Tag Archive: Sponsor Blogs


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 ygfad.tara@gmail.com!  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.

…and we’re back!  It’s another Sunday come and almost gone, which makes me very sad.  Sundays are often my favorite days, probably because I’m allowed to be lazy for most of the day and not feel bad.  Plus there’s cartoons in the evening and I don’t feel bad for going to bed early. 

As far as Sundays go, it hasn’t been the best, but it’s alright.  While Mick was napping earlier I made myself a big ol’ fire in the fireplace, partly because our house has been unusually cold lately and partly because I like watching things burn.  So now I’m watching it do its thing and thinking about that half a piece of cheesecake in the fridge. 

AND THEN THE CHEESECAKE WAS NO MORE!  Of course leave it to the TV gods to toss up a Jillian Michaels commercial as I’m stuffing my face.  Thanks.  But hey, here’s some free advertising for today:  If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Mopac and Braker, swing through the big shopping center and check out Just Desserts, a divine little pastry shop offering up a bazillion kinds of cheesecake daily, all oh so delicious.  The key lime is amazing, and I’m also a fan of the mandarin orange.  The piece I just scarfed was a traditional turtle, and it was awesome.  So forget the Cheesecake Factory, support local business and eat better cheesecake.  Go get your Just Desserts!  (Also, it’s right across the way from Mighty Fine, and the perfect way to top of a goddamn tasty hamburger.)

Well, in case your wondering, the Todd Snider show last night was AWESOME.  He actually had two opening bands, neither of which I had ever heard of.  First up, The Tricias…I’m normally not one for chick bands, but these gals were amazing.  Part CSNY, part A.M.E Choir, and a few Nick Cave-esque dirges thrown into the mix; these girls are what the Dixie Chicks wish they were.  Check out this video:

Next up was a honky tonk band from Denver, the Great American Taxi.  They were fun, and the old folks were having a blast.  It was a strange hybrid bluegrass jam band, I’m not sure if it was in a good way or not.  But there were plenty of “ladies of a certain age” doing that strange dance that they do…you know the one, where they bounce their knees and point to the band while they’re singing along.  So there was a lot of that, and it went on for a little longer than it should have.  In the words of my very pregnant friend Stephanie in the row behind me, “it wasn’t as good as a taco.”

But then there was Todd, so it was all okay.  He’s a brilliant songwriter, and a hell of a lot of fun to watch.  And it’s not your typical rock show either; with his bare feet and his floppy hat, he’s a modern-day pied piper, and the entire audience hangs on his every word.  People don’t talk, most don’t scream or whistle (except the occasional drunken frat boy), they just sit and listen.  And he’s more than happy to sing and tell stories and play requests.  And people are actually excited when he says he’s going to play a new song!  Crazy, right?  He’s that brilliant.  And you can tell by the humongous stoner grin that he gets that the man is having a great time doing it too. Here’s another video, just for grins:

So that was definitely the highlight of my weekend, week, January, you know.   And I can say that, because tomorrow is February.  Which means only two weeks till my birthday!  And yes, I am happy to still be at an age where birthdays are an exciting thing, not a dreadful thing.  Although now that I’m officially pushing 30, I do get a little apprehentious sometimes.  Don’t tell anybody though. 

In honor of my birthday, here’s a carousel of things you can buy for me!

Ok, #tarawebfail.  Just opened up the ol’ dashboard here and realized that the blog I wrote yesterday made it to the draft folder, but didn’t get published.  Thank god for backdating!  No one will ever know…

Unless you tell them.  But don’t you tell them! 

Anyways.  It’s another Monday, back at work, and it’s been a bit stressful.  My coworker is still on vacation, so I’m running the front by myself until Wednesday.  So when there’s not a crowd of people lined up in front of my desk, the phone is ringing off the hook and I’m locking my keys in the book closet. (twice)  I’m hoping that the afternoon will bring better luck, but just in case I’m trying to just remain calm.  I made myself some tea, I’m trying some deep breathing, picturing myself under the trees in the backyard.  I wonder about what all these calming exercises are that they keep talking about in Dune, all the Bene Gesserit training.  I could use some of that.

