…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy! If you are looking for Kaylia's official Website please visit KayliaMetcalfeWriter

Previews, Links, Dogs in Blankets… It must be Friday!

Can’t just link about FREE Jamba Juice when there is so much other cool things to keep you company on this Friday.

Starting with this…. U2’s new single;

The video is animated and can be found on youtube but they won’t let me embed, so I’m not going to link to it.

Speaking of animation….

Here is the preview for the stop animation "Fantastic Mr. Fox" which is based on the novel by Roald Dahl with the voices of Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray. Sweet!

And if you thought Snuggies were only for people… well, you obviously aren’t wearing your Capitalism Crown of “What can we get people to buy?”

On a totally different note, Hulu just added Queer As Folk and She-Ra… which simultaneously makes Hulu even cooler and thousands of bored cubical trapped individuals even more likely to plug headphones in. As for me... well, let's just say my afternoon love afair with the bus's WiFi just got a boost!

And lastly… what would a Friday be without a little Stephen Colbert?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Womb Raiders - Orly Taitz
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTasers

Have a great weekend.... Happy August!!!!

Never Say I Never Give You Anything

What better way to celebrate Friday and the end of July than with free Jamba Juice?

This Summer Bliss site is offering coupons for Buy 1, Get 1 FREE for Jamba Juice Smoothies.

The coupons are good for a full week… but who knows how long the site will be up, so click soon!

Thanks to Jaime for the tip!

Grandma does things her own way.

This post serves no redeeming value… but I just had to share.

Thanks to Ursula and the power of the interwebs, I found this site…. Which is pretty much a collection of horrific awkward family photos.

Including this one, which is now my personal favorite photo of all time (at least until something as funny comes along... so a day or so at least).

Awesome no? Poor Grandma!

Healthcare, Humming Fish, Mars, and oh yes… Jon Stewart.

Happy Thursday! The Maifan-San comes home tonight! Needless to say, I am a bit stoked by the prospect of seeing him.

Here are some stories to help us all get through the day….

Some Canadian Skeptic explains the hoax behind the hoopla regarding Canada’s health care. (If you have seen the ads, please read this post.)

Just in case you had questions but didn’t know who or where to ask… here is a good stem cell primer. Take note, this is the future.

A bit of fun is to be had on ebay… the famous “867-5309” phone number up for grabs

Here’s another bit of fun, thanks to NASA and the interwebs, you can now send your name to mars

And zomg! Fish that hum!

And back to healthcare (it is the buzz topic right now) This video is Jon Stewart giving the smack down to a conservative regarding health care. Best part? The guy brings his own rope, ties his own knot, and then has the grace to realize he looks foolish.

Happy Thursday!

The Power of Fox

This just in: Egypt has moved!

What, you didn't think Fox "News" had that kind of power? Think again!

Best comment from the original story:

See, this is what I like about Fox. They let you decide where Egypt is instead of having some fancy pants elitist tell ya!

And here is an actual map, just in case you didn't see anything wrong with theone above.

Is it Friday yet?

Retelling of Death Bed Terror

So, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of fiction writing lately. And it shows… I keep spacing out, my mind full of ideas, my fingers twitching. Anyway, I was over at The Maifan-San’s blog yesterday and read his latest post regarding a ghost story/supernatural event that took place during the death of an archeologist back in 1975.

The man in question (Clarence Ruth) was a “man of his times” and his methods of archeology study aren’t really kosher. (Some would call it outright grave robbing… read The Maifan-San’s blog to find out more.) The Maifan-San (aka Anthroslug on his blog) wrote about how the regulations of archeology have changed over the years and a bit about Mr. Ruth…. But then he related the creepy supernatural occurrence that is said to have happened at the moments of Mr. Ruth’s death.

Since The Maifan-San’s intent with the blog post and retelling the death bed moment was more academic, the story came off a bit short, brusque, and remarkably not frightening or creepy.

Which is all find and well… but I have been jonesing for fiction and I decided to “sex it up” a bit… make the story dark, make it creepy, make it a nifty ghost story.

So I did.

Below is my random retelling of what may or may not be how Clarence Ruth spent his=is final moments on the earth. Obviously, this is a work of fiction… the only real facts I had were that there was a man by that name, that the man died, and that he was bald. The rest in sheer speculation and fairy tales.


The room is dark. The light from Clarence’s bedside lamp make feeble attempts to penetrate the gloom but to no avail. Propped up on his pillows and racked with a cough that seemed to pull itself with tumultuous pain from his chest, he lie exhausted staring with unseeing eyes at the few people who had bothered to brave the rain in order to be present. The night nurse sits dozing in a creaky rocking chair, her hair fallen forward to cover her eyes. Jack and I stand nervously at the foot of the bed, unsure of what to say, unsure of what to do.

The fact that he is dying is well known, the question remains only of the when.

Another racking cough and he sits up heaving, the bed shuddering under the movement, the veins in his neck suddenly florid and bright against his dusky skin. The nurse opens one eye and then goes back to her thoughts. Jack moves forward and reaches for the glass of water on the nightstand when suddenly Clarence’s hand shoots out and he latches on to Jack. I can see his nails biting into Jack’s arm and I watch in silent horror as the glass slips and shatters on the wooden floor. The nurse sits up with a gasp and Jack cries out more in surprise than anything… but Clarence doesn’t seem to heed the sound. His eyes are suddenly very round and white, jutting from his skull like glowing orbs of madness. Rivers of sweat flow over his bald head and his mouth opens and closes as he struggles for breath.

“The dirt… the graves… the scent of the….” His whispers are loud and Jack doesn’t look him in the eye as he tries to untangle himself, but Clarence holds on, his fingers tightening bunching the fabric of Jack’s coat into a ball. “I can see them all…”

The night nurse is up now, a look of dogged determination on her face. Roughly she pulls at Clarence from the other side of the bed muttering about his need to rest. Together they pry his fingers away and force him back down against the pillows only to move backwards as another coughing fit seizes him convulsing his body up in a spasm that lifts his chest towards the ceiling. It seems to go on forever, until I think there simply cannot be anything left inside him to cough up, no more air, no more blood, nothing.

When it finally subsides, his body seems to have shrunken. He lays quietly, still blinking stupidly up. We stand suspended, the room suddenly hot and crowded. I feel the need to cough myself, to somehow force air into the stagnate space that seems to wrap itself around us.

He speaks, his voice raw from the coughing, “They won’t let me go quietly into the night.”

Against my own judgment I hear myself ask, “Who?”

