Craft angst

July 31, 2008 on 1:55 pm | In Craftiness | 1 Comment

I really totally want the newest upcoming issue of Craft magazine.  The current issue, volume 8, has a section on weaving and even a little cardboard loom.  I love weaving. 

The problem is that I can’t afford to subscribe because it costs a fortune for delivery to the UK ($50 for 4 issues).  I can’t buy a single issue either because it’s current, so you can’t order that issue online.  It’s supposed to be on newsstands August 5th, but not in the UK.  

Anyone out there think they can find this issue for me?  I can pay, or trade for stuff from my cafepress shop.  I can even trade for a ball of handspun wool or something.

Alana

 

Guinea pig pictures

July 31, 2008 on 7:10 am | In Guinea Pigs and Hamster | 1 Comment

I haven’t posted any pictures of my guinea pigs for quite a long time.  So here are some pictures I took last night, since I finally have fresh batteries for my camera.

Fudge, reclining:

Fudge all by himself. 

Elvis

Please excuse the poop.

Spike, begging for treats:

Check out the adorable piggy lip!

Spike and Elvis, getting along just fine:

Spike isn't really bigger than Elvis.  It's a perspective thing.

 

I still miss Homer like crazy.  He was my little buddy.  But as you can see, our remaining piggies are getting along quite well.  Things are pretty peaceful in the piggy corner these days.  Other than Fudge, who squeaks a lot because he misses humping Elvis all day long.

Alana 

Twittering

July 29, 2008 on 6:50 pm | In Computers and Web Stuff | No Comments

I got myself a Twitter account.  It’s kind of dumb because I can’t do the "real time update by cell phone" thing.  From the UK it costs a fortune to txt to Twitter, and I don’t actually have a cell phone. 

But anyway, if you want to see any random crap from me, in 140 characters or less, you can see my twitter updates.  I’m a little annoyed that I had to be girlalive1 instead of just girlalive, but I think I’ll live.  If anyone out there reading this has a twitter account let me know, and maybe I’ll read your random crap too.

Alana

 

The Truth About British Teeth

July 26, 2008 on 12:28 pm | In Scotland | 1 Comment

The common perception of the British in America is that they all have stained brown crooked teeth.  Living here, a lot of it is true.  But here’s the weird part: it isn’t their fault.

I underwent years of orthodontia as a kid and when I moved here my teeth were relatively straight and white.  Since I moved here, they’ve been slowly changing.  I still brush my teeth twice a day, with the same toothpaste I used in the US (Colgate Total Plus Whitening).  I still floss.  I still use mouthwash.  And my teeth are turning brown and I’m getting a gap between my front teeth again.

The water here has no floride added.  That’s part of the problem.  There is a lot of tea consumed here.  That may be part of it (though even the people who don’t drink tea or smoke or anything like that still have brown teeth).  

I don’t know what I’d have to do to keep my teeth white and straight to American standards, but it doesn’t even seem possible here.  I don’t know if it’s just the water here or what, but my teeth are turning brown no matter what I do.

It isn’t that the British don’t brush their teeth.  It isn’t that they don’t go to the dentist.  They have oral hygiene equal with most Americans.  But something in this country is working against them.  I have no answers for why this is.  I just wanted you to know that you shouldn’t view the British as ignorant of dental hygiene.  They do their best, but there’s something in the water (or lacking from the water) or something.  The UK is not good for your teeth.

Alana

 

The Guitar Hero Debate

July 25, 2008 on 9:59 am | In music | 1 Comment

I recently got involved in a debate over Guitar Hero (Rock Star, Rock Band and other similar games) on YouTube.  Are these games a good thing for music, or a bad thing?  I’m not sure.

Side One:  These games introduce kids to older music that completely rocks.  Lots of people are fans of "Say It Aint So" by Weezer because they’ve heard it in one of those games.  Might make them buy some cd’s, or at least download some good music.  It’s making kids listen to music that involves real bands playing real instruments, and not just some plastic singer with synthesizers.  Current music is formulated empty crap and a lot of kids are learning that music doesn’t have to be that way because they hear old stuff by Nirvana and Weezer.  

Side Two:   Though these kids are listening to good old music, made by real musicians, they aren’t creating anything of their own.  When I was shopping for my new guitar, I found numerous listings for guitars in brand new condition.  They were bought for kids who were interested in music, but then abandoned their guitars when they found that Guitar Hero was easier.  Guitar Hero is pure imitation with no individual creativity.  You are forced to play exactly like the original track.  There is no reinterpretation of a song.  There is no "making it your own" like with a real instrument. 

I’m not sure where to stand on this.  I’m all in favor of listening to good music, but I’d like the teenagers of today to be creating some of their own too.   It has to be healthier to have guitar string callouses than to have RSI from playing a video game. 

I don’t have kids.  I don’t know how I’d handle the whole musical game debate if I did.  But I’d hope that my kids would find music they love and then learn to play it on a real instrument, one way or another.

Alana 

Another bizarre dream

July 24, 2008 on 8:37 am | In Funny things | No Comments

I have kind of a history of bizarre dreams.  Most of the time, they’re notable for the weird celebrity cameos.  (Robert Carlysle and Ed Mc Mahon on a bus.  Jon Stewart feeding cherry tomatoes to orangutans while Carol Channing sings "Henry the Eighth".  And a remote beach house occupied by Dick Cheyney and Mister Rodgers.)  But the one I had the other night had no celebrities.  Yet it ranks as one of my weirdest ever.

I was pulled in off the street into a dusty old building that looked condemned or at least long abandoned.  I was told that they needed more audience members for a pilot for a new game show that they were shooting inside.  I got inside and the set for the game show looked a lot like a university lecture hall.  There were two podiums at the front.  People from the audience were called up to the front and they had to fart in front of the contestants at the podiums and the contestants had to smell their farts and guess what they had been eating.

Even in the dream, I was thinking, "This is so stupid that not even Fox would buy this show."  But at the same time I was worried that they would call me out of the audience to go up and fart.  I kept wondering, "How am I supposed to fart on cue?"  In the end, I wasn’t called up.  The producer decided that they had enough footage to try to sell the show.  I was thinking, "Sitting here in the audience was deadly boring.  This’ll be just painfully dull to watch on tv."  Then I left and shortly thereafter, I woke up.

So yeah.  I had a dream about competitive fart sniffing.  That’s right up there on the bizarre list with Jon Stewart and the orangutans.

Alana 

 

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