Sunday, August 31, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions, The Megastars

Here are three men that the magazines can't get enough of. While I believe these men have a certain appeal, they are not my absolute favorites.

source - www.celebrityfashionwatch.comName: Orlando Bloom (Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom)
Best Known For: If you don't know...
Year of Birth: 1977
Status: Single
Height: 5'11"
Fun Fact: Has dyslexia
I really enjoyed watching him play Legolas. He's one that is more attractive to me with his clothes on.

source - julieluongo.wordpress.comName: Matt Damon (Matthew Paige Damon)
Best Known For: Do you live under a rock?
Year of Birth: 1970
Status: Married (Two kids)
Height: 5'10"
Fun Fact: Pulled a salary of $26,000,000 for his role in "The Bourne Supremacy"
I've always thought he was kinda cute. I have to admit that when they first came on the scene (he and BFF Affleck) I had a hard time remembering who was who.

source - papercutblog.blogspot.comName: Gerard Butler (Gerard James Butler)
Best Known For: Don't even go there
Year of Birth: 1969
Status: Single
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: Was going to become a lawyer until he changed his mind.
I think if I were to rank these three I'd put Gerard first. He is just a manly man which I much prefer over the waif boys.

They all look best when they are grinning or smiling, don't you think? Just in case you are a hermit with only the computer for company these three are actors and have been on someone's list as the sexiest or hottest at some point if not now.

I've also got some other Honorable Mentions lined up and decided this was a good spot to give the name of a famous male I will never devote a post to. This is the beginning of my DCI List (Don't Cut It): Patrick Dempsey

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chocolate: Bucare

So, B calls to let me know he's on his way home. He says he "has something for me." He tried to be mysterious. I say, "Chocolate?!" Big sigh on his part. Like I would guess anything else.

He brings home El Rey Bucare 58.5% Dark Chocolate. The wrapper boasts using only Venezuelan cacao beans. It is a very sweet bar and at the same time holds a somewhat bitter dark chocolate taste. It has a strong taste, almost fruity to me because of the sugar, like a cross between a milk chocolate and a rich dark chocolate. Which is what it really is.

I've never declared that I was amongst the chocolate elite, the snobs. I certainly don't have the right terminology to describe the chocolate. Try this review. It has a picture of the bar's bright orange wrapper.

I didn't ask B how much he spent, I'm afraid to. Chocolate can get expensive, and price is one of the factors involved when deciding to buy, but I think I'd get it again. Part of the reason is I had to share the bar. Four 1 inch by 1 inch squares is not enough. Hey, now that I think about it he said he had something for me. I shouldn't have had to share! He owes me...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Books: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

The Mysteries of Harris BurdickIf you aren't familiar with the name Chris Van Allsburg, then you should be. Let me refresh your memory...The Polar Express, Jumanji, and Zathura. All three of these books of Van Allsburg's were made into movies. As with all wonderful children's authors, these are hardly all his books. One such "neglected" book is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

When I was younger I was ceaselessly encouraged to go out and play, not sit around and watch TV, which has become increasingly frequent these days. We have noticed that children who watch a lot of TV have lost what we gained when we went outside - imagination. Many parents and educators are trying to entice children to read more books and bring about the excitement and imagery in books that increases imagination.

Imagine going one step further.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick has pages of Van Allsburg's wonderful illustrations. Each illustration is accompanied by a book title and one or two lines from the "story". We not only have to bring the story to life with pictures as we read...we have to come up with the story, too! What a way to create imagination! A love of reading and writing all rolled into one.

This is a fun book for all from parents telling goodnight stories, to children learning to write stories in school, to adult writers who need writing exercises. At Amazon there are 76 reviews. Seventy-four of them are 5 star. I can't wait to get my hands on it because I don't own it...yet!(hint, hint)

Friday, August 22, 2008

TV: Eureka

Hmmm. Where do I start? If you haven't figured out by now that I like sci fi, then this must be the only post you've read. Eureka, on the Sci Fi channel is one of my faves. The show focuses on a town called Eureka (Wiki link) whose residents are nearly all genius scientists. The arrival of the new sheriff starts the series and it is he who saves the town from the adverse effects of the scientists' creations.
The first exclamation of awe would be caused by the gadgets. They are a geeks dream: sidewalk hover scooters, cars that drive themselves, and a house with artificial intelligence. I mean, the house can be miffed that you're late for a meal and lock you out. Imagine a house like that with highly imaginative teenagers. They'd never destroy the house with a party.

The next giddy "Oooh" has to do with the humor. The scientists never use normal descriptions and Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) is one of the few non-geniuses. Imagine how he'd react to the science speak. "It's a ray that causes instant death. Why don't you just say death ray?" That sort of sums up his comments. He and another character named Fargo provide most of the funny moments. Here's one more:
Allison (In charge of the company that all the scientists work for and Carter's boss) - "It's not my fault that there are things about yourself that you are just not cleared to know."
Carter - "Yeah, I would hate to find out something about myself that if I told me, I would have to kill me."

