These are a few of my favorite things

My interests are, to put it lightly, eclectic. I never really ‘grew up’ and, let’s be completely honest, I don’t really plan to. So, I thought I’dshare some of my favorite things with my lovely readers in the hopes that we can connect on a deeper, more intimate level.

;D

1.) Stuffed Animals

Now, as a 90’s kid, I had my share of Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Kids and the like, but my favorite toys were always the ones that looked like an Addams would have designed it. I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about. The teddy bears with the purposefully missing ears, stuffed bunnies with X’s for eyes, or some generic animal with mismatched buttons eyes and a broken felt heart sewn onto it’s chest.

These are called Critters. Hand designed, hand sewn, and totally adorable. Every Critter can be ordered sans buttons, if you decide you want to sacrifice your happiness and buy one of these for a child instead of yourself, and, if you’re anything like me, these little squishies are pretty much irresistible.

Where can I get one? You’ll inevitably ask after seeing those lovable faces. Well, readers, you’re in luck! Critters can be adopted online at crittersdot.com 

Just be careful you don’t become a Critter hoarder. Or do, your choice.

2.) Books!

I am an avid, but picky reader. I love fantasy novels above all else, and a really good fantasy book can make you forget that you have a job… and a life… and responsibilities. For instance, my favorite authors are David Eddings, and Anne McCaffrey. If you’re a fan of fantasy and you haven’t heard of either of them you’re definitely missing out. Like, living under a rock missing out. Seriously, dude, do you even know what paper is, or is that too young for you?

3.) COFFEEEEEE

I’m sure any of you who know me are totally unsurprised that this is in my list, but hey, not everyone knows me. I am a coffee fiend. Not a snob, though. Honestly, Starbucks can suck my beans. But I do love me some flavored coffees. Harmony Bay makes an absolutely DELICIOUS hazelnut creme coffee. Imagine a cloud from heaven descended with a single, enormous golden hazelnut, fragrant as can be, and Harmony Bay ground it down, cloud and all and sold it. That’s this coffee.

Also, while Dunkin’ Donuts was helping promote for the newish MIB movie, they had that black cocoa creme iced coffee that was “out of this world”. Haha. Ha. I’m funny.

But yes, this:

Was the most delicious surprise my best friend had ever woken me up with. When I heard they weren’t selling them anymore, I nearly smashed the drive-thru menu.

Oh sweet coffee. Come back to me one day, that I may devour your deliciousness.

Ahem. On with the list. Last but not least

4.) Vidyagamez!!

So, I’m not the most adamant gamer in the world, by far, but there are some games that make me as happy as a clam. Usually, I stick to RPGs, since most FPSs bring out the wuss in me, but, like all rules, there are exceptions. My all time favorite would definitely be Final Fantasy 7, with 8 and 9 coming in close behind. I’ve also been known to show people my pokemanz. When I have access to a decent computer, I like to vent my rage by killing pixelated bad guys on the MMO City of Heroes. Something about fighting fake crime just makes me feel important. There’s also Portal, Halo and Half-life, though I’m not very good at any of them, and some very old PSX games, which are, like the FF games, played on an emulator on my laptop. In the PC category, we have Neverwinter Nights, which, if you haven’t played, but you like games like Dungeon Siege and Diablo, I’d recommend, and The Sims. They’ve gotten progressively more addicting as each game comes out, and I find myself geeking out over almost very change. Like when they added a fountain building tool thingy. I got so excited, my best friend had to slap me and tell me to shut it. I’m too broke to afford any of the expansions, but I can entertain myself just fine playing God on the base games.

Well, now you know a few of my obsessions. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you like to waste your life with.

Ciao!

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Oh the joy of dying from chocolate overdose

Looking over a recipe book my Aunt and Uncle gave me a few Christmases back, I came to a very important conclusion.

You can make anything (And I do mean anything) into a casserole. 

