sarea: (Default)
I was going to save this one for later, because it's super meaty, but it's the hot topic on the forums last night/today, so I figure, what the hell.

I'm talking about The Great Northern Conspiracy.

Have you heard of it? Do you know what it is? It's a hell of a theory (originally posted by Apple Martini in December 2012).

It started with a forum thread that's grown exponentially. I can't take reading forum threads that go on that long, but happily someone (Yeade) has distilled the theory down in essay form, so all the extraneous stuff is removed, while the most important points are covered. She's posted the essay to Tumblr in seven parts, but the font's small and light, and I wanted to read the whole thing in one sitting, so I put it into a Word doc. Be forewarned: It's 43 Word pages long. :)) I told you it's a hell of a theory. Lots of supporting quotes from the text.

For those of you who don't have the time or inclination to read a 43-page hypothesis, here's the tl;dr version, though I highly rec reading the theory itself, which includes actual text proof points than I'm skipping in my summary version. The Great Northern Conspiracy summarized. )
sarea: (Default)
Happy Friday!

Today's discussion topic is not so much a "theory" as it is some great analysis (not by me) of two characters and their relationship in the most general sense: Sansa and Jon. They're two of my favorite characters in the series, so it's interesting to consider what's in store for them and whether they'll ever meet up again, especially considering how Sansa felt about Jon before all the crappy stuff started happening. This analysis was posted on a thread about Sansa becoming a player from being a pawn. There are places where it reaches a little, but I have to say that for the most part, it blew me away.

Analysis by tze: Thoughts on Sansa and Jon. )
sarea: (Default)
This is a really popular fan theory and I'm not exactly sure why, other than that people love Tyrion and they have a fascination with the Targs.

So let's get into it.

Tyrion is actually a secret Targaryen. )
sarea: (Default)
OK, we get into a more controversial topic today. Many a thread has been fought on the forums between the believers and the non-believers. :D I'll present the evidence as I know it, which is biased toward my point of view, but I try to address the dissenters' arguments as best as I can.

Today's theory: Jon could actually be a legitimate Targaryen. )
sarea: (Default)
Oh my. Time got away from me today, I meant to post this a lot sooner.

Here's a popular fan theory:

Dany and Jon are going to end up together. )
sarea: (jon snow)
I'm totally into theorizing about ASOIAF right now, and I have a looooooot to talk about, so in order not to overwhelm any casually interested people with one giant post, and also to make myself get back into a rhythm of posting more often, I'm going to go through one topic a day. :D

These talks will, of course, be spoilery (though I will keep my topic titles as spoiler-free as possible)... I'm really bad at remembering what happens when, so all comments I make will be in danger of spoiling for books 1-5, seasons 1-3 of the show, and also the 3 Dunk and Egg novellas that are set ~100 years before the events of A Game of Thrones. I don't know why it took me so long to read those novellas, btw. I absolutely loved them. The events of ASOIAF are really exciting and awesome, but there's a lot of Seriousness, since Important Things Are Happening. The Dunk and Egg novellas are a lot more lighthearted, but equally fun to read.

OK, onto the first topic! We'll start with an easy one. Who are Jon Snow's parents? )

Just stuff.

Aug. 1st, 2013 10:56 am
sarea: (Default)
Still going through stuff with my dog. Poor little guy. )

As for the kombucha, my first batch was surprisingly delicious. I've already drunk three bottles. I know. It looks gross, but man, can that thing make some yummy brew. My kombucha had a much milder flavor than GT Dave's Synergy kombucha drinks. I let it ferment for two weeks, but since it's not super warm here, it probably needed more like three. I flavored it with a bit of pureed peaches and blueberries (a little goes a long way, so I filled each bottle with about a finger's worth of puree, and it infused the whole bottle) -- so delicious! I was as shocked as anyone. Because the two week fermentation period wasn't long enough, the brew I started with was sweeter than what you buy. My second batch is fermenting now, so I won't decant that for three weeks at least. What my bottles of KT could have used more of was carbonation. The bottles with blueberry had more fizz than the ones with only peach. And I've heard that strawberry makes the fizziest kombucha of all! :D