There is a moment of silence and then he sits bolt upright, eyes wild, hands clasped in front of his chest, “They’re coming, They’re coming! They drag themselves from the dirt, they know where I am…”

We surround him, touching, pleading, cajoling, the nurse’s eyes are bright and Jack’s breath is ragged, but he will not be quieted. His voice increases in pitch, in fervor and he glares in terror at the empty corners of the room. “They don’t understand… you don’t understand… I never meant to hurt anyone…. No, please no… Don’t Take Me!”

He is weeping now, face slick with tears and sweat and snot, his body wound tight and his muscles clenching. The nurse fumbles in her kit for a needle, something must be done to quiet him but he fights us off and screams at his ghosts.

“To Hell, then, to hell… you long dead apparitions, you who have come to drag me…” Gleeful laughter bubbles up from his cracked lips and his eyes roll back into his head, their whites a sharp contrast to his now flushed pallor. Again the nurse struggles with the needle, again he fights her off.

“You can’t take me, foul ancestors! I won’t let you… You can’t… Oh God, Please don’t let them… NOOO… I BEG of you… Leave Me In PEACE!...” and then with a high pitched wail that chills the very marrow of my bones he collapses.

We stand frozen, the nurse with her needle posed, Jack with tears on his cheeks, me open mouthed and shivering.

Dead, his features are frozen in a look of abject horror. His eyes refuse to be closed and I finally just pull the sheet up to cover his face. The wind howls against the house and I think I hear an echo of his final cry. Stumbling we turn to leave, but I can feel him there behind me. I knew his eyes in death are still open, staring at the ghosts he had disturbed in life.

Naked Bodies in the Sunshine

I was invited recently to a place here in Santa Cruz called Kiva which is a spa… but the special clothing optional sort of spa that is a bit not of the mainstream.

I was a bit wary.

I looked over the guidelines on the website and then decided to toss my misgivings to the wind and enjoy the adventure. Plus, I wouldn't be going alone but with a friend that I trust.

I am very glad I did.

Yes, it was a little unsettling to walk into a garden and see half a dozen naked adults sunning themselves or drinking tea from little cups. Yes, I had concerns that my pale pasty nakedness would be an eyesore. Yes, there was a part of me that recoiled at the idea of nakedness for nakedness sake… and not say as part of something carnal and umm, more adult.

My apprehensions were all for naught though… what I found was a small group of people who enjoyed hot water, the hot sauna, and the sunshine in an actual wholesome sort of way. There was a sense of community as people of different ages and genders and body types discussed topics that ranged from car engines, to wine, to local Santa Cruz gossip, to favorite vacation spots, to the headaches associated with planning weddings or retirement parties. Heck, I even talked literature with one gal and where to get a great deal on costume jewelry with another.

Even though it was clothing optional, only one gal actually was wearing a swimsuit… the rest of us? Naked. I sort of forgot about the naked thing after a while… at least as long as I was in the hot tub talking. I only really became aware of the “yes, I am naked” thing when walking around feeling the air on parts that don’t normally feel air, while holding my towel (what do you do with a towel if you aren’t wrapped up in it?)... and while sunning myself. I suddenly had an image of getting a sun burnt bum and decided to move into the shade.

The garden itself was beautiful... rambling towers of fuchsia plants, smooth walking stones made to not hurt bare feet, soft grass, tranquil music, shade, sun, and a very Japanese sense of calm permeated the area. Naked or no, it was a very peaceful place to spend a few hours.

I’m not sure I will make it a regular thing… I am also not sure I would recommend it to others unless they are already of the mindset that naked water time is a good thing… but on the whole I am very glad that I went.

Chalk it up to a very nice, very unique, sort of experience. And at least now I can say I didn’t let my wariness hold me back.

Tripping the Steps Fantastic

I tripped yesterday while walking, well to be precise while walking down a set of steps, and twisted my ankle. Of course we were out on a photo shoot and I was a bit distracted with all the smiling and tilting my head and worrying that my gopher teeth were going to look like, well gopher teeth, that I didn’t really stop to deal with it.

It wasn’t a bad twist, it only hurt a bit… later when we went back out to get Froyo (frozen yogurt has a new cool nickname it seems) I opted to wear flats and I really don’t think anyone could tell that my ankle was still oh so slightly hurting.

This morning however it was swollen and tender and I spent a good hour icing it.

It is doing better which is good, I have a full afternoon of playing tour guide and then time at the spa to look forward to.

Yes, a spa. It will be my first time at a spa… I am a bit nervous but looking forward to feeling pampered.

In order to prepare myself for this very girly sort of treat I am listening to Social Distortion and catching up on blogs. A new book review is up on my book review blog and I even wrote about the yummy chicken that I cooked yesterday over at my cooking blog.

Hope you all had a great relaxing weekend. Final week of July; here we come!

Bonjour Tristesse

Book Review for Francois Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse

Don’t let the fact that the book is tiny, that it was written by a very young unaccomplished writer in 1955, or the fact that it is French dissuade you. This book is wonderful.

We spend the summer holiday with Cecile, a teenage girl on the cusp of womanhood who is caught between the desires of her younger self and those of the woman she is destined to become. Through her eyes we see a glimpse of the beauty of the French seaside and the complexities of her society. Cecile moves toward her abrupt coming of age with resolve and trepidation… she yearns for the simplicity of an imagined perfect family life while at the same time manipulating the adults around her in order to maintain some sense of control.

Cecile’s love hate relationship with first her father’s latest mistress Edna and then later with his fiancĂ© Ann, is really a response to her unorthodox relationship with her father himself. Her fumbling in the matters of love with the older boy Cyril and her loss of her innocence, by her own hand, hallmark the classic heart trauma of a girl becoming a woman.

Cecile is a wonderfully written character. She isn’t always understandable or likable, but she is always engaging. Her metamorphosis is heart breaking and yet wholly unsurprising. Sagan writes with a style that is clear, concise, and reminiscent of Fitzgerald. In fact, had Cecile suddenly taken a trip to West Egg, it would not have seemed out of character.

With its gripping storytelling, it is no wonder that this book became a classic. I highly recommend it.

Poulet Doux

I decided to try this recipe yesterday.

Unfortunately, after visiting four stores I wasn’t able to find Russian salad dressing. A quick conference with my former roommate and I decided to replace the Russian dressing with Catalina dressing.

However, this also proved impossible to find… so I ended up using French dressing. This meant that I had made the recipe mine and thus I renamed it: Poulet Doux, which means Sweet Chicken in French.

Just a review:

1 bottle French Dressing
1 jar Apricot Preserves
4 large boneless chicken filets
1 package onion soup mix. (dry)

Preheat the oven to 435.
Spray a shallow small baking dish.

Mix the dressing, apricot preserves and onion soup mix. It will look slightly disgusting. Take heart.

