Monday, February 28, 2011

STEAMpunk!

Yesterday Chris and I went to the Freyberger Gallery at Penn State Berks to see the STEAMpunk! exhibit.  We had a good time, although the location of this gallery was not very clearly marked.  We wandered around for a while, lost on the campus, before we found it.  I tried to give up several times, but luckily Chris kept pushing on through the confusion.  It was a pretty small exhibit, but here are some highlights:




Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sketch 9



Most of these are just random drawings, but the one labeled Sabriel is Sabriel from the book Sabriel.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fry-Day

Last night I went over to Kim's house, along with Hannah and Meghan, to fry many foods.  Here are the items we selected:
Mini oreos, string cheese, kandy kakes, cookie dough, brownie dough, milky way bars, cheesecake filling, peeps, pickles, twinkies, pop tarts, mac & cheese, shark bites, and broccoli & cauliflower.   We also had some velveeta cubes which are not pictured.  We fried all of these things.  Some turned out better than others.  The biggest hit was the pop tarts - fried cinnamon roll pop tarts are amazing!  The biggest miss?  Peeps.  They exploded and oozed and were generally pretty gross-looking.  Ick.  It took us three hours to fry and eat all of these nutritious items.  At the beginning of the night we thought this might be something we'd like to do every few months, but by the end of the night we were all disgusted by the thought of ever eating fried food again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chickens

So I think I want some chickens.  I've been thinking about this for a while now, since chickens aren't something you should jump into without proper consideration, but the idea has still not gone away.

You might be wondering why I would want chickens.  This is a reasonable question.  There are two main reasons - let me explain them to you.  First of all, suburban chicken-keeping is all the rage right now.  I read a lot of blogs, and a good deal of those blogs are home/garden blogs.  And a good deal of those home/garden blogs feature ladies who keep chickens in their back yards.  I am totally jealous.  I mean, this has become such a big thing that there are whole online stores based solely on suburban chicken equipment.  That's gotta mean something, right?  I want to get in on this trend!

The second reason might be a little more surprising to those of you who know me in Real Life.  I have secretly always wanted to be a homesteader.  I want to grow/raise my own foods, live off the land, depend upon no-one.  This probably seems a little at odds with my unwillingness to do manual labor.  And with my inability to stick to anything for more than a week.  And my dislike of ever getting dirty.  Yes, it is a very unlikely dream.  But it is mine nonetheless.  And while I can't raise pigs or cows or anything like that in my suburban yard, chickens are a somewhat achievable step towards self-sufficiency.  I could have fresh eggs!  And fertilizer for my garden!  So self-sufficient!

Chris does not want me to have chickens.  He hasn't given me any specific reasons, but I can guess at some of his concerns.  I imagine he doesn't want a mess from chickens.  This is not a valid concern because we never go out in the yard.  So why should he care if there is chicken poop all over the place?

He probably also worries that I will lose interest in my chickens like I loose interest in everything else.  Like, for example, the way I lost interest in the garden last summer.  But I maintain that I did not "lose interest" in the garden.  I simply became too sad and depressed to be bothered with it.  But I still took care of the cats!  So really, chickens would be a great motivator.  They are living things; I'd have to take care of them.  And if I was already out on the yard taking care of the chickens, I might as well take care of the garden as well - am I right?

Another concern could be the legalities of chicken-keeping.  But i have checked out the borough's chicken ordinance, and I think I would be okay.  Here's what it says:
Animal - includes any animal or bird maintained as a domestic pet including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and birds. “Animal” shall also include chickens, goats, pigs or other animals when maintained upon a residential lot as an accessory use to the principal use of the lot for residential purposes. “Animal” shall not include livestock or poultry being raised upon a working farm(s) and shall not include horses which are the principal method of transportation for
the occupants of a dwelling.
As far as I can tell, that means it is okay to have chickens as long as your house stays a residential lot and does not become a farm (which it certainly won't).  I can keep chickens for me and my household, but I can't sell eggs and stuff for profit?  Is that what you get out of it?

