Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fancy Dance, Cranky Pants.

Ahh, Moby.

Tonight's dinner provided by QFC, and I feel very fancy and continental just saying it: a juicy Fuji apple, a half of a mini-baguette, and a small wedge of delightfully buttery brie. I feel French or something. C'est bon!

To be honest, today didn't start out good.

Wait, I'll rephrase: This WEEK didn't start out good.

I started it in a funk. A restless, unhappy funk. I felt all squirmy, like one of my daycare kids during naptime when they have to lie still for two hours in the dark. And I was grumpy. And I did a lot of yelling, mainly at work, though a lot of the loudest yelling was actually in my own head.

But today? Today I knew I had a choice to make. I had squirmed and wiggled and made a general crank of myself for two full days, and it was time to make a decision: is this the way I'm going to freeze myself to be for the rest of the week, or am I going to get over it and stop being a jerk to myself and everyone else?

Welcome back home, Forced Attitude Adjustment. I missed you.

Where is it written that life has to pan out exactly the way I want it to? Who ever said things would be easy? Who died and made me empress of the known world?

No, things are still not the way I want them to be. No, my life isn't picture-perfect. No, I'm not Miss Ever-Happy-Ever-Smiling-Ever-Bright, and I'm not even on the list to be empress of the known world.

But my life is pretty damn good. And my attitude need not reflect the few icky things that have decided to rear their ugly heads. I'm better than that, and I know it.

Now I just gotta show it.

Sheepishly yours,
-The GLS

Monday, September 27, 2010


I love it when Colin Mochrie has to finish the Irish Drinking Song all by himself because everyone else is cracking up from his last verse.

It happens surprisingly often.


In other news...

What do you do when you have ground venison in the freezer* and some time to kill?

Make experimental wee pasty-pies in your antique graniteware muffin tin, of course! Onions, fresh rosemary, peas, brown rice, and a pie crust made almost exclusively of butter. Side of ketchup, we're in business.

Could I get any more hobbity?

(I'll post pics and possibly the recipe soonwise.)

-The GLS

*Thanks for the venison, Papa Park! Good shootin'!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glowing Battle-Axes.

Apologies for my absence. I spent the weekend in the arms of my crazy and wonderful family, 2 hours south of home, celebrating my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. Which is, you know, an extremely big deal. 50 years is a wonderfully long time.

Movies were quoted, wine was consumed, and graniteware was purchased. It was an epic gathering of black dresses and spray-painted shoes. Except on the guys. My uncle wore a gold caftan, though. (Okay, so I bought the graniteware on the way home...but still, it happened. And so did the caftan.)

They're a smart bunch, my crazy family. Passionate and educated and hilarious to boot. And I love them for all their craziness, and I'm proud to discover that I'm becoming a bit like them all.

With one notable exception, which is that I have to my name only a 2-year transfer degree from community college.

Which doesn't necessarily mean anything bad. I like my silly little degree. I'm fairly proud that I even got it. I'm happy to have a diploma.

But there's a yearning. A stirring. A part of me that still wants to transfer and get a BA, even though money is a major issue.

Thanks to my aunt and uncle--who were both college professors for years--and my cousins--who are very persuasive--I've made a promise to go back to school and finish.


Promises are tough. Because even if they don't hold me to it, I HAVE to do it, because I promised, and it's more important to me to keep a promise than be lazy and comfortable.


Yeah, money is still an issue. And yeah, this will mean a lot of shifting and moving. And yeah, I was kinda happy not being in school this year. But I think I've decided that having a passion and moving toward it is more important than all of that. Money will come. Nothing is insurmountable. I'll get there.

I think.

-The GLS

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do You Have A Dollar?

I can't help it.

I need to go do my laundry, now.

-The GLS

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do You Like Beethoven?

"Manny, bring me everyone."

"What do you mean, everyone?"



I'm watching a whole heck of a lot of Gary Oldman right now. Don't ask me why, it just feels right. The above bit of lunacy was inspired by "The Professional" which I've seen mostly the whole way through...too violent for me, at times. Also a little too awkward with the whole Natalie Portman being twelve thing? Yeah, if you've seen it you understand.