Roll the chicken fillets in the mixture and then plop into the baking sheet. Pour remaining mixture over the chicken and bake for 25 minutes.

I served it over noodles… but I think it will be better over rice. There is a fair bit of liquid left over after you remove the chicken for serving. This could be drizzled over the rice.

As it was, it was a hit. The gals I made it for seemed to really like it… either that or they were just starving. Regardless, I am putting it down as a success.

Time: Just about half an hour.

In case you slept past 7:20 am this morning....

Here it is,,,, my television debut as a professional writer.

Thanks to Steph, to Lori, to Cody, to the very kind producer, and to my sisters who helped me prepare by asking me a series of random questions.

That link again and my EXCITING NEW WEBSITE!


Howdy campers.


A quick note: I know lately I have blogged an awful lot about the book and such… I promise to get back to regular rants, photos, and occasional Kay Adventures next week.  Thanks to everyone for their support and well wishes!


Ok, so once again, the website for watching what promises to be a riveting four and a half minutes of television is this:


Also, my website is now live, kicking, and taking names (literally… enter your name/email address for a chance to win a free autographed copy of the book!). 


It is easy to remember:


There might be a few bugs that need working out, but on the whole I love it and I love Jessica for making it so pretty.


Feel free to check it out, bookmark it, share it with your friends…..


Happy Thoughts!

Friday Morning

The following entry was sent remotely, because I am nothing if not always eager to find new and more complex ways of doing something simple.



I am having one of "those" mornings.


The kind that makes you wish it were socially acceptable to start drinking before breakfast.


I realized that I was two quarters shy of being able to do laundry so I had the joy of leaving my apartment before 7am in search of an ATM, a place that was open, and maybe some coffee.  Found all three things relatively quickly but even a five dollar concoction called a "White Polar Bear" 9white decalf mocha) from the Hawaiian themed coffee shop couldn't help the day from sliding into a rushed mad panic series of comedic events.


I think the highlight was three hours later running up Pacific Ave, dragging my suitcase, balancing my purse, my bagel, and my coffee and trying to avoid awesomely slow pedestrians.  Of course, a good third of the coffee ended up on my white blouse, but I made my bus.


Thanks to Amy for her pitch perfect humor and support.  As we barreled through the bus station lobby scattering homeless people in our wake, we managed to continue having the sort of bonding new friend conversation about funerals that is normally reserved for late night patios and cocktails.


Now though, I am on the bus, headed off to the train station…. Soon everything will be out of my hands and if that nagging feeling that I forgot something important will either go away or manifest itself in a loud curse word.


By the way, my nails look great!


Good Start and an Update

Yes, I know you are probably as tired of the wedding season as I am…. But I couldn’t resist. This has go to be the best way ever to start a marriage. Or a church service. Or, you know, the rest of your life.


I just sort of needed that... thanks Amy.

It has been a busy couple of days.

There was a new website to work on (should go live tomorrow…. There will be massive linking, consider yourself warned.)

There were the business cards to order… not my first set. I had business cards when I was a Marketing Coordinator, an Event Planner, a Project Leader, and even as an Avon Sales Representative.

My new ones say “Writer” and thus they are my favorite.

There was a trip to Sacramento to plan for, pack for, and prepare for. Some of that preparation meant touching up my hair and getting a much needed trim. I still want to get my nails done… must find the time. I did, however, settle on an outfit that will hopefully make me look adult and professional and not like I am playing dress up. It’s weird… I get to dress pretty casually at my current job, and my body weight has fluctuated dramatically since I last had money to buy new clothes. This means that my options were fairly limited.

Yes, I ended up in red, black, and white. Call it clichĂ©’ or a signature look… I think I’ll call it “things that fit” and leave it at that.

Plus there was working long hours to balance out the whole taking a day off of work. (Someday I’ll once again have a job that lets me accrue vacation/sick time…. someday….)

There was also a change in plans regarding hand models and cover art.... which just means that my sister Kristen might get to add "Hand Model" to her resume right under BS in Business from Berkeley. I think it will help her land a job, don't you?

Anyway, I will be headed to Sac tomorrow to be featured on the Good Day Sacramento morning show (weekend edition). You can watch it And with that, I am going to go back to trying to keep my head from slowly exploding.
live on the website (Sat. morning 8am CA time) or check back next week for the upload.

And now for more of the unique sameness

It’s Hump Day / Pay Day which makes it a pretty good day for me.

Not such a good day for John Dillinger who was shot on this day in 1934.

That’s 75 years ago but obviously people are still talking about it, thanks in part to the recent movie. I haven’t seen the film yet but I wonder if it will go into the details of his death… read the article, it is actually pretty interesting.

In other news…..

Couples are cohabitating not to practice for marriage, but because
they just want to hang out together
. Makes perfect sense to me.

Are you glowing? Could you be?

There is going to be a World of Warcraft movie… and Sam Raimi is going to direct it. This could be very very awesome… or very very horrible. Should I dig out some old screenshots of my time as an addict?

And because what would a post be without some fun science…..

Brought to us by this blog

Here is the trailer for the new show “Persons Unknown.” NBC has picked up 13 episodes so far. If I can, I’ll review it over on my reviewing blog.

Buffy vs Xena: The result might surprise you.


A different take on recycling:
What once served as an exotic playground for Colombian drug cartel boss Pablo Escobar is now a theme park with guided tours, horseback riding, a swimming pool and a zoo.

And lastly… from the world of “well, duh” comes this article touting two new studies that show that why yes, having a healthy lifestyle is indeed good for you. Just in case, you know, you hadn’t figured that out somehow.

Hope your day is going well!

Corn Flake Chicken

This one looks easy... a bit time intensive but you can't go more simple wiht the number of items needed and prep work.

Corn Flake Chicken

6 to 8 chicken cutlets
Bottle of fat free Italian dressing
Corn Flakes crumbs

Prehat oven to 325.

Marinate 6 or 8 chicken cutlets in fat free, Italian dressing for an hour and a half.

Heavily coat both sides of the cutlets in Corn Flake crumbs.
Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with Pam (or whatever).
Place cutlets on cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes... to an hour depending on your oven.

The Sparrow: Great Book!

Every so often I read a book and spend time daydreaming how I might teach it were I in a position to do so. This doesn’t happen often enough to facilitate me getting say a teacher’s credential or any sort of government sponsored permission slip by which to actually teach… I decided against that particular life path years ago, and for the most part I have no regrets.

But like I said…. Every now and then a book comes along and I can’t help but start to envision classroom debates and essay topics. This is how I know the book will stay with me. This is how I know the book was definitely something worth reading.

Such is the case with “The Sparrow"

Go on, head over to my little Kay Reviews (Books, TV Shows, and the occasional Movie) blog and read why I loved this book so much.

