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Four and a half stars for Les Miserables

ImageMom and I took time off from wrangling my 4-year-old nephew this past weekend to go see Les Miserables. I have been a super-huge fan of this musical since high school. I know all the words to all the songs by heart. When I’m being a Broadway diva in my shower, I am usually singing Eponine’s or Fantine’s songs. But I have never seen a production of the show; I’ve only worn holes in my cassette tape/CDs.

The movie version was fantastic. Scenes I’ve only ever imagined in my head were on brilliant display before me finally. Having the actors actually sing while acting made a huge difference in the emotion the spilled off the screen. I laughed. I cried. OK, I questioned Russell Crowe’s casting as Javert a couple of times, but other than that, LOVED IT.

My mom had to poke me a couple of times when I started singing along without realizing it. And there were a couple of instances where I got incensed that some of the verses to songs had been cut. (The cuts made sense, but my inner Les Mis fangirl still grumbled over ‘A Little Fall of Rain’ getting shortened.) But I was glad that the scenes featuring the Thénardiers were played for comedic effect since the rest of the film was so damned depressing. EVERYBODY DIES. RIP MY HEART OUT OVER AND OVER. THIS SHOULD NOT BE A SPOILER.

I still want to see a staged production of this musical, and I’ll get my chance when our local theater, the Cumberland County Playhouse, performs it in March. But the movie was supurb, and I’ll be rooting for the actors come Golden Statuette time.

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My cover band is now Wawa Skittletits

Someone on Facebook linked to Buzzfeed’s 25 Funniest Autocorrects of 2012 today. I spent the better part of 20 minutes shaking as I tried to contain my laughter. I don’t use text messaging myself, as my primary mode of keeping in contact with people is through Facebook, but sometimes I wish I had a smartphone so I could see what kind of hilarity would come of texting.

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Reading the hilarious posts, I was reminded of an incident from my teenage years. This was before cell phones, kiddies. (Get off my lawn.) My friend Amelia was at my house and we were talking in front of my mother when she suddenly said, “Oh, hey. Did you pluck out that dick hair?”

I think the sound I made was similar to choking a half-dead chicken. First, I had no idea what she was talking about. Second, she said it in front of my mother. I turned red and stammered something like, “Wha??”

“That daycare. Did you apply to it?”

OH.

I have no idea how my mind turned “Did you apply at that daycare” into “Did you pluck out that dick hair.” But there you go. My brain autocorrects innocent questions into dirty thoughts.

Make of that what you will.

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Tenth Doctor and Companions cross stitch

So after I completed my Firefly cross stitch project, I thought I’d give it a go at designing my own pattern, using the basic template for people that was done on the Firefly pattern. I really wanted a Doctor Who design, and it wasn’t until after I’d started stitching my own Doctor Who design that the talented couple at Wee Little Stitches came out with a Doctor Who design of their own. (Which is amazing, by the way.) But I decided to stick to my own design, as I wanted to do Ten and his companions, and Wee Little Stitches’ design was of all 11 Doctors.

Ten and companions

I’m mostly pretty happy with the way it turned out. Some of the colors aren’t quite right. I think Rose’s hair is a little too yellow and Donna’s hair is a little too orange, but I was limited to the materials I had on hand (mainly the leftovers from the Firefly design). Martha’s shirt and jacket are too different color reds, but it’s really hard to tell since they’re so similar. I wish I’d had a different red for her shirt.

Ten, Rose, Jack

Martha, Donna

But I’m most proud of my little Tardis design. It took two days alone and I think it’s awfully cute.

TARDIS: Time and Relative Dimension in Stitches?

Next project: “The Big Bang Theory.”

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Friday Five: Mmm… bacon

Twitter was a goldmine of fun sites and news this week! It was hard to narrow down everything that was shared to just five, but these were the five fun things that amused me the most this week.

1. 8-Bit Dr. Horrible, Act 2

This just keeps getting better and better. It has all the feel for those old Nintendo games we used to play, with all the charm of the Web musical. Plus, bonus round! Act 2 is divided into two parts on YouTube — Act 2, Part 1 and Act 2, Part 2.

Source: Doctor Octoroc

The pork is strong with this one.

2. Bacon AT-AT

I love Star Wars. I love bacon. I just am not sure the two should meet. Or should that be meat? Anyway, someone apparently thinks otherwise.

“The Bacon AT-AT stands 3 ft tall and is made with over 40 lbs of bacon.”

