Posted by: Anonymous Me | July 28, 2013

In Loving Memory…

I know I’ve been away for a really long time. When I wrote the last post, back in January, I had every intention of posting more frequently. I have lots of pictures from various travels that I hoped (and still hope) to share. However, the day after I wrote that post I found out that my dear friend, Ùna, was killed in an avalanche. (Articles about what happened can be found here, here, and here.)

Ùna was a medical resident, and one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met. She was, in every way, set to light the world on fire. She was only 25. Ùna and I were not close friends, but I very much hoped we would be. We had planned to meet up for coffee along with a couple of other friends what turned out to be a few days after she died. I did not want to go as it was on a Tuesday evening, and it seemed a bit of inconvenience to me. I was going to say I couldn’t come because I thought, ‘It’s ok if I don’t go. There will be lots of other times we can get together.’ It turns out, there’s not.

I know there’s no way any of us could have known what would happen. That is true for most things that happen in life. Even still, my presumption seems foolish now, and my fussy selfishness shames me. One thing I’ve resolved to do more of is choose people. If a person matters to you, don’t miss an opportunity to strengthen your connection. We all take time for granted, it’s so easy. But tomorrow is guaranteed for no one, neither for the down and out nor the best and brightest.

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A few of my friends ran a half-marathon in Ùna’s honor to raise money for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team who did their best to save Ùna and her friends. The donation page is still active. Please make a donation here to help them meet their fundraising goal. (They accept American dollars as well as British pounds.)

I really miss Ùna and so wish she was here. I still can’t believe that she’s not. It seems, sometimes, that it’s just like she’s really busy, and we’re really busy, and we just can’t seem to catch each other. I get that sense all the time. The following quote articulates, better than I ever could, what I mean:

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains as it was. The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no sorrow in your tone. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
~ Henry Scott Holland

How I so look forward to the laughter we will share when we meet again.

Mournfully,

Me

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 19, 2013

Some 2012 Lists…

I can’t believe it is already past the middle of January! How time does fly!

As promised, though a bit late, here is the list of books I read in 2012 as well as couple of other lists for the year:

Movies Watched in 2012, in order of viewing:

Drive
One Day
Moneyball
What’s Your Number?
Thor
Conan the Barbarian
Tree of Life
Kung Fu Panda
Star Trek: First Contact
The Woman in Black
Brick
Chalet Girl
The Three Musketeers
Immortals
Footloose (2011)
Great Expectations (BBC)
Buck
50/50
Hugo
Contagion
Anonymous
Magic Mike
Watchmen
Ghost Rider
The Decoy Bride
Like Crazy
A Dangerous Method
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Vow
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Street Dance 2
The Raven
The Expendables
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
The Lucky One
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
Dreams of a Life (doc)
Moonstruck
Wrath of the Titans
Ted
Dark Shadows
Scrooged
A Christmas Carol
21 Jump Street

New recipes cooked in 2012 (not a comprehensive list as I slipped off the data entry wagon for a while):

chicken and gnocchi soup
Greek salad
beef enchiladas
Gouda salad
tomato and black bean soup
spring vegetable risotto
tortilla roll-ups
egg and sausage casserole
chicken thighs marinated in buttermilk
lasagna soup
banana bread with chocolate chips
chicken enchiladas
Greek chicken salad
cherry crumble
fried tomatos
gravy
biscuits
cornbread muffins
pasta primavera
pasta sauce
blueberry muffins
falafel with avocado wraos
chocolate pots de crème
3 bean chili
apple bread
bean and kale soup
panzanella with goat cheese
couscous with tomatoes and goat cheese
root vegetable tagine with rice
turkey with sage dressing and gravy
pumpkin pie cake
breakfast pot pie casserole
roast chicken with carrots and potatoes
German Chocolate Cake Bars

And lastly, books read in 2012, in order of reading:

