Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Again, Home Again! (and random photos inserted at random. Hence the "random")

Guess what? We're home again! We wrapped up Atlanta on the 20th, hopped in the car, headed for home, got home, rested for 2 days, hopped in the car, headed to Alabama to see Charlie's sister, got up the next day, hopped in the car again (sensing a pattern here?) and headed back home again.

Where we thankfully will remain for the next month. Hopefully.

(Door in Woodstock, Georgia)

A very quiet holiday was had....just Charlie, Ginny (Charlie's mom) and big To Do, no cooking all day, just the three of us and what was in the fridge. That, combined with the fact that we didn't set foot in even one store, well...I could go for this kind of holiday every year! We did all of our shopping online, and even better? We succeeded at a 100% hand-made holiday! It really felt good, to know that not only were the gifts made by someone (not in a factory) but that the $ching$ was going to an individual, not some corporation/big box store. I don't know if we'll manage to do the same every year, with the same amount of success, but I think it's something we'll try for.

(Mockingbird, Alpharetta Georgia)

New Years looks to be fairly busy...we're going to have a VERY full house, with 8 of our friends coming in from Atlanta for the weekend. Looking forward to playing host, but also a wee bit stressed, just because of space. Okay, "stressed" may not be the right word for it...just trying to figure out where we're going to put everyone!

(More random shoes)

Once the crowd clears out we get to start on the real fun...doing the ceiling in the downstairs. Woot. It'll be nice to get started on it....but it'll be even nicer when it's finished, as it means we'll have to move everything from the "tall part" of the living room somewhere else...and then there's the "tall" part of "tall part." The ceiling in there is 18ft on one side, 14ft on the other...which means setting up the scaffolding. Inside. I'm ready to not be living in a construction zone!

(Ooooh, I have to sit really still so he doesn't see me....but I want to take a bite....ohhhh....damnit)

I'm hoping to manage to get some Art Time squeezed in there, somewhere, before we head to Phoenix in a month. I was enjoying getting back into painting before Atlanta, and despite having brought my supplies with me down there, I never picked up my brushes the whole time. I should've brought my watercolors, probably, but oh well.

Hope everyone had a wonderful to see what y'all have been up to!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Kid (movie), Bad Kid (movie)

Sooo, over the past holiday...that one centering around over-eating and family dysfunction (if you listen to the radio/TV/whatever...our Tdays have always been pleasant as far as I can recall)...Charlie and I went home from Atlanta for an extended weekend with the intent of not doing anything. For the most part, we were pretty successful. We did end up cooking a smaller Tday meal, since the fridge was barren and we needed food for the next 4 days, and our friend John ended up coming over. But that was the extent of it....kind of nice to not be making the 10-hour-drive up to Missouri for once! Though I did kind of miss sleeping in the farmhouse from the early 1800's that we usually occupy while there. We sleep in this big old sleigh style bed on the 3rd floor with lots of quilts...the balcony looks out over cow pastures, and is quite bucolic, shall we say.

Anyhooo, no sleigh beds and cows for us this year. This year it was all about chopping firewood in preparation for our actual return home in a few weeks, just in time for the rest of the holidaze, and probably some cold temperatures. (apparently we had snow there this morning) Not the most exciting, but hey, now we'll have warmth when we get back!

Wood chopping....and movie watching.

First up was Super 8, which I loved. It was like all those 80's "kids meet an alien" movies (if you're of a certain generation, you know exactly what I'm talking about) but on steroids. Suddenly, I was 10-years-old again, watching those movies and wanting THAT to happen to me! (if you've seen it, I was the kid who liked to blow things up. It's not my fault my father showed me how to use dynamite at an early age...welcome to life in rural Texas!)

