Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!

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I’m blogging in the candlelight in front of the fireplace. Warming up after freezing my patootie off outside as it got dark out. There are candles lit everywhere, and one of iDJ’s disco lights is flashing swirls of colour across the big front window.

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We have lights up, and styrofoam headstones, and cemetery fencing, and other stuff…

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SomaFM is playing on the house stereo; Doomed channel, special Halloween mix. It’s good, have a listen.

I’m worn out after carving all seven pumpkins today. Yep, seven. iDJ found four tiny ones, then two middle sized ones, then one more middle sized one (all at different shops) and he bought every one he found. Glad he did, as they didn’t last long as they are hard to find in Ireland!

Only one small one went rotten in the weeks before today, much better than last year when two went bad, and very bad they were.

Here’s my store-bought crop:

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Huh. I just realised that I can’t count. Eight pumpkins! No wonder I’m so damn tired. Glad I took the day off! Where the hell did the fourth medium sized one come from?

Oh, sweet. While I was typing this, iDJ posted the pics of my finished carvings on FB. Now I get to go rob them for here!

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My owl. He’s got lovely red leaves stuck on like feathers. It didn’t turn out exactly as I imagined.

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Cranky baby pumpkin. Shoulda put the single snaggle-tooth on the other side.

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Skull pumpkin. I was already running low on ideas.

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Stitched-up pumpkin. Not enough oxygen gets in to keep the candle lit so his lid has to be wonky.

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Ya got me. Sort of like a pig or a bull. * shrug *

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Probably my favourite. Pretty scary!

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And, of course, a spider!

You might realise there are only seven pics. Pumpkin no. 8 was a mutant inside and I couldn’t carve it in a way that would allow a candle to light it up. I saved it to last, dithering, and what I did to it is too crappy to share!

Happy Halloween!

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Blowing through the cobwebs of my mind

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Ever wonder why I subtitled my blog, ‘blowing through the cobwebs of my mind’?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. No one has ever asked, anyway.

But I never let that stop me. Here’s my thought process: there’s a song like that, sort of. It sounds cool. Wonder if anyone will get it?

Since either no one got it, or everyone got it (either way no one said a woid), I am now talking about it. See what happens when I make an effort to do this daily? You get this sort of shite! Aren’t you sorry now?

And I thought the song I had in mind was Windmills of Your Mind, a beautifully melancholy song, the corrupted lyrics of which I read in a version in Cracked Magazine circa 1980-something. I still have the magazine, but it’s up in the attic and I don’t love you enough to climb the Ladder Of Doom, stumble over a million bits of junk, find the box, and dig through it just so I can prove that I still own it, and type out their version of the lyrics. But after a massively failed attempt to Google it, I could be persuaded. I’ve got some treasures in that box.

But there’s another song which clearly works better. Since AlienRedQueen reminded me how much I like their music, I’ve been listening to a lot of Type O Negative, a band described as ‘Gothic Metal’ (a big part of what they did, but they were more flexible than that category). I love their version of Seals & Croft’s 1972 hit, Summer Breeze.
The video is shite, just listen. The band was gone before the ‘net exploded into what it is today.

I mentally hear that wonderfully bass voice singing ‘cobwebs’ instead of ‘jasmine’. Even if you hate this sort of thing (Sled, I’m talking to you) give a cursory listen, just for me?

If you don’t, I might devote a whole post to how you can get my hubby’s Halloween podcast. It’s pretty damn cool…

€1.50 worth of dammed cleverness

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Short fast and fun tonight – I have a phone call to make to the effervescent Socks!

Okay, so the other day I forgot my lunch. Luckily I remembered when I was in the garage (gas station for my American friends) and I bizarrely actually had a couple of Euro on me. This is very rare, normally I drive flat-broke. So I had a look to see if there was anything at all edible in the shop.

I found instant noodles, that’ll do! Good thing I’ve been off the diet.

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I knew I could just add hot water at work and grab a fork and al, would be well.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the lid and found this.

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The fork was included!

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The fork was a freakin’ Transformer!

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*cssh-ank-cha-choo-chug*
(That was me attempting to type the transform-y sound from the Transformers cartoons. Not the movies. They suck.)
So when hubby bought me another pot yesterday (because we didn’t have anything I could take to work for lunch) I ripped it open to show him The Transfork.

He was suitably astounded.

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Something I like about this brand nearly as much as The Transfork is that they put the ‘veg’ in a little packet instead of in the noodles. The carrots never rehydrate and are just disgusting, this saves me having to pick or spit them out.

