Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Robot Unicorn Attack! No, seriously.

Late to the scene blogging about this one, but have any of you played [adult swim]'s Robot Unicorn Attack? It is brilliant! I was first made aware of the addiction back in July, yet am only now mentioning it. When I was told about the side-scroller, it was with a mix of gamer enthusiasm and mocking irony. (Why are we Generation Nexters so into being snarky and ironic?) Anyway, the mocking was for the song that plays on a loop throughout the game until you have used up all of your, three lives. Or wishes, as the games calls them. You'll find the song with it's original video below.

Pretty sweet, eh? Now, imagine playing a shiny, colorful, rainbow maned/tailed robot unicorn. You smash through big, crystal stars that fall at random intervals from the sky as you gain speed and momentum; leaping through the air and earning extra points for tagging the creepy, robot faeries at the beginning of every floating, purple-grassed island along the way.

Sounds fun, right? It is! It's a blast! Thing is, I really dig the song. I hid that fact from the guy who told me about the game because he kept going on about how ridiculous, but perfect the song was for the game. I expected something really ludicrous, but what I heard was a song that was perfect for the game, but it wasn't ridiculous. Even now I play the video in the morning before work because I enjoy the bubbly innocence and happy entreaty made by the artist.

Why are wanting to be with someone always and making believe such silly things? Sure, we all have to go through with our daily lives to survive, but isn't having an imagination and sharing creativity and art and love and fantasy important, too? I think having someone to create with in our lives is mandatory! It's in our very instincts! Sure, not everyone will create art, music, literature, etc. But procreation is exactly that. Everyone wants to be with someone and create something. When many couples get married, or even before, they daydream together of the things to come. Creation, in many, many forms is one of the main plans people make. Homes, children, lives; we must all want at least one of these things and pursue it to feel like a complete human being. I think that is why I feel that this song touches me. It sort of makes me feel akin to the human race, when that is often a difficult thing for me to do. Of course, my make believe is very much like the "damsel/knight/monster/faerie land" in the video. But I think we can all attest to it's truth. Don't you?

P.S.: Here's the game. Beware! It is incredibly addictive!

"Dry, dry, DRY!" and "Bad, bad, BAD!" No more!

"Huh?" You ask.
First, the "dry" bit. Can I just express my frustration at the increased dryness of this winter, thus far? Sure! Winter is the driest time of the year. (Which never made much sense to me, as I always seem to enter my house with half damp/wet trouser cuffs.) We've all experienced that winter skin; ash white, paper thin, cracked, sore, sometimes bleeding from dryness. Granted, I work on a farm. My hands are gloved, yet still exposed to the elements, not to mention water from my usual chores. However, I have never, ever in my life had such dry skin! Maybe I'm just shirking my responsibility to myself and haven't been taking the best of care to stay moist?
Or maybe, just maybe this is one of the driest winters since before 1983? I'm not absolving myself from responsibility, mind you. I'm only wondering if the Ol' North Wind is partially at fault here. Anyone else having trouble keeping their skin from looking like you swapped with Granny?

Now, the "bad" bit. I've been bad to my body. Though we've established the superficial above, I'm speaking of a deeper level; a mechanical, need-certain-things-to-survive level. While I realize that the holidays have always been an accepted excuse for people to let loose and imbibe/consume everything in sight, I have been devouring all that is craved, but none that is required for my body to run properly. That upsets me. I give in to my cravings far too easily, then wind up wondering why I feel sluggish, headachey, fussy and slightly as if I'm about to have a panic attack. That's not a nice feeling. Well, none of it is.
While I'm pouring unnatural sugars, bad fats and heavy carbs down my gullet, I'm happy as a pig in slop. Thing is, if I don't stop, that's what I will be.
I don't want that.
This isn't a resolution post. Not in the "New Year" sense. No. This is a wake up call from my body. She's upset because I haven't eaten vegetables in a few months. A few months! This is coming from a "vegetarian." (What does one call oneself when one doesn't eat meat, fish, fruits or veggies? Hmmm...) Bad Renee, BAD!

So, when I went grocery shopping this morning, I bought Jergens "Ultra Healing" lotion (It was on sale for far less than the Aveeno I had my hands on for an hour.), oatmeal and bananas (No more cereal with milk, and no more milk and sugar in the oatmeal. I've done it before. I can do it again.), asparagus (There must be a yummy recipe in one of my many, unused cookbooks.), portabella mushroom caps, and some new, vegetarian yogurt to try. My freezer still has frozen veg and fruits, and my kitchen shelf is lined with jars of grains. No snacks in my grocery bags! I did buy Organic Cow Half & Half for my tea and instant coffee. Once my coffee is gone, that will be the end of that. I can drink my tea without cream. No problem. Those will be my treats. I also have corn chex and "muddy buddies" fixins for a quick, small treat once Auntie and I have recovered from our sugar shock comas and want a little something that can be controlled. To make lunch at work quick, easy and healthier than running to, of all places!, DunkinDonuts, I've got a box of Clif mini energy bars. One of those and some water with lemon everyday will keep my hunger down, protein and energy up, and help me resist the urge to mow down on the first thing I see when I get home from work.