The Sparrow

Book Review for The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell

This book was a masterpiece of storytelling.

Weaving together themes of faith, hope, love, adventure, mystery, and exploration, Russel tells the story of a band of pioneers who journey across the galaxy to make first contact with a newly discovered alien species.

Summoned by picking up radio transmits of music, the group is made up of Jesuits, Atheists, and a Jew. But they are more than that… they are a close knit family unit brought together by God, or at the very least by Emilio, the world renowned linguist Jesuit priest.

Not needing anyone’s permission, this group travels via an asteroid in our very near future to find the source of the Alien Singers and perhaps find God along the way.

The story is told on two parallel tracks through Emilio, who has returned to Earth alone, his body and his faith bearing the marks of the violence and horrors that are hard to imagine. As he heals, he slowly tells the story of the fateful mission to his fellow priests. At the same time, Russell uses flashbacks to round out Emilio’s story, to give us background on all the party members, and to bridge the gap of what he can and cannot articulate. The effect is a seamless quilting together of an epic story full of believable characters and profound truths.

Unlike a lot of science fiction, this book focuses more on the characters and their development than technology or setting. The result is that even though there are things like interstellar space travel, the story feels as if it could be happening right now to people you might actually know and better yet, care about. There are aspects of any first contact scenario be it on an alien world or settlers from one country interacting with natives in another. Russel takes the time to gently make socially driven points about the value of language and balance in nature, but these messages are subtle and don't overwhelm the story.

Again, this book is a masterpiece of storytelling... more than any other book I have read this year, I highly recommend The Sparrow.

And Amazon will come... like a thief in the night...

I read a lot… and I own a lot of books. My former room mate Jessica used to stare dramatically at the towers of books that threatened to take over our dinning room. The might have had a point… the book shelf was leaning ever so slightly… but I can’t help it. I would happily eat crackers and peanut butter for dinner every night in order to afford to keep myself in new and good books.

Which is why I am so sad to hear about the trouble our local libraries are having.*

Books are great… they are means of adventure and learning. They help me escape, learn, laugh, and bond with my fellow human beings. A good book has characters that stay with you and themes that make you think and grow.

I love loaning my books to others. Currently I think I have four out on loan… and I am always happy to help people find something worth reading from my book shelf.

In fact, books are such important parts of my life and my daily routine that I don’t even think about purchasing purses that are too small to carry around a regularly sized book. That would just be silly!

I have been asked several times about my thoughts about e-readers and/or the Kindle. My response has always been that I love books… not just for what is inside them, but the books themselves. I like the feel of the pages, the scent, the weight, the cover, the book marks, the creases in the spine that mark a much loved passage. I like peeking over the top of them to see the world around me. I like seeing stacks of them on my coffee table. I like flipping through the pages and catching errant words. I love books.

Any curiosity I might have had for something that would replace all that with a Spartan tablet was never enough to warrant me actually considering with any heaviness the idea of actually purchasing one. Plus, the idea of not being able to share my books with others seems sacrilegious.

And today’s news makes me glad I held off.

Apparently even if one of the draw backs of the Kindle is that you can’t resell or share the books that you have purchased, the benefit of buying books this way means that the book would be yours forever and ever. Right?

Well… sure… unless the publisher of a book randomly decides (after the fact) that they dodn’t really want a few of their titles to be available via the Kindle.

And so, with no warning, they take the books back.

This is what happened to many Kindle owners today. They woke up to find that books (bought and paid for in full) had been removed from their Kindles overnight.

Amazon is a book thief!

The best part?
The books that were taken were George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984”

I can’t make stuff like this up.

*Our Santa Cruz libraries have been facing severe funding shortages. There have been drastic cut backs in the hours of operation at all branches. It is expected that some branches will be closed, and this isn’t just in Santa Cruz. If you value having a library nearby, take the time to donate or volunteer.

Why yes, that is me on your TV!

I have news!

Due to connections, I am going to be appearing on a morning show this coming Saturday morning!

As you know, I am in the final editing/prettifying process for my upcoming book “Links”. Part of this process is getting my photo taken and also creating the cover art for the book. For both these projects, I enlisted the help of Stephanie. She is a Sacramento saint who also happens to be the lovely older sister of The Maifan-San.

Her website is gorgeous buy the way, check it out.

Anyway, she will be doing the photo shoot this week for the cover art, and during the set up she connected with an associate producer of Good Day Sacramento…

…who wants to do a small interview/feature about Steph and me!


That means that this Saturday Steph and I will be in the Good Day Sacramento studio bright and early to record our spot!

And you can watch it Live!

I am obviously really excited and also terribly nervous! Since it will be LIVE, I have to hope that I don’t say something stupid or do something stupid.

I also have no idea what I am going to wear.

How’s that for awesome news to start your Monday morning?

Puppies and Monsters, and things that Go CRUNCH in the Water…..

Friday, time for links and news and notes and being thankful that we are alive.

This very sad story, by the way, is why I use a crosswalk.

Ok, now on to happier news… cute animals? Sure!

Here is a Freaky Tiny Dog that fits inside a tea cup.

Although… at least that one is cute… this one sort of freaks me out. I don’t care how small it is, this is one critter I wouldn’t want to bump into in a dark alley.

Have I ever told you that I am afraid of small dogs?

Well, I am. They make me twitchy.

Ahem, moving on past these figures of my nightmares….

Oh wait, more nightmare worthy news!

How about this article about HUGE CARNIVOURS SQUIDES!!!

From the article: The carnivorous calamari, which can grow up to 100 pounds, came up from the depths last week and swarms of them roughed up unsuspecting divers. Some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear.


Anyone else feel like going for sushi?

Ok… trying to move on… but, wait, what’s this?

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters!

From those intrepid purveyors of great literature who brought us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…. Yes indeed. And better than the cover art above, this one has a trailer!

Ok, that’s it. No more news reading for me. Not sure my stomach could handle it.

Happy Friday!

From the Earth, to the Moon, to my Bookshelf.

I couldn’t resist.

40 years ago the US met the goal JFK set and landed on the moon.

My dad was around 13 years old when this happened and I think that this huge event in his life is partly what led to his life long love affair with science fiction.

A love that he passed down to me.

From way back as a kid “borrowing’ my dad’s Analogues and reading his Isaac Asimov, I knew that Sci-Fi was special… magical and yet thiiiis close to being real. My dad encouraged my reading and my imagination. For bedtime stories my dad would sometimes relate to me old episode of Star Trek. Later he broadened my horizons with Fantasy… reading me The Hobbit and then classic adventure stories. But we always fell back on the Sci Fi.

