Always look on the bright side

Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

Oh, I am so good at putting myself down, but the thing (which just might be my favorite thing about myself) is that I’m an optimistically happy person. I know I’m not perfect and that I am seriously flawed, but despite all the cracks and nicks I can still be happy. I don’t know if this gives me inner peace or whatever but it is reflected in my outwardly manner. My father once asked me why I was always happy. I didn’t really have an answer for him. It’s not like he wanted me to be sad or depressed or anything. There just wasn’t an outward cause that would have the effect of such constant happiness. So I deduced that I’m just a content person who always looks on the bright side. In a world with such dark and grave things happening in it, it’s easy to see that my life isn’t so bad. (Even knowing this I do get myself worked up and upset – I am human.) So my favorite thing about myself is my sunny disposition.

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Don’t play favorites

I don’t know if I have a favorite person. That or I have fifty (no middle ground) all for various reasons. My mom, my gal pals, my sisters, my dad, my nephew….you see where I’m going with this. However if I had to pick a favorite it’d be this girl: Imagethat’s right, it’s me. I’m not really a narcissus, but you have to like yourself, right? You’re always with your own mind. Now this may be a stretch but the longest I’ve been away from myself was the first time I got a migraine.

My advice to anyone would be “don’t get a migraine.” Super helpful I know since you don’t really get much say in the matter. Anyway, I was a sophmore in college and I was in studio when the rim of my vision started to get blurry. Once that class was over I called my mom t. Ask her about scheduling an optometrist appointment. We discussed that maybe my eyes were just suffering from fatigue/strain since I was on the computer all the time for class.

Anyway, I headed off to my drawing studio (where we were stating figure drawing) and made it halfway through the class before I had to run to the restroom. After I was sick and cleaned up I went to my professor to get dismissed for the rest of the day. She had no complaint. I headed over to my mom’s office and she kindly dropped what she was doing to get me home. Then the headache stormed in. For the next twelve hours I had little sense of where I was, let alone who. All I knew was the pressure of pain and the temporary relief of tortured sleep. Finally when dawn woke me the next day I had returned to my normal state with the realization that I had survived my first migraine.

Then I took myself off to the shower so I could get ready for work/class. While getting ready I had a lengthy conversation with myself about how I hope to never have to go through that again. A vain hope, same thing happened two years later, and then again eighteen months after that. However those two times weren’t as bad since I was at least comforted by the knowledge of what was happening. (Even if the who was still a bit of an unknown).

Quick Post: Chicken Stuffed Shells part deux – leftover

To report on how well this dish meets my rules on being good or not (how it is originally, left over and cold) it passes with flying colors! While waiting for the leftovers to heat up I snitched some from the container and was pleased it was still tasty. Although it is pretty hard to mess up cheese. So yeah, I will officially be making this again. Until next time ~ Q

Quick Post: Chicken Stuffed Shells

Apparently Wednesdays are my days to decide I can whip up food without the rules a recipe provides. That’s what I did again and it turned out all right (upon first eating – we’ll see about leftovers). Anywho the other night I was feeling like having something more complex then steam cooked frozen veggies so I scoured my cabinets and found giant shells. Upon further investigation I also found cheese, ricotta, chicken, and sauce. So while the shells were cooking I threw the other in a bowl, added some basil and PRESTO (not pesto) I have the stuffing for giant shells. I can’t quite recall the exact measurements but I think I used a cup of ricotta, half a cup of both mozzarella and italian cheeses, a few dashes of parmesan, a dash of basil, and a can of precooked chicken. Not the most organic, but it was pretty tasty. I stuffed the shells until I ran out then cut up the few remaining shells and sprinkled them on top of the other shells in addition to adding more of the mozzarella and italian cheese. After baking it in the oven (for either half an hour or an hour – I can’t recall which, the side of the pasta box had a different recipe but I followed it’s baking time and it worked out) it came out marvelously and now I have leftovers for several nights (I’ll be eating this well into next week I imagine). This experiment in cooking turned out well, so I don’t mind so many leftovers. I’ll close with a picture of my first meal with the Chicken Stuffed Noodles. Until next time ~ Q

