Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gee, RealLife, you sure take up a lot of time, don't you?

So I've fallen off of the Blogtoberfest wagon, due to my "Real Life" (a.k.a. job beyond Etsy that helps pay my bills on a regular basis) getting in the way. I wouldn't change it for anything, since I love my job (I care for cats at a local animal shelter), but it hasn't given me much time to make art or blog lately.

It hasn't, however, kept me from taking funny pictures of my cats (Chester, specifically) in things I've knitted. Enjoy!

"You'd better not make me look stupid on your blog, you got that?"

My version of Chester as Furry Potter, lolcats-style.

"*Siiiiigh. I don't know why you humans find this so amusing."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Josh Simpson - Glass Master!

An entire planet encased in glass...

I'm a big fan of glasswork and one of my favorite glass artists is Josh Simpson. I first discovered his work in the giftshop of the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston (a favorite hangout for me back in undergrad, since BU students get in free!) when I saw some of his large and small planets for sale. Most of his work tends to be these planets. Some are metallic, some inhabited, some potentially inhabited (look for signs of "buildings" on the land masses or "spaceships" in the planet's atmosphere, which is the clear glass surrounding the planet) and they come in varying sizes. My husband bought me a large planet for my birthday last year and I absolutely love it!

He does more than just planets, though, including vases, plates, glass "baskets" and collaborations! My favorite item he has for sale is one of his collaborations with Joyce Roessler. It's a portal into an underwater scene, and you know how much I looooove glass underwater scenes!

I looooooove it! The fish, the anemones, the iridescent trail left by a guppy swimming by, the rocky exterior! Fabulous!

The exterior of the portal is beautifully craggy and dark, highlighting the bright scene within!

And here's a close up of the fish! Divine, no? *Sigh. It's works like this that make me wish that I could do glasswork. So beautiful! So this is on my wishlist of things to buy (once I have over $6000 of disposable income. So yeah, that's probably not going to happen anytime soon). Maybe it's a good thing that I don't own it, since I already spend a little time almost every day looking into my Simpson planet (there's always something new to discover inside it. "Is that a road? An island retreat? Is that an alien boat crossing an alien sea?"). I imagine that I'd spend hours at a time looking into this, getting lost in the glass depths, remembering that I can't breathe underwater!!! *cough, choke, cough!
All photos taken from Josh Simpson's amazing website!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sophie and Michael Create on Etsy

Are you looking for that perfect custom dog tag for yourself or your beloved pet? Perhaps want to purchase yourself a piece of original art that won't break your bank (I'm talking under $20, or often under $10!)? Looking to support and encourage young artists? Look no further than

Sophie & Michael Create! An Etsy shop featuring art made by Sophie (age 8) and Michael (age 7), where "1/2 of our money goes into savings for our future and the other half we spend how we want to (which is usually spent on Ugly Dolls or Pokemon)."

I purchased two items from them: a fancy "Man in the Moon" necklace made by Michael
Note the star cut-out. Very artistic, no?
And me wearing it. I feel so avant-garde! :)

and a set of custom identification tags for our kitten, Cupcake, made by Sophie (and maybe Michael too? I got three tags for the price of one, so there may have been multiple artists involved)!
The three beautiful tags!
And a really dark photo (sorry) of Cupcake wearing one!

They have other jewelry available for sale, as well as many affordable art pieces!

Little Canvas Art Storm in Space (a collaborative piece with direction mostly by Michael)

Junk Mail Art by Sophie (made out of, if you couldn't guess by the title, junk mail!)

Or an original Dove and Sun necklace (the pendant is hand-drawn on shrink plastic)!

Probably the best part of the whole purchasing experience was the convo I got from Sophie (dictated to her mom) after I purchased the items. What a friendly gesture to get a personal convo from an artist!

So if you're in the market for any of these things, and don't want to end up with moths coming out of your wallet (that's just in cartoons, right?), consider making a purchase from Sophie & Michael's Etsy shop!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Worst/Most Hilarious Nightmare I've EVER had!!!

