Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Samhain

Today on Samhain we remember our ancestors, as well as those who have passed in the last year.

Max McGregor
Someone whose I don't even know

I'll probably write more on my celebrations later. But for now I will say that on the 30th I carved pumpkins with my boyfriend, and gave the innards (minus the seeds) as an offering to the local fey. I even topped the pumpkin guts off with brown sugar. I figure that this is probably a good time for offerings since the veil is thin.

My jack-a-lanterns

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Define: librarians

Recently someone 1) asked me a rudely personal question, and then later 2) told me that librarians "don't know shit" because one at Hillsboro library was unhelpful.

Guess which I was more displeased about? Yep, the insult to librarians.

First, let's get it straight what a librarian is.

Librarians: These are people with master degrees on how to do research. They are like mega Google search engines. They exist to track down information for you. That is their one purpose in life.

There are also other people who work in libraries, such as library assistants, accountants, volunteers...but none of them are librarians. Merely working in or volunteering at a library does not make you a librarian, contrary to what many people seem to think.

As for whether it was really a librarian who was so unhelpful to this person...possibly, but I rather doubt it. She probably mistook a library assistant for a librarian. An easy mistake to make I guess, but librarians and library assistants are two different species that should not be confused with one another.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Suasage and rice dish

I'd sort of forgotten how much fun it is to create my own recipes.

Ingredients

Bacon (3 strips)
Some diced onion
Cayenne pepper powder
Smoked sausage
Pre-cooked rice

Instructions

Cook the bacon with a couple pinches of cayenne pepper. Add the onions so they can saute in the bacon grease.

Onions and bacon

Slice up the sausage. Once the bacon is done cooking add the sausage, and cook it on both sides. I may have added a tad more pepper at this point...

Add sausage

Add rice, let it heat up, and serve.

The final thing

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Really bisexual?

I was shocked recently to find that a loved one doesn't consider me to be a "real" bisexual since I've never been with a woman. This, despite the loved one acknowledging that I'm attracted to both men and women, and even pointing out hot women in movies to me. Unfortunately, I was too surprised to respond at the time.

Bi pride flag
What I wish I had said is this:

What gender(s) a person has or has not been involved with does not define their sexual orientation.

Many people know that they are straight (or lesbian/gay/etc.) before they start dating. They aren't asexual (unless they really are) and their sexual orientation isn't nonexistent. It's there, and they are straight/lesbian/gay/bisexual/whatever even before they start dating.

There's no reason why a person can't be a real bisexual when they've only dated men before. That's like saying someone isn't really straight because they've never dated. Obviously, people can be straight even before they've dated, kissed, or had sex with someone of the opposite sex. So it only follows that a person can be a real bisexual even when they've only dated one gender.

Since this is an LGBT issue I thought it would be a good topic for my blog. And hopefully I'll find a good opportunity to bring this topic up with the loved one in question soon.

ps. Since my old iPhone case was showing some wear and tear I got a new one with the bi pride colors. Pink, purple, and blue. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

A year together

It was a year ago today that I asked Murray if he would be my boyfriend. I asked him over messages on Facebook (really it should have been in person) and when I looked in the mirror afterwards my ears were bright red. Even though I'd already known how he felt about me, I was exceedingly nervous.

And the last year...I don't even know what to say. In a way it feels like I've been with him forever, but it also feels like it's still brand new. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing?

Unfortunately Murray isn't feeling well so I can't see him today. I'm not sure what we'll be doing next time I see him. Possibly the usual watching a horror movie.

One funny thing I recently realized...we've known each other for two years now, but I've never played piano for him. He has heard me sing, though, and I once sang the following song for him in the moonlight.



Lastly, I do want to just mention that I don't think I would have gotten my driver's license without Murray. He told me I could do it, and although I didn't believe him at first I finally decided to try. ❤

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hard cider

I'm not much of a drinker. Until recently I could never drink any alcohol beverage straight, it had to be diluted with something else. For example, mixing sake with ginger ale.

Sure, I've been told that alcoholic drinks are an acquired taste. I get that. But I'd always said in reply that if it's an acquired taste, I don't want to suffer through acquiring it.

My boyfriend changed that.

Murray  recently put a hard cider in my hand. I'd refused some drinks from him before because I couldn't stand them, but didn't want to say no this time. And even though it wasn't pleasant it wasn't the worst, so I figured I may as well drink. (Plus I wanted to get tipsy.) So I took a sip. And another sip. And another..

