Friday, May 30, 2014

Books - Talk Nerdy to Me, Hey Hey Hey

Oh Robin Thicke.  I feel like you, too, are trapped by the male expectation to be a dirty hound-dog whilst keeping a good figure and being involved with copious hot babes.  Sometimes I think you just want to drink extra beers on the couch and fart loudly whenever Paula Patton isn’t around.

Blurred Lines reference aside, I have finally found something blog-worthy this week.  The last few weeks in May I went to a college graduation/mother’s day weekend and drank, then went to a wedding as my bestie’s plus one and drank, then went out for a friend’s birthday party last weekend and drank some more.  But you can’t blog about how much you drink, I mean you could but that’s oversharing.

In between these events, I have been reading like a beast.  Like, a nerdy beast.  Nerdy, because well….now nerdy is a good thing and reading books back to back to back is still within the realm of old-school nerdism.  It’s the best when you have a brand new library card and your library stocks a pretty good selection.

What have I been reading?  Well a combination of science fiction, short stories, blogger books, home décor, etc.  A real grab bag.

I didn’t finish this book until the bitter end, mainly because one third of it follows around characters that ultimately don’t matter to the core characters.  These are peripheral characters that only have minor influences on the main story.  Also a majority of the female characters are horribly clichéd.  They exist as love interests or eventual hostages, even the one who was a doctor. 

I did finish The Shining Girls.  It has an interesting premise but seemed horrifically brutal toward women.  The motivation of the killer was ill-defined and ultimately unsatisfying.  Also the time travel elements, while fantastical were neither well-defined or innotive.

Okay, I loved this book.  Jenny Lawson grasps what makes our childhoods seem awkward actually can give us strength as adults.  Never judge on face value and treasure what makes you different.

This comes quite close to Tina Fey’s Bossypants record for making me laugh out so many times.  Why I had never thought to pick up a David Sedaris book until recently, I’ll never know.  I suspect perhaps because his books are always soooooo popular, I thought somehow they wouldn’t appeal to my off-brand sense of humor.  Then I realized my sense of humor is pretty broad and all-encompassing actually.

I read this alongside with Me Talk Pretty One Day and was amused by the similarities both authors share living in New York City.  Working under crazy woman and the logistical nightmare that is moving in NYC. 

This is the third book in the Takeshi Kovacs novel series, starting with Altered Carbon, which I highly recommend.  The author has a habit of introducing peripheral characters at length that ultimately slow down the pacing but I do enjoy his sci-fi world building skills.

From the same author as Soon I Will Be Invincible, this book follows the rise and fall of a fictional video game company.  The protagonist is ultimately not as fleshed out as the other characters and so makes for an unsatisfying hero but I did like the author’s insights into the video game industry, especially the parts in which the programmers have to expect and anticipate players that actively try to break the rules or system of the game, just because they can.

Short stories aren’t really my thing but I have started to enjoy writing some of my own.  I wanted to see what a master of the short story writes about and was pleasantly surprised.  I didn't like every single story but the majority provided insight on some interesting characters. 

I’m pretty much obsessed with the Novogratz style. I like that both Robert and Cortney originally came from the South and really balance each other.  Robert usually goes for weird funky lighting and art pieces while Cortney focuses on the nuts and bolts, like storage and comfortable furniture.  In this book they work with a variety of budgets, so you can find tips for copying their style no matter what your budget is.

So what are ya’ll reading these days?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to have the Best Memorial Day Cookout Evah!

Greetings!  I did not realize that Memorial Day was fast approaching us, here in the US.  (Yes, I'm gonna pretend my humble blog attracts readers from all over the globe)  I know people usually are saddened to learn that Americans do not typically celebrate the first of May, or May Day, as is celebrated in many other countries.  I guess Memorial Day is the closest thing we have, since it still technically occurs in May and honors all the the men and women who died in the US Armed Forces, serving the country.

As I have tweeted before, most American holidays that do not include the exchange of presents or candy usually is celebrated by day drinking.  I don't know why, though sometimes the only thing that gets me through Thanksgiving with the relatives is glass of white wine shortly after breakfast.

I'm kidding Mama!

For Memorial Day everyone loves a good cookout, myself included.  So I've been spending time on Pinterest collecting ideas on how to through the best Memorial Day cookout, ever, in my humble little backyard.

First up?  Dranks!!  (Thas' was'up!)


I like the idea of providing mixed drinks and beer.  A non-alcoholic version of this watermelon punch sounds fruity and delicious for the kiddos and responsible adults.

Watermelon Punch Recipe

Pre-mixing cocktails and storing them in mason jar on ice would be a good way for guests to simply grab and enjoy, no necessary trips indoors.