Note: Okay, I know this post is text-heavy and has no pictures (I just couldn't bring myself to draw them), but trust me. It's worth reading.

Okay, so I'm the kind of "lucky" person who remembers her dreams when she wakes up. My brother is the type of person who claims that he never has dreams, but eventually admits that he's sure he has dreams, he just doesn't remember anything about them as soon as he wakes up. Sometimes, I wish I was that type of person, because I rarely have good dreams. On the flipside, I rarely have bad dreams either. What I have are WEIRD AS ALL HECK dreams. Seriously. Salvador Dali has nothing on me.

My husband says that every time I'm about to tell him one of my dreams, I preface it with "I had a really weird dream last night." Every time. And since he's told me, I've noticed that he's right. Every single time. "I had a really weird dream last night!" "Oh, more weird than normal?" "Uh, well... I guess not. I guess it was just a regular weird dream. Regular for me anyways."

So enough stalling. Last night I actually had what I'd consider a "bad" weird dream. Not just weird, but the kind of weird that had me frightened when I woke up. And then when I thought about it, I realized that it wasn't that bad (it's never as bad when you wake up and realize that there's no way it could ever happen); it's hilarious!

Here goes: It started off with me looking in the mirror and realizing that I looked exactly like Jennifer Connelly (my favorite actress, ever since falling in love with her in "Labyrinth"). Not bad at all! I had blue and purple hair, but hey, that's pretty cool. Then I went outside to play in the snow and had to chase this brown rabbit around (not an Alice in Wonderland-type rabbit. A real, live, not-wearing-a-pocketwatch-or-waistcoat-type rabbit) before it managed to hop onto the ice and potentially fall into the frozen lake. So picture a blue/purple-haired Jennifer Connelly running around in the snow, frantically trying to catch a brown rabbit. Remember the brown rabbit. It's foreshadowing of things to come.

A bit harrowing to say the least. But this isn't even the bad part. This is the "regularly scheduled weird" part. Then the rabbit disappeared (not into the lake. Just *poof! Gone!) and my "dad" (a guy that looks nothing like my father, but who in my dream I somehow *knew was my dad) called me inside our apartment building, which was actually a shopping mall. I go inside, get told that there are zombies around and if they bite me, I'll turn into a zombie. Cliche, right? Oh, except for the fact that the zombies can be held at bay by playing steel drum music. Weird.

So I'm in our apartment (in the MALL?!?), with Caribbean-style steel drum music playing to keep zombies away, when one of our cats comes over to me. He looks a little weird, and I notice that he doesn't have eyes, just brown spots where his eyes should be. This is the weird/scary/hilarious part. I then somehow knew that this was a side-effect of the zombie infection spreading throughout our world. What is this side-effect? *drum roll please................

Our cats' litterbox craps had come to life, covered themselves with our cat's shedded hair to look like our cats, and would infect cats (making them zombie cats who could infect humans if they bit them) if we didn't catch them and squish them back into harmless piles of poo.

Yeah, really scary in the dream (I have to squish a poop cat back into a poop pile while somehow managing not to get bitten by their poop teeth - which maybe were made up of our cats' shed claws? - in the process or I will become one of the living dead!!! AAAAAAUGH!!!!), really hilarious when you wake up and think back on it.

Yeah, so the rest of that dream involved me chasing around three craptacular cats (to match our three cats), trying to squish them into oblivion, all the while making sure that they 1) didn't bite me; 2) didn't bite my cats and make them zombie cats; and 3) didn't escape our mall apartment to wreak havoc upon other humans and felines!!!

*Sigh. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people that didn't remember my dreams. And I'm not even going to mention the dream I had a few nights ago that involved Nathan Fillion (of Firefly fame) and me getting sucked into a medieval-style video game and having to fight our way out. "I had another really weird dream last night." "Really weird? Or just regular weird?" "REALLY weird!!!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

If I only had a dog...

