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Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog, I am glad you are here. For the most part, I use this to comment (and sometimes ramble...) about the many things I love or perhaps am fascinated with this week. This can include quite an assortment of topics, including my propensity for reading novels at all hours of the day, writing, art, and travel, as I do have a serious case of Wanderlust.

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." ~St. Augustine

Monday, October 31, 2011

About 3 Hours Left --

until NaNoWriMo!!!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's already here!

I did not do as much prep as I would have liked (even though I did decide to let the 30 day constraint help to shape the story a bit more this year), but there's no sense in dwelling on that because it is almost upon us!

I have a few ideas for how this 30 day, caffeine infused party is going to go, and I can only hope I have the success of last year. I look forward to some great Write Ins with Ana and my other NaNo acquaintances and to have 30 straight days of creative expression.

That being said.... I will try to post something every once in a while on here, but chances are it will be pretty quiet around here for about a month or so :). But who knows, I may have a day I need to work some plot kinks out or get over a writer's block, so I will for sure share some of those experiences too, perhaps even update you briefly on my word count from time to time.

Something warm, slippery, and odd....

I had two ultrasounds today, one of my abdomen and one of my thyroid/neck area/shape.

It was very odd-feeling. The goop was warmed up (nice of her :) but it was a weird shade of blue and slimy. And the 'wand' thing hurt me a little, but that's just because my kidneys are hurting (and I am kinda a wimp when it comes to this kind of stuff....:/).
My neck did not hurt, but it was just a bit awkward because I needed to be a 'long neck' and so I was laying down in a way that facilitated this shape. Again, I just think Odd is the best way to describe it. My tech was super nice though, which of course made me feel a lot more comfortable. I feel do much closer to my internal organs now that I have gazed upon them lovingly.

So now it's the waiting game to see what's up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Thursday

I am sure you all are familiar with the website CraigsList, yes? The land of legitimate business dealings and also some of the creepiest stuff ever.

Well, another one of my guilty pleasures lies within these gates of anonymous abandon. Under their 'for sale/wanted' section, there is a little word called free. This is where people who have stuff they don't want and are not charging for it (hence the appropriate use of the word, free, mind you) can put up an add to try and get rid of it. I would say maybe 75% of this stuff could fall under the legitimate business dealings we talked about before. You know, I have this old piano that won't fit in my new apartment so if you come and pick it up, it's yours for free. Fine and dandy, those things weigh a ton, by the way (probably not actually 2000 pounds, but excuse my hyperbole. They're heavy bastards).

However, the other 25% of the time these things are amazingly odd, interesting, or just plain creepy. And for some reason, this makes my day. Yes, more than once have I been given the heeby geebies after viewing some of the items people want to get rid of (and think that someone will actually want, free or no!) but it just makes me happy in an odd way.

So, my advice to you is this. Check it out, perhaps on a rather gloomy or boring day you may be having. You never know what free treasures may be out there, waiting to haunt your dreams for you.

My all time favorite (so far) from what I have seen -- A man took a picture of his hand holding a single red brick and was offering it to someone for free. One little brick, in his hand, captured forever on the interwebs. There was some LOL'ing for sure.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wendesday: Nashville!

This November, I shall be returning to one of my favorite US cities for some Blackhawks/Predators action (and of course for some honky-tonk/cowboy/country music happenings, too :D)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is this even a thing?

Hello there, happy Monday Tuesday!
I really hate how often this happens. I start a blog and then I get interrupted so I save it, only to come back later (tomorrow) and not have posted it yet. Boo. Oh well. Onward!

Here is the question of the yesterday...
How specific is too specific of sub-genres of books? For example, there are the big ones: Mystery, Romance, Biography, Fiction, yadda yadda. Then it breaks down a bit more: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, and I am sure there are more not relating to historical bits but my brain doesn't work right now...

My example that I think may be too specific is the type of Romances that are my favorite. Scottish Highland Historical Romances. It probably is. But, the way I see it is this, if I have it narrowed down so far, if I pick one up that fits into this cubby hole I can maybe know that I will at least like it.

Okay! Here's another example. I like books that have a parallel plot feature to them. Like the two 'present day' characters are chugging along and then -bam!- the book shifts to some time in the past with a new main character and the author beautifully connects the two planes of existence and reality into an amazingly page-turning, I'm not getting any sleep 'till this is over bonanza. Mmmmm I do love those.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Read more books.

Happy Wordless Wednesday (except for those....and these to follow....)