I sent my mom to the airport last night. Traffic was insanely horrible. I will miss having her around, and she was such a big help with Talis, who will now be alone while I'm at work during the day. :( But it also means that my weekends have opened up again, so [personal profile] adelagia, hotpot? lol

I've been playing Guild Wars 2 for the last couple of months. I finally leveled a toon to 80. I leveled about six different toons to 20, so that I could get a feel for the classes (or professions, as they're called in GW2) I was interested in. It took me awhile initially to get used to GW2 because I was so used to WoW, but now WoW is a distant memory. GW2 is actually a lot better in some ways, and it has constantly updated and dynamic content. It's just as rich and beautiful, and THERE IS NO MONTHLY FEE. :O That alone makes it attractive, and you could forgive it if it wasn't as slick as WoW... but that's not even the case. It's some of the best $60 (or whatever, if you can get it on sale) you'll ever spend, considering how many hours of fun you get out of it.

Also, I've been on the ASOIAF messageboard a lot. Boy, are those people hurting for fanfic, lol. And they constantly denigrate it because GRRM hates fanfic and the people who run the boards hate it, but it is so obvious that none of them have a clue of what "real" fanfic is -- the good kind, not the kind that's always made fun of. Anyway, I love, love, love all the theorizing that goes on. A lot of it reminds me of when I was studying lit, wherein it's just a lot of bullshit that people read into, that the author probably didn't even intend. :)) But there are some things that blow my mind wherein it's obvious the little clues are there, but I just didn't put the pieces together. This is why I love this series so much! It's clear though that in order to really keep up with the discussions, I need to do another read or three because everyone else is so well versed in the characters and details, whereas I'm like, "Who?" "Wait, that happened?" "That's a thing?"
sarea: (clint & natasha touchy feely)
Very happy birthday wishes to [profile] jade_okelani. <3

I am very happy with my Tumblr queue at the moment. :D Bwahahaha

So suddenly [personal profile] adelagia and I are terrible at Pandemic. We don't know what's happened. Possibly it is just the Pandemic gods punishing us for our hubris. We got really good at it, even trying Legendary mode after 5 and 6 epidemics seemed like child's play. But the last few times we've played, we have sucked. We must have played 20 games without A SINGLE WIN. We had various role combos, some good, some bad. They all resulted in us letting the world succumb to horrible disease. We always played with purple and 6 epidemics. We refuse to go back to 5 for an 'easy' win, but 6 is totally owning us. :/ I refuse to believe that all the times we won before was a fluke!!

Last weekend T., [personal profile] slitherhither and I met up for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, then we went to see THE AVENGERS!!!! It was B.'s first time (and my seventh >.>), so that was awesome. Later we asked which of the guys she liked most, and she totally went against type (androgynous and thin) and picked Thor! Just goes to show, Chris Hemsworth is completely irresistible.

So I read this fanfic that started out very promising, but petered out by the middle for me. It was a Sherlock xover, and had John Watson taking over for Coulson in the Avengers handling department. I freaking love Watson/Martin Freeman, but I had several issues with the story as it progressed. Cutting in case of spoilers for the show/fic/etc. )

Celebrity quotes that have made me laugh recently:

- When asked if older sister Maggie ever beat him up, Jake Gyllenhaal responded, "Depends on what you call beating up. She performed the musical Cats for our parents, and she made me lick milk from a bowl while she sang, which was, in a way, abuse."

- Joshua Jackson on A Song of Ice and Fire: "I've got a slightly obsessive problem in that when I get into books, particularly a series of books, I cannot put the fucking things down. Nobody told me that the story is not done yet and that he takes, like, seven years between books. Last summer I plowed through something like 9,000 pages of A Game of Thrones and I finally started saying, 'Wow, that's weird. I don’t feel like there's an end coming.' I got to the end and my friend said, 'Oh no, it'll be like ten more years.' I grabbed him by the shirt, pulled him close and said, 'What?!! I will have kids in high school by the time these things are finished!'"