After a couple minutes, I realized I actually liked it.

I've even gotten into my parents' hard cider at home since then, such as when I was so tense after my driving test. And drinking (and enjoying) straight beer doesn't seem so improbable now. Maybe I'll even be able to enjoy sake the way it's traditionally drunk someday.

I need to find some way of thanking Murray for introducing me to hard cider...I'm sure I can think up something. ;)

ps. To those who say that mixing sake and ginger ale is blasphemous, try it. It's delicious.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kitty on the altar

I don't make a habit of photographing my altar. Others do so, and I love seeing those photos, but it just doesn't feel right for me.

But when Kokopelle got onto my altar...

When I first set up my altar I expected the cats to get on it. They mostly ignore it, but I normally am careful when setting it up so they can't break or upset anything. So when I saw that Kokopelle was on my altar, I wasn't worried.

And for some reason, I had to grab my camera.


Red cloth on a small night stand, a slab of rock on top, and a few odd things such as candles with a picture of Herne/Cernunnos over it all.

I normally don't connect as well with gods as I do with goddesses, but I figured it would be good to get to know Cernunnos a little better since the wild hunt is coming up.


Yep, that's my guitar next to my altar. And an offering that I need to discard on the other side...

Do you allow your pets onto your altar, or will they mess things up on it?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rattie owies

Both of my rats like to get into trouble. Beka gets into trouble more often than Sabine, but Sabine gets into worse trouble. For example:

1) One broken/cracked rib last winter -- I'm sure it was from climbing and falling
2) One front toe that was injured two months ago
3) Another toe that was injured a couple days ago

I noticed the new injury two nights ago, and I have no idea how it happened. I got mom to call the vet yesterday since I was busy, and she made an appointment for today.

We still don't know how it happened, but her toenail is either mostly gone or completely gone. (Turns out there's a bone that sticks into the toenail...so that's definitely there, it's just a question of whether it's also toenail we're seeing.) The toe is a bit swollen, and it looks painful. She doesn't act like she's in pain, but as I've said before rats are good at hiding it when they're suffering. :(

I want to know how this happened!

But we've got a medication to prevent infection, and Sabine should be fine.

Who knew that one rat could be so accident prone? It's got to be because she has a knack for trouble.

And because just have to share a happy photo...here's one of Beka (I think) in their plastic igloo that they like to turn upside down. Sorry about the poor quality, but I was trying to get it in poor light before she jumped up to greet me. As it is, when I took this pic she was already looking at me instead of sleeping as she'd been when I found her.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Ironically sad rainbows

There's only one word to describe the rainbows I saw today: ironic.

No, I take that back. Another word would be sad.

Sad rainbows :(
I saw these beautiful double rainbows today as I was driving home from work, with mom in the car next to me. And I was able to get a quick photo because the car was stopped. Why was the car stopped? Well...

At the base of the rainbow was one firetruck, two police cars, an ambulance, and two cars that had clearly been in an wreck. You can't see that much in this photo, but I was able to see it as I moved up. Not that traffic was moving. I only got to move up because cars ahead of me decided to pull into parking lots or whatever so they could turn around. Which is what I also did. Eventually.

The worst bit of this all is that when we were finally car #2 in the backed up traffic (all the other cars ahead of us had escaped, being smarter than us) a body was removed from a building and placed in an ambulance. I'm  99.9% sure that it was a body, with the head covered up. Mom's 100% certain.

This at the end of a rainbow. No, at the end of a double rainbow.

I don't know what happened. I'm assuming that the body they carried out of the building was related to the accident. If not, it's a heck of a coincidence.

I'm assuming it'll be on the news. Accidents with fatalities usually make the news, right? Though I haven't found anything on it yet.

I think there was still a rainbow while I was waiting for mom to make a decision about whether we should stay put and wait it out or turn around. But I don't remember looking at the rainbow, after seeing the body.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting my liqour service permit

Getting my liqour service permit was a bit interesting.

First of all, the prospect of attending a class to get my license and then taking the test was intimidating. (This was despite me getting my food handlers card quite easily.) When I actually took take the class I found that I'd had nothing to worry about, and that it's actually pretty easy. I even scored 100% on the test. This was my first time getting the permit, too.

But then, the fun started...

