11 December 2010

Mission #77: Get a Playstation 3 Slim

 .Accomplished. Yesterday.

My husband bought me a PS3 for Christmas. Obviously it's not Christmas Day today, or even yesterday. It's not even time to open presents this week. But after Clifford opened the present I bought for him earlier this month I was given the opportunity to open mine early as well.

Neither one of us knows if we’ve violated some sort of Christmas Karma, like getting seven years bad luck for breaking a mirror or what. But after Clifford threw some hints my way, I couldn't help but crave the tearing of the wrapping paper. That, and if it was true was he was hinting at, I wanted to set it up this week so I wouldn't waste time setting it up the following week when I should be getting my house organized for the holidays.

Since I found out that Final Fantasy 13 was going to be released for the PS3 I’ve wanted one (Sad but true). And even though I have a PS3 now, I've decided I am not going to be selling my PS2. There are still too many games that I have and like to play for the old system. Also, the PS1 games still are playable on the PS2. Honestly, I didn’t want a PS3 for a long time because of its lack of backwards compatibility that the PS2 was famous for and gave it the edge over Nintendo for a while.

I don’t have Final Fantasy 13 yet, but it’s not going to be too long before I will obtain a copy. Particularly since I know that there are no country codes on the games.

Watch out pawn shops and second hand game stores!

10 December 2010

Mission #54: Learn How to Cook 20 New Recipes

Completed on December 7, 2010 in the "welfare flat" in Northern Ireland.

Over the past year I've posted a few recipes that I've tried and I was going to keep them up, but I've never followed them 100%. It's like the best laid plans... I think to date, the only recipe that I have followed to the T was the beer bread.

Go figure.

I feel like I can’t post the recipes I've tried here because I have this bad habit of changing the recipes too much. They don’t even end up being anything like what I had set out to do even from my first attempt at trying them.

I made pin wheels, or tortilla roll ups, or whatever you want to call them for the first time on Friday. After reading a few recipes on them I realized that you could get pretty creative: there was no set rule as to how to construct them. Any combination of dressing or sauce, cold cuts, and anything else that comes in slices: cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.

The other day I downloaded a recipe book app from Betty Crocker. I think it's brilliant as it has hundreds of recipes the access at your fingertips AND you can input up to two main ingredients and it’ll bring up several recipes. Super handy if you need to use up a few things in your house.

In my browsing I came across a tortellini soup. It had some sort of broccoli cheese sauce as an ingredient, the name of which I forgot to write down when I went out shopping here in Northern Ireland. It dawned on me that the Betty Crocker app is American, and American products don’t necessarily exist in the UK (like, duh, right?).

This time I was actually forced to improvise and it didn't turn out so well... My husband choked down the soup with a smile and said it was tasty. I've come to admit that it's a lot harder to learn how to cook properly and cook something well, particularly when you dont' have a kitchen of your own. Going from a friend’s house, to my parent’s house, and going to my brother’s place who has no interest in cooking kind of puts a damper on culinary experimentation. Having a kitchen and tools of my own in Omagh is one of things that I’m looking forward to as a part of moving permanently to the UK.

And maybe making a point of following the recipe in the future....

09 December 2010

Mission #56: Learn How To Use Blush and Eye Shadow Properly

I’m taking a great risk moving my laptop from its place and onto, well, my lap. Finally managed to get to a Three store, the provider of my internet while I’m in the UK and stuck on this army camp. The “stick” as we know it in North America is called a “dongle” here. Take that word how you will.

Northern Ireland... somewhere.
Back to what I was actually going to say, I completed my 56th goal on November 24, 2010.

It happened at Britney's place, where I was staying when driving up to Stettler for shifts as I don't have a place of my own anymore. She hosted a "Girls Night In" party with home vendors and we invited various co-workers and girlfriends to come around. I think the purse lady, the sex toy lady, and the makeup artist had the most success. My friend, Jen, was the make-up artist, so I could be biased in saying, she had the most success.

I'll admit, up until this Girls Night In, I could put on eyeliner and mascara, but not confidently. The assumption is that (most) women in their mid-twenties would know how to wear all the different sorts of make-up, or at least could pull off all the basics. The truth is I've never had the patience or interest to learn how to do this properly. In fact, it wasn't until I was about 19 that I even learned how apply eye liner from a couple of friends (YouTube tutorials wasn't really a thing at this time...).

I guess the foundation of my lack of interest was that my mom never really wore any make up: once in a while I would see her wear some lip gloss. The girlfriends I had in high school weren't really girly in the make-up, mini-skirts, and pink accessories sort of way. Oh sure, we talked about the boys we were crushing on but we never did anything about it except try to pretend we weren't as socially awkward as we were when we spoke to said crushes. Naturally that backfired.

When I got to college and University I started to develop the confidence to experiment with eyeliner it typically ended up being bold, messy, and bright. I'd try any trend that would let me stand out and get noticed. By the time my student days began to draw to a close I recognized that I needed a more professional appearance if I was going to use any sort of eye make-up. I tried toning down it down by emulating what I saw other girls do but I had to be honest with myself and accept that I just didn't have a foggy clue what I was doing.

So I gave up. I haven't worn anything for the past year unless somebody else did it for me.

Until last month where Jen had an amazing amount of patience with me as she did my eyes, showed me a number of products, and how to use them for day and night looks. For the first time I used blush, powdered eye shadow, and make-up brushes to apply those products and liquid foundation. I bought a number of products afterwards as Clifford's Christmas Party was coming up this month.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
For me it was good to finally learn how to use all these beautification products. I don't regret learning how to use them when I have, even though there have been various people in my life who have given me the impression it was my failing as I could have experimented on my own. While this is true, that judgment lacks the understanding what kind of an influence a peer group can have, and there was maybe 10% interest.