Speaking of calming, I’m declaring an honorary sponsor today since I don’t have an official one: today’s blog is brought to you by Andanda Traders, purveyors of fine pure incense from all over the world.  I ran across Andanda Traders just a few months ago at the Texas Renaissance Festival; I was in the market for some incence, and saw (and smelled) some rather delicious ones in their cart.  We happened to walk up in the middle of a demonstration, as the gentlemen owner was explaining the use and benefits of burning pure resin incense rather than sticks.  Sticks, you see, dilute the incense with wood-burning chemicals which come from burning the bamboo stick.  Resin burns, instead, on a charcoal, so you only get the scents and sensations of the incense itself.  I was intrigued, and they provide a handy little resin starter kit that is very inexpensive and gives you everything you need to start burning.  From experience, I can say that it’s very different than just lighting a stick and walking away.  It’s a very active process: you have to set up your container, light your charcoal and wait for it to be ready, then add your resin a few pieces at a time, wait a few minutes, add some more resin, wait, add, wait, and so on.  While not practical for just scenting a room, I’ve found that it is very meditative and can be excellent in preparing the mind for different tasks.  I like to sit and burn a little before I begin writing or while I drink my coffee in the morning.  Ananda has some great scents too, most of them imported from all the sorts of exotic locations you’d imagine good incense coming from, crafted from secret formulas passed down for centuries.  That’s how he tells it anyways, and I’m inclined to believe him.  I’m particularly fond of the Nile Temple blend, but have also burned the Nag Champa with great delight. (For those of you who enjoy Nag Champa sticks, give the resin powder a try; it’s different yet familiar and I think you’ll like it.)  Just the other day I ordered myself a few more bottles of the Egyptian Gardenia, Copal, Dragon’s Blood, and Gloria. 

And for those of you who don’t want to put so much effort into your fragrances, Ananda Traders offers Pure Incense sticks as well which don’t have the traditional bamboo core.  Unfortunately, their website doesn’t come with a scratch-and-sniff feature, but you can trust me that all of their products are wonderful.  They also sell perfumed oils and various accoutrement for all your burning needs.  You can find them online at www.theAnandaLine.com

(Other perks: flat-rate shipping in the states and great bulk discounts!)

And since the completion of the Pink Death, I’ve been trying to give my hands a bit of a break; soon, though, I’ll have a nice new (small) project to show you…and since I made it up myself, I’ll even give you the pattern!  And if any of you are on Ravelry, you can find me under the name LadyLascivious.  And, as always, http://hellbent.etsy.com.  I’m still in the process of restocking after the holidays, I’ve got a few things that need to be photographed and posted, but go check it out anyways.  There’s still two more months of chilly weather!  I can take requests now too for smallish projects (sweaters and afghans will have to wait a while), if you’re looking for something in particular.  (Cthulu tea cozies, anyone?)

Well I hope you enjoyed today’s sponsor, and keep your eye out for many more!  We’ve still got plenty of spots open for cheap cheap cheap, so if you or someone you know wants some easy advertising, hit us up!

Happy Monday!

Welcome to 2010!

Good morning all, and Happy New Year!  My apologies for not posting yesterday, my whole schedule got all flipped around and shuffled and I ended up only being at work for half a day, busting ass on Pink Death for a few hours, then packing up and heading out to visit the in-laws for a couple days.  We didn’t get to see them for Christmas, so we’re making up for it now.  And here I am, writing to you from Pottsville, TX.  It’s okay if you haven’t heard of it.   If it’s not the middle of nowhere, it’s pretty damn close.  A quick history: Pottsville was founded by Col. Stephen J. Potts, who was granted the land by Andrew Jackson after Potts married Jackson’s cousin.  They started a sheep farm.  At one point, Pottsville had a general store, a school, and a gas station.  Today it is home to 52 people, half of them in the Kinsey family.  There is also a significant Lutheran population.  The gas station and general store are closed, the school is still standing (barely, by the looks of it), but there is still a functioning community center.  But, like I said, 52 people.  The closest proper town is Hamilton, which is 20 miles away and boasts a population of over 300!  Small town Texas for sure.  Not that it’s a bad thing, it certainly has its quirks and charms.  It’s always significantly colder here than in the city.  There’s critters and varmints.  I saw a herd of guineas on my way to breakfast this morning. (“On my way” consisted of me walking from Mick’s aunt and uncle’s house over next door to his parents’ house.)  A relative down the road has a pack of alpacas, which is beyond awesome.  And it kind of has the Cheers vibe; everyone here knows your name and greets you warmly, even if you can’t for the life of you remember who they are.  Plus Mick’s family can be a good bit of fun, and there’s always good food to be had.  As far as in-laws go, I think I lucked out.