It was my dad who introduced me to Jules Vern, George Orville, Phillip K Dick, and Ray Bradbury. It was my dad who told me the amazing story about Jedi and Death Stars.

I am currently reading “The Sparrow” and enjoying it immensely. It is just one of a long line of Sci Fi titles that I have enjoyed over the years… thanks to my dad… and thanks to the Apollo 11 moon landing all those years ago.

Division in the Ranks: Acceptance of Gay Bishops by the Episcopal Church

The question of allowing openly gay (or lesbian) bishops in the Episcopal Church (the US branch of the Anglican Communion) has been put to a sort of rest this week as the measure to allow these men and woman the chance to be bishops passed with an overwhelming majority of the needed votes.

You might remember that three years ago an openly gay bishop Gene Robinson made the news and the Episcopal Church was flooded with responses. Many positive, many negative. They announced at the time that they wouldn’t allow any further gay bishops with a time line of three years to decide upon future precedent. Three years later we have this decision that provides the option to be a bishop has now been extended to include openly gay (and lesbian) ordained ministers.

The news was met with mixed reviews as you can imagine.

Many people applaud the US branch’s initiative and liken it to Revolutionary War ideology. Many worry how the move will impact the recent decline in church attendance. A few warn that this schism with the Anglican Communion won’t be tolerated. A new subset has risen promoting traditional values. Apparently their departure is seen as unfortunate but unlikely to cause a reversal of general opinion. In fact, the overall vibe seems to be that the new and improved Church is beter off without them.

My blog, my take: In my opinion, religion (no matter which sort) should evolve with the times and the society it is attempting to reach. The US Episcopal Church is doing this… they started the trend with allowing women clergy and they are continuing to buck conventional traditional models because they see no harm in doing so.

For this, I hope you join me in applauding them.

What will the long term affects of the schism be? I know some people hope that this group (like all religious groups) will fragment past the point of reconciliation thus paving the way for a world without religion.

That is not my hope. I continue to believe that there are certain good aspects of the concept of religion.... I continue to hope that these groups can evolve... I have faith that science and skeptical thought can merge with some of the good parts of religion and that someday these sorts of things won't be issues at all.

Again, my blog, my take, and my optimistic fuzzy thoughts for the future.

Source Source 2

Wants: A list of desires

So, there are a few things that I want.

Not like material goods, although there are a few material goods involved, but more things that I want help with, things that I want to share with someone.

And it occurred to me the other night that just sitting around and wanting them wasn’t going to make them happen. Even sitting around an ocassionaly announcing these desires out loud in the presesence of others might not do it.

However, writing them out in a blog post and then unabashedly begging people to read said blog post might yield results.

If nothing else, it might start discussion.

And get me a few blog clicks.

So here goes: Kay’s Not-So Secret List of Wants:

Gaming Group
I am looking for an on going, role playing, table top game that meets regularly on a weeknight in the Santa Cruz area. Preferably near some sort of public transportation line.

Weeknight walking buddy
This seems self explanatory. I want to go out walking but I don’t relish doing it alone once it gets dark. Also, having a buddy will help me make sure it happens. There is a teeny tiny bit of interest into turning this into a jogging buddy… but for now, lets start with the walking.

Excuses to Cook Dinner for People
I had an impromptu dinner party the other night and despite the fact that I stressed about it for days ahead of time, I was wonderfully happy to both host the affair, providing some delicious food to friends, but als to have an excuse to cook outside my comfort zone. What this basically means is that I want people to invite themselves over for dinner.

Cat-Sitter in the Elk Grove Area
Yeah, this one is a stretch. See, I have this wonderful friend who I would love to see and she would love to see me, however, she can’t leave her car alone all day to make the drive because said cat (Hailey) must get a pill at 8 am, noon, 8pm, and midnight. Also, the cat needs to be watched and such during the day to make sure it is ok. A long shot I know… but if any of you marvelous people know of anyone trustworthy and cat friendly who happens to live in the Sacramento/Elk Grove area… let me know!

Knitting Guru
Because I still might have a moment or two of free time, I am thinking about taking up knitting or crochet. First order of business is to figure out what the difference is. I want to learn how to make scarves, hats, maybe shawls or wraps… maybe someday even a blanket! I am willing to start small, but I need instruction and a patient sort of person to try to teach me the mystery of the yarn. (They both use yarn right?)

So there you go… I am putting these desires out there… any advice, help, volunteers, pity… would all be welcome!

Julie & Julia (novel)

Julie & Julia

This book was fantastic!

Yes, it is about cooking. (Which I can neither understand the allure of nor the necessity for when there are things like delivery Chinese food and microwaves).

Yes, it is about Julia Child (someone I had never –gasp- really heard of).

And yet… I loved this book almost comepletly. Yes, there was one aspect that bugged me, bothered me, turned my avid reading into dull eyed scanning… and I’ll get to that in a second.

First though, the book is about a woman named Julie who decides pretty much on a whim to cook all 500+ recipes from Julia Child’s first cookbook. Wait… it gets better. First off she will do all of these recipes in the span of only one year, and she will blog about it as she goes.

Now if you are doing the math, you will have realized that she is going to be clocking more than one recipe a day. And writing about her adventures… all while maintaining a job and a social life.

Admirable, sure… but it is Julie’s voice…. Her raw realistic sometimes vulgar and hopelessly honest voice that turns this project into something worth reading about, even if you don’t understand her desire to undertake it.

The story is about the food, the blog, the constant dishes… but more than that Julie tells us a story about her world… of a mindless boring drone job, a social group that is acheningly familiar, and the trials and tribulations of an actual marriage. Her story is the story for any woman who has felt trapped and needed to DO SOMETHING in order to find her power, her voice, in the world.

And it is almost without flaw.

There is just this one thing…

As a blogger, Julie wrote about her adventures in the kitchen, being brutal with the truth and her occasional failure. In the book, she does this as well, but she adds in fictionlized vignettes Julia Child’s life. (I know they are fiction, I read the introduction.) This sadly does a few things… it breaks up the narrative flow and distracts from Julie’s story, Julie’s voice. I am not really sure why she felt the need to do this… in my humble opinion they added nothing, no parallel structure, no on-par climatic build, just the occasional pause in the story of Julie for a bit of Julia.

Other than that… the book is wonderfully done. It keeps the audience engaged and laughing as we journey with Julie toward the project’s completion. Reading it, one is almost convinced that cooking can be fun, that cooking can be worth it, that cooking French food (fancy and involved French food like bone marrow sauce) is doable by even us common women.

In a word: the book is fantastic.

(And yes, I am aware a movie based on the book is due out this summer. Look for the review of it as well as a comparison sometime in August.)

Nutty Green Beans

I made these last night and they were a hit!