Shortly after the class/test I got two separate things from OLCC (Oregon Liqour Control Commision) in the mail. 1) A postcard saying that I would be receiving my permit soon. And, 2) a letter saying that it was too soon for me to renew my service permit and that they were refunding me the $26 for my application. Oh, and they also addressed me as Mr. Rucker in the letter.

I think you can understand why I was quite confused.

When I called to find out what the heck was going on, I found out that someone else gave them my SSN two years ago. Which is why I received two contradicting things in the mail. And they had somehow entered gender down as male.

Luckily the person I spoke to at OLCC was very apologetic, and was quick to jump to fix it. They took care of the SSN problem, and fixed my gender.

Then I finally got my liqour serveric permit...and found that they had added a foot to my height.

I would be frustrated, but the people at OLCC are too helpful. So this post isn't really to complain, it's more to laugh at the things that happen. And to say I'm glad that they're quick to fix mistakes. They're sending me a new permit with my proper height, and this time it should have all my info correct.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Drivers license

I now have a drivers license.

The test went smoothly, and I passed with a 90%. The 10% that I got dinged for was because I apparently neglected to turn my head to look in the side view mirrors. I'd thought I was doing a good job of looking around. Oops.

But still, I passed! I'll just have to make sure that use the side mirrors. And I'll work on a few other things that I didn't get dinged for, but which I'm still not entirely happy with. Such as parking and making smooth turns.

So I still have more to learn, even though I can now take to the roads without adult supervision. Heck, I still haven't driven after dark or in the rain. As such, I'll continue tagging any posts about driving with "learning to drive" instead of making a new one just saying "cars/driving."

(Totally off topic, but when I got to the DMV the building was being vacated as part of an earthquake drill. When I figured out what was going on I held the door open for people leaving the building. (Not that I would stay near a glass door in a real earthquake. Oops.) A couple hours later I found out that there was the "Great Oregon Shakeout 2012" this morning with earthquake drills all across the state, and that it's historically the biggest drill in Oregon. I guess I helped make history by particpating?)

Back on topic, mom wants to take me to buy a this afternoon. Unfortunately neither of us have that sort of money at the moment. My paycheck is too small, and she just got herself that new Honda Fit. Dangit. So my own car will have to wait. Though I can borrow mom's car when she doesn't need it.

Before finishing this post, I do just want to mention the driving school I got driving lessons from: Oregon Driver Education Center. I couldn't have asked for a better instructor, and even though I don't think I actually have any readers in Oregon, I definitely recommend them to anyone who lives around Portland or Salem. My instructor was even able to help by talking as I was getting more nervous up to the final minutes approaching the test (I'd been perfectly fine earlier in the morning), and drove me home afterwards. It turns out that driving the students home is in their policy, whatever the outcome of the test.

...and I am still amazed to have my drivers license now. Wow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ADHD dreams

Is there such a thing as ADHD flare ups? I seem to have been annoying people (at the very least) lately, since I don't seem to know when to keep my mouth shut anymore...yeah, that would be the impulsiveness. Which I thought I had under control. :(

Also, I think I've also had two unfortunate dreams about ADHD. I don't remember the first one, but I had another one this morning.

I dreamed I was in school, and the professor gave us this unbelievably long test. I mean really, no professor would give a test that long unless it was take home and you had a week to do it in. And some of the questions on it were really stupid. (Such as "Who is running against the president this election season?") And no good place was provided for me to put my answers, so that was also confusing.

And of course, after an hour had passed virtually everyone else was done with their tests and had left, while I wasn't even half way through the first page.

And of course, I was well aware in the dream that it was my ADHD that made me unable to focus well enough to proceed at a reasonable pace. I was actually jumping around the back of the classroom since I couldn't stay on task.

(It should be noted that I do not have a history of test anxiety, which makes this dream even more bizarre. Although ADHD has made it extremely difficult to focus on tests once or twice.)

But I guess my subconscious could only take so much of that torture, and finally decided it ought to be nice to me, because the dream eventually changed so that I was kissing a really hot fictional guy that I used to have a crush on...

And THAT'S when my alarm clock went off.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rain music

Raindrops on window

Found at publicphoto.org
Anyone who knows anything about Oregon knows that it rains here. That is, we get A LOT of rain. As in, we're a car wash nine months of the year. At least nine months of the year.

But we didn't have much rain over the summer. In fact, after having record rain falls early in the year, we had a surprisingly dry summer. I'm not sure if we actually set records with our dry weather (I think we did set one or two records for heat though), but the news people were all over it when the rain finally returned last Friday.