Watch it. It's not deep. It plays out completely as you expect it to...but that's okay, because that's exactly what it needed to do. Considering the fact child actors tend to raise my hackles, and not one of the ones featured here did so should be an indication on my feelings about this film. Actually, I found the young woman to be quite charming. I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Conan the Barbarian. Ouch. Wow. Okay, let's just get one thing out there in the open: If you're watching ANY Conan movie, you're not looking for depth-of-character or anything beyond the most remedial/base of plots.

It needs only four things:

1) Guys in loincloths.
2) Sword-fights.
3) A monster or two.
4) A sexy woman, heroine or villianess. Preferably it's Grace Jones, though.

Got it? Good.

This new "improved" version had all those things...and it was horrible. There was none of the cheesy charm of it's predecessors. None of the goofy humor....though intensely painful attempts *were* made at humor, they failed miserably. The timing was completely off. The acting, if one can call it that, was horrible. The "style" of the filming itself was atrocious. The fight scenes were boring and overly graphic. The REAL Conan never tortured anyone...he ran around swinging his sword and hooting and hollering. This one was just mean. Boo.

We made it about 30 minutes into it...continuously saying "it'll get better"...but it never did. Eventually we just turned it off and ate more pecan pie.

***And for the record, I had my very first successful attempt at making pecan pie this year! I've tried numerous times, and it's never turned out just right. This year, it did. And I have no idea what I did differently than in times past.

Here's the recipe I used, via Epicurious. Only changes made were I used pre-made crusts (I only decided to make it about two hours before we were supposd to eat), I upped the amount of vanilla, and I pulverized 1/2 of the pecans instead of using halves.

3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound)

Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.

Put pecans in pie shell and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beats Antique: Revival

If you're not familiar with Beats Antique, you should be.

How's that for succinct?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupying a World Gone Mad (and Scarlet)

That's what it feels like these days...that our country has gone crazy. that the whole damned planet's gone a little askew. I don't know that that's a bad thing, really. People are finally fed up enough with the way things have been operating for far too long to actually stand up and say so.

Unfortunately, standing up and saying so comes at a cost...and a painful one.
 This is America in action at the moment.

And this is only one example of the abuse of authority, there are many more out there. I have friends who have been beaten and bloodied by the authorities for no valid reason. 

***Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests.[1] The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty.
Freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom of joining an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and the Constitution of the United States, is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.[2][not in citation given]
The United States constitution explicitly provides for 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances'" in the First Amendment.***

They say "get a job" and "take a bath, hippie." It's a convenient and easy way to write us off, to belittle us. They say we're looking for a handout, that we don't want to work for anything. That we're mooches or something.

I'm here to say otherwise. Just pulling from the list of people I PERSONALLY know who are involved in the Occupy movement, I can say that there are: Emergency room doctors, university professors, veterans, students, therapists, nurses, my mom,  9-to-5ers, artists, teachers, health-workers, minimum-wagers, above-minimum-wagers.  We bathe. We have families. Those who are lucky have jobs (and homes)...though not all of us do, and that's part of what we're pissed off about.

And NO, we DON'T need to have a list of demands of what we want to see change. Those lists will appear from some parts, surely, because there are those among us inclined to make lists (and that's good)....but they won't speak for the entirety of us. Sometimes, it's enough to just say "I'm over the status-quo" and to voice your displeasure.

Especially when it's said en masse.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Still bizzy bizzy bizzy...but getting less so!

Just like the title says, it's still been a bit of a whirlwind here in The Dirty South (AKA "Atlanta"...or "Hotlanta")...right after my parents left, Charlie's mom came down to stay for a bit, since Charlie's sister, LeeAnne (who also works with us) had surgery on her leg...and then our land-mates, Junebug and Dashboard came for a Halloween stay.

But (also like the title says) it's slowed down a bit. This is the first weekend where we had no visitors, had nothing we HAD to do...quite nice! We "celebrated" this yesterday by having a "date day" where we did absolutely nothing besides lay in bed and watch bad TV (OMG, some of it was reallyreallyreally trashy. I suffer from an unfortunate addiction to TruTV.) and cuddle all day. Didn't even really get up until 4pm. Perfect.