I would definitely buy him this sweet Sherlock Holmes (or perhaps Sherlock Bones?) costume for him/her!!! Made by Etsian DownUnderDogDesigns.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Who doesn't love Socks?!?

Found a new favorite shop on Etsy: The Missing Sock!
They've got great cards for many occasions (including same-socks marriage)!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free Association

Thanks to KnitIsAFourLetterWord for the idea of Free Association as a blog post. Let's see how this goes!

New England

And I'm going to stop there! What's better than Halloween? I love how when I think "Socks," I think "Hole." Methinks I need to replace some socks...

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Ol' Man... is a cat

Ol' Man Chester Copperpot, back from his annual check-up today. Still doing pretty good for an old codger of 8 years, huh?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Talking Cat Translations

Sometimes you just need a good laugh. Watching cats tends to give me a smile. Hope you enjoy these videos! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stuck In My Head

I've heard that "I kissed a girl and I liked it" song and gotten it stuck in my head so often that I made up my own version relative to my life. Enjoy!

I kissed a cat and I liked it!
Tastes a little bit like a fishstick.
I kissed a cat just to try it!
Hope my other cats don't mind it.
It felt so wrong; it felt so right.
Hacking up a hairball tonight.
I kissed a cat and I liked it...
I liked it!

humorous pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Rant For Gay Civil Rights

I apologize for the following rant, but as a Mainer (or Maine-iac, as I prefer) I'm dealing on a daily basis with the fight against gay marriage, since in November voters will decide whether or not to keep the new gay marriage law on the books (no marriages have taken place yet. Gay marriages can start after the election takes place if the law stays on the books) or to overturn it. My husband and I are heterosexuals, so the law doesn't directly affect us, but it does affect friends of ours. I also have grown tired of the arguments about marriage and the bible. My husband and I are both atheists (no hate for religious people! We have friends who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha'i, and Hindu. It's just what we believe) and the government allowed us to get legally married. We also don't plan to ever have kids. We love kids, but we don't want any of our own. So the whole "gay marriage can't produce kids" argument doesn't hold water with today's legal marriages anyway. Otherwise we wouldn't allow infertile people or older women to get married.

In fact, I have yet to hear a coherent argument against the legalization of gay marriage. I have heard plenty of arguments against allowing gay marriage in various religions. I have no real issue with that. If allowing gays to be wed in your church is against your religion, then that's fine. What I do have an issue with is the fact that various Christian groups are trying to force their religious beliefs on LEGAL marriage, which is not beholden to any religion. You can be Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist, heck, you can be part of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and still be allowed to get legally married and the government doesn't give a hoot! You don't have to be able to produce children to be able to get married (otherwise we wouldn't let older couples, infertile couples, or couples who don't want children to wed).

Right now, all you have to be are two adults who love each other, want to be legally become a family, and get all of the benefits legal marriage gives you... oh, and you have to be of the opposite sex currently (except in a few fabulous states). You say you want to go back to the earliest form of traditional marriage? You mean back when religious officials weren't involved in marriages at all? When women were considered property and were given away in exchange for land, goods, and social rank? When people of different races weren't allowed to wed (heck, back before the Civil War, slaves weren't even allowed to wed amongst themselves)? We've been changing the definition of "traditional" marriage for centuries, for the better.

But won't allowing legal gay marriage open up a "slippery slope?" Then adults will be able to marry children, animals, multiple people, and TOASTERS!!! Uh huh. Here's the problem with that theory: Let's get rid of the whole animals and toasters thing. Two individuals have to be able to give consent to be married. Animals and toasters can't give consent. Maybe you think that your beloved doggy really really loves you and wants to be your lover (ewww), but you can't honestly tell me that Spot understands what marriage is and consents to be your lawfully-wedded pup. Now about pedophilia and polygamy/polyandry: relationships between children and adults and between multiple adults are psychologically damaging to one or more members of the marriage (typically with the weaker individuals receiving the brunt of the psychological damage: Feelings of helplessness and inferiority at its best, and in self-mutilation and suicide at its worst). Two consenting adults of the same sex getting married don't face these problems (well, with no more proclivity towards psychological and physical damage than us heterosexuals seem to have. Whitney Houston and Bobby B, anyone?).

