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Slogan Generator Monday, March 31, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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The Advertising Slogan Generator – 10 0z sent me this link today.

What you do: Type your name or another word in, press the sloganize button, and get your own personal slogan.

Here are some of the ones I thought were interesting:

Nobody Better Lay a Finger on My Grace – This one made me think of the boys. They’re so protective, and I’ve been present in more than one instance to witness conversations including the phrases What are your intentions with our Grace? and You better treat her right or you’ll have us to contend with.

Kids Will Do Anything for Grace – Only because in day to day life, it is not unusual to end up with children I’ve never met before approaching me to play or ask a question. There are some people out there that kids are just magnetized to, and I suppose I’m one of them.

Have You Forgotten How Grace Tastes? – Right… that’s just weird. How do I taste? lol

Happiness is Grace-Shaped – This one was my favorite. A person will have a hell of a time being happy unless they are alright with themselves being happy. You can have a life with all of the ingredients for happiness, but unless you’ll allow yourself to be, that happiness will elude. Your happiness is shaped like you. Even if I’m wrong, which I am liable to be, it would still be cool to be the shape of happiness, don’t you think?

If you were a commodity, what would your slogan be?
Song of the Day: Building a Religion – Cake

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Love Me Tender: In the Days of Melting Snow Saturday, March 29, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed.
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Fearless lives in very close proximity to a large church.

On Sundays it is near impossible to get parking anywhere nearby.

I don’t know what was going on yesterday afternoon (wedding? baptism?), but there was no open parking down his road, just back to back parked cars. I turned and weaved my way through winding side roads that generally have some open spaces, with little luck. I found a tiny little spot between cars, and was rather pleased with the fact that I drive a tiny little car that would fit.

Being a born and raised country bumpkin, I’m used to people having drive ways. Used to lots of available parking space, and free parking at that. As it happens, Fearless is a matter of blocks away from downtown.

It was snowing, but hovering around zero, so as soon as the snow landed, it pretty much melted. Not yet having transitioned to a waterproof spring jacket, I was still wearing a heavy, non-waterproof, wooly jacket. The long walk didn’t go together with lack of waterproofing very well, and by the time I got too his doorstep, I was pretty soaked.

Sad little person I must have seemed, wet hair, sopping jacket, teeth chattering when he answered the door. He unbuttoned my jacket for me and took it to hang on a chair close to the fireplace to dry. I went to the hall closet and got a towel to get some of the excess wetness out of my hair.

While I was smoothing it down with my fingers, trying to avoid as much as possible the fluffy texture my hair likes to take on, he came down the hall with a bunny hug of his, knowing I would still be shakily cold. When I get chilled like that it sticks with me for quite a while, and I’ll shiver and shake until I warm back up.

I pulled on the bunny hug, marvelling once again to myself how small I feel next to him. The waistband was more than half way to my knees, sleeves extending way past my shivery fingers. It was perfect, soft and warm. But even better, it felt safe, smelling like that pretty mixture of old spice and cedar and himself that I love to breathe in.

As I rolled up the sleeves, hands reappearing, he told me to get out of my wet socks. You’ll catch cold. And anyway, you’re leaving little wet footprints everywhere.

I wiggled my way out of my mismatched sopping socks and threw them in the laundry. I’d steal a pair of his when I went home.

He led me back to the living room. My soggy shoes were in front of the fireplace, as was my jacket hung over a chair brought in from the dining room.

Then he did the perfect thing, got me down on the couch and nestled up behind me. Broad chest and shoulders like a shield, an envelope I fit into just right. Through the fuzzy fabric of the bunny hug, I could feel when he breathed. One arm was a place to rest my head, and the other came across my side. Muscle and bone not resting too hard, but transferring enough weight and pressure to feel their strength and protection. His big hands swallowed mine up, transferring over their heat. He’d had a day off, and so avoided shaving because it wasn’t compulsory, and the stubble touching my cheek wasn’t too prickly or tickle-y, it was just another layer of texture.

To think you said you weren’t one to cuddle I breathed into the warm air.

He shushed me and replied For you, anything.

(I know, I’m being super smushy. I just couldn’t help myself.)

Song of the Day: Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

Technologic Breakdown Friday, March 28, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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My Zen V ate my playlists.