Of course there is always beer at my cookout but I always wonder if there's a better way to display them, rather than sticking them in a cheap Styrofoam cooler.  I mean a kiddie pool isn't exactly high-class either but it puts all the delicious beer on display, whereas with the coolers the beers always seem hidden from view.




For food there is the classic standby of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.  I want to take it a step further and make bacon wrapped hot dogs this year because you know it really isn't a true celebration unless bacon is involved.  (Apologies to my vegan and/or international friends).  You don't even need a grill, just make them in the oven.

Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Hotdogs Recipe
For sides, I love this version of the potato salad my mom usually makes.  It foregoes mayo and uses Italian dressing or oil/vinegar.  No mayo recipes are golden when your party takes place outdoors.

I'd also include a little bit of Mexican heritage and add an elotes bar.  Boiled or roasted corn topped with a little butter, cheese and/or mayo?  What's not to love?  

Elotes Bar Recipe
Save me some of that corn!


I really wouldn't try to decorate my backyard in anticipation of a cookout, except to put up as many hammocks as I could.  Pretty much everyone goes for an outdoor hammock, no matter the event.

DIY Hammock Instructions

How cool is this group hammock made from a trampoline?  Probably best for the kiddos, huh?  I can imagine my twin kid sisters hopping on, making room for me, and then me breaking the damn thing still looks fun!



You have to have ice cream.  It's summer, it's warm, it's just what has to be done.  I'm truly sorry if you are lactose intolerant, there are some pretty yummy fruit pops around though.  I would totally build this little ice cream front from some spare cardboard and have the kids run the shop.  Not that I have kids.  I'm unmarried but you know, the neighborhood kids. 


Adults can come up while the kids make their sundae order or  hand them a store-bought popsicle. My 8 year old self would have been alllll over this!  I used to help scoop ice cream at day care for the younger kids afternoon snack.  I could make the perfect lil' scoop.  I'd be like, "I got this Teach!". Ahhh memories, for Memorial Day.

What ridiculously awesome plans do you have going on?  Seriously, even sleeping in and eating instant ramen sounds appealing to me.  NO WORK, WOOHOO!

Monday, May 12, 2014

(W)Reef Update #4 - Etsy is the Besty

Welcome back from the Mother's Day Weekend!

I had two wreath orders for shop last week, customized for the recipients and shipped out successfully.

Ya like?

I also made one of my first big purchases this week from Etsy as well, from SongForWolves. It's this amazing artist Lorena out of Mexico, that hand sews plush dolls and other whimsical creations.  It's like the cartoon Adventure Time put into plush form.

This lil' fella arrived on my doorstep, Saturday, while I was out day-drinking with my mom's side of the family for my cousin's graduation.

Later Saturday night my mom made a super yummy potato salad, fruit salad, and cucumber salad along with brisket sandwiches for the graduation after-party at my parents house, where the day drinking turned into night drinking.

Also popular were my pair of music festival going sunglasses, which I had mistaken for my regular sunglasses, (I know, how did that happen, right?) and wore during church and Mother's Day Brunch.  My mom was amused but not surprised. ; )

How about you guys?  How did the weekend go?  Any cool projects?

Let me know,

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nerd Rant #4 - Forget Amazing, we need a Spectacular Spider-Man

Hang on Electro, my nerd rant, first!

Have you guys rushed out to see the new Amazing Spider-Man sequel?  If not, no big.  I didn’t even see the Amazing Spider-Man reboot in the first place and I still consider myself a fan of the Spider-Man franchise.

Spider-Man 2 is second only to The Dark Knight in my book. Currently the Avengers and first Iron Man movie are tied, followed by X-Men 2, Blade 2, and the first Hellboy.

I’m not really rushing out to see Amazing Spider-Man 2, after reading these headlines;
Amazing Spider-Man 2 Is A Decent Movie Smothered by Layers of Crap – by Charlie Jane Anders of and Tangled Web – by Daniel Krupa of

I admit that I don’t read the Spiderman comics and never have, but even I have a passing familiarity with the Spider-man supporting cast and the wide gallery of animal themed rogues that rival DC’s Batman or the Flash.

With the opening of the current sequel in theatres, Target had the remaining DVD volumes available of the best adaptation of Spider-Man in my, albeit, limited in scope, opinion, The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series that premiered from 2008-2009.  In 2008, I was 26 years old and had moved back in with parents.  I fucking recorded each episode of this amazingly well-written cartoon and enjoyed the hell out of it.  FINALLY someone who could balance multiple villains, multiple love interests, AND still focus on drama of the high school experience that Peter went through every day as a teenager.  Baby, this was master class in classic heroic story arcs and no did better.  Not even Batman, the Animated Series. (Because the BTAS had an episodic story structure rather than a serial, sustained season-long story arc like Spectacular).