My only concern with this chicken-keeping plot is the noise.  I am not sure how much noise chickens make or how likely they are to "disturb the peace", but this is the only thing about which I would be nervous.  We're not really on friendly terms with any of our neighbors.  That's not to say we're on unfriendly terms, it's just that none of them speak to us.  Well, except for the crazy lady next store.  The only thing she ever says to us is "Hi Neighbor!" over and over again.  True story, it happens.  So I don't know how likely they'd be for a lot of chicken clucking.  But if they did, I'd just report all their noisy, annoying children.  So there.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Aunt Flo

Okay, so, this post is going to be about the my lady troubles, if you catch my drift.  You know, feminine things.  Downstairs.  If you don't want to hear about that, don't click through.  It's okay, I won't be offended.  But I want to talk about it here in case there is anyone out there with a similar situation going on who wants to talk about it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Sorry guys, no WIWW this week.  I don't feel very well and it is late.  This hasn't been a great week for blog entries, has it?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tunes



Heard this song on Sirius XMU yesterday on the way home from work and I thought it was just the cutest thing.  I usually don't listen to XMU very often, but I've had it on a lot lately and I am really liking it.  Anyway, this is The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side by The Magnetic Fields.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wicked Faire

On Saturday, as you may know, I went to my first Wicked Faire with Steve and Meghan.  I was a little apprehensive at first, since I hate new things and fun things.  But I'm really glad they convinced me because I had so much fun.  So fun in fact that I talked to people I didn't know.  And drank with complete strangers.  And went out in public wearing a scarf as a shirt.  So yeah, you can imagine what a good time I was having.  I fully intend on going again next year.  Hopefully we'll get a hotel room and stay the whole weekend - that would be awesome.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sooooorrry

No post today, I'm away at Wicked Faire.  Instead, enjoy this picture of me and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Warm

Today I drove home from with my sunroof open.  It was 68 degrees on my way home from work, according to my car thermometer.  It probably wasn't really quite warm enough, but I didn't care.  I didn't want to waste a second of this unseasonably warm day.

I think that if I ever own a business, I will have nice weather days.  I mean, we close businesses and schools for terrible weather, why not do the same for wonderful weather?  I'm not saying every warm, sunny day should be a cause for celebration.  I'm just saying that a 70 degree day in the middle of February is a good enough reason for a day off if you ask me.  It would be a lot more enjoyable than a snow day, that's for sure.

Now, of course, the wonderful warmth is gone and some rather ridiculous wind has taken its place.  My house is actually shaking with the force of this wind.  I'll be honest with you - I'm pretty terrified.  I really hope my second floor doesn't blow away (or my trash cans for that matter).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

KFC

Chris and I went to KFC for dinner on Monday.  Or rather, I should say that we tried to go to KFC for dinner.  When it was my turn to order, I told the cashier that I would like the grilled breast and wing meal.  I was politely informed that they were out.  "Out of grilled?" I asked.  No.  Out of breasts and wings of any variety.  And they were also out of chicken strips.  Kentucky Fried Chicken was effectively out of chicken (I don't eat dark meat, it grosses me out).  It would have been funny if this had not happened to me the last three times I had been there.  I seriously cannot remember the last time I went to KFC and just gotten the thing I ordered.  Seriously.  How hard can it be to keep your Kentucky Fried Chicken stocked with chicken?

And it's not like we were there at midnight or anything.  It was 7:00 pm, which I would consider to be prime dinner-buying time.  Shouldn't they be better prepared to sell people the chicken they desire for dinner?  And it took near forever to get the food Chris ordered.  I saw at least five people working behind the counter - why did it take fifteen minutes for them to fill up a single Big Box meal?  I just don't understand.

I may have flipped out a bit because the manager came out and gave me a voucher for a free breast and wing meal the next time I go there.  Assuming they ever actually have breasts and wings, that is.

P.S.  I ended up getting Arby's for dinner, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday


Here's what I wore today.  Mako supervised the photo shoot.

Shirt - Todd Lengle's
Jeans - Bon-Ton
Socks - Christmas gift

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Tunes



Today's song is Crystal Vase by The Last Royals. I heard it for the first time on my space radio last Wednesday and fell in love. It's such a catchy song; you almost don't realize how sad it is.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Splitting Money

The other day my dad and I were discussing the post in which I mentioned the ridiculous amount of money I spend at restaurants.  He didn't think it was too bad, he said, for two people.  When I explained to him that Chris and I still split the bill at restaurants, he seemed shocked.  Honestly, this is a pretty common reaction, but I still don't understand why.  Yes we are engaged.  Yes we bought a house together.  But we are still keeping our money separate.

I have always been a big proponent of separate finances.  Even when we first started dating I didn't want Chris paying for me when we went out.  It is an antiquated and unnecessary tradition.  There was (and is) no need for him to prove that he is able to provide for me financially.  I am perfectly capable of providing for myself.  Why should he be constantly strapped for cash when I am entirely able to pay for myself?

