Category: Personal Blogs

No, I’m not talking to you.

Hello poor neglected blog.  Yes, I have missed you.  Yes, I heard you singing “Telephone Line” while I was sleeping the last few nights, and yes I’ve felt you staring at the back of my head for weeks now.  I wasn’t ignoring you, I swear.  I’ve just been busy, you know how it goes.  There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to talk about, but time gets away from me and I forget.  And then I take up new projects, and I’ve just been so tired.  Even now after a breakfast energy drink and a large cup of Gyokuro Kin I’m still finding it hard to keep my eyes open.  But, as you can see, I’m here anyways. 

The skin is peeling off of my left index finger.  I don’t know what’s up with that.

I meant to tell you about our canoe trip last weekend.  Basically, it was great.  We packed up a little earlier than planned and took the scenic route from Austin down to Spring Branch, by way of Driftwood to Wimberly to Fisher to Canyon Lake and down.  Scenic it was, no doubt, and curvy as hell.  We didn’t get above 50 too often, but got a peek at Damien Mandola’s winery, a lot of goats, and quite a few biker bars.  Since we made it to Spring Branch about 90 minutes ahead of schedule, we stopped at a saloon for lunch (with a good 100 or so bikers and other passers-by).  The food was good, aka fried and delicious, the open patio was air-conditioned by way of gigantic fans, and they had decent iced tea for a bar.  I’d go back, and if I could remember the name of the place I’d tell you to go too.  I’ll get back to you.
Anywho, after lunch we met up with 95 other folks from the Alamo Drafthouse for our group canoeing down the Guadalupe River.  After waiting about an hour or so for everything to get settled, we loaded onto short busses and white vans and headed upstream.  Once on the water, Mick and I proceeded to suck it up as canoers.  To be fair, I was doing most of the sucking while Mick tried to correct for my ineptness and yelled “no! switch! right! now left! no, not like that! paddle, dammit!”  We almost ran into a tree once.  About halfway down the river, though, we started to get the hang of things, which led to us only getting stuck on a rock once.  By the end, we were feeling good, navigating the blobs of tubers quite effectively, and even managed to cruise the rougher parts with relative confidence.  And we managed to be the first ones back to the camp.  Which meant we got to pick a good spot to plop ourselves down and wait for the movie to start.  Did I mention there was a movie?  Of course there was, it was a Drafthouse event.  And what better to movie to watch after canoeing than Deliverance!  Of course it was fabulous, I hadn’t seen it for many years so it was refreshing to enjoy it again.  There was also bbq provided (A WHOLE SMOKED PIG!), which was absolutely delicious.  And everything managed to wrap up before 11, so the non-scenic drive home was quick and painless and I was asleep before 1am.  In short, I will probably not be purchasing a canoe in the near future, but I wouldn’t be opposed to going again.  I have a couple pictures that I’ll happily post for you tomorrow. 

The ensuing week after the trip has been relatively uneventful.  Sunday night we did go see the new Rush documentary, Beyond the Lighted Stage.  Did I mention I have been recently completely obsessed and emotionally obliterated by Rush?  I don’t think I’ve listened to anything else for at least two weeks now.  Maybe my soul is trying to make up for the 24 years I never listened to Rush, shunned them even.  What the hell was I thinking???  I wasn’t, that’s the problem.  I was letting someone else think for me.  Well screw that!  I’ve got every album (except the live ones) on my ipod and have been rotating through the catalog about once a day.  Occasionally I’ll stop and live in a song for a little while; this morning it was Time Stand Still, for a good reason (**see below), and I listened to it four times on the way to work and once when I got here.  It took me at least two of those to try and forget the strange and slightly silly video.  But even for a non-obsessed superfan, the documentary is well-done and enjoyable.  Mick wrote a great review on CyberMonkeyDeathSquad, which you should read.  And then pick up the doc when it comes out on dvd/blu-ray June 29th. 

