Friday, September 30, 2011

The dreaded hole

Here it is in all it's glory...patched right now:
DSC02578
I've got it over-patched right now. I've never put a hole in material before, but I've never not bought a professional kit or made my own before either. It has definitely put me off buying full kits from strangers.

I worked a bit more on Wednesday night and got this far:
DSC02576

And not much farther tonight:
DSC02579

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Movin on up!

Yea me! Up to the top three pages now then all done! Problem with page 1 is that is where the hole is. I don't know whether to pull out the patch and hope the actual stitch will bind it, or stitch over the binding. I don't even know if I can stitch over the binding at all. Plus, the creator of the kit trimmed the material way too close to the pattern. I only have about an 1.5 inch of a border around the whole thing! Doesn't make well for keeping itself in the scroll!
DSC02575

Also finished Midsomer Murders 12 and only one more to go!

Back to work tomorrow...Birthday vacation over and done with. Definitely not looking forward to it. Vacations are good for me to relax the blood vessels in my brain (I have only had one migraine on a weekend since they started (my migraines, not weekends)...things that make you say hmmm?), but vacations do make me quite disassociative (like I need any help with that). The more I'm off, the more I want to be off. If I did ever win the lottery, I'd never set foot outside again! But seriously though, my face is already going numb (one of my migraine side effects).

On a completely non-me related note, some-bunny's hidden Mickey was shining brightly!
DSC02573
And the same some-bunny didn't get the long over-due haircut he so desperately needs. I just don't think he wanted me to (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Post

Well, another B-day down the tubes. I spent it the way I usually do, not working and sitting on my tail-feathers. I bought my own cake (as I usually do) and ate it alone (as I usually do), but I got an amazing amount of work done!

Here's Monday night:
DSC02571

And Tuesday:
DSC02572

Also got series 11 of Midsomer Murders done:
Since I finally got series 13 in, I can breathe a sigh of relief on that front!

Thing about birthdays, the older I get, the less I care about celebrating them. Just another reminder of another year gone and nothing to show for it. Rather sad actually. That's why I always take off work on my birthday. I at least want to enjoy the most miserable day of the year in my favorite ways...sloth, envy, (I was born prideful, so that is inherent), and my all time favorite sin, gluttony! I don't have access to the materials for greed or lust and it's hard to be wrathful when you're home alone, so, I guess I'll have to be happy with four out of seven! Might as well break the rules of the religion of my birth on my birthday! The only bit of youth left in me...my rebellious nature!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Here's to one more future miserable year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friends

Friendship for an Asperger is a strange thing because we don't like people much. But there have been a couple of occasions throughout my lifetime when someone has actually gotten through the barricades (to quote an old Spandau Ballet song). But they never last long. Why you ask? Because they play by the normal rules of friendship and I don't. They want to hang out all the time, and talk on the phone, and do things together. Problem is, I get bored with people quickly and they start to annoy me. But I typically don't handle it well and instead of explaining the situation to them, I just run them off. Which doesn't really upset me...saves me the trouble of an explanation, and the annoyance is gone.

What did a very wise woman once say? "I don't want people to be agreeable as it saves me the trouble of liking them". Could Jane Austen have been an Asperger too? Look at the facts, excellent imagination, no close relationships other than her sister. Hmm....makes you think a bit?

But, back to me, I have two friends who have managed to stick around, each for different reasons and I'd like to thank them for it. Maybe I'm feeling a bit soft today or something, or maybe it was all that sleep I got! Who knows! But thanks I'm about to give!

Firstly, to my dearest friend, Tony. We've been friends for years, but have become closer the last several. I don't trust men (although I do still like them for some stupid reason), not one single one in my life has been worth their weight in salt. Tony is different. I feel completely at ease with him. I know that he is 100% trustworthy and safe. Why doesn't he annoy me? We go for weeks without talking. Not for any nefarious reasons, but just because we live in separate towns and he has a life and I don't, so he's more busy than I am. But the point is, he's not in my face 24/7. He's there when I need him, we have fun together, and then I have my space! The best of both worlds! But when we do get together, it's as though we have never been apart...that's why our friendship works.

Secondly, to my friend Madison. We've also been friends for years also, but we have never met, in person that is. She lives halfway across the country from me. And that's why our friendship works! We talk online, we love the same things, Disney, Duran. We talk about our lives and share personal things...but the same space we've never shared (although we have been in Disney World at the same time - we just both chickened out when it came to meeting). Maybe we will meet someday when it's time, who knows! But I know that I can trust her just as much as any person I know in the flesh (next to Tony that is).

So this post is for them...my two best friends, Tony and Madison. Hopefully these two will be able to put up with me where others have failed, because it would actually hurt me if I were to loose either one of them! And that's saying a lot!

Coupling - post watch review #3


I love this show and not just because of Jack Davenport and Ben Miles! It was accused, at the time of it's airing, of being a knock-off of Friends. I tried to watch Friends years ago and hated it. Coupling was nothing like Friends IMO. Written by Steven Moffat (the new Doctor Who writer and also the lead writer of Sherlock) and loosely based on his life, Coupling is the story of Steve and Susan, who pretty much fall in love at first sight. Along for the ride are Steve's weird best friend Jeff (who leaves in series 4 and is replaced by equally weird Oliver-a Doctor Who freak BTW...prolific maybe?), and Steve's ex Jane who is dingy and over-sexed. On Susan's side is her ex Jack, who also happens to be an over-sexed womanizer, and her crazy neurotic best friend Sally. The show goes through the ups and downs of their relationships and the relationships of their friends.

I guess I also need to add that I don't like comedies...don't even like the word actually. I'm not a "laughing" person. It takes a lot to make me smile even. "Why do I watch so many romantic comedies?", you ask? I don't see them as comedies, but "light-hearted" romances with humor. Humor is different that comedy. Humor is needed to keep the romance happy and light-hearted (there's that word again, like the heart could actually be "light", especially mine), comedy is for the sake of laughs only, and that could lead to trouble in relationships, no one wants to be laughed at...laughed with maybe, but not at.

If you go by the typical comedies, then yes, I do love Mr. Bean, Blackadder, The Kids In the Hall, and I've never missed an episode of South Park, but rolling on the floor laughing is as rare an occurrence as me going the grocery store (and trust me, that's an every three month event). Plus, again, these to me are not comedies, but varying levels of humor. Mr. Bean is incredibly brilliant, Blackadder gave us such amazing talent such as Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Colin Firth, Miranda Richardson, and the wonderful Rowan Atkinson himself, need I go on? The Kids In the Hall still give me and my sister numerous quotable scenes even to this day. And as far as South Park goes, it may be vulgar, but its the most honest vulgarity you will ever see and I respect that entirely. They always tell it like it is on South Park...no sugar coating there.

Having said all that, and in so far as typical comedies go, I can't understand what people find funny about SNL, the supposed funniest show on television...I have family that watch it all the time, but I just don't get it...cow bell, dick in a box...seriously? And no need to say it, I know that the same creative team behind SNL gave us The Kids In the Hall, but KITH was more about the humor instead of laughs...that's my story and I'm sticking to it! And don't even get me started on Blue Collar Comedy Tour! I sat through that entire thing and didn't laugh not even once...almost fell asleep even. Everybody I know thinks that show is the funnest thing ever. I kid you not...EVER. I just don't get it. I guess there is no "sign" for me. I have even been told "you have to be Southern to get it". I was born and raised in Northeast Arkansas! Well, I can't really use that as an excuse for being Southern, can I? I may speak with a Southern accent, but anyone who knows me knows I don't have a Southern bone in my body. I have been told "it's all the Yankee blood" in my system...cancels out the Southern in me. As long as I don't have to eat everything fried in bacon grease or date rednecks, then I'm fine with that excuse!