So the country is not a bad place to start the new year.  Speaking of New Years Day and being out in the country, today I get the privilege of telling you about our first new sponsor!  Today’s blog is brought to you by the good folks at Jimily Farms, an independent dairy featuring food and home products handmade from goat’s milk.  And I can say that they’re good folks, as Mick and I have known owners Jim and Emily for quite a while now and they are definitely good folks.  We’ve been to the farm and pet the goats.  You can read all about their operation at their blog 12 Miles to Utopia.  Aside from their new working dairy, Jim and Emily also have experimented with bee-keeping and the growing of mushrooms.  So if you’re looking for quality milk, cheeses, and soaps handmade right here in the Lone Star State, look no further than Jimily Farms! 

(insert catchy tune here)

Well, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to find an internet connection to post this baby, but regardless, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2010!  Let’s make this year better than the last!

Hello Tuesday!  Getting a late start today, but I’ve been surprisingly busy.  Among the many daily duties I’ve been checking off the list, there’s been a few little upgrades made to the blogs, not to mention an obscene amount of twittering.  A few things, though, that I should tell you about:

First off, the ingenuiTEA that I got for Christmas is AWESOME.  Right now I’m enjoying my third cup of Gyokuro Kin and am very happy about it.  Yeah, so I’m a tea snob, what of it?  Not that I have anything personally against…more affordable…teas, but there’s just something about a hand-crafted Japanese green tea that is actually green!  And tastes green!  The Gyokuro Kin is a personal favorite of mine; (here comes the science) it’s grown in much the same way as Sencha teas, except it’s shaded for the last three months before harvesting.  The shade causes it to pull more nutrients from the soil, which in turn leads to a higher caffeine content.  And you know how I love my caffeine!  It’s really smooth and light with a spinachy flavor.  I highly recommend it! (If you’re in Austin, you can find it at The Steeping Room for sure.)  But I digress, the ingenuiTEA is fabulous and you should totally get one.  And get it from Think Geek, because they are fabulous too.  I promised their twitterer that I’d be knitting up a Cthulu-themed cosy for the teapot tonight, cuz by god that would be the most awesome thing ever.  And it will!  Oh yes!

Speaking of knitting, you’ll be happy to know that I totally busted ass on The Pink Death last night and am over halfway finished with the front side! (only two rows over halfway, but hey, it counts.)  So I’m ahead of schedule, and that’s always good.  It’s coming together nicely, better than I expected, but keep up those encouraging thoughts!  If this turns out half as awesome as I want it to, I will be pleased.

Also in the news, we got our first sponsor today!  I say “we” because they bought spots from both Mick and myself, so you get to hear about them twice!  We’re kicking the year off in style with sponsorship from Jimily Farms, purveyors of fine handmade goat-milk cheeses, soaps, and more.  They rock, and you need to know about them.  But not just yet.  Wait till Friday! 

And yes, there are still plenty of spots open for sponsorship!  You can purchase Saturday for only $2!  There’s not a day over $31 this whole month!  Hell, you could buy the whole month of January for under $500!   That’s a steal, my friend! (Let me just say that if you do buy the whole month, you get a special prize and my undying adoration.  And also, you better have a lot for me to talk about.)

Short post for today, as I have a few more things to catch up on before heading back home for more work.  Remind me to tell you about Dune tomorrow…

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