Interest sparked by Capt Jack Sparrow's eyeliner
Now that the door to make-up is open to me I can make an informed choice on how much time and effort I will put into my appearance from here on in, and let me tell you, it's not going to be a whole lot more than it has been. I really do prefer to spend my time blogging, reading, writing, traveling, and so on. I guess what I want is for people to stop judging me (especially my co-workers) for not wearing any make-up because I don't judge them on their use of the products or how they spend their time.

07 December 2010

Guest Blog Post: Terias McKlay

So I've spent the last 10 days in England due to a family emergency... unbeknownst to my Uni. I had almost no internet for the whole stay and no way of blogging, so my on and offline friend Terias McKlay has agreed to write a guest post for me.

(Oh, and this means Goal #95 has been completed from my 101 Things in 1001 Days has been completed.)

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While your usual host, Christiana, is over playing at my blog, you have to deal with the likes of me, Terias McKlay. Poor, poor you. And on a Tuesday, no less. If this were the Whedonverse, somewhere on the horizon an apocalypse would be galloping towards you at full tilt. It would probably be wearing Jane’s hat, carrying Vera.

Run while you still can. (Except you there, in the back. Yeah, the newbie in the red shirt. You may as well not even bother. )

Because I’m pants at being able to come up with blogging subjects (if it were up to me, all you’d see is a little geek waxing poetic about the intricacies of Terminator),  Christiana was nice enough to pull up a topic of discussion. Today’s topic of discussion will be: What's on your wall? Prints, posters, photos, paintings? What makes you want to hang something up?

Well, go ahead, discuss.

…Okay, okay, I’ll start. Naked people. No, not really (really). My walls are a mind numbingly boring shade of beige. I’d paint but that smells a little bit like work and I’m rather allergic to that. Therefore (Yeah, I’m using ‘therefore’. Capillary put a minimum word count on me and I’m going to chew it up with every two penny word I can find), I combat such boredom by letting my geeky little heart rule. Oh, I’ve got the obligatory photos of some nifty places but that’s not where the meat is.

To start this wonderful recipe that we call ‘my walls’ we first add a healthy dose of Batman wall decals. Every moderately bare patch of ceiling or wall was given the privilege of uber ass-kickery in either Batman or BatSymbol form. No Robin though. Creepy little pixie boy. Put on some damn pants. Or at least let Stephanie Brown have her job back.

We continue our tour with various pieces of my art taped over the litany of nail holes. A ‘Joker’ poster hides (no it doesn’t, but I tried) the GAPING hole in my ceiling which I put there while punching it to get the damn mice to stop running marathons over my head (which also failed, check for them in London’s upcoming Olympics).

I have recently acquired (or at least somewhat lately acquired and more recently hung) a large Superman flag which is proudly displayed over my bed. And thus completes our tour.

Yes, I know, I’m a DC whore. Which I hear might get me shot in these parts. I know someone around here has a particular love for some genetically mutated beings whose team name falls somewhere near the end of the alphabet.

As for the ‘what makes you want to hang something up?’ part of the question, it’s actually pretty simple. I put up stuff I like. Arguably, that’s why there is little rhyme or reason to what’s hanging around.

One Batman is slapped up next to two ‘Got Milk’ ads (Marg Helgenberger and Mariska Hargitay for those keeping track).

My whiteboard full of projects hangs just over a comic that implies ‘The Flash’ might not get his name from his super speed (think about it, you’ll get it.)

If it’s something that’ll kick my ass out of writer’s block, make me giggle whenever I see it or remind me of the types of values I want to stand for (ooh, deep thought moment), it gets its own little place in the beige.

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Born in Montreal, Quebec and having had her fill of infant poutine, Terias moved to various locations in Alberta where she tipped cows, joined the army, and learned to drink beer. In an attempt at higher education, Terias headed back east to Toronto, Ontario to attain her bachelor’s degree in Sociology. When working a research job didn’t produce the expected results of creating a league of super villains, Terias moved on to more physical ventures. She currently holds a personal training certificate and spends her days moulding her clients to be her personal super soldiers.

Terias caught the writing bug in high school and never seemed to shake that monkey from her back. Thanks to 'Bedazzled Ink', she’s now ready to unleash her debut novel, ‘The Surrender’, on an unsuspecting world. Terias’ non-writing time is divided between playing rugby for the Yeomen Lions, playing video games, or regenerating in her sleep pod.

Terias can be found on the internet via website, or Twitter @TeriasMcKlay, or on Facebook as Terias McKlay

04 December 2010

Mission #1: 50k Words. Finally.

So, obviously I failed at keeping up blogging during NaNoWriMo... But I did make it through NaNo and my word count ended up being 50,086!

I almost didn’t make it because of all the travelling, the partying, the drinking when I should have been writing. I’m not sure if this is the lifestyle that a writer normally has?...

Even though I reached the 50k words that were required to complete the challenge last month the story isn't finished. It's very close. I'm writing the last few chapters and probably need another 5000 words but obviously not writing at the same pace as I have been. And if I do this right I can leave myself open for a sequel.

But now that I've accomplished that epic goal I feel like I can give myself permission to let my mind wander to other writing projects. There's a short fanfic I have in mind that I'd like to work on. But for now I'm going to revel in the fact that I have accomplished NaNoWriMo once more and broken my writing curse for not finishing.