Friday, March 23, 2007

Random Funny Blog of the Day

You really need to check this guy out:


I have laughed and laughed over his blog... I'm sure you will too. Nothing special, just his take on life and daily happenings... but it's hilarious. I almost peed my pants reading the latest stories about Subway croissants and squirrel cliffhangers.... Nuff said.

GO NOW! Don't waste any more time... you will thank me later!

Jay Barnes:



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Never Lie to Your Mother...

My buddy Mel over at Scrapbook.com posted this on her blog there... thought it was too funny to pass up on sharing!!!

You don't even have to be a mother to enjoy this one...

Brian invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but notice how beautiful Brian's roommate, Jennifer, was. Suspicious of a relationship between Brian and Jennifer, this had only made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Brian and Jennifer than met the eye. Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Jennifer and I are just roommates."

About a week later, Jennifer came to Brian saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?" Brian said, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll send her an e-mail just to be sure." So he sat down and wrote:

Dear Mom:

I'm not saying that you "did" take the gravy ladle from the house, I'm not saying that you "did not" take the gravy ladle, but the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.

Love, Brian

Several days later, Brian received an email back from his mother that read:


I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Jennifer, I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with Jennifer, but the fact remains that if Jennifer was sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now.

Love, Mom


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cr@zy Milk

by Godius (of shoutfile.com)

NOW… before you all go gettin’ all skeptical on me, I want you to know that I TRIED THIS. AND IT WORKS. Well, not maybe on the level they displayed on the video here, and without the music, but it did work.

This neat trick is the result of “soap-driven convection”, or the fluid movement of heated particles within the milk when it’s surface tension is weakened by another substance like a surfactant (soap) or an alcohol. Think of it like a soap bubble - what you are seeing when you see a soap bubble is actually water that has had its surface tension decreased so much that it expands to a bigger surface area. All of the moving colored swirls you see in a soap bubble are the surfactant working its magic, and when the surfactant has successfully moved through every particle of water, the bubble will break back into water droplets. This is exactly what is happening here, with the milk.

The #1 reason why my experiment did not end up like this one: I used cold milk, right out of the fridge. I saw an effect similar to this, but at a much slower rate, and with less dramatic of a result. If performing this experiment on your own, you would be best to use room temperature milk or milk that has been heated a little; the more heat the more energy, and the more energy, the more movement!

The #2 cause for my experiment’s differing reaction was that I used a lot more milk than I should have – one site I researched (after the fact) suggested using about 1/2” of milk in the bottom of a pie pan. I used about 3/4” of milk in a 6” round Tupperware. So certainly, with the higher volume of milk, there is a lot more to move around and a lot more area to cover!

Now what you have is a large pie plate (I would use a clear one) with approximately 1/2” of room-temp. milk in it. I also read that adding Isopropyl alcohol (90% is better than 70%) will help “speed things up” – just a drop of it will weaken the surface tension of the milk up even more, maybe the catalyst behind the above video’s rapid “effect”. The alcohol will eventually evaporate, so more will have to be added as it wears off.

Now, take some food coloring. I didn’t have eight colors; only four, so I had to work with that. I put 2 drops of each, red/yellow/green/blue, in that order clockwise around the outermost edge of the milk. You will notice the food coloring beginning to spread, but not nearly as much as it would had you dropped it into water. The milk is much heavier than water, and the food coloring will stay on top of it, which is the genius behind the whole operation here. Next, take your dish soap – I don’t think it particularly matters what kind – and add it to the plate of milk. You can do this by adding a few drops to the center of the plate, or add a dab to the tip of a Q-tip or toothpick and dip it into the center of the milk. DO NOT STIR – just be patient. You should start seeing the effect almost immediately.

The food coloring particles are basically water, and are lighter than the milk particles, so they “float” on top of the milk. When the soap begins to break down the surface tension of the milk and increase its surface “area” the food coloring goes with it. It will continue to move until all the soap particles have bonded with fatty particles in the milk and the surface tension is restored.

Definitely something fun, simple and cheap to entertain your kids for a while! You probably even have what you need to perform this one lying around your house right now… and if you’re really clever, you’ll have them believing that you are magic[al]!! It is also suggested to try this trick using different variables: warmer/colder milk, different fat contents (2%, whole, skim, etc.), and more/less soap or milk are all things you could try with this experiment.

Additional resources for Milk-Soap Driven Convection:

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Cadbury Creme Egg Cake

While I was on a mission for other things this evening, I stumbled across this. After LAUGHING MY ASS OFF for a while, I decided to share it here… because it was too funny to not share. Thanks a bunch to Jay Barnes for the content!!! And if you’re looking to laugh for a while, you should definitely read the rest of his blog! He’s a funny, funny guy!!

Anyway, onto the Cadbury Cake. Jay writes:


Replace ordinary eggs in cake recipe with Cadbury Creme Eggs and observe results.




For more Jay, check out his LiveJournal at Shmivejournal.livejournal.com, or his “best of” website at bigmixup.com.

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Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum (!!!)