A lot of people thought that I would change my mind, that surely we would combine our money when we bought a house.  I can proudly tell you that I did not.  We created a joint bank account into which we each deposit money to cover our joint expenses.  The rest of our money is individually ours to do with as we'd like with it.  I generally save mine while Chris likes to spend his on Magic cards and 40k miniatures.  But you see, that's the beauty of our system - he is more than welcome to burn through all of his money if he pleases.  It is his money.  If we had combined all of our money, we'd have to jointly decide if Magic cards were something that we wanted to buy - and I can assure you that they never would be.

The only problem we've encountered so far with our system is unforeseen expenses.  For example, our dryer broke a few days after we bought the house.  Because our joint account only has money for our monthly bills, we could not use it to buy a dryer.  And since Chris doesn't really save much of his money, he didn't have have the cash either.  So I had to buy the dryer with my own personally money.  Not exactly a fair division of expenses.  The only way I can see to fix this would be to add an "emergency fund" column into the budget, but I am not exactly sure what amount would be best.

Some people still think that I will change my mind when we get married, but I am almost certain that I will not.  I've had people react rather angrily to my feelings on this subject, seeming to think that it shows a lack of trust and a refusal to fully "join together" with the man that I claim to love.  Quite frankly, I don't care what those people think.  I do love him and I will marry him.  That doesn't mean I cease to be an individual person, and neither does he.  Chris and I will do what is best for us, whether it goes against the norm or not.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Siblings

Last night Chris and I were talking in bed before we fell asleep.  I don't remember what we were talking about, but at some point Chris said "ah ah ahh" in a finger waggling sort of way.  I then said that we should watch Jurassic Park the next day and he totally didn't understand where I had made the mental connection between the two.  I told him to ask Kylie, that she'd be sure to get it.  He wouldn't take this for an answer, so I explained to him that when the evil computer guy shut everyone out of the computers on Jurassic Park, his digital visage kept repeating "ah ah ahh, you didn't say the magic word".  He went on to say that he'd only seen Jurassic Park  once or twice, that it wasn't such a big deal to him.  Stay with me here, this is not a post about breaking up with Chris because he doesn't appreciate Jurassic Park.  I told him that not only did I see Jurassic Park about 8,00 times, but Kylie and I used to play Jurassic Park all the time.  With our stuffed animals, with our JP action figures, with our Barbies, and also just with us pretending there were dinosaurs around.  Didn't he do those sorts of things? 

Then I realized that no, he probably hadn't.  You see, Chris is an only child.  So he didn't spend every waking moment playing Jurassic Park, or any other game, with his sister.  It was at that moment that it hit me how very lucky I was to grow up with Kylie.  That's not to say that I didn't appreciate Kylie all this time. I have, and I have written blog entries to that effect before.  But I never really thought about what it would be like to grow up as an only child.  I mean, I am sure that Chris had fun times as a child.  And I'm sure that he had friends with whom he played.  But he didn't have a live-in best friend to share his life. That's devastating to me.  I seriously couldn't sleep, you can ask Chris.  I just kept thinking up things that he didn't experience.

He never had sleepovers in his sister's room.  He never got put in time out with his sister for fighting, only to use the time to invent a language by tapping on the dining room table so that he could communicate with her even though they were banned from speaking to each other.  He never spent summer days in his pajamas eating chips and dip and chocolate pudding while watching terrible movies.  He was never forced to play Barbies with his sister even though he was seventeen years old and entirely uninterested in doing so (except that he really did want to play and was glad for the excuse to still play but act like he hated doing it). He doesn't have roughly a million in-jokes that no-one else will ever understand.  I just never ever thought about it this way.  He never had hundreds of other experiences that I have had, and it is almost too painful to think about.

I think I was starting to make him a little angry last night when I kept coming up with all these fun things on which he missed out.  But I wasn't trying to pick apart his childhood, I was just genuinely appalled.  He has always said that he doesn't understand sibling devotion.  He doesn't understand why I or any of our friends put up with the dumb things our sibling do sometimes.  He maintains that if he did have a sibling, he would judge him or her just like he does anyone else and wouldn't put up with his or her crap just because they were related.  But I don't think he is able to make that sort of judgment, having never actually experienced the bond.  I don't think he can ever truly understand, and that's really sad.

This has also made me think about something else - I have always said that if I do, by some strange twist of fate, end up procreating, that I would only ever have one child.  But now I am not so sure.  Could I live with myself if I prevented my own child from experiencing these things?  I don't know that I could.

This revelation has opened up so many other trains of thought.  But in short, I can't stop thinking about how sad I am for Chris and how lucky I was to have been given Kylie as a sister.  Thanks, Kylie.  <3

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brave New World

We are currently listening to Brave New World at work.  I've read this book several times before, but it's always good to read/hear it again. I love Brave New World.  Love.

