Monthly Archives: August 2012

Well, That’s Just Irri

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Remember that one sentence I said I found in a draft last week? Well, I decided to expand upon it a little bit and turn it into the makings of a sci-fi/fantasy story. Since I’m so obsessed with mythological plots, I figured I should give it a try myself. Obviously, it’s still a work in progress, but the writing in and of itself is fun and therapeutic. So yeah, take a gander and let me know what you think. Maybe whenever I get some free time I can chip away at it and have a short little story on my hands. Yippee!

Oh yeah, I don’t have a title yet.

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She sat there with pieces of her past strewn on the floor in front of her. Numbly, she fingered the black and white photographs, looking without really seeing.

A faded, smiling woman suddenly became distorted in her hands, and she realized she was crying. The tears had cleared a path through the dirt on her face, forcing to be noticed as they hungrily absorbed the aged ink of the picture. Angry, Irri wiped a soil-stained fist across her face, stopping the tears in their tracks. Bastards.

Irri considered herself emotionally stunted. Crime and death followed like a plague, and hunger was so common to her sometimes she found herself deceived, thinking it more friend than foe. Her skin was more armor than anything; she had taught herself how to keep the pain out, but it came at a price where the rest of the world was shut out, too. That was okay, it meant that she was safe. But we’re never really safe, are we?

The hushed rustle of feet meeting leaves made her forget the pain of the past at once. Human? Animal? Worse? Instinct took over, and all that mattered was not being detected. Being unnoticed was always of the utmost concern, and Irri had mastered the art. After all, she had the advantage. At least she had that.

In one swift movement, she brushed the photographs back into their hidden hole, shuttered, and it was done. Around her, the world expanded and her vision shifted from vivid colors to blurry ones singed with infrared. The footsteps stopped, and it became a waiting game. Whatever it was had sensed the change. In the sanctuary of trees, Irri had the advantage of staying hidden, but they couldn’t hide her forever. I have to get out.

Responding to the thought, her body moved as one; a thick muscle moving soundlessly across the forest floor. Her body curved around the corner, staying close to the wall and exposing herself to the sun an inch at a time. A raccoon. It seemed harmless enough at first glance, but one could never be sure. Sticking out her tongue, Irri tasted the unwanted visitor, and recoiled instantly, a hiss escaping her before she could stop it.

At the noise, the furred bandit turned, locking eyes with Irri. These were not the eyes of a common woodland forager. Could it be? No, she reassured herself. There are no more left. The animal’s eyes were the sparkling blue of sapphires, and seemed to bore into her, violating both mind and soul. Back off. She hissed again, slithering her body out into the open, focusing on where she would sink her fangs and give the kiss of death.

Moving forward, she shuddered again and felt herself lengthen and widen, tripling in size, feeling the sudden surge of venom enter her body. There was enough coursing through her now to eradicate a herd of elephants; she knew it was more than necessary, but there was no room for error. Especially if this was what she thought.

Her prey had frozen; the stench of fear was emanating off of him, and Irri read it in his eyes as well. Maybe it is just a raccoon, but I can’t take the risk. If it was just an ordinary animal, then at least she found dinner. As Irri continued to take the offensive, the raccoon got its wits about him again, and she saw in those blue pools that she would be too late. NO. She coiled and struck with the speed of an expert huntress, but her fangs only found empty air.

Cursing to herself, she shuddered and felt the comfort of bones solidifying in her body once again. In another instant, she was stretching out and seeing the immense span of wings in her peripherals. Irri couldn’t help but feel a glimmer of pride at the sheer size of herself, and how powerful she felt as the ground disappeared beneath her well-muscled legs. In seconds, she was well above the treeline, sniffing for the strangers scent.

It was faint, but there. She circled, letting her eyes zoom in and out in search of the intruder. There. Huddled in the crook where branch meets trunk, was a sparrow a third of her size, with the piercing blue eyes. He looks so lost, but she couldn’t let his vulnerability affect her. You made a promise.

Like a rocket, she shot towards the petite bird with too much force. Both sparrow and eagle went crashing through the trees at reckless speed, and before she could react, the ground was rushing up to meet Irri and her prey. And then her world went black.

You got worries? You can drop them in the blue ocean

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Take one part sand and one part sea
And one part shade of a banana tree
And the drinks they’re cold and the reggae’s hot
And I know this is the place for me

Gah! With summer coming to a close, I’m desperately wanting to apparate back on that lovely Caribbean Cruise again… #wishingIwasrich. Speaking of cash money, I made my summer savings goal ($2,000)! It isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, and I’m sure I’ll run out before I come back from France, but it’s the best I could do with a time-consuming unpaid internship. On the bright side though, everything I make from here on out — I stop work at the Country Club on the 19th and nannying the 25th — is just icing on the cake! Shazam.