I am so digressing, again, but I wanted to point out, I may watch a lot of what is considered "comedies", especially "romantic comedies", but I don't see them as such. One of my favorite shows of all time is Wings. Not a comedy IMO...it's a romantic story about a former fat girl who finally gets the guy she's been in love with her whole life. What's funny about that? I think it's the most romantic thing I've ever heard and anyone who's seen Joe's proposal to Helen would agree with me! Am I seeing the story as skewed, maybe, probably. But that's my opinion and that's what this blog is all about! And I promised myself when I started this blog I'd be honest about my feelings, and this folks, is honesty at it's rawest.

So, to make a short story even longer, I can't recommend the comedy aspect of Coupling, although I did chuckle a few times, but watching Steve and Susan's relationship grow, and even better, the relationship between Jack and Sally, made for great romantic tele, and I'm all about the romance! Same with Vicar of Dibley...in the end, it was all about Geraldine getting her happy ending. It's the Janeite in me...I want the girl to get the guy and live happily ever after, and, in that arena, Coupling does not fail to disappoint, in a brutally honest, light-hearted, humorous way!! I suppose though, a normal person might find Coupling funny. It's hard for me to say. I can't see past the romance of it.

Midsomer Murders

I've also caught up on series 9:

And series 10:

All these people getting killed, how is there any people left in these little villages? Plus my series 13 still hasn't come in yet...I'm really getting worried about it! I get so attached to these shows and then I'm done and it's all over. But it is all still great fun!

Stitch update

Haven't made much progress past few days. Had to work a double shift on Friday (on top of my normal 10-12 hrs) and ended up with a bad headache and slept completely through Saturday. Got back to stitching today, but work was slow.

This was Tuesday's work:
DSC02568

This was Wednesday's:
DSC02569

And here was Sunday's:
DSC02570

Also discovered a bit of a gaff that's got me stumped. Apparently there was something I didn't notice. There is a ' and a `, only on the pattern, it's barely discernible, and I didn't discern it and now it's way to late to correct. It explains why Donald is so pink (although even if I could fix it, it would only make him a bit more purple). It's driving me nuts!

Between the hole in the material and the weird colors of the pattern, I'm just ready to chuck it in. I think I could create this pattern way better than what it is. I just hate to give up months of work. And I know that if I start it over again, I'll absolutely HATE working on it. Anybody have any thoughts? Should I just chuck it all in and start again, or just keep it going?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ray McGlothlan

Many moons ago, on a planet far, far away, in another lifetime even, I did something at the age of 19 that changed my life. I left the comfort of my apartment (by that time I had already moved out of my parents house and had been living on my own for a couple of years), the only job I had ever had since I was 16 (a big deal to a 19 year old), even left college, to trek the 55 some-odd miles to the town of my birth and to the home of my Father, who I worshipped (and unfortunately, still do although we haven’t spoken in years), just to live with him for the first time in my life. I was shy, inexperienced in life and people, completely anti-social, and quite frankly, extremely immature. It was also when I first started showing signs of OCD. I know now I’ve had mild Asperger’s my whole life, but back then no one really even knew what it was, or would have even guessed that I had it, I just knew I had bad problems and tried to hide the worst of them as best as possible, but I’m digressing as usual.

After a time living with my Father I had to get a job. The very first one I applied for was at the local Housing Authority. For those of you who don’t know what a Housing Authority is, you might know it as a HUD office. I’m pretty sure since I only had pathology laboratory experience and was only 19, it was my Father’s influence that got me the job (he was a police lieutenant at the time), but needless to say, they did hire me and my life’s history began to be written!

At the same time I started, Ray McGlothlan also started working there. He was hired as the Assistant Executive Director, I was just a lowly Section 8 Clerk. Although he came from another Housing Authority and knew the business, we learned the local computer system together and how this particular branch ran. Ray and I butted heads a lot! I was head-strong, opinionated, (hate to keep repeating it) immature, and stubborn (all traits that come from my Father, just so you know and I swear that’s where my Asperger’s comes from BTW), dealing with internal struggles, but Ray never really seemed to be put off too much by my moods! There is no telling how much crap I gave him, but I can’t ever remember a time where he showed (at least to me) any anger for it (which probably just made me give him more crap trying to get him angry , I told you I was immature!).

Working at the Housing Authority gave me things I have never gotten anywhere else: my surrogate Ma who I still keep in touch with, introduction to a culture I had very little interaction with before, and a "sort" of compassion for others (as much as an Asperger can have anyway). It was the only job I have ever had that I truly loved and the only place I ever worked that I felt like I belonged. I felt like I made a difference and I actually wanted to make that difference. I was respected there, valued there, and wanted there. I will never have that again. Ray was a part of that.

I eventually fell out with my Father and moved back home (the first of many fallings out, but another story for another time). I drove back and forth between the two towns for a year, but an hour each way got to be too much and I eventually had to quit per my Step-dad's instructions (but I did so kicking and screaming!). I also eventually ended up working at the Housing Authority in my home town, but it pretty much killed all that I learned at the first Housing Authority since it was it's polar opposite in values, so I ended up back at the pathology lab where I started and have been back ever since, almost 16 years now. But longevity does not breed contentment folks...another blog for another day.

But Ray stayed on, and eventually became the Executive Director, and now he’s retiring! My how time flies when you are getting old! Wednesday is his retirement party. I wanted to go (I thought it was next week when I had scheduled off, but apparently not and someone sent my invitation to the wrong address so I didn’t get notified in time to made adequate arrangements to take off in time). So I’m doing the next best thing…blogging my presence!! I did pull out the pics from my going away party and am posting some of them, can't really post them all, and yes, there are none of me, but hey, I did post one of my desk and notice the early trappings of the OCD! So enjoy our past together, and Ray, enjoy your retirement future!!

Sincerely, your most annoying underling...

Keebles!




OMG OMG OMG!!

Having mild Asperger's my emotions are what most people would call cold (which is probably putting it mildly). I have a general lack of feeling for others and towards others especially when it comes to sympathy, empathy, or attachment to them. One day I'll do a post dealing with being an adult with Asperger's and what it is like. I've learned to social conditioning how to control certain behaviors and what emotions to keep to myself (just because the embarrassment factor of certain behaviors with Social Anxiety Disorder outweighs the need to express certain feelings). What I do have, however, is internal emotions attached to myself and my immediate surroundings, most of which are extremely overpowering (hence the OCD - I'm more of an obsessive than a compulsive). Darren Hayes is one of the few artists that get inside my shell and make me feel.