Many pigs died to bring us this creation.

Source:  This Is Freaking Ridiculous

3. Whack Your Boss

Everyone experiences some frustration at work. It’s natural. But someone has created a very fun, interactive way to relieve some of that frustration. Now, I happen to like my boss, but that didn’t stop me from finding all 20 ways to whack the boss in the game. I just imagined some other annoying person in the boss’ place … not that I’m a violent person. (After you’ve whacked your boss for a while, listen to his entire berating speech. It’s hilarious!)

Source: Winkler Daily

4. The Most Epic Cross Stitches Ever

Now, I know yesterday I made a post about how I don’t mind not being a girly-girl. But I do have some girly hobbies. I cross stitch. It’s a soothing, relaxing hobby that I can do while I watch TV at night. But I work from kits. Other people can create their own. I’m jealous. Especially when that creativity includes Mario, Tetris and Chuck Norris.

Source: The Huffington Post

5. Death of the Web site

I only heard about this this morning, but it made me too freakin’ excited. I know this may only be of interest to copy editors and journalists, but the AP Stylebook has officially killed “Web site,” changing it to “website.” Not the most dramatic news, but when you’ve been adding a space and capitalizing the W in the word in press releases for over seven years, learning that an end to that repetitiveness is in sight is cause for celebration!

Now, AP Stylebook, how about eliminating that hyphen from e-mail?

Source: Mashable

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Not always proud to be an American

I’m about to admit something that could possibly get me a lot of hate mail. I am not proud of my country. And though a lot of it has to do with the current political climate, it’s something I’ve felt for most of my life.

I’m talking about the rabid, deep-seeded “America is the best country in the world!” kind of pride. I love America. I love living here… most of the time. But I’ve never been able to feel that whole “Proud to be an American” emotion people go on about. Because I can’t be completely loyal to this country, because I’m a child of two.

I may be one of the few Americans who could actually understand Hugh Jackman's accent in "Australia." Thanks, Mom.

I’m a dual citizen of America and Australia. I’ve never lived in Australia, but I’ve been there several times visiting family. When I was a child, forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance in class, I would most often just move my lips, because I felt like I was betraying my other country, which I love just as much as the one I live in. I didn’t realize back then that I didn’t have to say the pledge if I didn’t want to. It really wasn’t until I got into college that I realized I didn’t have to say it at all. So I stopped. Because I’m loyal to both, not just the one.

The only time I ever feel conflicted is during sporting events or other competitions. I’ll root for the Australians. I’ll root for the Americans. And when they’re up against each other… I can’t really choose. It’s tough, living in a divided household sometimes.

Lately, however, I’ve been wishing I did live in Australia. Australia’s prime minister is nutty, but the political climate Down Under doesn’t seem to be nearly as bat-shit insane as it is here in America. I will never be one of those people who promises to leave the country if something they don’t like happens, but I will admit, it is nice to have the option, if things get even more insane than they already are.

The way the politicians are acting in Washington actually makes me ashamed to be American at the moment. I wish there was a way to reach through my TV or the Internet and just shake some ever-lovin’ sense into them. This country is in trouble and our so-called leaders are too busy playing partisan politics and acting like spoiled children to care about us. The American people. Or half-Americans in my case and permanent residents in my mother’s.

Sadly, I think this is something we’re going to have to deal with for a long time. And I’m afraid it will only get worse before it gets better… if it ever does. So many Americans have stopped thinking for themselves, allowing television and radio personalities to do their thinking for them. And until they are willing to turn the TV or radio off and check out the facts for themselves instead of parroting what is often wrong or misleading information, I’ll be clinging harder to the Australian flag. And eating more Vegemite, which, trust me, is only good in small doses.

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Geeky, girly gab

There’s been several things happening this week that I didn’t really get a chance to elaborate on, or just couldn’t do so in 140 characters or less. This may become a regular thing… depending on whether or not I have stuff to say. Sometimes I’m boring that way. 😉

1. Fox readying U.S. version of  ‘Torchwood’

Captain Jack does not approve of these shinanigans.

I cannot even begin to express just how bad this idea is. First, if it doesn’t have Captain Jack Harkness, it’s not ‘Torchwood.’ Second, even if Fox does get John Barrowman on board… do you really think he’ll be allowed to hit on anything that breathes (and some things that don’t)? That’s what makes Captain Jack so great a character. He’s such a man!whore… and we like him that way.

I suppose they could go with the whole “Oh, look! We found Torchwood Four!” angle, but it still wouldn’t be ‘Torchwood.’ That’s not to say that I wouldn’t give the show a chance. I would. But it would lack the charm of the original if it weren’t set in Cardiff anymore. (Plus, with Fox’s track record for sci-fi shows, I doubt it would last long.)

But this is what really disturbs me:

Tranter might try to reboot “Doctor Who” for U.S. audiences while departing “Doctor Who” star David Tennant stars in NBC’s pilot “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.”

WUT?

If it’s not British, it’s not ‘Doctor Who.’ But I really don’t see this happening.

2. ‘True Blood’ Shocker: An ‘Erotic Connection’ Will Transpire Between Sam and Bill

Two words: Hot. Damn.

I’ve been a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris for a long time, and even from the beginning, I’ve never really liked Bill. (And in the books, he’s a bit of an ass.) The HBO version is… a little better, if you can get past the accent. But I have been and will always be Team Eric.

According to Alan, the reasons for the newfound chemistry stem from Bill’s season two decision to heal Sam with a healthy dose of his own vampire blood. As a result, a connection between the two characters arises, one that is “not just any connection, but an erotic connection.”

Maybe it’s just me… but I can totally see this happening. We saw it happen with Sookie and Eric in season two. Even if it doesn’t go anywhere beyond this mystical connection, I will be a happy fangirl.

3. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey is named a Printz Honor Book

I was privileged enough to get to read and review The Monstrumologist a couple of months before it was released. It was a wonderful, scary ride and I’m really happy that the book was named one of the 2010 Printz Honor Books for young adult literature. Rick is married to my cousin Sandy and I hear he’s hard at work on a sequel. I can’t wait to read it!

4. GeekBits: Regular guys talkin’ geeky stuff

I discovered by accident that my brother and three of his friends have started a weekly podcast talking about all things geek. (And the little bugger didn’t tell me about it!) They’re trying to get on a regular schedule with the podcasts, but I’ve spent the last two weeks listening to old episodes and laughing my butt off. Matt, Tim, Dan and Opey have a good time talking comics, movies, tech and TV. They also have a good time heckling each other in the process. If you like talkin’ geek, give them a listen.

5. Geeks With Heart: Haiti Response Fundraiser

With the help and encouragement of many geek tweeps, Geek Girls Network™ & Geeky Clean decided to use their online presence to assist in the Haiti Relief Efforts.

I follow @geekgirls on Twitter and have recently become a fan of the Geek Girls Network™ Web site. They’re raising money for Haiti through Mercy Corps and are hoping to raise $2,500 (or more) to help the people of Haiti. If you can spare even a little, please do!

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When bacon is fundamentally wrong

Since my mother wasn’t born or raised in the United States, she often gets a yearning for food stuffs from her homeland of Australia. In this day and age, many of her favorites are readily available on the Internet. However, seeing as how she doesn’t even know where the power button is on the computer, I am recruited to order her Aussie noms for her.

Wednesday I came to work, catalogue in hand, to order several packages of crumpets from The Vermont Country Store. I was in the middle of placing the order when I noticed an item on the same page that made me stop what I was doing and wonder about the strangeness of the universe.

Would you eat bacon from a can?

Bacon in a can.

I love bacon. Crispy, bubbly hot bacon makes nearly anything taste better. Salads. Baked potatoes. Pancakes. You can enjoy a tasty BLT without the B.

But… bacon in a can?

The world doesn’t make sense anymore.

Now, perhaps there are folks in different areas of the U.S. wondering why I find bacon in a can so strange. Maybe bacon in a can is a staple in New England or out West. I don’t know. All I know is that I get my bacon from the grocery store uncooked in plastic packaging.

Not fully cooked bacon in a can.

I’m also not knocking things that come in cans. Some of my favorite foods come in cans. Early peas. Beef and barley soup. Diet Mt. Dew. Beanie Weenies (don’t judge). But… not bacon.

According to the catalogue, the bacon in a can contains “48 slices of fully cooked, lightly smoked bacon (no bits or end pieces)—the equivalent of 3 lbs. of raw bacon. … Keep in the pantry for when a storm—or company—is on the horizon.” And you can purchase this 9 oz. can of 3 lbs. of bacon for only $19.95.

There are many fundamentally wrong things in this world. And I think bacon in a can is one of them.

What’s next? Aerosol bacon?

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