'Ello, Poppets!! The trailer has been released!!

I sure hope I don't get sued by Disney for posting this... had the hardest time finding a copy of it to put up here. Every one on YouTube was deleted for "copyright infringement" as requested by Walt Disney Pictures. Apparently they don't like free advertising.

I am so excited about this film! I love Pirates, I love Jack Sparrow, I love Orlando Bloom... May 25th is the release date! It looks so awesome! I have heard through speculation from a recent interview with Johnny Depp that there may be more Pirates movies coming - at least, if Johnny has his way there will be. He said that it will be a dark, depressing day in his life when he has to close the door on Captain Jack - but that he will keep the costume and occasionally wear it around the house to entertain his kids.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - on IMDb

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cr@zy Bodies

My friend Liz over at SB.com turned me onto this fascination...

Body Worlds

This is a study of human anatomy that is being conducted and its results displayed to the public by a German anatomist, Gunther von Hagens. He is also the creator of the "plastination" technology used on these specimens, which is the implementation of reactive polymers to preserve living tissue. With plastination, von Hagens has been able to "freeze frame" moments in time with an eerie reality - statues of people with their skins removed, exposing muscle tissues and vital organs - with all the benefits of hands-on health education.

Which is exactly what Dr. von Hagens hopes to accomplish with his seemingly morbid displays. He has spent many years modeling and forming actual human skeletons and tissues to provide real-life models of these things which most people would never get to observe otherwise in the first-person. Not to worry, though, everyone at his parties is legit - all of his display specimens have been consensually donated by their former owners prior to their death. Not to say that Dr. von Hagens has not used the corpses of inmates and other derelicts in his laboratory practices; only that his public work reflects those who gave their bodies to science after death to further be able to fully serve society.

You can see a teen performing a skateboard trick, a man carrying his own skin, a pregnant woman with 8-month fetus, people in various sporting positions (like soccer, basketball, archer, etc.) and even a few artful reflections in the man on horseback, winged man, the chess player, or the prayer with his heart in his hands. In conjunction with the statues, there are also many other glass-cased displays containing smaller focuses.

There are currently three travelling collections of Body Worlds touring the U.S. More information is available on the Body Worlds website - www.bodyworlds.com

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cr@zy Great Poetry #1 - Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein will be remembered forever as a poet for all ages. Though his verse is quaint and childlike, it reaches deep into thought, even in the most grown-up of us. I first discovered Shel in Elementary School, maybe First or Second Grade, in the Library. I think it was actually a teacher that turned me onto him. I was hooked with the first book I came into contact with: "Where the Sidewalk Ends". But the sidewalk did not end there. I have passed on my love for this classic children's author to my son, with whom I frequently read "Giraffe and a Half" (our favorite book!)

While Silverstein is best-known for books like "A Light in the Attic", "The Giving Tree", "The Missing Piece", "Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?", "Falling Up" and "Runny Babbit", there are a few Shel Silverstein books - and facts - you may not know about.

"Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Tender Young Minds" and "Different Dances" were not books intended by Silverstein for his usual crowd of simple, wide-eyed Elementary school kids. These books (which I am fortunate to have copies of both) were meant for adult consumption. This is definitely a Shel you've never seen - or even thought existed. Even some of his children's poetry and verse is veiled with a thin, transparency of darkness. The "ABZ Book" takes its time meandering through the alphabet as though it were written for a child - with very naughty undertones. In short, not exactly the alphabet book you want to read to your children. They might learn the alphabet, but they might also learn a few other things too... The first page of the book reads:

"SURPRISE Because you have been very good,
and because your Uncle Shelby loves you
tomorrow you can stay home FROM SCHOOL
"Different Dances" is Silverstein's satirical look at life as an adult and at the human psyche - this one is especially not for the kiddos as there are some pretty graphic (and sexually explicit) drawings in this book. As described by one reviewer: "for the 'cool' people".

Silverstein was involved in more than just children's poetry and silly stories. Bet you didn't know that he wrote "A Boy Named Sue" - a huge hit for Johnny Cash. He also wrote most of the music performed by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, including "Cover of the Rolling Stone." Shel's career began in the early 1950's while he served in the military - he penned cartoons that were published in the Pacific edition of the military newsletter, "Stars and Stripes". He did not originally intend to author works for children, but after being forced to try, he was so happy with the silliness that resulted that he continued to write children's books until his death; the last published posthumuously ("Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook" in 2005). He verified that his work was never inspired by another poet; this is apparent to me, as I have never seen another poet quite like Shel Silverstein. His dark, comical adaptations of everyday life incorporated with slang and scrawly, simple drawings are a combination never before attempted by the contemporaries of the time.

In addition to these works, Silverstein was a contributor to several Playboy publications, and released several albums of the folkish/indie genre. He always had a passion for music, and his knack for creative and colorful verse shone brightly alongside this affinity. He could play guitar, piano, saxophone and trombone in addition to his lyrics, making him quite a talented show. He also wrote a handful of adult-inspired poems, including one of my favorites "The Perfect High" (see below). He was an avid collector of books, so attentive to details like the quality of binding an paper, that he refused to ever allow his works to be printed in softcover, so none would ever be degraded in value.

