Wednesday, October 22, 2008

After a Fashion

Today's weather forecast is cold and damp. I try to dress for the weather these days as I am more concerned with being warm than with looking 'cool'.

Most mornings like this, I step out of the shower, blow-dry my hair to make it look a little less like the firestorm it tends to resemble, don a pair of jeans and my hoodie.

Thus, my problem begins.

The very word 'hoodie' makes me wince. It makes me think of cute teenagers with perfect and pert little bodies in their oh-so-trendy togs. I feel like a reupholstered impostor. A cougar in sheep's clothing, if you will. I try to kid myself by calling it a sweatshirt...with a hood. It is not a hoodie. The fact that it has a rhino and the Ecko logo emblazoned on it really doesn't help me with my self-delusion, mores the pity.

Being 39, I fear that I am beyond a large percentage of contemporary fashion. This is a good thing, for the most part. Trust me - no one wants to see this body in clingy cashmere or, god forbid, a cinch belt.

The catalogs that show up weekly in my mailbox cause me to roll my eyes and chuckle heartily. Welcome back to 1984, folks. Had I known back then that this crap would come back in style...well, I probably would have thrown it all out anyway. It didn't look good on me the first time around - and my body didn't get any better with age.
A fine wine I am not.
I'm more of a rootbeer float.

I now have to consider what is 'age-appropriate' as far as clothing. There are some obvious choices I don't even have to worry about; hipsters and baby-doll tees, for example. Even when I was the right age for that kind of thing (somewhere between 9 and 11), I wouldn't have been caught dead in them. Yet I do see women my age and older pouring their wrinkles and cellulite into skin tight low-rider jeans and and cropped sweaters.
I mean, I admire their moxie... but fear for their sanity.

I also need not worry about carrying a micro-purse, cellphone charms, shoe jewelry or a miniscule dog. Some fashion trends are just plain stupid no matter how old you are.

Don't get me wrong - I hate the self-appointed Fashion Police - and I am yet to view a television program or read an interview with any of these Style Nazis that would make me trust them enough to tie my running shoes, let alone pick out an outfit for me. Most, if not all of them look like starving kittens with sprayed on tans wearing more labels than my grandmother's canning cupboard...and they're vacuous to boot.

I guess it all comes down to what you feel comfortable in and what looks good on you.

Maybe Goldie Hawn can still look fabulous walking the red carpet in a strapless white dress with sequins and fringe at the age of sixty-two. Then again, she can still stop traffic just by flashing her legs. I could probably stop traffic with my legs too...if I cut them off and tossed them into the street. However, horrific and fabulous don't quite compare.

So...back to my sweatshirt with the hood.
Yes, it's trendy...and yes, I'm probably far too old to enjoy it or wear it as much as I do. But at least I'm not showing off thong strings, navel rings and other age-inappropriate attire. If anything, I'm covering a multitude of sins...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Collecting My Thoughts

My best friend Jen recently posted on her blog about her collection of scissors. As an avid cross-stitcher, this seems like a fairly reasonable thing to collect.

Most of the people I know collect something. The Man collects hats. Not baseball caps, mind. Hats. Expensive ones. He also collects swords. My mother collected angels. Another friend of mine collects dragonflies, my aunt collects key get the idea. It seems that we all grow attached to some things and decide for some reason or other to collect them.

Personally, I collect a few different things. My house is filled with dragons. I have collected dragons and all things dragon-like for a long time. I also collect gargoyles, bats, turtles and run a wild-life game preserve for dust-bunnies...but that is more of a hobby.

The collection I am most known for though, is my collection of watches. I love watches. I have 72 watches - and it is not enough. I do not believe there is such a thing as too many watches.

Why watches, you ask? Well, one year for my birthday I was asked what I would like. I informed those that inquired that I would like a watch. On the day of my birthday, I received nine watches. I was thrilled - and an obsession was born.

Recently, I went through my watches to replace batteries in those that needed changing. Below, you will find pictures of said timepieces. This isn't quite half of my collection.

The Man says that my jewelry box (which stands just over 4 feet high) sounds like a nest of crickets. Of course, it doesn't help that my jewelry box is on his side of the room. (heh heh)


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October Offerings

I love October.

The days are cool, clear and bright - the nights chilly and crisp. There's leaves everywhere and the bare trees make a beautifully stark silhouette against the autumn moon.

