This probably would have been more useful before Halloween, but I was busy. I threw a party, had to get my costume together, and I was sick for a week leading up to Halloween (hence, lots of reading). I’m sure you guys can use this next year, but I’ll forget to post it by then, so here you go. How did I carve my pumpkin? I’m glad you asked! I love Batman so much, I was hoping to lure him to my house with this Bat-signal pumpkin, but, sadly, it didn’t work. Next year I’ll get a bigger pumpkin.
This is two pumpkins worth of seeds. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them (liberally) with garlic salt, and then drizzle them with olive oil. This helps them soak up the garlic salt flavor and get crispy without drying out. Mix it all around with your hand, and put the pan in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Check them fairly frequently to make sure they get to your desired level of crispness. You can add some salt when they’re done cooking if you need to.
These are a great snack to eat while watching old horror movies, which is of course required on Halloween!
So far this year I have read and blogged 35 books. This post will bring me to 39, which makes an average of almost one per week. The following book is the one book that has continually hampered my progress the whole year. Let’s start this off with a “blah…..”
I thought this was going to be a book discussing the cons of a literal translation of the Bible (i.e. the Earth is only 6000 years old), versus a metaphorical understanding where science and religion can coexist easily. Nope, not even close. The author, Tom Harpur, is constantly referencing other books and authors as though you have read and are equally familiar with their texts. He gives no context, and often makes statements such as “I read Carlson’s take on this, and I agree with him”. How is that helpful or illuminating?
I cannot believe someone got paid to write a book saying he read other books. I persevered as much as humanly possible, but I cannot BEAR to waste another instant with this irritatingly vague book. And the cover art is terrible. I said it! On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “Huge over-dramatic groan and eye-roll anytime this book is mentioned in my presence”.
Penny Pinchers Club
This book was kind of disappointing. Yes, it’s about someone who spends ridiculous amounts of money and then has to go on a budget, which is cool, but it’s one of those books that could go either way up until the end. Then it ends. Poof! Deadline reached! Uck, and I don’t know what else I can tell you about the book that won’t ruin the plot. Regardless, I felt the ending was anti-climactic, and too abrupt to be believable. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “I’ll sell it and probably forget it immediately”.
The Goddess of Yesterday
This book is straight up fantastic. It’s historical fiction set during the time of the Trojan War. The main character is a young girl from an isolated island. She gets abducted by pirates, and then again leading to joining Helen of Troy’s household. The war breaks out soon after. The young girl is an awesome character, and the whole story is entertaining and compelling the whole way through. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “I will recommend it to all my friends and minions, and it has earned a place on my sacred shelves”.
The Further Adventures of Batman
By now, it’s pretty obvious that I love Batman, so it should be no surprise that this book found its way to my house. It was published immediately after the release of the original Batman movie. It’s a series of 14 short stories, one of which is by Isaac Asimov, all about Batman. A few of the stories were great, but several including the Asimov one, were terrible. They were boring and cheesy, and much more like the Adam West Batman series than the dark world Tim Burton created. On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “I may keep it just because it’s Batman”.
My awesome friend Jessica and I went to the citywide garage sale months ago, and there were some earrings I saw that I loved, but didn’t buy, since I’m trying to cut down on the amount of stuff I have. Jessica bought them for me, and we both promptly forgot about it. She found them again, and gave them to me, and I was super excited. That’s the benefit of having a friend with a goldfish brain: you can buy gifts in front of them and they will still be surprised.
So these are the earrings. They are clip-ons, and just crying out for Adam West Batman type words on them.
See what I mean? So that was my inspiration. First thing was pulling the flippy parts of the clip-ons off.
By just pinching at the base with some pliers, the flippy parts popped off easily.
I then bent that part back so the necklace wouldn’t stick out too far when I was wearing it.
This was also easily done with the pliers. I then just used shirt paint to write the words on the front.
I love how they came out. Once they were dry, I threaded a piece of wire through the two holes on the back to hang the necklace from. I didn’t take a picture because I forgot (goldfish brain, remember?). I wore one the other day, and I just love it. I want to spread nerd-dom far and wide!