At least, people in the south do. My Uncle compiled this book o’ heart attacks from members of his church, which I won’t name, and I counted thirteen recipes with the word “casserole” in them. So my count didn’t even include casseroles hiding under other names, stowed away in other sections, or, and this is probably the most ridiculous part, desert casseroles. Are those even allowed to be called casseroles, or are they some form of pie or parfait at that point?

Either way, it made me see that people keep finding new, and sometimes disgusting ways of torturing their families preparing meals. Truthfully, a frito and zucchini doesn’t sound very appealing, but to each their own. So, I’ve decided to put one of my favorite recipes out on the internet.

The Splendiforous, Surprisingly Easy, Super Chocolatey Cake

You will need:

Two 9 or 10-inch round pans (your choice, but I usually use 9 inch)

One large box of instant chocolate pudding

Milk

2 boxes of whatever chocolate cake mix you prefer (I like using devil’s food or chocolate fudge.)

Whatever those boxes say you need. Eggs and oil, I think.

Package of chocolate chips or chunks (Your choice)

One of those cake cutting thingies, or however you feel comfortable slicing a cake in half

Chocolate icing (You can get that stiffer decorating icing, too, if you feel really fancy)

Mixing bowl, plus another bowl about the same size.

Preheat the oven to whatever the cake box says, and make the cake as directed. Before you put it in the pans, add about 1/2 cups chocolate bits (Or more, that’s up to you, but remember they may sink to the bottom of the pan, so go light, and you can add more in after it’s in the pan). Bake until it’s done.

Now, let the cake cool completely. Go read a book, or finish getting drunk, or yell at your kids for shaving off their eyebrows. Whatever my dear readers do in their spare time.

Actually, now might be a good time to make that pudding. Mix the ix with milk as directed, except reduce the amount of milk by about 1/2 cup.

Once the cake is cool, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and prepare to mutilate.

Slice both cakes horizontally and pick one of the top halves and set it aside. Slather some puddin’ on one of the bottom halves and put the other bottom on top of it. Rinse, repeat.

Still with me? Good. Once your cake looks like a non-text version of this:

(Cake)

puddin’

(Cake)

puddin’

(Cake)

You’re ready to frost it! Yay!

Frost it, obviously. ALLLLLL over. Pile it on thick if you want. Your choice. Now set that delicious beast aside for a moment and turn your attention to the last remaining cake half.

Crumble it. Crumble it all with no remorse. You’ll be sticking these cake bits onto the side of your cake. Or throw it at the cake. Again, really up to you.

If you have that decorating frosting what comes in tubes, now’s a good time to add whatever fancyschmancy decorations you want.

So, you’ve got the cake baked, layered with puddin’, surrounded by crumbly bits, and possibly fancily decorated. What’s left, you ask? See that bag of chocolate chips you thought you would now get to devour? Take some of those and sprinkle them over the top of your almost done cake. This is optional, but c’mon, you don’t really want to take away any delicious chocolatiness, do you? Didn’t think so.

Once you’re done with that, VIOLA! You have a delicious cake. Pat yourself on the back or go start a food fight with your neighbors.

Or just cut yourself a slice of that delicious and moist cake sitting innocently on the table.

Well, Congratz on your baking adventure, if you did it right. Condolences if it blew up in your face. Hilarity if it did literally.

This is the longest recipe I’ve ever written. Now go sit your sweet patooty down and eat some cake!

Ta for now!

Expanding my horizons

So, I’ve officially decided to expand my blogging horizons beyond funny anecdotes of my mediocre life and start writing about everything that interests me, whether it be guides tips or stories about anything and everything I feel like sharing, expect to see a lot more posts from me soon.

Back, after an agonizing hiatus.

If none of my lovely readers could tell, I don’t have a terribly exciting life. It’s dull, it’s flat, and I love it. My ability to squeeze humor out of it is what makes life look less gray.

Since my recent absence, several things have happened; some good, some not-so-spectacular.