I'm pumped! My body will thank me in a couple of weeks. You know, once she's resigned not to kill me because of the inescapable cravings (even though giving in would only make me feel ill...) Once the snow and ice have melted down a bit, I may even take walks after work? If not, I've always got my yoga and Tae-Bo dvds!

In other news, I've decided to try to find another car, instead of a new engine for the Crap-alier I've got. I have until the end of January, thanks to my inspection sticker. Barring that, I can get her inspected, get rejected, then have until the end of February to finalize a "new" car. (I'm looking to find a used Volvo that will last me.) Fingers crossed, folks!

Also, my Christmas post with pictures will be posted soon. I still need to take the pictures...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'll Share My Weakness

Maybe, through sharing, it'll make it easier to resist making a mistake.
I have been tempted these past few days to text someone who turned out to not be such a great person to me. At the time, I felt really good about how things were going. Then, it all ended so abruptly. Now, I want to tell him "Happy Belated Birthday and Merry Christmas." But that would be a mistake. I know it would. That's why I'm bringing it out here to you fine people. By making my bad decisions public before committing them, I'm hoping it keeps me strong. No one has to respond to any of this, it more a push for me to resist the silly impulse. So, thanks for letting me share my weakness with you. Thanks for helping me stop myself from making a mistake before it it is done. However, if any of you have any ideas on how to get over someone who I thought I was over and who really shouldn't be on my mind as often as he is for the crappy way he treated me, I'm open to suggestions. *This request is limited to anyone who has been in bad or dramatic relationships before, but has moved on to living fulfilling, meaningful and respectful lives (to themselves and others.) Anyone raised by parents who set horrible relationship examples are also encouraged to respond!

In other news, once I have the battery for my camera, I shall take and post photos of my lovely gifts from my lovely family and friends. Marvelous holiday that was too soon over. More to come, my dearies!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh! Blessed Yule!

The lengthening of days. The slow retreat of night. Apollo reigns high once again! My cell phone camera capabilities pale in comparison to my actual camera. However, as I was finishing up my shift today, the Sun, in his quick descent from our sky left behind the most amazing hues of orange and pink. They blended to a gorgeous color very much like that of sherbet. By the time I reached the bottom of the hill, he and his cloak had sunk below the treeline. Some coworkers and I marveled that such colors are so readily created by Nature.

I wish for you and those you love a happy, safe and blessed Yule! As the Sun rays reach across the sky, may your dreams reach across all barriers that they may come true.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Snow! I wanna wash my hands, my face and hair with snow."

This is another one of my most favorite Winter songs. I've absolutely adored Danny Kaye (and the film White Christmas) since before I can remember. My childhood visual enjoyment consisted of a Laurel and Hardy beta tape with three of their "shorts," old movies on television (when I could find them) and Disney's Robin Hood. White Christmas was one of the films we'd watch every year when I was a tyke. It wasn't until my parents moved my sister and I out here that I've reintated that tradition. (We went at least five years between the old tradition and our move. Maybe because we didn't have cable until the year we moved, so it wasn't really readily available. Then, when my parents saw it at the supermarket for sale, they brought it home! Imagine my excitement and surprise!)

Anyway, grab a cup of your favorite hot chocolate, have a seat by the fire and have a listen!

Brightest Blessings for a Merry Yule! Tomorrow, the days begin to gain more daylight and the nights shorten! I know many who are thrilled at this Solstice. To me, it barely feels as if we've had much "cold time." Maybe it's simply because today was our first snow here on the Cape? Maybe it's because I work outside everyday and I am able to stay warm because my blood is constantly pumping strongly? Who knows? All I can say is that Yule came extremely fast this year.

Anyone else feel the rush?

It's ookyook! And it's cold outside!

Yea! Just as the Almanac promised for today: watch the snow fall in silent splendor. *^_^*

If you're one of the very few states/countries without snow today, watch this!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Justin Beiber: Transcendent Meditations?

"Um...What?" you say?
That's right! Check out this incredible tune. The original (insipid) piece is a Justin Beiber song titled "U Smile." (Because he couldn't be bothered to spell the word "you...") However! Before you scoff at it, you should know that the "video" I have posted is actually Shamantis's version of the tune. Slowed down 800%! By doing this, the song has become this incredibly beautiful, haunting, meditative sound.
This isn't the entire 35 minutes, but the first 10. Check it out! Honestly, I really don't believe that you could be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yuletide Joy!