At this moment, I am at the Community Renaissance Market for the Rockin’ Mama’s Day Celebration, a benefit for SafePlace. Come on by and help a great cause, and buy a bunch of jewelry from me so I don’t have to carry it back home.
My friend Jessica is in the know on EVERYTHING. She has introduced me to so many cool things, I can barely keep up. But I did show her Back to the Future and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, so maybe we’re even. The other day she invited me to a poetry slam. I had never been to one, so I thought I’d try it out.
Turns out, this was the semi-finals of the Austin Poetry Slam. These poets are competing to get on a team, and go to nationals somewhere, representing Austin. Generally, they have a poetry slam every Tuesday at Spiderhouse, and it’s a $5 cover. It’s in the 29th street ballroom, which is either a new addition to the building, or I just never noticed it before. You enter from the 29th street side, and they have a separate bar inside. A Lone Star (my beer of choice) was only $2, just like all over town (you can see why it’s my beer of choice), and a diet coke was $3 with free refills.
The. Slam. Was. Amazing.
I never thought this is something I would really get into. A couple of the people were kind of pretentious, but some of them were funny, and most of them were awsome. There were a couple I was kind of “meh” on, but for the most part, I cheered so much I was still hoarse the next day. It was a lot of fun, and you could tell the audience enjoyed the whole thing.
Next week on Tuesday, the 19th is the Finals. It’s at the same place at Spiderhouse, but it’s $12 cover. These are guaranteed to be all new poems also, because they are not allowed to repeat, so even if you’ve been before it will be worth it to go again.
Also, I got hit on because I was wearing my Batman t-shirt, which made me laugh. Nerd girls are a hot commodity! Jessica also recognized the shirt from the blog, because she’s my number one
Today is “cyber-Monday”. I guess that’s something of a big deal, because it’s all over yahoo! news, and my facebook page. So in response to all the shopping pressure, and because I am like a stubborn mule that likes to go against the flow of normality, I am posting my anti-shopping recommendations.
I don’t hate shopping. That’s the problem. I love shopping especially for all the people I care about, and if I had millions of dollars they would all be getting random gifts from me year-round, just because I saw something they would like. Unfortunately, I shop for myself whenever I am shopping for others, so I usually double what I would be spending, if not more. Due to all of the costs, as well as travel associated with this time of year, Hubby and I had started to completely hate Christmas. We wanted to reverse this trend, and feel good about the money we’re spending, as well as control the amount. This is how anti-shopping was born.
We are giving charitable donations in the names of all our friends and family this year, and giving them cards to let them know. I have done a bit of this in the past, and here are some of the websites I’ve used:
1) World Vision – this charity allows you to donate in tons of different ways. You can sponsor a child, buy a goat or flock of chickens for a village, or help build a well to provide clean drinking water. They also have a shop where you can buy cool little things, and the proceeds go to the charity.
2) Defenders of Wildlife – this site allows you to sponsor dozens of different animals in order to help protect their habitat, and advocate for their protection. You can adopt sea turtles, wolves, penguins and many others, and the gift recipient gets a plush toy, which is super sute.
3) Local Charities – does the person on your gift list volunteer somewhere? Do they have a pet cause, like homelessness, gay rights, or child welfare? Find a charity in your city so the gift can help close to home.
4) Animal Trustees of Austin - Speaking of local, this is a great organiztion that provides low cost spay, neuter, and basic medical services for animals in Austin.
5) Town Lake Animal Shelter - Town Lake does not turn away any animals, and is dependent on charitable donations to care for all of them. This is not a no-kill shelter, but from what I understand they are trying to transition in that direction.
6) The Human Fund - The link I’ve provided here goes to a video by the founder of the Human Fund, explaining their mission and goals. I think this one is already pretty well-known, so I’ll let the video speak for itself.
There is always the Red Cross, and several other well known national charities most people would be very happy to help support. The issues we run into with our family, is that we don’t know what they already own, or what they’d want for the most part, and it gets frustrating. For the young kids we will still be buying toys (mostly Batman related, of course), but for the adults I will be making handmade cards to let them know what donation we made in their name. This way I can have fun crafting, and yet I don’t have to wrap tons of stuff. That’s win, win in my book.
PS. You can always shop your little heart out at my Etsy store also: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatcleverchick I’m basically a charity case.
As you all know, I freakin’ love Batman. I had this old t-shirt laying around, that was massively too big for me. I could, of course, make it into another t-shirt pillow, or add it to the t-shirt quilt that has been pending for five years. I decided I would rather be able to wear it.
I cut the emblem out of the shirt, with about a half inch of fabric around it.
I then pinned it to the plain black tank top I got at Wal-Mart for $4.
I folded the edge under so it would get hemmed while I sewed it on. I used black thread and a whip stitch to tack that bad boy down.
It came out super awesome. Now I can show my Bat-pride even more!
A couple weeks ago we had another bat festival here in Austin. Apparently the mayor has had some kind of on-going feud with the Batfest people. His nuclear option? Adam West. That’s right. He called out Batman to inaugurate his own bat themed festival: Night of the Bat.
He named the Mexican Freetail Bat the official animal of Austin, and there was a free festival on the Congress bridge. “Festival” may be too strong a word, as there wasn’t much to do. There was more stuff aimed towards children and wildlife conservation awareness. They did, however, have the Mystery Machine (whose driver looked just like Shaggy), and the REAL Batmobile from Adam West’s Batman.
Oh yes. That gorgeous piece of machinery was that close to me. I got a ton of other pics of it, but I don’t want to overload blog.com. They don’t seem to have a lot of capacity to spare. (Update: this was berfore I transferred the whole blog to wordpress. That was a genuine concern with blog.com, and half the reason I had to swap). Hubby, sis-in-law, and I were all wearing Batman t-shirts, and got our picture taken several times, at least once by the Statesman, our local paper, although we never found ourselves in said paper.
Look kids! It’s Uncle Creepy! I guess we didn’t look as cool as this guy, or the guy in a complete, black rubber Batsuit. He must have been sweating GALLONS. It was super hot, so we went into the Friday’s by the bridge to use the bathroom and grab a soda. Turns out they were having a Batini contest to name the official drink of the city for the next year. Yes, Austin has an official martini. No, you can’t move here. We’re full.
As it turns out this was a private event we “accidentally” snuck into, and imbibed several free martinis. That is the most bad ass thing I have ever done. I’m usually way too much of a wuss for stuff like this, but I was totally the ring leader on this one.
On another Bat-related note, I have just done a guest post for my friends webcomic, the Two Tokens. The topic? You get a gold star if you guessed Batman! Definitely check it out, as it is super hilarious, or course. Their comic is awesome as well, and is about to reach its 1 year anniversary. There will hopefully be more guest posts to come. Enjoy, and comment prolifically (but only nice things, or you’ll face my wrath).
Update: My guest post, the Batrant, turned into a four parter. I’m the Oracle on their blog, which is a Batman reference. If you can name that reference in the comments, you get a prize, but it’s probably just another gold star.
So I’ve attempted to clean up my craft room before, but there has never been enough of a work surface in there. Crap just gets stacked everywhere! My Gram happened to have an extra table for me when I visited her, so I set it up in the craft room.
That’s right, I got a VINTAGE table for my craft room! It’s red formica, from the 1950’s. You can see I’ve moved my doll houses and sewing machine onto the left hand table, giving me an actual surface to work on. There are still boxes of crap under the table, but that will take time to deal with.
I finally set up the shelf for my Batman collection. Hubby got me the poster when he was working for a video game store. I love Batman!!!!
I created a pet net out of a Care Bears sheet I got at the thrift store to hold my stuffed animals. A couple in there are ones I made myself, that I may blog about later. This keeps them out of the way, but still visible.
I’m hoping that having this crap out of the way, and having a more comfortable work surface will encourage me to do crafts in there, but we’ll see. Something is wrong with my sewing machine, so everything has to be done by hand at the moment. Stay tuned!