1.) One of my best friends learned that her boyfriend is a sociopath, and cut ties with him.

2.) My other best friend moved to Kentucky with her boyfriend. (Did I mention that the first ‘BF’ mentioned is leaving for Virginia soon?)

3.)I joined a payperpost site, for which I have to include the phrase “Order a schadenfreude movie on DVD now!” to claim this blog as my own.

And several other small things that, in the long run, I’ll only remember part of. Please note, I don’t know what a schadenfreude movie is or how to order one on DVD.

So don’t ask.

I don’t really have an update per se, I just wanted to post and let my readers know I hadn’t disappeared from the blogging world.

 

I will say that I’m about to go thrifting with my best friend. We’re heading over to a shop called My Brother’s Keeper on Phillips Highway, and I’m hoping they have a better selection of stuff than the last store we went to.

It wasn’t bad, but the Goodwill kinda kicked it’s ass.

 

Ta for now!

 

Fall is in the air!

So duck, or avoid rapidly expanding shadows.

November in Jacksonville means the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair. It’s the time, as I’m sure you all know, where masses of people gather together to look at (and smell) livestock, get dizzy, possibly drunk, get hit on by carnies, and most importantly, eat things you’d never think of frying.
Like fried Snickers.
Oh dear god, the diabetes and heart disease.
Anyway, this little haunt rat is only afraid of a few things:
-Snakes, and spiders
-Snooki
-Being upside-down for extended periods of time.
There is a ride at the fair (Which is a traveling fair, so you might have been to it, or at least know what I’m talking about) called Ring of Fire. Cheesy name. but legitimately horrifying. At least to me.
And my so-called “Friends” (I love you both, I promise) made me get on this ride.
It’s a vertical circular track and you get held upside-down for a few seconds, several times. I thought I was going to cry.
I tried to keep my eyes closed, but when I felt my stomach pressing against the bar holding you down, and the blood rushing to my head, panic mode kicked in and the world seemed to slow down. Suddenly, 3-4 seconds felt like a minute, and I screamed bloody murder until the carriage finally slowed down and I heard Chelsea and Wayne telling me it was over.
When the operators opened our cages, I was visibly shaking, and they knew that it was me who’d been shrieking like a wounded banshee.
I don’t even feel bad about deafening Chelsea and crushing Wayne’s fingers.
Bastids.
It was a fun night, though, all in all. Wayne won three goldfish for Chelsea, I got to continue my yearly tradition of attending at least once, and there were bunnies.
One of them had his ear in his water dish.
Derp.
Fairs are always a fun family event, but they’re just as great with close friends, and anti-anxiety medication.

Halloween and some such nonsense.

This past Halloween season, I had the opportunity, for the second year, to work at Night Terrors Haunted House.
Because I’m awesome.
So there.
Anyway, we’ve had a lot of good times and bad this season, and a few incidents with rowdy customers, but all in all, it’s been a pretty good run.
You never really know just how much work and effort goes into a haunted house, especially one of this magnitude, until you work in one. By the end of the night, everyone’s exhausted, all the actors are pissed, there are puddles of pee to clean up, and our vocal chords are trying to go on strike from the abuse.
Lots of fun.
And at the end of the night, every night, we find out who in our ranks did the best job at scaring/making fun of the customers. Or which of us made it past their adrenaline flood and into their memory bank.
I’m in the unfortunate position where I have to make our beloved spenders go through a small, definitely claustrophobic tunnel.On average, customers spend about five agonizing minutes trying to tell me I’m lying, or kidding, or they have a broken leg, or they’re paraplegic, or they’re not real. I get threatened, swung on, hit on, insulted, and at least one person, every night, tries to push me out of the way to go through the actor exit sitting conspicuously to the side of the dreaded tunnel. It doesn’t work. I’m a big girl, and moving me is like trying to move… well, a big girl.
Anyway, a few of our dear customers have stuck in my mind, and remembering them always brings me much joy.
I’ll share them with you now.
– A group of two guys in white shirts, and two scene kids enter my scene. One of the ones in white jumps when I scare him, but enters the tunnel without argument. He gets to the first turn, but doesn’t continue.
[Side note. The tunnel turns twice. It’s a very short tunnel, so it’s not like it’s a difficult obstacle, except for the person behind the grate scream in their faces, spraying them with an air house and beating a block of wood against the grating.]
He encounters who we’ve nicknamed “Alice” (This night, it was my friend Chelsea) and promptly begins screaming his girly little head off. For a second, his voice went so high, I thought he was prepubescent. His scene kid friends yelled at him to move, but it eventually took me crawling in after him, garbed in a bloody patient gown and looking for all the world like a dead mental patient, for him to finally move.

