Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
KitchenAid® 5-Quart Artisan™ Stand Mixer
Monday, September 27, 2010
and of course there is my other Thursday favorite that premièred a few weeks ago:
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Reaching out you take hold of the rusty iron ring on the floor you pull and the trap door slowly coms open. It’s heavier than you expected it to be, but you pull until it falls open under its own weight. You have to jump back so it doesn’t smash your toes. Looking into the pit you can only see the first four steps before they’re engulfed in darkness.
“Oh, great, you say more dark.” You look over your shoulder back to the doorway, thinking for a moment that it isn’t too late to turn around, but then you decide that you may as well. “Well, here I go…” you say quietly. And then louder, towards the door back into the rest of the store, you shout. “I’m going now!” There is no response.
Balling your hands into fists, so you can smack anyone waiting at the bottom of the stairs for you, you take the stairs down. It’s dark as you descend, even the light from the open door above you doesn’t penetrate past the fourth stair. Above you the floor creeks and the trap door slams down on top of you.
“HEY! What do you think you’re doing?” charging up the stairs back to the door you beat on it with your fists. “Open this back up! Open it I say!!” But there is no answer. You pound on it a few more times before you reach in your pocket for your cell phone. You flip it open and the screen glows brightly in the darkness for a moment and then it blinks out. “What the....” You’re angry now and somehow you are going to get out of this basement.
There’s only one way to go now. Down. Putting your hand against the wall, you feel your way down the rest of the stairs until your feet are on solid ground. The basement must be used for storage because it has the same smell as the store above you, musty paper and years of dust. Inching forward your eyes adjust to the dark and you can make out shapes around you and there is a dim light emanating somewhere to your left. Putting your hands out before you, you walk blindly towards the light, hoping it’s a way out.
As you progress, the smell of the air changes from the musty old sent to that of burnt paper and chard wood that only grows stronger as you go. Finally your hands reach the solid wall before you; it’s warm to the touch and through a crack in the wall light dances and flickers just beyond. Placing your fingers into the crack the wall shifts and you push it out of your way revealing the cavern beyond.
The red rocks around you dance as if made of flame; heat radiated from every surface and before taking three steps inside you are already sweating. To your ears the sound of fire bubbles and pops soft and then loud. You can’t believe your eyes, is this really in that crazy woman’s basement. Glancing behind you, all you see is a solid wall of red stone, the entrance you had come through completely vanished.
Shaking your head you move forward, taking in the cave around you. It is bright as day here, the unnatural light coming from nowhere and everywhere at once. The stalagmites and stalactites reaching for each other like hands grabbing for something just out of reach. There is only one path through the cavern and your feet follow it willingly, thinking that if one person has already traveled this way, perhaps they found a way out, and that’s where you wanted to go. Out.
After walking for a while he heat had forces you to remove the cloak you had been given. Slinging it through your baldric you drape the cloak over the dagger at your side so the heated metal couldn’t burn your flesh. The heat wears on you making you lethargic, the crackling of the fire was lulling you to sleep.
“AHHHHHH!!” You hear a scream, high pitched and terrified. The wailing only lasted a moment, but it stopped you dead in your tracks.
Was there someone else down here? You wonder to yourself.
Closing your eyes for a moment, you strain your ears to see if you can hear the screams again, but you are met with nothing but silence and the soothing sound of fire. Beneath your closed eyelids you can feel the energy draining from you, you’re so tired.
It couldn’t hurt to rest here for a moment. You think, and cast your eyes about to find a spot to sit, or at least lean for a little while. Not far from where you’re standing a rock juts from the wall, flat and welcoming, perfect for you to just sit down for a moment. Only a moment…
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Rest a while
Find the Screamer
Continue on your Way
Vote Now ---->
Friday, September 24, 2010
- I Do
- Falling In Love
- Let's Forget About It
- Furious Rose
- Wishing Heart
- Dance With The Angels
- Split Second
Okay, I'm just a sucker for Lisa Loeb. I love everything about this woman. Her hair, her glasses, her smile... but most of all I love her music. She is totally cute and I have a slight girl crush on her... which is weird since for the most part she reminds me of my sister Jessica.
Firecracker was released on November 11, 1997, that's the year I graduated from High School. What was I doing in November 1997?? …. I have no idea. Working at ZCMI and killing time, enjoying the fact that I never had to go to school again… but what else? Probably listening to music.
NOTE: I think I stated on one of these music reviews that I didn't really grow into my love of music until I was much older and had a car and the freedom to listen to whatever I wanted, and the money to buy it. Well, Lisa Loeb was among those first loves of music.