The really amazing thing is that I had forgotten what rain sounded like.

How can any Oregonian forget what rain sounds like? Part of being an Oregonian is having the sound of rain stamped on your soul.

Yet our dry spell was so long that I had forgotten what it sounds like for rain to fall on the roof, roll along the gutters, and then fall onto the driveway by my bedroom window. I had forgotten that music.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dragons!!!

Ok. So it's one dragon. One. But it's big! And yes it's from Dungeons & Dragons.


I finally met my first dragon in D&D. Luckily it didn't bother me, and went off chasing someone else. Whew.

Since there's nothing else really to talk about, I figured I may as well share it and a few other screen shots from D&D. And I think this may have finally turned me into a gamer.



I managed to get two new sets of armor in the last couple days. The first one shown is the better, though I think the other is hotter.


When I'm killing evil Cultists they sometimes wind up lying in mid-air once they're dead. But one of them here...he wound up impaled on something...and it's sort of going right through his...*ahem*...even though he's dead (and not real) I sort of feel sorry for him.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Changling Child

As promised, here is another of Heather Dale's songs. It's from the same CD as the last one I shared, and I chose it because of its fey theme.



As lovely as the music is, the story is really tragic.

When writing her songs Heather Dale usually takes inspiration from legend and mythology. She has some songs about Celtic gods, and quite a few inspired by Arthurian legend. Though she certainly doesn't limit herself to such topics in her song writing.

I think she's my favorite musician.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rain returns

Child with umbrella.

Found at www.reusableart.com
Yesterday was the first rainy day of the season, after an unusually long and unsually dry summer. It was the sort of day that left me feeling like I ought to cuddle up with some hot chocolate and a good book.

Actually, I did manage to do that, sort of, before work. I talked mom into giving me a ride, but she had to get me there early. So I went to the nearby Starbucks to get a pumpkin spice latte and breakfast, and to hang out for over an hour while fiddling on my iPhone and reading.

But getting home...I was entirely on my own for that.

The bus I caught wound up very behind schedule. Possibly because the first rain of the year always causes traffic problems, but also possibly because the driver was in training. I guess I couldn't complain too much, since I wasn't in a hurry to be anywhere. And the training was entertaining, and somewhat informative.

And now at about 9:30 pm (this post will actually go up on day two of the rain, in a couple hours) I am eating delicious brownies and drinking water, while blogging. Thus has gone my first day of rain.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sherwood

Last winter I discovered one of Heather Dale's songs, Sherwood. I'm pretty sure that it was written with Sherwood forest from Robin Hood in mind, but it seems like a love song to me. And since I had just fallen in love with Murray, of course any love song reminded me of him.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hair!

Be prepared for a slightly girly post...

"Like me today she wore her long brown hair braided and coiled, but the pins that held it in place were spiked steel, useful as weapons."

This is from Beka Cooper: Mastiff by Tamora Pierce, and had me giggling. My usual hair style is a knot held in place with a wooden hair stick. And if you ask my boyfriend, he'll tell you that my single dull hair stick is dangerous enough when we cuddle. The thought of a steel hair stick that's spiked...oh I'm laughing again. The lady knight wearing it probably has to let her hair down before her man will dare to so much as kiss her.

The following is from the same book.

"She was nearly as pretty as the animal [a "silky" small dog], dressed in an ankle-length tunic of cream-colored linen and a round cap of the same color. Her blond hair hung in two braids to her knees."

I confess, when I got to the bit about the hair I gasped and then sighed in envy. This despite having read the book twice before. (Yes it came out less than a year ago. What?) I love long hair, and want hair down to my knees. And while entertaining this fantasy of mine I conveniently ignore the fact that hair becomes impractical even before it's long enough to sit on, and that I don't plan to ever let it get that long again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looking innocent?

There was one camping trip when I was a teen in Girl Scouts where the main pass time was telling dirty jokes. Or rather, the main pass time was others telling dirty jokes, and me not getting them. Eventually someone actually asked my mom's permission to explain them to me. Yes, my mom was along, and her permission was actually requested. Apparently because I was an innocent (which I was, but only because someone neglected to explain certain details of certain things to me...) and somehow my friends felt that they needed permission to taint my ears with explanations.

That camping trip turned out to be quite informative.