:)))))))))))))))))))))))))
sarea: (jon snow)
GAME OF THRONES. OMG. How great was last night's episode?! Vanessa Taylor, you are my new Jane Espen! GoT 2x6 'The Old Gods and the New' spoilerrrrrssss )

Meanwhile, [profile] jade_okelani and I are nearly caught up on The Vampire Diaries. Spoilers through 3x18 'Heart of Darkness' )

Had brunch this weekend with some local UCLA alumni. I only went because I felt I owed it to the organizer, H., who I met a year+ ago at a Dinner for 12 Strangers. But I ended up having fun. I always seem to dread these things, but then end up having a better time than I think I will. We ate at Emmer & Rye, which I was not impressed by at ALL. We all ended up having to season our own food with condiments, which would NEVER happen at Tilth. I'm so never going back there. The neighborhood was cute, though. Anyway, ended up talking ASoIAF with a copule of the girls and now we MAY be starting a book club. I've always wanted to be in a real book club! Though initially all we may end up doing is talking about ASoIAF, trading theories and what not. The problem with this is that I am so convinced that I am right about my own theories, I'll just be like, how can you not see how wrong you are? :))
sarea: (jon snow)
Sooooo this morning I watched the second episode of Game of Thrones S2. Apparently it was available 4 days ago had I only looked for it at my favorite torrent place, but I didn't and it was Jade who alerted me. <3 I love the internets.

This might sound weird, but this episode made me feel really good about my rack. Or as Tilly from Miranda would say, my "chesticles." More TMI explanation (spoilery) under the cut.

Spoilers for Game of Thrones 2x2 'The Night Lands' )
sarea: (go crazy)
Hilarious: Ryan Gosling saves writer's life

Jarett Wieselman‏: "Ryan Gosling saves woman from being hit by cab, NYC-ers begin hurling themselves into traffic."

And Rock musician gets rabies shots after bat pees in his eye

Everyone knows you should get a rabies shot BEFORE you have a bat pee in your eye.

One of our vendors at work yesterday catered Din Tai Fung for lunch and I am practically still full today from it. I love DTF even though it's extremely overpriced because the food is good and there is a dearth of good Chinese dumplings here (in fact, the supposed second "best" place to DTF around here is so crappy I won't even go). It's 1,000 times better to eat at the restaurant though, because the food's piping hot.

[profile] jade_okelani is finally getting an Xbox! This means I might have some motivation to tidy up my living room after all -- I'll need the Kinect space to play multiplayer games w/ her. :))

I confessed to [personal profile] akscully yesterday that I'm starting to develop an interest in Robb/Sansa. I put it in my interests, and even trying four different variations, I was the ONLY person who had it listed. Wow. I'm MORE OF A DEGENERATE than anyone else on LJ when it comes to this? Really? I almost feel duty bound to start a Robb/Sansa comm, except I'm kind of afraid that [personal profile] grrm is going to come yell at me. True story: I was never that interested in Robb until Richard Madden made me like him.
sarea: (pandemic)
That's right, [personal profile] adelagia. You want my userpic.

I have made two purchases recently that some might find difficult to understand. Heck, I myself waffle between giddy/excited and WTF was I thinking?

First, I got this diamond sharpening steel for my knives, the Global G-38. I've been coveting this ever since my knife class. I figure, I have really expensive knives, so why wouldn't I take care of them by using the best knife sharpener for them?

Second is related to my icon. I keep talking about my new favorite board game, Pandemic. Well, Pandemic was made by Matt Leacock, who has designed several other board games. Two of these board games, Borderlands and Lunatix Loop, are out of print. They had a limited run to begin with (only 100-200 sets of each were printed). I also have his games Roll Through the Ages and Forbidden Island, which are fun but not as good as Pandemic. Anyway, I couldn't find either of the out-of-print games on eBay, but I did find a couple of private sellers on BoardGameGeek (where game designers actually hang out and will answer questions/clarify game rules) selling the games. They are QUITE pricey, being such rare prints, but I figure I'll get hours of enjoyment from playing the games, so it's worth it. The guy who has Borderlands got back to me to say that his games are all in storage because he's going to Afghanistan for a year (!!!), but to contact him next June if I'm still looking. I did, however, buy Lunatix Loop from a guy in the UK. He has a good feedback score and has provided a tracking number, so I'm feeling pretty good about the transaction. VERY excited to play the game.