I think the reason why Darren moves me so much is because his lyrics "get me". They strike cords in me that are way too close to home. Almost every one of his songs have lyrics that I'd swear he wrote for me. In case you don't know who Darren is, he was the lead singer (and songwriter) for Savage Garden. Does "Truly, Madly, Deeply" ring any bells? Well, there you go. But as for his lyrics, Here are some examples of what I mean:

Here's an old Savage Garden song - To The Moon And Back:
"Mum never loved her much, daddy never keeps in touch, that's why she shys away from human affection, but somewhere in a private place, she packs her bag for outer space and now she's waiting for the right kind of pilot to come"

Random Blinking Light:
"I'm beautiful in an ugly kind of fucked up way, my face is not a cliche, and I complicate in a disconcerted heart-felt way, but I have good intentions"

This one just needs to be posted in its whole because this one is what Asperger's is like (at least to me) - Darkness:



Ever hear a song and have emotions that go along with it? Most people do...to a lot of songs...I don't. Sure, I love music and listen to it all the time, but I don't FEEL it. Darren hits my buttons almost everytime which is why he is one of my favorites (for the record, Mark Owen of Take That, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, and Robert Smith of The Cure are the only other ones...others come and go, but are usually fleeting).

Darren has a new album coming out at the end of the year and he's been teasing with a couple of new singles. I've posted one video already (right after my very first blog post actually). But a new one just came out today. So here you go folks, your first look at the new Darren. It's an extremely beautiful moving visual as well (and yes, he has that affect on me physically too, always has). Hope this turns you into a Darren Hayes convert!

Vicar of Dibley - Post watch review #2


I absolutely LOVE Dawn French! And Vicar of Dibley is what introduced me to Richard Armitage! I started eating up every square inch of him I could find after this, then I found North and South and I was a gonner! I never even associated him with Guy of Gisbourne on Robin Hood even though I own the first series (I never bought the second series because, well, for those who have seen it, you know why - another review for another day!).

This is one of the first British sets I bought, and I bought it American. It cost me a small fortune!! Now there is a newer set and I've been considering getting the newer set and giving the older one (since it's region 1) to my Mother because I know she will love it too, if she would give it a chance.

The set contains the complete three series, plus all the specials and the Holy Wholly Happy Ending (which I watch all the time - I actually have it on my ipod!). The complete series spans about 10 or so years, they weren't filmed in seasonal order like American shows are (most British shows don't work that way...the actors do three or four different series at a time and they swap their time between them all and do a new series when they can all get together).

Richard Curtis (of Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Notting Hill, Mr. Bean, and Blackadder fame) was the main writer for the series, so if that gives you any indication as to the quality of the writing or the level of the humor, then you would be spot on!

The series centers around Geraldine Granger, who is a Vicar sent to the tiny village of Dibley to a bunch of old codgers who are terrified at the thought of a woman vicar! One in particular, David Horton, does everything he can to get rid of her, but even he eventually succumbs to her charms and even eventually proposes to her! She's forced to deal with Owen, who loves his farm animals just a bit too much, if you get my meaning, Jim, who stutters "no" when he means "yes", and "Frank" who is too long winded for his own good. Her best friend and verger Alice is a complete nutter, but finds love of her own (in the useless son of David Horton, Hugo!). Geraldine has her ups in downs in love as well, getting rather serious at one point with David's brother. But Harry is the one that wins her heart in the end and what a fantastic ending it is! Look for an amazing performance by Hugh Bonneville (who I absolutely adore) as well in the finale ending.

And there is a Jane Austen tie-in for the ending for you Janeites out there as well! But you'll just have to watch and see to catch it!

Once you've seen the series, go on YouTube and find the comic relief special with Sting and Trudie Styler, it's about 10 minutes or so, but also, incredibly hilarious!

I do have to add, the show isn't all about humor though, there are serious moments, and there are important issues dealt with, but it's not shoved down your throat. This show was ground breaking in it's time. Woman vicars were rare and not looked kindly upon. This show changed things. And Dawn French knew that and she didn't take that role lightly, even if it was a comedic role. She rallied for the women vicars and still does to this day. There are plenty of behind the scenes features that go into detail about specific she wanted to be and how she sometimes had to fight for what she wanted. But being who she is, she got what she wanted, and that's why I love her so!

So I definitely recommend The Vicar of Dibley 110%! It's not as expensive as it once was, and the newest incarnation of the set is even cheaper!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bodies - first British show post-review


I'm starting with Bodies first because: A) it's a bloody good show, both literally and figuratively; and B) Beesley, as in Max...need I say more!

Bodies is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. I work in the medical field, so a little blood and guts doesn't bother me. But Bodies is graphic, and that is, quite frankly, an understatement! So I'm really not kidding when I say you better have a strong constitution when you watch this.

In a nutshell, it's four series (although the last is a movie finale) about a new OB/GYN (the absolutely gorgeous Max Beesley who I worship, adore, love, drool over...sorry, got carried away), and his trials and tribulations being put under an incompetent consultant, his relationship with a married nurse, and dealing with being a new doctor and trying to get ahead in a field that is more about business than patients.

The births are realistic looking, you see va-jay jay's up close and personal, blood is everywhere, placentas are everywhere, Cesarean's, an episiotomy or two or twelve, babies die, mothers die, the sex can get graphic (full frontal Max nudity if you look hard enough and hit the pause button just right), the drama is high, the politics are a bit condemning, all in all, great entertainment! Oh, and did I mention Max Beesley? For those of you that don't know who Max is, he stared in Hotel Babylon for the first three series, or maybe you saw Survivors? Oh and Keith Allen also stars as the Head Consultant (Lily Allen's father or the Sheriff Of Nottingham on the Robin Hood BBC series depending on which way you look at him).

Now, I will have to add, I did not like the way the series ended. I am a happy ending kind of girl (as my love of Jane Austen goes to show). But as most British shows don't get an ending when they get cancelled (and trust me, I've got dozens that end with tons of cliffhangers and no finales because they got cancelled - New Street Law anyone?), at least this one got it's ending...even if I disagreed with it, but you may not...who knows? Only you can decide!

Watching British TV

I talk a lot about watching British television shows, but I never really explain how I do it. Trust me, I do it legal! I spend a fortune it seems on Amazon UK! I have an all region DVD player (a couple, in fact, but one isn't very good).

In case you don't know about region codes, I gotta give you a little education first. Different countries have different region codes for DVD's. There are technically 9 region codes for DVD's and then there is 0, which is all region. The US and Canada uses code 1, 2 is Europe, 3 is Asia, 4 is Mexico and South America, etc, etc. Ever bought a DVD outside the country that wouldn't play on your DVD player when you got it home? Region codes are why. An all-region DVD player uses the 0 code (which plays all 1-9). I bought my player from Amazon US for about $30. It's a Philips (but it now lists for about $70 for some reason, but every now and again Woot has it for $30).

One other caveat I forgot to mention, there are two main kinds of tv's as well, NTSC and PAL's, we use NTSC and the British use PAL's, so make sure to not only get a DVD player that plays all regions, but that all says specifically NTSC/PAL compatible. This is important. It must be able to transfer the signal to back and forth from PAL to NTSC so your American NTSC can read the PAL disc!

You can buy some British shows on Amazon US that have been transferred to region code 1 and remarketed to American audiences. Ever notice how a British show costs way more than an American show? For example, when they first started marketing MI-5 for America, I paid $100 per season for it! Spooks on Amazon UK is about 10.00 per series. Buy it in it's original region code 2 format and it's practically nothing! Most television series range from 4.99 (about $7.50) to 20.99 (about $32 right now). Imagine buying a full season of an American show for that!

Buying from Amazon UK has opened up a whole new world of television that was never available to me before! Granted, I still buy my MI-5's from Amazon US just because I started them as MI-5's instead of Spooks and since we are in series 9 now, it's too late to switch over. Dalziel and Pascoe is another show I buy on Amazon US because it's not available on Amazon UK anymore. I do buy my Doctor Who's on Amazon US as well, but anyone who's bought those know how expensive they are!

