30 June 2011

Words to Live by

Calvin and Hobbes paired with Douglas Adams! All the happiness I need for today. Happy Thursday!


29 June 2011

Mix Tape

When I was a senior in high school my student teacher, Mr Floyd, made me a cd and it is to this day the greatest I have ever been given. I recently discovered the track list and I'm going to share it with you all now. 
(I know it isn't a mix 'tape'....but I grew up make mix tapes off of the radio, so I'm stick with the name.) 

Everything in its right place: Radiohead

Somewhere only we know: Keane

Let Go: Frou Frou

Green grass of tunnel: Múm

Such great heights: Iron and Wine

How to be dead: Snow Patrol

Neighbourhood 1(tunnels): Arcade Fire

Against all odds: The Postal Service

Song for the dumped: Ben Folds 5 
(Mr Floyd forgot that this song had swearing in it and told me not to let anyone know. I guess he could have gotten in trouble!)

Way down now: World Party

Song for dustmites: Steve Burns

Satan gave me a taco: Beck

Billy liar: The Decemberists

Stars of track and field: Belle and Sebastian

Yoshimi battles the pink robots part 1: The Flaming Lips 
(It makes me sad that I could get the official music video to post, because I really love it.) 

Anthems for a 17 year old girl: Broken Social Scene

All of that is so nostalgic for me! This might not be the "mix tape" I would make today, but its still really great. I've never made the greatest mixes because I have trouble picking just one song by a musician and I usually end up including more than one and to me that makes the whole mix just feel off if the same musician is featured twice. I hope you are all have a magnificent wednesday. -monica

28 June 2011

Monday Monday

I just thought I would share a few things that I really like and that make me happy. Hopefully it'll help you have a good monday and keep you looking up through the week. (even though it's technically tuesday, whatever.)

Joe Dassin performing Les Champs-Elyée (I've loved this song since I watched The Darjeeling Limited)

I just love this. I'm going to have to make a button necklace this week!

These photos are just too beautiful!

A Few More Links: I recently found out of order design and I really love her blog and craftgawker is a wonderful was to find new blogs and projects if you're feeling crafty. I know its soon become a regular site for me. Have a great week and keep the peace! -monica

25 June 2011

New York and Gay Marriage

Just a quick video I made when I heard that New York had legalized gay marriage. This is also my first video blog post, so I hope you all like it. -monica

19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads out there and a special one to my pops. I'm very fortunate to have such a caring father in my life. While I'm very different from my family I have to respect that we do have a great deal in common and appreciate the differences.

"Mobile Home" he said. 

Mum and Dad (yes, she is holding a lion cub. What can I say, it was the 70"s.)

When I say my dad is a clown. I mean it literally.

Dad, Carl and Me

Have a great day to all you dad's out there! We love you. -monica

14 June 2011

Inspiration: Lady Gaga aka Mother Monster

I love Lady Gaga. I love everything about her. She is consistently inspiring and has brought so much hope and happiness to popular culture that has been missing in a sea of ennui and self-loathing. She has made a global message that is it ok to be yourself, even if you're a weirdo-freak-a-zoid-monster. You have a place to belong and someone to take up for you. 

This message really resonated with me because I've never fit 100% into any mold. Growing up I got into punk rock because it supplied me with a forceful sense of self, but it came with its own limitations and as I have gotten older I have realized that we are all these incredible amalgamates of our experiences, never just one thing or one clique and in trying to limit ourselves to that we are injuring ourselves. I can't say that Lady Gaga inspired these ideas in me rather, she gave strength to a weak flame that I had nearly extinguished by trying to only be one part of myself

Her music is well crafted and all of the interviews I have read or seen show that she is serious about her craft and knows exactly what she is doing. She is an artist, not just a pop icon or a musician. People can argue against her all they want and that is their prerogative and I'm not going to try and stop them, because it doesn't matter. I love her and so do millions of other Little Monsters.

Thank-You Lady Gaga, for letting us all know that we aren't alone. I'm glad to have your records tucked in with my Hot Water Music, Sigur Ros, Have Heart, Bouncing Souls, Dead to Me and AFI albums. I don't have to sacrifice any part of myself for the rest any more -little monster monica