The last engaging quality is the plot. There is actually something going on here that underlies each of the wacky disasters. There was an unknown entity, a trusted character going rogue, a deceptive psychologist, and the latest a big brother character who has some secret we don't know about yet. Even each episode leaves you guessing about what is really going on. Just plain fun!

Check it out...Tuesdays, Sci Fi, 9/8C

OMG! I wrote this last week. Yeah, I know, but I do work for a living. Anyway, did you see this week's episode? Holy moly. Can't wait until the season finale (because I know they aren't going to clear up the problem in next week's episode.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Miscellaneous: Crochet Two

I've got three projects going right now that have not been finished and another I want to start. This does not bode well for the end of my free time. One of my unfinished projects is a baby blanket for a friend. I felt bad that I didn't finish it before the little one came and avoided visiting because of it (where is the shame face?) Finally, I showed the mom my unfinished part and promised to get it done. Instead I made shame blankie, "I'm ashamed I didn't finish the original, here's a gift while you wait."
Baby Guilt Blankie
It turned out really well, took longer than I thought, and is made from a simple extra, extra large granny. I bought an "edges" book for B's mom and borrowed it for the project. The overall idea came from a blanket B's mom received as part of a gift raffle at the yearly family reunion. I know the creator doesn't read my blog, but a thank you goes to her for the idea.
Close up of edges

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Men: Charles Divins

Charles Divins
Charles Divins

Name: Charles Divins
Best Known For: Modeling, Soap Passions
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 5’11”
Fun Fact: Intended to become a hospital administrator

Finding this guy’s handsome mug was a fluke. I put single, but his MySpace page says he’s in a relationship. He’s not as tall as I usually like, but he plays bass guitar. Wouldn’t you just melt if he played the guitar for you? Okay, you have to visit his official site or my link for Hunky Celebs and use one of the many pictures for visualization.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate: The Dark

I was reading somewhere on the Net that if you're a real chocoholic and a craving needs to be filled it can be done with less chocolate if it's dark. I'm a milk chocolate kind of gal, but I've been desperate. The last grocery shopping trip yielded Dove 63% Cacao Silky Smooth Extra Dark Chocolate Promises** and Ghirardelli Intense Dark Mint Bliss 60% Cacao.

Instinctively I refrigerated the Ghirardelli because of its reputation and have spent the last week giving in to my craving. Either the Net was right or I've learned some self control (yeah, right) because I still have both in my possession. There are 13 out of 20 Promises left and 3 out of 8 Mint Bliss squares.

So what are my impressions? First, I have to say that while Hershey is an American favorite, I can't enjoy it. I love the sugar and the chocolate, but it has an aftertaste. If I've eaten a better chocolate right before, I actually cringe. Second, in the chocolate review circles on the Net, Dove is not that highly ranked. I really shouldn't be comparing it to Ghirardelli (although there are some chocolate snobs out there who don't think it's that much better).

Dove has an intense dark chocolate taste on my milk chocolate tongue. Once you get past the initial slick coating it melts great but the chocolate doesn't linger. Five minutes after eating there was a woody, burnt taste on my tongue. In fairness, eating the Ghirardelli at the same time probably affected my tastebuds.

Ghirardelli, even cold from the fridge, had nearly instant contact melt. Once it didn't feel like an ice cube it settled into a nice minty chocolate taste. It melted all the way down to the nub and left a creamy chocolate taste. Again, it may not be fair that Dove didn't have another taste like mint, orange or raspberry to add to the chocolate taste.

While I won't shy away from Dark Dove at a party, I won't be buying it like I will Ghirardelli. Mint Bliss wins.

** No link available at Dove. :o(

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Books: Chrestomanci

Diana Wynne Jones is a British fantasy fiction author best known for Howl's Moving Castle, a book upon which the movie by Miyazaki was based, and the Chrestomanci series. The Chrestomanci is a character in her books, started in 1977, who is a powerful enchanter. It is his responsibility to monitor magic use in the world and is born into the position by having nine lives. There are eight other parallel worlds where each person has a parallel self. For the Chrestomanci, the other eight don't exist giving all of their power to the Chrestomanci.

Even though he is a powerful enchanter, he can't keep himself from dying (well, after he loses his lives), so another person must take his place. Most of the books have Christopher Chant and Eric Chant, Chrestomanci and successor, as the important characters. There are other very interesting parts of this fantasy world, some of which will make you think of Harry Potter. In fact, Wiki says that some of Jones' lesser known books were republished as a result of Potter's success.

Jones' recommended reading order is Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad's Fate, Witch Week, The Magicians of Caprona and the short stories (Mixed Magics) can be read in any order after that. The Pinhoe Egg, my recent read, can be read after The Lives of Christopher Chant, however I have not yet read Conrad's Fate. The chronological order (for the events in the story) is as follows: The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad's Fate, Charmed Life, The Magicians of Caprona, and The Pinhoe Egg. The other short stories can be read separate from the main stories.