"But you can decide to be gay/not gay!" My favorite gay couple? The lesbian swans in the Boston Public Garden. They've been together for years, show no interest in male swans, try to raise eggs together (unfortunately, the eggs can't be fertilized without a male swan), and care for each other. How dare these swans decide to be gay! Or the several sets of gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo (and I'm not talking about the ones in the movie Madagascar). It doesn't make much sense to decide to be gay, what with the "awesome" things many gays have to face: expulsion and hatred from their family and "friends," discrimination, violence and even death.

And the idea that gay parents are psychologically damaging to their children or will cause their children to be gay? Ridiculous! The children I've met who have gay parents are some of the nicest and friendliest kids I know. Maybe this is because gay parents feel genuinely grateful to be able to raise and love children, as opposed to several heterosexual couples I know that pop out kids and view them as just another mouth to feed. And the sexuality of the parents doesn't have anything to do in determining the sexuality of the children (otherwise all these gay kids must be coming from really closeted gay parents... Dick Cheney?).

So, we're coming to the end of my argument/rant. In a nutshell: the reasons that many people give against gay marriage have no merit in the debate of whether or not to LEGALIZE gay marriage. We do not want to change your religion's stance on gay marriage, or force your church to perform gay marriages. We just want two consenting adults who love each other and want to show the world how committed they are to each other the legal right to do so. Heck, if the government doesn't have a problem with two childfree atheists getting legally married and receiving all the benefits therein (thanks, gov't. My husband Kyle and I appreciate it!), why should two men or women who love each other be any different? If you've read this far, whether or not you agree with me, I owe you a cookie. I hope I've at least raised some points and/or answered some questions that you may have had, and helped you understand some of the arguments FOR legalizing gay marriage. Thanks again!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oceans trapped in Glass

I'm a huge fan of glasswork. I'm also a huge fan of aquariums. So it's really no surprise that I absolutely LOVE glass versions of underwater scenes, the ocean, fishies, and other undersea life! I've been trying to get a treasury for the past few weeks on Etsy, but had no luck in my attempts, so here is what my treasury would have been: 12 beautiful glass items each with an aquatic theme. I call it "Oceans trapped in Glass." I've included the links to the items below my photo, so that you can look closer at the awesome Etsian craftsmanship!

aquarium glass
Links are listed in order l-r by row (top 1-3, then the next row down, and so on). Enjoy!

Three dimensional dichroic glass pendant by YmirGlassDesign

EVA Aquarium Bead by JeansBeads

Ocean Water Goddess Lampwork Glass Bead by KarenElmquist

2009 Angel Fish Aquarium Scene Pendant, Lampworked Borosilicate (Pyrex) Glass by Mike Warren/OpenFireGlass

Fish and Sea Anemone by MandellaGlass (on vacation until 10/21, so the item isn't viewable until then)

DEEP SEA TREASURE Underwater Focal Lampwork Boro Pendant by HLH Glass

Mermaid Fantasy-handmade lampwork bead focal by GenerationsLampwork

Placid Waters Pendant by ChrysalisDreams

951 - Red Sea Collection - Pendant by Christinaferrari

Lampwork glass art Loving the Sea Octopus Heart Pendant by Midnightskye

Lampwork Beads Ocean Outerbank Lentil Focal by DancingFrogJewels

Aquarium Pendant by DragonfireBeads

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I can haz home now?

I currently work at an animal shelter, and it just amazes me how many pets we get in when the economy goes south! It just saddens me that pets seem to be the first thing to go when people have to cut down on spending (but I would much rather have the pets get dropped off with us than have them be neglected because of money troubles). So what I'm saying is that chances are, because of the economy here in the US, wherever you live, your local animal shelter is filled to the brim with pets (especially cats) looking for loving homes!

funny pictures of cats with captions

If you have the room, a little money and a lot of love, I guarantee there's a pet that's right for you at your local shelter! Many shelters right now have deep discounts because we're just inundated with pets, so if you are in the market for a pet, but keep putting it off, consider getting one now! You'll save money on the adoption fees, in addition to bringing home a new, fabulous family member!
Take a look at the Petfinder website to see what awesome animals are waiting for you in your area!