But, at the same time, shows that are popular on both coasts, like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Lark Rise To Candleford, Cranford, etc, are expensive in both Amazon US and Amazon UK.

And there are catches. Living in America, you can only buy directly from Amazon UK or merchants that are based in the US. You can't download anything at all. Shipping is cheap, but depending on the terror threat level, you may have it in a week, you may have it in six weeks (but that is US customs fault, not Royal Airmail's - US Customs has to let it sit in storage for 30 days to make sure it isn't going to explode before they can ship it on). Weather is also a factor. Because of the east coast hurricane a few weeks ago, it delayed all Royal Airmail shipments, which apparently get set aside to make way for the new shipments when the scare is over. They slowly add the older shipments in with the new until the overflow is caught up...again, US Customs polices apparently. Plus, because of the burning of the Sony distribution center in London, a lot of things on my wishlist are now delayed 1-2 months, some 2-4. These things you have to take into consideration, but the Royal Airmail website does keep you updated to all it's current threat levels and customs issues, so you can always check it.

I've been giving reviews of the current series I've been watching (Midsomer Murders), but I think I'm also going to start giving reviews of other series I've watched in the past that you've probably never heard of but that are absolutely fantastic as well!

Yeah!

Another page bites the dust! I am now more than halfway done!
DSC02567

Further thoughts on Torchwood:

You know, I thought more about it today, and it wasn't just the Americanization of it that bothered me. By being on Starz, it reached an audience that had never before seen it, and had the potential to not only bring in future viewers of it, but of Doctor Who as well. But my over-analyzing brain kept coming to one conclusion over and over...anyone that had never seen an episode of Torchwood before, after watching the Miracle Day series, walked away knowing absolutely nothing about Torchwood, specifically: what had happened in the past; why Jack is immortal (great back-story BTW) what the purpose of Torchwood was; Ianto was the only older character that was mentioned, but they never told who he was or how he died or even that he was a member of the team, all you knew was that he was Jack's old lover; why Gwen and Rhys were in hiding in the first place; what happened to the old hub or even what a hub was (although they did mention it and did visit it's old site).

Like I said before, I am a fan of the series, I've seen them all, I own them, I watch them. On every series, when new characters are introduced, they get the back-story of Torchwood. It gets old after a time, but its necessary for the newer viewers. Would it have been so hard to spend 10 minutes of an episode after the CIA figured out what Torchwood was to have one character explain it to another character for the benefit of the viewers who are new to the series? Duh! The fans of the show understood the old storylines and could follow along, but they isolated what could have been tons of potential newer viewers.

Plus, knowing Doctor Who like I do, and how integrated with Torchwood he is, he would NEVER have let Miracle Day get as far as it did without stepping in and helping...he has NEVER left the world or Jack to fend for themselves like that and that was another sign of the lack of integration of the previous editions of the Torchwood series...the Doctor ALWAYS steps in and saves the day when it gets too bad.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gotta vent a bit

So while stitching on Saturday night, I finally broke down and watched Torchwood - Miracle Day. It's been in my Tivo cue forever and I've been putting off watching it. Not because I don't love Torchwood, because I do, but because of another reason. This series of Torchwood was not a full BBC production, but a joint production with Starz.

Now, anyone that knows me personally, knows I love British television. I can't get enough of it. I'm also very protective of it. I don't understand why American television producers feel the need to "Americanize" or even re-make for American audiences British television shows. It drives me crazy! Do they think that we are too stupid to "get" British shows? Yes, you can read DVD reviews on Amazon and see where Americans ask for subtitles to be put on British shows because they can't understand the speech (I particularly love it when someone comments back that the Brits do actually speak English and if they don't understand English, maybe they shouldn't be watching British shows in the first place). But why Americanize or even remake a show if there is a perfectly good version of it already out there?

Back to the original point. I knew this new production of Torchwood would be Americanized...they added a pretty much all American cast and moved most of the entire shoot to the States. For those not familiar with Torchwood, it's a spin-off of Doctor Who, a show which I'm completely obsessed with, or was when David Tennant was the Doctor...not so much now, even though I do still watch it (and Torchwood is an anagram for Doctor Who, BTW). I can even remember as a child watching Tom Baker and his wild mane of curly hair and his coat-hanger-laden Tardis flying through space and time on PBS after school!

Needless to say, it didn't disappoint on the Americanized front. Even though it was written by Russell T Davies, who wrote the other series as well as the first four of the new Doctor Who (and the British Queer As Folk), I think he's been living in L.A. too long. Torchwood is known for it's fast-paced, kill or be-killed story lines filled with aliens, monsters, or even the demon within, and there's always a visit by the Doctor himself and this was nothing like that at all (although there were a few thinly veiled mentions of the Doctor). There were episodes that were slow, there were too many American style car chases and explosions, and way too much internal feelings. Definitely not British at all! It didn't suck, but it wasn't the Torchwood that I know and love, that's for sure! And what was up with Bill Pullman's character? He didn't even need to be there at all! He was a totally useless addition. It was almost like "hey guys we got Bill Pullman, we got to add him a part and he wants to play a bad guy so get to it, you've got 10 minutes to add him to the script".

And it's not just Torchwood. Cinemax has a series called Strike Back. Surprise folks....this is technically the second of a British series which stared Richard Armitage (betcha didn't know that for those that are watching it...they give no clues and make it sound all original). I loved the first series. It dealt around Richard's character who ends up working for a covert British agency. I've only been able to watch the first episode of this new series, but from what I've seen of it, it deals with explosions and sex and lots and lots of shooting people left and right. Americanized 110%. I am still recording it and I will watch the entire series when it's finished, so my opinion is still skewed at the moment from viewing the first episode. Besides, Richard was in this new series, for the first 10 minutes. They unceremoniously put a bullet in his brain and that was it. Fine if you want to kill off a character, but considering he was the main storyline for the entire first series, give him a little more pomp and circumstance than 10 bloody minutes (yes, I love Richard so that pissed me off, what can I say?). I know that Richard is busy filming the Hobbit and couldn't work on this production much, but come on...couldn't they give his character more justice that what they did?

There is an actual Wikipedia page listing the American television shows based on British shows (and trust me, the list is nowhere near complete). Did you know that Three's Company was based on a British television show? One of the most popular shows of my childhood and it's not even ours!

Look at popular culture now...Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, and the upcoming X-Factor...all British shows! Makes you wonder if American TV producers can come up with any original ideas of their own. And also makes me wonder why they think we're so stupid that we have to have British shows remade for us instead of showing us the originals, or better yet, coming up with new ideas! Now there's a thought!

Queer As Folk is another example, one that went so far as the entire first season's script was virtually copied word for word! If they remake them because we don't get British culture, then why spend millions to remake them just to copy them and only change a few slang terms? Stupid! Sure, they changed character names, but the Brian/Stuart character drove the same vehicle and their flats looked very similar although one was in Manchester, England and the other was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! They only started to veer separately during the second series and only because the UK QAF didn't have a full series and ended the way the American should have IMO (couple-wise) and the American version had Five full series.