TANGENT: Jessica and I used to listen to the Lisa Loeb CD Tails all the time while going to sleep at night (on our Sony stereo/boom box with the dual tape decks and single disk CD player that sat between our beds.) There was a long time with that CD that I never heard anything beyond the first four songs on the CD.
So many songs on this CD are great. I don't think there are any songs on this album that I don't like listening to, but here are my top 5 on this disc:
Dance With The Angels -- "But you want to fall, Fashionably in love with a woman, In love with a life you'll adore, In love with a woman you'll adore."
I Do -- "I will be ignored and I will be denied, And I could be erased, I could be brushed aside, And I will get scared and I will get shoved down, But I feel like I do because you push me around."
Furious Rose -- "Bring me wild plums, wild plums and acrimony, I bet you don't even know what that means."
Jake -- "Going as far as I can go, Away from here, Away from you Jake, And the hole you've sunk me into."
This -- I love the acapella opening to this song; "In an open room that echoes well this is where I can tell you everything... Ba da da..."
I find it terribly hard to listen to Lisa Loeb music at work because I just want to sing along. I have loved all of her music, new and old.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The pickings were sparse and you looked at many items individually and passed over many others. You touch several, just to leave your mark in the dust. You pick up stones, and daggers. You ask for suggestions and receive no answers. The eclectic items before you seem endless in quantity now that you can see what you’re looking at.
You pick up an item wrapped in brown paper, the size of a baseball; the aged paper disintegrates at your touch. Brushing it away you reveal within a perfect miniature skull, made of the finest crystal you have ever seen. As you stare at it you think you can see a light shimmer within its depths, but you just think it’s the candle light reflecting through it.
You hold it up, showing the woman, who had finally identified herself as Citrine, as she trails behind you.
“A wise choice.” She nods, but that’s as much information you get out of her on anything you have picked up. Her approval neither helping nor hindering your exploration of the store.
Shrugging, you place the crystal skull in your pocket, it bulges and you can feel its weight settle against your leg as you move along to the clothing rack that you hadn’t noticed before. There were several items hanging here, shirts, pants, jackets, cloaks. There are hat’s hanging by strings and bags holding boots made of soft leather’s that folded easily into piles of indistinguishable brown that you had to open to check the contents. Finally you choose a gray cloak, the color of smoke that has a wide hood and room to spare.
“Ah!” Citrine says behind you, making you just, this is the only voluntary word that has come from her in a while. “The cloak of Gaabor. This,” she says, taking a handful of cloak and holding it up to you. “THIS is a wise choice.”
You’re still just playing along because this really is just a joke and one of your friends has put this strange woman up to this. Since she hasn’t spoken about any of the other items you have chosen you figure this is a clue as to what she wants from you and you unfurl the material and settle it onto your shoulders.
“One last item…” She says as she touches your arm. “What will you choose to help you on your way?”
“Where am I even going?” You ask. If you had some idea of what she’d be leading you into you could better limit your choices. Do you need boots? Do you need spears? Do you need magic items? She hasn't been of any help at all, and the next words that come from her lips don’t help you either.
“Only you can tell where you are going. That is not for me to know.” She smiles though and with her hand that she hasn’t removed from her arm she gently directs you to the back corner of the store where there are several taxidermied animals, cats, rats, rabbits, birds, bats… all in waiting positions, their glass eyes looking down at you expectantly. It’s gross, but fascinating; your eye catches on a glossy raven that is on a pedestal next to you, its black feathers almost blue in the candle light. Reaching out, you touch it gently, running your finger down its long black feathered wing. You think you feel it twitch beneath your touch, and then the bird stretches and spreads its wings, shaking of the years of dust. Letting out a loud “Caaaw” it hops from its perch to your arm that is still outstretched before you.
Citrine smiles, “It is done. Your path is set, the time has arrived.” She turns and leads you through the doorway behind the counter; the room is bare except for two doors on the far wall, and a trap door in the center of the floor. “Here is where your journey begins. I can guide you no further.” She leans into you, gently kissing you on the cheek. “May Argharna Rendall guide you safely to your victory.” Placing both hands over her heart she bows to you and backs out of the room, leaving you alone.
Taking a deep breath you step forward and choose your path.
WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?
Door on the Right
Door on the Left
You know the voting drill by now...