A quiet cat to give you company while you work? A lively and talkative cat to brighten up your day? A friendly dog? A fuzzy bunny? Pets for all personalities (or purrsonalities, if you like cat puns)!

And if you're not able to adopt a pet right now, consider volunteering, or donating dry or canned pet food to your local shelter! Trust me, with all the pets we've got, we're ALWAYS happy to see donations of food and other sundry items. Even just a can is a big help!

Humorous Pictures

Sorry for the push about pets. Working around so many awesome and wonderful pets (and wishing I could give them all a home) makes me emotional sometimes. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

35 Questions: 1-word answers

So I was tagged by the Lost Earring to answer these 35 questions with just 1-word answers. It was tougher than I thought it would be for many of the questions, but I hope it still gives you a better idea of who I am! :D

1 Where is your cell phone? Purse
2 Your hair? Brown
3 Your mother? Lively
4 Your father? Smart
5 Your favorite food? Indian
6 Your dream last night? Croatia
7 Your favorite drink? Water
8 Your dream/goal? Non-profit
9 What room are you in? Living
10 Your hobby? Reading
11 Your fear? BEEEEEEEEEEZ!!!!!
12 Where do you want to be in six years? House
13 Where were you last night? Home
14 Something that you aren't? Religious
15 Muffins? Warm
16 Wish list item? Dog
17 Where did you grow up? Boston
18 Last thing you did? Laughed
19 What are you wearing? Comfy
20 Your TV? Cableless
21 Your pets? Cats
22 Friends? Awesome
23 Your life? Good
24 Your mood? Sarcastic
25 Missing someone? Friends
26 Vehicle? Used
27 Something you're not wearing? Kilt
28 Your favorite store? Etsy!
29 Your favorite color? Blue
30 When was the last time you laughed? Today
31 Last time you cried? Yesterday.
32 Your best friend? Kyle
33 One place that I go over and over? Library
34 One person who emails you regularly? Husband
35 Favorite place to eat? Creperie

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Soooo tired...

This photo of my cat, Cupcake, sums up exactly how I'm feeling right now. Sooooo tired. That's what happens when your neighbor is up till all hours playing Michael Jackson music.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tell my upstairs neighbor to Beat It!

It seems like an evening can't go by without hearing the pounding bass notes of some Michael Jackson song coming through our ceiling, courtesy of our loud upstairs neighbor. Twice we've tried to ask him to turn it down, but he refuses to open the door for us (once I went up in my pjs at 4am when it was ridiculously loud and knocked for about a minute. The music turned down briefly and I heard muffled laughter - presumably from neighbor and his friends - and then someone imitating my knocking. I headed back downstairs and within minutes the music was back up full blast. *Siiiigh). We've told our landlord a few times and it seems to get better for a week or so, but then our neighbor's back at it.
One of the more frustrating parts of the situation is that our noisy neighbor likes to play the same songs over and over and over... and since we can only hear the pounding bassline, sometimes we can't tell what the song is, so we just know them as "the BOMP BUH BOMP BOMP" song, or the "Bangitty BOMP Boom BOMP Bangitty" song. We've tried to decipher what they are (it helps to quell the anger to make a game out of it) and thus far have figured out several Michael Jackson songs (Billie Jean and Thriller often, but last night it was Beat It for an hour straight), Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Crazy In Love by Beyonce, and We Like To Party (The Venga Bus song) by the Venga Boys. Now don't get me wrong, I like Michael Jackson music plenty (the man himself weirded me out a little, but I loved his Thriller album. It's on my ipod), and I love Viva La Vida, no matter how overplayed it is, but I like listening to more than just the bassline, and I like being able to shut the music off.