I seemed to have gained a few new followers in the last week; sooo, hello to you! Welcome to my erratic life =) Enjoy and join in on the fun.

Last post, I mentioned how I went berry picking – chyeahh – and showed the tasty blackberry cornbread that I made. I hadn’t yet gotten around to making anything out of the raspberries until yesterday. Originally, I wanted to make raspberry jam, but I needed 4 cups of raspberries and I only had about a cup and a half, so that didn’t really work. Never fear though! Instead, I decided to make mixed berry jam, which included raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and grapes. Unfortunately, only the raspberries were freshly picked by my hands, but there wasn’t much I could do about that. The result was pretty magnificent (I had it for breakfast on toast), and with that I will share some food porn with y’all:

Good looks, yes?

The jarred results =)

It’s okay to salivate a little bit

Pretty darn delicious. Earlier in the summer, I made fresh strawberry jam, and the recipe is exactly the same save the types of fruit used, so click the link if you’re inclined to do some jammin’.

So here’s some big, fun news (for me at least): I WENT SHOOTING! It was a shitton of fun; I kind of loved it. Sunday morning, Max, his dad and I went to Narragansett Gun Club (we met up with two others) and did two rounds of trap shooting. I didn’t really know anything about this going into it, so I learned that there is trap and skeet shooting, both of which involve clay disks (“birds”). Max’s dad is really into hunting and used to own a shop, so they had a gun for me – had my own for the day! I was handed an automatic shotgun — that’s all I really know about it, it loaded from the side, it didn’t snap in half to load, if that’s helpful — and we bonded.

Being a horseback rider, I have been taught to sit up straight or slightly lean back my whole life… the opposite of what I was told to do at the range. For shooting, you have to lean your upper body forward while having your hips back and knees springy. I had a really hard time leaning forward, and was repeatedly corrected throughout the day. I thought I was leaning forward but apparently not… hey, my horse training runs deep, what else can I say? I did pretty poorly the first round (but not bad for shooting/holding a gun for the first time): I hit 3/25 birdies, and the second round I hit 12/25. If only we had stayed longer maybe I would have gotten even better!

There was an older lady who was really intense at the range; she was tickled pink to have another female there, and was giving me pointers whenever she could. She even had me try out her custom made gun and offered to let me watch a bunch of videos she has of professional shooters. Haha… maybe I’ll take her up on it. But yeah, it was a lot of fun, and hopefully I’ll be going again before I leave for France! Next time I’ll have a picture of me taken as well, instead of this lamesauce photo I took while waiting.

Also, as I mentioned, I am officially done with The Coffeehouse Chronicles. A girl still has to eat though, and last week I went to yet another coffee shop just for the sake of putting some good food and drink in my belly. The victim was Appleton Cafe, and it was quite delicious.

I wasn’t that crazy about the decor inside… it was like uber modern and just felt too stiff and cold and open, I guess. I can’t really think of a good word to describe it, but it so wasn’t my taste. They had a nice outdoor seating area though, and the iced coffee was darn tasty, so overall I would say it was a win.
That’s what I’ve been up to lately. Besides work and writing, I’m reading the third Game of Thrones and getting anxious for France. My mom, sisters and I went shopping at Wrentham Outlets yesterday (yay clothes!) and I got some new goods to take abroad with me, including some new Nike Sneakers so I can run a lot while I’m there. I kind of started packing but not anything of significance. It’s gonna be here before I know it though, oh man oh man.
Well, I gotta hit the road, peeps. Stay awesome 😉

Don’t You Let Regret Take Place Of The Dreams You Have To Chase

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When my heart won’t tell my mind to tell my mouth what it should say.

^ Zac Brown Band + Alan Jackson = a pretty gosh darn beautiful song. If you aren’t into country music.. well, that’s 100% your loss, and I feel bad for you. As I’ve mentioned, I love all kinds of music, and that includes the under-appreciated country genre — I lurrve it. Even if you detest country, I strongly urge you to take a listen to Zac Brown Band; even better: SEE THEM LIVE! Probably some of the best performers I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying a lot since I kind of consider myself a seasoned concert goer) they just have such a good vibe all the time, and they just make you smile.

MUSIC ALERT: Speaking of Zac Brown Band, they released a new album last month, “Uncaged“. I would tell you how awesome it is myself, but I think Zac describes it best (as he should, since he made it): “A little bit of happy, a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of groove –  you might even want to make a baby in the middle of the record.” So yeah, take a listen, you won’t regret it. Aaand, just so you don’t wuss out on me, here’s one of their videos; a solid summer tune.

So now that one of my passions has been addressed, let’s talk about another: FOOD. I didn’t work until 5pm on Thursday, and the boyfriend had the day off, so I volunteered the idea of berry picking. It’s been on my to-do list this summer, and raspberry season is finally in full swing! **FYI: Raspberry season around here starts the first week or so in August and goes until September/first frost, so take advantage! I wanted a place that had raspberries and blackberries ready to pick, so the winning farm was Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate. Not gonna lie, it was not exactly up to my standards. There was no bathroom, the credit card machine didn’t work, and the girl who was situating us was either too young to be working or just not capable of costumer service. No matter. The only important thing was the berries, and the berries did not let us down! We each picked (there were 3 of us) a cartoon of raspberries and blackberries, and I probably ate about 20 whilst picking. nomnomnom. I sort of forgot to take pictures of the goods before I started baking, so here’s the best I could do as far as visuals:

What is the creation on the left, you ask?
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BLACKBERRY CORNBREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Grease 8-inch square baking dish. In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and butter, then stir into flour mixture. Spread batter into prepared baking dish. Scatter 1 cup berries over top and press them into batter until mostly submerged; scatter remaining berries on top and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake until golden around the edges and springy to touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Looks pretty darn delicious, yes? You are correct. How can you go wrong with cornbread AND freshly picked blackberries? Well… you can’t. The raspberries are going to be turned into jam, hopefully. I kind of need Max’s berries as well, so I’m hoping they haven’t been eaten yet. We shall see.

Okay, well I think I’m going to go enjoy my first free Saturday evening in like, forever! I worked this morning instead, huzzah. Happy Saturday, everyone! Go do something fun or bake something tasty.

Let’s Play A Game… of Ice and Fire

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She sat there with pieces of her past strewn on the floor in front of her. Numbly, she fingered the black and white photographs, looking without really seeing.

^ So this was in my drafts folder; looks like I started writing a story but didn’t get far at all. Maybe I’ll work on it some day. But in the mean time…

I came across the Game of Thrones online store, and it’s sort of a bad thing I did. I pretty much want everything from sigil pint glasses to Stark banners and the Stark sigil ring (I love the Starks, mostly because they have direwolves and I want one), but unfortunately I don’t get any because I’m too broke. MER. Here are a few of my favorite gems; figured I would share and spread the wealth of knowledge.

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A cookbook endorsed by George R. R. Martin that contains more than 100 recipes and is divided by region:

• The Wall: Rack of Lamb and Herbs; Pork Pie; Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth; Mulled Wine; Pease Porridge
• The North: Beef and Bacon Pie; Honeyed Chicken; Aurochs with Roasted Leeks; Baked Apples
• The South: Cream Swans; Trout Wrapped in Bacon; Stewed Rabbit; Sister’s Stew; Blueberry Tarts
• King’s Landing: Lemon Cakes; Quails Drowned in Butter; Almond Crusted Trout; Bowls of Brown; Iced Milk with Honey
• Dorne: Stuffed Grape Leaves; Duck with Lemons; Chickpea Paste
• Across the Narrow Sea: Biscuits and Bacon; Tyroshi Honeyfingers; Wintercakes; Honey-Spiced Locusts

Um… YUM. If anyone wants to buy it for me I’ll cook you a plethora of tasty old school meals (kidding… but not really at all).

A map of Westeros and Essos, but poster sized. Chill.

Who doesn’t want a nice dragon egg paperweight? Too bad it won’t hatch…

Okay, so THIS is outrageous. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Iron Throne. This bad boy is made of hand-finished/painted fiberglass and fire-proof resin. It stands over 7′ in height, 6′ in depth and 5.5′ in width, and weighs in at a whopping 35o pounds.
Excuse me? If you have an extra $30,000 lying around, by all means buy it… but seriously? Some day…

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I clearly have a minor major obsession with Game of Thrones, and even more so now that I finally finished the second book! HOLLER. It was oh, only 969 pages… these books are seriously messing with the amount of books I wanted to read over the summer since one book equals like two or three normal books, but no matter. They are beyond worth it. Of course, I already bought the third one and can’t wait to crack it open, but first I told myself I needed to read my orientation packet for France, since that kind of takes precedence.

Speaking of books read this summer, I wanted to make a list of the ones I’ve conquered. It’s kind of a sad listing, but…
Game of Thrones (Book One)
The Hunger Games (Book One)
Catching Fire (Book Two Hunger Games)
A Clash of Kings (Book Two Game of Thrones)

For an English major who is used to cranking out three or four books a week, this is child’s play; but, I guess that’s what happens when I have to work and intern all the damned time. I also read the majority of Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, but I still need to finish it up. I wish I could have read more, but I may still get a chance since I have about a week of nothingness before I leave for Europe. We shall see! If anyone has any book recommendations – I bought Water For Elephants and plan to get to that, and I have The Help and Divine by Choice in line as well – feel free to send them my way! All genres welcome, and length need not be taken into consideration.