... but at the same time leave a comment, I'm curious to know who's reading :)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
by Liz Evans
Once upon a time there was a pirate. This pirate’s name was Captain Blackhart. He was named such because it had been said that if you were to cut him open all you’d find would be tar and evil. His crew were a surly bunch, several missing legs or an eye, but most just missin’ teeth. Yet even this surly bunch were afraid of Cap’n Blackhart.
On this particular occasion, Cap’n Blackhart had just finished floggin’ Ferguson, for an improper knot, when the lookout spied a fine sloop cutting to the northeast off the port bow.
“Ah! There do me a favorable, wind today.” Cap’n shouted and he thumped across the deck. “We do be in for a treat.”
Pullin’ his spy glass from his belt, he leaned over the railing peering at his target. It was a small ship, but richly decked out. The sails were of a fine grade and the passengers wore silks. Dancing a merry caper he turned back to the crew. “Hoist the colors, boys! We do be sittin’ pretty afore sundown!”
“Aye, aye, Cap’n” a chorus of voices responded as they jumped to, pulling ropes, unfurling sails and turnin’ them into the wind. Their brigantine cut sharply to port and the chase was on.
“Fire a shot across their bow.” Cap’n ordered, and the bosons whistle let out it’s shrill call before the long nine fired. BOOM! The cannon retorted and the ball flew missing the sloops bow by mere feet.
With spyglass in hand Blackhart watched the passengers of the other vessel scramble, hoistin’ the sails making to escape. Their ship pulled starboard, but it wasn’t going to enough to outrun The Scurvy Mermaid. Black hart had the finest ship on the seven seas, no one could out run his guns.
“Pete!” He barked at his gunner, “Take down their mast.”
Loading a ball and chain into the cannon it fired again sending the deadly contraption twirling through the air. It hit one of the crewmen before wrappin’ around the mast, breakin’ them both in two.
“Thar be a fine aim, Pete.” Clappin’ the man on the shoulder. Killing always put the Cap’n in a complimentary mood. “Pull up on thar starboard and show ‘em some lead.”
As soon as they were in range, the three cannons on the port side fired in succession, their deadly discharge punching holes in the already handicapped vessel. The pirates all shared a good laugh as the women aboard the other vessel screamed and a volley of bullets were sent towards The Scurvy Mermaid from the men.
Each pirate had armed himself and stood ready at the railing for the call to launch their hooks and pull this unfortunate vessel within their grasp.
“Get on wit it, Ye lily livered vermin!” He’d shout with a wave of his sword and the hooks would sail. It appeared as a choreographed dance as the pirates pulled and knotted the other ship to them, holding it fast.
Another volley of bullets sailed through from the sloop, some finding purchase in unlucky blaggards who fell to the deck. There’d be time to throw them over later, after the spoils were in.
With a yell, Blackhart swooshed his sword forward, sending his filthy crew over the side and swarming onto the deck. In the mayhem Captain Blackhart took the time to make note of the vessel he’d be pillaging today. Open Sea, was her name, but before this was over it’d belong to Davy Jones. The ringing of metal against metal were music to his ears, and after an appropriate amount of time he too swung himself over to join the mêlée.
With a boisterous laugh he ran the first man who came at him through. A slash to the left, feinted to the right and parried a blow before cutting off the man’s arm.
“Save the Wenches for ME!” He hollered as he heard the women screaming. Dead Tom had a buxom lass by the hair, dragging her towards their ship, while Hobble had another slung over his shoulder and another looped in one arm pressed against his side. Only one way fighting, the other seems to have fainted from the excitement. There’d be a hot time on The Scurvy Mermaid tonight! Cap’n Blackhart thought to himself, his appetite for women was always ready after a stirring battle.
After a time, the battle cooled, and those of the crew who were not dead were thrown over board for the sharks. Only four of his own crew appeared to have lost this one.
After stripping the ship of all it’s finery and gold, Cap’n pulled open the trap door to the cargo hold He was met with a nice surprise. This ship was a Rum runner, and they’re just hit pay dirt.
Taking a bottle for each pocket, and one for each hand, Captain Blackhart returned to his own vessel for wenching and more killing, and a night of earthly pleasures.
“Arr!” He said to himself, “It do me a fine days work, if I do say so meself.”
Friday, September 17, 2010
Today's musical selection is one of my most favorite soundtracks of all time... keep reading for my reasons why:
The Muppet Movie:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
I can't even begin to guess when it was that I first listened to this album. Was it on a record the first time, or cassette? Was I old enough to appreciate it, or even old enough walk? The Muppet Movie was released into theaters June 22, 1979. I wasn't even six months old. I remember having this soundtrack on Cassette my whole life. My sister Jessica and I listened to that thing to death. I'm still in possession of this cassette, but I'm not sure it would work if I tried it. I have spent many years wishing I had this on CD, wishing I could listen to the fantastic songs. To hear Rowlf the Dog sing "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along." I longed for Miss Piggy's love ballad "Never Before, Never Again!" When ever I think of "Can You Picture That" I just hear Animal's voice in my head repeating the name of the song. I seriously tear up whenever I hear "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday."