1 pound of green beans (fresh)
3-5 cloves of garlic (cloves being the little parts not the big things –I think- hmmm, well buy the big thing then take the outer layer off an then pull out the little bulbs and skin ‘em. Chop 3-5 of these in half… the more you use the more garlic-y the beans will be)
1 Big Handful of halved walnuts (chop these up as well… I think about ¼ cup of chopped nuts is a good guide, but change for your own discretion.
Oil (I used Peanut oil)

Rinse and snap the green beans.
Place green beans in pan (large… I used my wok) and cover just barely with water.
Cook on high until beans are BRIGHT GREEN! (about 6-7 minutes(
Rinse with cold water and plop the whole strainer into cold water. (I filled my sink up about 1/3 of the way and added ice cubes.) I have no idea why this I important, but I followed the directions.
Let them cool while you heat a healthy dose (cover the bottom of the pan) of oil in the pan.
When the oil is hot add the garlic, cook on high for 5 minutes
After five minutes add the green beans and the nuts… sprinkle a bit of minced onions, salt to taste.
Cook for another 5 minutes or until you can’t stand it (They are going to smell soooo good!)

(Depending on your group.. you might want to remove the big chunks of garlic before you serve.)

Serve and enjoy!

Time: Less than 20 minutes.

NY: Too tired to deal with gay marriage.

Some not so good news from New York regarding same sex marriage.

Yep, seems that after all the infighting and scandal and drama, they are just too tied in NY to deal with gay marriage.

One of my favorite bloggers breaks it down here.

For a pick-me-up, watch the video in the below post.

le Sigh

Fun With Naked Swedish Men and a Quick Follow Up

First the follow up;

A while ago I wrote about being asked by a Christian PR firm to “honestly review” a book written by Christian telelvision personality Joni Lamb. Her book, I was told, was called Surrender All and would lay out how surrendering your all to God could and would vastly improve your life.

Well, my honest review was posted last week.

So far, no word from the PR firm.

In only slightly more fun news... here is a you tube video that is bound to make you smile.

(Grandma, you might want to skip this one...)

Color of Fear

Those of you who frequent this blog know that I rely on public transportation in order to get around. This involves taking both a train and a bus in order to get from work to home. Usually I mind my own business and except for getting hit on or accidentally flashing little old ladies, my commutes tend to mostly be long, slightly boring, and relatively drama free.


The following Kay Adventure is brought to you in part by the people of downtown San Jose and in part by my need to laugh at what was a pretty freaky and frightening situation.

Let me set the scene. It’s around 5:30 on a weeknight and my train has just pulled into the downtown stop. Normally I get off here and walk a block or so over to where the bus picks up. I have my head phones in and I am totally minding my own business.

I get off the train, as do about a dozen people, and like normal we all walk right behind the not moving train car and cross the street. But this time I realize that there is a car on the train tracks, blocking us from walking behind the train…

Yes, a car on the tracks. Now, this happens occasionally. If you are new to driving in downtown and you negate to read the signs and if you turn too early, you might end up on the tracks. I have seen this happen a lot. But normally, people realize Right Away that they goofed and back up and get off the train tracks.

This woman driver had decided to instead drive along behind the train for at least two blocks because that was as far as we were from the closest intersection.

Not only that, but she was practically touching the back of the train with her car. Not a bright idea safety wise.

A few more things you ought to know, she looked pretty freaked out and there wasn’t going to be a place for her to turn off the tracks for a few more blocks. Her only real option was to either reverse and go back or follow the train for quite a while before being allowed to turn off the tracks.

Ok, so I walk behind her car (since she is blocking the normal route), and I feel a bit bad for her.

Apparently, my pity isn’t shared by several of the men in the area. Four to five men have converged upon her car and have started yelling at her, calling her names, and basically telling her she shouldn’t be there, she needs to get her car off the tracks, etc. A fair bit of vulgarity is involved with these yells.

The train moves forward but the guys are at her windows and in front of her car blocking her… and still yelling. She looks even more freaked out and this is where I decide, in my infinite dumb dumb dumb wisdom to get involved.

I take my headphones out and approach the car. I figure that she might appreciate a kinder face. Plus these guys seem overly pissed about something so silly and for some reason I think I might be able to diffuse the situation.

I try to talk to her, to explain that she won’t have a chance to turn off the tracks, that her best bet is to reverse and go back…. And she honks at me and calls me a bad name,

Well, fine. I tried to help, whatever. I start to walk away and she floors it leaving the group of men in her wake.

The group of men no longer have her to yell at… and so they all turn and start to yell at me.

Seriously. Calling me names, telling me I should have minded my own business, (even more vulgarity) and advancing on me in a pack.

I don’t respond to them, just head off toward the bus stop and they follow me for a full block, yelling and cursing.

Not fun. In fact, really really scary. My heart was pounding and instead of just sitting on the bench I went into the closest store and hung around inside for a bit to try to calm myself down. I felt twitchy for the rest of my time downtown and didn’t feel at ease until I was safely on my bus.

I didn’t think about why I was afraid, just that I was.

Fast forward two days. I was relating this story to an acquaintance and her first response was;

Her; “Well, what were they?’

Me: Who, what?

Her: The men, what were they?

Me: Bigger than me… and men… and angry for some reason.

Her: (getting frustrated) Yeah, but what WERE they, you know, were they black? Or Mexican?

Me: I don’t know.

Her: How do you not know? I bet they were black. Or Mexican

Me; I didn’t ask them for their background or IDs, I was more into, you know, not getting surrounded or anything.

Her: Right, well they weren’t white were they?

Me; I don’t know… I mean, I guess they had skin that was darker than mine, but then again I am pretty darn pale… most people are darker than I am.

It was then, as she looked at me like I was the one on crack, that I started to think about why I had been so afraid.

Why did these guys frighten me? Because they were loud, sure. Because they were in a group and thus outnumbered me, sure again. But also, because they were men.

And like it or not as a woman alone in downtown, even in a crowded part of downtown… even in a crowded part of downtown at 6:00 in the evening… there will always be this heightened sense of wariness regarding men.

For me, fear is color blind… but more interestingly.. not gender blind.

Not at all.

Palin and the Porn Star: Part 2!!!!!

Holy crap… I had my Sarah Palin and the Porn Star post… and I thought I was probably never again going to get the chance to put those two in a blog title.

But guess what?

Porn star turned politician Stormy Daniels has requested a sit-down with Sarah Palin to discuss the trials and tribulations of being a woman in politics!

Here’s a quote:

“As a woman who is often criticized and dismissed by the media, I obviously can relate to Governor Palin on many levels,” Daniels said in a statement. “Given this, I am very interested to hear what she has to say about the challenges women like ourselves who are not afraid to display our sexuality face when it comes to being taken seriously as leaders.”*

Can I just say a few things?