13 June 2011

Weekend Warrior

I kept very busy this weekend, exhaustingly so, but compared to my usual weekday boredom it was a welcome reprieve. 
My "weekend" started early with hanging out with my dear friend and former roommate, Hunter. Thursday afternoon Hunter, Steven and I all had coffee together and shared wonderful conversations about life, growing up, vegetarianism, environmentalism and how people become polarized on issues. I wish I could recall more of what we discussed, but I have a terrible memory for details. The feeling that is evoked is what lasts for me. 
Friday evening I went to see Super 8 with several friends and it was too amazing! Wow, I could go on and on about it. JJ Abrams and Spielberg really put together something incredible. What made Super 8 incredible to me was that unlike most modern Sci-Fi/ Thriller/ Action-Type films this one is focused on how everyone in the film is impacted by the alien/ monster character, rather than focusing on the thrills of having a monster smashing through a quaint town. The focus is placed on humanity and the way the characters eventually develop compassion for the "alien/ monster". A refreshing new turn in cinema for me. (Mind you, I am no movie critic.)
Joe Chrisitan and I at his 880th race.
On Saturday I had to be up at 5am to help my mum at a 5K Fundraiser for our county's 4-H program. (I was very disappointed that I wasn't able to run, it would have been my first 5K. I couldn't run because a melamine mixing bowl fell on my foot a few days ago and I have been waiting on the soreness to go away. It's really been killing me not being able to go for my regular runs!) The road race was quite a success, but what was really great for me was meeting Joe Christian. He's a local that is about to be inducted into the sport hall of fame next month for his record. This was his 880th road race! He plans to make it to 1,000. His 73rd birthday is also in July, a week before my 23rd birthday. We spoke briefly and he told me about his favorite 3 marathons that he ran, the Hawaii, New York and Disney marathons. He talked about how he and some friends went dancing all night after running the Hawaii and Disney marathons and he told me that the secret to being healthy was exercise. He said if you exercise regularly and eat half-way decent you'll be ok. I take his word on it! Congrats Joe; it was a pleasure to meet you! 

Dear Future Reader....
That afternoon Steven and I bought some sticky notes and went to the book store and left notes to future readers in some of our favorite books, like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, several Carl Sagan books, and I left note in several beauty books reminding them that they are beautiful just the way they are. It was great fun and I really hope that the next readers of those books react positively to our little notes. 

Sunday I took it easy and spent the day crafting and running errands with my mum. I've have a really wretched sore throat the past week or so and my allergies reached a fever pitch sunday so my crafting was punctuated with consistent nose blowing, which really just sounded that a broken trumpet. I then finished my day by consoling my sore throat with the better half of a pint of frozen yogurt and finishing Season 5 of Doctor Who. I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

10 June 2011

Growing up in the 90's


Yep, this was pretty much my childhood. Happy Friday everybody!

07 June 2011

Vegan Ginger Cookies

Sparkled Ginger Cookies (from Vegan with a Vengeance) http://www.theppk.com/

I was terribly bored the other day so I decided to bake something. I flipped through my copy of Vegan with a Vengeance and I was torn between these cookies and Mocha Chip Muffins. I really love cookies, but muffins are like bread and dessert at the same time. I also am a little nostalgic about muffins. It was always a treat when my mum would bake my brother and I muffins in the morning. It was a welcome treat and break from the usual cereal routine.
So instead of staying in limbo forever I let Renay, my soon to be sister in law, be the tie breaker. It was a no brain for her, as soon as I asker her which I should make the blurted out "Cookies, of course!". That was easy enough, because I'm terrible at making decisions like that, probably because I'm a fat kid at heart and just want both. 

Sparkled Ginger Cookies: from Vegan with a Vengeance

 4 tablespoons turbinado or demerra sugar (regular sugar will work as well but coarse is best)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, soy milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well. Roll into 1-inch balls, flatten into a 1 1/2-inch diameter disk, press the cookie tops into the turbinado sugar and place 1 inch apart sugar side up on a prepared cookie sheet. 
Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don't overbake!), let cool on cookie sheets for 3 to 5 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack.

They were spectacular. The most perfect cookies I have ever made. Perfectly round and cracked on top, spicy, sweet and chewy! I made a few modifications. I only had white whole wheat flour on hand, so I sifted it well and used it. I was also concerned about how soft the dough was after handling it, so I set the prepped cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 or so minutes to help firm them up. Bellissimo! -Monica 

02 June 2011

how the time flies

It's hard to believe that it's already June! I mean, wow! It feels like just yesterday I was graduating from Valdosta State and it's hard to comprehend that I will be leaving the country so soon. I just got my deposits squared away this morning, really my pops did, but those are just details and all I now have left to take care of is my visa application. I was warned by Dr Wallis, the head of the Art History Dept, that they are very tricky, so wish me luck! 
Isn't it beautiful!

Every time I google London or try to read up on it, it can be so overwhelming. It is a massive international center and there is so much going on. I am starting to realize just how accustomed I am to small town life and how culturally-shocking the move will be. I don't really know how to acclimate myself before hand, so I guess I'm just going head first. 

For the time being though I'm just living my summer up as best as I can, hanging out late at night with friends and watching too much Doctor Who during the day. Yesterday my dear friend, Katelyn, and I found a pool in town, so we snuck in and relaxed the day away talking, reading, eating grapes and blueberries, swimming and blowing bubbles. After we were tired and it started getting late we stopped into La Jalisco Supermercado. La Jalisco is an authentic hispanic grocery store and I was beyond excited. They have a little restaurant along with a bakery and rows of food, produce and sodas that you can't just find anywhere. If I get a job before I leave I intend to use the money to go back and gorge myself on mexican food. I must say it was a day well spent.
Katelyn blowing bubbles in the pool. (forgive my lack of photoshop,  it's on my list)