They remade Being Human and the SyFy channel aired both the American and the British versions! Why? Talk about confusing! A vampire, and werewolf, and a ghost share a flat. What needed to be Americanized about that? Do they think we too stupid to get that concept? I really tried to watch the American version, but the vampire was ugly (who ever heard of an ugly vampire?), the ghost was whiny (and there was no chemistry between her and the ugly vampire, a major storyline in the British version) and the werewolf wasn't geeky enough (an important chemistry to the casting). The storylines went in two different directions in this case, but I found that to be just as annoying as being word for word (I can't explain why, I think because I was gonna find fault in it no matter which way it went). Being Human (the British version, of course) is another one of my favorite shows (although I'm still EXTREMELY pissed about how the last series ended) and I was almost personally offended they felt the need to "clone" it (for lack of a better word).

They are remaking Prime Suspect, the show that put Helen Mirren on the map. Why? An overly ambitious police woman with an alcohol problem works her way up the ranks and encounters sexual discrimination along the way from her male contemporaries. As the series progresses, she gets older, becomes more of a senior officer, gets drunker, makes more mistakes, and is forced to retire because of it. That kind of behavior would never wash nowadays, but still strong television if you watch the Helen Mirren version. Can't imagine how it can be "re-imagined" or if it could even last as long as the original to get that far into Jane Tennison's career to see her mature and fail as spectacularly as she does.

They want to make an American version of Spooks (MI-5). What for? Besides, how in the heck can they Americanize the British security services? How many Americans know who the MOD is or what GCHQ is or where Thames House is (or what it is). Or for that matter even care! Plus, it's still a current show! You wanna learn about British spies, watch Spooks! All Nine series are available and Ten will be out in November as it's airing in the UK now! Besides, without Spooks, we wouldn't have Matthew MacFadyen (nor would he have his wife Keeley Hawes, since that is where they met), or Rupert Penry-Jones, or Richard Armitage!

Look at the popularity of Downton Abbey, Sherlock and even Doctor Who! They don't have to be remade (although I have heard chatter of an American remake of Doctor Who - but they can't figure out an American Tardis since we don't have phone boxes!).

Here's a thought...BCCAmerica, stop playing fifteen million episodes of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares or Top Gear and make yourself available to everyone and not just people with satellite or advanced cable. Or better yet, BBC, ITV, and Sky and all the other British channels, make yourselves available to Americans (we'd be willing to pay) and show us your shows, let us see them in their full glory, or at least do a Nick At Nite kind of thing. Let the rest of America see what I already know, that you produce some of the best television in the world. So good in fact, that American television producers feel the need to constantly copy you incessantly for our viewing pleasure. Think of the money to be made if you cater to us directly! And that way, the rest of American can't be duped into watching shows that are nothing but rehashed television shows from another country because our producers are too lazy to come up with ideas of their own.

Soap box dismount and beddie-bye bound.

What Progress!

My hands hurt, my wrists hurt, my arms hurt, even my back hurts! But wow! What a difference a task makes thanks to the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend! I made it through a lot farther than I thought I would!

Here's Saturday's work:
DSC02563

And Sunday's:
DSC02564

Plus I made it through series Eight of Midsomer Murders today:

I've started series Nine and I'm a bit miffed they didn't explain DC Scott's leaving (at least so far). At least the new DC is on the rest of the covers (through Twelve - I still don't have Thirteen, but I did get word it's shipped).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ready for IHSW!

Here is Thursday nights work:

DSC02562

My goal for the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend is to finish all of page 6! In reality though, I figure I'll get Donald's face done, his hand, Mickey's pants, and maybe part of Mickey's belly. But it never hurts to aim high! But in very non-typical fashion, I'm going to bed early tonight, and start early on Saturday!

I've had some excellent suggestions from both Vickie and Anne for my possible Persuasion letter project, and I'm really getting excited about it! And Anne's link to the patternmakercharts blog literally makes my mouth water! I can't wait to be able to spend time searching the site!

So while I'm busy with the IHSW, and for my non-stitching friends, here's a little something for ya that you'll love if you'll give it a chance...this is Adele (who you probably know) putting her own twist on a Cheryl Cole song (who you probably don't know) on the BBC1 Live Lounge.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Migraine Hangover

I don't have much to give today because I'm still reeling from today's blessed headache. One thing I can say, another trial drug is biting the dust today. My lab rat days of testing different meds are about to come to an end, I'm about sick of it!

But anyway, not much stitching today, I couldn't focus. I'll post pics with Friday nights work, before the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend Starts...which I am really excited about! Thanks to Joysze over at the Random Ramblings Blog for letting me be a part of the IHSW!

I also really need to give thanks to Vickie over at the Reading and Stitching Blog. I met her through the DisBoards, and if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have started my own blog!

I need to go to bed, but "Dead Again" is on and I don't want to turn it off! It's one of my all time favorite movies and another one of those probably not too many people have ever seen. I have it on VHS, but I really need to replace it on DVD. It's a Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson movie made back when they were still married. It has an extremely complicated plot line and I don't know if you can really explain it, and considering the current state of my head, I definitely couldn't, but it deals with past lives interfering with the present, half is in black and white and half is in color. I loved Kenneth and Emma's movies they did together, they were one of my favorite "non-Hollywood" couples. "Much Ado About Nothing" is one of my all time favorites as well! But it is not a hard to find movie like "Watermelon", so definitely give it a chance...trust me, you won't be expecting the ending!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moving right along!

Must be something in the water lately! I've been really moving along!

Tuesday night:

DSC02559

and Wednesday:

DSC02561

I decided since the marking pencil kept fading out, I'd try the pen on this section, and so far so good. I can definitely see the lines better and it's not fading (yet). And thanks so much to the The Crafty Princess for all her kind words! I absolutely love her blog!! Since I've been reading blogs, I've learned more about cross-stitching than all my years of actually doing it! And I love seeing everyone else's progress!

Once I finish Mickey and Friends, my next project will be my first HAED, which just so happens to be the same artist as The Crafty Princesses first HAED, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, only mine is A Walk Through The Highlands:


I fell in love with this picture the moment I saw this, and not because it looks a little tiny bit like me, same color hair (when I get my hair done, anyway), same eye color, pale skin, same small hands, and it's very similar to my family tartan. But what truly struck me was a wide-eyed girl in a cold gray world, all alone, with nothing but a sword for protection which she holds on to for dear life. The sword is so big in her tiny hands, one wonders if she is actually able to use it to defend herself and maybe that's the reason her eyes are so wide, she wonders the same, but her face stays brave just the same. Me in a nutshell.

I really wish I could work on more than one project at a time, but I just don't think I could handle it! I'm too obsessive about the one I'm working on to be switching back and forth! But I so admire the people who do it!

I also have finished series seven of Midsomer Murders! Moving right along on that front as well! I Still haven't received series thirteen yet, but there are delays all across the board on Amazon UK. Probably due to the burning of the Sony distribution factory during the London riots. But I can wait. Such senseless violence, all those people out of work...such sadness. But I'm off topic again. Midsomer series 7 - Sergeant Troy is gone and now we have a new Sergeant...much cuter, but not as likeable. Other than that, still tons of murders in such tiny little villages! It's surprising there are any villagers left!


And finally...I'm joining my first International Hermit and Stitch Weekend! Funny thing is, I'm a hermit every day of my life! But this should be great fun just to be a part of something like this! I've never done anything like it! Publicly being a hermit! What an oxymoron!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Donald page 9 complete!

Yeah!! Between last night:

DSC02556

and tonight:

DSC02557

Donald is just about done and another page is finished! Only five more pages to go! I'm really dreading the upper last two though, all that boring yellow ocre...ugh. But maybe because there won't be so much confetti and I won't be switching colors so much, it will go quickly. A girl can hope!

After doing the breast cancer project and going back to this one though, I have noticed something, 18ct aida goes a lot faster than 14ct. Since my next one is on 25ct, I should fly through it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unsung Videos Of The 80's - My Turn!

OK, so I've gone through their list...and critiqued it accordingly, now it's my turn! I'm also gonna add links to the videos so you can judge for yourself, or walk down memory lane, take your pick. Oh, and I'm only doing 10 instead of 20 simply for size constraints.

1) My number one all time favorite video/song, not only from the 80's, but of all time (excluding Duran) is the Cure's "Just Like Heaven". Yes, I know it can't be unsung, but in my last post I explained, I live in bum-fudge Arkansas..."Just Like Heaven" may have been The Cure's first American hit, but trust me, no one in my high school cared less. The year was 1987 and without further ado, I give you the hottest man in rock (and trust me, under that make-up and hair, the man IS a total hottie)...Robert Smith and The Cure:



2) Still swooning, but moving on to #2 and it's a close second (and also on the other list...Depeche Mode - "But Not Tonight". How could anyone not like this song? Dave looks so young and innocent! And if you find a VHS copy of the Modern Girls somewhere (because it's never been released on DVD), or catch it on cable, watch it, you will enjoy it!



3) Here's another one of those "not really, but are" unsungs, New Order's "True Faith". Everyone knows this song, but not too many people know who New Order is (pity really, one of my favorite bands). This song resonates for the following reason: "When I was a very small boy, very small boys talked to me, now that we've grown up together, they're afraid of what they see. That's the price that we all pay, our valued destiny comes to nothing. I can't tell you where we're going, I guess there's just no way of knowing". Those lyrics (changing boy to girl obviously) sum up my entire childhood.



4) Ok...so you might be seeing a trend here, but, next up is Pet Shop Boys "It's A Sin". Trust me, around here, PSB were a one hit wonder with West End Girls. "It's A Sin" is my theme song! "Everything I've ever done, everything I ever do, every place I've ever been, everywhere I'm going to, it's a sin"...just ask my Mother!



5) Here's another Depeche, and this one is a true unsung. I still love this song. Most people don't get it...I do. I was a suicidal teenager. This is what bound me to Depeche for life. There is no way to explain it. Just listen...Depeche Mode "Blasphemous Rumours".



6) This next gem is an actual unsung song...and IMO the best song from the Pretty In Pink Soundtrack. Suzanne Vega was another so-called "one-hit wonder" because of "Luka" (which is a song I can't stand BTW), but "Left Of Center" could also be called my theme song. I can so identify with it even today, because that is what I am, left of center. Judge for yourself and see if when you're finished, you don't agree! (there might be a commercial before the vid BTW)



7) XTC - "Dear God": This song and video was banned everywhere, not just in my little redneck corner of the woods, so it's unsung just for the fact that barely anybody got to see it, but at the time it came out, I was questioning everything, so it struck so many cords with me it was ridiculous! Now, everyone loves it, but at the time, sheesh, the stink it caused! It was based on an actual letter than a child wrote to "God". I chose a version that had lyrics just to get the point across.



8) No self-respecting non-self-respecting teenager could have NOT been a fan of The Smiths! It was required! So I give you "How Soon Is Now". The most powerful lyricist in the world that is Morrissey..."You shut your mouth, how can you say, I go about things the wrong way, I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does". Sit and spin you fru-fru cheerleader bitches!



9) Spandau Ballet - "Only When You Leave": Why this one you ask? Because, here again, people think of Spandau as a one hit wonder ("True" anyone?) and that couldn't be further from the truth and, at the time, this was one of my last favorite happy songs before my melancholy stage hit and I sunk into darkness. (might be another commercial)



10) Last, but not least, comes the second, and final comparison to the other list - A-ha's "The Sun Always Shines On TV". This was a tough call to make because I'm about to make a major Duranie faux pas..."A View To A Kill" is NOT my favorite James Bond theme song..."The Living Daylights" by A-ha is. Duran turned me into a James Bond freak for a little while (long enough to read every book done up to that point and a couple of years beyond and trust me, the book Bond is SO much better than the movie Bond). And here's a major Bond faux pas...Timothy Dalton is my favorite Bond! Yep, death threats are probably eminent! I still own all the VHS movies (I never upgraded them to DVD - maybe someday but not a priority). So anyway, #10 was a choice between the two videos, not because they were A-ha, but because they both had such a strong pull on me. "The Sun Always Shines On TV" is another one of those depressive darkening songs o'mine that I was so fond of back in the day, although it may have different meanings for different people. In the end, I chose it because it still affects me more and stirs old feelings more than "The Living Daylights" does (although I still love it too).
(commercial)



So, I hope you enjoyed my choices and feel free to send me your lists!

Unsung Videos Of The 80's - Their list

I was about to go to bed, but I thought I'd check one of my usual haunts, and they had a list of the 20 most "unsung" videos of the 80's. Unsung for them maybe. But it did get me to thinking (and keeping me from going to sleep apparently) about what my 10 most defining (not unsung, because, where I come from, all my music was unsung at the time) videos from the 80's were. Now, of course you'd have to exclude all Duran Duran, or they'd take up the whole list...so for the sake of Duranie fairness...I am going to leave them off my list (although they were on their list, although not the obvious choice of "Hungry Like The Wolf", but "Is There Something I Should Know?"). I think if I could choose just one, and although it is not my favorite now, I would probably choose "Careless Memories", or maybe "Lonely In Your Nightmare", but then again maybe...well, you get my point...Duran has to be left out for sanity's sake. But for the record, my all-time favorite Duran Duran song is Serious, which was off their least popular album and the most unsung of all the Duran hits IMO.

I did agree with some of the artists (if not the songs) they chose, however, and in two of the cases, not only did I agree, but they made my list as well. Let me start by giving you their list and I don't think they were in any kind of order:

1) The Jam - "Going Underground": I never was a Jam fan. At the time of my youth I was a new waver, and although new wave sprung from the punk scene, I didn't care for punk.

2) The Cure - "Primary": The Cure made my list, but I don't think this was the best of their unsungs. And although my choice isn't technically an "unsung", considering my upbringing in Northeast Arkansas, let's face it, any Cure song is an "unsung".

3) Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart": I do love this song...now. At the time, I couldn't understand a bloody word Ian Curtis was saying! Only years later when I heard New Order (the remnant band of Joy) redo it, did I finally understand it.

4) Fine Young Cannibals - "Johnny Come Home": I love English Beat (the origins of the Cannibals) and General Public (the other off-shoot), But Roland Gift's voice did and still does give me the creeps!

5) Fun Boy Three Featuring Bananarama - "It Ain't What You Do": Catchy song, but not life altering.

6) Fantayzee - "Shiny Shiny": I turned the channel everytime this came on MTV, enough said.

7) Altered Images - "I Could Be Happy": Again, catchy song, but no lasting impressions.

8) Lene Lovich - "It's You Mein Schmertz": Video wise, great vid, song wise, not in my library (although was probably on a cassette tape play list back in the day).
9) Adam And The Ants - "Stand And Deliver": Oh my beloved Stuart Goddard! I didn't become an Ant fan until he went solo, but god that man was gorgeous! What flair!

10) Duran Duran - "Is There Something I Should Know?": Interesting choice, and probably wisely chosen. Duran were known for their flashy, expensive island videos, and this one was anything but, even though it was also directed by Russell Mulcahy (best known as the director of the Highlander movie).

11) Depeche Mode - "But Not Tonight": This is the first one that is on my list. I LOVE this song! Plus, it's from a great 80's movie that probably no one ever saw but me with Daphne Zuniga, Virginia Madsen, and Clayton Rohner called Modern Girls.

12) A-ha - "The Sun Always Shines on TV" - The second that is also on my list (although I'm not a huge A-ha fan). I never understood why they are considered a one-hit wonder in the States when they had tons of hits! This was by far the best song from the "Hunting High and Low" album and I still play that video today.

13) The Clash - "This Is Radio Clash": Punk...me no like-y. Need I say more?

14) U2 - "Desire": Anybody that knows me knows I can't STAND U2...I may be the only human on the plant who can't stand them, but there you go.

15) Echo And The Bunnymen - "The Cutter": I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ian McCullough! They didn't make my list, but only because I only did 10 instead of 20.

16) Time Zone - "World Destruction": I didn't like rap back in that time period, that came much later, and MTV rarely played them anyway.

17) Grandmaster Caz/Chris Stein - "South Bronx Subway Rap": See above, same deal.

18) Front 242 - "Quite Unusual": I remember loving the music (reminds me a lot of a German band I love called Camouflage), but the singer creeped me out.

19) Pat Benatar - "We Belong": I had to grow to appreciate Pat. I didn't care for her in the 80's.

20) David Bowie - "Absolute Beginners": Now, I know that without Bowie I wouldn't have Duran, but I ain't a Bowie fan. Of his entire body of work, only Labyrinth is the piece that I liked the best (and it has nothing to do with him). I remember that the Blue Jean video gave me nightmares!

Here is the link to their list and their comments BTW:


20 Unsung Videos From the 1980's

Current progress

Here is the work from Wednesday night:
DSC02544

And here is Saturday's:
DSC02545

Donald is really beginning to pop! I was originally very happy with the pencil grid marker, but the more I work on it, it's fading away to nothing. And I was afraid I wouldn't be able to wash it away! I've had to re-draw the lines. When I move to the new section, I might try the pen. It's a much darker area (except for Donald's hand) so it might hide the marks better if it doesn't wash well. I've rearranged it on a different set of stretcher bars to better reach the bottom of the project.

This was a project I bought off of Ebay years and years ago from a seller who created them from software. I won't name the creator, but, the further I go, the more disappointed I am. I am too far in the project to quit it, but the color matching is horrible...Donald is pink for heaven's sake! I began to run out of thread after the first section. The aida cloth is terrible! I have NEVER in my whole life put a hole in material, but I've done it on this one! I've temporarily patched it, I just hope when I get to that area to stitch, I can fix it so it's not visible! If you click on any of the pictures, it will take you to the picture link and I don't know if you can see it or not on the full size pic, but the hole is between Mickey and Goofy, about five inches up.

I'll just keep on till it's finished! It's what I do!

Older projects

I've been cross-stitching since I was 12 (and I still have that first project locked away in a trunk).  My Step-Granny got me started because she couldn't teach me to crochet or knit (I just couldn't get it - whether it was the teacher or student we may never know, I never tried to crochet or knit again).  But needless to say, cross-stitching stuck and I'm still doing it.  I did also try embroidery (which my Mother used to do), but it was too hard with all the different kinds of stitches.

Most people find it funny that I can cross stitch because I'm such an impatient person.  I think there is actually a very easy explanation and it's the explanation that defines me...OCD.  Cross-stitching is all about counting, counting the number of little colored X's you make in a row, and what are OCD's known to do?  Count.  I catch myself doing it all the time in my head.  Yes, I know, my math skills may suck, but numbers constantly run through my head, but here I go digressing again.

My first large project took me years...almost 10 to be exact.  I would work on it solidly for months, then wouldn't touch it for years.  I graduated high school, started college, quit college, moved towns, changed jobs, even got married all while doing this, and to this day, I've never done such a complicated project. Most of these stitches are two different colored strings put together. It was crazy! But without further ado:
DSC02546

I did a couple of projects during the "marriage years" (which only lasted two years...two terrible, horrible, miserable years):
DSC02547

This project hung for years, but the frame broke a few years ago and I didn't take care of it, so it's yellowing and is frayed pretty badly (I used to use tape on my projects to attach them to the stretcher bars...I didn't realize the long-term effects). Plus, I trimmed it horribly to fit the frame in the first place. I actually found the same project on ebay (even though it hasn't been sold for years), so I'm gonna re-do it someday. I have the whole set of these (there were four). I've done another one too.
DSC02553

After my divorce, I didn't stitch for a long time. I kept buying projects and built a huge stash, but never did any. Then, one trip to Disney World, they suddenly had cross stitches! Yea me! A new renaissance was born!
This one is mounted with it's matching pin:
DSC02548
This is the largest project I've ever done:
DSC02550
This is non-disney, but it was a nice distraction:
DSC02549

This was originally supposed to be on black material, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, and I'm glad I didn't:
DSC02552
Another of the mouse sets:
DSC02554
I'm not going to frame those until they are all done together and they can have matching frames.

I've done projects for other people (the giant Jesus head I did for my Grandmother still haunts me...who knew there was so many colors of brown in the world!). Some were more fun than others, some I was glad I did, some I wish I could have back. I've got a few of the little Disney character faces I display at work and everytime I finish a large project, I do one of those as a "cool down".

I've emptied out my stash through the years...and restocked it. I could literally sit and stitch constantly for the rest of my life and never finish what I have in my current stash (which now consists mainly of Disney projects). Because I have stitching software and can make my own projects, I constantly make even more stash! Maybe one day when I win the lottery, I can spend all day stitching (but then I probably won't want to!).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

London Real Estate

http://search.knightfrank.com/rvr100231

Ok, so I do fantasize about winning the lottery...a lot!  And...I spend a lot of time looking at real estate, in both Florida and abroad.  So I decided to give you a peek into my little fantasy world...Keebles style!

This property has had my eye for a couple of years now.  One, because of the purple cabinets, of course!  But, also, because of the amazing views down the river!  As a huge Spooks (MI-5) fan, it's also cool to be right next to Vauxhall Cross (MI-6 headquarters for those that don't know) and cross the river and a perfect sightline of Thames House (MI-5).  And look kids...it's Big Ben and Parliament, and Big Ben, and Parliament...(if you don't get that reference then you are either too young or too culturally deprived!).  It has massive balcony space overlooking the river and huge open spaces. 

I don't normally look at properties on this side of the river...I do tend to lean toward the Kensington (because gotta love those famous wealthy neighbors), Chelsea (for the cool artiness and to be a West-End girl), and Marlyebone (because who wouldn't want to live steps away from 221-B Baker Street).  But I do like this property, plus it's just steps away from the Vauxhall Bridge which leads directly into Chelsea, so no worries there!

Take That - «Shine» [At Abbey Road / The Circus Live] [HQ]



Since my life is kind of screwy right now...thought I'd share a bit of my mantra song with ya'll in it's purest form, unplugged and raw. Ain't Markie cute?

First book review!


After an even longer day and an awful neurology visit, I decided to read a book instead of stitch tonight. I have a huge weakness for Jane Austen (as most of you know), but I also love modern re-tellings of her stories. I have dozens of them and seem to be buying a lot of them lately, which leads me to this review of Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler. It's a modern twist on Sense and Sensibility, so there's no need for me to rehash the storyline, but this particular novel does veer more toward the teen-set. I also found that the male leads where a bit hard to match-up to their Austen counterparts because the storyline does alter quite a bit from the original (which in some cases works, in some it doesn't). But overall, it was a good read and I'm not disappointed in it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finished Midsomer 5&6


Another two series down...and have to admit I am a bit miffed! Sergeant Troy kissed Cully in ep 7, but no other mention of it was made! Seriously pisses me off! And of course my OCD brain wouldn't let it go since Daniel Casey (the actor playing Troy) doesn't appear on any of the other series dvd covers and sure enough, no other kisses and no other get togethers and no more Sgt Troy! Ugh! Why even bother have them kiss if you are never going to mention it again! I was in the mood for a bit of romance after all that murder! Other than that, excellent series and I'm ready for Seven! My thirteen better come in soon, or by the time I get there I'm gonna be upset!

I did get a bit confused when I saw Celia Imrie (Auntie Una in Bridget Jones for those unfamiliar) for what I thought was yet another episode, but I think I'm confusing it with the Dalziel and Pascoe episodes I watched weekend before last since I can't find any reference that she was on more than one episode of Midsomer Murders (not that actors don't reappear more than once on a show as different characters). I'm still trying to get over Ciaran McMenamin (absolutely love him! Watermelon is one of my favorite movies - although I love Jamie Draven better - I'm digressing again) playing Sam's son on Silent Witness on her exit from the show, which was a big bloody deal and was a two episode arch), then playing a bad guy one series later...a completely different character! Maybe for those that get to see the series in real time that wasn't a big deal...but for Arkies like me who have to get her Brit on by buying it and watching it in marathons, it was about three hours apart. Ugh. I say ugh a lot lately. But seriously...ugh. Oh, and speaking of Silent Witness...Tom Ward played quite the baddie in this series of Midsomer Murders and suffered greatly for it! Love him too (and can't wait for series 13 and 14 of Silent Witness to come out)!

No stitching tonight, got home too late, but do have updates from Wednesday night, so might get those up on Friday night (which I guess technically is the rest of the world's Saturday morning!).

Oh, and I also added links to the blogs that I follow the most often. I check these sites all the time and LOVE LOVE LOVE them, so you guys give them a look-see too!

Now I wish I had time to watch Watermelon! Got it on the brain now! Great movie for those that can find it (having said that, people who have read the book HATE this movie...I haven't read it, and knowing that, I don't want to since I love the movie so much)...Jamie Draven, Ciaran McMcMenamin, and Anna Friel...Anna plays Claire, a naive, and truth-stretching Dublin girl who finally made it through college and is ready to hit the big time in London with her boyfriend Adam (Ciaran). Adam reluctantly tags along with Claire thinking she has this big job at a magazine lined up, only to find out it was only a interview, which she totally blows (literally, blows, as in chunks, throws up in the lobby koi pond) but not after catching the eye of one of the interviewers, James (Jamie). After Adam finds out he's been had, he leaves Claire and heads back to Dublin, on the same day that Claire literally runs into James coming out of a coffee shop (almost breaking his nose), and they instantly start up a relationship. She ends up getting a job at the magazine, but just as the copy machine girl and a couple of months later she realizes that she's pregnant, with Adam's baby. She does tell James she's pregnant and he assumes it's his and she doesn't bother to correct him. They move in together and then the baby comes...two months too early for James to be the father and, well...get the movie...I ain't gonna tell you the whole plot line...but if you know me, you know there's a happy ending! Wish there was a trailer or something on YouTube I could put up, but sadly there is not. Maybe if you search for it, you could find something.

Now, enough tittle tattle...time for bed! Tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stitching so far and brutal thoughts on work

So, this is the progress for Monday night...
DSC02542

And here is Tuesday!
DSC02543

It's amazing how much difference graphing the actual aida has done! I used the pencil instead of the pen because the point was much finer and I could keep it sharp. I really wasn't expecting this much of a difference, but it really makes it easier to see, not only where I am, but where I'm going!

I'm still a bit too scared to try parking the stitches, and I'm not sure that on 18ct I even need to at least not till I get to the next project and move up (or down as the case may be) to 25ct (and trust me I'm terrified of it and hope at least somebody gets me my magnifying light for my B-day so I don't have to (on my Amazon wish list peeps), although since no one reads my blog but me, I guess I'm on my own with that HA! - but public consumption of my thoughts and work aren't the purpose here...I'm digressing again).

On a serious note, having three days off in a row really made me appreciate the fact that I do work way to much. The headache I had Friday night proved that. I don't EVER want to go through that again and I'll never dispute the fact that I do have migraines with my neurologist again. Friday was also the only time in my entire life I actually needed to call 911 and it scared the crap out of me (unfortunately I was catatonic and couldn't do it, which was probably a good thing...imagine the bill!).

The conversation I had with a certain boss on Thursday that caused said headache made me realize one thing...I'm like a very valuable hostage with no one to pay my ransom, so therefore I can be abused more because who's gonna care? There's no one around to see said abuse and stupid me has been letting it go on for far too long and even allowed it to happen. OMG! I have Stockholm Syndrome!! I have stupidly thought all these years that if I did all that was asked of me and even went above and beyond everyone else I'd be respected more, but, if anything, I'm probably respected the least. I have to find a way to make them see that I'm a valuable employee that deserves way more respect than I get. But lord if I know how! But then again, maybe I shouldn't even bother...I may have to lie in the grave I've dug...at least till I finish my education, and then walk away without a backward glance.

I'm regretting the decision to put school off till next fall, it puts me another year behind in my goal, but then again, it's made me realize that any thought to furthering my education with the added bonus of benefiting them is completely out of the question. Thursday was the kick in the pants I needed I guess. I must do what's best for me and what's always been best for me is to get the heck out of dodge. I've known that since I was 10 years old. Question is, what am I so scared of and why has it taken me until I'm in my 40's and borderline too friggin old to do anything about it? I'm the only person with the power to change my life...I just have to take that first step, and hopefully that first step is finishing my edu-ma-cation and finding a career that better suits me and my talents...I'm just wasting away in my current position and everyone knows it. I didn't used to care, but now that I do, it's eating away at me more and more each day. I have to have a roof over my head and food in my fat gullet (as well as Zachary's fat gullet), but at what cost? I know I'm comfortable with my surroundings, but does that make it worth it all? I don't even think my Social Anxiety Disordered/borderline Asperger's Syndromed brain cares anymore. It's time to bring on a little discomfort (in a manageable environment, of course, which I have 100% totally planned out and have complete control over!).

So, like the good little hostage that I am, I will continue to do what I'm told, take my beatings, and, every little chance I get, use my spoon to dig my get-away tunnel and hopefully in four years time, I will see the light of day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Productive weekend!

I finished the secret project!
Now to get it framed!

And back to the project at hand armed with some new tools and tricks!

And, on top of that, I've finished Midsomer Murders Series Three and Four!

Definitely an interesting two series! A very young Orlando Bloom (before he had a chance to hone his acting skills apparently) taking a pitchfork to the gullet! An even younger Tobias Menzies before he got his teeth altered better, Peter Penry-Jones, father of my beloved Rupert, and even Rupert's little brother Laurence...definitely tops Stephen Moyer from series 1! Now on to series Five and Six!