But Gary Oldman is in it. And he's his usual drugged-up off-his-rocker self. And that makes for good viewing.


"I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven."

Ah, Gary.

-The GLS

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nobody Said It Was Easy.

The answer to the question, "Was it something I said?" is "Yes."

Multiple times.

I'm sorry. I'll work on it.

-The GLS

Monday, September 20, 2010


The classroom is dark, because it's naptime. I'm sitting at the teacher table, reading about a long journey down a rust-red trail on an ornery mustang. It's mostly quiet except for the rustling of the light sleepers and those who don't sleep at all. The wind blows the curtains open and lets in a bit of sunlight. The bathroom light clicks on, hovers like this for a moment, then clicks off again and plunges the room into darkness.

There's a little boy whose mat is in the corner. He's four years old, and he's probably the most restless of them all. He's always talking and standing and shifting and making noise. He never sleeps. He never stops. He doesn't know how to whisper. And today--at a fairly loud level of volume--he says something new from his spot in the corner:

"Sally, I want more music."

And, I'll be honest, I don't know what he is necessarily referring to.

But if I were at liberty to speak my mind, I would have said, "Damn straight."
I would have gone out in search of more music for him, and for me. And we would have listened to it together, because kids know better than adults what music is. And he could have told me what colors and lines he saw in the music, and he would have danced crazy while I watched and laughed awkwardly and told him not to hurt himself. And when I clocked off that evening and went home, I would have screamed my music in the car and gone on a pilgrimage to find as much music as possible and surrounded myself with it like a big blanket full of colors and lines.

But it was naptime. So I just said, "Shhhhh!"

-The GLS

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I wrote a very long blog post just now. It was insightful and had dazzling displays of rhetoric. It was fantastically crafted, ironic, and somewhat humorous with a dash of poignancy. It was phenomenal. It was extraordinary.

It was fluff.

But when you take all the fluff away, it essentially said this:

I cannot BELIEVE how good the God I love is.
And you cannot BELIEVE how much He wants to love you.

And I think that reads a lot better. Not as entertaining, perhaps, but far more true. A bit easier to divine, you know?

I'll shout it from the rooftops, if I need to, just so you'll hear me.
He reminds me every day.
God is so good.

-The GLS

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Wee Bit of Trivia.

For those who commented on my last post, thank you for your kind words. Sometimes we all need a little space to unpack it all. I'm just glad I have this little corner of the Internet. :)

I'm currently watching Stephen Fry's "Quite Interesting" on BBC. Such a good show! Funny as all get out, and you learn so much useless trivia.

Like, "What flavor is the oldest known soup?"

Answer, "Hippopotamus."

Apparently that's true. Oldest recorded soup was made from hippos. Which...doesn't inspire me to try making it, by the way. I'm not too sure that PCC or Metro Market carry hippo stock. I would be concerned if they did, actually...

Also, the longest animal in the world? NOT the Blue Whale, incidentally. It's actually a tie between the Lion's Mane jellyfish and the Bootlace worm. The longest Lion's Mane jellyfish was 160 feet long, the longest found Bootlace worm was 180 feet long. However, Bootlace worms can stretch far beyond their real length, so it's possible that the worm's body stretched after it died (it was found washed ashore in England somewhere). Therefore it's debatable which animal is longer. But it's not the whale. Sorry, Monstro*. :(

A blue whale can only swallow things NO LARGER than a grapefruit. According to Stephen Fry. And though he sounds incredibly posh and knowledgeable, I could easily imagine it all being an act. But we'll believe him for now.

Check it out. I'm addicted to this show.

-The GLS
*Yeah, okay, FINE. Monstro was a sperm whale. Back off. I was trying to be funny.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


For some reason, I've been thinking back a lot lately. And this tends to have several effects on me. My blog posts get whinier and more scatter-brained (don't tell me you haven't noticed...whoever you are), I don't play around with my beloved collection of hobbies as much, and I play the piano (my melancholy instrument) way more than I should.

But the upshot of all this backwards-thinking is that I inevitably end up learning something about myself. Which, you know, can be good.