Koka is Super-noodle!

Stephen King has a webcomic!

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Okay I’m a bit late in, but you have plenty of time to catch up!

My writer-hero, Mr King, has a webcomic in the works right now. It’s called The Little Green God of Agony.

Drawn by Dennis Calero and adapted from a twice-published short story, Little Green God will update Monday, Wednesday and Friday for eight weeks. We’re still barely into week two, so if you love King, jump on board!

I just leave the page open in Safari and check it daily, as I barely know what day it is anymore…

I feel weird

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I’m outside, in the shivery cold, wearing two shirts, my ‘smoking jacket’, sweats, socks and slippers. The moon is bright and directly in front of me, and I hear nothing but car tires whispering in the distance, an occasional bird who hasn’t realised that it is dark out, and a few thumps and bumps from the neighbours’ house.

It’s quiet because iDJ isn’t here and so there is no music playing – for a change. You have no idea how much I appreciate a non-musical interlude. He’s off buying me cream for my coffee and taking a brand new PC to its new owners – he does computer work on the side and fuck me but it took hours to set up a brand new Dell out of the box. Crazy. Hope he gets some cash for this. (Edit – he did)

Thumps and bumps are because we live in a semi-d. I share a wall with strangers. Well, not that we don’t ever talk but we have SFA in common, other than a dislike for the new neighbours in the estate who leave their yappy dog out all day and all night and never ever make it shut the hell up.

I smell the smoke of fires, mine and theirs – mine is coal and turf briquette, theirs is wood. The air is still enough that the smoke sifts down to me where I sit in the patch of light coming through our sliding glass doors. Shivering.

I don’t want to go in, even if I have a fire waiting. Outside it’s dry, and not windy, and my back feels ever-so-much better if I sit up straight in my Coleman camp chair. Sitting properly is something I do not do when huddled in front of the fire trying to blow my nasty cigarette smoke up the chimney.

I think I’m getting something. A cold, the flu, a bad reaction to having infected teeth. I haven’t been ill in over a year – I forget what the signs are. I feel weird. Stuffed up, but totally able to breathe through my nose. Achy, but just my neck. Headachy, but I’m used to that. We will see. I have another cold sore. This makes two in three weeks. A sure sign my resistance is low and I’m fighting off some horrible nastiness. For me to admit I don’t feel ‘right’ at all probably means I have something seriously wrong. Heh. Not. Heh.

We got free fish today. A friend of iDJ’s brought us cleaned and filleted mackerel. I don’t cook fish, I haven’t the talent. I leave eggs and fish to himself; he has the touch. I was mostly annoyed that I have to wash a raw-fish smelling bowl, and felt a bit odd that we were getting free meat out of the boot of a taxi. I guess that’s my do-something-for-the-first-time observation for the day.

A not new thing I’ve been wanting to mention is something that happens daily on my drive in to work. Same road, same time, every morning, I meet a school bus coming the other way. The bus-driver lifts a hand from the wheel and greets me. Every day.

How cool is that? I don’t know him, I don’t live in that town, and I don’t have kids on his bus. He knows my car and knows I’m there, and gives a little hello. I love Ireland. I would never get that in the States. I give it back, of course. Two ships vehicles passing in the night morning. It cheers me as I sit in my little blue and white box, music (that I love, a rarity) so loud I can’t hear my own engine, on my way to another day of work. I look forward to seeing that bus coming at me.

Himself is home, and the dog is tap-dancing in glee and the cats are talking to him – because he talks back, of course. I expect the music to start any second now, he’s standing at the Mac…

Taste test experiment with Chocolate

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My workplace is an office full of women, no men. On top of a filing cabinet in one corner there is a constant supply of junk food – chocolates, biscuits, gummies, and crisps.

I think only one of those doesn’t need a translation: chocolates. The rest: cookies, gummy bears (or whatever shape), and… oh god I can’t remember the American term… potato chips! I’ve been here too long.

Anyhoo, last week a box magically appeared that said “Hershey’s” on it. I was ecstatic. It was a mixed selection of mini-bars and Kisses and Resse’s cups, and I knew they would be mine-all-mine.

Because the Irish hate the taste of Hershey’s chocolate. ‘Disgusting.’ ‘Vile.’ ‘That’s not real chocolate. It’s just nasty.’ (Despite this pervasive opinion, my favourite Special Dark were all gone the next day. Fuck!)

Irish people really like Cadbury’s choccy. I find it boring and too sweet, personally. And if you look it up (hubby did, I can’t be arsed) Hershey’s has a higher percentage of cocoa than Cadbury’s. So there. It’s closer to “real chocolate” than Cadbury’s. That doesn’t matter and there is no point in saying so – Cadbury is an English company but they had a factory here – had – and the loyalty and habit runs deep.

I told hubby about my joyous discovery upon the Filing Cabinet of Future Pudginess. And even though he knows Hershey’s is better quality, he still said, ‘yuck.’

And then he said something else. ‘The Kisses are good, but the plain Hershey Bar is just awful.’

‘Bullshit,’ sez I. ‘I bet you wouldn’t know the difference between them based on the taste! If I chopped them up so you couldn’t tell from the shape which was which, you’d never know the difference.’

He of course insisted that would never happen. And a challenge was born, because I love calling out someone when they are wrong…Game on.

That was Thursday, and I didn’t expect any of the stash to still be left today. I underestimated the hatred these people have for the Hershey, PA, treat: the Krackle, Mr Goodbar, and the freakin’ Special Dark were decimated, but plenty of Kisses and Bars remained. And Resse’s, yay! Irish people also think peanut butter is icky.

I took one of each.

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Contestant number one. So innocent and shiny.

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Contestant number two. Bigger, more threatening.

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Not so scary now, chopped down to size.

I put on my best American Movie Trailer Announcer Voice (I have a talent for this voice. Ask the women in the office) and pulled Himself into the kitchen for the Great Hershey’s Taste Test! Complete with me making up a terrible theme tune to get him in the mood.

He got a wee spoonful of each. Then he asked for another taste, and I was allowed to mix the spoons up so he wouldn’t know if he got them in the same order.

I give him mucho credit, he took it very seriously.

First sample, he had no opinion. Second one, he said it tasted smoother. Third, he didn’t say much. Fourth, he said it was the better of the two.

His final guess – one and three were the same, two and four were the same.

Correct!

As to which was which? Totally wrong. Both times.

He made sure to repeat over and over how terrible they both were afterward though.

Battle Royale, with Cheese

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Right, so, I’ve been sitting on these pics for a little while. I didn’t feel much like doing much, and I still don’t, but I had three days off and got some schtuff done around the house and I’m trying to force myself to be interactive. Sort of the idea behind forcing yourself to smile so you’ll feel better. Endolphins or endorkings or sommat like that.

Yes, I know the right word. I just like the idea of the chemicals in my brain being either dolphins or dorks; either splashing about happily in my brain juice or sitting in the corner like a classic eejit in a dunce hat.

I suspect I have more endorkings.

Oh lawd. I’ve now taught my iPad that endorkings is a real word that it can finish spelling for me.

Anyhoo, the forcing effort freaked me out a bit today when I decided to visit all the blog posts I’ve been skipping. My inbox said I had no unread messages, but when I went to the next page I found 19 of them from mid-September. Gmail lied to me. Unread means unread – not ‘you haven’t read any of the three dozen you can see at one time.’ I hate hate hate having unread mail! I might choose to ignore it until later: but not even glanced at? uh-uh. Makes me feel like such a lazy slug. And I hate hate hate slugs.

In any case I promised a kitty-battle. And I was reminded again when I saw all the emails to myself from my iPhone. There should be a better way, and I’m sure there is, but that’s what I do.

They aren’t that old, only from the 4th. Terrible quality, the boys were fast and um, well, furious. Damn Vin Diesel and his crappy petrol-laden series of movies.

Here’s how it got started.

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You can understand perhaps why this caused affront to Spot. But he had been trying to mount his brother for about two weeks prior to the Battle Royale, so I think patient Lokii had some payback coming.

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Spot didn’t think so.

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Yes, I just sat there and clicked away. I’m a bad mom.

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Lokii tried to escape, as Spot was being really, really mean. He came toward me, as a supposed safe haven. Ha.

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There is no attempted rape going on here. Nothing to see.

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Um, I think I will retract that last statement.

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Spot had a wee lie-down on the couch in between skirmishes three and four. Lokii hunched down below his eye level, but my phone or finger wasn’t quite fast enough to get the entire pounce!

And then back to normal, disgustingly cute, ear-cleaning, kitty-brotherly-lurve in front of the fire when they got tired.

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Oh, just write something FFS.

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Yes, just write something, anything, get the fingers moving and the brain-juice flowing! I don’t mean you, I mean me!

I finished all of the published Game of Thrones books. I had seven titles in my library, and Wikipedia informed me that there were seven books, and they all have titles, etc. and then I finished book five and went to open book six… and it’s not even written yet. My other two titles were short stories. DAMMIT! So… I’m having withdrawals.

And I also had a root canal yesterday. Go, me. I went to the dentist Tuesday eve, because I’ve been fighting off a toothache for a few weeks, and then while chewing some gum one tooth did this horrible sucking pulling suction thing with the gum and it hurt. So I gave up on fighting it off with Listerine and floss and got an appointment that day. I knew my efforts weren’t working anyway – my glands have been swollen and my ear hurt and I got my first cold sore in over a year. Definitely had an infection going on. DAMMIT.

Had three X-rays and a new dentist at the practice. He was less than impressed with the quality of my fillings and told me the sore tooth needed a root canal (me, not surprised, I know my teeth are shit) and that there is infection in another tooth as well on the other side of my mouth. And the filling on that one is so big that once the old filling came out, the root would be right there, and probably turn into another root canal. And he’d like to fix at least six other teeth.

DAMMIT.

Ok, sez I, this does not surprise me. I know my teeth are shit, sez I (to a bit of eye-widening from New Dentist who probably expected an American to not say shit, or have crappy teeth). This is why I have dental insurance and kept it even when I didn’t have a job, sez I. Let’s just fix the one that hurts and we’ll get to the rest, sez I.

Okay, sez he – and sends me out to make an appointment. Um, no work to be done today? No? Right, okay…appointment.

Earliest they could get me in was November 23rd. What what what? Right, okay – I understand, and I’m not in pain unless I use that side of my mouth, and I’ll keep up with the mouthwash and floss until then… I’ll be grand.

Until I got home and starting thinking about the fact I have an infection in my head. And it already bothers me. And I’d have to put up with it for over a month. I decided to ring the dentist the next day to ask for antibiotics.

It didn’t quite work out that easily, and I don’t feel like typing all that out. But I got a call around noon on Thursday asking if I could come in for stage 1 of root canal the next day. Why yes, yes I can.

So that’s me half-done, I have a temporary filling in and still have the Nov 23rd appt to finish it off. But… It’s a lower, back tooth that has gone bad and the poor fella can not get to it. I can’t open my mouth any wider to make room.

Insert joke here.

My jaw is sore as hell from the 1.5 hours I already had, and he’s frustrated too. I’m a good dental patient, I don’t fight or fuss and I don’t hate him for doing what he has to do. I even can, and do, turn my tongue sideways to keep it out of the way. I just have a small mouth.

Yes, yes, go ahead and laugh some more.

And I still have another bad tooth, and I’m fresh out of cash… anyhoo, this whole thing might be part of why I’ve been off my game lately, here and elsewhere.

I’m going to post pics of kitties having a bad-ass battle next.

Where Did I Go?

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My one-year blogsversarry has come and gone. I wanted to write something fun, and funny, and I cannot. That’s why I haven’t posted a thing lately.

I’ve lost my funny.

I’ve lost my funny, and I’ve lost my art, and my words. All the things that brought us together via the blog.

All I have left at the moment are the cats.

Maybe it’s the epic book-journey I’ve been on, reading the Song of Ice and Fire books. (OMG the author looks like my dad!) I’m only on book four, and it’s been over a week. Or two? These are long books, so far every one over 800 pages hardback according to Wiki (I have digital versions so can’t be sure of a page count). I’m happy to have a place to go, and crave that world when I am away too long, but perhaps this level of escape is not the best for me?

However I think I know deep down what is bothering me. And it is an unsolvable problem, which bothers me more and makes it harder.

I read just a few of my early posts: just one or two, and I seem so different. Financially strapped, physically broken… but I was writing. Even just to hear myself speak, I was writing. And then I was drawing! A new format that excited me and opened new worlds and ideas.

And then I got a job and all that went away. Poof! And now instead of dreams that feed my creativity, I dream of computers and emails and Things I Forgot To Get Done. I wake and think of these things instead of marvelling at the strange song that was in my head.

So. I want to say a lot of things, but right now, I’m just a bit dark. I want to bitch about work but It Isn’t Safe. If I put up a password protected post, would anyone read it? Who really wants to hear me moan? I don’t even really bitch to iDJ as there is nothing he can do – and as a man, he would want to fix it. He’s just as trapped as I am, so other than leaving with a sigh and coming home somber or cranky, I don’t say anything.