-A group of black guys came into my scene, obviously terrified, and spent a few minutes arguing with me about the tunnel. After I bellowed a simple command, they all dove in. The last guy, frightened of the chick behind the grate, sat at the back of the tunnel and wouldn’t move. I opened the door and climbed in, at which point he started screaming “THIS AIN’T FAIR!” and fell sideways.

– I accidentally scared the owner of the haunt. Twice. I have yet to scare the acting director. Still trying. He’s startled me a few times. Bastid.

-A guy dropped $6 while climbing into the tunnel. Win.

– One guy, at the beginning of the season was very obviously drunk as a skunk. He pointed at my patient gown and slurs “You’re bleeding.” I growl and tell him he’s drunk, and he dramatically shakes his head, and with a gust of boozey breath, slurs “Nuh” and stumbles into the tunnel.

-Last but not least, I have to give a shout out to one of our biggest and most intimidating actors,
David. Every year, we get to go through the house we aren’t working in to see how the rest of the haunt looks. David is in Outbreak, which is a zombie infested hell hole. He’s also one of the biggest chickens in the crew. We could hear him coming from the entrance to Madhouse, hollering and protesting the entire way. When he got to my scene, I saw his eyes widen and the protesting crescendo into a physical battle to get him off the floor and into the tunnel. After a few minutes of pushing and pulling, David and Jay (the one pulling) came tumbling down the ramp out of the tunnel, and a new protest began as they entered Alchemia. I’m kind of sad to know he was just acting.

In two weeks, we’ll get to say our final goodbyes to the building we spent the last several weeks screaming our heads off in for 5+ hours a night, make probably hollow promises to hang out with the other crew members, even though I know we’ll all try our hardest to keep in touch. Those who are getting paid will get their money, and then we’ll have an agonizing 11 month wait until we get to scare the piss, crap, and vomit out of another month’s worth of victims.
I had a blast working with everyone this year. I made some new friends, laughs were had, tears were shed, and I may have gotten someone pregnant.
I’m reminded again that sometimes, people that probably never would have spoken in high school can come together and become such a tight knit family, and work together to make something great. People that you just met a few weeks ago are suddenly by your side, genuinely worried about you, screaming at the asshole customer that attacked you.
I love my haunt family more than I can say, and it’s been a privilege to work with all of them. But all good things must come to an end. I hope to see everyone next year.

I’ll hunt you down and tie you to one of the make-up tables if you don’t come back.

You are warned.

Sweat, blood and screams. Oh my!

Alright, so, Halloween is fast approaching, and I’m probably more excited than I should be. I’m working, for the second year, at a haunted house called Night Terrors. This year, we’re bigger and better, and it’s a little under two weeks before the screams start. If anyone in or near Jacksonville reads my blog, and I’m hoping there are a fair number, you’d be missing out on one of the best haunts in the country if you don’t come out.

Anyway, Orientation was yesterday, and I got to see a lot of fresh blood, which, knowing me, means there will be a lot more people to get annoyed with me, and I’m strangely fine with that. Of course, I got to see the people that were there last year, and the guy who got me the job in the first place, Rob.