His Excellency George Washington ~ Joseph Ellis ~ Non-Fiction-Biography
Lady of the Rivers ~ Philippa Gregory ~ Fiction-Historical
The White Queen ~ Philippa Gregory ~ Fiction-Historical
Sundays at Tiffany’s ~ James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet ~ Fiction
Emily Goes To Exeter ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
Belinda Goes To Bath ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
Penelope Goes To Portsmouth ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
Beatrice Goes To Brighton ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
Deborah Goes To Dover ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
Yvonne Goes To York ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
The Gift ~ Cecilia Ahern ~ Fiction
Street Game ~ Christine Feehan ~ Fiction-Romance
The Civil Contract ~ Georgette Heyer ~ Fiction-Romance
Silence ~ Becca Fitzpatrick ~ Fiction-Youth
SOULution: The Holistic Manifesto ~ William Bloom ~ Non-Fiction
How To Uncover Your Past Lives ~ Ted Andrews ~ Non-Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Snobbery with Violence ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction-Historical
The Night Strangers ~ Chris Bohjalian ~ Fiction
Will Storr vs The Supernatural ~ Will Storr ~ Non-Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
A Kiss of Shadows ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Island Beneath The Sea ~ Isabel Allende ~ Fiction
Clockwork Angel ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
A Caress of Twilight ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
The Rules of Work ~ Richard Templar ~ Non-Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
The Skeleton in the Closet ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
King Arthur: Dragon’s Child ~ M. K. Hume ~ Fiction-Historical
The Brutal Art ~ Jesse Kellerman ~ Fiction
Seduced by Moonlight ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
A Stroke of Midnight ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Clockwork Prince ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
King Arthur: Warrior of the West ~ M. K. Hume ~ Fiction-Historical
Prophecy: Clash of Kings ~ M. K. Hume ~ Fiction-Historical
City of Bones ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
City of Ashes ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
City of Glass ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
King Arthur: The Bloody Cup ~ M. K. Hume ~ Fiction-Historical
A Lick of Frost ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Swallowing Darkness ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
City of Fallen Angels ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
The Five People You Meet In Heaven ~ Mitch Albom ~ Fiction
White Cat ~ Holly Black ~ Fiction-Youth
Divine Misdemeanors ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Agatha Raisin and the Curious Curate ~ M.C. Beaton ~ Fiction
Mistral’s Kiss ~ Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Fiction-Fantasy
Hue & Cry ~ Shirley McKay ~ Fiction-Historical
The Red Queen ~ Philippa Gregory ~ Fiction-Historical
Prayer Energy ~ Richard Lawrence ~ Non-Fiction
The 7 Paths To God ~ Joan Borysenko ~ Non-Fiction
Fate & Fortune ~ Shirley McKay ~ Fiction-Historical
Me Before You ~ JoJo Moyes ~ Fiction
The Book of Unholy Mischief ~ Elle Newmark ~ Fiction-Historical
My Experimental Life ~ A.J. Jacobs ~ Non-Fiction
Time & Tide ~ Shirley McKay ~ Fiction-Historical
Loose Girl ~ Kerry Cohen ~ Non-Fiction
Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength ~ Roy Baumiester and John Tierney ~ Non-Fiction
A Theory of Everything ~ Ken Wilber ~ Non-Fiction
Spirit Bound ~ Christine Feehan ~ Fiction-Romance
Assassin ~ Patricia Finney ~ Fiction-Youth
City of Lost Souls ~ Cassandra Clare ~ Fiction-Youth
The Happiness Project ~ Gretchen Rubin ~ Non-Fiction
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
The Sword in the Stone ~ T.H. White ~ Fiction-Youth
The Power of Habit ~ Charles Duhigg ~ Non-Fiction
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
Think Like Da Vinci ~ Michael J. Gelb ~ Non-Fiction
In Search of the Knights Templar ~ Simon Brighton ~ Non-Fiction
A World Lit Only By Fire ~ William Manchester ~ Non-Fiction
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
The Da Vinci Code ~ Dan Brown ~ Fiction-Crime
All Kinds of Magic ~ Piers Moore Ede ~ Non-Fiction
The Tales of Beedle the Bard ~ J.K. Rowling ~ Fiction-Youth
Meditation for Beginners ~ Jack Kornfield ~ Non-Fiction
A Discovery of Witches ~ Deborah Harkness ~ Fiction
The Winter Sea ~ Susanna Kearsley ~ Fiction-Historical
Shadow of Night ~ Deborah Harkness ~ Fiction-Historical
Borrower of the Night ~ Elizabeth Peters ~ Fiction-Crime
My Lady Judge ~ Cora Harrison ~ Fiction-Historical
A Conspiracy of Violence ~ Susanna Gregory ~ Fiction-Historical
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey ~ Paula Brackston ~ Fiction
A Morbid Taste for Bones ~ Ellis Peters ~Fiction-Historical
The Lost Book of Salem (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane) ~ Katherine Howe ~ Fiction
Street of the Five Moons ~ Elizabeth Peters ~ Fiction-Crime
Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn ~ Fiction
The Alehouse Murders ~ Maureen Ash ~ Fiction-Historical
Monk’s Hood ~ Ellis Peters ~ Fiction-Historical
The Novice’s Tale ~ Margaret Frazer ~ Fiction-Historical
A Plague on Both Your Houses ~ Susanna Gregory ~ Fiction-Historical
What Is Myrrh Anyway? ~ Jonathan Green ~ Non-Fiction
The Leper of Saint Giles ~ Ellis Peters ~ Fiction-Historical

I am posting these mainly for my own love of documentation, but if you have any questions about any of the items listed please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. :)

Thoroughly,

Me

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013, everyone!

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve!

And because it’s New Year’s Day and because I am from the South, ’tis the season for black-eyed peas and something green! I need all the good luck and money I can get, so here’s what I ate today:

Hoppin’ John with Mustard Greens
Serves 6
from Cooking Light – December 2008

Ingredients:

2 c water
2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 c chopped onion
1 c uncooked long-grain white rice
3/4 cup finely chopped ham
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 c cooked black-eyed peas
4 c chopped, trimmed mustard greens

Directions

1 – Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.
2 – Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan and saute for 6 minutes.
Add rice, ham, and garlic; saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in water mixture and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add black-eyes peas and greens. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
Stir rice mixture. Cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until greens and rice are tender.

My modifications:
I didn’t have any thyme, so I used lots of ground coriander instead.
I heated up some salted butter over medium heat, and ‘toasted’ the rice for 3 minutes before I added it to the rest of the ingredients to give it a ‘nuttier’ flavor. (Per the instructions on cooking white rice found in America’s Test Kitchen’s New Best Recipe cookbook.)
I used chopped bacon instead of ham. (It comes pre-chopped in packages of nice sizable chunks in the grocery stores here.)
I couldn’t find mustard greens in the store, so I used spring greens instead, and I am pretty sure I ended up with something more like 2 cups of chopped greens instead of 4.
I only used 1 medium onion which is probably about 1 cup of chopped onion. 3 1/2 cups is a crazy amount of onion! Lands! To be faithful to the recipe, I probably would’ve added more, but I so didn’t feel like chopping 2 more onions! They make my eyes water and sting! Less can be more, people!

I have never made this before. I wasn’t expecting it to turn out badly or anything, but I wasn’t expecting to be so dang good either! It is all kinds of tasty!

Please see below for proof of nomminess:

Hoppin' John - New Year's Day

Happy Eating!

Resolutely,

Me :D

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 1, 2013

Another Year, Another Year-End Review…

Peeps!

Hello! Long time, no post! I have been away from the blog for some time. I couldn’t quite escape the feeling of exceeding vanity in assuming my random thoughts were adding any value to the world or that anyone would be or should be interested in the flotsam drifting around in my head. (One of the many reasons I am not on Facebook.) That being said, I do know that the 3 or 4 people who actually regularly read my posts are indeed interested in my goofy musings. So, for the sake of those people, mainly my aunt, I will try to resume posting here. I make no promises to post with anything close to the regularity with which I posted last year, though I will try to post more frequently than I have. So, look for my next post to happen in less than six months. :) (Just a heads up, I will probably post tomorrow as I have a New Year’s recipe to share, but don’t get your hopes up beyond that! :) )

Anyhoo…Now on to the important stuff! Seeing as it’s 34 minutes to midnight, I’d better get on it! Without further ado, my 2012 in review:

Part 1

1. Was 2012 a good year for you? Why? 
Yes, I would say 2012 was indeed a good year. It was a vast improvement on 2011 to say the least. Why was it a good year? Read on, intrepid blog-viewer!

2. What was your favorite moment of the year?
Hmm…I don’t really now. The first 10 months of the year seem shrouded in the mists of time…So, I would have to say, for the last 2 months anyway, going horseback riding for my birthday was my favorite moment. (Shout out to Dottie the Horse!)

3. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Nothing really horrible happened, thank the Baby Jesus! So I guess, I would have to say my least favorite moment came when I realized that the box of birthday goodies sent from my mom that was accidentally delivered to the wrong address was going to be kept by the people at said address. (Shady bastards!)

4. Where were you when 2012 began?
I was hanging out with my niece and nephews at my brother’s house! Huzzah!

5. Who were you with? 
See above.

6. Where will you be when 2012 ends?
I am at the apt with Handsomes and Sweet Girl sitting on the couch in my jams. I live the life of a rock star, no doubt!  :D

7. Who will you be with when 2012 ends? 
See above.

8. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions of 2012?
Actually, for once I did. :)

9. Do you have (a) New Year’s Resolution(s) for 2013?
Keep all debit/credit cards at home and not in my wallet. Keep consumption of cokes to an average of 1 time per week. Still no Facebook. To borrow from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, ‘Act how I want to feel.’

10. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Nopes. Though I will say Handsomes becomes more handsome to me every day. ;)

11. If yes, with who?
N/A

12. If yes, do they know?
N/A

13. Are you still in love with them?
N/A

14. You regret it?
N/A

15. Did you break up with anyone in 2012?
Nopes

16. Did you make any new friends in 2012?
Yeps! Mainly peeps at work, though I don’t know if I would say they’re true friends. Definitely good acquaintances. :)

17. Who are your favorite new friends?
See above.

18. What was your favorite month of 2012?
December, always! Also, May was good because I finally obtained gainful employment. And September was great because I went from working in Crazytown to working at a normal workplace.

19. Did you travel outside of your country of residence in 2012? 
I did. I have taken a couple of day trips down to England. Woot!

20. How many different states / provinces did you travel to in 2012? 
Well, I haven’t kept track of the different British counties I’ve been to, but I travelled to England and quite few places in Scotland.

21. Did you lose anybody close to you in 2012?
No, again with thanks to the Baby Jesus! However, it was our first ‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ without Andy! RIP!!!

22. Did you miss anybody in the past year?
Yeps. Missed my dad. Missed hanging out with my fam and friends back home. Missed my cat, Max Brown, RIP. 

23. What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2012?
‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap’ is pretty great. Also, and I acknowledge how cliche this is, but ‘Magic Mike’ was the best man-fest I’ve seen since ’300′! Huzzah to the infinity power! :D

24. What was your favorite song from 2012?
The song I jammed out to the most had to be ‘The Longest Time’ by Billy Joel! Such a good song! Also, ‘I Can’t Wait’ by Nu Shooz and ‘Rolling Stone T-Shirt’ by Dada Life. Jams to the nth degree!

25. What was your favorite record from 2012?
Don’t really have a fave album – although Coope Boyes & Simpson’s Christmas album, ‘Voices at the Door’ is pretty fantastic!

26. How many concerts did you see in 2012?
0

27. Did you have a favorite concert in 2012?
N/A

28. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2012?
For the 12 months, I probably had about 20 beverages.

29. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2012?
Nopes.

30. How many people did you sleep with in 2012?
Hey! This is a family show, so I have to say that’s none of your dang beeswax!

31. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
YES. I didn’t handle myself as gracefully or as equably/equanimously as I should have during my time working in Crazytown. But to clarify, I am not ashamed of that, but I do regret it and know I could have dealt with things in a reactive way.

32. What was the worst lie someone told you in 2012?
‘I can’t name 3 things I like.’

33. Did you treat somebody badly in 2012?
Yes. As always, I am harshest on myself. Also, see answer to 31 above,

34. Did somebody treat you badly in 2012?
I don’t know if I have been treated badly, but I do feel I was sorely misjudged by the peeps at Crazytown, but by the same token, I probably sorely misjudged them.

35. How much money did you spend in 2012?
More than I should have probably, but I did ok overall.

36. What was your proudest moment of 2012? 
The only thing that comes to mind is eating the lovely dinner I made for Christmas which turned out to be quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

37. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2012?
I will discuss this in a brief, future post. I will say I was more chagrined than embarrassed. I am doing better about taking myself with a large dose of humor. :)

38. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2012 and change something, what would it be?
I would have assessed the group dynamics at Crazytown and at my current job before I dove in to the fray.

39. What are your plans for 2013? Ready for this?
As always, the main plan is to be better. And yes, I am TOTES ready for this! WOOT, 2013!!!!

Part 2
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yeps and yeps. More deets to follow.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A couple of people I used to know, but no one currently active in my life.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No! YAY!

5. What countries did you visit?
See above.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I didn’t lack positivity in 2012, but I will definitely be working for more of it in 2013.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 7 – 11 – My birthday weekend extravaganza!!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Read 102 books!!! (A full listing to follow)

9. What was your biggest failure?
See above answer regarding working in Crazytown.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nopes.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I’ve received much enjoyment from a pair of fuzzy socks I bought a few weeks ago. Bought a smaller wallet that I really, really like. Bought some nice jewelry.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My supervisor at my current workplace. My mom, as always! My friend, Mon, for letting my tag along on her trips around Scotland.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The peeps in Crazytown. Negative Nancy, one of my current co-workers. The aforementioned Shady Bastards who stole my b-day box o’ noms!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My birthday weekend extravaganza!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
The songs mentioned above as well as ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye / ‘Are You That Somebody That I Used To Know’ Gotye and Aaliyah mashup by Mad Mix Mustang.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Wish I had had more employment. Wish I had more financial prudence – always a work in progress. :) More shrug-it-off-ness. But I’m getting better! Wish I had kept my mantra for the year in mind more often – ‘Not my pig, not my farm.’

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being judgey. Confiding in people I don’t know that well. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?
My Fellow American came over and we ate and watched Christmas movies!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
See above.

22. How many one-night stands?
See above re: none of your beeswax.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Anything on BBC iPlayer.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nopes.

25. What was the best book you read?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Coope Boyes and Simpson

27. What did you want and get?
Regular teaching work

28. What did you want and not get?
Employment as soon as I’d hoped. Challenging work.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
See above.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my actual birthday, I went out for drinks with some peeps from work. I am now 33 years of age!

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Employment sooner. Challenging work. A lottery win would have been nice as well.  :)

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
What is the weather outside, how warm will it be inside of wherever I’m going?

33. What kept you sane?
Books, friends, my mom.  :)

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jason Momoa. He’s SO lovely to behold!

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The presidential election. SO glad it’s over!

36. Who did you miss?
See above.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My supervisor at my current job. She’s the best!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Choosing your reaction instead of letting your first reaction come forth is probably one of the most valuable skills in dealing well with other people – and also one of the most challenging to master.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
From ‘No Rain’ by Blind Melon:

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain,
I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain.
And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view but it’s not sane.

And I don’t understand why sleep all day
And I start to complain that there’s no rain.
And all I can do is read a book to stay awake,
And it rips my life away but it’s a great escape.
Escape, escape, escape.

Indeed! Well, the fireworks went off here a little while ago, so officially Happy New Year! I don’t seem to be able to get any of the formatting to work (which is why the fonts are all wonky), so instead of a video I will leave with the words written by one of the most famous Scotsmen, Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Resolutely, 

Me

Image

Posted by: Anonymous Me | April 15, 2012

Inchcolm Island

More travelling…YAY!

This time to Inchcolm Island, home of the oldest monastic remains in Scotland, the abbey being established in 1235.

The pictures may seem a skosh repetitive, but it’s hard to get a bad view. Enjoy!

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For info on the island, scope out here.

What the crap is the Firth of Forth? See here.

Next week…Loch Freakin’ Ness!!!

Stay tuned!

Excitedly,

Me :D

Posted by: Anonymous Me | April 7, 2012

Finally, I Go A-Travelling…

For the first time since I moved to Scotland, I got the opportunity to travel outside of Edinburgh and took a day trip to some sites in the Scottish borders, the region directly south of Edinburgh.

On some of the pictures, I have changed the color and/or contrast in an attempt to be more artsy with my photography. Enjoy!

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So, I had a ton of good info with the pictures, and then when I deleted one of the pictures from the slideshow (the last picture as luck would have it), all of the information was lost…So, I have included links to the sites where I found it so you can browse at your leisure.

Traquair House, the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland – Go here.
Old Temple Kirk – Go here.
Melrose Abbey – Go here or here.
Jedburgh Abbey – Go here, here, or here.

Peripatetically,

Me ;)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 16, 2012

Listography 2011 – Lists 42-52

Hi, all,

I know I promised more frequenting posts and have yet to deliver. I am trying to reduce costs and so have cut my internet at home. The Edinburgh Public Library Wi-Fi has been down, and I’ve been being lazy and not going up to school to use the Wi-Fi there. However, I will be getting off my duff to walk up here more often, so my promises are not empty! ;) Anyhoo…I have a backlog of posts to wrap up 2011…So, for the next few days, I will be travelling back to last year, aka 2 1/2 weeks ago. :D

Finishing up this ‘project’…

42 – List who you thought was the coolest growing up.
I am pretty sure I thought my older brother was the awesomest person I knew. Thankfully, he’s still pretty fab.

43 – List your favorite car models.
’82 Corvette Stingray, hands down…Collector’s Edition specifically. :D (One day, my lovely, you will be mine!)

I also enjoy the Corvette Mako Shark and Corvette Manta Ray. Two Batmobiles to go, please!


Mako Shark


Manta Ray

44 – List couples you were sad to see break up.
Hmm…I don’t think about this sort of thing too much, but I guess Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

45 – List your favorite horror villains.
Hmm…Well, I am not big into horror movies for a variety of reasons, but in terms of just regular bad guys, I find Samuel L. Jackson’s character in ‘Unbreakable’ to be intriguing.

46 – List what issues are foremost on your mind.
Money and employment, obvs! ;)

47 – List what you remember about your childhood home.
Aww! Such a sensitive topic! My mom sold our house this summer. I fully support her decision, so I was shocked when I drove by the house when I was back for Christmas that I had to turn around asap because I was in heavy sobs! I was not expecting that kind of reaction AT ALL. Everything about it is great! I miss you, House!

48 – List what you’re thankful for.
I am thankful for everything and everyone in my life.

49 – 30th – List all the teachers you can remember.
1st Grade – Ms. Hartmann
2nd Grade – Mrs. Wilson
3rd Grade – Mrs. Saxby, Mrs. Anthony for math
4th Grade – Mrs. Holtz, Mrs. Waddill for math, Mrs. Darden for GATE
Mr. McPeek – PE, Mrs. Dodd – music (all four years of elementary)
5th Grade – Mrs. Harvey – homeroom and science, Mr. Brewer – math, Ms. Araki – language arts, Mrs. Rogers – social studies, Mrs. Barry – art, Mr. Martin – PE, Mrs. Hamala – Computer Literacy, and Ms. Minor for music.
6th Grade – Mrs. Swaney – homeroom and social studies, Mrs. Alvarado – science, Mrs. Routledge – math, Mrs. Warner – language arts, Mr. King – band, PE, computer, art – same peeps as above
7th Grade – Sra Brown – Spanish, Ms. Lowe – History, Mrs. Browning – math, Mrs. Roberts – science, Ms. Slade – English, Mr. King – band, With the PE teacher, again, I can’t remember her name, but I can so see her face! I think it was Mrs. Martin (no relation to Mr. Martin who I had the year before.)
8th Grade – Sra Hounsel – Spanish, Mr. Corcoran – history, Mrs. Sutherland – English, Mrs. Thompson – math, Mr. King – band, Mrs. McFarren – theatre arts, and for science, I seriously have no recollection…I think it was Mrs. Nieswander. I do remember we dissected baby sharks on tables set up outside, and that it was on a day we went on a field trip with the band b/c I was wearing my band “uniform” (band polo shirt and black pants) (p.s. I fully acknowledge the randomness of the previous statement) ☺.
9th Grade – Mr. Rowden – band, Mrs. Wietzel – Spanish, Mrs. Morrison – English, Ms. Polk – history, Mrs. Woods -physical science, Mrs. Wiley – math, and there was a 7th but I have clue who or what class it was. GRR! → Seriously, I cannot express how much it annoys me to not be able to remember this!!
10th Grade – Mrs. McFarling – English, Mr. V – band, Mrs. Watson – Spanish, Mrs. Martin (another one) – biology, Mrs. Wofford – Algebra, Mr. Fielding – Computer Science, Mrs. Outsz – Latin,
11th Grade – Mrs. Louis-Ray – English, Mrs. Wietzel – Spanish, Mrs. Outsz – Latin, Ms. Lively – Chemistry, Mrs. Peterson – pre-calculus, Ms. Creamer – dance, Mrs. McHargue – American history, Mrs. Gregory – European history, Mr. Rowden – band
12th Grade – Mr. Merrill – band, Mr. G – English, Mr. Pierce – Anatomy & Physiology, Mrs. Creamer – dance team, Mrs. Morrison – teacher’s aide, Mrs. Cartmell – calculus, Mrs. Watson – Spanish, Mrs. Adamson – economics, Mrs. Richey – government

50 – List your least favorite animals.
I like all animals, as long as they’re not grody or heeby. I fully support animals who are grody and/or heeby as long as they are NOT in my vicinity while being so. :) (Spiders, worms, and the like I am talking to you!)

51 – List the animals you’ve adopted.
I’ve never bought a pet with the exception of the dog my mom bought when I was in high school (RIP, Blue!).

52 – List your wish list.
Dear Universe,
Please send a well-paying job post haste.
Super-thanks,
Me ;)

Completely,

Me

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 2, 2012

A Poem For The New Year…

Trying to get back in the swing of things!

from ‘Ring out, wild bells’
by: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year’s celebration!

Happy 2012, still!!! Bring on the Apocalypse! ;)

Ringingly,

Me :D

Posted by: Anonymous Me | January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Sorry I’ve been on hiatus for so long! I have been in the US visiting my friends and family for the holidays. I will write more about my goings-on soon, once things have settled back to normal. One of my resolutions for the New Year is to blog more consistently. SO, look for more posts…ideally! :)

I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Annually,

Me :D

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Graphics for Happy New Year Comments

Posted by: Anonymous Me | December 7, 2011

They Say It’s Your Birthday!

It’s my birthday, too!!!!!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to Captain Marvel as well!!!

Time for some birthday clipart! WOO!!!!


YAY, Sags!!! This is all totally accurate, by the way, at least for me. ;)


I would probably get this excited, too!


LOL! So true! ;)

Anyhoo, I hope you all have a super day!!! I, myself, will be busy working on being 32!!! :D

Super happily!,

The Birthday Girl!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Because I can’t resist:


Gonna party like it’s my birthday!

Posted by: Anonymous Me | December 1, 2011

Random Question…

So, I was reading this blog which I follow daily. When she mentioned this. What? Has anyone else ever heard of this? It’s news to me!

You learn something new every day!

Hoppily,

Me :)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | December 1, 2011

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!!!


Gotta mix it up a little! :D

It’s December!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! For me, this is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!

I am so excited to put up decorations (just a few cause of the poorness and what not! ;) ), light pumpkin spice scented candles (my FAVE scent along with apple cider), of course, my FAVEST thing, listen to carols! YAY! I have been pondering on carols these past few days. I must admit that I have enjoyed some instrumental carols before I’ve gone to bed the last few days…a total cheat for me (must wait until December 1st), but I couldn’t help myself! Anyhoo…Last year, we talked about our fave carols. However, I’ve been wondering…What is your least favorite carol and/or Christmas-themed song? After much pondering on my part, I have come up with two:

The runner-up on my Least Fave Carols list. This one may stir some memories for the older members of our audience:

Suzy Snowflake which I am shocked to discover is by Rosemary Clooney.

My very first job was at a craft store (a former part of Michael’s that is now defunct). I worked there for 4.25 years. If I remember rightly the Christmas carols started being played over the loud speakers well before Thanksgiving. Part of the selection they played was a speeded up, super peppy version of the song showed above. It was INCREDIBLY annoying! I would cringe every time it come on! This slow version is not so bad, but I am pretty sure those four Christmas seasons of the fast version have ruined me on this song for years to come.

Now, for my #1 Least Fave Carol:


Baby, It’s Cold Outside by lots of people, but this version by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews.

I seriously cannot bear to listen to this song! Have you ever really listened to words? It’s borderline rape-y. For example:

“Say, what’s in this drink?”
“The answer is no.”

What the H, people!!??! I don’t care if we’re in the middle of Siberia in the wintertime, I would rather deal with the cold than some dude trying to have his way with me by drugging my drink! Illegal much?? This is supposed to be CHRISTMAS, not some holiday version of “Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol” especially since I added a roofie!

I know some peeps love this song, but it seriously creeps me out. UGH!

Anyhoo…So, now that I’ve confessed, it’s time for you to spill the beans! What are some of your least fave carols? Tell me in the Comments!

Carols not drugs,

Me :D

P.S. It trips me out that by this time last year, we were already a week into the two month Snowpacalypse here in the E!! And while it’s chilly here (highs in the mid-40s, lows in the upper 30s), it’s nowhere near that level of ridiculousness and for that I am definitely thankful! :)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 30, 2011

Happy St. Andrew’s Day!

It is time for Scots around the world to celebrate their Scottish heritage as they honor the feast day of Scotland’s patron saint! Huzzah!

So, how did one of the 12 disciples, born in Galilee and martyred in Greece, come to be associated with Scotland?

According to this site, ‘Legend tells that Emperor Constantine the Great planned to take St Andrew’s bones from Patras [Greece] to Constantinople [insert that song from They Might Be Giants]. A monk named Regulus was warned by an angel of the Emperor’s plan. In a dream the angel told Regulus to hide an arm bone, a tooth, a part of one knee and some fingers of St Andrew.

The monk did as the angel said and the Emperor took the rest of St Andrew’s bones. Again the angel appeared and told the monk Regulus to sail north to the ends of the earth. There, his boat would be wrecked but Regulus would find a safe haven.

Regulus and a group of holy men were at sea for many months. They sailed further and further north until their boat struck rocks off the coast of Fife (a bit north of Edinburgh). The monk stepped out onto the shore of Pictland at a place called Muckross or Kilryment, bearing the relics of St Andrew.’

Should you be desperate to participate in honoring St. Andrew and your Scottish heritage but be lacking in bagpipes, tartan, or Scottish national flags (aka the Saltire, a symbol of the martyrdom of St. Andrew), you can always indulge in some homemade traditional Scottish cuisine! To find out how to make Herring in Oatmeal, Haggis, Sausage Plait, among other Scottish delicacies, click here. NOM! ;)

Happy St. Andrew’s Day from chilly, rainy Edinburgh!

Scottishly,

Me :)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 28, 2011

Poem of the Week…

A poem for Thanksgiving from 37days:

Listen
By: W.S. Merwin (1927 – )

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
… we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

And I say thank you for reading my blog!

Have a great Monday!

Appreciatively,

Me :)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 24, 2011

Let’s Talk Turkey!

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I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful holiday wherever and with whomever you may be!

Things I am thankful for this year:

~ technology! I honestly don’t think I could have lived overseas back in the days when going abroad meant pretty much never seeing your home/family/friends again, and letters took two+ months to be delivered! Huzzah the internet, Skype, computers, etc!
~ having my cats with me! I cannot put into words how much they add to my life! I know most people thought/think I am insane for bringing them with me, but I assure you I would be beyond bereft without them!
~ family and friends, especially my mom! She is the bestest ever!!! Times infinity to the infinity power!
~ graduation!!!!!!!! Did I fail to mention I graduated on Tuesday??!?! Well, I did! WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eat lots of food on my behalf!! :D

Officially (and thankfully),

Anonymous Me, BA, BA, MSc

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 9, 2011

Random Question…

Big shock: To get to the actual question, we have to take the scenic route through some backstory. Walk with me, why don’t you? :)

So, my mother, who is a TOTAL goddess!, sent me a box of goodies from back home! Huzzah! I can now spice up my normal fare with such treats as tostada shells and taco sauce (guess what I had for dinner tonight? tostadas!!), Wheat Thins (WOOT!), hot chocolate (which they have here, for sure, but it tastes strange to me* [see below]), and the most unexpected item in this conglomeration of deliciousness…Little Debbie Fudge Brownies!! Y’all, I can’t lie. I almost teared up when I saw them! SO un-freakin’-believably good! And chocolate is not usually my go-to for satisfying my sweet tooth. NOM times infinity!!!

As I was indulging in one of these most fabulous of snack cakes, I got to pondering how so many of the Little Debbie products are among my faves: Peanut Butter Bars, an old yet perennial fave, Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Pies, Star Crunches, Fudge Rounds, Gingerbread Men, Pecan Spinwheels, and the list goes on… To see any of these in my lunchbox when I was in school (I brought my lunch *every* day from 1st through 12th grade) put a little extra pep in my lunchy step, if you will! This got me reminiscing on my ABSOLUTE Little Debbie fave, the Pecan Pie, which I believe is now only sold individually wrapped and is different from the boxed Pecan Pies of my youth. I am HUGE on texture in the foods I eat, and the Little Debbie Pecan Pie filling was IT! *drool!* If this were a Wayne’s World segment, we would totally launch into a Dream Sequence right about now – *deedleedee deedleedee deedleedee*…Flash to me as a 10 year old consuming a pecan pie the size of my palm as my eyes close slowly in bliss. NOM times infinity TO THE INFINITY POWER!!! It’s serious now, y’all. ;)

ANYHOO…So THIS got me to thinking of all the foods I love and adore that have been discontinued. What I wouldn’t give for some Chicken Ranchero Quesadillas and a High’N’Mighty Ice Cream Pie at Chili’s…even the original version of the Caribbean Salad would be nice! There used to be a brand of hot chocolate called BeechNut that I LOVED! It is my fave hot chocolate but is found no more! And to kick it REALLY old school, when I was around 8, my mom joined Weight Watchers for a minute and would buy Weight Watchers frozen meals to eat (and because we were awesome and didn’t have a microwave, we got to wait an hour for them to be ready!). This was back before frozen meals were in any way fancy. You got a meat and a vegetable. Period. Weight Watchers made this one called, I believe, Chicken and Vegetables…I appreciate the straightforwardness of their naming approach. :) And I know it probably sounds unappetizing, given that it was 80s frozen food made by a diet company, but y’all, I promise you, it was BLISS! I would gladly replace EVERY frozen meal I eat in the future no matter the type (except, maybe, Uncrustables) with this old school Chicken and Vegetables. It was SO good…The texture was AMAZING! *happy sigh!*

SOOOO…ALL of this got me thinking, FINALLY, about the random question I now ask you:

What discontinued foods (or other products, for that matter) do you long to partake of again?

Leave your answers in the Comments!

Hungrily,

Me :D

*Chocolate as a whole tastes different here than it does in the US, much less sweet and melty tasting, at least to my taste buds. Snickers and Rolos taste weird to me here, chocolate ice cream tastes weird, chocolate milk tastes weird (much to my extreme dismay!), the aforementioned hot chocolate, just to name a few. I have pondered much on this, and I have come up with three possible explanations. 1 – They don’t use as much or any high fructose corn syrup. This seems plausible as they use SIGNIFICANTLY less preservatives in the foods here than the US does. 2 – They use different kinds of chocolate. Maybe we use more milk chocolate, and the Brits use more bittersweet or dark chocolate. 3 – A combination of the two. Anyone else who has experience with British chocolate notice a difference?

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 9, 2011

Spilling the Beans…

I keep a Word document of all the posts from this blog. Every few months, I will copy and paste all the more recent stuff from the blog site to the document to keep it up to date (sadly, the cliparts don’t paste over). I find having this document very helpful when I need to reference a previous post, and I highly recommend any other blogger to do this as well. (To give credit where credit is due, I got this idea from Gretchen over at The Happiness Project.) Anyhoo…I was adding my recent posts to the document today when I noticed that I don’t really talk about my life at all anymore. I share things that inspire, amuse, interest me…which is a very me thing to do, with or without the blog…But I don’t talk about myself like I used to. I keep promising myself that I will write longer, more in depth posts about my goings-on, but since there is little going on it is hard to think of what to say. SO, all of that to say (and yes, I fully acknowledge my habit of extreme prefacing), I thought I would ask you, the 5 people who actually read my posts, if there is anything you’d like me to talk about, any questions you have about me, my life, where I live, etc. I do have a few things of my own in mind, but I would love to be more responsive to my ‘audience’. LOL! ;)

Please add your input in the Comments!

Inquiringly,

Me :)

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 9, 2011

The Hump Day Happy Pill!

Maybe it’s just me, but I am cracking up over this!

LOL-y,

Me :D

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 8, 2011

The Turtleneck of Justice Returns!

Imagine the following scenario:

You are walking along the sidewalk when you pass an unoccupied ATM (otherwise known as a cashpoint machine here in the UK). The light is flashing, and it’s making that beeping noise which brings to your attention that there is a $20 bill in the dispenser waiting to be taken out. There is neither an ATM card nor a receipt to identify who withdrew the funds. You look around, and there is no one coming towards the machine to take the money nor does anyone in the vicinity look stressed from losing something. You are the only one who has noticed that something amiss.

John Quiñones wants to know…

What would you do?

Inquiringly,

Me :)

P.S. To see other moral dilemmas we’ve pondered over, click here and here.

Posted by: Anonymous Me | November 7, 2011

Something Special for the Ladies…

Ok, I can’t figure out how to embed this video, so just click here. I promise it is TOTES worth your time!

Happy Monday, and you’re welcome! ;)

Purrfectly,

Me

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