Watched Game of Thrones S2E1! Spoilery comments for 'The North Remembers.' )

I've been reading about the insane ratings jump between season 1 and season 2. Hope they keep it up. Also, from what I've read, the producers and/or GRRM seem to be under the delusion that he's going to be able to finish the book series in time to keep up with the TV show schedule. Ummmmmm NOT BLOODY LIKELY. They're already on S2. Even if they split A Storm of Swords into two seasons, that's still just 2-3 years from now. I'm guessing they'll want to combine the events of books 4 and 5, since they kind of run parallel anyway (I can't see them doing a full season without half the characters), so let's say that's another 2-4 years. That's 7 years max. It took GRRM 6 years to come out with book 5. And they think he's going to be able to put out books 6 *and* 7 in that same timeframe, considering he also has to write an episode every season and has his fingers in like a dozen other projects? Assuming 7 books actually is the final number? (GRRM has said that he's firm about 7 books unless he decides not to be firm. LOL. He's also said he won't let the story be limited by an arbitrary number of volumes.) Also, I've read that he's told the producers two big secret things from the series in case he should *knock on wood* pass away. But guess what? He's also said that he won't let anyone continue the series for him! So what's the good of them knowing what happens, if he's not going to let them tell the story? I guess he specifically means that he doesn't want anyone writing any books in the series, but the TV show is OK. In which case, it's possible that the TV show will actually eventually tell us MORE than the books, and be the definitive continuation (at least to whatever point of the plot elements they're aware of) of the series... which is just crazy.

SUCH fun.

Mar. 27th, 2012 09:33 am
sarea: (inbetweeners)
Last night I went to the Whole Foods near me that opened about 2 weeks ago. I'm super excited to have a gourmet/natural grocery store close by (though I'd rather it were Trader Joe's), but I also fear for my grocery bills. I left the store $50 poorer and I'm not sure where it went. I did buy some heavy whipping cream to make butter. Also, I loooooooooooooooove WF's bulk foods aisle. I bought all the stuff I needed to make the best granola ever. It's amazing (to me) how yummy it is, considering it's like, ridiculously healthy. There are many organic nuts involved. Recipe: Olive Oil & Maple Granola. )

I also made the World's Best Garlic Bread. That's actually the name of it, not what I think of it, lol. Though it IS very good; I just don't think it's necessarily the best ever. It involved smoking many garlic cloves. Do you know how long it takes to peel 40 cloves of garlic (I don't have one of those handy roller thingys that takes the skin right off, though after this I might have to get one)? Usually I mince garlic so I just smash them right on the cutting board, but in this case they had to be intact. By the dozenth clove I felt like I'd been doing it for hours and would never get to do anything else. Recipe: World's Best Garlic Bread. )

My only true ship in ASoIaF is Rhaegar/Lyanna, and there's a very quiet LJ comm for that ship. Today someone posted a fanmix based on Lyanna, from the POV of the other characters (which is pretty much the only way we know anything about her anyway). I thought it was a really cool idea and left a comment saying as much... and it turns out that the fanmix artist used to participate in D/G fandom! What a small world. Anyway, the fanmix is neat.

Woohoo, Hump Madness has begun! The matchups aren't anonymous, but the actual drabbles are, so I can at least say when I have a matchup going on. To be honest I don't expect to get very far. I haven't written a word since the last DG fic exchange and even that was a struggle. But this'll be a good opportunity to experiment with different pairings, since they're only drabbles. [profile] jade_okelani is also participating, but with the way the bracket is set up, she and I wouldn't compete head to head unless we both made it to the final matchup. Whew.

OK, so David Benioff, writer of the great City of Thieves book I was talking about yesterday, is married to Amanda Peet! I'm now reading The 25th Hour, his first novel. Anyway, his photos on the dust jackets for the two books crack me up because they're so different:

I'm so GQ suave!I'm so dorky and lovable!
sarea: (jon snow)
Finally finished A Dance with Dragons. I've been avoiding LJ since it came out. It took me 13 days, which is pretty slow ([personal profile] akscully finished in A DAY), but I've also been juggling with some real life time commitments.

I have so many thoughts and theories it's crazy. I keep thinking of other stuff, and then I read a spoiler thread, and other people's thoughts get me thinking some more, so then there is thinking thinking THINKING.

I'm going to talk about the book in detail now. Very spoilery spoilers abound. )
sarea: (fauxlivia)
You guys, OMG, Billy Elliot the Musical was SO AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING. Half the cast were kids and they fucking danced (and sang!) their hearts out so professionally and it was so flipping awesome and made me feel so awed over what they've accomplished in their young lives vs what I was doing when I was their age. >.> Faith Prince as Mrs. Wilkinson was wonderful. She's not Julie Walters, but despite that I loved her anyway.

It's the last week of the show but I'm considering getting the cheap $25 seats and going back to see it again. I loooooooooooooooooved it!

So yeah, the tickets K. got on Craigslist weren't a scam. <g> I wasn't really worried about that, but it was a possibility. The bigger concern was what kind of seats we had. The Paramount didn't say one way or another to the ticket winner, and they could have been bad seats. Instead, they were center orchestra, which are normally $80/ticket! So we totally scored on that. Had a great view of everything.

There are 4 different Billys, and we saw Kylend Hetherington, who of the four probably looked most like Jamie Bell (and therefore, to me, the "real" Billy). He was such an ickle woobie and soooooooooo wonderful. He's frickin 13 and has been doing this since he was 12, omg.

Now K. is all into it and is going to watch the movie, etc. Best movie EVAR!

Some of the plot points are different in the musical vs the movie, but for the most part I thought it was very true to the original. The one part of the musical that was different, but that I thought was very well done, was this one scene where Billy is dancing solo, but then an adult male ballet dancer starts to shadow him (they're dancing and spinning a chair at the same time), but the adult dancer is much more skilled/professional, and it was a wonderful way to show us "This is who Billy will become."

SO GOOD.

I found a sizzle reel! Watch iiiiiiiiit. )

========

I've got [personal profile] laria_gwyn and [personal profile] slitherhither into A Song of Ice and Fire now. They're both reading (and enjoying!) A Game of Thrones. YAY!!!!!!!!

While on this topic...

Jon Snow is losing his latest cagematch! Noooooo! Go vote to right this wrong. Or if you're so inclined, contribute further to it. <g>

========

Still reading Devil in the White City. Quote from the book:

"I have struck a city - a real city - and they call it Chicago... I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages." - Rudyard Kipling

Which I shared with [personal profile] akscully, and she replied:

"Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America." - Charles Merriam

LOL. I'm so glad I'm visiting!

I caved and bought my flight at the ridiculous price they were asking. Now I'm more motivated than ever to find inexpensive hotels (on Priceline). We're aiming for the N. Michigan/Loop area.

David Lebovitz is in Chicago right now and reporting on the great food places he's going to. It is so nice of him to be my little treasure hunter like this.

[personal profile] ropo, we need to go to Edzo's Burger Shop, Floriole Bakery, Xoco Hot Chocolate (for me, not you <g>), Kuma's (another burger joint), and perhaps most importantly, one of Rick Bayless's Mexican restaurants.

From other sources, I also have these on my list: Girl & the Goat, Publican, and Alinea (if we want to crazily splurge -- but even then, we might be too late as they fill up 2 months in advance -.-).

========

I had the nuttiest experience with my phone yesterday. I was working from home because I knew I was going to see Billy. I dialed into a conference call at 9, which ended at 10. When it was over, they hung up, and since my screen wasn't on the 'phone' screen but on my menu page, I just assumed the call had ended.

BUT APPARENTLY NOT. Three hours later, I got in my car and my Bluetooth kicked in and informed me that my music wasn't on because I WAS ON THE PHONE. !!!!!!!!!! What!!!!! Apparently I hadn't hung up the phone and that meant that I had been "on the phone" with dead air for the last three hours!!

My monthly minute allotment isn't that high, particularly given that I am sharing those minutes with my parents (whose phones I am now paying for -- long story), so basically that ate up ALL the "any time minutes" that I had, and it's still not the end of my billing cycle. >< I called AT&T to explain, and they were fairly understanding, and gave me a one-time 1,500 minute rollover bonus to cover any overages. AT&T customer service >>>>>>>>>>> T-Mobile customer service. Not sure if I have ever talked about my horrendous experience with T-Mobile, but it was some of the WORST customer service I have ever experienced. Now that AT&T has announced they're buying T-Mobile (for $39B O.o), maybe they can clean up their act (in more ways than one, since T-Mobile also has a poor corporate reputation for their anti-gay policies).

========

I've purchased another TV. It's a Panasonic TC-P42C2 plasma. It's not as big as the TV in my room, it's 42" instead of 50", and it's only 720p instead of 1080p, but at that size and at the distance I'll be watching, 720p is all that's needed. I'm paying a bit more because it's a Panasonic, but I love Panasonic products so it's worth it to me. I don't plan to wall mount it but will keep it on a TV stand. I did a TON of research about this (plasma vs LCD, size, resolution, etc.), so if anyone is thinking about getting a new TV for the moment I am a font of knowledge. In about a month, I'm sure I will have forgotten everything. <g>

Purpose of this TV: to use my Wii Fit. I've had the Wii Fit for like 2 years but have never used it, because with my current TV set up I didn't have enough space to actually do the exercises comfortably. Well I am sick of my excuses for why I don't exercise -- this will take care of that. The TV will go in the living room area, which has plenty of space, and I will have no more excuses as to why I'm not exercising.

This might also mean that I need to get myself a Kinect for Xbox 360. :D

The one thing I am kind of trepidatious about is that I bought it on eBay. Since it's a second TV I really wanted to be frugal. The thing with eBay is that it's almost always fine, but I seem to have bad luck with buying electronics there specifically. So hopefully there won't be any issues. >
sarea: (jon snow)
... while I GEEK OUT over all these new trailers for Game of Thrones that HBO's been releasing.

Inside the cut are short profiles of four of the prominent families featured in the series (but by no means inclusive of ALL the prominent families -- ASoIaF is seriously epic): Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, and Baratheon. If you're planning to watch the series, or are thinking about it, this might be a good Cliff's Notes way to familiarize yourself with some of the players before it starts. :D

The families of Westeros. )

While I am super excited about Game of Thrones, to be honest, I can't wait to get to the other books. GoT is really just the beginning, a prologue, if you will. So much more happens.
sarea: (jon snow)
I still haven't purchased my Chicago ticket yet. The unrest in the Middle East and other factors have been driving up gas prices, and the airfare rates have been hiked accordingly. I SO should have bought it when it was at $134/each way. /cry

I've pre-ordered A Dance with Dragons!!!!!!!! \:D/ Borders is currently offering it at 50% off, which is more discounted than both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I also said I would pick it up at a local store, so I wouldn't have to pay shipping, and ensure I'd get it the day it's available.

City of Fallen Angels is coming out April 5. Wheee! Cassie Clare has announced some of her tour dates, and on April 14 she's going to be at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, which is actually really close to me. So I think I might go and get all my MI books signed. I don't know if anyone else would be up for this -- [personal profile] elle_blessing maybe, as she's the only one who I know locally who loves the series as much as I do -- but let me know!

And of course on April 17 HBO is premiering Game of Thrones.

This Friday J. and I are going to Pair for dinner, and on Saturday, I'm going to a get together with my work team. My manager is cooking an Indian feast for us (he's a foodie like me), so I'm looking forward to that. I've signed up to bring appetizers, and right now I'm torn between bringing Chinese drunken chicken, or bacon jam (homemade).
sarea: (Default)
DUDES!!!!!! At long, long last, we are going to be dancing.

July 12, 2011. That is the CONFIRMED PUBLICATION DATE of A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is SIX LONG YEARS in the making. Rumored publication dates have been circling for ages. GRRM says that none of those were ever hard dates, just wishful thinking. "This date is different. This date is real."

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

See the awesome cover! )

Edit: I wish I could embed this but it's an EW exclusive, the best Game of Thrones trailer yet.
sarea: (Default)
Living Social's deal today: $9 for 2 tickets to Fandango. Pretty good deal if you go to watch movies at all (or is an excuse to go!). Limit 1 per person. The promo amount expires in June, but the amount you pay is still good for some time after that, which is unusual and pretty cool of them to do.

I am the laziest person in the mornings (and okay, in general). I will do almost anything to be able to sleep 10 minutes longer. I set my alarm for 20-30 minutes earlier, so that I have time to put on my makeup and maybe grab a little breakfast, or if I'm REALLY ambitious, I set the alarm even earlier and figure I might curl my hair. More often than not -- in fact, almost always -- I stagger out of bed when the alarm goes off (my 'alarm' is just a CD player, but it's not next to the bed), re-set the alarm for 10-20 minutes later, and dive back under the covers. This happens 1-2 times, each time justifying in my head why I am allowed to sleep a little longer. When I finally can't avoid it anymore, I get out of bed and rush through what I have to do, because at this point I have to rush or I'll be late. There's minimal makeup (if any; sometimes I end up putting it on in the car), no breakfast, and definitely no hair curling. On the better days, now that I have a Keurig, sometimes there is a cup of coffee.

So yesterday was a pretty typical morning for me. I threw on what was convenient that wasn't my pajamas and ran out of the house. It wasn't until I got to work that I realized I was wearing my shirt that has the Hogwarts coat of arms on the front. "Maybe no one will notice," I thought. Except EVERYONE noticed and felt they had to make a comment about it. I brazened my way through most of the comments -- "I am wearing this because I am just a really cool person" -- but omg it was pretty embarrassing. It wasn't just people I knew, perfect strangers commented (though they were usually nicer, like, "I like your shirt"). It was really hard not to be overly defensive, like, "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING, THAT I MUST WRITE HARRY POTTER FANFIC. WELL I DON'T. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT FANFIC IS."

And the day before THAT, on the bus on the way home, I suddenly had a HUGE craving for steak. Like, I had to have it. It was the first day of Aunt Flo's visit and I guess I felt like I needed to replenish my body with iron or something, because I was determined to have a bloody steak for dinner. I even thought about going to Outback or something, but I'm trying to be more responsible when it comes to my budget, and eating steak in restaurants is kind of a waste when it's so easy to do at home. I also desperately needed to pee. So of COURSE this is the week that Safeway has no steaks on special. Thank goodness for my Windows Phone 7 because I was able to check the weekly specials at Fred Meyer next door and see that they had NY steaks on 'sale' (in quotes because I don't think $4.99/lb is really that great a price, especially for supermarket steak, but certainly better than the $8-10/lb Safeway was asking for theirs), so I booked it over. Actually this was in the midst of rush hour, so even though it was right next door, it still took like 10 minutes. There was ONE package of NY steaks with the special pricing left, and I swear, had anyone else approached them at that point, I would have been like, "I will KILL you." I guess I was inspired by Jamie Oliver (I've been watching his "30-Minute Meals" episodes and they're seriously awesome, I'm kind of in love with him now), because I had dinner done in half an hour. Steak, broccoli, cheesy English muffins, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Everything but the last I made/cooked; the potatoes were nuked leftovers. And last night I made potatoes for real -- Jamie's "cheat" on roasted potatoes, and they were quick and sooooo good.

I've been continuing to noodle about what to make for the Dinner with 12 Strangers this Saturday, and last night took out Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I love her books but I know from other stuff I've made by her that she is NOT beginner friendly. Man is this especially true of this book!! This one cake recipe was like, no joke, TEN PAGES LONG. They are all gorgeous though. I'll have to scan some of them and show you guys. I think there are two possibilities that I have in mind right now. One is a Gâteau Breton, which is basically like a tart-cake-shortbread combo type thing, and the other is something I'll have to cobble together from an idea I got looking through the book: an orange-flavored cake with orange curd, covered with a chocolate ganache. Chocolate and orange together is a flavor combination that, after years of trying it out, I've finally started to enjoy very much.

Edit: Does anyone have £3,000 they want to lend me? Or give me, I'm not picky. Ted Nasmith is apparently selling some of his original artwork, including the art he did for the A Song of Ice and Fire 2011 calendar (which [personal profile] ropo got me for Christmas :D). Probably my favorite is the one of Winterfell, though I also like Castle Black and The Wall, and Storm's End (couldn't find a direct link).

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