Right before a 6 mile run.

Grace is not a happy camper.

It’s a great little mp3 player, I’m very happy with it. It is easy to use, has lots of functions, and doesn’t chew too hard on the wallet.

But it ate my playlists.

Can anyone think of why something like that would happen?

Gotta get back to resetting them.

Song of the Day: Technologic – Daft Punk

Blue Suede Shoes: On Panty Decisions Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Posted by Grace in graceisms.
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From what I’ve been told, the Carl Perkins’ classic Blue Suede Shoes (though you’ve probably heard it by Elvis, the Beatles, or Johnny Cash) was inspired by something Perkins heard a soldier say at a dance. Said soldier told his date not to step on his blue suede shoes, even though he was wearing standard issue boots, because they were visibly still nice and new.

Why would he say that? Not being a mind reader, I couldn’t tell you said soldier’s specific reasoning. Imagining though, one wouldn’t want their feet being trod upon. Perhaps he wanted these new, clean boots to stay that way while they could. That scuffs and wear just wouldn’t have the same effect. One will never know.

Still, this gets me to my topic. It’s one of my favorites: Panties!

Ladies, what is up with the sad, old panties trend? I know I am a little bit more of a panties aficionado than most, but the majority of people I have had panties chats with lately are confusing me. Bra chats too for that matter.

Statements I hear: Well, now that I’m in a steady relationship right now, I don’t really need them to be pretty. Or conversely, I’m single. I don’t need to wear things like that at the mo’. Perhaps the most disturbing, Well, they used to fit…

Whoa. Hold the line please.

Used to fit? These undergarments are referred to as the foundation of an outfit because they are just that, the foundation! You’ve got the right stuff on underneath, and the top layer will look right. Certain areas you may want sleeked over will be. Those of out there who may need a little bit of a lift or reshape up top can achieve it. If your foundation is wrong, you’re going to end up with lines showing where they aren’t supposed to, possible over emphasis of bits you’d rather not be drawing attention to, and specific to brassieres: possible back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, or poor circulation.

If it used to fit, that suggests that it doesn’t anymore. If it doesn’t fit, why are you still wearing it?

I’m single, I don’t need to wear things like that anymore: If you prescribe to the followers of ‘who cares if it looks nice if there aren’t boys looking at me in it,’ I guess you can skip over this bit. Not to repeat the above, all I can say is yes your cotton briefs with the days of the week on them may be cute, but your choices shouldn’t be all about what other people want you in. They should be more in tune with what makes you feel like the beautiful person you are, and what works with your body. You may not see them by the time you are dressed, but it’s the same concept as getting into outerwear that you love. When you feel like you’re the most gorgeous person in the room, you hold yourself differently, feel more confident, and it makes a noticeable difference. All I’m trying to say is that if you feel good, you’re going to look good. A person who truly feels they look beautiful have a certain twinkle in their smile. If pink Wednesdays do it for you, great! If you’re holding back because you don’t have an observer to confirm the other one’s are nice, let yourself be enough. The difference made may just find you that aforementioned observer.

I’m in a steady relationship right now, I don’t really need them to be pretty. If you say so, you do have a right to hold that opinion. And is true, a man should love you for you, not just your lingerie. I’m sure he does. Once again, the above applies, but I speak for all of the silent men out there: Wear them! They are very visual creatures, and it’s wrapping paper. You may have him, but there’s nothing wrong with treating him as well as yourself.

I’m not saying to ditch the grannies, if they do it for you that is good. Just give pretty a try, something old, ill fitting and ratty won’t do the job the same. Blue suede shoes just wouldn’t do with scuffs.

Song of the Day: Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

There is a Mountain Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Posted by Grace in marble & holly.
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I’ve wanted to learn to sew for a while now. It has always seemed like a good thing to be able to do, useful for fixing rips or making alterations, but fun too, because generally I like to be creative and make stuff.

My mother can attach buttons and darn socks, but that is pretty much the span of her sewing skills. She used to, back in the before children days, but hasn’t for years. So she doesn’t want to teach me, as well as claims she can’t.

My Baba is similar. She hasn’t really done any sewing for years. When they were little, my mom and her siblings only wore home made clothes. Alas, she hasn’t done any sewing for years, she actually told me to ask my mother, who had already said no.

I went to Grandma next, she’s the one with the soda bread, because to this day she still sews quite often. She said yes! And I was really excited. So she sat me down at her kitchen table… and opened her day planner. She’s one of those seniors who is as busy as myself, if not busier. She penned me in as a possibility on a Sunday in early May. I have the opportunity, but it’s not going to happen any time soon.

A stroke of genius descended then, I have Delicious, who designs. Diva Boy knows how to sew! I called him up, asked if he would be willing to teach me and he said he’d be delighted. I went to his house, we mixed up some Cosmos, and went into his design room.

It’s taken some work, but now I’m on the road towards it. There were all those options, the mountains just needed a little prod to get things going.

First there is a mountain
Then there is no mountain
Then there is

Song of the Day: There is a Mountain – Donovan

I Was Born: It’s My Birthday! Sunday, March 23, 2008

Posted by Grace in graceisms.
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Today is Easter.

It is also my birthday.

Yesterday was a long day of partying, and this morning was easter breakfast with my large extended family.

When I woke up, about an hour after getting home, there was still enough alcohol in my system that my disposition was still Woohoo! Birthday! Easter! And at my grandparent’s house, things slowly rolled more and more downhill…

Famous people I share a birthday with: Keri Russell and Joan Crawford. (find who you share a birthday with here)

Being born on March 23 makes me an Aries on the cusp of Pisces, also known as the Cusp of Rebirth. People born in this period possess the dreaminess, active fantasy, quietude and sensitivity inherent in Pisces with the uncomplicated and fiery forwardness inherent in Aries. They are likely to possess strong mental powers coupled with the gift of comprehension. These cusp characters play as hard as they work, perform their best under pressure, do not deal well with failure, and pursue goals unremittingly, refusing to be denied. They are exceedingly artistic souls who have an inherent power of intuition, and have the ability to skillfully reach out to others. Stubborn, they are likely to want what they want when they want it. Also, their definition of family will often include friends and associates. (Paraphrased from here)
Personality traits people born today are reported to have:

Personality Strengths: Drive, Style

Personality Weakness: Impatience

Successful Career Path: Entrepreneurship

Sense of Humor: Quick Witted

Descriptive Adjectives: Strong, Adventurous

Enterprising and creative – you see things that most people fail to even dream about. You see the world from a unique perspective and that gives you a natural advantage in most regards. Talented to the point of being almost prodigal, one can only hope that you utilize your talent and make something great of your life.(You can find out yours on the My Birthday application on facebook)

Song of the Day: I Was Born – Wilco

Love You Madly: Mm Mm Hamantaschen Friday, March 21, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen.
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I have a love affair with these cookies, a deep seated one. Because I have no recipes that involve Easter traditions, other than perhaps paska which I don’t know how to make, I’ve got one for Purim. Perhaps I should give my Baba a call… maybe I’ll hit you all with that recipe later.

Hamantaschen

For the cookies, you need:

1 C Butter
2 C Granulated sugar
2 tsp orange rind (grated or filed, not big chunks)
2 eggs
3 ¾ C flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy. Then add in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Give them a mix to disperse the ingredients more evenly. Add to the butter mixture, and stir until you achieve a smooth dough.

Divide the dough into thirds, and form each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap to seal in the moisture, and stick them in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

When they’re nice and cold, roll the dough out to ¼ – 1/8 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, I use a 3 inch one, cut out rounds. Reroll the scraps to make more cookies.

Next, what you want to do is go around the edges with egg wash (that’s an egg beaten with about a tablespoon of water, it’s what makes the edges stick). Place a heaping teaspoon of filling (recipes for which will follow) in the middle of the cookie.

Fold up three sides to make three corners. Pinch the corners to seal them, leaving a small opening in the center.

Place the cookies about an inch apart on a prepared baking sheet, and put them back in the fridge. They can hang out in there for about half an hour.

Bake them till they’re golden in a 350 oven, that’s between 15 and 20 minutes.

For the filling:

Poppy seed variation: In a saucepan, bring milk (1 C) and water (1/4 C) to a boil. Mix in ground poppy seeds (1 C), sugar (1/2 C), chopped raisins (1/4 C), honey (2 tbsp), cinnamon (1/4 tsp), and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, stirring often until stiff and dry, about 18 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

Apricot variation: In a saucepan, soak finely chopped dried apricots (1.5 C) in water (1.5 C) for about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low about 30 minutes, until almost no water remains. Stir in 2 tbsp honey, and a splash of orange juice (I never measure, maybe a little less than a quarter cup?) and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

This recipe makes about 50 cookies, but they’re so good that they disappear quickly. Once or twice, in a pinch without poppy seed or dried apricots, I’ve used strawberry rhubarb jam, to much delight of my fellow Hamantaschen munchers. I’m sure there are other fillings used out there, of which I would be curious to learn, but these are the ones I know of.

Song of the Day: Love You Madly – Cake

Drag You Down: My Disagreements with Gravity Thursday, March 20, 2008

Posted by Grace in fit addiction.
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Gravity is great. I like gravity. It’s got important effects on most elements of every day life. Still, there are moments…

At the gym, The Resident Italian has got me on suspended curl ups. So you’ve got your chin up bar, and you hook your knees over the bar, in so doing suspending yourself upside down.

The idea is to do curl ups in this position so that you’re using more of your body weight in each curl than if you were doing the standard on the floor.

At first, I could not do them for the life of me. I would end up upside down easily enough because I was a child who climbed trees and played on jungle gyms and so have some experience in the hanging upside down by the knees. But then I would try to curl up as instructed, and really only managed to wiggle back and forth a bit. It was sad. I couldn’t do it, not strong enough.

The Resident Italian took it off the roster for a while, saying we could get back to it later when little Gracie gets a little stronger. I hate it when he gets patronizing like that, so that thing he’s saying I am unable to do becomes a goal in my mind. Gotta get in those suspended curl ups. Understanding that he knows that’s what will go through my head, I can see why he does it.

When we came back to them, I could do a couple. We built up from there, and when I could do my 2 sets last time I was there I was forewarned that next time, that would be this morning, he was gonna introduce the textbook. See, when he does these evil, painful curl ups, he bear hugs a textbook or two. Extra weight, you know?

So I got all hanging-upside-down-like, got handed the textbook (just one, I’m small). He slid a bean bag under the doorway where the chin up bar is, and explained, I’m right here spotting you, if you start to slip, I’ll catch you. The bean bag is there just in case, because I’ve hit the floor before.

If you start to fall, bail on the textbook. It’s more important to have your arms free than it is to keep it safe.

Being my size, a textbook takes up a majority of the space on my torso. It’s kinda hard to curl up, against gravity, when you’ve got a heavy block of info on physical chemistry weighing you down more and getting in the way of the curl. I struggled quite a bit through a couple of curls, and began to lose my position on the bar. I stopped, readjusted, and took a deep breath to get ready to try for some more.

Which is when gravity, the big meanie it is, decided that it was time to come back to the earth. Instinct kicked in, and I tossed the textbook, freeing my arms and hitting the Resident Italian. He wasn’t expecting to be hit with a projectile, and in his surprise was a second late in catching me.

I felt the strong impact of him trying to catch me around my middle, but kept falling until I hit the bean bag that he’d very intelligently put there as a safety net.

Now, because gravity is cruel, I have finger mark bruises on my sides and a sore neck. Fearless laughed like mad when he saw the marks and then heard the story. Any other girl, Grace, and I would have been less inclined to believe that.

I think I’m going to avoid suspended curl ups for a little while.

Song of the Day: Drag You Down – Finger Eleven

Summer Romance Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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March, at least on my agenda, is birthday month.

Last week alone, there were five birthdays to celebrate. That’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and two on Friday for those who are counting. This week, we already had a St. Patty’s birthday. I’m soon to depart for festivities for today’s birthday boy.

I do know a lot of people, the network is spread and rather spider web like, but nothing points it out like this stretch of March. Fortunately, it is also conveniently tucked between midterms and finals, so people can be celebrated.

Birthdays are so much fun because you get to party and you have another obvious chance to be with the people you love and show your appreciation of them.

I just find it kind of weird that so many people fall into this couple of weeks in the spring. Then again, looking back 9 months I guess it makes sense.  Some people must have busy summers…

Song of the Day: Summer Romance (Antigravity) – Incubus