Anyone else had to deal with noisy neighbors or other neighborly problems? If so, I'd LOVE to hear about it!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Some quotes to live by...

I've always been a huge fan of ANYTHING done by Jim Henson. My favorite movie is still "Labyrinth" after all these years (and I will admit that when I saw it as a little kid, I definitely thought that David Bowie was a girl. I was too innocent to notice the bulge in his spandex pants); I'm not a fan of manga, but I've gone out of my way to purchase the new manga series "Return to the Labyrinth" and "Legends of the Dark Crystal" (and they're pretty good too)! I've introduced my husband to some of Jim's lesser-known works, like his "Storyteller" series (both the original and Greek myths); I read books about Jim Henson's creature shop, biographies about him, his work on Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and more!

One of my favorites is a small book called, "It's not easy being Green and other things to consider" by Jim Henson, The Muppets, and Friends. It's a collection of quotes, stories, anecdotes and songs and I always find it inspiring and uplifting to read. I'm not a religious person, and I believe in helping people and always trying to do good things in life. Since I first read this quote by Jim in undergrad, I've always tried to live according to it (sheesh, it's like the Muppets are my Bible!):

"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here. It's a wonderful life and I love it." -Jim Henson

Now this doesn't mean that you have to do BIG, GINORMOUS, AWESOME THINGS (like Jim Henson accomplished) to make a difference and leave the world a better place. It can be as simple as volunteering every now and again; making donations to your local shelter or food bank; tutoring; reading at night to your kids; walking/biking/taking public transportation; sharing your art with the world; helping a stranger; adopting a pet; and just being kind and understanding! All these things may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but they all make the world a better place little by little. And maybe you'll inspire someone else to do kind things.

Hope that gives you a little uplifting boost for your weekend! I'll close with a graduation speech made by Kermit the Frog:
"I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to refold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic with a pig. And if you can help it, never fly as cargo."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My attempt at a sugar skull

Okay, so I didn't have any sugar skull moulds (molds? Neither one looks right, but apparently I can use either! Love the word "mouldering" when used on gravestones - like in the historic cemetery near where I live. "Here the bones of Ezekiel Burrows lie mouldering..." So creepy!), so I decided that making a "sugar cookie" skull in preparation for el Dia de los Muertos (November 1) would be good enough. *Sigh. My frosting decorating skills could sure use some work. Here's the result:
Scary, huh? But not in a good way. Or at least, not the way I wanted it to come out. His upper teeth look more like a wiggly mustache, the red for his nose bled (ha ha. Pun intented) outwards making it look more like a squished strawberry, and we're not even going to talk about the eyes. Overall I'd say I succeeded more at making a nightmarish clown than a Mexican sugar skull, but at least it tasted good (albeit giving me a huge sugar rush. I'm a big frosting fan)!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Things to think about when writing a novel?

I'm a big fan of science fiction and fantasy novels (which are probably the biggest perpetrators of made up words), but I find this XKCD comic hilarious! I also love how when you mouse over the comic it says, "Except for Lewis Carroll or Tolkien, you get five made up words per novel. I'm looking at you, Anathem." Anathem is a book by Neal Stephenson that contains a lot of discussions about philosophy, math, and physics... and a lot of made up words.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Name Anagram Generator

This is one of the best "name anagram generators" I've found so far! You put in your name (full name, just first and last, nicknames, anything you'd like!) and it rearranges those letters into actual words, creating a strange or hilarious phrase!

Tell me what you end up with (no need to tell me your real name. Just what the result was)! My favorite anagram for my name (plus nickname) was DEATHLIKE KEENER KARATE. How awesome does that sound?!? Or my cat, Chester Copperpot, got PROSPECT HOT CREEP. Great, no? Try out a family or friend's name! Give it a whirl! It's definitely good for a laugh or two!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness and almost ending up with a baby

So a few nights ago it was absolutely pouring rain here in Maine. I'm talking pouring cats, dogs, ferrets and possibly a llama or two (or maybe an alpaca. I get them mixed up), along with thunder and lightning. But my husband and I needed to go to the store, so we drove to our local supermarket, picked up what we needed and headed for the exit.