Then I joined a women's choir at the age of 17. I was easily the youngest, and I got used to people covering my ears at certain jokes. Once I even caught the director motioning the people behind me to protect my ears. I took it in good humor, though I noticed that when someone younger than me eventually joined she never got the same treatment. I guess she didn't look as innocent as me, with her multiple piercings and blue hair.

But I thought all this was in the past. I am 23 years old now, surely people don't think that I need to be protected?

Guess again, Sarita.

Last evening someone didn't want to tell me about her "closet stalker" (don't ask) because I look too innocent and she didn't want to shock me. I did eventually get her to tell me, and rather than being shocked I laughed. Well, I was a little shocked, but not too much. And the guy wasn't really a stalker.

I admit though, I am slightly miffed that people still think that my ears need to be protected from certain facts of life. What do I need to do? Get a tattoo of a skull and crossbones tattooed on my forehead?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Failing the quest

There is this one quest in Dungeons & Dragons that I have been stuck on for about three weeks. It's because this one suicidal idiot guy keeps getting himself killed.

The whole point of the quest is to find this dude named Lars Heyton and convince him to help in the fight against the evil people. Unfortunately, the enemy follows the adventurer (me) to Heyton's doorstep...and then I have to keep the guy alive.

Did you know that it's difficult to keep someone alive if he insists on throwing himself into the middle of the fight? I want to tie Heyton up and stick him in a corner, but of course there's no way to do that. *long suffering frustrated sigh*

In trying to find tips for keeping the jerk alive (sorry, I've gotten rather ticked off at Heyton by now for always dying on me) I came accross this YouTube video of the quest. If you want to spend 17 minutes of your life finding out what D&D looks like, take a peek.

And since it looks so easy in the video I'm just going to assume that it was made back when the quest was easier, as I've read it was once easier...



The guy spends a lot of time meandering around. After all the times I've played it, I can reach Heyton and watch him die in well under five minutes. Which means I can fail the quest three times in the time it took you to watch that video. *another long suffering sigh*

Eventually I'll figure out how to win the quest. In the meantime, Heyton is a blockhead. And to add insult to injury, his body guard attacks me when he dies.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mom's new car

Earlier this week I learned how to buy a car. How did I learn? Mom got a new Honda Fit and I tagged along. I had no idea that so many pieces of paper had to be signed.

Funny thing with mom is, she'll talk about buying a car for ages, but then give very little warning before actually going out and doing the deed. Or anyways, that's how it was this time, and how it was about five years ago with the Honda Element.

Oh yes, the Element...it's one that I loved when I was a passenger. But once I started driving? I guess I still liked it, so long as I was a passenger. I became really resistant to the idea of it because of its blind spots. I guess those might not bother someone who is more experienced, but I liked it less and less the more I practiced in it. (Wait, what did I just say there...?)

After mom finished signing lots of paperwork we drove off in her new "blueberry" colored car. (I have never seen a blueberry that color, and I hope I never do.) Just blocks from the car dealer, mom commented, "I'm sure you're antsy to drive this. Well, you can't, because I have class this evening."

That probably sounded better in her head.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Appreciation Brownies

I'll call these Appreciation Brownies. Why? Because I made them as a thank you to my brother for giving me technical assistance with a computer problem.

Chopped up Peanut Butter Cups

I guess you could use any brownie mix you like. I used Duncan Hines "chewy fudge brownies" and followed the instructions for making them fudgy, instead of cake-like. I then added my own secret ingredients:

2 generous pinches ground red cayenne pepper
7 1/2 chopped up Reece's Peanut Butter Cups

(I ate the last 1/2 Peanut Butter Cup. Oops.)

Follow the instructions on the brownie box, and add the pepper. Then gently mix in the yummy candy. Cook as directed.

And enjoy! :)

Adding cayenne pepper


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Driving lessons

I have had my final driving lesson. And it occurs to me that there are still certain conditions under which I still have not driven.

1) In rain
2) After dark
3) In snow/ice
4) In wind
5) Through a drive through

I'm nervous about the first four. In theory I think I know what to do, but it's one thing to know it and another thing to do it. And I guess I can get practice driving after dark easily enough, but I'll have to wait on the weather for the other three.

By the way, my instructor said he thought I was ready for the driving test on our second to last lesson. The big test is scheduled for the 18th, and although I'm not really worried about it (but ask me again on the day of the test) I want it over with. And I want my license. :)