Also, even though this is from a movie (can you guess which one? if you're correct you will win an abundance of pride in knowing your Disney (hint hint) stuff :D)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Amazing Luck

Yesterday night I was tumblin' on Tumblr, looking up the tag Scotland (big surprise, I know). I went through several pages, and then my heart skipped a beat. A simple back and white picture made time stop for a second or two.

It was a picture of an old man in full Highland regalia on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. He was looking off camera, his face showing many years of many memories.

The amazing thing for me is that I met this man when I was in Scotland this summer. I took a picture with him and he was raising money for Ovarian Cancer. He had the kindest, brightest blue eyes I have ever seen in my life. The moment I saw him near St. Giles Cathedral, I was drawn to him like a magnet. I will never forget his face, his touch, his smile.

However, I never thought I would see him again, and I did. Okay, I know it's not the same thing, but for this picture to capture this same man, with the thousands of people, let alone dozens of pipers, in that city on any given day, and then for me to find it in the hundreds of posts with said tag, it was just amazing. I was speechless for a few minutes, and then had to go share it with my mom, who was there with me. She loved it.

It's hard to convey these kind of memories or experiences. It was so deeply personal to me for a number of reasons, so I could not not share.

(I will post a link to the photographer's flickr soon)

////Here it is! Check it out, it's beautiful <3

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Idea! I love those!

Okay. So. As we know, NaNoWriMo is creeping up on us and will thankfully be here before we know it! Horray!

However, I have not at all been getting my writing juices flowing nearly as much as I should be. To rectify this, I am going to try and write a very, very short piece of, well, anything really, that is inspired by this awesome Random Word Generator I found tonight. I will spin the wheel click the button of destiny and see where it goes. I don't want to make promises, but I am shooting for maybe two or three times a week?

This will hopefully get the good writing joojoo out and get the creativity imps running on their tiny wheels in my brain parts. Excellence, all around, if you ask me!

So, we begin with: CURATOR.

Violet walked in to the building, and was surprised at once by the lack of patrons. Checking her watch, she saw that the museum had been open for almost an hour, but perhaps it was the steady rain outside that was keeping the history buffs and busloads of students away this Wednesday morning.

Making her way to the coat check, she shrugged out of her damp coat and handed it over, along with her umbrella. A few stray drops of rain puddled on the dark wood counter, and she quickly pulled the sleeve of her sweater over her had to blot it up.

"Don't worry miss" the attendant insisted "this old thing has seen much worse that a few drops of water." Violet opened her mouth to offer an apology despite his comment, but the elderly man had disappeared into the coat room once again.

"Well, I will just catch him when I leave, then." She thought to herself. Picking up the small scrap of paper that proclaimed her habiliments were safely stowed away in bin 17, she began her familiar walk to the exhibit that had prompted this third visit of hers. Coming all the way from the Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, the Highlander History and Tradition exhibit had finally made its way across the pond. Broadswords, tartan, ancient armor and everything in between was exactly the inspiration Violet was looking for to aid her in the historical fiction she was trying to write.

This particular visit, however, was going to be a bit different. She had made a few calls and somehow had been able to make an appointment to speak with the curator of the exhibit, a Mr. Gaelan Cairns, also from Scotland. Despite the fact that the hours she had spent in the exhibit had lent the entire room to memory, being able to hear about the history of the pieces from someone who shared her passion was something she would never pass up.

She made her way though the rich wooden halls teeming with more history that would have to wait for another day. She rounded the last corner and saw the glint from the wall that held the various armaments collected from various Highland battlefields. For a second, she imagined the fierce warriors that held these things, ready for battle, causing some chill bumps to run across her shoulders. From the research she had already done, it was amazing to her the sheer strength of these people, both on and off the battlefield, and what a rich history they had, although not lacking in sorrow and darkness at times.

Snapping back into the matters at hand, she found her bearings once again and turned towards the row of office towards the back of the room. She gasped in surprise as her daydreams and haste in moving had prevented her from seeing that she was well on her way to careening into something behind her.

It was a blur at first, but it soon stated to take shape as strong arms reached out to steady her. Opening her mouth to try and apologize, the second time in less than an hour, she thought, she was met with the bluest eyes she had ever seen, and a voice with a brogue that brought on a whole new series of chills...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Alcohol and Crafts. A perfect combination.

So here's something fun. Not only can one enjoy the process of procuring the materials needed for this craft, but enjoying the fruits of your very hard labor is pretty!

Simply take some bottles that have been emptied... If I remember correctly, the bottles in question here were a basic red wine, some delicious raspberry wine we tried once, and some gin. Delish. Rinse them out well, and remove labels, if possible. Here, the light blue gin bottle (let's call it sapphire, okay? hint hint) does have some etchings on it, but that's fine. As for paper labels, sometimes it takes a good soak in very hot water (rinse and repeat) and there are also a bunch of products out there that can take off any remaining gooey residue.

Pick a flower to showcase. It should be tall enough for whatever bottle you choose. For me, sunflowers are a beautiful representation of fall with their range of colors from bright yellow to burnt orange, and the stalk is tall and thick enough to give it all the support it needs.

Fill up the bottle with water (I'd say halfway is fine) and some of the 'food' packet that comes with it. Remember to change the water from time to time, adding more food, as this will prolong the life (okay, prolong the inescapable death that has been bestowed on said flower since it was ripped from the ground....) of your project.


Como se dice.... domination?

Hello out there, we're on the air, it's HOCKEY NIGHT TONIGHT!

Oh, that's a great song indeed. And tonight's game shall be greater indeed.

Speaking of hockey, let's just say that this week, I am almost dominating in the fantasy league. Only the twin bruddah is giving me some sort of competition.

Yes, I know it's a longer week because of the day the season started, but still. I'm going to revel in my glory. So pipe down and let me :)

Let's just hope I didn't jinx myself...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fiction Friday: Transfer

The One-Minute Writer's Friday Fiction! Check it out and get writing!

Here's mine...

"Oh my god, what happened here...." said Davis, repulsed at the hell hole of a crime scene he found himself in so early on a Monday morning, no less.

"What, this your first rodeo, kid?" The lead detective gave him a look he hoped he'd never have to see again, and straightened himself up from his crouched position. This was his first day on homicide and he wasn't doing himself any favors in the way of making a name for himself.

Ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of this job. His dad, his grandpa, and all of his uncles were all detectives, serving in some of the darkest places of the city he loved. The day he buried his dad and they handed his mother that folded flag, he knew he had to carry on that famous legacy his old man left behind. There was no one on the force that didn't love that man, and while it was nice to hear them reminisce from time to time, they were sure some damn big shoes to fill.

Snapping him out of his brief daydream, Detective MacLean snapped at him again. "Well rook, what do you make of it?"

Here we go, Davis thought. While he was still learning the ropes and trying not to piss too many more people off, this was his bread and butter. The initial crime scene impression. He had a gift for noticing the less than obvious details of any room he walked into, and he hoped this would help those in charge see past his other not quite honed skills as a detective. Like tiny pangs of nausea that still hit him on those real messy scenes.

"Well, it was clearly staged, the whole thing." he began, garnering strange looks from the techs who were beginning to process the scene. Clearly with the amount of blood that covered the floor, wall and victim, they thought otherwise. Before anyone could jump in and object, he continued. "All the blood, it's obvious. Someone put it there. Take the door frame. See those streaks there? That is clearly transfer from some sort of cloth. you can tell by the fibers that caught on the raw edge of the wood, just there. I'd bet my next paycheck if we look at those sheets over there, we'd find a match. And there's not a single print in any of it. If a struggle took place here, which I think they want us to believe, we would absolutely have at least a partial on the wall. But there's nothing. I'd say that whoever did this killed the vic relatively quickly and then made this mess. He wants us to think it was a struggle, maybe a break-in gone wrong. But it wasn't. That poor girl knew who did this to her."

Davis turned from the blood covered wall to see how MacLean had taken his first impression. Surprisingly, he was already having the sheets processed, doing an initial comparison to the clearly obvious match on the frame. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all...

it has a name!

and that name is Iliac Furrow.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are you listening?

No, really? Are you?

One of my favorite Saint Benedict quotes is this "Listen and attend with the ear of your heart." I think this is so relevant to my initial question.

How many times can you honestly say you listen to the person speaking to you, across from you, on the phone, etc? I think we'd all like to say "All the time, of course!", but is that really accurate?

Let's say one is engaged in an argument or heated discussion, are you listening to the other person, or are you thinking about how you are going to respond to what they just said? Or, let's say you're speaking with someone and the whole "Hi. How are you" bit goes on. Do you really listen to how they are doing?

But Kim, I do listen when I ask people that and all they say is 'I'm good' or 'Okay". Well... what do you make of that. With the myriad of things that a person goes on with not only in that 24 hour period, but also including all the other things that they have been going through, are preparing for, etc, do you really think a one or two word answer sums it up?

Sure, they may be preoccupied and not ready or able to break it all down and speak with you ((especially when the person asking continues to walk right by, sometimes before you even answer their question!)), but I also very much think that we have all been programmed this way. We are always 'fine' or 'okay', and we should not burden others with what is going on. How are we to truly listen then if all the messages we have been receiving have been to not speak?

And going back to the Saint Benedict quote, I think it takes even more work to not only listen to what someone is saying to you, but to do so with your heart. Truly hear and in doing so, feel, with the person and what they are saying to you.

But Kim, you're a counselor so you know empathy and Carl Rogers and blah blah blahhhh.

Nope. I'm not buying it. Human connection and empathy is innate. We all possess the skills to do this, but again I think for whatever reason we shy away from this. Empathy let's us actually feel with the person. If someone is having a very sad day, why would we want to share in that experience that with them? Well, sometimes that is exactly what they (and everyone, at many, many times in their lives) need. Not sympathy. We don't need people to just understand or support us, perhaps feeling sorry for our situation. We would like someone to share our experience with us, be that fellow sufferer (because we all are, anyway!) and listen.

What am I going to hear today?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Artist of the Day! ///edited for your visual pleasure///

The first winner of this sought after title goes to one of my favorites. Biffy Clyro. (check them out! if you find you fancy them, join team biffy!)

This Scottish rock trio from Kilmarnock consists of Simon Neil and the Brothers Johnston, Ben and James. And I just love them. Their sound is extremely diverse, and to me, no two of their songs sound alike. They are just amazing.

One time whilst I was frolicking around Scotland, I heard them in a taxi and flipped out in the best way possible. It was a pretty perfect moment if I may say so myself :)

Also, they are precisely what is getting me through this Monday at work. Blargh.

A good friend of mine suggested that I include a picture. I agree. I scoured the interwebs and this is a favorite :)

Notice, if you will, their dashing Scottish good looks and obvious charm, as well as the twin-ness of the brothers Johnston. Love <3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday already?!

Oh man, this weekend went by way too fast if you ask me... but then again, don't they all?

This weekend, however, was a nice one. I got to see some good friends I have not spent time with in quite a while, so that was a good time.

Also, I spent all of today babysitting my tiniest niece! She is walking and blowing kisses now and is just plain adorable! Every day I just can believe how much I love that little KatieBug :)

This morning I was able to finish Outlander for the 6th time. I think I fall in love with that book even more every time I read it. This run through, however, was interesting because it was the Anniversary Edition, so reading all the 'extras' was great too. Now, back to The Fiery Cross and all those other books I have my nose in as well.

Ughhh..... I still feel sick from the fumes last night, so this will be short and sweet. Meaning it's over :)

Hopefully this coming week I will feel more inspired. I need to get the flow going, just over 3 weeks until I have to start cranking out 1,667 words a day (@ least, that is...)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Something Bad....

So last week, we remember, I ate ice cream for dinner after a pretty long and super stressful week. Understanding that this was not the best thing to do... this week I did something else bad....

I had ordered some new work clothes (aka monkey suits hehe) and had them shipped to the store for free. Woo hoo. But that is not the bad part.

So, I get to the Promenade and enter said store and look around for a wee while, just in case I find something else I don't really need can't live without.

Nothing caught my eye right away, so I went to the front and handed the nicest sales girl my 'pick up' papers. She got my order, but not before pointing out that with said paper, I could get 10 bucks off of 50 if I wanted to pick anything else up that day. So, I found some things. And opened a credit card to save 15%. And saved 10 bucks with the coupon.

And now I have buyers remorse. Eeep. But, this is probably better than eating ice cream for dinner again, right?? #rationalization

Monday, October 3, 2011

MYM: Perfect Fall Bonfire!

Good Morning!

As my first MYM post, I will take this time to celebrate the wonderful season and month we have entered, Fall! This past weekend, we made and enjoyed a wonderful, warm and snuggly Bonfire.

It is simple things like this that make fall so wonderful to me. My backyard is really nothing too spectacular, but when the stars are out and there is a roaring fire glowing through the screens of the fire pit, there are few things better.
And I am super excited that this coming weekend, I will be attending another Bonfire at my best friend's house with her family and some old friends of ours. I can't wait!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Finally October!

Thank goodness!

Along with all the classic fall things that are well under way (for the most part, at least... it's going to be almost 80 next week -- boo), October also brings with it HOCKEY SEASON!

I have been waiting all post season for this, and this week brings with it Opening Week! Tonight we had our NHL Fantasy draft, and let me tell you, this is much more stressful and competitive that it should be. I am maybe 85 percent happy with my roster; if about three of my guys can get healthy asap then we should be good to go. Also, over the post season my team relocated. Once known as the Five Hole One Timers (5H1T), we are now Two Man Advantage (5on3). So, perhaps with said new name and jersey we will have a better season than last. Fingers crossed....

Let the games begin!