My favorite song on this entire soundtrack is "America" with Fozzie the Bear and his version of 'America the Beautiful." John has asked me several times over the last little while: "Why is that your favorite?" And my answer is simply: "It just is." I'm a softie and a Patriot at heart. (Heck, the Star Spangled Banner makes me cry.) So this song just gets me. I think that out of all the versions I have ever hears THIS one is my favorite.
There are so many great songs on this short little album there are only 9 songs with lyrics, but they are all memorable. Ah! the wonders of this album ... and I have gone so many years without it. The album was released on to CD in 1993 and is no longer in print. I have looked, (not very hard apparently) for this album to buy for years, but every copy I had been finding was priced $65 and up. recently I was searching some of my favorite MP3 download sites and found a couple of songs from this movie that inspired me to look for this CD again. Call me crazy, but I like having physical copies of my music. I love the feeling of having a solid possession in my hands. Eventually after searching I found a Canadian who would sell me the CD for $16... Really? $16? I was shocked, but I bought it because I could. (I've found it elsewhere since my purchase: see below) It came in the mail pretty darn quick, and I'm sure my face was a site upon opening it. I could feel the smile from ear to ear as I pulled it out of the envelope. Who knew something so simple could make me so happy.
This album reminds me of being a kid and running free in the field behind my house, of summer time bike rides, tree trolls, Barbie soap operas, playing outside until dark, snow caves, mud fights, purple carpet, giant's toes, cassette players, camcorder documentaries, and thousands of other childhood memories.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
“I’ll do it.” You hear yourself say and you’re surprised those are the words that came out. “I’ll go.” Hesitantly you reach out and take the cloth wrapped bundle from the woman and let the wrappings fall open in your hands.
Inside the layers of old cloth laid a battered silver pendant on a thick chain. The pendant itself was a ring, inscribed with symbols you have never seen before and it was attached to the chain by two hands of death, the skeletal fingers encircling the ring, one grasping each side, holding it in place.
“What is it?” You ask.
“The Ring of Thanaur.” She says with a hint of impatience, as if you should already know this. “Did they teach you nothing in your training!”
“What training?!” You ask in confusion.
She stares at you with her unsettling young eyes for a moment before she shakes her head and continues. “There is no time for this.” Turning back to the counter she takes the baldric, lifing it over your head and settling it on your shoulders. She then slides the long dagger into the sword loop and stuffs a flintlock pistol into your waist band. You will defeat Deathbringer and set us free.” Reaching out she touches your hand. “With the combined strength of the chosen and this ring you shall know the deceiver when it is time.”
“Huh?” You feel totally lost, but you realize that you are not going to get any useful information out of this woman so you decide to play along. Rolling your eyes you finally just respond, “Okay, whatever you say.”
Nodding curtly to you she tells you to put on the necklace. You obey and slip the long chain over your head, the pendant comes to rest in the center of your chest and you feel a shock run through your body as it settles into place.
“Three additional items you may choose to help you on your way.”
You turn back to the shop behind you, the candles seem to glow brighter and you can now see the merchandise before you, the trails in the dust from your trip through are a harsh scar on the dusty relics set out before you. The coatings of dust and cobwebs seem as though they have never been disturbed by mice or men.
WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?
* Red Stone, Cloak, Burlap Sack
* Raven, Crystal Skull, Cloak
* Signet Ring, Floppy Hat, Sealed Scroll Case
Vote in the comments or to the right --->
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
You approach the counter, looking at your finger it seems that the bleeding has stopped but the cut has left a white and deep looking gash across the tip of your right forefinger.
“Excuse me,” you call out. “Hellooo?”
The curtained doorway rustles a little as the woman reemerges. In her hands she holds a black leather baldric and a wrapped item. She places her burden down in front of her and starts talking with a voice that expected you to be listening.
“A Thousand years we have been watching for the sign. For a thousand years we have waited for the one to come to lead us… and I get you walking in my shop.” The way she said you sounded rather derogatory, but she continued speaking without looking up. “Why Argharna Rendall would choose you I cannot tell.”
“Hey,” You break in, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you take a step back and start from the beginning?”