Shel Silverstein died young, at the age of 69. He was found dead of a heart attack by two cleaning ladies in his home in Key West, Florida, on May 10, 1999.

In a 1974 interview with Publishers' Weekly, Shel was quoted as saying:
"I would hope that people, no matter what age, would find something to identify with in my books, pick up one and experience a personal sense of discovery. That's great. But for them, not for me. I think that if you're creative person, you should just go about your business, do your work and not care about how it's received. I never read reviews because if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones too. Not that I don't care about success. I do, but only because it lets me do what I want. I was always prepared for success but that means that I have to be prepared for failure too. I have an ego, I have ideas, I want to be articulate, to communicate but in my own way. People who say they create only for themselves and don't care if they are published...I hate to hear talk like that. If it's good, it's too good not to share. That's the way I feel about my work."
And now, in tribute to Shel Silverstein, my two most favorite of his works:

Somebody Has To

Somebody has to go polish the stars,
They're looking a little bit dull.
Somebody has to go polish the stars,
For the eagles and starlings and gulls
Have all been complaining they're tarnished and worn,
They say they want new ones we cannot afford.
So please get your rags
And your polishing jars,
Somebody has to go polish the stars.

-Shel Silverstein

the perfect high
- or -
The Quest for Gimmesome Roy

*CAUTION* - strong language!!

There once was a boy named Gimmesome Roy. He was nothing like me or you.
'Cause laying back and getting high was all he cared to do.
As a kid, he sat in the cellar, sniffing airplane glue.
And then he smoked bananas -- which was then the thing to do.
He tried aspirin in Coca-Cola, breathed helium on the sly,
and his life was just one endless search to find that perfect high.
But grass just made him want to lay back and eat chocolate chip pizza all night,
and the great things he wrote while he was stoned looked like shit in the morning light.
And speed just made him rap all day, reds just laid him back,
and Cocaine Rose was sweet to his nose, but the price nearly broke his back.
He tried PCP and THC, but they didn't quite do the trick,
and poppers nearly blew his heart and mushrooms made him sick.
Acid made him see the light, but he couldn't remember it long,
and hashish was just a little too weak, and smack was a lot too strong,
and Quaaludes made him stumble, and booze just made him cry,
'Till he heard of a cat named Baba Fats who knew of the perfect high.

Now, Baba Fats was a hermit cat who lived up in Nepal,
High on a craggy mountaintop, up a sheer and icy wall.
"But hell," says Roy, "I'm a healthy boy, and I'll crawl or climb or fly,
But I'll find that guru who'll give me the clue as to what's the perfect high."
So out and off goes Gimmesome Roy to the land that knows no time,
up a trail no man could conquer to a cliff no man could climb.
For fourteen years he tries that cliff, then back down again he slides
then sits -- and cries -- and climbs again, pursuing the perfect high.
He's grinding his teeth, he's coughing blood, he's aching and shaking and weak,
as starving and sore and bleeding and tore, he reaches the mountain peak.
And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf, and he snarls the snarl of a rat,
as there in perfect repose and wearing no clothes -- sits the godlike Baba Fats.

"What's happening, Fats?" says Roy with joy, "I've come to state my biz.
I hear you're hip to the perfect trip. Please tell me what it is.
For you can see," says Roy to he, "that I'm about to die.
So, for my last ride, Fats, how can I achieve the perfect high?"
"Well, dog my cats!" says Baba Fats, "here's one more burnt-out soul,
who's looking for some alchemist to turn his trip to gold.
But you won't find it in no dealer's stash, or on no druggist's shelf.
Son, if you would seek the perfect high -- find it in yourself."

"Why, you jive motherfucker!" screamed Gimmesome Roy, "I've climbed through rain and sleet,
I've lost three fingers off my hands and four toes off my feet!
I've braved the lair of the polar bear and tasted the maggot's kiss.
Now, you tell me the high is in myself. What kind of shit is this?
My ears 'fore they froze off," says Roy, "had heard all kind of crap,
but I didn't climb for fourteen years to listen to that sophomore rap.
And I didn't crawl up here to hear that the high is on the natch,
so you tell me where the real stuff is or I'll kill your guru ass!"

"OK, OK," says Baba Fats, "you're forcing it out of me.
There is a land beyond the sun that's known as Zaboli.
A wretched land of stone and sand where snakes and buzzards scream,
and in this devil's garden blooms the mystic Tzu-Tzu Tree.
And every ten years it blooms one flower as white as the Key West sky,
and he who eats of the Tzu-Tzu flower will know the perfect high.
For the rush comes on like a tidal wave and it hits like the blazing sun.
And the high, it lasts a lifetime and the down don't ever come.
But the Zaboli land is ruled by a giant who stands twelve cubits high.
With eyes of red in his hundred heads, he waits for the passers-by.
And you must slay the red-eyed giant, and swim the River of Slime,
where the mucous beasts, they wait to feast on those who journey by.
And if you survive the giant and the beasts and swim on that slimy sea,
there's a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth as she guards that Tzu-Tzu Tree."
And with tears of joy in his snow-blind eye, Roy hands the guru a five,
then back down the icy mountain he crawls, pursuing that perfect high.