This year, no one is very wealthy or financially better than they were last year. At least, that is how it is with me and those near and dear to mine heart. Auntie expressed a bit of sorrow over the inevitable lack of gifts below the tree come this Christmas morn. It was important, I thought, to remind her that it is not the gifts, but the love of those in our lives that makes Christmas, well, Christmas. (I am, of course, calling it Christmas because that is what we were raised celebrating. We never went to church for Christmas unless we spent the night over at my maternal grandparents' house. This was rare. Auntie is the only one of all of us that went to mass every Christmas with her parents, because her parents are my maternal grandparents.)
So! Onward...To make opening fewer gifts this year last longer and help drive my point home to Auntie and Uncle, I have decided to try something new in my wrapping. Instead of wrapping the boxes pattern side out, I flipped the paper so they are all blank. On the outside, I will write quotes about Christmas and the season that I find poignant, entertaining and full of love. One by one, as we open our gifts, we'll share various thoughts from many different people. We'll be able to think on them and bring the spirit of Christmas back to our hearts.
I thought it would be sweet, anyway. Auntie agrees and said that she may even do it, too. We are an intellectual family, after all. *^_^*

Tomorrow night is our Christmas Cocktail party! We gals will be dressed in pretty, frilly dresses, while the fellas are required to wear attire appropriate for a 50's cocktail party. (No jeans, tees, sneaks. Dress slacks, ties and nice shirts will be donned.) Also, a bit of a flurry or some heavier snow is on the weather agenda. A dusting will certainly make the party even more festive!

Christmas Eve will be hosted the youngest of my two older sisters, this year. Her chosen theme is "Christmas Morning Pajama Party!" We'll be playing Twister, Kinect games on her boyf's 360, card games, board games, etc. The feast will consist of breakfast foods. Attire is, of course, pajamas! (So comfy!) And this year, the gift swap is secret santa, as opposed to a yankee swap as usual.

The farm is selling out of trees and wreathes quickly. Two more weeks for everyone to get one! Auntie and I have been watching Christmas specials practically every other day. We watched Prancer last week! Love that one! After Christmas, she, Uncle and I will have a day to watch Snow Queen (the Hallmark version because it's just so terrible!) Christmas Day is sort of up in the air. If Auntie and I don't go to a late night mass at the local Episcopal Church (she's been wanting to go for the community aspect and I'm just curious), we're going to attempt a go on Christmas morning. If that's the case, gifts will have to wait. If there is snow, we will go sledding. If we want to leave the house, we will visit Uncle's mother and sister in the next town over. We can go sledding there! There is a fella who's caught my eye. Maybe he'll be able to visit on Christmas day?

I also have an event to attend on Yule. It is a remembrance ceremony and final send off for a relative of Anam Cara. Her aunt suffered through and lost her battle against cancer. Anam Cara's sanctuary, My Secret Garden, held reiki and counseling sessions for those fighting or living with cancer. The sanctuary is dedicated to her aunt, Dori. There will be a bonfire and ceremony as a send off to her while still honoring the sacred solstice. I don't know about you, but I welcome the short days and long nights. As an early riser, I enjoy being up before the the Sun and driving home as he sets. On bright Moon nights, in the crisp, frozen air, I adore walking in the light of the Lady from my car to my front door. I feel as if I am welcoming her in to visit a while before bed. Then, when I lay me down, she peeks in through my windows and tucks me in.

Well! I'd better go so I can iron my dress for the party tomorrow. I also need to pluck my eyebrows, moisturize my hands and choose which shoes go best with my outfit. So much to do! I've already made my addition to tomorrow's finger food menu; mini quiches. So easy! A little bland, though. Go figure! Ha!

What is everyone planning for the Solstice?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Woodland's "Seasons in Elfland:Shadows"

It is nearly noon, but the light outside is frozen in a timeless gray. The clouds keep the sky above painted a dull silver, and the wind helps the trees to gently wave at me through the windows. Since seven this morning, the faeries have been begging me to join them in the late Fall beauty of the drizzly day. They beckon still, and it will not be long before I finally comply. It has been many years since I've willingly walked in the rain. Too long.
However, before I disappear into the woods among my fae friends for a bit, I wanted to share with you my deep appreciation and love of the musical works of Woodland. Certainly, I've mentioned this incredibly talented group before. If not, I have been amiss! Originally introduced to me by what can only be described as one of my true form, faerie friends, T., I fell in love with their ethereal sound immediately. The pixie-sweet vocals are accompanied by a myriad of skillfully played instruments. If you are, at your very core, a fiercely spiritual, natural being, feeling lost in the world we, as humans have built up around us, shutting us away from the primal nature from which we emerged eons ago, Woodland's music will reach deep down into this dark well of "humanity" and bring us back to our long-lost senses. Like a shimmering fish returning to a fresh water pond from a muddy creek, the otherworldly notes of music from Woodland brings us back from the brink of soul-death and sets us before our pure, crystal clear self we had thought long gone.
Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez's lyrics are not trite, nor do they urge us to think, believe or feel anything that is not already within us as curious, loving, pained, joyful, incomplete, greedy beings of energy, light and shadow. In fact, for me, I find myself embracing my greedy self when the music has ended; I want more. Twilight, their freshman album was loaned to me years ago by the aforementioned faerie friend, T. We would often briefly discuss music and other spiritual thoughts over coffee (his purchasing, and my crafting it.) I loaned him my copy of Delerium's Poem (another entrancing addition to the ethereal music pool.) He loaned me Twilight, and I promptly bought myself a copy. (Realizing that compact disks are not recyclable, nor are they environmentally friendly to create, I will buy the actual albums of artists that I believe deserve the credit, recognition and money for sharing the fruits of their labors.) Did I mention that their music is inspired by the ever-enchanting works by the landmark fae artists Brian and Wendy Froud? If you are a fan of the films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, then the incredible, dreamy work of the Family Froud has not gone unnoticed by your discerning eye. Just one more reason to purchase Woodland's albums! In addition, to help take some strain from Mother Nature, the production of Woodland's albums involves: 100% Green Forestry Practices Board, all vegetable inks and 100% recycled trays.
To go back a few years, to 2007, T., my friend C. and I journeyed out to Philly for the first annual FaerieCon (the East coast version of FaerieWorlds in Oregon.) T. had mentioned his relationship with Emilio Miller-Lopez of Woodland(they had been friends for many years!) So, lucky me, I met the band and (excitement!) had my Twilight album signed by each member! Their spirit that shines so brightly in their music is the light of their very souls; they are not insincere in their lives or music.
Recently, T. was so dear and thoughtful in his gift of Woodland's sophomore and latest album, Seasons in Elfland:Shadows! As I enjoyed Twilight, Seasons... is no exception to my high esteem for their showcased talent. This album does just as the title suggests; it takes us through the seasons of the year; or perhaps the spirit? Yet, the tunes concentrate, again as suggested, in the shadows. For without shadow, there can be no light. Embracing the darker side of each aspect of the turning wheel, Shadows... makes the lighter sides and notes all the more sweet, yet helps show the seldom seen vulnerable side of the dark. We all fear what we hear but cannot see, feel but cannot touch. Woodland has given the unknown and misunderstood a softer side. We all crave and need contact and love. Darkness is not exempt from this instinct. A mother bear loves and cares for her young; yet it is common knowledge that she will kill to feed and protect them. The "darker side" of life is often shunned, ignored or stored away. Woodland brings the shadows back out of the closet to embrace all of our heart, not just the happy, shiny light.
Woodland's Seasons in Elfland:Shadows has quickly become my go-to album for musical inspiration when I sketch. Fall and Winter, I think, are the seasons best suited to the album, while Twilight is a soundtrack for the Spring and Summer months. I cannot easily choose a favorite song, but will take this moment to express my joy in their musical backing to part of track 12, Winds of Ostara. Though the full song is beautiful, the chorus brings me back to happy moments in my childhood when Auntie would sing with us. She taught us the round Rose, Rose, and we spent many joyful, sunny afternoons repeating the same verse without boredom. Rose, Rose fits perfectly into the chorus bit of Winds of Ostara. Though they are not the lyrics Emilio has written for the song, I still chime in my part.
(The lyric variation Auntie taught us was the following:
Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose
Shall I ever see thee wed?
I will marry at thy will
Sire, at thy will.)
Now, off to answer the faeries' calls!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another Craft Fair...For A Good Cause!

In a few minutes, I'll be heading out to my second craft fair. Though I didn't sell much at the first one, there was much more enthusiasm and a better reception to my work than I had expected. This time, I also have more stock. I've got tee shirts and a couple of bags with my artwork emblazoned on the fronts; as opposed to a couple of samples with only prints for sale. The prints are still up for grabs, but they've been placed inside protective sleeves. In addition, I have a few onesies for sale. Wish me luck!

If you're in the area (Coonamessett Farm, East Falmouth, MA), stop by and check me out, as well as all of the other great artists and vendors. While you're there, be sure to check out the fantastic raffle items (donated by all of the artists and parents of the Montessori School students) and amazing auction items (which includes a "barefoot cruise!") Proceeds of the auction and raffles go to the Cape Cod Montessori School in East Falmouth.

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