The night before, friday, some friends of ours had an aerial-play night at their place, and we went and did...well...aerial stuff!

Charlie stretching his back....
Charlie Stretching His Back

It's true, we're swingers...
Swingers Club

Trapezes are fun...
How We Roll

Despite bringing my canvases and paints with me, I haven't been doing much with them this time. Even though we have a suite here, with a seperate bedroom and all, the layout of the living room is odd, and not really condusive to setting up an art space...but I have been utilizing my camera a bit. That counts as something, right? Specifically, I've been adding to my Found Shoe photos.

I don't know why they fascinate me, but they do.

Marietta, Georgia

I guess I just think it's/they're weird.

Marietta, Georgia

Not as weird as some of the street signs here, though.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Still Here...and a Giveaway!

It's true...I've been horrible at updating lately! What can I say, except it's been a busy past month. Shifting the "base of operations" to Atlanta, Georgia for the next 3-4 months, lots of trips back and forth home to close up shop, some medical stuff (good news is: no cancer!) and an extended visit from my parents (who leave on this coming monday...finally! Love them, but it's been a whirlwind of activity, on top of regular work)

So, hopefully things will be settling back down soon, and I can make a "real" return...but until then, y'all should stop by and get in on the giveaway she's having! I've pimped her products to y'all before...for good reason. They're excellent quality. Simple as that. I've used them exclusively for about 3 years now, and have had ZERO complaints with them. And they're handmade...of course. And if it matters to you, they're also vegan.

Go forth...enter to win!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Octopuses And Squidses

Has anyone else noticed the prevalence of octopus/squid imagery/artwork lately? It seems like in recent years, they've really taken off in popularity. Kind of curious what that's all about. Is it a self-creating fad, a case of "monkey see, monkey do?" Are dark gods of the deep mind-controlling us, preparing humanity for their arrival? Whatever the case may be, I'm okay with it.

There's some rather...interesting use of said cephalopods at this link here.....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Back Again....and Zombies vs Unicorns!

Yup, it's true, I deleted my entire previous blog after numerous years (okay, 3 or 4) solely because Google wouldn't let me change my primary email address. All that content (okay, all that random babbling) the wind.

SNIP. (that's the sound of strings being cut)

C'est La and all that jazz.

Truth is, I was ready for an overhaul, some renewed energy, etc.

And what better way to find new energy than some Zombies vs Unicorns? What's that, you ask? Well, it's a blog-hop hosted by the ever-kooky Amy over here...
(and yes, I know it's officially called Unicorns vs Zombies but since I'm on the Zombie Team, I figure it's okay to switch it up a bit.)

Stop over and check out some of the fun she has going on there. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You may poop yourself. Probably no poop....but you never know.

Speaking of renewed energy (and the fact that I'm back to living in hotels again, after a year off of work) I'm also now on Twitter here...!/judahsleep ...which promises to probably be  really inane. Seriously, I've only been using it to pass time while waiting for slacker co-workers to finish their part of the job. Which means I'm there a lot. Saying a whole lot of nothing. But occasionally something of interest beyond the most base observations may pop up. Like politics. Or art. Or stuff.

Well, there you go, my entrance back into BlogLand.

Oh yeah...Zombie Doll!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The power of mainstream media is frightening. The ability to cover up entire political actions in the hands of corporations. I have yet to see a SINGLE mention of Occupy Wall Street in the news, despite it being eight days in now.

                                Despite the multiple recorded abuses of power and police violence.

 The thing is, as frightening as the power of mainstream media can be...the TRUE power now lies in the hands of each and every one of us. We can no longer be kept silent, and our voices are legion.

It is THEY who should be afraid. The peasants are pissed off and storming the castle, as much as they'd like to pretend otherwise.

For those unfamiliar with what is happening,  a quick visit over here will help...