?


Took the long way home (hence the title...did anyone else listen to Supertramp a ton? I did...). Drove through some beautiful houses in a nicer area just outside my town that I never seem to explore. And I've determined a few things about the exterior of my dreamhouse.

Sunlight exposure (not TOO many trees), privacy (just ENOUGH trees), a crowded garden, and one of those farmhouse connectors between the house and the shed. You know, like the thing Lizzie swings from in Pride & Prejudice? During that lovely seasonal-change interlude thing? Yeah, one of those.

There will be cozy lighting, visible through the just-enough amount of windows. A covered porch for rocking chairs on rainy days and summer meals al fresco. A screendoor and painted shutters. Oh, and that reminds me: fun but not garish paint color. Depends on the area I live in, probably, but something fun. And a red or green door. After Ireland I need a red or green door.

Also, there will be no stucco. I'm not a fan. Nor will there be modernistic all-straight-lines business. Sloping roof, eyebrow windows, a plump chimney, and nooks and crannies.

I like looking at houses. It's one of those fun not-so-guilty pleasures. :)

-The GLS
(PS: To combat my Lord Dunsany malaise, I appeased myself by buying two of his collections from Amazon. Price for both? Under $30 including shipping. Take that, $300 rare edition of The Collected Jorkens Volume 1...)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Gutsy. Just Ticked.

Look out. There's a fantasy writer/geek on the loose, and she's ANGRY.

I've been reading a fantastic collection of short stories, that I borrowed from the library, by the Irish writer Edward Plunkett. Also known as Lord Dunsany. Dunsany wrote in the late 1800s to early 1900s and is considered one of the main fathers of the modern fantasy genre. He inspired Tolkien, Le Guin, Lovecraft, and many other famous fantasists/horrorists.

And...he's bloody brilliant.

The man can tell a story, and he can tell it well.

Now, the collection I've been reading is called "The Collected Jorkens". For awhile Dunsany wrote a series of short stories from the point of view of a man named Jorkens who is reputed to be a bit of a liar, but for a whiskey and soda he'll tell you of all the remarkable places he's been and people he's seen. And these stories are genuinely fascinating, moving, dazzlingly written, and marvelously executed. Dunsany is a genius, and any fantasy writer worth their salt ought to read him at least once. Especially the stories of Jorkens.

Here comes the fun part...

I've enjoyed this book so much that I decided...heck! Why not search for a copy that I can purchase for my own library? Can't be that hard, can it?

Long story short, this collection (in three volumes) is nearly impossible to find. Especially Volume 1, for some ridiculous reason. This is, from what I've read, because Dunsany is no longer well-regarded by a fantasy community that's obsessed with the new, the now, the shallow, and the awful. <---my words.

The copy on Amazon is $300.00 to purchase. And that's USED.

As if in mockery, I'm searching on Barnes & Noble, and all the while there's a banner above the search page screaming JUST ANNOUNCED: NEW STEPHANIE MEYER NOVELLA! PRE-ORDER NOW! and I want to say a lot of very unflattering (and profane) things about the nature of where literature is headed, but I won't.

I will say this: the good parts of the past WILL disappear along with the bad parts. Unless we preserve the good things now, while we can, we may never have them again. And Lord Dunsany may turn into a footnote. And that would be a truly, truly tragic day.

Will I pay $300 for a copy of Volume 1? Not likely at the moment. But someday, maybe. When I have the resources. It's worth that much to me to not buy in to the lack of love for the tried and true.

So there.

-The GLS

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Ice Cream Fairy... currently out making a delivery.

More gutsiness tomorrow.

-The GLS (aka The Ice Cream Fairy)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Congratulations! It's A Hat!

Yep, it's finally happened.

I was a busy little bee, today. Before noon I had already hung my tea-dyed yarn out to dry on the gazebo, measured my nearly-completed prototype elfin hat on the head of the elf to whom it would be given, and started making a batch of tea scones for brunch.


The scones were delicious, although a bit dense...but scones often are, right? And the clotted cream to put on them was fantastic. Thank you, PCC, for stocking Devonshire cream!

But my greatest achievement is this: I FINALLY FINISHED THE ELF HAT.

Yes! I had decided I was going to give the hat to the child of a friend, whom I refer to here as "Cheeks". I drove over there this morning with the hat sans strap, buttons, little flower things, and with the elastic untied just to see if the body of the hat itself fit her head. And it did! Perfectly!

After measuring it on the little elf's head I went home, added the finishing touches (the strap, the buttons, the cute little flower/leaf/treestar/butterfly things), and drove back to their house a few hours later to drop it off and let Cheeks put it on!

She seemed to really like it. At the moment the strap is a bit too loose under her chin (I'm hoping she can grow into it), so she enjoyed pulling the hat off and then sticking it back on, pulling it off, sticking it on...great fun. Glad I sewed that strap on good and tight. :)

It feels nice to have that bit of knitting done. And now I want to make more. Lots more! Uh oh. This may be the start of a beautiful friendship between me...and elfin hats.

-The GLS

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Redefining "Tea Room"

What is this?

Is it muddy spaghetti? The world's largest pot of pho?

I'll give you a hint: My room smells very strongly of Irish Breakfast Tea.

Here's another hint: The cupboard in the background is where I keep my yarn.

Got it yet?

Yes, I'm TEA DYEING yarn!

I bought this skein of white Kerry Woollen Mills yarn from the Irish imports store a few months ago, and I mainly wanted it because it smelled like sheep. I LOVE that smell.

But it's white. And I make a point of not buying white yarn, because there's very few things I'll wear that are white. It just invites stains.

So I thought...why not purposefully stain it? Using Irish Breakfast tea, and keeping well within the same theme? I'm going to let it set overnight. I hope the color darkens a bit more than it already has. That weird effect in the photo is actually a glass plate that I set on top of the yarn so it doesn't float. Apparently my great grandma used to do that with her pickles to keep them submerged. According to my mom, anyway.

I'll let you know how it goes. Could be interesting...

-The GLS

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Blog With A View.

Yes, I'm watching the old favorite "A Room With A View". Lovely film. Helena Bonham Carter before...the Weird. Back when she was sweet-faced, innocent, and adorable.

Anyway, tonight's gutsiness was food-related once again.

It begins with leftovers: spaghetti and mizithra cheese with one pesto-chicken sausage.

Sounds pretty humble. Delicious, but humble.

But then you grab your cast-iron skillet (once again!). Throw in a chopped onion, a portobello mushroom cap, some black pepper and garlic powder, some ruby red port, and the sausage. Sautee the lot until you can't tell what's what.

Heat up the spaghetti, browned butter, and mizithra.


The music today? The "Keep It Together" album by Guster. LOVE Guster. Forgot how much I loved them until I dug the afore-mentioned album out of the closet.

"In the the were always there...digging down where the roots had burrowed underneath. Now the grass is always overgrown. And the weeds are choking out the sun. Pretty soon they'll come under the door...and you don't care!"

-The GLS

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Iambic Parathas.

So much silliness! And gutsiness! Ish!

Fun Fact #1: The Elf Hat of ye long ago is nearly finished. Thank goodness! I actually had to email the original creator of the pattern to ask her a clarifying question, which she promptly responded to. Now I have the answers! I will post pictures when it's ACTUALLY finished, and perhaps when it's on a cute little elfin noggin. That would make the pictures even better, yeah?

Fun Fact #2: I did better than I thought I would on my Logic exam! Huzzah!

Fun Fact #3: I DID try a recipe from my lovely new "100 Great Breads" book this evening. In fact, I tried the "easiest" one (meaning the one that required the least ingredients...and the exclusion of yeast). The recipe was for a sort of Indian flatbread known as a paratha.

First you mix the dough, let it sit for 20 minutes, then roll it into pancake-shaped rounds:

Then you fry the rounds in a cast-iron skillet with some veggie oil until they're golden brown:

You lay them aside to cool:

And finally, you enjoy them with butter, Pav Bhaji (courtesy of Trader Joe's), and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" starring Stanley Tucci:

Mmmmmm...Stanley Tucci.

-The GLS

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Of Spock and Naan...

(Title courtesy of my mother, though she's unaware that she inspired it.)

I'm about to go take a wild stab at an online Logic exam, but I thought I should update quickly first just so that I don't forget.

Today I thought I had no gutsiness to my name until I realized that I had been daydreaming about this stupid book I had seen at Barnes & Noble on the clearance shelf. It was a cookbook--a BREAD cookbook--and I kept fantastizing about it in the most deplorable way.

Long story short, it's 9:50pm as I write this. I finally found and purchased the book about 45 minutes ago. Let's just say that the Northgate location of B&N is dead to me, and the Alderwood one has reaffirmed its worth in my life.

I'm determined to try one of these bread recipes, tomorrow, to make up for my anti-climactic gutsiness today. This book is amazing! It's called "100 Great Breads" by Paul Hollywood, and I can't stop salivating as I look at the pretty pictures. Stay tuned for any gutsy bread attempts...dang, I think I need to go buy some active yeast!

I'll add that Flora took all of the driving around like a champ, although I think she's as ready to sleep as I am.

Hold up there, GLS. Time to go be logical.


-The GLS

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have A Drumstick.

I re-discovered a little music again, today.

Are you ready for it?

The fantastic album "Stunt" from Barenaked Ladies!

You know, I think someone burned me this CD about seven or eight years ago and I only just found it again. I put it in my car with the rest of my random burned CDs and popped it in for the long drive home for work. I needed something peppy.

And whaddya know, I remembered all the words and everything! There's some GREAT songs on that album. Brought back a lot of silly late elementary/middle school memories. The ever-popular One Week is on there, as well as Call & Answer, Alcohol, It's All Been Done, Never Is Enough. What am I kidding, the whole album is great.

On the whole, that might have been all of the gutsiness I had time for, today. I also filed my taxes and filled out my graduation form--the two things looming over my head, both due on April 15th. Cutting it a bit closer than usual, but at least they're done. It's hard to work full-time and then have a lot of random paperwork due elsewhere. I should complain. But I'm too tired.

-The GLS

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Little...Illumination.

I was just reminiscing about back in my old neighborhood when I had a "clap-on, clap-off" mechanism for one of my lamps. I really liked that thing. I'm kinda sad we got rid of it...

On a related note, I had a first today, which would never be considered gutsy by anyone else in this world but me.

I bought a lampshade!


For the record, I've had this lamp for a long time. It's this pretty standard straight-lines walnut (I think) table lamp that I've had in my room since the dawn of time (or thereabouts). But ever since I can recall, it's always had a black lampshade.

Now, we're not talking a transluscent black, here. We're talking a completely solid black lampshade. Don't ask my why I wanted a black lampshade on this lamp. Who knows what middle school students are thinking, really? What did I know about interior design?

So in the midst of cleaning my room yesterday, I found myself pondering this lamp. It tends to be my "mood lighting" when I don't want the bright above-light on at night. It sits on the antique washstand I "inherited" from my great-grandmother (read: knicked from my grandparents' house) where my yarn, my cookbooks, electric kettle, and an antique coffee grinder live. And it looked woefully out of place with that ridiculous black lampshade, which by the way blocks most of the light I could be getting from this lamp.

On my lunchbreak today I bit the bullet, drove to Fred Meyer, and bought me a lampshade. An off-white, canvas-textured lampshade. I wanted something classic, but not outdated. I wanted something I could keep forever. No frills. Just a good ol' lampshade.

And here it is, in its natural habitat:

Ahh, would you look at that glow? So nice. :)

-The GLS

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Better Late Than Never.

A room has layers, just like an onion. But also like the earth itself. The layers in the earth tell you what happened during the time when that layer was the surface. The layers in your room tell you how long it's been since you cleaned off your floor.

Today, I went out to buy some random things. I bought some yarn that I had been eyeing (Patons!), and some books from Half-Price Books (afghans! woodstoves! farmer's almanac!), a hostess apron from the antique store (although if it's an antique I'll eat my socks), and a vinyl of the Chieftains (my second one) for $2. I brought all of my swag home and was very excited to pop my vinyl on my turntable...

...when I realized I COULDN'T because there was a mountain of magazines on the lid of my record player.

And then I looked around my room, and realized that there was junk still lying around from the Cetaceous Period (roughly), and decided to do something about it then and there.

Yes, indeed, I cleaned my room. No, I RAVAGED my room. I was unstoppable. I had a vacuum in one hand and a trashbag in the other. I did laundry, moved furniture, threw away old homework, got rid of some shoes I didn't like. It was epic.

I even attacked the "entryway" of my room (the little corner next to the door), which I kept avoiding because it's where all of the shoeboxes and giftbags end up from Christmases and birthdays and random shoe purchases. But no more. I was a recycling/garbage-canning machine. And now my shoes live where their shoeBOXES used to, nicely lined up against the wall.

And now, I'm sitting here in the middle of a spotlessly clean floor, and all I can think about is that my desk is still a mess. Oh well. We can't do it all in one day, now can we?

I really should have taken a before and after picture, because was SO bad. And it's still not perfect (the aforementioned desk...AND there's a corner of the room next to my bed that I'm kind of ignoring) but for all intents and purposes it looks fantastic. If nothing else, my clothes are CLEAN! Starting out the week with clean clothes? Priceless. :)

-The GLS
PS: I'm also excited that I introduced the clerk at Half-Price Books to the wonder of Lord Dunsany. Though they didn't carry any of his books. Can't say I'm surprised.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Panda Cattle, Red Pandas...Forsooth!

If I had been Queen Elizabeth, I don't think William would have won the wager in "Shakespeare In Love." But this is only due to my bias AGAINST Romeo & Juliet, which I don't care to explain at this present time.

HOWEVER, having seen Shakespeare In Love fully for the first time this evening, I can safely say that it is a beautifully done film! Funny, romantic, and I had to put my eyes back into their sockets after seeing all of those costumes...those costumes!! My gosh.

In other news, I took Flora for her first drive to the zoo today! Woodland Park Zoo rocks my socks off, mainly because its URL is awesome is that?

The bears were swimming, the siamangs were screaming, the gorillas were pooping in their hands (seriously), and in general all of the animals were quite frisky and happy and wandering about. It was refreshing to actually see them DOING stuff, as our animals tend to like to hide in their awesome habitats.

My only complaint (hence the title) is that we have no REAL pandas at the Woodland Park Zoo. Seriously, guys? We have an adorable red panda, and some rather unimpressed panda cattle, but no REAL pandas? Steal some from San Diego, if you must, but get us a panda!

All in all, a great day, if I do say so. :)

-The GLS

Friday, April 9, 2010

An Audio Experience...

The fun thing about finally having a CD player in my car is that I have an excuse to listen to all of those random mix CDs from forever ago lying around. Seriously, I have a ton. From back in high school when I didn't have a burner so I begged my friends to make CDs for me. And I don't bother to pop them into my computer, because I'm usually doing other things.

A list of ten oldies but goodies re-discovered today:

1. Away From The Sun by Three Doors Down...I used to think this song was SO epic. It kind of still is, in a nostalgic sort of way.

2. Wasting My Time by Default...I was really into that "alternative" stuff in high school. Pop alternative. Ha!

3. Big Country by Dashboard Confessional...actually it's a cover. But I like both versions. Except that DC's version is IDENTICAL to the original, which I always think is a little pointless.

4. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes...YES. Oh my gosh, this song! I used to feel so guilty listening to it. A man writing a personal ad to find a new girlfriend, and when he receives a reply it ends up being...get this...his CURRENT girlfriend! The things they never knew about one another! *tear* Lovely.

5. Leather & Lace by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley...Take the song or leave it, but Don Henley's voice gives me happy shivers. "Give to me your leather, take from me my lace..." Yeah, in hindsight? Weird song.

6. Desert Rose by Sting...Hahahahahaha! *siiiiigh* Wow. Yeah, that's all.

7. Crazy For This Girl by Evan & Jaron...Remember this one, girls? I used to wish to high heaven that some guy would sing a mournfully acoustic version of this to me. My tastes have....changed a bit, since then.

8. Dare You To Move by Switchfoot...When that little sound effect at the beginning starts--that ice-cubes-against-glass sound--I get little butterflies in my stomach. This song was an extraordinary anthem in high school. I owe a lot to Switchfoot, oddly enough...

9. Jumper by Third Eye Blind...Honestly, who doesn't love a little Third Eye Blind every once and awhile? The voice of a generation, y'all. Or something.

10. Acoustic #3 by The Goo Goo Dolls...The GGDs were another band that was very instrumental in my formative years. And this song...short as it may be...was the epicenter. (Though, for the record, none of the specifics of the song have anything to do with my life...but it was the EMOTION, don't you see?)

I'm not going to even mention Creed. Ohhh *shudder* the Creed stuff. It was all over my favorite CDs in high school. Infesting, more like. And Evanescence. And a wee bit of N*Sync which had held over from middle school.

In other news, I'm reading Lord Dunsany. You should, too.

-The GLS

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She Has A Nice Face...

The exciting news has come to pass!!

After months of check engine lights, mysterious noises, screeching AC, static-y speakers, exploding headlights, dead turn signals, bucking gear shifts, schizophrenic temperature gauges, leaky tires, generally unpredictable behaviors, and a fantastic amount of whining (just ask Indefish)...I am finally saying goodbye to the good ol' 1993 periwinkle blue Dodge Spirit that was my first car.

I do say this with a bit of melancholy, as that was the car I learned to drive in and it's also the one that got me to camp and back several harrowing times, made many trips to different churches, ferried me to work and school and the beach, and was sort of a bear to parallel park.

But it's time to let go. And (forgive me, potential atheistic readers) God was in the entire process. Because the woman who sold us the car in the first place actually wants to buy it back, needing a car she can get to the park and ride in (which the Spirit is perfect for).

This freed me up to strike a deal with my parents regarding the purchase of a new (used) car.

I knew what I wanted. I had a pretty specific list, though I thought for sure it would be too much to ask. This is what I wanted out of a car:

1. Newer than '95.
2. A fun color (though NOT champagne or yellow, please).
3. Air conditioning (the Spirit's never worked).
4. Cloth seats (no vinyl...I like wearing shorts in the summer).
5. Smaller than the Spirit.
6. CD player (I've never even had a tape deck).
7. Under $2,000.
8. Reliable.

This wasn't exactly a tall order, but we also wanted to buy from someone we could look in the eye. AND who would have all of the necessary paperwork.

Long story of my dad's coworkers is a marvel. And her 1999 (NOT '98 like I first thought) COMPLETELY fits all of my expectations...and more!


Okay, you caught me. That's not Flora. Not specifically. BUT that's exactly what she looks like! Same color and model. Isn't she cute?

I couldn't be more pleased. And Dave Matthews' "GrooGrux King" was the inaugural album played on her fantastic stereo. :)

-The GLS

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Perfect Murder, Part Deux.

KMTT, let me explain something to you...yes, you get props for playing good songs on occasion. In particular, "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam. Quite a good song, and one I am more than willing to participate in singing along with and generally enjoying.

However. Playing a good song four to five times a day?


In other news, the perfect murder of this particular cold is going rather well. The Portuguese garlic soup was a success (as were the leftovers), and there was much bad breath and nasal drip to be had. As well as a house that smelled to high heaven of delightful garlic and cayenne pepper. The Neti pot, as always, was a miracle. The BBC Comedy added good humor to the macabre affair of murder, and the wool socks were divine.

The bed time was not as early as it should have been, and that is where I faltered. I will not make the same mistake tonight.

Signing off to continue the execution (pun intended) of my plan by climbing into bed...

-The GLS
(PS: My exciting news from a few blog posts earlier is still in motion...and hopefully tomorrow night it will all be revealed!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Perfect Murder...and why KMTT is meh.

Quick Note: This is why 103.7 The Mountain is no longer "my" radio station. I tuned over to them for a moment to see what was up (because KEXP had gone into one of their random forays into rap...). For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Mountain's programming, Tuesdays are "New Music Tuesdays", and every so often an automated message will come on saying, "New Music Tuesday...on the Mountain!" and new music will then commence to play. This evening, the automated message came on...right before playing "Sweet Home Alabama".


Okay, here's the important stuff. I woke up this morning congested, but overall fine. As the day progressed I got snottier...and achier...and I was not okay with it.

So, tonight, I am planning the Perfect Murder. Of a COLD, that is!

Ingredients Needed to Murder a Cold:

1. Portuguese Garlic Soup. No, you're not reading that wrong. It's pretty much a little bit of chicken stock surrounded on all sides by minced garlic and cayenne pepper. In other words, heaven. Nose-clearing heaven. (And yes, I DID just link to myself on my other blog. You gotta problem with that??)

2. Neti Pot. This is a marvel. It's basically a ceramic teapot that you put salt water in and flush out your nose. Which sounds gross...and it is. But feels SO good, and actually works!

3. BBC Comedy. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine. I happen to be watching "Mock the Week" right now, because watching English people poke fun at their politics is funnier than watching Americans argue about ours.

4. Wool socks. Just because.

5. The earliest possible bedtime. Which, for me, is going to be around 8:30pm. This is why I'm blogging early.

By the time we next meet, I hope to have done the dirty deed, or at least set the chain of events rolling that will end in my cold's ultimate demise. Wish me luck.

-The GLS

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bubble Gum Pie (Yum!)

Tonight, my gutsiness will mean nothing to any of you.

It only means the world to me.

My gutsiness is to dare to hope that a deeply shallow and materialistic yet important (to me) prayer may have been answered, this evening.

Hope, hope, hope.

I dare to hope. And smile while I do so. :D

-The GLS

PS: Sorry to be cryptic. I WILL shout it from the rooftops if it comes to pass. Don't you worry. (No. I'm not dating/engaged/preggers. So don't waste a thought on that.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Unlikely Greeting Cards.

(The title is courtesy the BBC comedy show "Mock the Week". I can't exactly recommend watching it, because it's not for the sensitive....but parts of it are very funny.)

Alrighty, here's the thing. Today was (obviously) Easter, so not a lot of gutsiness occurred.

However! There is a lump of orange yarn sitting next to me that was the victim of a rather unfortunate...well, I can't call it an accident.

I can call it my first attempt at crochet.

My sister-in-law (whom I affectionately refer to as Sister Bear, because my bro is Brother Bear...see what I did there?) and her mother are both extremely talented crocheters, and we got to talking about crochet vs. knitting, and I wondered if perhaps I ought to give it another try.

I'm...not sure what I did could really be called crochet. It came out looking more like an orange worm with a glandular problem. But, you know, practice makes perfect?

Other than that, I hope you all had a lovely Easter.

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

-The GLS

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gutsy Enough Not to Use An Ampersand.

Oh my gosh!!

Yeah. I decided I was in a title rut. So the ampersand is going to take a little break.

Today I realized I had too few knitting projects going on. Basically it's just a re-start of this adorable elfin hat that I've been inching my way through for weeks. And the "Pippin" scarf that I started but never continued because I realized I'd been reading the pattern wrong the whole time. Phooey.

So I spent some time this afternoon re-winding all of my messy skeins of yarn into nice little balls and then organizing them in the antique hutch they should live in (they tend to spill out all over my workspace). I also now have a paper bag full of yarn scraps to use for stuffing, should I ever need it, and a jar for varying balls of scrap yarn. One for larger scraps, and a smaller one for scraps that are too long for stuffing but not long enough to make anything bigger than a coin purse.

Having organized my yarn, I came across the red yarn that I got from a hat I bought in Galway. It was a cheap (like, 3 euro) hat that I really liked the style of, but it melted a day or two after I bought it. And by melted, I mean unraveled. In an epic fashion.

So I spent WAY longer than I needed to unraveling the yarn from the hat so I could use it for something else. It's a bright, cherry red and oh-so-soft. So I'm making a pair of handwarmers with it! It just seems right. Add a pair of red-and-white flapper buttons and we're in business!

The pattern for the handwarmers was one of the first patterns I ever tried when I first started knitting, and I've wanted to make these with this yarn for several months now, but I'm only now getting started. I think this is going to be a norm for me, unfortunately.

Pics when I finish. Perhaps even a before and after...hat to handwarmers. :)

-The GLS

Friday, April 2, 2010

Home & Pasta Genovese

Best song of the day: "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Loved it so much I broke my new "rule" and went ahead and bought it on iTunes (I've been unofficially sworn off of iTunes, realizing that my money could probably be better spent elsewhere...but this song was worth breaking the rules).

In fact, go check out Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros anyway. They are SO epic. Ten-piece band, and the above song has sort of a "Johnny Cash with full orchestral backing" sound to it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll pump it loud in your car. Wonderful stuff.

I'm currently six pages into my screenplay.

And I tried pasta Genovese for the first time ever tonight! Gosh, it was amazing. Pesto, pine nuts, parmesan, spaghettini, and fresh basil. Yes!

Okay. I gotta go write a screenplay with an Edward Sharpe & Co. soundtrack.


-The GLS

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hollywood & Bad Special Effects

Couldn't think of a better title, as I just watched a movie that I can place firmly in the "I want that 98 minutes of my life back" category.

"The Black Hole" by Disney from 1979 is...aptly titled. And that's all I'm going to say, because my parents and I almost wet ourselves we were laughing so hard. And not in a good way. I can handle badness...but this was bad.

Nuff said.

In another intrepid adventure, I am about to embark on Script Frenzy 2010!! It's going to be interesting. I don't think I'll get too far tonight, because I'm starting a little late (thanks, homework!). But I'll keep you posted on my progress. At least I have an idea and two main characters. From there...Hollywood!

-The GLS