Also, I’m really going to try to stick with the phrase I say every time I see someone from last year. (“We should hang out outside of the haunt”) Maybe my procrastination will get put on hold and I’ll actually do that. Maybe.

There’s not a whole lot else going on except for me getting a papercut from a cardboard box a little bit ago. Is it still called a papercut if it’s not from paper? Cardboard cut? Some kind of minor injury.

For a little over a month, I’ll probably ot be posting any blogs, except maybe after dress rehearsal, but I may forget again.

Oh! I almost forgot. My birthday was somewhat recently, and I completely forgot to blog about it. </hipster>

My best friend Chelsea decided she was sick of me deciding I want a tea party for my birthday, and then backing out the day before, so she threw me The Tea Party of Inside Jokes, which included little kid’s plastic tea set, balloons, sparkling grape juice, and a lot of “Awww, I hate you in a loving way” emotion. I think I may have some of the cheesiest friends in the city, but they’re still better than yours.

Unnecessary update on semi-serious topics

I know it hasn’t even been a week since I last wrote a log, but I guess this is essentially a “pity me and my hardships” kinda blog.

Or at least it’ll start out that way.

So, two and a half weeks ago, give or take, my computer took a shit on it’s self and I lost every tiny scrap of information I  had on it. Most of this was music, pictures, games, old school work, etc., so it wasn’t the loss of the century, but there was one document that I had on there that I’d been working on for a while that I now have to backtrack considerably on.

I’m writing a book. I’ve been afraid to officially say it’s going to be a book, as I though that would make me lose my motivaion and/or creative spark, but I’m through kidding myself. I have enough scenes in my head to turn this into a good-sized book, and my every intention is to do so.

Well, when I’d finally gotten a working computer (my old desktop) I’d had about 4.5k words finished on my story. By the end of that week, I had nearly 20k added to that, and I was ecstatic, as you could possibly imagine. Being, like, 500 words away from the halfway mark of your first word count goal is pretty exciting when you’ve only ever written, like, 400 words before giving up.

Well, my luck ran out shortly before I found my flash drive and something in my computer fried. And I lost those nearly 20k words.

I’m not going to lie, I cried.

It’s kind of like having someone wreck your 5 ft sandcastle at the beach. You spend hours working on it, letting the elements kill whatever chance you had of not getting skin cancer, only for the life guards to run straight over it in their hoity-toity beach truck, or the mean kid you went to preschool with in ’74 bulldozes it, because that’s what he does. He bulldozes things. Because he never finished high school. Because he failed out of algebra. Because his mom was an alcoholic. And that’s why he stole your pudding at snack time.

I do have my very own laptop again, and I’m back to writing once more. Now I just have to remember what the hell I wrote before.

A trend, I’m beginning to sense.

Once again, the technology of the past decade has let me down. I’d managed to get my old desktop working again, and a week later, it decided to take a shit on itself, and I’ve been internetless for the past two weeks and a couple days. Now it is August 30th, 2011. Better known in my household as “My 21st birthday.” I’m eating an omelette and trying desperately to remember any hint of something interesting I may have done over these past two weeks besides watch every Star Wars movie ever made.

My sister and I have been hanging out more, lately, and I’m very glad of that. We always end up spending most of the time giggling like school girls over little things that only we’d find amusing, up until she starts geeking over her latest obsession and I’m left rolling my eyes and waiting for her to pause for breath so I can dive back under the water and resume pretending to be a lost mermaid princess swimming. She and I have a scary amount in common, and we rarely have anything to do with the other’s obsessions, we’ve just always had the same basic taste in shit. Except, she’s pretty into Supernatural, and I’d usually rather not watch two pretty men dance with mythical creatures. If she reads this, she’ll probably yell at me for weeks about that.

I also attended my first meeting of the Cowford Steampunk Society, and it’s so much more relaxed and entertaining than I thought it would be. The Mayor stepped down after three years, my persona, Captain Zylphia Flint, gained employment under Lady K, and people were shooting each other from balconies, minimally trying not to hit the exhibits. (We meet in a museum.) While the physical ages ranged, the only people there you could have really called “Mature” were some of the ladies. The men and younger people all seemed to act like 12 year olds, and watching them terrorize each other with little foam darts assured me I’d found my kind of people. I even got to see a female Dread Pirate Roberts, so it all rounded out quite nicely.

Last, but most certainly NOT least, I went to audition for the haunted house I worked at last year. Got to see a few old faces, and take a peek at the selection of fresh meat we may have this year. It really is amazing the kind of people that show up to auditions for a haunted house. There were three girls that I’d have expected to pee themselves at the sight of a kid dressed in his mother’s linens, or wrapped sloppily in gauze bandages, but one of them surprised us all and bested last year’s screamer. Of course, most of the people that showed up probably weren’t Night Terrors material, but it’ll be nice to have a few new faces in the make-up room. I’m a little sick of Frankie’s smug face goading me into airbrushing genitalia onto him.

Well, there’s not a whole lot more I can write here today. I don’t have a terribly exciting life, and most of my time is spent wondering what to spend my time doing. Today, however, is my birthday, and I refuse to let this day go by unnoticed, so I’m off to lick someone’s spoons. Adieu.

Creeping out of comfort zone: 1% complete

I’m an avid believer in “If it works, don’t change it” and there are a lot of things I do that I am severely stubborn about; cutting my hair, how I dress, badgers, etc. However, a few days ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

I let a non-professional cut my hair.

One of my best friends is an aspiring cosmetologist, last I checked, and she’s been cutting her mother’s/sisters’/friends’/donkey’s/toothpicks’ hair for a while now, and I’m too broke to afford to go to a salon, so I called her up. Well, actually, I sent her a message on facebook, but you get my drift.

I haven’t had a haircut since April of ’09, and a good 5 inches of my hair was as dead as a politician’s soul basically just split ends. I’ve known for several months now that it would be good to get a trim and get it re-layered, but I didn’t have the money or the time, and then I forgot.

Anyway, I sent Samantha a message and asked her if she’d cut my hair, and she agreed. The next morning, though, I started to get nervous. She, by no means, has a “normal” hair cut, and, while it looks fine on her, I couldn’t help but imagine myself looking like that very disgruntled cat wearing a lime peel for a helmet.

By the time she actually got to my house to do this delicate procedure, I was almost nervous enough to be shaking. I’m very VERY vain about my hair, and the last time I let a non-professional cut my hair, it looked like one of Lady Gaga’s hairstyles had had some monstrous love child with a mullet and an 80’s do.

Of course, she neglected to tell me she wasn’t used to working with wet hair until after I’d drenched it, so that was a little nerve-wracking, and the entire time it felt like she was cutting it right next to my scalp. All I had to go on to watch her progress was a distorted shadow hovering on the wall.

Well, you remember how, in the first Harry Potter movie, Harry was sitting under the sorting hat praying it didn’t fuck his shit up? That was me while Sam was cutting my hair. I kept mumbling “Pleasebelongerthanitfeels pleasedon’tcutallmyhairoff” and hoping she didn’t suddenly sneeze or have of tourettes-esque fit of jerking and cursing, therefore making me look like I’d pissed off a bewitched lawnmower.

Once she was done cutting, I looked in the mirror and saw an immediate difference, which usually is no bueno when your hair is as curly as mine.

I let it dry, washed it, and screamed at it to dry faster before I made a solid opinion of my decision to be adventurous. (Or, as adventurous as my fragile mind will allow. Baby steps.)

Samantha, I know you’ll probably read this, and I’m not just saying this to make you feel better. I really do like it.

Conclusion: The world doesn’t end if I tell my OCD to fuck off once in a while.