Monday, June 23, 2014

DIY Cat Scratching Pad

I am in another round of home improvement hell.
One of the upsides is the leftover cardboard boxes. DIY Time!

My cat, Juliet, has been going after my fairly new London-centric rug I love and that needs to stop. So I found this recycled cardboard project on another blog that looked like something I could do.
After cutting up on of my bigger boxes into somewhat uniform pieces and grabbing some duct tape, I began.
Pretty early on I realized this was going to take much longer that I thought. 

I don't want to say how long this took. I am probably slower than most because I'm a picky perfectionist. Anyhow after some time and many cardboard cuts, I finished it. 
I was so excited to show Juliet. 
After all that time and effort...
she couldn't care less.

Oh Jules, my ninja kitty, never change. 


Friday, June 20, 2014

TrueBlood: Why I will watch the last season

To be perfectly honest, if this was not the final season of TrueBlood, I doubt I would watch. 

I read some of the books and will admit that the TV series is better, with the exception of the Lilith/Billith storyline. That was just weird and a lot of build up to nothing.
 I like that they didn't kill off Lafayette. Even in the crappiest episode Lafayette is worth watching.
I am so glad that the Quinn character never appeared. No other character in the books annoyed me as much as this one. 
And the actors cast as Pam and Eric are fantastic. Kristin Bauer and Alexander Skarsgard and sexy and talented. 

With that being said, the series has been dragging for a few seasons for me now. It has become more of a task to watch than something of entertainment value. And yet I still watch. It is like I am compelled to see it through because I started it. 

I don't know when or why the show stopped being a must see for me. Game of Thrones in comparison is something I look forward to seeing. Ten episodes is not enough. I care about the characters. Where as in TrueBlood I'm really only interested in a few of the characters, namely Eric, Pam and Lafayette. Okay mainly Eric.

Some shows become events for me. God help anyone who interrupts a new Doctor Who episode. (The last Christmas one left me devastated all Christmas day, people kept asking what was wrong)
These are series that not only entertain but make a connection.

I don't have a connection to TrueBlood. At least not anymore. It doesn't help that I still blame Anna Paquin for messing up Rogue. I know its not her fault, but I wanted the Rogue from the cartoon series I grew up with. All feisty and fun, flirting with Gambit.
I digress.
Yet I will see this through, probably OnDemand so I can fast forward.
I feel an obligation to this show for one last season.

Okay to be perfectly honest, I'm only in it for Alexander Skarsgard

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Game of Thrones: In Memoriam Part 2

Now that the season 4 finale has aired, here is the continuation of our dearly departed from the world of Game of Thrones.
What is dead may never die.
Presenting part two of my list of those we lost this season.
Red: Important deaths
Blues: Less important deaths
Green: Just your average deaths in GOT, mainly nameless masses.

406: The Laws of Gods and Men
  • goats- A herd of goats destroyed by Daenerys' dragon Drogon.
  • Misc. Greyjoy and Bolton men- Unknown causalities in the attempted rescue mission for Theon Greyjoy by his sister Yara.
407: Mockingbird
  • Prisoners- Killed in practice by The Mountain in preparation for being Cersei's champion in the trial by combat. At least I think its for practice, but considering who it is, it could just be for fun.
  • A dying man- Mercy kill for The Hound.
  • Biter- The man who bites The Hound on the neck before having his neck broken. A little important because of wounding The Hound.
  • Rorge- The only reason he was not on Arya's nightly death list is because she didn't know his name. After the Hound asks for her, she kills him. Lesson- Arya never forgets.
  • Lyssa Arryn- It must take a lot of work to be considered crazy in Westeros. In the end it really wasn't her craziness or even her jealousy that sent Lyssa flying down the Moon Door. It was trusting Little Finger. Hell the man tells people to their face not to trust him. When will they learn...looking at you Sansa
408: The Mountain and the Viper
  • Mole Town Massacre- Inhabitants and some Night's Watch visitors slaughtered by Ygritte and her fellow wildlings.  
  • Greyjoy men- These ironborn were simply in Bolton's way. They held the fortress barring Bolton's men from the North, so criminally insane Ramsey Snow  uses Theon Greyjoy/Reek to get them to surrender. Pity for them that Ramsey likes to adhere to the old Bolton standard of Flaying.
  • The Viper aka Prince Oberyn Martell- Volunteered as Tyrion's champion in the Trial by Combat. His real motivation was to avenge his sister and her children by killing their murderer, The Mountain, who happened to be the Queen Cersei's champion. He had the upper hand by should not have let his guard down to get an admission of guilt. His death leads to a guilty sentence for Tyrion. Plus it was really gory even for GOT.
409: The Watchers on the Wall
  • A lot of Wildlings and a lot of The Night's Watch- Almost the entire episode was blood filled. 
  • Giants- Amongst the countless deaths included two Giants, one named Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg.
  • Styr- A fierce cannibalistic member of the Free Folk. Killed by Jon Snow. 
  • Pyp- Poor Pyp. He was so nervous about using that crossbow and so proud when he finally made a kill. Pity that did not last long before he was struck down by Ygritte to die in Sam's arms. At least he has someone to try and comfort him.
  • Grenn- A true Brother of the Night's Watch. He was told  by Jon Snow to defend the inner gate no matter what and that is what he did. He also rallied the courage of his fellow Brothers when fear threatened to derail them. He along with a handful of his comrades were killed by the giant Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg while successfully defending the gate.
  • Ygritte- Jon Snow's Wildling lover. Even though she felt betrayed by Jon Snow and vowed to kill him herself, she hesitated when the opportunity came. She was killed by the boy, Olly, who had seen her kill his family. She dies in Jon Snow's arms. 
410: The Children