At the exit we could really see that it was coming down even harder than before (it's raining hippos now!) and the lightning was pretty much right on top of us. Also looking in dismay at the current weather conditions was a mother and her young daughter in a loaded shopping cart. I heard her say quietly to her daughter, "I can't take you out in this!"

Now I know how sketchy it may seem for two perfect strangers to offer to watch your baby, and I considered that she might react angrily at the suggestion, but I figured, why not offer and see how it goes. So I said, "would you like us to watch your child while you bring the car around?" Her face lit up and she said, "really?!? Would you? My van is just right over there!"

Now I know that many people would balk at leaving their kid with two strangers, and maybe if this had happened while I was living in Boston, the mom would've immediately declined, but I'll give two theories why she trusted us: 1) Portland may be a city, but it feels more like a large town in many ways (good ways). And 2) My husband and I look like very friendly and trustworthy nerds. Seriously. I was at a club in NYC with some friends, sitting at a table and a stranger asked me if I would watch his drink for him while he went out for a smoke. My NYC friend said, "you're not afraid she'll roofie it?!?" (meaning put drugs in it) and he said, "you look trustworthy." This gets me in trouble sometimes because homeless people ask me for money all the time and if there are any drunks or crazies around, I'm apparently fair game to talk to. But hey, it comes in handy on occasion!

So she ran out into the rain to her van, which we could see from the exit and started to pull around. Unfortunately, this made it look like she was driving away from the supermarket and my husband said, "great. Now we have a baby...(looks at the food poking out of the shopping bags) and a package of M&M cookies. Sweet!" But within seconds she was right in front of the exit! Phew!
It felt good to do something nice for someone on the spur of the moment, and not only that, it felt good to know that someone was willing to trust us with her most beloved possession (if you can call a kid a possession), her child. Warm fuzzies all around! It made our soaking mad dash for our car not feel so bad! And I hope you enjoyed the awesome drawings I made to illustrate the story!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I've dealt with insomnia since 11th grade in high school (I believe it had something to do with a lot of AP courses combined with a lot of sports/extracurriculars) and while I have it mostly under control now, it rears its ugly head every month or two. Like last night for example. So this made me wonder what insomnia-themed items are available on Etsy! Click on the artist/shop name below each image to go to their Etsy page!

By ValeriaH

By Michelle Yap

By Rosalie Rushing

By OhThisNose

By Elsita

By Tsinganos

By GlassAddictions

Hopefully next time I find myself waiting a little too long for a visit from Mister Sandman, I'll be able to create some awesome and bizarre artwork as well! :D

Saturday, October 3, 2009

One thing America got Right!

Recently on US public broadcasting, they've started showing a new Ken Burns documentary called "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." Watching it made me think about other great ideas that America has had, and the one that seemed the best in my mind is the public library system.

Cupcake thinks the Portland Public Library card is good enough to eat!

Sure it has its quirks and downsides (nowadays, with funding cut for many towns, libraries can only afford to be open a few days a week. It's 5 days a week here in Portland, but I know in smaller towns, it may be just 2-3 days a week), but how awesome is it that you can sign up for a library card FOR FREE, and then take books, CDs, DVDs, videos, etc. that you want to read home for 1-3 weeks FOR FREE, or spend hours using their wireless internet (or if you don't have a laptop, you can sign up to use their computers with internet access) FOR FREE! Oh, and if they don't have a book that you want, you can request it from another library and they will deliver it to your library FOR FREE (unless it has to come from out of state. Then there's a fee of a few dollars, but still!)!!! Isn't that great?!?