**I think part of my current obsession with Rush might be linked to the books I’m reading.  I finally picked up The Chronicles of Amber, which was recommended to me first by my old buddy/book guru/life-saver Chas, and then later by Mick who owns pretty much the whole series and some other stuff too.  I read the first book, Nine Princes In Amber, in a matter of days and was immediately completely and totally in love.  I wrote a review for the website, then moved on to the second book.  Guns of Avalon was almost as impressive, though absolutely captivating in places, and it got a review too.  I’m now in the beginning of the third book, Sign of the Unicorn, and am loving it just as much as the rest.  There’s already been some interesting revelations, a good bit of family drama, some awesome dark and scary bits, and I left off last night at the end of a chapter right when the protagonist gets stabbed by a mysterious intruder.  And, as mentioned above, that was the reason for my Time Stand Still fascination upon waking this morning, as the climax of the last chapter deals with the slowing of time and heightened consciousness and the like.  Beyond that, it seems that Rush and Amber just go really well together.  There’s elements of fantasy blended with a healthy dose of reality, a little warfare, a dash of sexy, and all of it makes my soul very very happy.  One is constantly reminding me of the other, and when I’m separated from both I think back to them regularly.  A more professional person might say that this is unhealthy.  I won’t tell them they’re wrong, but I won’t care much either.    

Well blog, that’s where I’ll leave you for today.  Only a few other things have happened lately, none of which can’t wait until tomorrow.  I’ll see you then.

Collecting my thoughts.

I’m having one of those days.  One of those days where I feel like I need to write about something, I actually really want to write about something, but the idea of undertaking the writing completely overwhelms me.  So rather than doing a proper write-up, like something I might put on the website, I will now use this space to gather my thoughts in hopes of unburying myself from this mental avalanche. 

Yesterday, the world lost an icon.  I’ll go so far as to say we were robbed.  I’m sure most of you already know this, and while it pains me to repeat it, we must come to terms with the fact that Ronnie James Dio is gone.  I thought flipping on the iPod and rocking out this morning would be appropriate, and it is, but it makes me rather melancholy.  I’m not one to get upset over death, especially of someone I don’t know personally, and I guess there’s a hundred reasons why this particular loss affects me so.  Maybe because his music played such a big part in shaping me into the person I am today.  Maybe it was the unexpected nature of it.  I guess the reasons aren’t as important as the fact that this person touched my life and countless others, and he will be sorely missed.  I like to think that he ran into Frank Frazetta on the way up to the clouds, and the two of them are riding saber-tooth tigers through the sky and weilding battle axes and are ready to kick the shit out of the afterlife.  And any time someone throws metal, we’ll think of Dio.

But enough sadness.  For about a week I’ve been wanting to write about the book I just finished.  It’s the first in a series of five, and now that I’ve moved on to the second book, I figure I should write about the first before it falls too far out of mind.  The series: The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny.  Book one, Nine Princes In Amber, is IMHO effing brilliant.  I don’t think I’ll ruin it by giving you the premise, so here it is: a guy wakes up from a coma after a car accident with no memory, but a really bad feeling that his crash was no accident and that some nasty shit is going down.  He then must piece together bits of his identity and determine not only who he is, but who is out to get him, why, and what the hell he is gonna do about it.  Since this isn’t an official review I’ll try to be brief, but here’s a few tidbits I think are great:

1. The main character: Corwin, our “hero”, may not have an identity but he has a hell of a personality.  Even in doubt he manages to come across as very sure of himself, and his luck is astounding yet completely believable.  Some of the initial exchanges he has with his sister are priceless.  And for being a hero and a prince (oops, spoiler. kinda.), he’s incredibly relatable, completely endearing, and impeccably normal somehow.  Which ties into…

2. The tone: written from a firsthand perspective, every word we read is Corwin’s.  Part of the beauty of the way that it’s written is in his language.  He starts off very casual, very normal (for lack of a better word), and as he learns more about himself we see him leaning more and more toward formal speech, regal speech.  But the brilliance is in the way that Zelazny weaves the two together, and it really sets Corwin apart from the rest of the characters who wholly enhabit the world of Amber.  It serves as a constant reminder that he is not like them, that he is different.  And in the end, it’s that little bit of difference that gives him the edge against all others. 

Ok, that wasn’t even as brief as I wanted to be, and since I plan to expand on these for a full-fledged CMDS article, I’ll save the rest for that.  Consider this a teaser.  BWAHAHA.  And here’s the cheesiest book cover I could find:  


So I’ll leave you with that for the moment, as I feel this review is going to take a while.  Ahhh, book reviews.  Feels like I’m in college again.  As long as this doesn’t turn into a 15-page paper on the use of language as identity (and it might!), we should be alright. 

Be excellent to each other, little ones.  Love you, mean it.

Marvel with me.

**SPOILER** this post has nothing to do with comics. 

No, I mean “Marvel with me” over the weird kinda fucked up shit that one can run across while simply driving down the road.  Now you know Mick and I tend to do a bit of driving fairly often, and while we’re not often searching for adventure and intrigue it has a way of crossing our path anyway.  Tonight’s journey actually started on Sunday as we were driving back from Pottsville and visiting Mick’s family.  I pulled into a gas station in Lampasas (the one I always stop at, the one that’s halfway between Pottsville and home) and fill up the car while Mick goes inside for caffiene.  As I’m sitting, waiting, I notice there’s a house next door with a bunch of antiques in the yard and a big banner that says “OPEN”.  And right underneath that is a green 5-drawer chest that would look great in my guest room.  So on the way out of the parking lot, I point it out to Mick and he suggests I check it out.  Long story short, the price tag said $65, and I’d be an idiot not to bring it home immediately.  Unfortunately, immediately was not an option; we’d have to come back with the truck and pick it up.  Fast forward to today, Tuesday, when we decide it’s a nice night for a drive back out to Lampasas.  We get the dresser, we stop at Storm’s for dinner, we head home.  A couple miles outside of town, I see this:

From 30 yards and at 70 mph, I was baffled.  So Mick turned around and we went back and pulled up on the side street.  That’s when I saw this:

Fish heads on a fence. Not even shitting you.

 So apparently this is not an uncommon practice in the country.  Mick tells me that this is definitely not the first time he’s seen fish heads on a fence.  He grew up white trash country, he’s spent a lot of time in the country, so I believe him.  I, on the other hand, grew up in the ghetto, and although I’ve spent a lot of time in the country, it’s usually been on the back of a motorcycle.  So that was my first “what-the-hell-was-that-turn-around-now” moment of the evening.

The second came about 45 minutes later.  Just south of Seward Junction, there’s a house.  Well, not really a house, more like a FUCKING COMPOUND that’s built right up by the highway.  At first pass, all I saw were 20 ft spiked timbers lining an entry gate, the Confederate flag and a “Come and Take It” flying proudly. 

“What the hell was that?” Mick asked.

“I don’t know, but he’s got fucking battlements!” I replied.

We turned around. 

What the...

No way...

Holy crap!

That’s no moon, that’s a MOTHERFUCKING SPACE STATION.  This man had not built himself a house, but a fortress.  As we slowed, I counted 8 buildings immediately visible on the premesis, at least one of which was a converted caboose.  With the windows down, you could hear kennels full of large dogs barking and howling from inside the fence.  And I know to most folks, the construction out front looks like a drainage line being put in for the new subdivision across the road; but to me, it looked a hell of a lot like the guy was putting in a moat.  Not even kidding you.  So I guess when the Socialist revolution or the redneck apocalypse comes, this dude is gonna be ready. 

P.S. if any of you have any insight onto the story of this house or its inhabitants, please let me know.  I’m absolutely fascinated.  

Well, I just wanted to share those tidbits with you.  If you’re ever in Lampasas, check out the antiques store behind Skinny’s, he’s got some neat stuff!  I’m off to do a bit of reading in this book that I absolutely adore.  I’ll tell you about it later. Love ya, mean it!


I’m sitting here amidst quite a large pile of comic books and Martha Stewart magazines.  The latter is thanks to my mother, who likes to send me all her magazines with recipes in them after she’s read them through.  I won’t lie, she may be an insane ex-con (Martha Stewart, not my mom), but she can whip up a mean pie and plant the hell out of a garden.  As for the aforementioned pile of comics, they are the booty brought home from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, which was yesterday.  Mick and I celebrated by getting up entirely too early and trekking down to Austin Books, standing in line for close to 20 minutes to get our chance to snag twenty, yes twenty, free comic books.  And not just crap rags either, some pretty good stuff!  I personally cleaned up the Mature Audiences rack, but we really got a ton of stuff from all over.  So in the next few weeks, you’ll probably be hearing about any of the following:

  • The Tick
  • Transmetropolitan
  • Swamp Thing (By Alan Moore)
  • Fables
  • Owly
  • Iron Man/Thor
  • Chew
  • Unknown Soldier
  • Star Wars
  • 100 Bullets
  • Green Hornet
  • Planetary
  • various Oni Press
  • Bongo featuring The Simpsons
  • The Walking Dead
  • Ex Machina

But first, did I tell you I picked up the first two issues of American Vampire?  I think I mentioned that.  Anywho, won’t go into a full review now, but damn!  It’s nice to see some fucking scary vampires again.  Issue #1 was mostly setup, establishing stuff, which of course is important and I’d never say it was dull.  There are two stories being told alternately: the first centers on Pearl, an unlucky actress scraping by as an extra in silent film, working two jobs while she waits for her big break; the second is the story of Will Bunting, the bespectacled penny paper writer who happens to be witness to a bizarre set of murders on a westbound train.  And the thing that ties them together?  The American Vampire himself, Skinner Sweet.  Don’t let the name fool you, he’s anything but sweet.  He’s vicious and dirty and pretty freaking terrifying, not to mention he kinda looks like Kid Rock, which is scary enough in itself.  The terror really kicks in in Issue #2, with some AMAZING art that is completely gruesome and sort of unexpected.  I really REALLY want to show you guys one of the frames, but I think it might be more fun if I don’t.  I’ll just say that I turned a page and dropped the damn book, nearly choking on my coffee.  It was that awesome.  Kudos to mister Rafael Albuquerque for doing a fantastic job thus far.  So, perhaps needless to say, I’ll be picking up the rest of this series as soon as I can get my hands on them.  I suggest you do the same. 

Also on the exciting new media front, I finally got to sit down for my first screening of El Topo.  I’m sure you can guess how I felt about that…no?  Well, let me tell you, IT WAS GREAT.  It’s like David Lynch and Clint Eastwood had a baby, then they turned that baby loose in the Mexican desert and gave it a bunch of acid.  It was very much like three dreams strung together.  I don’t really know what else I can say about it; it’s something that really just needs to be experienced.  We have a stack of a couple other Jodorowsky films for me to check out, so you might hear about those sometime soon as well. 

Really that’s all you’ve missed in the last few days.  We’re in the process of migrating the old CMDS website over to the new backbone, which basically involves me copying and pasting every article (almost) onto a new backbone.  I can’t complain, our codemonkey Naj has busted his ass over all this for ages, and it really turned out better than we ever dreamed.  Now there’s just a little bit of tedium on my part, a little cleaning up for Naj and Mick, and voila!  The new and improved CyberMonkeyDeathSquad will be launching ever so soon!  I’m excited, you should be excited, it’s an exciting time! 

Also, I got some plants today.  Thanks to mom (again!) for hooking me up with a huge freakin palm, some violets, a ton of 4-o’clocks, mint, ivy, some butterfly bush, some other red flower thing that I forget the name of, and a pot of mystery bulbs which I don’t know if I took on purpose or not.  About half of them went in the ground before dinner, the rest will have to wait until tomorrow.  At the moment my back and neck are killing me, and it seems like an opportune time for a super-hot bath.  So I’m heading that way.  Be excellent to each other, my little ones.

Sickness and such.

Good morning, kids!  Yes, I realize it’s 5 in the afternoon, but to me it still feels like morning.  Most likely because I’ve been asleep for most of the day fighting off some sort of rancid illness that I contracted from god-knows-where.  It’s your usual stomach bug, but with the added twist of one swollen eye.  I can’t find anything wrong with my eye, and unless Mick managed to sucker-punch me in the face while I was asleep I’m going to blame it on some weird allergic food reaction.  I did eat a pizza with spinach on it last night, which is completely out of character for me.  Wouldn’t it just figure that as soon as I decide to be a grown up and eat some leafy greens for a change, I find out I’m allergic?  Figures.

So I took a sick day from work, slept away as much of the morning as I could when I wasn’t being interrupted by texts and tweets and junk emails coming through my phone.  I finally broke down and shut the fucker off when an unneccesary Facebook email notification woke me up from a fabulous dream about cake.  Damn you Facebook, robbing me of delicious dream cake.  Although it wasn’t all junk; I did get some consolation from my little brother, who is apparently down with a similar illness.  I also got a nice comment from author Scott Snyder thanking me for my enthusiasm over American Vampire.  Very nice!  I am pretty enthusiastic about it too.  I haven’t gotten a chance to delve into it just yet, what with Iron Man 2 last night and sickness today (we’ll talk about Iron Man an in a minute), but I’m pretty pumped.  You’ll hear all about it as soon as I get into it! 

Also in my tweets today, I recieved a kind word (and coupon!) from the folks at Queen Helene, who I mentioned in a tweet the other day.  And that just happens to be the product I’ve been telling you I was going to be endorsing any day now!  Well today is that day, friends.  I wholeheartedly approve this message: Queen Helene Cocoa Butterl otions are awesome.  At the risk of sounding like a cornball commercial, I will say honestly that I got turned on to this lotion by a professional model who worked for Max Azria (we were buddies in rehab); she was also a pro runner for Nike and was out in the sun all the time.  I, on the other hand, was a bartender who worked nights and slept all day, keeping my day-glo vampire skin in pristine pale condition.  Of course, going to Southern California for 28 days led to me being pretty crisp for a week or two, and my friend was quick to toss me her bottle.  Did I mention the stuff comes in huge bottles?  It’s awesome.  And much to my delight, I found that not only does the Queen Helene Cocoa Butter lotion work great for relieving sunburn pain, but it works wonders to keep your skin hydrated and wards off peeling.  I’m happy to say that I did eventually build up a base tan, and I managed to spend a good three weeks with the only tan I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.  And since then, I’ve had many sunburns and more than a couple bottles of Queen Helene always at the bedside.  So for all my fellow pasty Irish pals out there, grab yourself a bottle of Queen Helene next time you’re at the store.  I’ve personally bought it at HEB, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.  And inexpensive too!  A huge bottle is less than $5 and will last ages, even with frequent use.  And just for a little extra impetus, I’ll share my coupon link with the first 5 people to email a request to!  And thanks again to the folks at Queen Helene for the coupon and great products!       

And I suppose I must mention the fact that I did get to attend the screening of Iron Man 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse last night.  In short, I had a blast.  We did get sort of shafted by the studio (long story), and Mick and I ended up in the front row, but it was fun nevertheless.  I just like to think that I got a better seat for Jon Favreau’s great Q&A after the flick, and for the surprise appearance of Mister Robert Downey Jr. who came in to introduce the film.  That’s right, I was like 10 feet away from Tony Stark.  I did manage to bottle up all my fangirl energies and avoid hurtling over the railing for a full-contact tackle (which would have probably ended in concussions and assault charges), but I may have hopped a little during the theater-wide standing ovation upon his entrance.  As for the film, it was pretty much what I expected.  Which, quite simply, was a lot of fun.  I heard some people complain that it felt slow in the middle, that there wasn’t enough action, but I never felt that way.  Sure, it could have had more action, EVERYTHING could use a little more action, but I didn’t find myself bored because of it.  Downey was great, as was Mickey Rourke as the psuedo-sexy psycho Whiplash.  A delightful suprise came in the form of one Sam Rockwell, who I didn’t realize was in the film at all. (My research into this one was a little lacking.)  For one thing, I love pretty much everything Sam Rockwell does ever, and in Iron Man 2 he proves that he can do sleazeball really well.  It’s all in the details and his commitment to the character; I won’t spoil one of my favorite character moments of his, except to say watch his hands while he’s having his first meeting with Ivan (Rourke).  I was thankful that someone (a woman, unsurprisingly) did bring it up during the Q&A and Favreau got a chuckle out of telling us the story.  That’s one of the other things that I did enjoy about the film was the attention to detail, not only by the actors for their characters, but by the writers and director for the continuity and overall story tie-ins, bringing in little elements of Avengers stuff and bits that make all the geeks a bit giddy inside.  I also appreciated that they haven’t dumbed down the Avengers angle by bringing in a real explanation of SHEILD or Nick Fury and the like.  They present them as an element of the story, and I think they make it pretty obvious that there’s more going on there than we realize at the moment.  I like, though, that we’re sort of left in the dark, even at the end, because so are the characters.  Of course some people already know where things are heading, but those who don’t (myself included) should enjoy the not-knowing.  Omnipotence is dull, give us a little mystery.  In short, go check out Iron Man 2.  Geek recommended!

And once again, I’ve written so much more than I intended to, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing.  But my most excellent caretaker/husband has gone to fetch me dinner and should return any minute now, so I’ll leave you with all this for today.  Tomorrow maybe I’ll get to the Jim Steinman thing, and hopefully some American Vampire.  Oh, and I finally have things to say about the new Dr. Who  We’ll see where the evening takes us.  Be excellent to each other, kiddos.  Love ya, mean it.

Hooray for Tuesday!

Today is a good day. 

For many reasons, really.  Number one: I’m going to a special screening of Iron Man 2 tonight!  Downey + Rourke + Cheadle + Sam Jackson = mega-swoon.  That’s a swoon of epic proportions, just for the first two alone.  That, and if the movie is even close to being as enjoyable as the first one, I will be a happy camper.  So I’ve got something to look forward to after work. 

Russell T. Davies and the good Doctor

We also have two fabulous “celebrity” birthdays to celebrate today.  First, let’s hear it for Russel T. Davies, writer and producer of the new Dr. Who series.  He’s done some brilliant work, brought some pure genius to the show, and made my life about 10x happier.  He’s also responsible for the darker Torchwood series, and Queer As Folk, which I haven’t quite gotten around to yet.

Ace Frehley, shock me!

Also having been birthed today is Ace Frehley, guitarist for one of my lifelong favorites, KISS.  Maybe not the smartest guy in the group, he does play a mean lick and has penned a few winners. (Cold Gin and Shock Me are still some of my favorite KISS songs.)  And I just learned, thanks to Wikipedia, that he was once in a street gang with Blackie Lawless called The Duckies. (Take it with a grain of salt, but it’s still rather amusing.)

Well I told you last night that I’d tell you about my wrestling guilty pleasure today.  I guess there’s not much to say really; it’s a bit strange being a female wrestling fan sometimes.  I personally don’t know any others, so any time there’s a get-together I’m usually the only chick within a ten-mile radius.  That being said, I can carry on an intelligent conversation and have a knack for predicting outcomes (I did win the betting pool at this year’s Wreslemania party).  And before you start, yes we all know that it’s fairly scripted.  The winner of the match is predetermined (usually), and the bullshit drama is often made up (and bloody terrible).  But so is your favorite soap opera.  And when’s the last time you saw Adam Chandler take a chair to the face?  You wish!  That’s what it boils down to, really: wrestling is a soap opera with real blood and more steroids.  And less attractive actors.  Or maybe that’s just me; I’ve never been one to go for the beefcake type, excepting once or twice. (see yesterday)   And that’s half of the strategy behind making picks for matches: you have to look beyond just ____ vs. ____ as individuals to see the greater story arc and how they fit into the big picture.  Unfortunately, my story-telling abilities sometimes get in the way and I make picks based on what I think would make a better stories rather than what I think the WWE thinks would make better stories.  It’s complicated business.  And that’s not to say that I only watch it for betting purposes, or that I’ve ever made any money off it.  It’s pure speculation. (Even the Wrestlemania pool I won was only $8.)

On that note, I did just get a bit of badass news that I’m happy to share with the likes of you all: Mick and I have decided to splurge this year, and when WWE Raw comes to the Erwin Center at the end of May, we’ll be watching from a suite.  Not just us, mind you, but a host of other friends as well.  I’m excited!  I’ve never had a box before, so this is a new fun thing for me.  Plus no irritating people around us, no signs blocking my view, no drunk guys being generally obnoxious.  Probably just me and the boys again, but that’s alright by me. 

I had some more stuff to tell you, but I’ve suddenly run out of time.  Tune in tomorrow for a product endorsement, my review of the new Mountain Dew flavors, and clarification for a reference I made to Jim Steinman in a tweet last Thursday.  Be excellent to each other, compadres.

Not all here.

I held a baby today. 

This is very exciting for me.  I love babies.  Babies are awesome, and I’m often told that I’m really good with them.  Kids are a different story; once they start talking and running around and getting into shit, that’s when I check out.  But while they’re babies, goddamn they’re just great.  All soft and squishy and curious as hell.  Love em.  Love em!

That being said, I do not want one.  And I’ll admit, I was worried the whole ride over that I would hold the baby and love the baby and suddenly want a baby.  Instead, I held the baby, loved the baby, and gave it back.  And all was well.  He’s a fabulous little guy, ridiculously cute and incredibly well-behaved (for being only 2 weeks old), and if by some horrendous act I did end up with a baby, I hope he would be that awesome.  I mean, look at this face:

Smartass baby.

Did I mention his name is Cash?  Yeah.  This baby has no choice but to be awesome.  Hopefully I will do much baby-holding in the near future.

That’s not initially what I came here to tell you about.  But sometime between holding the baby and getting home, a migraine started budding in my brain and I haven’t been able to think much since.  My amazing husband brought me Short Stop and made me some tea, which helped, and I’m now doing double-duty on wrestling, which probably isn’t helping.  Yes, it’s true; I’m watching TNA with the sound off while Mick watches the WWE Draft on Raw in the next room, which I can listen to.  It’s not that I’m a huge wrestling fan, but I do like it enough to be curious about it.  And I might occasionally mark out over a few guys.

like that one


and that one


Remind me tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about the wrestling thing.  I was gonna give you a badass endorsement today too, but I’ve run out of steam and my aching is getting worse.  Time for me to suck down some chamomile tea and hit the sack early.  Be good, kiddos. Love you, mean it.

She’s Alive! ALIIIVE!

It’s true!  I’m not dead!  You didn’t think you could get rid of me that easily, did you?  Ha!  No sir, not me. 

Although I see how you might think that, since I haven’t posted in like a month.  And for that I apologize.  Trying to post every day really took a toll on me, and I got all sorts of burnt out on the whole thing.  I’ve definitely thought about writing since then, and have had things to say, but life just has a way of, well, getting in the way of the best of intentions.  But enough excuses.

I’m actually just here today to brag a little bit.  Remember waaaay back on January 1, when Mick and I told you about our friends at Jimily Farms?  Well folks, Jim and Emily paid us a visit yesterday and brought samples of their newest products!  I now have, in my possession, one jar of raw goat’s milk, one jar of goat yogurt, almost two pounds of fresh chevre cheese, and two bags of incredibly pure worm castings.  And so far, everything is AWESOME.  Have you ever had goat’s milk?  It’s surprisingly delicious!  It’s sweeter than cow milk, and better for you too.  Even Mick liked it, and he hates milk.  The chevre was equally fabulous, especially since these guys are just starting out.  I laid awake in bed this morning dreaming of all sorts of things I could do with it: blend it with fresh herbs, add some lemon zest, maybe pepper some of it.  Hell, with two pounhds of it, I’ve got some room to experiment.

Speaking of fresh herbs, I embarked on a new horticultural journey recently and planted myself a little herb garden.  I’ve got pots of fresh rosemary, sage, stevia, verigated oregano, cilantro, italian parsley, and pineapple mint.  So far, after two weeks, the basil is the only thing that hasn’t survived.  Check it out!

the garden

The Garden

You’ll also notice a few other plants in there, as I was sort of on a roll that day.  Our neighbor, who just moved in a few months ago, inherited an amazing cactus garden from the previous owner, a firefighter and brilliant xeroscaper.  I guess since we were both doing some yardwork that morning, she came over and offered me the chance to take some of the agaves from her yard, as they sort of tend to take over when not tended vigilantly.  She was nice enough to give me a few big ones on top of the little babies that had been growing between the rocks and out of the sidewalk.  You can also see the now-deceased basil, and the large red pot that held my first attempt at transplanting a bluebonnet.  Unfortunately, that proved to be a doomed effort.  The laws of man in cahoots with the laws of nature, I say.  As a trade, however, nature decided to give me back the orchid I though had frozen to death; the tiny green bud of hope caught my eye yesterday and made me just a little giddy.

The orchid lives!


So I spent a few minutes this morning spreading my new bag of worm castings on all my plants, and I fully expect super herbs in a week or two.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Aside from my attempts at amateur gardening, I’ve still been knitting up a storm.  Trying to find things to knit during the summer is proving a bit challenging, and has resulted in a basket full of dishtowels for lack of any better ideas on most days.  For giggles, I’ve been working up some little monster dolls, which is fun and a bit challenging at times.  Example, here’s the incompleted Frankie doll:

Frankie! (cell phone pic, not great)

I had planned on making him a little jacket, but so far attempts have been mediocre at best.  Rather than fretting, I’ve started making him a little bride, and we’ll see how that turns out.  If you haven’t looked lately, I did put a bunch of new stuff up on the Hell Bent Etsy site (hope you like dishrags!!), so go check that out and see what strikes your fancy.  I’ve got more stuff to add too, and I’ll let you know when that makes it up.

Considering it’s pretty early still, that’s all I can think of to tell you at the moment.  If anything comes up, I’ll be sure to let you know!  Take care, lovelies, and you’ll hear from me again soon.  I promise it won’t be a month this time.

Weekend Update, starring me!


That’s the kind of morning it’s been.  It has been, in every conceivable way, the worst case scenario.  And in some cases, worse than we imagined.  But I won’t bore you with the minutiae of my craptastic morning, and let it suffice to say that I’ve had a few cups of tea and things are looking less worse.  Let’s talk about some happy things.

Like the weekend!  I’ll let it be known here that I have a few issues with SXSW, namely the large amount of douchebags it brings into our fair city.  But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.  Because if there was ever a refuge, a safe haven if you will, from SXSW douchebaggery of all kinds, it would be Mojo’s Mayhem at the Continental Club.  Somehow Steve and Mojo Nixon have figured out the perfect recipe for douche repellent, and a bit of uber-crass psychobilly doesn’t hurt either.  Mick and I go every year, and every year it’s an all-day raucous blast.  One of my favorite things is to watch the crowd rotate throughout the day; not many of us last from 10am to 6pm, and the variety of bands tends to draw a wide variety of fans.  In the morning, there’s the relatively-unheard-of bands that bring in the younger, hipper crowd.  Around midday they start with the Austin legends (John Dee Graham, James McMurtry, etc), and the older crowd of hippies moves in.  The next-to-last band gets a little more rowdy (last year was Dash Riprock, this year the Mother Truckers), and then almost every year Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors will round out the evening.  By that point, the crowd consists mostly of punks and drunks and hardcore fans, and it’s really brilliant.  I had the privelege of rocking out at the front of the crowd next to a couple in their late 60s who were having the best time.  There’s nothing like watching a 68-year-old woman singing “tie my pecker to my leg” to brighten your day; if that doesn’t make you smile, you are soulless indeed. 

Afterwards Mick, Naj, and I trekked over to Home Slice for some pizza, which was FILLED TO THE BRIM with out-of-town douchebags.  But the food was great, so it almost made up for it.  I felt very sorry for the staff there.  I remember those days. 

And in not-so-exciting news, I spent Sunday in Georgetown with the ‘rents.  It’s always a nice way to spend a Sunday, laid back and not really doing much.  For me anyways, dad and my brother spent the afternoon working on my car. :)   I, on the other hand, chatted with ma and helped make some brownies, helped her pick out clothes for their upcoming cruise, and played about 3 hours worth of Mario Galaxy on the wii.  For the record, I am terrible at almost all video games, but Mario is a fun way to kill some time.  

Another bonus of spending a day with my parents is that I always come home with more than I left with.  Yesterday I was gifted with some adorable owl planters, a handful of wisteria cuttings, some leftover chinese food, and an ungodly amount of saffron. 

(my dad is awesome)

crackberry shown for scale

I didn’t bring home that whole bag.  That’s how much was left after I filled up about half of a mason jar.  In other words, that right there is about $500 worth of saffron, on the US market anyways.  In Israel, where it came from, that’s about $5.  If I were only slightly more industrious, I’d set up shop on the street corner or outside the 7-11, peddling imported saffron to the youth.  Youth who are crying out for more flavorful risotto, who are tired of ”the establishment’s” piss-poor paella.  But instead I’ll probably just hoard it and eat a lot of yellow food in the upcoming months.  The search for good saffron recipes begins!  I’ll let you know how it goes. 

And that brings us back around to today, which you’ve already heard enough about.  Mick is off getting a physical, I’m stuck here, and that’s about where we stand.  I haven’t had time to check out any news of the day, so I can’t bring you any goodies just yet.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.  I try to be my best. 

You kids be good.  I’ll chat with you tomorrow.

Just the facts.

Hey kiddies!  Hope you’re having a fabulous Wednesday, and a very merry St. Patrick’s Day. 

I wish I had something exciting to tell you, but things have been busy at work and leaving little time for fun and excitement.  So here’s a little news for the day to keep you occupied:

Because we here at YGFAD are unashamed Eli Roth groupies, I was excited to read that his new production, The Last Exorcism (nee Cotton) has a release date!  Come on August!

Here’s an equation I never expected, but in the end it’s not so surprising:
John Mellencamp + Stephen King + musical = The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.
The project has already been postponed once, but now there’s a director on board.  That’s a start, right?  No release date as of yet.

Speaking of musicals, Poe is also getting a CD/DVD release!  Haven’t heard of it?  It’s only a musical about the works of frickin Edgar Allen Poe, penned by Eric Woolfson (of Alan Parsons Project fame) and starring Steve Balsamo, who played the titular role in London’s 2009 run of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Prog rock horror musical FTW!  {For the record, Ian Gillan was still the best Jesus, hands down. Sorry dude.} 

And because I like Scalzi and I think he makes a good point, here’s a nice logical reason why we still don’t have replicants and Jupiter is still a celestial behemoth (and, as far as we know, not full of magical monoliths).

SGU anyone?  New trailer’s up on io9!   Reminds me how much I LOVED the last two minutes of the last episode. 

Someone give this guy a hug.  Preserving the lost art of VHS cover art! 

And just for fun, here’s a pretty picture of space dust!

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