  • Mance Rayder's Army- A large number of Rayder's army of Wildlings were killed by Stannis Baratheon's army. 
  • Three year old girl- I did not catch the girl's name. She was killed by Daenerys Targaryen's dragon Drogon. This causes Daenerys to lock the other two dragons up for safety. 
  • Jojen Reed- Mortally wounded by skeletal wights while helping Bran Stark find the three-eyed raven north of the wall. He is killed by his sister, Meera Reed, out of mercy while the others escape.  
  • The Hound aka Sandor Clegane- Mortally wounded by Brienne of Tarth in a fight over who would take Ayra Stark. Brienne did not want to kill him but, like a dog with a bone, The Hound just had to keep fighting. He was found mortally wounded by Arya, who he preceded to goad into killing him. When that did not work, he begged for her to kill him out of mercy. Arya walked away. *The Hound did not die on screen, so he may still survive.
  • Shae- The whore that won Tyrion Lannister's heart. Strangled by Tyrion after discovering her in his father's, Tywin Lannister, bed. At least he said "I'm sorry" after. Now we know why she lied at the trial.
  • Tywin Lannister- And the Worst Father of the Year goes to... Killed by Tyrion on the privy (loo, toilet, etc). Lannisters do like their crossbows. Let's face it, Tywin got what he deserved for framing his son for murder and making his former mistress lie against him. Also all the other crap he put his kids through. I doubt the Lannister children would be as messed up if dear old dad wasn't such a manipulative and greedy man.  

And now their watch has ended.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Game of Thrones: In Memoriam Part 1

Valar Morghulis: All Men Must Die
And in Game of Thrones truer words were never spoken.
In every episode someone dies, sometimes it is a beloved character other times a nameless person or even just a goat. But regardless of who dies it is a given that blood will be shed.

Here is part one of my list of those we lost this season.
Red: Important deaths
Blue: Less important deaths
Green: Just your average deaths in GOT, mainly nameless masses

401: Two Swords
  • Polliver- Killed by Arya for revenge of Lommy. Probably the most pivotal kill for Arya. She is deliberate in what she says and how she kills him so that right before he dies he remembers what he did to Lommy. What makes his death important is not who he was, but who killed him and how. The true beginning of "bad-ass Arya".
402: The Lion and the Rose

  • Tansy- Hunted and killed by Ramsey Snow's mistress and dogs. Only important because it shows how sick Ramsey and how weak and broken Theon Greyjoy has become.
  • Sacrifices to the Lord of Light- At Dragonstone you live by the light or you die by the light. 
  • King Joffrey- The death we all waited for. Really, who did not cheer when this spoiler masochistic brat of a King died?! 
403:  The Breaker of Chains

  • Sir Dontos Hollard- Saved by Sansa from Joffrey to become the King's Fool. Used by Littlefinger to save Sansa. Should have worked out, but never trust Littlefinger...ever.
  • Northern Villagers- A small northern village massacred by the roving Wildlings. Only one boy, Olly, was spared to send a message to the Night's Watch.
404: Oathkeeper

  • 163 Masters- Queen Daenerys Targaryen ordered the crucifixions of 163 Masters of Meereen. This is in response for the 163 children they crucified to make mile makers.
405: First of His Name

  • Karl Tanner- The leader of the Mutineers from the Night's Watch. Killed by Jon Snow, but boy did he have it coming. He killed Lord Commander Mormont (and drank out of his skull!!!) and started the mutiny. He was a rapist and egotistically self-proclaimed legend. A**hole! This character sort of ruined "Owen" from Torchwood for me.    
  • Rast- Another mutineer. Killed by Ghost. Really should not screw with a direwolf or his human. 
  • Locke- The Bolton's spy. Killed by Bran using Hordor with his warg powers. Again, another guy that got what he deserved. Probably shouldn't have cut off Jamie Lannister's hand. Karma is a bitch.
  • Mutineers and  3 Brothers of the Night's Watch- Not including Locke, three of the Night's Watch died. All of the mutineers died. 

To be continued...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fun and Simple Tony Awards Menu

I LOVE the Tony Awards. I record it every year to watch it over and over again.
Because I live in the Plains, aka Oklahoma, I have never seen a Broadway show on Broadway. However I am thankful for the fabulous touring productions I have seen here.
Usually if a production gets a few Tony Awards then a touring company will make the rounds. YEA!

This year I came up with some simple snacks to make in honor of a couple of shows nominated this year.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
I am slightly obsessed with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I have seen the movie so many times, forced many people to watch it as well and I know all the songs from singing along loudly to the soundtrack.
When Neil Patrick Harris took over the Broadway reins of the glorious Hedwig, I have never wanted to be in New York more.
Representing this musical in my menu is:

 Hedwig's Screwdriver- Orange juice and vodka but with the glamour of sparkly red sugar around the rim. Like Hedwig's ruby red lips

Angry Inch Hors d'oeuvres- Slightly obscene, I know, but I just had to make these. Vienna sausages on butter crackers with spray cheese wigs. So gross but oh so fun.
I actually hate vienna sauages...  

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

I choose to represent this musical not because I could make anything special, but because it looks like a great musical which I really would like to see.
Originally I wanted to go with scones but time constraints got in the way.

Love and Murder Toast Points- Not technically real toast points, but toast cut into points : )  Nutella for Love, because who does not love chocolate, and strawberry jam for Murder. Got to have some gore.

Les Miserables

One of the classic musicals. So many painfully beautiful songs. Not a big fan of the movie version but this is such a great show. 
 Add the talent of Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean
I want a tie between him and NPH!

French Meringue Cookies- I found a kid friendly recipe for these since I never tried to make these before and they came out great. I used vanilla sugar instead of plain sugar and added some color to make the French flag out of the cookies.  

I had a lot of fun coming up with these. Some of these are really strange and I love it.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Literary Fixation: Jane Austen Part 4

In third place as my favorite Jane Austen novel: Sense and Sensibility.

I will be perfectly honest. I saw the  1995 movie before I read the book.
That is why it is so high on my list.
The movie has Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, two of my favorite actresses and the glorious Alan Rickman.

I will try to stick to the actual book, but there may be some intermingling.

The story focuses on sisters Elinor and Marianne.
They are essentially the "Sense" and "sensibility". Elinor being the wise, prim and proper sister and Marianne being the passionate and impulsive one.

By doing everything right Elinor gets the man she loves and lives happily ever after.

Here is what seems odd. Marianne is overly spirited in comparison to every other character but does she not deserve a nice ending? She does not get to marry the man she fell in love with, so, after giving up on life and almost dying she just gives up and marries Colonel Brandon.
Everyone else thinks its a wonderful match but does Marianne?
It is like she settled for him because he loved her and her friends and family kept pushing her.

At least in the movie the Colonel is played by the solemn but sexy Alan Rickman.

The characters that do not get enough credit are Mrs. Jennings and her daughter Mrs. Palmer.
They are the main comedic characters but they are genuinely good people.
I understand why Marianne doesn't like them, they are rather nosy and in your face.
Still all they want is to befriend them

Lucy Steele, on the other-hand, is a conniving bitch

I really like this book. But it benefits from having a good movie counterpart.
A movie full a great actors and the story staying close to the original material.

There are a few characters omitted in the movie, like Miss Steele and Lady Middleton, but it doesn't take anything away from it.

On a side note, the actor who played Marianne's love interest Willoughby (Greg Wise) married Emma Thompson (Elinor) in real life.
Love it


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Wednesday Update

First of all I will have a post this weekend in honor of the TONY AWARDS.
I got inspired by Hedwig and came up with a simple and fun Tony watching menu.
That is something I am looking forward to getting together.

I have been oddly busy lately trying to make baby quilts.
Two of my cousins are having kids this summer and somehow I was elected to make quilts.
My great aunt Nina was the stereotypical pioneer woman who made all of us kids quilts when we were born.
Now that she is gone and her daughter is at least in her seventies, I guess I'm kind of it.
Thank god for youtube.
No one taught me how to do this so I am basically making it up as I go, I just wish I was not such a perfectionist. I spent over an hour ripping out a seam because it just didn't look right.

So I have put all my cosplay plans on hold for awhile. : ( 

No Lootcrate for me this month
This month's Lootcrate theme is: Transform
I was never into transformers and I cannot think of anything else that could fall into this theme that I would be interested in.
I do want to say how great the staff at lootcrate is. I have a one month subscription that renews every month so all I had to do was send a message to cancel 48 before my renewal date and everything was easy.
They also told me how to reactivate my subscription for later.
I will definitely reactivate for future crates
Just not for this one
When not going blind and crippled working on these damn quilts I've been playing Lego Batman 2.
In order to finish a Lego game I have to collect everything: characters, gold brinks, mini kits, etc.
It is taking so much longer than I thought it would but I can't stop now.
I have a mission

Game of Thrones is the most amazing and yet difficult show to watch.
I could not help but wiki the fight between the Mountain and the Viper.
I had to know!
It still did not prepare me enough.

And what the hell Sansa?!? Way to pull a 180.
From perpetual victim to manipulative conspirator in one episode.
Littlefinger was awed.
Let the creepyship begin

So that kind of sums up everything for now.
Might try and pick up the Literary Friday posts this Friday.


Faux Foodie- Eton Mess

Since life is strange right now, I have nothing relevant to post right now... so instead a re-post/edit of one of my favorite desserts ...