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Hibernation

It is -7 degrees Fahrenheit here today, not counting wind chill, and it took me quite awhile to defrost my windshield this morning due to a thick layer of ice under the snow.  Christmas is over, so I see no need for this winter nonsense to continue.  I find the short, gray days and frigid weather depressing and tend to go into hibernation mode, leaving the house only for work, to forage for food at the grocery store and when dragged out by my husband or one of my adult offspring.  Actually, even the grocery shopping has decreased due to my discovery of Amazon grocery delivery.  Almost all of the Christmas presents I bought for family and friends were ordered online and my house was so filled with brown boxes that it resembled a UPS warehouse. I find that it is becoming far too easy to fall into a pattern of social isolation each winter and during the rest of the year, as well.  I worry about what technological advancement is doing to us, as a society, and what this world will be like in fifty years.  Hell, I worry about what it will be like in ten years.  My outlook tends to be rather bleak in the depths of winter.  But, every now and then, the sun will force it’s way through the heavy cloud cover and shine brightly, creating a glistening wonderland.  Patches of brilliant, blue sky peek through and I am reminded that warmer, sunnier days are ahead.  How do you motivate yourself to stay active, both physically and socially, during the winter?

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Damn right!

Warning:Curves Ahead

This morning, as I was perusing through my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rolling from everyone who took the time out to read it.

Written by Kallie Provencher for RantChic.com, this “article” (I use the term loosely) highlighted things such as “leopard print”, “graphic tees”, and “short dresses” (because “By this age, women should know it’s always better to leave something to the imagination”). Kallie, it seems, has a number of opinions on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t be doing, having also penned “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own” and “20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online”. (What is this magical post-30 land where women are suddenly not allowed to do or own so many things?!)

Motivated by Kallie’s “article”, I decided…

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One tiny action can make such a difference in another person’s life.

You Got to be Kidding's Blog

People really can make a difference. Here are just a few examples:

The man who gave the shoes off his feet to this homeless girl.

Source: oddstuffmagazine.com

This motorist that stopped to help an old man pass safely.

Source: pleated-jeans.com

This barber, who offers haircuts for the price of a single hug.

Source: boredomtherapy.com

This police officer who handcuffed himself to a woman to make sure she knew she’d have to take him with her.

Source: boredomtherapy.com

The many people who helped make this boy’s dream come true.

This dog owner who mourned by giving.

Source: boredomtherapy.com

This store employee who gives extra service.

Source: boredomtherapy.com

The person who decided to put new tires on a stranger’s car just because he needed it.

Source: fb-troublemakers.com

The crowd who decided a fan should be able to watch the show, no matter what.

Source: boredomtherapy.com

This dry cleaning place that helps the…

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Black Arts by Faith Hunter

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The Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter is one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time; right up there with Jim Butcher‘s Harry Dresden and Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson books. The latest book, Black Arts, is scheduled for release January 7, 2014. *squee!*

Below is the author’s sneak peek at Jane’s newest adventure.

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own—no matter the cost….
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.
Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced

 

Although I still think Star Trek has always been pretty demeaning in it’s portrayal of women, (miniskirts in space- really??)  I agree with the author that we have lost much of the morality and intellect of the original series. The latest movie in the franchise, Into Darkness, seemed more like a video game than a movie in spots. I certainly hope they get a different director, add some depth to the characters and improve the storyline for the next movie.  That being said, I have always been a Trekkie and will continue to be one until the franchise has lost all semblance of the values and creativity of the original series.

Cultural Indictment: The New Star Trek.

Brain freeze from homemade, hand-churned ice cream is the best kind of brain freeze. 🙂

Red Sock, Blue Sock

It’s sad when you find out that the love you thought was “it” was nothing but a temporary thing and you are left feeling like 1/2 of a mismatched pair of socks, with no sense of belonging or purpose in being together.

Kindles Are Like Crack

Yes, I am still sucking air.  I totally blame my new Kindle and a mid-winter funk for my deplorable lack of posts lately.  Seriously, those damn Kindles are like crack.  Any book you want, right at your fingertips.  Amazon even kindly stores your credit card on file  for even quicker and easier access to their insanely large collection of books.  I think my family and friends are secretly planning an intervention.  Below, I’ve listed some of the books I’ve read since Christmas.  I seem to have been on an urban fantasy kick, though some different genres have piqued my interest, as well. They are rated from one to five stars, just for shits and giggles.  I’m too busy reading to give full book reviews, people.  Sorry. Or not.