Now I will admit that libraries are paid for by the community's taxes, so they are not truly free, but what we receive from them vastly outweighs what I pay every year in taxes. If it weren't for the library, I'd be paying between $6-40 apiece for the books I take out. I'm always amazed by how quickly libraries get the new and popular books. In many cases, I'll be able to read the book within a few weeks of it coming out! For example, this book: The Plum Pudding Murder came out on September 29th. I requested it on the 30th; it was ready for me to pick up on the 2nd of October! Talk about fast! There's $24.00 that I didn't have to spend at the bookstore!

Cupcake with three of my most recent library books: the "just published" one, the "I'd love to learn about this for free" one, and the "this author sounds interesting. I'll try him" one!

And being able to browse through such a large selection just gives me endless possibilities! I recently picked up a book on wireworking! Would I have ever bought a book on wireworking without knowing if I liked it? No! But since I can get it for free, why not? Or being able to try out authors before purchasing their books! Fabulous! I can't count the number of authors that I first found out that I loved through the local library and now I've purchased quite a number of their books (libraries are great PR)!

I guess I've rambled on enough about how great libraries are. Yes, there are people who will complain about the limited hours, the number of homeless people who use them (to which I have to say, "deal with it. As long as they're not using the library to sleep, they have as much of a right to use it as you do. And I've dealt with libraries filled with LOTS of homeless people in Boston), how they don't have every book that you want, but nothing's perfect! So if you love your library, consider giving a small donation to them every now and then. Trust me, you'll get everything you put into it back tenfold!

Friday, October 2, 2009

This Is Why We Shouldn't Cook...

This is what happens when my husband and I try to cook. Can you tell what's wrong with this picture? Yes, it's a pizza that looks like an ear. Ear pizza. Sound appetizing? Yeah, not so much. We couldn't get the dough to spread in a circular fashion, so when we popped it in the oven, we thought, "bah, who cares? So the crust'll look like a lima bean. No problem." Little did we know that during the cooking process, our bean pizza would slowly morph into "The Van Gogh Special." Doesn't really make your mouth water, does it? Especially with the earwax-colored grease on the pineapple section. Ewwww. Looks like it came off of a boxer's head (we shoulda put some cauliflower on it. Get it? Cauliflower ear?...It's funny. Trust me). It did taste fine, however, and once we sliced it up it looked a lot more appetizing.

Yeah, you may also notice the cutting board that we put it on. See the fish picture on the upper left corner? Yep. This is one of those cutting boards that are supposed to be reserved for specific types of food (fish, chicken, red meat, and vegetables). This is clearly the fish board. Are we using it for fish? Definitely not. *Sigh. We've never really gotten around to using these boards for their original purpose, since we don't cook meat all that often. I use the red meat one for my polymer clay work (don't worry! It was never used - yeah, we really don't cook red meat ever- so don't think that I'm using a butcher block for my clay molding!). Yeah, we're not the greatest cooks, but we try, often with hilarious results.

I'll leave you with a few cute photos. Here's Chester looking all festive with a pile of mini pumpkins.
And the three all getting along on their new cat post. I call it the tower of power. We've got Chester at the top, Cupcake on the next, and Rosalita hanging out in the hidey-hole. Glad they're all getting along! They don't mind our cooking (granted, their food comes straight out of bags and cans, but still)!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blogtoberfest begins!

Well, I signed up today for Blogtoberfest (an October-long challenge to blog each and every day)! I'm looking forward to it, although I may have to do a few photo-only days (I've got my cousin's wedding coming up next weekend. Yeah, I know, NO EXCUSES! JUST BLOG)! So we'll see how this goes! If you'd like to sign up, go to TinnieGirl's blog and join in the Blogtoberfest Fun!
I mean, how could I refuse the challenge? It's a lot like National Novel Writing Month, but with blogging instead of noveling! Fun times! So without further ado, I'd like to share a few funny blogging comics from one of my favorite webcomic couples ('cause I know so many, right?): NatalieDee and her husband Drew. They have several including "Married to the Sea," "NatalieDee," and "Toothpaste for Dinner"and both Natalie and Drew each have their own funny blogs! Enjoy!

Hope Natalie and Drew's work made you smile! And now that I've blogged about their blogs, I'll leave you with this: