Saturday, December 31, 2011


The first row is done!

I said I was going to work on A Summer Ball, but I can't help to want to move on to row two of this one! It's way too hard for me to focus on more than one project at a time. Plus, I can't help but think if her hair is this intense, how cool will her eyes be! And what about the sword! It really makes me want to start Foxglove Ball but those 147 pages terrify the living crap out of me!!

Unconventionally gorgeous

What is normally considered gorgeous for the male standards is not usually what I consider gorgeous. Their intelligence, their strength, their humor, their intensity, and a bit of danger are all more important to me than a chiseled face and a hard body. Those that follow me know that I've mentioned several actors numerous times over and over again, my favorite actors. But if you are American, more than likely you have probably never heard of these guys (but I'd bet you'll probably recognize one or all of them). So my New Years gift is the gift of men!

Number 1 - Rupert Penry-Jones, Spook spectacular in more than one instance, a bad guy you just can't hate in Cassanova and Silk, and OCD detective in Whitechapel, and the best Captain Wentworth Jane Austen ever imagined!
(Spooks, Cambridge Spies, Persuasion, Silk, North Square, Cassanova, Whitechapel, The 39 Steps, Jane Eyre, Virtual Sexuality, Hilary and Jackie, just to name a few).

Number 2 - Richard Armitage, another Spook spectacular, Robin Hood's ultimate nemesis, the Vicar of Dibley's gorgeous love, upcoming in the next Hobbit, and forever John Thornton in Elizabeth Gaskill's North And South, number 2, but only just, and my first Mancunian on the list.
(Spooks, Strike Back first series, North And South, Robin Hood, The Vicar Of Dibley, Captain America The First Avenger, Ultimate Force, The Golden Hour, The Impressionists, Moving On, Shakespeare Retold - MacBeth).

Number 3 - David Tennant - the one and only doctor in my mind and surprising my only Scot on the list!
(Doctor Who - that's almost enough of a legend for any actor, Cassanova, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Secret Smile, Hamlet, Bright Young Things).

Number 4 - Max Beesley - actor extraordinaire from Hotel Babylon, musician extraordinaire for Robbie Williams, Mancunian extraordinaire, well, from Manchester.
(Hotel Babylon, Survivors, Bodies, Talk To Me, Bloodlines, Kill Me Later, The Last Enemy).

Number 5 - Jamie Draven - my last Mancunian, forever playing the solider, but burned in my mind as the romantic lead in Watermelon.
(Ultimate Force, Watermelon, Billy Elliot, Badland, Body Farm).

Well, that's it, my list of gorgeous men, the actors that make me drool, make my heart skip a beat, etc, etc. If you have a chance, definitely give them a chance, you might not initially be attracted to them, but their talent and intensity might just change your mind! I've listed some of their movies and shows, but only the ones I've seen and can recommend and most of them you should be able to get a hold of!


Almost there!

It's amazing how that bright garnet red is browning up! And adding the highlights is turning it orange! It won't be as orange as the hair in the demo pic, but it's close - just more intense. HAED's are genius! At the rate I'm going, if I get this row finished today, then I still have a chance to get a big chunk of the first page of A Summer Ball finished!


New Years Goals

I've thought a lot about joining WIPocalypse and frankly, I'm just not cut out for it. Goals like that I just don't do good with, I would set unrealistic goals and crucify myself when I didn't finish them. But New Years Resolutions are a different story. I don't usually set any because I think they are stupid (i.e. I don't usually stick to them). But I think maybe I might actually set a few this year and making them public might actually make me keep them up. So here we go, Keebs' New Years Resolutions:

1) Purchase only one video a week from Amazon UK (sets count as one video - no need to go too drastic).

2) Put no less than $50 per pay day in savings - it's time for a new car.

3) Limit myself to one soda per day (and that doesn't mean if I skip a day I can drink two the next).

4) Everything that I usually eat, cut it in half (trust me, I eat enough for two).

5) On the topic of eating, it's time to eat more than one meal a day, better three little ones than one big one.

6) Walk on the treadmill at least 3 days per week (will be the hardest to keep).

7 Stop buying new books until I have read all my stash (unless it's by my absolute favorite authors).

8) Read no more than one book per week (unless one is a classic), I get too caught up in fantasy sometimes.

9) Find a way to control my migraines (i.e. stress) without taking so many drugs.

10) I will stop dwelling over my Father - he is no longer in my life, it's time to let him go, he's certainly let me go.

That's it - my New Years Resolutions. We will see how well I stick to them! I didn't have a cross stitch goal because I'm pretty steady with stitching right now. It's all the other areas I have trouble in.

I'm not technically starting a diet because diets don't work for me. Well, only two diets ever worked for me and I think I've tried them all. Nutri-System worked both times I used it, but I can't afford it now, and the three-day diet always worked (at least for a few weeks) but I can't stand most of the food on it anymore (the smell of bananas and tuna both gag me now). I gained more weight on Weight Watchers than any other diet I tried, so that one is definitely out. I've noticed in the press lately a lot of overweight stars have been loosing weight just by eating right and exercising, so that's going to be my plan (or at least eating better). Cheese will be the hardest thing for me to cut back on (cutting out completely wouldn't work and just cause me to binge). Sweets and bread will be the easiest to give up (don't eat a lot of either now). I'm not good with eating veggies, so that could be a problem too (unless, of course, they are covered with cheese). You'd think that Atkins would be the perfect diet for me, all meat and cheese, but I couldn't take all the grease. It's so amazing how there are so many fattening foods I don't like, yet I am still overweight. I do eat extremely fast and that's another thing I have to fix. And I do eat a lot of fast food. Plus I don't exercise at all (but can be quite obsessive when I do actually start a program). I do eat a heck of a lot of Lean Cuisines, after I've added extra cheese (of course), but I have to restrict myself to eat just one per meal (I'm bad about eating more than one at a time). Ever notice how all Lean Cuisines are cheese friendly dishes?

But since I didn't go to Disney World last year, I didn't do my normal 30lb loss that I do every year for the Disney trip. So I'm carrying around an extra 30lbs of weight on top of my already hefty frame. It's just too much. Disney World was always the perfect weight loss goal. All my vacation clothes are one size, so I'd have to loose weight to fit into them, plus, Disney is quite uncomfortable to the overweight (albeit quite accommodating - never had any problems fitting on rides). It will be hard without Disney as a goal because I don't know if I will be able to go this year either. We'll just have to wait and see!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Much better day!

Got a lot more work done today! Head still hurts, but it's tolerable. I probably could have done more, but I couldn't focus for too long without getting sick. But here's today's work:

I have finally made it to red, but I wasn't expecting it to be Garnet red! It's a bit off-putting from the guide pic...I expected more of an orange-y red. I just have to have hope that all will work out in the end.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Very little work for a vacation week

I've been in and out of consciousness all week...guess it was to be expected I'd end up with the migraine to end all migraines. I've managed to do a bit of stitching, but at random intervals since Friday night. I wish I could have had all my facilities this week. But I think I'm on the mend now (or at least I hope). I've had two false hopes already this week. Only a few more vacation days left. I so wanted to finish both the page of A Summer Ball and a row of my little Highlander, but now I think that goal is a bit out of reach.

But here is where I'm at on A Summer Ball:

And A Walk Through The Highlands:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jesus and Santa Caroling

Just one final post for the day, with a Duran flair...Jesus and Santa, singing Christmas Carols, South Park style - is there any other way to hear a Christmas carol? That's right - poopity poppin!!

It's over - reflections

I'm home. I did a lot of thinking on my way home and I think my new meds have finally kicked in. The only anxiety I felt was through the whole internet fiasco. My temper was relatively in check otherwise. I was rude, but that's nothing new, I can't really control my mouth, what I'm thinking falls out before I can stop it (which is why I prefer to communicate through text or email or blogging, I can edit before I send). And every single thing my Mother does annoys the snot out of me, so I guess I was lucky I didn't do something worse (and trust me, much to my shame, I have).

I did have some issues with noise pollution and my head is paying the price now. My Step-dad is pretty much deaf due to a war injury, so TV volume is set a lot higher than I'm used to, both the living room TV and the TV in his bedroom were both running different channels at the same time (even though most of the time no one was in his bedroom - who pays their electric bill - Santa or Bill Gates?). I really had to focus on the TV we were watching to not be completely distracted by the TV in the other end of the house! Plus, his hearing aid was whistling pretty much all day (not that he could help it or hear it -I'm not blaming, just observing). Every one else is used to these sounds and could tune them out...for me it was like attending a rock concert, my ears are literally ringing (I keep thinking I'm still hearing his hearing aid). But surprisingly, I didn't have the anxiety I would normally have at having such noise pollution - normally too much activity like that would have my brain reeling. It did bother me and I commented on it several times, but only got "we're used to it" or "we don't notice it" or the worst "just ignore it", which just makes me pay more attention to it. I walked away with only head pain and, in all honesty, I walked in with head pain, so it just kept the headache active. It just amazes the crap out of me that no one notices the noise!  But then again, maybe they are all deaf from the loud TV watching!

But all in all, it wasn't the worst Christmas I ever had! I actually got a lot of cool stuff and didn't embarrass myself (much). Zachary behaved and didn't pee on everything. Made for boring blogging, but better boring blogs then be traumatized for the next 6 months! I'm glad I was able to blog because I know it did help me get through, even if it was only psychosomatic therapy!!

I want to say a big thanks again to Vickie over at Reading And Stitching for turning me on to blogging in the first place. It really has been amazing what it has done for me both in furthering my very miniscule communication skills as well as getting my thoughts out of my head. Even though they aren't coming out of my mouth face to face to another person, for the first time in my entire existence, I feel like I'm being heard because I'm able to speak even if it's in the written form. Asperger's is hard to deal with sometimes, but not impossible to do on your own without medical intervention (if only migraines were the same).  I'm constantly finding new ways to better myself and deal with my issues in the way that is best for me and blogging is just one more step on that never-ending road!

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Here we go again!

Time to shift houses! Heading to the Aunt's!

And the cool down

It's amazing how we split when things are all done...Mother is in the kitchen, my step-dad goes back in his room, only my Sister and her husband and I remain in the same room. Probably because only we can stand to be in the same room with each other. We are watching a Storage Hunters marathon and I'm bored to tears.

I still have to stop at my Aunt's house on the way home and do all this again. But that should go even quicker. I feel like there is a bottle of wine in my future.

We do nothing slowly!

It's all done! Christmas is over! Just like that! And for the first time evah I actually got Amazon gift cards! I've asked for them for years, but never actually got one! Was it the thread of blogging that did it? The fear of public humiliation that made them behave? Or was this actually a good Christmas? Who knows!

And the reason I'm so fat is....

Yep, that's right...we're done eating! In my defense, I only ate my steak and nothing else...I don't care for fries, or corn, or rolls, so it wasn't a big loss. But either Zachary is obsessed by the meat, or my dog has a hearing problem. I keep calling his name and he completely ignores me!!

But in a very strange move, we are already pushing presents! What's up with that? Food hasn't even settled yet!


The drama has started already! Had a pretty non-eventful trip here, had to wait in line to get my tire aired up, apparently every single person on the planet waited until today to get gas so, not just my gas station, but every single gas station on the planet was completely filled to the brim! I took the bypass and my car is not used to going 70 mph, but she did OK, but the second I got to the halfway point, I started sneezing! I always do that when I get to my hometown - I'm allergic to it (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

But needless to say, it was still a pretty uneventful trip and now I'm here and then the drama started. My step-dad doesn't know his internet passcode, so I couldn't connect to the internet! Joy of joys! I am currently using my Mother's computer. He kept giving me his email password and kept getting pretty upset when I was telling him it wasn't working. Ugh. My nerves are already at the breaking point. I needed to blog just to calm them. Everyone else is in there eating now, but I just can't go in there yet. Ugh.

Will someone please adopt me? 41 year old special needs adult and a 10 year old Shih-Tzu looking for a good home. Will work for own food and stitching supplies. Must be provided with TV and internet access. Privacy required. All potential parents apply here.

Here we go!

I'm all ready! Time to load the car, pack the pup, air up the tire, and head to the parents! Let's just hope it's a very uneventful day!

It's started already!

Headache is still on the periphery and could bust through at any moment, but I'm gonna attempt this madness called Christmas! But things have already gotten off to a terrible start! Got a call at 9:46 this morning from my Mother telling me I needed to be at their house at 1:00 pm. Those that follow my blog know that since I work nights, I'm a night person, and therefore, stay up nights. Last nights bedtime? 5 am this morning!! So, yep, she woke me from a dead sleep (knowing my sleep patterns) to tell me I didn't need to be there until the afternoon (which was a given anyway...I don't usually surface before noon for no man or woman).

I'm up now because the call pissed me off so much, I couldn't go back to sleep. So now I've got an interrupted sleep pattern with less than 4 hrs sleep (just because I went to bed at 5 am doesn't mean I went to sleep at 5 am), a migraine just waiting to bust through, and now plenty of time to fret and worry about the day ahead. Oh, and I think I might have a low tire on my car.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas, Headaches, and Out Clauses

Guess it's not shocking that I've got a migraine building (yep Joysze, I might get to call in sick afterall), so I've gotta type quick, this screen is killing me. I was given an out clause on my Christmas responsibilities and I didn't take it, but now I'm thinking I might have to. I'm still not sure why I didn't take it.

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about my situation. Honestly, it really is nice to be able to spurt out my problems (to someone other than a therapist) and actually have someone listen. In the real (not cyber) world, I don't speak much except to people I really know and tell even fewer these stories, so thanks again for letting me vent.

I talk a lot about guilt, but technically, I don't actually feel guilt, it's the perception of guilt I feel. It's one of my learned traits...I know I'm supposed to feel guilty and therefore I generate a bad feeling in response to the perception of the supposed emotion, but Asperger's keeps me from feeling the actual emotion. I basically just make myself sick because I think I'm supposed to. I know it's a percepted feeling, because all my percepted feelings feel the exact same way...guilt, empathy, loss, sympathy, compassion, even sometimes love, I can't tell one sick feeling from another. I'm always terrified someone is gonna ask me how I actually feel and I'm gonna give the wrong answer and I'm gonna get found out that I'm faking it (even though I'm feeling something, it's just self-generated). It's not a total lack of emotion, because trust me, I do feel emotion over things I'm obsessed over or passionate about, almost at a painful level, but it's a lack of what I call "normal human emotions". Mine are just super-heightened on things they probably (OK, definitely) shouldn't be super-heightened on.

It's almost a very selfish condition, you don't feel for others, only yourself and things that concern you. I have been accused of being selfish my entire life and, to tell the truth, I can't deny it, I am, but my nature, not like normal selfish people which are usually by creation. I can't help it though and I try really hard not to be, it's a constant struggle. It's what my family would probably say is the reason why I don't want to participate in Christmas (well, most of my family, I will say I think my Sister does understand). HA! Think of it that way...I have a medical condition that makes me selfish! Wow! Gotta use that!!

But anyhoo, now that I've started having migraines, the sickened feeling I generate over the supposed emotions, manifests themselves into headaches, instead of how they used to be, just normal sickened feelings. Yea me.

So, to make a long story short (too late as usual), there may not be a Christmas blog tomorrow because I may be in bed drugged up like a crack addict! Or then again, it may be a daily blitz of blog posts every couple of minutes! We'll just have to wait and see!

But as a parting note for all those that actually enjoy Christmas (God love ya!), here's a little Christmas tidbit from my second favorite little man (next to my Zachary) singing a Christmas classic and going through what Christmas is like for me...getting shocked with a cattle prod! HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Summer Ball progress

I don't know what made me do it, but I worked on A Summer Ball a bit tonight! It was nice not having to use the magnifying light for once and actually being able to see the blocks! I even bumped up a color!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Zachary wanted a post

OK, so that's not exactly true...getting Zach to take a picture is like pulling teeth. But sometimes, if I say the magic word, I can get his attention long enough to get the pic snapped. Smile and say "pup-eroni!!"
Somebody is in dire need of a haircut!!

A little bit of stitching to clear my head

I didn't have much time tonight to work on my little Highland girl, but I did get a touch of hair done:

It is kind of amazing how stitching works like Xanax...shame I can't drag it everywhere with me...think work would mind if about every couple of hours I have to whip it out and work on my stitching for a while to calm my nerves? Yeah, probably not.

I didn't make it to Kroger tonight. I got done at work too late and after 11 they close the people check out lines and that only leaves the self-checkers. Now, you'd think a person like me would prefer the self-check, but oh no my friends...oh no. They were created by Satan for the sole purpose of Keebs torture. Let me tell you why. I used to always go to Kroger late, my preferred time because of the lack of shoppers. I don't go to the store very often, so when I do go, I usually have a buggy full of groceries, and this particular night was no exception. They had just started closing the people checkers but didn't bother to tell the customers. So I saunter up to the checkout after filling my basket and quickly realize that there are no open lanes other than the express lane. OK, well, my chicken-shit butt ain't about to ask, so I keep walking around the store, but after about 30 minutes, I have to do something, so I just get in the express lane figuring they are keeping one lane open close to the self-checkers. The nice old lady employee (boy was I wrong on that account) keeps looking at my basket, but never says a word and lets me stand in line while she checks out the four people in front of me.

You already know what's gonna happen, don't you? Yep...I get up there and she says "you can't check out here, this is the express lane, you have to use the self-checkers". To which I say, "ummm, mam, please, I have an entire buggy, I can't use those things for all this stuff". She says, very rudely "if you want the stuff, you have to use the self-checkers". My temper doesn't escape in public very often, usually only around people I know, but I believe my parting words to her weren't very nice (or at least judging by the laughter from people behind me).

Now, I am not technologically put it mildly, I'm a geek. But, by this point, my emotions are high, which causes me to not think straight, I'm shaking like a leaf, I've already drawn attention to myself by cussing at a checker lady, I've got a piece of equipment in front of me I've never used before (and isn't very user friendly even by the geekest of geeks), and I've got to use it repeatedly on an entire buggy of groceries. On top of all that, I also talk to myself, which usually isn't a problem because I'm usually alone 99% of the time, but now that I've got everyone staring at me, it's completely embarrassing, and getting exponentially worse from my nerves.

Anyone who has used those things, knows they are not meant for more than about 20 items. There is a small little counter on either side to sit your merchandise and that's it. So, I'm muddling through it like molasses, talking like mad, shaking like crazy, I was a mess! I had bags in the floor, under the buggy, all over the counter around me and on the one behind me (I was so nervous it never occurred to me to just get a second buggy). By the time I got done, it had taken so long, the machine wouldn't total me out, so rude lady had to come over and manually key the amounts through (which was a nice revenge in hindsight - at the time I just wanted to walk off and leave the whole mess). On top of everything else, there was a huge line of people behind me as well waiting to check out.

Long story short (too late, I know), I did make it to the car before I completely broke down, where I proceeded to bawl like a total baby. I have been terrified of self-checkers ever since. I did email Kroger a very long complaint letter, but never got an answer. Now, I don't go to Kroger past 11 pm anymore. Don't know why I felt the need to tell that story! Just reminding my self why I couldn't go to Kroger tonight I guess. Maybe tomorrow night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's already started...

Last night I went to Wal-Mart...a seemly normal task for most people, but a major hurtle for me. I can't go the two in my town, one is too dangerous, the other has a Subway restaurant owned by my Dad in it, so it's off limits (long story for another post - I know I keep saying that, but one day when I'm ready). I end up using to the Wal-Mart the next major town over, about 35 minutes away (if you drive the speed limit). I feel somewhat comfortable there and my old second job was in that town, so it's familiar. This is a stupid time to be going to Wal-Mart anyway, I know that, you know that, but it had to be done...the closer I wait till Christmas the worse it will be, I needed to get the money cards for everyone's Christmas cash and, since I'm on vacation next week (still hoping), I needed to have food in the house since there is none (and by none, I mean, NOTHING).

I thought I'd warm up by getting pump was empty and the entire station was pretty much empty so I had no trouble there, first hurtle completed! Off to the next town I go! It's a pretty pleasant drive (my car would probably disagree) and I made good time since it was about 11:00 pm and no one was on the roads (that's the thing about the South, early to bed, early to rise type people...I'm the opposite). Got there about 11:30 and only about 40 or so cars in the parking lot, which considering the time of year, I completely lucked out, but I stalled...couldn't get out the car! So I sat there, took a Xanax, watched a couple of videos on my phone, made a grocery list, tried some breathing exercises, worked really hard to not just turn back around and go back home, finally deciding that a second Xanax was needed...more videos, more breathing, then finally I managed to get out of the car. Once I got inside, I was OK, but it's just the initial step of opening that bloody door that gets me!

Unfortunately, they were waxing the cheese isle, so I've got to go to Kroger and get cheese (because my life without cheese is like a diabetic without insulin). So, I've been thinking all day, I have to go through it all again...building the dread up in my head. Thursday I'm getting my hair done...same deal. I usually get it done on a Saturday. She's amazing at accommodating me and scheduling me at such a time when no one else is around and I don't have to encounter others...but this will be a weekday...with a shop full of other stylists, and customers, and their families. If my roots weren't six miles long, I wouldn't do it.

It's been a while since I've been this way and I know it's the stress of dreading Christmas that's doing it. Any major thing I have to deal with causes this reaction. I usually solve it by not getting involved with major things, but some things can't be avoided and this is one of them. It's gonna be an interesting Christmas! Think my parents will let me spend it in their driveway?

OMG! Why didn't I think of it before!

Having Asperger's keeps me from expressing myself vocally to others, but I don't have that problem when I'm thoughts and feelings just flow (usually much to the chagrin of others!). This blog has been really a marvelous outlet for me to get what's in my head out for the world to hear (whether you want to hear it or not).

So the whole thing got me to thinking...since Christmas is such a nightmare for me to deal with Asperger-wise, why not blog my way through it? That's right folks! An entire day of live blog feeds from my terrible Christmas experience for your enjoyment! Sounds like fun doesn't it? My family should be thrilled to bits (insert awkward pause here). Since the only way I can deal is with my fingers, then by God, that's what I intend to do and since I'm being forced to participate in their Christmas, then they're gonna participate in my bloggin Christmas!! Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rum (or however it goes)!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The slaughtering of puppies

Thanks to everyone for your nice comments on my progress...and a special thanks to Joysze, who so very kindly pointed out that my little Highland girl has a head like a bum! But seriously, I've been obsessing over the same thing! It's been driving me mad and I'm glad I'm not the only person who's noticed it!

On a separate note, I put in my yearly request to opt out of Christmas this year, and you'd think I asked to slaughter a bag full of puppies! I tried every method I could think of; the sympathy method, the uncaring method, the Grandmother's not participating so why do I have to method...but nothing worked. I was completely calm, cool, and collected, I didn't get bent out of shape or upset through the whole thing. Mother fought valiantly at first, but then the water works started and all I got was "talk to your sister" and the quivering lip. It was completely shameful. So I guess I'm stuck with another year of complete misery and uncomfortableness and since my Aunt and Grandmother aren't coming, I don't have the added padding of numbing the experience with alcohol since I don't have a designated driver. Happy Christmas to me....guess I'm the one with the slaughtered puppies!

P.S. - This post is probably gonna get me in a heap of trouble...I'm gonna blame the new meds!

Another IHSW bites the dust!

It wasn't the rousing success I imagined it to be and I didn't make it to red, but I did make it to brown which is still in the hair area! I'm surely not gonna complain about that! I've done better, I've done worse!

But here's Saturday's work:

And Sunday's finish:

I'm excited to see how everyone else got on!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Prepped for the weekend

I'm predicting that before this International Hermit And Stitch Weekend is over, I'm going to see "red" that is! That's the goal, anyway, as long as I can keep from sleeping the whole weekend. But this is where I am now:


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Speaking of Videos

After a rather grim negative report from my neurologist concerning my migraines...I decided that today's post should be a word from my own...personal...Jesus....Robert Smith (you thought I was gonna say Dave Gahan, didn't you? I have too many indecent thoughts about him to consider him a holy deity!). So here it is, a song about a girl who keeps blindly handing herself over, even though it's the worst thing in the world for her.

The Cure's From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I haven't posted a video in a while, and this song is a bit of a theme song for me and I've been in a Girls Aloud mood lately. Plus it's an endless source of past hairstyles for me, including my last one (Kimberley's) and the one I'm getting done next week (Cheryl's) enjoy!

Girls Aloud - Life Got Cold

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ISHW - The last of 2011 and hopefully the best!

Definitely looking forward to this International Hermit and Stitch Weekend! I am gonna rock this one! I can't wait!

Original versus Sequel

Boy, I'm on a roll...the last post got to me thinking again...has there ever been instances where I liked the sequel or even the remake better than the original? This answer is a bit more complicated. I'm not a fan of remakes, in TV, movie and definitely not in music form. I don't understand them. Come up with your own stuff, don't redo someone elses.

But on the sequel subject, there have been several instances where #2 or #3 were better than the first, and since I'm on the subject of vampires a lot lately, Interview With The Vampire is a prime example. Anne Rice threw a fit when they cast Tom Cruise as Lestat. She said she got over it once she saw his performance...I'm still not over it. Interview was the first "real" book I ever read, when I was really way to young to be reading such material, but it holds a very special place in my heart. That, IMO, is one of the worst casting choices in movie history. The sequel, Queen Of The Damned, in a word, bombed, at the box office. Stuart Townsend took over the role of Lestat and he was PERFECT! The movie was choppy, it actually combined book 2, The Vampire Lestat and 3, The Queen Of The Damned, and unless you had read the books, it was hard to follow the movie, but I didn't care. The cinematography was beautiful, the music was wonderful, and Stuart, well, I'm still crushing on him!

Another sequel that was so much better than the first was Pet Sematary. I had read that book (at another inappropriate age) and loved it, and expected alot out of the movie, and got practically nothing. The second, aptly titled Pet Sematary 2, had Anthony Edwards (who I love), Clancy Brown (who I also love) and it was scary as hell! But, as above, it also bombed. I still can't figure it out!

Anyone who works in the medical field and has been in a hospital at night, knows that Halloween 2 (the original Jamie Lee Curtis version, not these crappy remakes), is one of the scariest movies of all time! I still sometimes have nightmares over that one and Michael Myers doesn't scare me!

What does scare me? Freddy Krueger...since day one. But this "best of" order is a bit messed up...the remake in no way, shape, form or fashion, makes the list. One is the scariest, two sucks, three - The Dream Warriors, totally rocks, then they suck all the way to seven, which probably no one has seen, called A New Nightmare, but it had most of the original cast, only they were playing themselves, aka, Robert Englund was playing Robert and Heather Langenkamp was Heather and even Wes Craven was playing Wes, and they were making a movie, but guess who was also there...yep...Mr. Lack O' Moisturizer! Love that one! Right up there with number one on scariness!

The Dark Shadows TV remake in the early 90's was absolutely amazing! Ben Cross, in my mind, will always be either a priest or a vamp, it's all he seems to ever play! I loved it! I was crushed when it got cancelled! I am curious to see how Tim Burton does with it (because I absolutely worship Tim), but I am a bit scared because I have Ben in my mind as Barnabas. Ben Cross is amazingly hot, even as he gets older!

Remake wise, Thirteen Ghosts and House On Haunted Hill totally blew away their originals, but only because their originals were a bit cheesy (OK, a lot cheesy), but don't get me started on the remake of The Haunting...shame on you Liam Neeson!

Again, I don't count the Austens because they are entities among themselves (but I like Matthew McFadyen better as Darcy than Colin Firth - sacrilege to my British brethren, but I can't help it, if they'd only cast better than Keira Knightly!).

But remake-wise on the bad dare they touch April Fools Day! Sacrilege part deux!! And Willy Wonka...ugh!! The only time I've wanted to flog Tim Burton! Johnny better not do to Barnabas Collins what he did to Wonka!! I'll walk out of the theater (and the last time I did that was when Kiefer Sutherland got killed in Young Guns II).

To get out of the horror genre though, Another Cinderella Story is way better than A Cinderella Story (bet I'm the only person that has seen either one of them!). But Drew Seeley has that great Disney hottie vibe going and he and Selena Gomez had a a real chemistry and Hilary Duff is just annoying.

I just don't like remakes...I don't get it (as I've said before). I do watch Hawaii 5-0, but just because of Alex O'Loughlin, another one of my favorite vamps (Moonlight anyone?) and every single week I say that it's my last week to watch it. I especially hate remakes of shows or movies or songs that are from my about a kick in the teeth! At least remake something that is from before I was born (although considering my voracious appetite for entertainment, I've probably seen most of those as well). It's no different that robbing the Brits and their shows...surely someone in Hollywood can come up with an original idea? If not, maybe it's time for a Hollywood revamp (no pun intended!).

Soapbox re-dismount.

Books vs their movie/tv counterparts

Doing the Vampire Diaries review got me to thinking (scary thought, I know). I did pick up the first book last night and read the first six chapters and promptly put it right back on the shelf. The character of Elena is completely different, the storyline is way too different, I just couldn't deal with it. But here's where the thinking comes into play...most times the book versions are better than their movie/TV counterparts, but, are there times when the movie/TV counterparts are better than the books? The answer is yes, at least IMO.

It is a rare occurrence, for sure, but it does happen, and the best example, for me, is A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I absolutely love this movie, sad ending and all. Shane West is amazing, Mandy Moore is amazing, they have real chemistry, it's just perfect. The book, on the other hand, based supposedly on Nicholas Sparks' real-life sister, was lackluster at best. I'm really surprised I made it through it. I didn't care for his writing style, the setting of the book was in a different time period, and the worst thing of all...and SPOILER ALERT.............the ending, instead of him confessing his undying love to her and how he owed everything to her, he comes back to tell her father that he's met someone else and wants to get remarried! SAY WHAT?!? I don't like sad endings as it is, but do you have to ruin it by stomping on my heart one chapter after you killed her? I haven't read another one of his books since. I don' typically watch his movies either, although I do also own the Notebook (but never watch it past the final Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams scene at the end).

In Nicholas Sparks' defense, I knew from the get-go I probably wouldn't like his books anyway...not my style. I mean, how many times can you read, boy meets girl, they fall in love and one, both or someone else dies and everyone is heartbroken? Why would you want to read that? Defeats the purpose of escaping from the real world in my eyes. Plus, his actual writing style is very simplistic, almost like a teen book. He's to writing what Thomas Kinkade is to painting...Thomas Kinkade, like me, watched WAY too much Bob Ross as a kid, it's not talent (OK, there is a base talent there, but not a whole lot), it's all gimmick painting and anyone who knows who Bob Ross is knows what I'm talking about (ooohh, I'm being controversial again!). Yes, he makes "pretty pictures", but anyone who knows the "tricks" can do pretty much the same thing. I know what you're going to say, "but Keebs, don't you have all the Kinkade Disney Dreams in your stash?". Why yes, but you missed a key word in that question...Disney. If Nicholas Sparks wrote a Disney book, I'd buy it too(might not read it, but I'd buy it because it's Disney).

I know it makes me un-American because I don't like Nicholas Sparks or Thomas Kinkade. I also don't like apple pie and fried chicken (unless it's boneless)...I think we've established by now that I'm not typical. Back on topic...

Another example I gave in my Vampire Diaries review is the Sookie Stackhouse books. The television show is better. Unfortunately, I've got the memory of at least the first seven books rattling around in my head confusing things. But book Sookie is very annoying and wishy-washy. But just the opposite with the other example I gave, Twilight...even though I don't like Bella, in either book or movie form, I'd much rather take book version over Kristen Stewart any day!

The Harry Potter books, on the other hand, are a complete enigma. They are, at least in my scary mind, a complete separate entity from the movies. I don't confuse them, or group them together, or ever find myself comparing them. It's a really weird dichotomy!

Same with the Jane Austens! I think in in the Austen case, it's because I have about 6 different versions of P&P, and 4 of Persuasion, etc, etc, so merging them together along with the books wouldn't work anyway. Plus, classic literature is a completely different language, and reading it and hearing it causes two completely different mind processes and you picture things differently (at least I do anyway).

Only one other book/movie comparison comes to mind, and that's the romance novel remakes. Diana Palmer's Diamond Girl is the first that comes to mind. It was one of those Harlequin romance movies from the late 90's. I love this's completely cheesy and stupid, but I love it anyway! I did finally find the book and it totally sucked! Completely different story line and completely different lead heroine! Guess they didn't give the author much creative control, which was a good thing since the movie was way better. But I do like a lot of Diana Palmer's other books, so it's not that she's a bad author.

But one of the romance novelists you'd think who would get complete creative control is Nora Roberts. I watch all her movies made from her books and about complete opposites! Montana Sky is my favorite of those movies (well, might be a toss up between Montana Sky and Carolina Moon), but the book was long and way too drawn out on both accounts. But, Tribute, one of my favorite of her solo books...seriously? Brittany Murphy? What were they thinking? Did the producers read the book at all? I know it was Brittany's last movie before she died, but least they got Jason Lewis cast right! And Northern Lights didn't work in either book or movie form, so casting LeeAnn Rimes didn't hurt a thing!

I try to read the book before I see the movie/TV, I think that does affect how much I put the movie/TV above the books. Sometimes I still end up liking the movie/TV better (as is the case in the Sookie-verse), but it gives me a wider view of that universe. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you read you create the imagines and scenes and characters in your mind and the movies/TV backup or reinforce those images, whereas, seeing the images first, doesn't allow for your minds creative processes to run their own track and you get a bit off course.

Soap box dismount.

Monday, December 12, 2011

TUSAL 2012

I've seen the TUSALs a dozen times on blogs, but I never imagined I'd participate in one, but I've gone and signed up for it! I'm also gonna probably have to buy a jar because I'm not happy with my current choices in the house (only I'd make a production out of scrap jar!). It's also gonna be hard for me to collect scraps and not dispose of them...a neat-freaks worst nightmare! What a challenge this will be!! But when I get the jar, I'd definitely be posting a pic!

The Vampire Diaries - A Review

I just finished watching season 1 and 2 of the Vampire Diaries. I tried to watch them when it started, but I don't get the CW on satellite and I don't like to watch shows online, so I didn't keep up with them. Plus, I HATE cliffhangers and when each episode is a cliffhanger, it drives me nuts! So, as is the case with Supernatural (another one of my favorite American shows - which is a very short list), buying the series and watching them all at once, is always the best course for me. But I've not bought The Vampire Diaries because they've always been pretty expensive...thank goodness for Amazon! I managed to finally catch them on sale and got them for $11 a piece!

Anyway, on to the review, since I had already seen about half of the first series, I knew the basic storyline, girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy turns out to be a vampire...simple enough concept. But, of course it doesn't stay that way! Stephan (the vampire), falls for Elena (the girl) who, with her younger brother, is being raised by their aunt because their parents died in a car wreck. But no sooner than they start their romance, Stephan's evil brother, Damon, arrives to muck things up, basically for the sake of revenge. You see, Stephan and Damon fell in love with the same vamp, Katherine, who happens to look exactly like Elena, well, technically, Elena looks like Katherine, actually she is Katherine's doppleganger (you have to watch for that explanation). It was Stephan's fault that Katherine was killed (or so Damon thought), so Damon has spent the last 146 yrs blaming Stephan for Katherine's death, for stealing Katherine, for turning him into a vamp (although he loves being one), pretty much for existing and Damon is hell-bent on ruining Stephan's life. But he doesn't plan on Elena and also doesn't plan on falling for her and his feelings mess up his revenge plans.

Confused yet? Add the fact that both brothers can walk in the sunlight because of rings spelled by witches, more witches, werewolves, more vamps, original vamps, hybrid werewolf-vamps, civil war flashbacks, 14th century flashbacks, the return of Katherine, who is hell-bent on getting Stephan back and numerous other agendas that can get a bit confusing, as well as tons of other things and you end up with really great TV! The actors who play Elena and Damon are involved in real life, but it doesn't affect the acting between the actors who play Elena and Stephan...I've seen that happen too many times, two actors become involved and it affects the relationship that is supposed to be going on between characters...kisses aren't as passionate anymore, or looks aren't as "real". When I'm watching fictitious television, I want to get lost in it just a like a book, I want to be completely sucked in and feel like it's real, even though it's not...that's escapism. Bad acting will ruin it everytime, but not a problem on this show! When Stephan tells Elena he loves her, I get chills! That's the way it should be and that's good acting!

There are tons of similar projects, True Blood, Twilight, etc, etc, and I'm a vampire nut and watch them all, so what makes TVD different? It just is. TVD does makes fun of all the others (one example that comes to mind is that Damon is asked by Caroline while he is glancing at New Moon (and dogging it BTW) why he doesn't sparkle, to which he answers something to the effect of because this is the real world and vampires don't sparkle, only Anne Rice got it right). Damon has an incredibly smart mouth and quick wit but has a ton of internal emotion (a bit close to home) and Stephan is the perfect man (unless he gets human blood in him and he makes Damon look like the good brother). Elena finds herself torn between the two, even though she loves Stephan, but also is torn between the fact that they are, by their very nature, killers, and slowly as various friends and family get turned or die, it tests the very nature of how strong her love for Stephan actually is. On top of everything, Elena has no desire to become a least no so far, a refreshing change from most vampire stories where the girl always wants to get turned.

I've said it before, after spending weeks watching nothing but one show, completely immersing myself into the depths of one world, once I'm done, I feel weirdly empty. The third series isn't out on DVD yet and, for financial reasons, best to wait, iTunes would cost way too much. I've thought about reading the books (since I've had them longer than the TV series has been out), but apparently the books are like the Sookie books and True Blood...the Sookie books are an outline for the show, but not followed. Apparently, in TVD books, Elena is a mean girl and not very well liked (same with the Sookie books, I don't like the book Sookie at all, but the TV Sookie is OK), the storylines are different. So I'm at a loss at what to do for my TVD fix! The power of OCD!

But of the three (Twilight, True Blood, or TVD), I think TVD is my favorite. I never liked Bella and never thought she deserved Edward in either book or movie form (and I much preferred Jasper anyway), so Twilight is out. I lost interest in True Blood (the books, which I read first) when Sookie dumped Bill and, even though I watch the show, I constantly expect it to follow the books (another case of actors getting romantically involved and it affecting kisses with other actors), and find the storylines from the book confusing with the storylines from from the show in my head. I stopped the Sookie books at 7 when I realized they just weren't gonna get back together (I also don't like book Eric whereas most of the fan community love him and want him and Sookie to be together).

TVD has action, romance, drama, passion, humor (even if it can be dark), the supernatural, and pretty much any other genre you can think of. Even characters that get killed always seem to come back for one reason or another, so no one is ever lost in Mystic Falls! So as far as vamps go, I think The Vampire Diaries probably get my highest vamp series accolades!

Not sick of gray yet...

For someone who sleeps so much on the weekend, I sure got a lot of work done! I've decided not to limit myself to the confines of a page and I think it's helped with the page lines, but I've still got to be rigid a bit, so I'm sticking in the row.


But the good thing is I'm not sick of gray yet, which is important, if I'm gonna do Melencolia. It only has about 9 colors of gray and it will be huge, so there you go.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I see the outline of a head!!!

Lookie!! Yea me!

I've done tons of big projects before, but there is something about this HAED. It's really having a strange effect on me and I've become completely obsessed with it (OK, so that's not new, but...). I can't tell if it's because you don't have to do fractional stitches and can just flow or if it's because of the complexity of the project. I really should also be working on A Summer Ball, but I can't focus on it. I also think I'm really enjoying starting in the top left corner. As a lifelong center starter, doing the best stuff first and saving the crap stuff for last, with this it's crap, then good, then crap, then good, you don't get a chance to get bored with it! Plus, being out of the Disney loop for a while, I feel like part of a community again, well, as much as a complete social-phobe, internet-only communicator can feel a part of a community and in a weird kind of way I kind of like it!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis the season - and why my inner Scrooge needs rehab

Worst nightmare for a social-phobe and an Asper-girl? Sitting in a room full of people (even if they are family) and having them all staring at you while you open presents, expecting you to react a certain way, when reactions are, by your very nature, almost impossible to fake. It's extraordinarily terrifying and you are forced to endure it every single year of your life and it never gets easier, only worse...this is my 41st year of torture. A very wise woman once wrote "Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable". That woman was Jane Austen and I'm more than a little convinced that she was an Aspger-girl too.

So how did I solve the problem of the dreaded Christmas present opening as a child? The only way I knew how...I got in my parents closet before Xmas and opened the presents to see what they were, re-wrapped them, and practiced my reactions. But that still didn't solve the problem of being stared at. Sometimes I'd get away with hiding behind a couch or tucking myself in a corner to open gifts so no one could see me. Another trick I used to use was to open packages very slowly because people get bored waiting for you to open and focus their attention elsewhere (but going slower means everyone else finishes before you and then they are all left staring). Trust me, I've tried every trick...none made me feel better. To make matters worse, I come from a divorced family, so I had to deal with this situation numerous home, at my Dad's, at my Step-dad's parents, and at my Aunt's.

Now that I'm an adult and I no longer have a relationship with my father, my Step-dad's parents have both passed, and my Aunt has merged Christmas with home, home is the only Xmas demon left, but the demon has grown. I have a label for my condition and it should make things better, but I think its made them worse. I know how I'm going to react and how situations affect me, so it builds the dread even higher no matter how hard I try to control it. And my corner-hiding present opening is even worse now, but at least I can add the blessing of alcohol to the mix to make the experience a bit more tolerable! LOL!

Then there is the dreaded what to buy people. This is where the OCD kicks in. I completely obsess over it. Gifts had to be perfect and people had to love them and that's a ton of pressure. After a while, I wised up and did gift cards and those years were great the pressure was off (at least for me...don't know how the recipients felt and frankly didn't care), but then my bank quit having them and with my social issues, it's not like I can go anywhere and buy them, so last year I had to go back to presents and it was 10x worse and I even did it online instead of in public! This year will be yet another story. Work is terrible and there is no way I'll have time to buy presents or find another safe haven for gift cards, plus I have the added bonus of the migraine problem adding to the stress. Yea me.

Plus, you can't go anywhere in this town in December. Traffic is bumper to bumper everywhere. The grocery store is full, the gas station is full, the bank is full, even the line at Taco Bell is out into the street at 3 am!! What about Christmas makes people want to leave their homes? Here we go with the social issues again. As someone who uses the exact same gas pump at the same gas station every single time, it upsets the balance of life if I have to use a different one. Worst problem for an Asperger? Throw a monkey wrench in our daily routine...guaranteed adult temper tantrum. And what is the entire month of December but a daily series of flying monkey wrenches!!

The ultimate holiday annoyance? How people seem to "transform" into "nice" people. Is it because as children we are taught to be "nice" instead of "naughty" so Santa will come, then when we become adults this concept is hardwired into our DNA and we can't help it? Is it a sugar high from all the sweets? Is it the excitement from the prospect of future gifts? What could possibly cause an entire species to alter their mood? Even the meanest of people wear Santa hats and send Christmas cards! They constantly hum annoying Christmas songs (yes, I hate Christmas music you didn't know that was coming - but come on, the same 20 songs, recorded 1000 times, played over and over for a solid month, how can anyone like it?) and cook really gross food (yep, I don't like Christmas-type food either - for someone so chubby, you'd never guess I'm such a picky eater!).

The perfect Christmas for me? To be able to stay home alone and spend the day the way I want to (probably sleeping or stitching). I did actually manage it one year and I have to say, it was the best Christmas I ever had. Presents were brought to me and I was able to open them in the privacy of my own home...alone...without an audience. Sheer bliss! Will it ever happen again? I do try every year, but my Mother is a big fan of the guilt card. Because if there is one thing I have been taught in my life, it's that what I want or need doesn't matter. No matter how uncomfortable I am, it's my job to make sure that everyone around me is happy (be that a real or imagined observation, it's how I feel so it's real for me). I'm sure my family would say that me wanting to stay home alone is me being selfish...they say potato...

My way of dealing is turning on the Scrooge. It's not because I hate Christmas (I actually do love getting presents and watching the parades on the tele and I love ornaments - even though I haven't put up a tree in 13 years), it's because of the stress of all of the above points. Other people ruin Christmas for me. So, pretty involuntarily I might add, It's almost like I think that if I treat people bad enough, they will finally say "stay home, we don't want you this year" and then I can enjoy Christmas on my own, but they never do. So I guess the world turns "nice" and I turn "naughty"...ooohhh snap! Inner realization!!! I love those!

Then, I always take the week after Christmas off, just to get my head screwed back on straight and try to suppress the Scrooge for another year, almost like a holiday rehab. Plus, emerging from the safety of my private haven back into the big terrible world after the holidays are over and people have gone back to normal, means all the monkey wrenches have a chance to be put back in their respective tool boxes. But for the past couple of years even my vacation has been taken away from me for various reasons. I've scheduled it again this year, but my hopes aren't high. That may be the reason why my inner Scrooge has become so big, he hasn't been suppressed for years!

So as we enter another December, I promise to try to control my inner Scrooge, at least on my blog anyway, but if he does escape from time to time, at least now you'll know why and hopefully won't hold it against me too much!

Finally, an update!

It's not a ton of advancement, but I did get about a third of page 3 done. At least this will be the last of the "seam" pages now that I know how to prevent them (thx Vickie and Joysze!). But the first page seam is already fading, so I am more confident that time as well as washing and framing will fix them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

No new stitch update

I have done absolutely no stitching this week, not a single square. But hopefully, knock on wood (or the particle board that makes up 97% of the furniture in my house), this should be the worst of the work weeks for the holidays, at least for a little while. I've come home every night too tired to do anything but sleep, except for the headache days, and those where just too terrible to remember. But the funny thing was, I spent most of the day at work doing nothing but thinking about stitching!

I think I've decided not to try to frog the page seam lines. I'm hoping that washing and ironing when I'm done will fix what little damage there is. It would probably cause far more damage trying to frog it anyway.

I did finally break down and sign up on the HAED message boards. Talk about information overload! They do have a section to post requests for projects and I've been dying to suggest a few, so yea! I'm not a big message board poster (I've been on the DisBoards since '03 and I've barely got over 500 posts...most people do that in a week!). For some reason I tend to kill threads and never get answers to my posts. And in case ya'll haven't noticed, I'm not only a horrible commenter, but I'm horrible at responding to comments! I don't know how to compliment and I don't know how to be complimented! I'm always afraid I'm going to offend because I have no filter.

In case you haven't checked out my Stash section, I did get a couple of new HAED's. Why can't they stop having sales? They are worse than JCPenney!

The first is Alternative Reality by Josephine Wall. This epitomizes me (ever notice how I say that alot...must I always pick projects that center around me? apparently so)! Even the dress is pretty similar to my prom dress! But being trapped between the crappy real word and your happy place, not knowing which one to go anyway, here it is:
Alternative Reality

Then there is Foxglove Ball by Aimee Stewart. I don't know what it was about this one. I just knew the second I saw it I had to have it! But lord it's gonna be a pain! It's massively huge, it's got tons of confetti, and it has 147 pages!

How in the world I'm ever gonna have time to finish any of these I have absolutely no clue! I could stitch 24/7 for the rest of my life and never finish what is in my stash pile right now! But I guess most of us are that way! At least I don't have anyone in the house other than me mucking up my time! My ex-husband never would have let me stitch like I do now. He couldn't have stood me not paying attention to him! The only time I got to stitch back then was during hunting season! Times I definitely don't miss!

But I will try to work a bit this 3 will be exciting! Hair! Who knew someone could get so excited over hair!