Mistborn: The Final Empire   by Brandon Sanderson    ****

Paksenarrion 3:  Oath of Gold   by Elizabeth Moon     ***

Hunting Ground  by Patricia Briggs  (reread)   ***

The Five Love Languages  by Gary Chapman   **

Skinwalker  (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1)  by Faith Hunter   ****

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coehlo   ****

Buddha in Blue Jeans: An Extremely Short Zen Guide to Sitting Quietly  by Tai Sheridan  **

Roast Mortem: A Coffeehouse Mystery  by Cleo Coyle   ***

Pale Blue Dot  by Carl Sagan   ****

Neverwhere  by Neil Gaiman         (reread for the third time)  ****

Friday’s Master Drink Recipe Book  by unknown   *****

The Artist’s Way  by Julia Cameron   ****

Reading the last book on the list was rather ironic, as I was too absorbed in reading to try any of the wonderful ideas suggested by the author to bring out my “inner artist.”   I also downloaded Spanish and Italian courses and vocabulary lists, Chuck Wendig’s 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer, and several cookbooks, thinking that this would be the year that I really improve myself.  Nah- too busy reading.   It figures that the one title I gave five stars was the mixology book.  Might need an intervention there, too…

Right now, I am debating between starting Jim Butcher‘s Codex Alera series and Oscar Wilde’s  The Importance of Being Earnest.   My friend has also started dragging me to cardio kickboxing classes, which means about three fewer hours to read each week, if I go to both the Monday and Wednesday sessions.  Decisions, decisions.

On a totally unrelated note, I have submitted for your perusal the following link to a wonderfully geeky site discussing 70 upcoming sci-fi and fantasy movies coming out this year.  TTFN!

70 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies to Watch Out for in 2012

The Hobbit

DragonCon Costumes

Below are some of my favorite costumes from DragonCon ’11.  Click on the link to see even more.  Great pics and article by Danny Outlaw at The River Current.

The River Current – Your Halloween Costume Sucks.

Bye-Bye Bib

I have never been fond of cats. Not only am I highly allergic to them, but I find their sometimes aloof, always underfoot behavior to be highly annoying.  I am enough of a clutz on my own without a cat constantly winding itself around my ankles.  One day, my husband was out hunting and brought home a tiny, malnourished dirtball he found among a litter of barn cats. It was the runt and had received a corneal abrasion at the paws of one of its littermates.

“But look at her- she’s so pathetic,”  wheedled my husband, “She’ll die if we don’t take care of her.”  This, coming from a man who will shoot anything in season, including Bambi, Thumper and all of their forest friends.  I could tell he was a lost cause already.  And seriously, how could I sentence a baby animal to death?  Not even I am that mean.  I did make him promise to keep her in the garage, otherwise my allergies would be unbearable.  He fed her, washed her, made her a bed and bought the kitty litter box-thingy.  Soon, she was riding around on his shoulder and using all of us as her own personal jungle gyms.  Brian named her Bib, short for born in a barn, and she was every bit as weird as her name.  She would fetch like a dog, pounce on leaves and dustbunnies, but wouldn’t hunt anything living.  She was even afraid of bugs.  She would entertain us by sneaking up on us when we were outside or in the garage, grabbing our lower legs with her front paws, then tearing away like a maniac. We would speak to her and she would always answer with a meow, often at different pitches, as if she were really talking.  Brian frequently did Lassie scenarios with her and, against my will, I found myself becoming quite attached.

On New Year’s Eve, I let her out of the garage to play with the neighbor’s cat.  When my daughter and I came home, we saw her sitting by the corner of the garage.  She meowed and tried to walk to us, but her rear legs kept collapsing.  I knew immediately that she had been hit by a car, so my husband and I bundled her up in a blanket and took her to the animal hospital.  The news wasn’t good; her pelvis had been fractured in at least 4 places, including the joint itself. Surgery, if it would even be successful, would cost several thousand dollars, payable upfront.  We didn’t have it, especially right after Christmas.  We didn’t want her to suffer, so we decided to have her put to sleep.  Brian was so upset that he couldn’t bear to see her like that, so I stayed with her while the Vet administered the medication. I patted her face and talked to her while her head slumped to the blankets.  One second she was there, looking at me, then she was gone.  When they gave me her little blue collar with the bell on it, I bawled like a baby.  I guess if a non-cat person like me can change, almost anyone can.  We’ll miss you, Bib, you little allergen-toting putty-tat.  I love you.

She snuck into the house

Inspector of the catch