"Well, that is that," says Baba Fats, sitting back down on his stone,
facing another thousand years of talking to God alone.
"It seems, Lord," says Fats, "it's always the same, old men or bright-eyed youth,
it's always easier to sell them some shit than it is to give them the truth."

- Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein

Official Site: http://www.shelsilverstein.com
Wikipedia Entry
on Answers.com
Collected Information


T@g Cr@zy.

A few friends on Scrapbook.com tagged me with this survey... here it is for the Blogger community!

I was tagged by: CatScrapsHere, Craftyamanda

1. Can you cook? Anything you want!

2. What was your dream growing up? I wanted to be a brain surgeon when I was real little - maybe 7 or 8. Then I thought about child psychologist for a while (because I wanted to work with people's brains but not on the level of actually touching them!) Then it was a nurse, for which I went to school; then I wanted to be a High School History Teacher... and I think I still do sometimes. My ultimate goal, however is to be a professional scrapbooker!!!

3. What talent do you wish you had? I'm pretty happy with what I was given to work with; I don't think there's anything I can't do that I want to!

4. Favorite place ? Fort Worth, TX... it just feels like "home". And I love the weather there, most of the year anyway.

5. Favorite vegetable? green beans and peas

6. What was the last book you read? Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

7. What zodiac sign are u ? Aquarius

8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Piercings - r. nostril, tongue, belly button; upper back tattoo (fairy sitting on a moon) and r. calf tattoo (cheerleader)

9. Worst Habit? uh, well it used to be smoking... I guess now it's drinking coffee, and chewing my hangnails

10. What is your favorite sport? gymnastics

11. Negative or Optimistic attitude? I was born a pessimist; I never see the "good" side first... I figure it out eventually, though.

12. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator? I would climb out the top like they do in the movies, like in the Matrix... that would be cool.

13. Worst thing to ever happen to you? where can I begin...

14. Tell me one weird fact about you: I'm a video game nut.

15. Do have any pets? 1 dog, Alex (Mini Aussie); 1 cat, Nice Kitty (Maine Coon)

16. Can you do the macerana? yes, and I can do backflips instead of shaking my hips (well, I used to could anyway!)

17. What time is it where u are now? 3:39PM

18. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? very VERY SCARY.

19. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?? I need a tan!!!

20.Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Sadly, the conscience nowadays... My partyin' days are over!

21. What color eyes do you have? green

22. Bottle or Draft? Bud Light on tap

23. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it? pay bills

24. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Trident Peppermint

25. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes

26. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Scrapbook

27. Do you swear a lot? moderately

28. Biggest pet peeve? stupid people; drug addicts

29. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Spontaneous

And am tagging: Shell Aimee Shannon

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Cr@zy Magic - The Illusionist

This is one of the most intriguing films I’ve seen in quite a while. The story is loosely based around a fictional short story called “Eisenheim the Illusionist”, published as a part of a collection of stories by Steven Millhauser titled, “The Barnum Museum”. The story of the Illusionist tells about a 19th century magician who so twists the perception of illusion and reality that he is being chased by the police.

The movie opens with a man being arrested for an unknown crime; a magician who appears to be performing seances under the guise of a magic show. We then hear Inspector Walter Uhl (Paul Giamatti) relaying the history of the magician, and the story begins to unfold.

We meet a young Edward Abramovich (Edward Norton), the son of a cabinetmaker, when he is a boy. A wandering magician stops him in the fields one day and performs some illusions, by which Edward is so impressed that he becomes obsessed with magic. As a teen, he falls in love with Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel), a duchess whose parents contracted his father to build furniture for them. The separation in their classes makes their relationship impossible, and eventually Edward is forbidden from seeing Sophie.

Grief-stricken, Edward leaves home and changes his name to Eisenheim, and travels abroad learning the secrets of magic and illusionry. 15 years later, he comes to rest in turn-of-the-century Vienna, and begins drawing large crowds with his remarkable and seemingly impossible illusions. He has even caught the attention of Crown Prince Leopold of Hungary (Rufus Sewell), who attends his second show. At the end of the show, Eisenheim calls for a volunteer who is not afraid of death, and Prince Leopold rises and volunteers his lady. As she approaches the stage, Eisenheim realizes she is Sophie, his lost love. He asks her, “Do you know me?” She says no. He says, “Are you quite certain that we’ve never met?” Her reply: “Yes, of course.”

At his dismay, he finds out after the show that Sophie is set to be engaged to Prince Leopold. He meets with the royal court after the show, where the pompous Prince Leopold disregards his illusions as mere tricks, and invites him to perform at his palace for his “intelligent” friends. At this point, Sophie has recognized him. As the royalty departs, Leopold comments that Eisenheim had better have something good up his sleeve, and the magician replies with, “Maybe I’ll make YOU disappear,” as he casts Sophie a longing eye.