Okay, guys… I gotta get back to work. I tried eating as slowly as possible, but a sandwich and an orange can only take so long to consume. Stay awesome 0_O

Sit Me Down, Shut Me Up

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There is a world out there that can only be seen when you step into it. It’s important to realize that though you may think your ways are better, other people think the same thing about their ways. Life isn’t about having one set of eyes to see through, it’s about having a bunch of different glasses so you can see the different colors of the world.

^ Pretty fresh idea, yeah? I like it anyway. I’M LEAVING FOR FRANCE SO SOON. I got my orientation packet in the mail yesterday, plus I started my online orientation and the above quote was something that one of the prior students had said. I thought it was beautifully worded, hence it got some recognition.

Anyway, France. Oh man. I’m so excited about the home I’m living in! It’s a single woman who owns an antique shop and lives in an apartment in the city center of Grenoble. Wow-wee. It’s like a 20-30 minute tram ride to the University, and it’s a 5 minute walk to the tram stop from my apartment. I get my own room with a balconyholler. Plus, I get breakfast and dinner at the apartment every day AND I don’t even have to do my own laundry! What? Grade A service right there, living the liiife. Needless to say, I can’t wait. Enough about what’s to come… that can wait as the day steadily comes nearer.

My grandparents are big wine drinkers (a trait that has been passed down to me), and they got it into their heads that I collect wine corks. I don’t, but I must have said something one day about how I liked corks (?) – I don’t know – regardless, they now save their corks and have bestowed on me a shitton of those little fellas. For the passed year or so, they have been forgotten and gathering dust in the abyss of my room.
However, I recently decided that I want to have a yard sale (if you live in the East Greenwich/Rhode Island area COME! It will be the weekend of the 25th, the day depending on the weather, and I am getting my neighbors involved so it will be a neighborhood affair) so I have slowly been chipping away at random sections of junk in my room that have been neglected. This is when I came across the two bags stuffed full of wine corks.
I had the morning off (yippee), so instead of being a lard or something I decided to get artsy and research fun things to make out of corks. My first choice was a cork curtain, where you string together a bunch of corks and beads and boom a curtain is formed. I didn’t enough corks for the job though, plus I was lacking in the bead department. Thus, I went with my second choice: a cork board! The classic, right?. The amount of corks in the bag was deceiving, so I didn’t get to make one as big as I wanted, but the result was pretty cool regardless. Peep it out.

I think it came out pretty cool. However, my new goal is to lessen my artifactual (yes, I just made that word up, roll with it) load, so I was a nice girlfriend and decided to make it for Max. Being a boy, he has virtually no clutter besides clothes, so I have been slowly accumulating things for him to spice up his living quarters. This has now been added to the collection. Now I just have to urge my family to drink more wine so I can make my curtain…

Random side note, but I’m sick and it sucks. So send all your healing vibes my way, please. I was a vegetarian for four years, and I have asthma plus shitty allergies, so for a while I was pretty prone to getting pneumonia. I had it twice freshman year up at school, and once (I think) sophomore year, but then last summer I decided to get back on the meat eating bandwagon, and junior year I escaped the evil clutches of pneumonia. At this point though, I am a resident professional at reading the early signs of the dreaded sickness. So for the passed week, my throat was a little sore. No big deal, right? Right. I assumed allergies, but then three days ago a cough started rearing its ugly head, and soon after came the nasty wheezing where my lungs sound like they’re drowning. At that point I started getting nervous, so off to the doctors I went. Thankfully, I caught it early enough that it isn’t pneumonia yet, but I have to take extra precautions which includes a nebulizer twice a day and inhalers up the wazoo. Mersauce. Whatever, better than putting antibiotics in my body! I hate that stuff.

You guys probably don’t know what a nebulizer is if you’re healthy, so here’s a picture for a visual:
It’s loud and annoying – one of my cats FREAKED out when I turned it on – and the medicine definitely messes with my head and makes me giggly, but oh well. While I was looking for a picture though, I came across this gem:
Like, WHAT?! If I was a child and had this, I would have been way more apt to place a strange purple mask over my face and breathe in noxious fumes. Who can say no to a dragon?!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for the moment. I’m working on my next Oh, Hobby Dearest article for DIG, it focuses on Aerialsand should be pretty cool when it’s finished. I hope so, anyway. Oh! Last thing; I’ve been contemplating getting a tattoo for some time now, and last night Sarah proposed that we get friendship tattoos…. in the form of a unicorn. Obviously I said yes, since a unicorn is what I have wanted anyway (they exist). But I have no idea where on my body to put it — ideally, I would want it behind my ear, but it’s too small of a space for the level of detail I want. Soooo, I am open to any suggestions you may have!

Love, peace and afrogrease.

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The Dalai Lama was once asked what surprised him most about humanity. He replied:

Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then, he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

A Wise Man