Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dot's Mandala Madness, aka DMM (1)

I like mandalas. I like the shape, beauty and symmetry of them. I do NOT go along with the spiritual mindset of the philosophy or religion that is often connected with them. I’m strictly about the art of them. I think they’re fun. I enjoy making them. I enjoy seeing the different materials that people use for making them. Lia and I do them a lot when we’re together. Sadly, I’m not very artistic, but I’m working on it.

On a side note, I like unusual playing cards. I’m always on the look-out for interesting or weird decks. That includes Tarot decks. Again, I do NOT get into anything other than the art of the cards. I have a couple of beautiful decks of cat Tarot cards. And everyone who knows me, knows how I feel about cats…

Sooooo….about this particular mandala. It’s made from a deck of Hanafuda cards. I’ve forgotten how I came across the game, but was immediately enchanted by some of the beautiful decks. I found an online version of the game to play, but it’s all in Japanese, so I’m only guessing as to how it all goes. Same with the instructions that came with the deck. Doesn’t matter. I got my deck strictly for the designs. 

When I decided to start posting some of my mandalas, I decided to start with one done on the coffee table with my Hanafuda cards. So here is DMM (1) for you viewing pleasure. You'll have to click on the image to get a better look. Art for art’s sake. Just don’t tell Art…. ;-)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Revamping 1

Remember Myspace? Remember Tom? That’s his pic at the left. He was the default “friend” when you first signed up on Myspace. Remember Bulletin Boards? I’ve been going through some of my old blogs from Myspace and found a meme from the bulletin board that I decided to share and make changes where needed. I’m not including ALL the questions, just the ones that aren’t stupid. I can’t believe some of the drek that was going around back then. And at first, I didn’t know how to add pictures to my blog, so now I can here. Although I really loved the old Myspace…

Survey from 2006

Have you ever been given roses?

Yes. From Marv for various occasions. And while Paul was still in Kuwait, roses arrived from him for my birthday. That’s what I’m holding in the picture.

What’s your all-time favorite romance movie?

OMG. I originally said it was Stealing Heaven…can’t imagine why…it was SO DEPRESSING. So I’m changing my mind. And really, there are so many great movies out there I love that this is just what came to my mind quickly. If you want modern and fun, go with Four Weddings and a Funeral. Moulin Rouge! has great music and tears at the end. If you want classic and fun, it’s gotta be Paris When it Sizzles, although Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a real close second.

Those were the only questions worth mentioning. The rest were pretty sophomoric and probably intended for junior high kids.

So go and see some of those movies now. Except for Stealing Heaven. That was depressing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

English Food

Being an Anglophile, I’ve read a lot of Brit lit, and I’m familiar with certain traditional English foods. I know most of the following dishes can be made here, but it just wouldn’t be the same as having them in a real English pub, or a lovely garden, or the drawing room at the manor. Here is my list:

Bangers and Mash ~
Pretty much self-explanatory. Also called sausage and mash. I love sausage and I love mashed potatoes, so I’m pretty sure I would enjoy this hearty meal. It’s a good example of what is called “pub grub.” The term “banger” came from the fact that in earlier times, the sausages had a lot of water in them, and would explode if not tended carefully. I prefer my meals to just lie on my plate and not attack.  

Spotted Dick ~
A type of pudding that is always good for a laugh. I love puddings, especially thick doughy ones with raisins. The raisins are the “spots.” There are several guesses as to where the name “dick” comes from. A corruption of earlier words, or even the fact that it’s the German word for “thick.” So many jokes, that I cannot make…
Anyway, it’s common to serve this with custard, which I also love. And I was tickled to find out that it also comes in a can (even MORE jokes I cannot make) and is microwavable! I’ll bet Miss Marple never dreamed of that sort of thing!

Yorkshire Pudding ~
Made with eggs, flour and milk. Usually as a side dish with roast meat and gravy. I’m a big fan of roast and gravy, and think this would be just a tasty as having mashed potatoes. The drippings from the meat can be used to make the batter. Without the drippings, it can be served as a dessert with some kind of sweet sauce or syrup.

Cream Tea ~
A light afternoon meal consisting of tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. Do NOT ask how many calories this is!! It will make you cry! Just sit back, listen to the birds in the garden, hold that pinkie out and enjoy…

Bacon Butty ~
Simply put, a bacon sandwich. Another term is bacon sarnie. It’s a roll with butter and a pile of bacon. It’s served hot with ketchup or brown sauce, if desired. The word “sarnie” is a colloquialism. As for whether I’d like it or not…it’s BACON!!! What do YOU think??? I don’t think I’d care for ketchup or anything else though. Another dish where you don’t ask about the calories.

Pub Crawl ~
I know, this isn’t a food, it’s an activity. My dad would always joke about going “bar-hopping,” which is the same thing. But I’d want it to be at REAL pubs. You know, with funny signs like the one at the left. And even though I’d probably not make it much past 3 or MAYBE 4 pubs before having to be carted home, I’d like to give it my best shot. Maybe a brisk walk between pubs would help clear my head.

Cheerio! Back to the colonies….

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Report June 2014

Highway of Eternity (1986) by Clifford Simak

One of my favorite sci-fi authors. This is a time-travel book, but done the way I like it. No weird paradoxes to make your brain hurt. Tom Boone has a talent that enables him to avoid personal catastrophe by “going around a corner.” That’s the only way he can explain it. He uses his talent to help a group of refugees from a million years in the future. There’s quite a lot of back and forth with time, but again, it’s not tiresome trying to wrap your brain around it.
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Miss Buncle’s Book (1934) by D.E. Stevenson

Total fun!! I love cozy country English books. Miss Buncle is a spinster of limited financial means, living in a small village in the English countryside. Of the few options open to her, she decides to write a book about the townspeople, disguising names of course. She even uses a pseudonym so they won’t know that she is the author. Her book is published, and quickly becomes a best-seller. When the townspeople start reading it, though, they know immediately that the book is about THEM. Miss Buncle has included herself in the book, to further mislead them as to the real author. Delightful all the way through.
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Assignment in Eternity (1953) by Robert Heinlein

I’ve read several Heinlein books. Some I liked, some not. He was a freethinker and a proponent of free love, and it showed in his books. I liked the stories, but kind of got tired of all the group sex. This book had 4 short stories/novellas from his earlier years, and I like them quite a lot. Good plots and no sex. What little there was, was only between 2 people, not a group.
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Mona Lisa Smile (2003) by Deborah Chiel

This book was based on the movie, which I never saw. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It takes place in the 50s at Wellesley. The new art history teacher has some radical ideas about a woman’s role in life. She tries to get the idea across that marriage and motherhood are not the only choices a woman has. She has to battle the powers-that-be as well as some of the students.
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The Duchess Disappeared (1979) by Barbara Cartland

The formula is about the same, but still enjoyable. English orphan Fiona and her niece Mary-Rose are brought to Scotland, as Mary-Rose is the last in the line of a Scottish clan. As a Scot, Mary-Rose is treated well, while Fiona is simply viewed as a servant to her niece. There is a happy ending, of course.
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Kildee House (1949) by Rutherford Montgomery

This YA book tells the story of stonemason Jerome Kildee, who retires to the redwoods. He builds a small cabin and lives peacefully amongst the wilderness. He doesn’t want any connection to people, but welcomes the raccoons and skunks that come around to live in and under his house. The nearest neighbor is quite a long walk away, but the young girl of the family starts coming around to see the animals and strikes up a friendship with the old man.