But it;s really got me wondering why I enjoy it so much when I hate The Giver.  I mean, they're not exactly the same by any stretch, but you have to admit the have some similarities.  Both take place in futuristic societies that seek to control people by limiting their emotions.  Both have done away with natural families.  Both preordain the career paths of their inhabitants.  So why the drastic difference in my feelings towards the books?

I have two theories.  It could be because I Was younger when I read The Giver.  Thirteen might not sound that much younger than sixteen, but I think there's a big difference in maturity there.

But I think it has more to do with rules.  Both societies are equally controlling, but The Giver's seems more so because of all the constrictive rules.  People in BNW are trained from both to follow social etiquette (in their sleep), but are otherwise pretty much left to do whatever they want.  Think about it - would you want to live in a society that monitors your every movement, controls what you eat, decides who your family will be, and chemically limits your libido?  Or would you rather live in a society where every night is like a party, you can go where you want with whomever you want, you are encouraged to have sex with everyone you know, and you can take some happy pills if you ever start to feel a little down?  It seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

This second theory falls a little flat when you take into consideration that I also love 1984, but that's a topic best left for another day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Experience Needed

A friend of mine has recently delved into the world of online dating.  I'm not sure if he reads this or not, but I'll refrain from mentioning any names just in case.  He hadn't had much luck up until last week, but now he has a date scheduled for tomorrow (or so I hear).

He's been asking the ladies of the group for tips, and just my minor involvement in the process has been a lot of fun.  It made me wonder if I had missed out on something in my limited fating experience.  You see, I have only been out on dates with tree people in my life and I'll be marrying one of the three next year.  The other two were also friends of mine.  I've never been on a date with someone I haven't first known as a friend.  Is that weird?  I am beginning to get the feeling that it is.

I was discussing this with Steve the other day and he was all "yeah, duh, I totally understand" and I had to laugh - he is one of the other two guys with whom I've been on dates.  And now he's dating another friend of ours who we've known for years.  He's just as backwards as I am and probably not the best person to ask about this subject.  But nonetheless, I think that we (Steve and I) are the luck ones, even if we are weird.  I mean, who wants to be forced to interact with a stranger anyway?  Not me, that's for sure.  Sounds way too stressful.  How disastrously it could end!  You might have nothing in common.  You might sit there and stare at each other uncomfortably.  You might hate each other.  So awkward!  At least you already know that you enjoy being around your friend.  So even if you don't hit it off romantically, you'll still spend the evening hanging out with your friend.  Regular dating sounds pretty terrible and scary if you ask me.  I don't know how you normal people do it.

And who wants to have to approach a stranger in the first place?  That sounds horrible and embarrassing.  And where do you find these strangers?  At least online dating makes these things easier.  You don't actually have to go anywhere.  And if you email someone and they don't email you back?  None of the humiliation of being turned down in person.  But just I don't want to actually do any online dating doesn't mean it doesn't fascinate me.  I enjoy the research that has been done about online dating - ther are charts and everything!  And I like to see the wide variety of weirdos, er, people that are out there.  And I'm especially interested in the actual process of going on dates with someone you've only just met.  The sheer amount of information you'd have to exchange in order make an informed opinion of someone would take tons of dates - how exhausting!  And what if you decided they we're right for you after all that time?  What a waste!  It is much better to date someone you've known for years.  You get all that terrible "getting to know you" crap out of the way before you even go on one date.  So much easier.

I wish someone would make a documentary about this.  Maybe there is one and I just haven't heard of it yet.  Or maybe I should go buy a video camera and stalk my friend on his date tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday


Here's what I wore today.  My mum found a bunch of my old hats in the basement.  This is one of them.  Hooray!

Hat - Goodwill maybe?  Not sure.
Shirt - Boscov's
Jeans - Calvin Klein

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Tunes



Heard this for the first time on Sirius XMU last week and instantly fell in love. Great drinking song, I'd say.

The Theme From Cheers - Titus Andronicus

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cat Picture

Hey.  I've had a rough day today, I'm not in the mood to think up a proper post.  So here, enjoy this picture of Mako and The Mutz cuddling on the sofa instead.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Unusual Post

So I bought some make-up today.  I know this is shocking; believe me, no-one is more surprised than I am.  A perfect storm of inspiration occurred and I couldn't fight the urge any longer.  Here, let me explain:
1) A few weeks ago I found all of my old make-up from 10th/11th grade in high school.  I used to wear a lot of make-up back then - I had some serious black eyeliner going on, and a variety of too-pale and too-dark lipsticks.  But it made me remember how awesomely goth I used to look.