He begins to devise a scheme to get Sophie out of her arrangement and make her his again. He plans to use his adept knowledge of magic to trick the Prince and Inspector Uhl, and regain Sophie, until things don’t go quite as he has planned. A cruel twist of fate changes his direction: he begins performing necromantic shows and razing lost souls.

You won’t believe where this one will take you. The cinematography is absolutely fabulous. Well, all but in a few places where the soft focusing overdramatizes the scene so much that it’s almost hard to put together what’s transpiring. I got a “Phantom of the Opera” feeling from this movie; the antique theatres and dark, romantic atmosphere with the turn-of-the-century look and feel is very unique and adds so much to quality of the film. Not to mention the incredible plot twists. The acting was first–rate from everyone; very eloquent and well-studied. Ed waxes poetic throughout the entire movie; especially when he’s in front of an audience. His words are like the lyrics to a really beautiful song. And he actually spent about 6 months studying the art of illusions and stage magic so he could perform some of the sleights and add a realistic feel – which is good, because I think too much CGI would have ruined this film.

The only things I didn’t like about this movie: the seedy sex scene in the middle was really a turn off. The cinematography was very poor, and I think overall, that tidbit contributed nothing to the rest of the story. I like much better the idea of them eluding to the fact that the sex happened, but I also don’t agree with the way it happened. If you see this movie, you will understand when I say, “It would not have happened that way in real life, especially not during that time period.” I also thought that the beginning set an excellent precedent for keeping you wanting to know what happens next, but toward the mid-end it starts to get a little boring and repetitive. You just want some resolve at that point, and I think that there could have been a better way to approach getting the point across.

“From the moment we enter this life, we are in the flow of it. We measure it and we mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass too quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?” - Eisenheim on the concept of time

Oh yeah, one other bonus about this movie: Ed Norton is a total babe in this one. At least, I think so. I think it’s that beard… plus, think about it. He’s a magician… how fun would that be? I just thought I would throw that in there!

:) Enjoy!

The Illusionist (2006)
Directed & Written By Neil Burger
Short Story “Eisenheim the Illusionist” By Steven Millhauser
Genre: Drama / Mystery / Romance / Thriller
Cast: Edward Norton; Paul Giamatti; Jessica Biel; Rufus Sewell; Eddie Marsan
Nominated for an Oscar in Cinematography Achievement
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and violence
Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Cr@zy Clothes - Switched Clothing

Being the clothes-horse that I am, (my clothes take up 2 closets in our house - a walk in and a regular), I regularly surf the Internet for deals on clothes. I also like clothes I can't just go anywhere and buy; I like my style to be unique to me and expressive of my tastes and personality.

Tonight, I found Switched Clothing's website through an ad that was displayed on another site, advertising tees starting at $8. That’s pretty cheap for a cute T-shirt, so I took a gander. Have a look for yourself:

Switched Clothing (dot) com

All of the shirts I clicked on were actually $18 / each, but that could have been my misread (or an expired ad.) Still cute though! About the same price as I would end up paying at a high-end trendy store at the mall. I really like the “Topsy Turvy” shirt. They also offer a line of unique handbags made from recycled materials, and there is a promise of Underwear for the future. Underwear? Another of those things I just can’t get enough of, as long as they’re cute and COMFY!!! (The sight of a thong makes my buttcrack start to chap!)

And if that isn’t enough for you, how about some incentive to shop with them? They offer a reward points system to use toward merchandise and future drawings and giveaways. You can get a free T-shirt when you accumulate 10,000 points. If you sign up for an account with them, you automatically get 1,000 points, and if you make a purchase or refer a friend, you get 1,000 points too. Let me restate that: each item you purchase gets you 1,000 points. So it’s basically like Buy-9–Get-1–Free, or if you have 9 friends that like cool clothes too, you can refer them and get a shirt just for spreading the word around. Pretty cool, huh?

So what are you waiting for? GO GET SWITCHED!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cr@zy Laundromats

Who’d’ve ever thought the day would come when I would be excited to do laundry?

That day was today. When we got a washing machine. You never know how much you miss it till it’s gone, right? Since we moved into our new house we haven’t had a washer or dryer. They were not furnished, and we did not have any of our own; the last place we lived was a rental, and we had to leave those ones there. We finally bought a dryer, but decided that it had no entertainment value, and we’d better get a washing machine so nothing looked suspicious. Going to the laundromat for the last two months has been a real pain in the butt, especially when there were weeks on end of sub-freezing and near-zero temperatures. I can’t complain too much, since we live less than 1/4 mile from the laundromat, but even thinking about leaving the house was a chore when it was that cold, much less hauling laundry baskets and detergent out with you and fumbling to get them into the car.

Then there’s the idea of actually BEING at the laundromat. Sure, you can take a magazine, or even a friend, but you’ll never be able to keep your eyes off those tumbling clothes. It’s like being hypnotized into boredom for at least an hour. I watched six dryers going all at once, full of my familiar vetements, round and round and round and round. Sometimes I counted how many times I saw the same blue striped sock go around before it disappeared into the swirling pile. The rhythm of zippers and buttons clanging against the metal drums is almost soothing, but still on the brink of annoying. Like a little impatient voice chattering, “How much longer is this going to take?” If you’re really clever, you might even be able to write a song with a tune that goes to the beat of the clanging. Forget iPod, I’ve got iLaundry. And then, without any warning, the dryers just stop, one by one. An overwhelming sense of relief knocks me back into the real world, and I head over to gather up my belongings and get the F— out of dodge… when disappointment strikes. These clothes are still damp!

Another $5.00 in quarters and 45 minutes later…. I’m at home, hauling it all back inside and dropping it all over the wet, snowy ground on the way in because of the way I crudely shoved it into laundry baskets in a hasty attempt to flee from the laundromat of doom. Then there’s putting it all away…

And aren’t there always some of the creepiest people at the laundromat? Sure, they look normal, but do they talk to you? NO. No way. There’s an unspoken rule about talking to people at the laundromat (unless you’re drunk or in a movie). And if YOU try to talk to SOMEONE ELSE that’s at the laundromat, they look at you like you have entrails coming out of your ears, and then they watch you until they finish their laundry business and leave. THAT’S CREEPY. I don’t like people watching me – that’s why I don’t try talking to people at the laundromat.

I’m just glad to hear that familiar clanging sound coming from my basement. I have run both machines all day long, and joyfully got up to change the load each time. I will never again take for granted my laundry, for I know what it is like in this life to be without.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My First Tutorial - Shaker Shadowbox Altered Mini-Class

Shaker Shadowbox Tutorial
by Shaunna

I started thinking about things I could alter, and as I looked around at what I had sitting out, I noticed an empty Valentine's chocolate box. Hmm.... What could I do with that? I wanted to make something unique and something useful out of this thing I was otherwise going to throw away - so I headed to my scrap room.

I have been wanting to make a shaker box for a long time now, and I've never seen it done within a shadow box. A HUGE shaker, with the bonus benefit of being a picture frame for a gift or for decor; an interactive picture frame. This is what I ended up with:

Wanna know how I did it? Well, I decided to make a tutorial along the way to share with everyone! Please bear with me, as this is my first tutorial and I am not always the best at explaining things. My pictures aren't the greatest quality, but good enough to be able to follow along. You can use any hollow box that's at least 1" tall or deeper - not too deep, though - you don't want it to be so shadowy you can't see anything in it! I used a "Choxie" chocolate box from Target - I especially liked that this one had a little bit of an odd curve in the heart shape, which will make it especially good as a display - it will stand up pretty well on its own. If you use a thinner box (the standard one that assorted chocolates come in, persay), you will probably have to add a stand to the back with chipboard or attach some ribbon so it can be hung on a wall. Here is a list of supplies you will need to complete this project:
  • An empty hollow box (like a Valentine's chocolate box)
  • 3 sheets of 12x12" coordinating patterned paper + scraps
  • A piece of clear plastic film big enough to cover the lid of your box (you can use the plastic wrapper from a 12x12 pack of paper or kit, it works great!)
  • At least 8" of ribbon
  • Stickers / rub-ons to decorate inside & out
  • Misc "shaker" embellies (buttons, die-cuts, punches, charms, etc.)
  • Adhesive of choice
  • Scissors, paper trimmer, and heavy duty cutting blade
  • Ink/paint, if desired
  • One 3x5" photo of choice
  • Two small photos (no more than 2" at widest or tallest point)

OK, first thing's first. If you're going to set it on a table and you need a stand, then read on... if not, skip this section and go to the next paragraph. My best suggestion would be to trace the fold-out stand from picture frame you already have onto chipboard - don't forget to leave a little extra at the top so you can fold and attach to the back of the box! Mimic the design of the picture frame so you will end up with a stand. Brads would be great for attaching this to the box - and the backs would be covered with paper from the inside! When you've completed your stand, move on to the next step.

Decide which patterned paper you want to use for the inside of the box. Turn it upside-down and place your box on top of it, so that you use as little of the paper as possible, but still get the full outline.

Trace around the heart with a pencil and cut it out - when you cut, cut slightly inside the pencil line as it will need to be just slightly shorter than the actual box to fit inside without a hitch. You may have to trim it a few times to get it to fit correctly. Don't worry if it's not perfect - most often, no one will see the inside of the box, so you're in the clear. Glue the heart shape down. If you want, you can use the rest of the paper to fill in around the edges. Set the paper inside the box so it is even, and make a mark on the back where the box stops.

Cut several strips of this size from the remaining paper. Adhere the strips to the inside of the box one at a time. Overlap one strip with the next and continue this way until you have filled in the entire inside. Trim off any excess from the top.