"No time. No time to go back to the beginning. You are the chosen one of Argharna, lifting the dagger sitting on the counter she holds it out to you. He has chosen you to fulfill the call of the Palanúr. You are to be the legendary hero that returns us to our rightful homeland.”
“I think you have the wrong person.” You say, this woman really must be crazy. This is the most absurd thing you have heard. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Of course you don’t” she replies, “But you have the mark.” Reaching out she grabs your hand and pulls it into the light of the candle on the counter. You see that the cut on your finger has turned to a florescent green that illuminated in the light; it swirled and twisted around your right index finger creating intricate patterns that curled across your skin and spread onto your hand as you watched.
“Gaaaah!!” You cry out as you pull your hand away from her and take a step back. Holding your right hand in front of your face you watch the luminous spirals cover your hand and creep up your wrist. “What have you done to me?!” You screech out in fear, “What is this?”
“It is the mark of Palanúr, you are the one. We must act quickly for the end has already begun.” She stepped around the counter; taking the wrapped bundle into her arms she thrust it towards you waiting for you to take it from her. “You will need this for your journey.”
“Journey?” You question off handedly, you can’t tear your eyes away from your arm even though the patterns have crawled under your sleeve and you can no longer watch it spread.
“Yes, you must go. You will meet Captain Faelphrestad and he will escort you to your destination.
“I can’t….” You stammer and take another step back from her, bumping into a table causing its contents to rattle. “This is crazy.”
“Crazy it may be,” she says stepping closer to you with her arm extended still waiting for you to take the item. “But you will fulfill this quest.”
“I…” You start, but you pause, unsure of your answer.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Accept the Quest
Decline the Quest
Vote in the comments or to the right --->
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Okay, it's really only the 1st of September, but it was the only September quote I could come up with off the top of my head.
Well... it is September after all and this month is already looking like it'll be full of super fun. (That statement is both sarcastic and not sarcastic at the same time.)
Are you ready?? Here we go::
September 1st… This happens to be my Nephew Nicolas' 10th birthday.
Today is the official start of Halloween Movie Month that will run from now until October 31st. (Yes, we know that that is really spanning two months, but we like it this way.)
We're starting out our movie extravaganza tonight with ...
° Dracula (1979) - This movie came out the year I was born, (and I know only good things came out of 1979.) The reviews we read about it didn't sound so bad, so we're looking forward to seeing what we get. I'll let you know how that goes.
If anyone has any movie suggestions we're always glad to hear them.
SIDE NOTE: We have a ton of movies at home to watch and our Blockbuster Queue is full of horror movies as well. We have cartoon Halloween specials and claymation Halloween specials and all sorts of fun. We even have The Muppet show Halloween Special - and any episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can fill in any gaps. Earlier this year I bought us a collection of old movies called 50 Horror Classics that I can't wait to bust out. The nest two months is going to be spectacular! If anyone wants to come over for movie night just let us know, we'll make some room on the couch for you.
September 4th we are going to a Raptors baseball game in
September 5th happens to be Not-Your-Sister's birthday. Lets keep our fingers crossed that her baby comes that day as well.
September 7th Not-Your-Sister's baby is due. Lovingly called Rake Rotten for quite a while he'll be named Ryan when he comes out. (Or at least that's what I was told.)
September 9th The Vampire Diaries Season to Starts on the CW … However it is still on Thursday nights – this may cause some conflict come September 23rd.
September 16th is the 3 year anniversary of Robert Jordan's death. (the next book comes out Nov. 2nd!!)
September 19th is TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! Yes, this is my favorite holiday of the year it comes before Halloween, my birthday and Christmas. It is on a Sunday this year so it's a whole Pirate weekend. Make sure you have some Pirate-y fun that day.
September 19th is also the 4 year anniversary of Lariann's tumor.
September 23rd The Big Bang Theory moves to Thursdays and the New season begins.
September 24th is my adorable niece Natalie's birthday. She'll be two. I can't believe she's that old, but when you lose a whole year everything seems odd to you.
September 26th will be the 5 year anniversary of my cousin Ryan's death.
So that's September so far as it is already planned out for me. I'm sure there will be lots of other stuff going on. Right now I'm just looking forward to the cooler weather, homemade stew, sweaters, wool socks and the trees changing color. (Although a lot of that doesn't really kick in until next month.) It's also coming up to football season where we'll spend exuberant amounts of time watching football with the Evans'… maybe I'll be a sports fan someday … Naw, I hate sports so that will never happen. I can pretty much guarantee it.