2) Around the same time, I was also introduced to the show Oddities.  Two of the episodes featured Laura Flook, a clothing designer/model/artist/mortician who is just about the most beautiful person I have ever seen.  She was wearing a shade of lipstick I've always wanted to wear but never purchased because I was afraid it might be too much for my pale skin.  But she's just as pale as I am and she looked awesome in it.

3) As much as I hate to admit it, I have been spending an unreasonable amount of time watching YouTube make-up gurus juicystar07 and AllThatGlitters21 do their thing.  I don't understand my fascination at all, but there it is.  I watch their videos about their daily make-up routines and I am enthralled, even though my daily make-up routine consists of nothing but mascara.  I am having a hard time not going out and purchasing the recently recommended 88 color eyeshadow palette even though I haven't worn eyeshadow in approximately 11 years.  I mean, look at it.  All those colors.  It's amazing!  But I don't need it!

So really, it was only a matter of time.  Luckily I restrained myself from buying the eyeshadow set, but I did buy a lipstick in a color similar to Laura Flook, but better suited (I think) to my coloration.  Observe:


Not too much, just a darkening of my natural lip color.  Thoughts?  It is New York Color's Plum Rum.  And it was only $1.74 at Target!  I also bought black liquid eyeliner.  So if you see me around and you think I look a little more goth than usual, that's probably the reason.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Never Let Me Go

I just got home from a dinner and a movie with my co-workers.  We ate dinner at Panera's, but more importantly we watched Never Let Me Go.  I meant to do a review of this book months ago when we listened to it at work, but obviously I never got around to it.  That's not entirely true - I did write it, in pencil on paper, but I never typed it up.  And now I can't find the little piece of paper on which I jotted it down.  I know I couldn't have thrown it away because I never throw away my notes (hence the giant piles of useless paper that accumulate around me), but I haven't the slightest idea where it would be.  I checked the piles on my desk and the huge pile next to my desk, but it is nowhere to be seen...  I'm sure I'll find it eventually, but until then let me just tell you that it is an amazing book and I loved it.  It was a powerful, moving book (to use some totally true cliches) and I suggest you go out and read it.

I was excited and scared when I found out that it was a movie - excited because it could be awesome and scared because they could totally ruin it.  It finally came out on dvd this week, so we (my co-workers and I) watched it right away.

It was... good.  I mean, it was a good movie.  I enjoyed it and I think it translated pretty well from book to movie.  That being said, I think it was missing a little something.  It wasn't quite... sad enough?  It only got me a little choked up where the book brought me to tears at my desk (one of the only downsides of listening to books at work).  I think this is because the book gave you more insight into the mind of Kathy, the narrator.  I think this is often a problem when it comes to making books into movies.  You just come to know the character so much better in most books.  But I think the movie represented the book as best it could.  So if you enjoy the book, I think it wouldn't hurt to see the movie.  And if you are too lazy to read the book, by all means see the movie.  Maybe it will inspire you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Review

I know we;re a few days into February, but I'm going to take this opportunity to evaluate my success with my resolutions so far this year.

1) Sketches: I have been doing a lot of sketching, even though I only post them on Sundays.  I hope to post drawings more frequently when/if I ever get around to coloring them.

2)Write More Blog Entries: I have made a blog entry every day so far this year.  Doing pretty well on this one.

3)Clean All The Things:  This has been a lot better since I introduced the chore calendar into rotation, but there is certainly room for improvement.  Currently I have a week's worth of dirty dishes sitting in my sink and piles are starting to sprout up again in the living room.  Oops.  At least I clean the cat litter with more regularity.  I am sure the cats are happy about this change.

4) Weigh Less: I have lost 4.4 pounds this month.  Now, I know it doesn't sound super impressive when taken at face value, but you've got to look at it this way - I have lost 29% of my total goal - that's not so bad!  Now that it is February, I am implementing Phase 2 of my weight loss regiment - exercise.  So hopefully that will speed things up a bit.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday


Here's what I wore today. Well, the second half of today, anyway. Perhaps I should start posting my work outfit as well as my evening outfit. Hmmm...

Shirt - Boscov's
Jeans - Levi Strauss
Socks - Wal-Mart

There's a cat in this picture. Can you find him?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday Tunes



Chris has been playing The New America in his car this week and I was reminded how much I love this song. You should love it too. Pay no mind to the video, I have not idea what is going on with it. It was all I could find.

A Streetkid Named Desire - Bad Religion