Visually, the series animation took some getting used to...that chin GG!

So yeah, on that point, I loves me some Spider-Man. 

I didn’t initially want to see the rebooted Spider-Man because I actually did not fall in love with 500 Days of Summer.  I fell in love with JGL, because I mean, who wouldn’t?  But I thought that movie was a lil’ too twee for my liking and I did not approve of the same director helming the Spider-Man reboot.  I still don’t.

He's basically the male version of the "Manic Pixie Girl" stereotype, so slight and vulnerable.

He's the male Natalie Portman is what I'm saying.

I loved the first two Spider-Man movies.  I liked the portrayal of teenage Peter Parker and though Kristen Dunst made the best possible Mary Jane ever.
Now we have Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy which I wasn’t super-excited about but I get it.  She’s Spider-Man’s first love and is featured prominently in the animated series I’m so dorky about.

But now I’m done with the teenage years.  I want Spidey to move on, specifically past college and onto a young adult in his 20’s.  I know Spider-Man is best known as a teenage character but that’s been done and done well.  Now I want an adult Spider-Man.  One that goes toe to toe with J Jonah Jameson at the newspaper, or………….at least has a full time job.  A Spider-Man that can hook up with Black Cat and not be having the teenage girlfriend drama ALL THE TIME.  He doesn’t have to be Bruce Wayne, he doesn’t have to be super wealthy or a playboy, I’m just ready to see him reach adulthood.  You know?  Something different, something fresh.

Something “Spectacular” maybe?

This is Black Cat.  I was too afraid to do a Google Image Search at work...that's how seksi her costume is

PS – Yes Sony Studios, I would be happy to write or direct the next Spidey movie for you.  You know how to find me. 

This...this is how you find me...with that know the Spider-man light.?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Music is My Boyfriend

Man, this past weekend we had beautiful weather in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex.  As such, I was at the Suburbia Music Festival both Saturday and Sunday.

The newly minted Suburbia Fest, is a two day outdoor music festival located 20 minutes north of Dallas, in Plano, TX.  The suburbs, hence the name.  This was the first year for the brandy new fest and brought local and national acts, like Alabama Shakes and David Guetta.

Surfer Blood

I grew up next door in Allen, TX.  The suburbs make up the majority of the DFW area.  Yeah there are some hardcore Dallas and Fort Worth city residents that make snide comments about the ‘burbs like any city, anywhere in the US but I’m living proof that the ‘burbs turn out some pretty awesome, pretty chill, pretty interesting people as well.  People move to the suburbs to raise children in bigger homes and better schools, and that’s not something to be snide about.

See? Just as many hipster tattoos in the 'burbs. Only more Christian-themed and less exotic.

Plano still kind of has that reputation for being the land of soccer moms, like most suburbs do.  So it was really frickin’ tight to see Plano step up and welcome a festival with open arms that featured rappers like J. Cole and Yelawolf, to drop copious f-bombs in a beautiful park on warm spring day.  The City of Plano didn’t sanitize or censor any of the acts, for the sake of appeasing to its residents.  Because you know what?  People from the suburbs go to music fests allllll the time!  We are the ones loading up the SUVs to travel to Austin twice a year to see the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October and Fun Fun Fun Fest in November.  So it was nice to have something of our own.  Well done, Plano.


My favorite acts were actually the folk music acts, Midlake, The Wild Feathers, Shakey Graves.  I pumped my fist to the electronic acts like Big Gigantic, GTA and David Guetta.  Rock the Jewels and Yelawolf got the crowds dancing.  I liked the fact that Killer Mike gave a shout out to a chubby little pre-teen boy in a pink polo in the front row.  I had seen him earlier, trailing behind his teenage sister and her boyfriend.  Her hair was glossy and straight, her body effortlessly thin and donning the perfect cut-off shorts.  Meanwhile her brother was struggling to keep up, a little pudgy and out of breath.  His sister oblivious, obviously trying to keep the distance between them.  I gently smiled and shook my head, “poor kid”. 


Goddamn it Shakey Graves, you're just....too cool for school, man...I can't even.....

Run the Jewels - Killer Mike and El-P

This kid never cared though.  He made it to the front row of the Run the Jewels show and rocked his little heart out, getting recognition from the man himself, Killer Mike.  This is what I like about the suburbs, it can be kinder and gentler than the big cities but we still wanna rock our little hearts out!  

Yeah, it's blurry as hell but it's David Guetta

He then exploded.....................just kidding

So what did you do over the weekend?  Any big concert plans once the weather warms up by you?