This time, we're learning something that goes a little something like this:
Isn't it amazing the difference a year makes?

Yea verily, you say. So what?

I'll tell you so what.

A year ago, almost to the day, I was sitting in another country feeling very small. I had paid for the trip, I had wanted the trip, and I GOT the trip. Two weeks exploring, meeting odd and wonderful people, and forging my own way.

I did a lot of things I had never done before (and probably won't ever do again). And though each little episode meant nothing in itself, it stood for something a lot bigger in my psyche.

That one time I talked to those people I thought were cooler than me and discovered they were just like me? Yeah, that was me walking up to my Self Esteem Issues and pointing at them, saying, "(Gulp) You d-don't scare me!" and being shocked when they vanished. That walk through the dark of Dublin at 5:30am? A walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. That time I went solo to the pub and actually survived the experience? A moment of pure she-warrior-ness.

And I made decisions. And I grew up, if only a little. And I got a bit tougher. And my horizons got broadened. And the things that I didn't need anymore? I left them on a distant shore, hidden under an unimpressive rock on a faceless shifting beach. And I thought that was enough.

A year later, they come back to my door and knock occasionally. It's easy to forget that I left them. But I have touchstones to remind myself. I'm a different person, now. I dress a bit differently. I eat more greens. I use less plastic. I listen to a different spectrum of music, perhaps. I'm more likely to tell you when I don't like something, but I'm ten times more likely to gush praise at you until you blush (if I think you'll let me). I've got a lot more antiques in my room, now, and I cook a lot more. I never did focus on one hobby...I focused on ten, and life has been all the richer for it, and I regret none of it. I intend to learn tens upon tens more.

But most importantly: I surprised myself with a precious gift. I finally said it was okay to know who I am, and to make guesses, and to be wrong. To follow the clues in God's Scavenger Hunt, each one better than the next, leading me on toward Me. I'll be damned if I ever let anyone else sneak a clue in there to try and lead me off the right track.

And I'll be further damned if I don't rip up those false clues from years back, the ones that seemed so real, the ones that seemed right because of who said them at the time. I'm still putting band aids on the scratches and scars from forays through brambles and thorns, following clues to my personality that made no sense. But I pressed on, because I thought for certain they were true. And I thought for certain they were right. And I so wanted them to be right that I tried to will them into truth. And I bled.

But only a bit. And only for a time.

So a year later, I'm sitting in a very normal place, at a very normal time, thinking very normal thoughts. I'm thinking back to how it used to be, and flipping through the roadmaps, and clutching the clues to myself, and wondering where it goes from here. And thinking I could never imagine where I'll be in twelve whole months from now. Putting another band aid on the scratches and the scars, glad that they're getting smaller and less noticeable by the day (because they're nothing but a silly hindrance, anyway). It's a different sort of evening already. I can feel it coming. Daybreak is on its way.

And that's so what.

Yea, verily.

-The GLS

Monday, September 13, 2010


Okay, I don't really want to think about this, but there's a LOT of vampire-themed knitting going on over at's recently-added patterns section.

It's a little disturbing.

In other news...

I have never found female comedians (or comediennes, I suppose) to be all that funny. I don't know why.

Although to be fair, male or female, I'm not crazy about American comedians anyway. But that's beside the point.

Female comedians. Don't find them that funny. And for a long time, the only exception was Josie from "Whose Line is it Anyway?" because she was the only chick they had on there with any sense of timing. The rest of them were kinda like politically-correct punching bags for Ryan, Colin, and Wayne to toy with. And really good props for when kissing was a possibility. And I know I sound terrible for saying so, but go watch some of the episodes with Kathy or any of the other ones I've forgotten and TELL me the boys were anglin' for some kissin' throughout the episode.

But I can learn. I'm an adult. I'm still growing and attitudes are still shifting. I'm not set in my ways, yet. No one ever is, really. And the walls of prejudice CAN come crumbling down.

So I'm watching "Chick Comedy" on YouTube in the name of broadening horizons. I'm saying it's good for me, you know? Spending some quality time. On YouTube.

I know what you're thinking. This sounds like an excuse not to go to bed, right? Oh, how wrong you are. You're just jealous that YOU'RE not doing something gutsy like sitting on your butt and allowing the expansion of your mind simultaneously.

Here. Have a link. Enjoy.

That's right. I'm like...a pioneer.

So there.

-The GLS

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mary First, Martha Second.

Wow, there's just so much PARADIGM SHIFTING going on around here!

It's crazy.

For one thing, I need to clean my room. And that isn't a paradigm shift per se, but it kind of is, because I tend not to understand the importance of proper resource usage and allocation (TOTALLY my mom's phrase).

Second, I need to stop treating my body like a bottomless pit and just EAT RIGHT already. It's getting ridiculous. Next time I blog about snacking or update a Facebook status including any key words like "cookies" or "chips", please feel free to virtually smack me. Or literally smack me, if we are blessed enough to live in such proximity to one another. I think my problem is that I'm not very disciplined. And discipline is important. And I think I've blogged about this before...

Okay, the real point is this:

There are a million things I want to be and do. Well, maybe not a million. But an important few. And they all involve having a few things squared away before I embark upon them. And they're all fairly internal and personal in nature, so I won't expound on them here. But it sucks knowing exactly what's necessary to be rid of, and not being able to rid myself of those things. Laziness, and blame-shifting, and flakiness.

I like a lot of things about myself, spontaneity and eccentricity included. But there are...side effects to those things. Side effects that don't help. They hinder. They drag me down. They cause me to sit in front of the computer and hit "refresh" on Facebook every ten minutes instead of doing something productive or WAY MORE FUN.


I know I'm not the weirdest, most mercurial person ever. But sometimes it feels like it.

Dear Lord, please give me the heart of Mary and the hands of Martha.

-The GLS

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spaghetti Alla Curry.

Kind of a weird evening. Feeling a little dazed, for some reason. Listless.

But sometimes you don't know what you want until you start cooking it.

Tonight, all I wanted was...apparently...spaghetti alla curry. Which I invented. A few hours ago. Out of some leftover spaghetti noodles and a lone Italian sausage. And a few other things.

Here's how it works:

1) Sautee about a third of an onion and one minced clove of garlic in some canola oil.
2) Toss in a handful of frozen peas.
3) Dice up some garlic-flavored sausage. Toss it in.
4) Add the desired portion of cooked spaghetti. Your total mileage may vary on that one...
5) Add a dash each of: cinnamon, cumin, coriander, curry powder, red pepper, black pepper, and salt. Check seasonings. You want it to be extraordinarily yellow. Unless you don't like curry. In which case...why are you reading this?
6) Cook for a bit over medium-high heat. Keep it moving so it doesn't stick. Add a bit more oil if necessary.
7) Serve into a deep bowl. Consume greedily.

And there you have it! Spaghetti alla curry. It was eaten WAY too quickly for me to get any snapshots, but believe me, it was beautiful. And delish.

I also took myself back-to-school shoe-shopping at Except that I'm not going back to school. I just really like autumn. And shoes, sometimes. And I have a clothing budget, which is always exciting.

Now I get to wait eagerly for packages in the mail, again. I love that!

-The GLS

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Shameless musical plug:

Trampled By Turtles, a Minnesota bluegrass band. They're awesome. Go. Seek. Listen. Dance in your chair. Realize just how awesome that fiddle player is. Figure out that you really should purchase a mandolin sometime soon, no matter the cost. No matter how much money is involved. No matter how many stores you have to go to. NO MATTER BLOODY WHAT.


Maybe that's...just me.

-The GLS

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Confession Of Gutsiness.

I just wrote a REALLY AWFUL song. Just now. I mean, really awful as in it will never see the light of day.

But it got me thinking...

I really don't dance very well.

And, that's honestly kinda by choice. I don't feel the need to take salsa/ballroom/swing lessons, or what-have-you. I know it's good exercise and that it's a cool way to meet people. But I really don't have the drive to do anything like that. It's not really imprinted in my brain the way it is for some people.

And I think it tends to disappoint.