One: I want to know more about the “sexuality face”… oh wait, for 19.95 I could get all the “sexuality face” I want of Stormy… and I am not sure the world s ready for Sarah’s.

Two: If this trend continues I am going to have to be careful about who I link together in my blog… hmmm, the possibilities for chaos are so tempting….

Three: I doubt Palin will sit down with a porn star, (especially one who is for sex education, pro condoms, pro gay marriage, and once stared in a movie called The Camp Cuddly Pines Power Tool Massacre-which sounds just awesome by the way-) but damn what a fun meeting of the minds that would be…

If they put the Palin and the Porn Star shin-dig on TV I bet it would draw American Idol like numbers.

And with that... let's all enjoy the weekend.

(source:1 and 2)

Surrender All

Book Review for Joni Lamb's Surrender All

When reading any work of non-fiction, one must first determine what the goal of the author is, To entertain? To inform? To Persuade? It is the final option that is the most difficult but it is that goal which Joni Lamb chooses for her book Surrender All.

She attempts to convince you to surrender your all to God.

In order to do this, she lays out what, I am sure she thinks, is a well planned out logical argument. This argument is indeed compelling (if ultimately severely lacking in the area of logic).

She starts off the book with the following questions; Do you believe in God? Do you believe that he has a personal stake in your life? Her argument for surrender basically assumes that you have answered YES to both of these statements… she doesn’t try to convince you that there is a God and she only briefly discounts the belief that God might just not care about you personally being more concerned with other God-like worries.

This flaw in her logic can be easily overlooked however if you are of the target demographic; someone who already believes in God. There’s more to it though… it isn’t enough to believe in God, you must surrender to God or else you run the risk of living a horribly unpleasant life despite your faith.

This is where the true essence and problem of the book lies. She spends the next hundred or so pages giving “examples” of people who either didn’t believe or (and this is key) didn’t believe in God enough to warrant the “good life.’ Many of her stories start off with the “There was this man who believed in god but he hadn’t truly surrendered and thus he was unhappy….”

It’s that same old “You might be Christian, but you aren’t a REAL Christian unless….” This is a syndrome of many churches that people find hypocritical.

And her evidence? Her “proof” that only by surrendering all will you ever find true happiness and peace with God? Nothing but a very long list of anecdotal examples which hardly can be used as any sort of reliable evidence.

She also relies heavily on “post hoc ergo propter hoc” as in “I lost my keys, I prayed, then I found my keys… therefore God is not only real but wanted me to find my keys and only gave them back to me because I prayed.”

This sort of attitude is dangerous and it wasn’t long before the examples of people being healed with prayer started to crop up. Of course, hot on their heels were examples of people who weren’t healed because they lacked the proper amount of faith.

Throw in a few tried and true guaranteed to make the liberal Christians vomit sentiments like rock music has evil subliminal messages and the Enemy causes depression, you need good loud praying to cure you and you have the rest of the book. My personal favorite is the lesson (stated over and over again) that God can heal all things if you have faith… even your abusive meth addicted husband. So stick it out, don’t even think about divorce, and just pray really really hard.

In other words, surrender to blind faith.

Obviously, I am not her target audience. I find her logic trite and untrue. I think she does an actual disservice to the religion of Christianity as a whole by touting this “not quite Christian enough” mentality. I also find her views on healing and domestic violence appalling.

Would this sort of fear mongering guilt inducing series of scary bedtime stories work on a believer? I’m not sure. Her television empire is doing quite nicely, so someone must be buying into this.

However the fact that her book has been out since last year and her PR firm contacted me to do a review of it makes me think that sales must not be as good as they would like… Seriously, seeking out a blogger such as myself (with my dozens of gay rights and sexually progressive posts) to write about your book for what could quite possibly be the opposite of your demographic, speaks of either server scraping of the bottom of the barrel or a potentially brilliant conversion method.

Joni’s voice is clear in the book, she writes in a wonderful style that is both conversational and genuine. Her message, however, needs work


Things that make you go “Awwwwww’

Warning: This post contains explicitly cute photos and an overall sugary sweet coating. People with a low tolerance for sweet or adorable might do well to read the following with a healthy helping of lemon wedges at the ready.

It’s Friday and I have decided that what the world needs (or at least those of you who stop by here every now and then) is a heaping happy dose of Things That Make You Go Awwwww….

First off we have the photos of my newest niece… Bitty B joined her sister O in the world last week and has already charmed her itty bitty way into our hearts. Like heart burn… but more fun.

Ok, if human babies aren’t your thing, here are a few classically cute animals!

The video is dedicated to Stacy and her pug Hurley.

And lastly, a sweet story from your’s truly.

I love getting flowers. Yes, they die, Yes they don’t last… but I think that is part of their charm. Life is short, bad things happen, we might as well enjoy it while we have it right? The same can be said for relationships…. Although we like them to last a long time, the fact is that nothing lasts forever and, just because it is short lived, doesn’t give it less value.

Flowers remind me of this… they remind me that beauty changes and that time keeps moving. They make me value the past and take joy in the present.

Yeah I know, that’s a lot from dead plants. Shh.

The Maifan-San has given me flowers a few times during our time together. Each time was special, each time was perfect, each time I was reminded of how special he is.

The first time I cried.

We had made plans for the weekend but then he had to go out of town for work and thus our plans were broken. The thing was that he didn’t “seem” all that upset about having to break our date. Also, we weren’t exclusive as of yet and there was a part of me, a rather large part, that wondered if he was just loosing interest.

I decided to not sit around and sulk, so I lined up two dates, fully anticipating a busy day. That morning I got up and was looking over my notes while getting ready for Date 1 (yes I take notes... when you are dating multiple people, it just makes logistical sense to have a cheat sheet of who has a cat versus who is allergic to cats etc) and it hit me. I didn't want to be dating anyone else. I just wanted theThe Maifan-San

Then the flowers were delivered. The card wasn't mushy, just a "thought you mike like these" and when I called him, he told me he felt bad about having to cancel our date and that he missed me.

Magic words.

I canceled the other dates and spent the day with my girlfriend alternating between giggling and daydreaming about The Maifan-San

Over the years he has brought me flowers to cheer me up when I was having a really horrible day....

... to celebrate Valentines Day....

.... and last weekend, "just because.”

Because why? Is it because I bake yummy cookies for him and occasionally send him naughty photos? Is it because he knows that these simple things melt my heart and make me go all mushy inside? Maybe it’s a combination...

Either way, I have these photos as part of my screen saver and they never cease to make me happy.

And make me go awwwwwwww.

Have a great weekend!