But most of all, I like October because it is the best time of year for fruit. Apples, pumpkins, concord grapes and pears are in every grocery store at more than reasonable prices. Of course, this means one thing to me: Baking.

I have been baking a lot lately. Besides the pies that I made for Thanksgiving, I have baked a few apple crisp, a dozen pumpkin loaves, pumpkin cookies, apple coffee cake, and today have plans for a pumpkin cheesecake. I also have a few dozen pears sitting on my counter that I have not yet decided the fate of. I may poach them in brandy...or more likely, just slice them and eat them with homemade caramel sauce for dessert tonight.

There's just something about this time of year that makes baking more enjoyable. The heavy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger fill my home - all mingling well with the ever-present smell of brewing coffee.

The only drawback to all this baking is that I need to rearrange my freezer. Blah. Looks like I'll be creating leftover masterpieces for a while. Ah well, small price to pay in the long run.

If you're in the area, stop in for coffee - and something warm and yummy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holier Than Thou

cue music~


Yes, welcome one and all to another exciting episode of Meet The Horde!!

Today, I introduce to you the often-mentioned Drachma. His Grace; Demi-god of the Undead, Priest of Prestige and Power, Hallowed Healer, Battle Ground Master and just plain good friend.

His Grace and I met way back waaay back when. I was a fairly new member of The Broken and was working my way through the hellish zone known as Arathi. I had to kill a rock giant known as Fozruk - and desperately needed help. Group quests are always a pain in the butt - and this one was no exception.

Drachma was the first to answer my plea for help from within the guild. Others came, including the guild master and his good lady wife - but to have a healer come to your aid without having to be cajoled is always a big bonus.

And thus, a friendship was born.

I have spent many sleepless nights questing, chatting and joking with His Grace. Wise beyond his years, he is more than quick-witted and keeps me on my bloody toes - and is far too ready to 'pun' me into submission should I step out of line. Drachma is also a cake aficionado...a big plus in my books.

Being an avid player, Drachma has many alternate characters including a kick-ass Tauren Druid named Xiphoss, Indubiously - a well-named Blood Elf Paladin, and a Hunter known as DNR, also of the Blood Elf race. I have had the distinct pleasure of questing and funning about with all of these characters. But of the many faces he wears, Drachma, the undead priest, will forever be my favourite.

I try to keep in touch with His Grace on a semi-regular basis. University student that he is, I don't like to disturb him too much for fear of interrupting his studies (or his endless pursuit of fame and glory on the battlegrounds.)

I offer my thanks to the greater powers who saw it fit to bless me with such a good friend, and thanks be to Googletalk for the ability to stay in the loop with him.

The Man.

The Legend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Celebration Time!!




Drinks are on me!
Actually, they are...I spilled my coffee when she told me. Note to self: do not dance while holding hot beverages.

Anyone in need of a good Real Estate Appraiser, let me know...I'll give you Jen's number.

(she's cute too, by the case there's anything else you'd like appraised)

Way to go, Jen!

I knew you could do it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Musically Yours

Recently, I have been exchanging music with my friends. New music, old music...a little bit of everything. Thanks to the wonders of Google Talk, passing music and photo files back and forth is an absolute breeze. Seriously, if you haven't downloaded this program - do yourself a favor and get it.


To me, music is one of the most important things in existence. It enhances every joy and fills every emotional void in my life. Music speaks for me when I haven't the words to express myself, and as is often the case, a song or segment thereof can say it better than I ever could.

When I was in college, I had an amazing Psychology professor who gave us what at first appeared to be a simple assignment: What Song Describes You Best?

I say it sounded simple - but after going through the hundreds and hundreds of songs that I could identify with, I found myself torn. There were a few songs that truly seemed as though they had been written just for me...and for the way I viewed myself.

It came down to two.

At Seventeen, by Janis Ian and Man in the Wilderness, by Styx

There were many others whose lyrics were fitting in many ways...but these were the two that I felt had me pegged.

After much deliberation and hours of listening to scads of music, I went with Man in the Wilderness. It's lyrics are beautifully depressing, but it's melody keeps it from the depths of despair it describes. If you don't know it, check it out. You'll probably learn a little more about me in the process. Yes, the lyrics say 'man' in the wilderness - but we are all of the race of man, after all.

So, my friends, I pose to you the same question: What song describes YOU best? I ask because I'm truly interested - and I want to know.

MAN IN THE WILDERNESS (Styx, Grand Illusion, 1977)

Another year has passed me by, still I look at myself and cry
What kind of man have I become
All of the years I've spent in search of myself
But I'm still in the dark because I
Can't seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die...never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

Ten thousand people look my way, but they can't see the way that I feel
Nobody even cares to try
I spend my life and sell my soul on the road
but I'm still in the dark because I
Can't seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely sailor lost at sea
Tipping with the tide...and never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

(I'm Alive!)
Looking for love, I'm a man with emotion
(My heart's on fire!)
I'm dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean
(I'm Alive.....)

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die...never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all
It makes no sense at all
Can't find the meaning of it all

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There Goes the Neighbourhood

The house across the street from ours has been for sale for over a year. Harry, The elderly gentleman who lived there previously, fell ill and has since become a resident of a local nursing home. I miss Harry - he was a wonderful man. The house was subsequently put on the real estate market, and since then, I have watched a steady train of people inspect it every weekend.

This particular home has been well-maintained over its many years. It is built of sturdy brick, has a spacious, treed yard, and the house is covered in virginia creeper ivy - giving it that Olde English look. Like most of the houses in my neighbourhood, it was built some time in the early nineteen-hundreds. Our house is over one hundred years old itself.

I noticed the other day that the 'For Sale' sign had been removed from the front lawn. This is nothing new around here as people change real estate companies frequently. But a new sign didn't appear - and soon, moving trucks began to arrive.

Load after load of furniture was taken into the house. Tasteful furniture at that. I admired what looked very much like an antique cherry wood dining set as it was carried through the door by the not-so-bad-looking movers. (hey...just because I'm chained to the porch, doesn't mean I can't bark at the cars!) From what I could glean, our new neighbours seemed to have taste and culture.

Looking out the window later in the afternoon, I was suddenly taken aback by a complete incongruity. There was something dreadfully wrong about the way Harry's house looked now. (it will always be Harry's house to me.)

Over the old art-deco door of the garage (a 1960's addition, no doubt) was an eyesore that made me want to weep.

A basketball net.

So much for taste and culture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Turkey Time

It's Friday.

Not only that - it's the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend for we folks of the True North Strong and Free.

Turkeys, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets are on sale in every grocery store. The liquor store is packed to the rafters with dark and heavy beers, luscious vintage wines (suitable for poultry faire), and the bakeries are overflowing with pumpkin pies and their ilk.

I love Thanksgiving. It's like Christmas - without the credit card bills.

Yes, I know that this time of year we are reminded to count our blessings and all the good things we have in life. I personally am thankful for the internet, and for the ability to keep in touch with those who are far from me. You know who you are...and you know I love you.

But for me, the holidays are first and foremost about FOOD.

There is nothing more satisfying in my opinion, than a full roasted turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Turkey, golden brown and succulent. Savory stuffing with celery, onions and gravy...homemade cranberry sauce...mashed potatoes...sweet potatoes...fresh corn...cauliflower and/or broccoli...freshly baked crusty rolls. Desserts of delicious pumpkin cobbler...classic cheesecake with berries and coffee and liqueur...

....and a shit load of damned dishes. (I hate when reality kicks in, don't you?)

Sadly, the man and I are having none of the above this year. He has to work over the holiday, and although I would love to do the full turkey thing, I have no desire to go to that much trouble for just the two of us. A meal like that is meant to be shared...and this year, there is no one to share it with.

So, it looks like we'll be having turkey of a different sort.
Flakes of turkey.
Mmm mm good.

I did, however, make pies.

To my Canadian friends, I bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving. And to my American friends, I wish you a happy weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who's That Girl?

Yes, it's another exciting episode of Meet the Horde.

Today, I introduce to you a very good friend. She is known to many, although no one can say for certain just how many characters this girl has.

An Alternate Toon addict, she is always trying something new - or, more truthfully, always looking for more bank space.

I am, of course, speaking of Aesdestina: (aka Aes/Nood or more rightly, Sabrina). Mighty and magestic blood-elf hunter, owner of the much-coveted spirit wolf.

Aesdestina and I got to know each other shortly after I joined my former guild - The Broken. She helped me out quite a bit with some of my quests and was always willing to offer advice and dungeon runs for much-needed gear.

When I formed Facta Non Verba with DD (another person I hope to introduce some day), Aes was the first to come over and take up residence with us. We were happy to have her as she had something neither DD or I did; leadership experience.

Sabrina has been playing WoW as long as anyone I know. Like me, she has played for both factions and prefers Horde. (like any person with a brain) She is an awesome player on all of her toons. She has many, as previously mentioned, but usually sticks to her Hunter, or her Warlock, Mirarose.

Aes taught me how to be a better warrior, how to be an effective hunter, and we even tore up a lot of evil trolls in Stranglethorn Vale when Mirarose was a lowbie and so was my priest. (yes, I was an alternate junkie too...)

When I gave up leadership of Facta, Aesdestina was the obvious choice for Guildmaster. She was almost always available, she was knowledgeable on most things, and she was always willing to lend a hand. She made a much better leader than I ever did, and Facta was better for it.

I keep in touch with Sabrina on an almost daily basis. She's a great friend and is always willing to chat about whatever. Her daughter is an endless source of amusement, and Sabrina often tells me of the joys and frustrations of being a mother.

Hanging out with Aes/Mira was always fun - and we usually just sat around talking or throwing copious snowballs around Orgrimmar. I miss that...but I am very pleased to still have Sabrina in my life, even if only in the 'real world'.

For your consideration, I give you Sabrina/Aesdestina/Mirarose

Monday, October 6, 2008

What Are You Doing Here

My hit counter amazes me.

Almost 400 hits...

Who Are You People? And for the love of cheese...what are you doing here?

(yay for Dr.Who and Asperger's Syndrome!!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008



Is there anything more perfect? I don't think so.

Of all the comestibles one can create, only cake is so perfect that people will find any excuse to celebrate in order to partake of its goodness. Birthday cake, wedding cake, anniversary cake, christening cake...the list goes on and on.

I have often been invited to parties and get-togethers for this reason or that, and usually only have one question. Will There Be Cake? If the answer is yes, more often than not, I'll make an appearance. I mean, after cake!

I baked not one but two cakes this passed weekend. One mocha-pecan number with rich chocolate icing, and a caramel apple coffee cake. Both of which are delicious and disappearing rapidly.

Cake. Comfort food of the gods.

Marie Antoinette may have been misunderstood when she said 'Let them eat cake'...but I take her words to heart. I do eat cake. Often.

The comic below was sent to me some time ago by His Grace, Drachma. It's from Penny Arcade Comics (one of the best web-comics out there) It's nice to be understood by friends. =)

Happy Sunday, everyone. Shall we celebrate with Cake?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Flaked Out

I was freezing last night as I sat watching TV with The Man.

Being loathe to close the windows and admit that summer is indeed over, I huddled under a blanket and sipped hot chocolate, trying desperately to convince myself that I wasn't cold.

Finally, my extremities could take it no longer. I closed and sealed the windows and turned on the furnace. The smell of dust came up the vents as usual when the heat is turned on for the first time in months. The Man sneezed and complained.

I glanced out the window as I walked back to my chair in the living room.

It started to snow outside.


I wonder if I had just put on another sweater, would it still have snowed?

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reality Checks and Balances

I was in an interesting store the other day.

Large displays of intricate calligraphy sets, scrimshaw artwork, handmade candles laced with gold dust. The kind of store that makes me wish I had actual money. I wandered about, looking at this and was all very beautiful.

I picked up a book from a display table because the title caught my attention:
How To Live Forever or Die Trying by Brian Appleyard. This is what the back cover said:

"I want to live for ever" sang the Kids from Fame, and they are not alone: the search for immortality has been a constant human refrain throughout history. But medical science has improved at an exponential rate in recent decades and there are those who believe that the ability to cheat death will soon be within our reach: the first person to live to be 1,000 years old has, they say, already been born. What has happened to get people so excited about the prospect of eternal life? And if they are right, what would it mean for us as human beings? If death became negotiable, would we still fall in love or have children? Would we still, in fact, be human? HOW TO LIVE FOREVER OR DIE TRYING tackles these and myriad other questions with dazzling skill. Funny, thought-provoking and often profound, it manages to grapple with the big issues of existence without blinding the reader with science, and sheds new light on why we are the way we are.

I put the book down and, upon turning around, came face to face (so to speak) with a six foot tall watch display case and this watch:

I smiled and left the store, confident that all was right with the world.