To finish covering the bottom of the box, take a second piece of paper and do the same thing with the outside as you did on the inside - make a mark and cut strips, then adhere. The bottom half of your box should now be entirely covered with patterned paper, except the very bottom. Like this:

Now the hardest part. Take the lid of the box and use a ruler and your eyeball (or a template if you have one that fits) to make an outline around the inside of the box, about 1" from the edge. You will then have a "frame" for your window.

Using a sharp tool or scissors, cut on the outline you made to create a cutout of the shape in the middle of the lid. This cutout's border does not have to be 1", it can be whatever size you want, just remember the contents of your box! When you're finished cutting you should have something like this:

Now, get your third piece of patterned paper, and flip the lid over and stick it to the backside of the patterned paper (so the pattern will be on the front.) Again, try to take up as little space as possible on the paper! Trace around the outside and the inside window of your box, so you have the outline of your shape. Cut the main shape out of the paper, then using your cutter or scissors again, cut the shape from the center of the lid, and try to keep it as intact as possible so you can use it to embellish your box or add to your scrap pile. Do not glue yet! You should end up with two pieces:

Get out your clear film. Apply a generous amount of adhesive all over the top of the box lid, on the "frame" you made. Lay the plastic over the box and smooth it out well. Cut away the excess plastic hanging over the edges of the box. Apply adhesive to the back of the paper outline and stick it down on top of the film, covering the box as closely as possible. Continue covering the edges of lid of the box the same as you did the inside and outside, if you want. If you are using a standard candy box, the lid and bottom will overlap, so you will not have to cover both parts - only the one that will be facing out - which is most likely the top part. If you already covered the bottom, though, that's OK! You should end up with a box that is completely covered with patterned paper and a window in the lid. If that's what you have, then you're doing this right - and I'm doing a good job of explaining it! Now if you want, you can ink the edges of the box or distress them so it has time to dry.

Next, mat the pictures on the remainder of what you used for the outside bottom (sheet #2) or another coordinating scrap. Ink / distress the edges as desired. You can also add a rub-on to the large photo if you have one that is appropriate. You can glue the shape you cut from the lid paper into the bottom of the box if you want; do any inking or distressing you want to it first! Then add only the large photo to the box, lining it up the way it would be straightest when viewed in the frame, and also setting it high enough that it will not be covered by your shaker embellishments when they are resting in the bottom of the frame.

Embellish the inside of the box - LIGHTLY - as desired. I added a few simple stickers. You don't want to overdo it because you will have a bunch of little shaker contents floating around in there, and you don't want things to get caught or be too overwhelming!

Next, use the strip of ribbon in any way you choose to embellish the corner of the box.

I cut mine in two equal pieces, then attached them to the lid so they wrapped around the bottom edge just a little. Then I tied them together in the middle, and tied another smaller piece of ribbon in a knot around them, and secured it all with a decorative straight pin. Finish embellishing the lid of the box any way you want. I chose to make a small chipboard tag and hung it on the straight pin, and added a few flowers and a nice title:

Now your lid is finished! Almost done! Gather up a handful of small miscellaneous shaker embellishments, and the two small photos you have already cut and matted. I chose a few buttons, a few die cuts and word stickers that I matted on scraps, and a few small charms.

Now take all this stuff and dump it into the box. Add or remove things until you feel like there is a good balance - shake them around so you get the effect that will be seen when someone else looks at this. When you are happy with the embellishments, place the lid over the bottom, and you're done! Now shake it around and watch the magic (LOL!).When it is freestanding, all of the embellishments should fall to the bottom and reveal the big picture in the background. And you're done! Now stand back and admire your hard work!

Of course, you can't see the shaker element in my example, but you will definitely be able to in your own creation! This is a fun way to be able to display more than one picture at a time, and I am extremely happy with the way this project turned out! I hope you will be too! I hope everything was easy enough for all to understand, and I would love to see anyone else's take on my design!

Thanks so much for taking this mini-class! I hope you had as much fun making my creation as I did! Happy Scrapping!!


* KI Memories "Unconditional" collection - "Petite Pop" 12x12
* KI Memories "Unconditional" collection - "Wide Rule" 12x12
* DCWV Glitter Stack - Black Diamonds & Dots 8x8
* Provo Craft "Life Happens" Stack - Pink Alpha 8x8

* EK Success Inspirables (pink circle w/ heart)
* EK Success Vellum quote (Love)
* Carolee's Creations Word Play (Now & Forever collection)
* Mark Richards crystal "Love" sticker

* Making Memories white velvet alpha
* EK Success black punch label alpha

* Rub on - DCWV "Love" Colored Rub-On Stack
* Pin - EK Success Rebecca Sower Nostalgiques
* Chipboard heart - Fancy Pants Big Board Chipboard Frames & Tags
* Flowers - Prima (pink) & Creative Elements (white)
* Die Cuts - My Mind's Eye, Going in Circles kit "Love"
* Charm - Making Memories "Ace of Hearts" metal charm
* Misc. buttons from Wal-Mart

* Magenta fine tip Sharpie
* Ink it Up Ink (black, cranberry & pink)
* Scotch glue stick
* Fiskars adhesive photo corners
* Zots
* Making Memories distressing file
* Fiskars 12" paper trimmer
* X-acto Gripper knife
* "Choxie" by Target Chocolate box

(c) 2007 - Shaunna Farral
* I hold copyright for all images and instructions contained in this tutorial.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Cr@zy Painted Cats

Isn't that cool looking?

Now, before you go getting all mad and yelling about animal rights or trying to search this up for yourself, know this: IT IS NOT REAL. Some people may have received an email forward showing these same pictures. The one I received stated that "in the book these came from, it said these paint jobs cost up to $15,000 and have to be re-done every 3 months as the cat's fur grows out." Not so. This is a very good hoax, and also some very talented Photoshop artistry. The images came from a book called "Why Paint Cats: The Ethics of Feline Aesthetics" by Burton Silver. The book was a follow up to Silver's 1994 edition, "Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics". Both books feature false stories and interviews with cats and their owners, paired with large graphically edited images of cats immersed in art. It is notably intriguing, just make sure not to let yourself get wrapped up in thinking it's real!

Some more "cat art":


How bad-@$$ does that look, LOL?

For more information, pics, and the books, you can also visit: Why Paint Cats Homepage

Just another amazing example of the wonders of Photoshop :)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Cr@zy Pedophiles

So I heard this today... a FEMALE South Carolina JUNIOR HIGH school teacher gets busted for sleeping with five students. Can someone please explain to me what is wrong with these people. I'm sorry, but I just don't quite understand. FIVE Junior High school students? OK, well according to media sources they were 14- and 15-year old boys, but still... I mean, COME ON! Have you ever been around 14-and 15-year old boys? Most of them are rude, disgusting, and immature. I can't believe how often we are hearing about this kind of thing in the news nowadays; nothing in the world could be said to convince me that there is something appealing about having sex with a child. This girl, I have seen pictures of her, is not just some hideous monster, either. She could have gotten a date if she wanted to. Wow.

I think they should let people line up for blocks and just punch her in the face one by one.


Sims 2 Seasons - YESSSSSSS!


Seriously, though... it hit the shelves today, and I couldn't help myself. It was priority #1 for the day. I always love when a new expansion pack comes out - it's like CHRISTMAS!

I've already played it, and the first thing I have to say is that the hype is NEVER worth it. Boy I had myself all worked up for this one, and it was the same as always: bored after 15 minutes but still could not seem to stop playing. There are some interesting new features that come with this latest release: Seasons, weather, the ability to plant and grow things, a few new careers and interactions, and the added need to keep the Sim warm or cool according to the temperature. Oh yeah, and Plant People (LOL!)

The seasons and weather changes give your Sims some new stuff to do: there's gardening in the spring, new pool stuff and family interactions for summer, harvesting and fall activities in autumn, and the usual winter fun - snow included. You can also fish if you have a pond in your yard. The fish and the vegetables you harvest are able to be sold or used for your own consumption, and there are benefits that come with eating your produce. Some new climate-appropriate fashions have been added to the wardrobe, and new objects to accommodate every season or setting! How fun!

All this in addition to the ability to drive a car, run a business, go to college, fill needs / wants, work, raise a family, have pets... it's almost exactly like real life. Now I'm wondering: what next? I can never imagine the next thing they will come up with to enhance simulated living, but I'm sure it's probably only going to get better from here on out.

My only complaints so far are that it's a bit of a memory hog if you don't have much to work with... you're better off running it on a pretty fast system if you don't like hang time. Also, none of my custom content is working as of right now, we'll see what happens over the next few days; I'm sure patches will be released for that.

If you're ready to check it out, Amazon has it in stock right now. They have a few screenshots there and a bit of detailed information on the game. If you really want to see it in action for yourself, then there's no better place to go than EA Games official Sims 2 Website. They also have it available for purchase and direct download if you don't feel like going anywhere.

Back to SimLand....

RaWK Out to Your Fave Tunes

Another coolio site for all the music cr@zies out there!


This is pretty slick. You get to make playlists of whatever songs you want (well, those they have in their database, which is pretty extensive). Lots of playlists. Then you can listen to them wherever you want: on their site, on a blog, or myDisgrace [Space]. This is pretty nice if you want to listen to music while you're doing other things, and there's no hunt-and-peck through your collection to get together what you want. It's free, so why not? The only downfall is that you can only add 3 songs per artist to each playlist... so you can't do that all Bananarama playlist you were hoping for - but you could just go all out and make an "Annoying 80's Music" playlist instead. If you get stumped for what to fill in the rest of your playlist with (like above said playlist), Finetune will find and fill in songs that are similar to those you already picked. And, if you are just in the mood to listen to random whatever stuff, they also have some pretty cool preprogrammed stations as well.

You can see an example of the widget they provide for blogs at the bottom of my blog (and you can listen to my kick@$$ playlist too, while you're down there LOL!). It is very simple to install (almost no effort!) and is available right on their site. FAN-TASTIC!

Carry on!