The Abuse of Man

Here’s a story that is severely disturbing.

A 32 year old Russian woman has been arrested by Russian police in connection with the drugging and rape of 10 men.

Apparently she would invite them back to her place, drug them, utilize a rope (or rubber band depending on the source) to keep their penis’ hard, and rape them. The men would wake up at the hospital with signs of sexual assault and the narcotic still in their systems.

The woman in question Valarie K. had a fascination with spiders and horror movies which might explain her horrible proclivity to do such a thing.

Most disturbing of all though, one of the victims refused to file a police report saying that he “likes hot women.”

And that last bit is truly sick. Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be free to enjoy kinky sex… and I understand the draw of some S and M, sure. But his attitude makes me think that he isn’t dealing with the fact that he was sexually abused.

Because lets be honest, he was. Even if he was planning on having consensual sex with her when he went back to her apartment, the fact is that she drugged him and used him… without his permission.

Rape is rape no matter the genders or previous intentions involved.

What makes me mad is that there is a pervasive attitude that women can’t rape men

because of biology (if he’s hard, he’s into it)
because of the power structure (how could she overpower him?)
because of the misogynistic attitude (all men want sex, can’t rape the willing)

And all three arguments are false false false

The fight to bring the female to male domestic abuse stories to light is an uphill battle. I personally know of a (very sweet) guy who was abused by his girlfriend and has trouble being accepted in domestic abuse support circles because of his gender. His problem isn’t totally unique and the problem is only exacerbated by macho idiots that refuse to admit to being victimized.

Dear Russian Man Who Won’t Admit to Being Raped,

I understand your reluctance to admit that you were powerless, helpless, and taken advantage of. Ask any other rape victim and they will tell you they felt the same way.
All I can tell you is that your lack of acceptance doesn’t make you more of a man; it makes you less of one.
Just because you were victimized, doesn’t mean you are a victim.
I hope you find the strength to deal with what happened to you.

-A Survivor

Mass Sues Over DOMA

Massachusetts, I love you.

Today the STATE of Mass (not a random couple, but the actual state) filed to sue the US Government over DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act: refuses same sex couples federal benefits and allows states to not recognize legal same sex marriage preformed in other states.)

A CA couple filed a similar suit a while ago and the Obama Administration said it should be dismissed.

But this is a state, STATE suing the federal government because DOMA “interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit”

Once again, I love you Massachusetts!

Read more here

In other not so good news, Maine's same sex couples have a battle ahead of them.
Novemebr Ballot.


The Maifan-San aka The Man (aka Anthroslug: boyfriend extraordinaire) is currently on assignment in Buttonwillow… where they keep finding odd things out in the desert.

And now thanks to the miracle of the internet I know more about Buttonwillow than I probably ever needed to know

First off, Buttonwillow is the name of an American town… and yet Microsoft Word wants me to correct it to Button Willow

Secondly, buttonwillow is actually the name of a plant… a variant of the buttonbush. (“buttonbush” by the way is perfectly acceptable to MSWord.)

Here’s the fun part… the town was originally named Buena Vista (1895) but soon changed its name because of a popular meeting spot/landmark (future placement of the town’s first post office). That spot was the site of a buttonbush that was mistaken for a buttonwillow. I doubt the Yokut Indians (original settlers of the area) had any such confusion, but whatever.

The original spot is now considered a historical Landmark (No. 492) Oddly named the Buttonwillow Tree even though it is a bush, very clearly a bush) but it is the Buttonwillow Racetrack that seems to get all the attention in the town.

Here’s a photo of the buttonwillow

Apparently the foliage turns silver in the fall and the flowers are white… which sounds sort of pretty. Call me selfish but I hope that the Maifan-San isn’t in Buttonwillow long enough to see the silver foliage.

And this concludes your random bit of learning for the day.

In The Cut

In The Cut

Yes, it’s an “older” movie, but it had been languishing long enough in the bottom of my Netflix queue, so last night I watched it instead of doing one of the other dozen or so things I should have been doing.

Here’s my take;

The movie is surprising in all the not typical ways. Billed as a thriller / mystery with a steamy sexual relationship as its center, what we have is a movie where the twist is pretty much expected, the sex is steamy but stunted and short lived, and the best parts are the hard to decipher stylistic additions that change this from a odd thriller to an artsy thriller.

First, the sex (because I know that’s one of the biggest draws). The sex is hot, good, a bit raw, and there are some elements that are dazzling in how real it all seems. Meg Ryan is naked y’all and she isn’t the bubbly pixie from her rom/com days… this is an adult woman with “twisted” sexual appetites. (Twisted is in quotes because despite what the movie seems to want to tell you, women masturbating, enjoying oral, and being voyeuristic isn’t really that uncommon or that twisted.)

Next: The twist. (No, I won’t give it away). The best part about this movie is the dysfunctional relationships that seemed to be nothing but jagged pieces of the puzzle of life, trying to press against each other hard enough to fit. Which is perfectly apt. Yeah, you can sort of figure out the twist… but the surprising thing is that you spend more time thinking about all the other little things that build into the twist and therefore the end is still satisfying. There are layers of symbolism and when you start asking yourself if random shots hold deeper meanings or clues, you know the movie has done its job.

A few other things:
The symbolism and the use of the color red in this movie is great.
If you have read “To the Lighthouse” you will get the film on a whole deeper level.
The use of cinematographic cut aways and New York as a character itself, is done very well.
Kevin Bacon is very good as crazy manic.

Be prepared, the language is harsh, the sex graphic (even if it doesn’t last long), and the murder scenes are grisly. In short, the movie is precisely what you expect a twisted thriller / sexy suspense movie to be.


Post Script: … it was based on a book! Another addition to the great and mighty “must read” list…..

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter (soft)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 and ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats (Like the Quaker kind, in the cylinder container)
1 cup chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Cream the butter and sugars until smooth (I use a fork). Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix. In separate container combine the flour, soda, and salt. Stir it in slowly until blended. (Still using the fork works best)

Add the oats, stir well. Add the chocolate chips and stir.

Use a regular spoon to scoop out bits and bake on an ungreased* sheet for 12 minutes.
When you take them out of the oven, let the pan sit for about 5 minutes before sliding them off. You don’t need a wire rack, a plate works just fine.

(*Note: when I say ungreased, I mean it. Despite the fact that my mother told me to always grease my pans… cooking spray, butter, foil, and any combination of such things only result in badly burned and oddly tasting cookies. Don’t Grease That Pan.)

(Another note: why is “ungreased” not a word? Microsoft Word needs to be updated.)

Time: Give yourself an hour and a half and you should be fine.

Recommended music would be KT Oslin’s Sounds from an Aging Sex Bomb, and Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits.