Saturday, August 27, 2011


This is where I am from.  How beautiful is this?

I was looking around online, and it always amazes me when I can find something on the world wide web that originates in little Newport Virginia (that is NOT Newport News, thankyouverymuch), because the whole area seems to be straight out of the 1800's.

I found this website:  Windrush Farm.  This is literally less than a mile from where I grew up.  I was raised in the house that my father built for me to grow up in, built right next door to his sister and the place where he grew up.

To say that I did not appreciate the beauty of this area during my childhood would be such an understatement.  I was right there living next to that mountain, listening to Adam and the Ants and the Dead Kennedys and reading Anne Rice and dreaming of living in a real place, a place with public transportation and tall buildings and culture.

I suppose most teenagers are fairly stupid.

Now with the perspective of decades of distance I look at photos of the wondrous beauty of the Appalachian mountains and it just makes me ache with homesickness.  I like where I am now and I really don't want to move back, but it feels like a sizable chunk of my heart is there, and always will be.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Heart Art: An Etsy Experience

I love Etsy and can spend hours pooting around on the site, looking at handmade soaps and jewelry and wall hangings and clothes, and daydreaming about spending thousands of dollars.  Unfortunately, I don't happen to have thousands of dollars to spare, so I've never actually bought anything.

Until I saw this store!  This artist hand paints lovely little portraits onto actual pages from vintage books.  Having a bit of a book fetish, I thought this was the coolest thing ever.  And her prices, for originals or prints, are very reasonable.

So when I saw the sweet couple dancing in front of the Eiffel tower, I had to do it.  I bought a print (which is actually enlarged and is bigger than the original book page painting), and a set of note cards.

The artist is in England, and I was a little afraid of the possibility of the prints/cards getting bent in transit, but she packaged everything so well that the artwork reached my eager hands in perfect shape. And she even sent me a bonus note card as a gift, which was so nice of her.

Here's the Eiffel tower print, in a plain black 11x14 frame (I hung it by my bedside table):

The notecards were such good quality, I decided to frame one of those, too, and I put it on my dresser:

I'm sure this is obvious, but I do want to make it clear that she didn't compensate me or anything for this blog entry, I just wanted to share her stuff because I was so impressed with it.

And I'm so not kidding when I say I am really, really, really tempted to buy this, a giant octopus wall decal.  Neat!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Favorite Websites: Hot Guys Reading Books

Those of you who still haven't stopped cringing from my last favorite website post can relax, this one is safe for work.  Hot Guys Reading Books

It's a Tumblr site, a collection of submitted photos of guys who are reading books.  Photos taken of strangers on a bus or in a park, photos taken of boyfriends or husbands or brothers in bed or on the porch or lying on the couch.  There's even one photo of a celebrity hot guy reading a book:  Neil Gaiman.

One of my favorite parts is trying to see what they are reading.  Somehow it feels so intimate to see a stranger reading a book I've read; they're learning about my fictional friends, and sharing my literary experiences.

Seriously, any guy who reads is hot, because reading is hot, right?  Right.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Look Who Works In The 7-11

A real live Death Eater!  My goodness, they are everywhere.  

Other than the obvious negative attributes one has to assume of all Death Eaters (being evil, serving the Dark Lord, disliking the super awesome Neville Longbottom, being mean to Harry Potter, etc.) this particular Death Eater seemed quite nice.  She sold me my Coke Zero and my sunflower seeds quickly and efficiently, and if any evildoings happened while I was in the 7-11, I was unaware.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vali Myers Revisited

A few days ago I got a comment on a blog entry that I wrote last June about Vali Myers (here) from the Vali Myers Art Gallery Trust.

How wonderful!  I didn't know this organization existed.  They even have a Facebook page, here.  

There are a lot of interesting photos on their FB page, including a photo of the little house in Australia where she was born, photos of Vali herself, and some images of her artwork that I've never seen before.  They announced yesterday that they will soon show previously unseen diary entries by Vali, and I'm tremendously excited about that.

I am so delighted to know that her vivid, emotional artwork is still being loved and shared.

From their Facebook page:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Favorite Websites: Lurid Digs

Maybe I am kind of a voyeur, but this site just positively fascinates me. 

I want to say immediately, this site is exceedingly Not Safe For Work.  The site is a collection of unfortunate and usually hilarious photos taken from gay male hookup websites where people post photos of themselves, typically at home, typically naked.  The often funny part is their surroundings.  It's just odd to see a naked man sprawled across a chenille bedspread festooned with sweet little stuffed animals, or standing in front of a merrily decorated Christmas tree.  What, hot sex with strangers isn't your idea of a nice Christmas?  Everybody has their own traditions, okay!  That's what makes America great.

I have to admit, sometimes the photos make me slightly sad.  To see them naked and therefore vulnerable, and to assume they are looking for companionship (for a couple of hours or for ever); sometimes the photos strike me as poignant.  That is probably just me projecting my own psychological crap onto the people in the photos.  I am not able to have a naked photo taken of myself without feeling vulnerable to the point of panic, but clearly other people enjoy it and are empowered by it, and that's fine.  I am not interested in being physically intimate with someone I am not in a loving relationship with, but other people do it all the time and that's fine too.

I guess I am the type who would prefer to watch unseen, sometimes cringing on their behalf, and sometimes giggling.  It is entirely possible that the person who puts their own self in front of the camera and then enjoys a perfectly nice hookup is better off than the one hiding.

At any rate, I love this site so much.  One more time, this site is very Not Safe For Work.  The photos show naked men, mostly just sort of standing there (some of the men are doing more "standing" than others, if you know what I mean) but the ads show full on porn.  If you do not want to see actual porn, don't click here.  NSFW Lurid Digs NSFW

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Medical Blah Blah

I got the full report back from my blood test yesterday, and I do not have either thyroid problems or arthritis.  I still wonder what's up with the occasional pain in my joints, but since it is not bad I won't worry about it.
Apparently I have somewhat high cholesterol levels, so I need to work on that.  I know everybody says this all the time and it's just boring old empty words, but I need to change things.  I eat fairly well -- occasional trips to potato chip land or fried food town, but I spend more time eating baked chicken and steamed broccoli.  My main problem is that I don't get any real exercise, and now would be a fine time to change that, when my medical difficulties are still no big deal. 
Also, oddly, I have a Vitamin D deficiency!  I live in the Sunshine State, for heaven's sake.  The doctor actually wrote me a prescription, saying the over the counter Vitamin D wouldn't be strong enough for me.  Apparently Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a more and more widespread problem because of people wearing sunscreen, which blocks Vitamin D absorption. 
Internet research has not convinced me that I have roseacea, but I am giving the cream a chance to work, and I'm hopeful that the Biotin will help my hair loss, as I am currently a hideous mess.
No, really!  A HIDEOUS MESS.