This has happened to me very rarely, but whenever I get put into situations where I will potentially create a public display of rhythm (this phrase shamefully stolen from an episode of "Frasier"), I get really uncomfortable and fearful that people will be shocked by my uncoordinated, awkward self. It's not that I lack rhythm. It's that I lack physical imagination. And I really hope I never have to say that last sentence ever again, because I just made myself uncomfortable all over again...

I didn't go for freak-dancing in high school. I didn't take any classes. I don't go to clubs, and the last one I went to I was wearing big heavy rainboots because I didn't know we would be going there (and it was IRELAND for crying out loud!). The most dancing I usually do is spur-of-the-moment, or mostly-in-my-head. And in my head I look and feel FANTASTIC. But it doesn't translate outwardly.

This doesn't prevent me from dancing, when the situations are right. But it does prevent me from cutting loose. Fully giving in. Just letting the moment take me.

This is why the crux of my AWFUL song was a line that--admittedly--made me smile when I think of it, "The girl who tends to disappoint when she starts to dance". I think people expect me to be funkier and more of a dancing-eccentric than I really am.

That said...I'm not telling you this to get sympathy or suggestions. I'm telling you this because I consider it one of my gutsy failures.

Next time I go to a music festival, I'm kicking my shoes off more often and pulling the hairband outta my ponytail.

So let it be written...

-The GLS

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Old Favorite. Listen, Repeat.

The Penalty

Like in ancient day, and I'm on trial
Let them seize away, this once was an island...
And I could not stay for I believed them,
Left for the light always in season.

Impossible night in a crowd of homesick
Fully grown children, you'll leave the light
Your family may not wait to see you breathing
Or bend through the day they find us kneeling
Let them think what they may, for they don't reason
Left for the light always in season.

Love to you and yours on this dreary, rainy, truly sublime evening.

-The GLS

Tap Tap Taparoo...

This is what happens when you're staying in a hostel and some guy in your room is deciding--at 2:30am--to type what sounds like some sort of hastily-written essay or treatise on why late night typing is cool.

You write blog posts.

Hi, everyone!

Like I said, it's more like...3:00am, now...and I'm tired but can't sleep. So I thought I'd retire to the hostel's web cafe with a big glass of cold water and recap a bit of this weekend. And hopefully bore myself enough that I'll sleep like a baby.

Onward we go!


1) Follow the pink unicorn.
2) The Decemberists are not who I thought they were. But they're better.
3) No one can really truly understand a word Bob Dylan says, and it doesn't actually matter.
4) Courtney Love is still nuts. I know you were concerned. You're welcome.
5) Billy Bragg is NOT Bill Bailey. But he WILL stick it to the Man for you, and sign your sweatshirt without making you buy a wristband. I mean...he IS anti-capitalism, after all.
6) You always meet really nice people on the last night of a trip.
7) Don't be fooled. Eating by yourself at a restaurant isn't necessarily hellish. However, picking a time to eat during the lunch rush is never a good plan, no matter who you're eating with.
8) Chicken tikka masala is delicious.
9) Elephant Ears are a necessity.
10) Free Spaghetti.

I hope this was an important part of your day. I know it has been an important part of mine.

Well, the typist in my room got kicked out. He just came past me into the web cafe. I think it's safe to go to bed, now. 'Night, all! Sleep tight, I know I will!

-The GLS

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It Means Umbrella, Actually.

I think I need three days of music, music, music.

And rain.

But mostly music, music, music.

And festival food. And music. And music again.

Oh, could I have some Bob Dylan, too?

Think I could manage that?

Yep. I think so.

Good deal. See y'all later.

-The GLS

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Way, WAY Too Catchy...


Do you ever vow never to buy music from iTunes ever again, noting the extraordinary suck of financial resources it is?

And then...

Do you ever get a song so interminably stuck in your head that your only source of relief--beyond allowing your own head to explode--is to buy it on iTunes?

Well, I am currently stuck in this whirlwind of conviction and challenge.

Curse you, Muscles!

Welcome, "Chocolate, Raspberry, Lemon, Lime" to my family of iTunes favorites.

-The GLS