All in all, this is a great set of children's books about magic and fantasy that I recommend as an adult. Jones is 73 years old now and still published a novella last year. Although the first few books seemed to start slow, once I was used to the story line and her writing, it was a breeze.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

TV: Fall Premieres 2008

There is only one reason that I ever want a summer to end. That is for the fall premieres of my favorite TV shows. Some shows are really nice about their season finales. They don't leave us hanging in suspense. I used to sit for about 10 minutes after a season finale still staring at the TV screen waiting for more and trying to absorb the fact that I'd have to wait four months to see what happens next.

USA Network has made that a little easier by having summer shows (Monk and Psych.) The other networks aren't as nice. They give us reality shows, which for the most part, I'm not fond of (I do like Biggest Loser.) So here are some links to peruse:

Here are the ones I'm looking forward to:
Sept 3, Wed - Bones, FOX
Sept 16, Tues - House, FOX: The Biggest Loser, NBC
Sept 18, Thurs - Supernatural, CW
Sept 22, Mon - Heroes, NBC
Sept 25, Thurs - Ugly Betty, ABC
Sept 29, Mon - Chuck, NBC
Oct 1, Wed - Pushing Daisies, ABC
Oct 3, Fri - Ghost Whisperer, CBS: Numb3rs, CBS
Oct 9, Thurs - CSI, CBS

My other favorites, Reaper, Lost, and Medium, won't be airing until WINTER! And sort of a spoiler...if you pay attention to entertainment news at all you will know that William Petersen is not returning to CSI after the 10th episode this new season. CBS is having 'replacement' talks. Though I don't think anyone could replace him. That's when the shows start going downhill.

Happy watching!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Miscellaneous: Logic Puzzles

I love puzzles. My mini-obsession began when I was young and I watched my mother complete logic grid puzzles. She would buy Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games, in which there were only 4 logic puzzles. I would make my own grid after she solved (sometimes before!) and complete the puzzles. Later, I purchased my own magazines with only logic puzzles and have some which date back to the late '80s. For my 21st birthday I made tons of puzzles and games for my guests to solve instead of drinking (which I don't do.)

It is hard to pick up logic puzzles if you don't like games, and logic riddles can be very frustrating. I like logic grid puzzles in which there is a reasonable, not tricky, answer through deduction. In Dell Logic Puzzles Magazine, the puzzles are ranked from 1 to 5 stars. The five star problems take me several days to solve.

Example - Ann, Bill, and Carl like to ride bikes. Their bikes are blue, red, and green. Match the person with the color of his or her bike using these clues: None of their first name initials match with the first letter of the color of their bike. Ann's bike color is not a primary color.

That was pretty easy, right? I did make the clues a little more challenging for such a simple match. Braingle has some online logic grid puzzles with interactive grids for solving. The general rule is to put an X in the intersecting box in which the answer is "no" and a dot in the box for "yes." Some puzzles don't work as well with the traditional grid and have different ones. Dell has a great 'how to solve' section in the front of each magazine showing two types of grids.

There are several other logic puzzles I like. To be continued.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Men: Jason Statham

Jason Statham
Name: Jason Statham
Best Known For: Movies, The One and Transporter
Year of Birth: 1972
Status: Single
Height: 5’10”
Fun Fact: Member of a diving squad (Olympics too)

Jason isn’t my normal choice for the Men category. He doesn’t quite have that cute face, however he is very, ahem, sexy. He has a great bod, he regularly 'Nuff saidplays bad boy types, and he does his own stunts…his own stunts! That’s right, folks. The climbing over the top of a truck to an overhead bridge, speeding through the streets in a Lamborghini, fighting off several guys at the same time, all him. Too cool.

Of course it takes martial arts knowledge, diving and driving skills, modeling experience, and an ooh la la accent (He’s British) to make him a stud muffin.


I've noticed that when I'm really busy I'm too tired at night to remember my dreams. When I'm stressed I have dreams directly related to my stress. May was a stressful month and I ended up having a dream about my boss and her bosses - it was not pretty. This past month I haven't been really stressed nor too tired, but I've been having dreams. Really weird dreams.

If I'm crocheting or surfing the Internet, I sometimes watch the SciFi channel's ridiculous B-movies. I had watched this movie Premonition the night before and dreamt about a plane crash. I knew the plane crash was coming, but didn't know when. For some reason I was at work, but not working. I was walking with my friends from high school (I still keep in contact with). One of them was killed by the crashing plane. I don't know why her in particular although I have some theories. I also think I know why it took place at work.

I had another dream last night. In getting the computer up this morning and counting up the number of pages I've read, I've forgotten the dream. It was another weird one. Anybody out there know how to analyze dreams? I think this appearance of dreams has something to do with having to get back to hard work. Sigh.

Book Update...Starting on June 12, 41 books read = 13,508
Weight Update...Gained another 2 pounds. I don't think it's muscle, but when I get back to work I think I'll start to lose again. Reading books doesn't burn calories.