My Love affair with Sherlock Holmes

I have been a fan of the brain child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since before I can remember. You may think this to be hyperbole but in my instance it’s true. I clearly remember a time before I was even in school listening to my dad’s tapes. That’s right cassette tapes. My dad, somehow, had gotten his hands on the tapes of the old radio series that played during world war II. (This performance will be transferred by short wave to our men and women over seas is a clear statement that still rings in my head from the tapes. I remember as a child not really understanding what that meant.) As a kid those were the stories I fell asleep listening to, occasionally an episode of Have Gun will Travel or The Saint would slip in, but my favorites were always The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Especially the ones staring Basel Rathbone and Nigel Bruce-which were most of them. Oddly enough, I have yet to actually watch anything with those two in them, because I love the audio version so much…something I may need to alter. I have seen Basil Rathbone in movies (the main one that comes to mind is The Court Jester with Danny Kaye) and thought he was brilliant.

Then when I was in middle school I found an audiobook called The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (also on cassette tape) and was introduced to a new Sherlock. Years later, after thinking perhaps I had made the book up because I couldn’t recall the books name, I refound the book. (One of the best parts of reading the book over the audiobook from the library was that I hadn’t realized it had been abridged. So I had bonus story and cases to read about-BEST SURPRISE EVER!) In quick secession I devoured the series until I finished it and although The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is still my favorite in the series (arguably it is actually my favorite book) I love the dynamic between Russell and Holmes. Even if Holmes isn’t quite the same man that Doyle created he is still his brilliant deductive self. If King would have turned Sherlock into a hopeless romantic or something it would not have worked. She presents the two characters in such a way that even the reader can see that there actions truly are what makes the most logical sense, and in that way I think it honors Doyle’s original character. But as usual I digress.

Recently, it seems, Sherlock has been revived once again, and both in his original home of the late 1800’s and in more modern way in the 2000’s. Where we’re use to him being first. When I found out that there would be a new movie of Sherlock I was quite ecstatic. Perhaps the fact that I had been studying abroad since the August before its release helped. It certainly came as a shock, I get back to the State mid-December and BAM a new Sherlock story. That it came out around Christmas was an added bonus – it could be a family activity. My family, like all families, doesn’t always agree. One thing we do all agree on are the Sherlock stories. It is one thing that the entire family enjoys. So although some of us didn’t see the movie until the following Christmas when it was out on DVD it was quite an enjoyable and a ‘bonding’ experience of sorts. Likewise I can’t remember the last time my mother and I went to a movie together in the theater. I can no longer say that now, as you know she and I went to Mirror, Mirror together. A month before that though, or so, we had gone to the second Sherlock movie, A Game of Shadows. A movie (like the former) that had a great balance between action/serious moments/comedic relief. Very enjoyable.

Now (well last year or so) the BBC has developed a modern series called simply Sherlock, and simply put I think it’s brilliant.  The second series just aired on PBS. The thing I like about this ‘system’ is that it aired in the UK on the BBC back in December. Why the lag between airing in the US and the UK I don’t know but coming full circle is that what I like about this system is that the second season has just been released onto DVD (yesterday, after the final episode in the series aired on Sunday). Guess what my birthday present to myself is this year. The writers of the show create such interesting twists from the originals, they really have made it their own (The Geek Interpreter vs The Greek Interpreter – love it!). Oh, I also love the dynamic between Sherlock and Mycroft. It makes it seems as a more adversarial relationship. Where clearly there is lots of left over baggage from a childhood of growing up far to bright for either of the brother’s own good . Before I had looked at the relationship as more one of mutual respect/acceptance. One where the two brothers, although both brilliant, don’t have scads in common so it’s just easier for the family dynamic to leave each other be, unless seeing each other is logical or necessary. In the Sherlock series they don’t call on one another unless necessary (that’s still the same) but when they do meet there is always an undercurrent of annoyance and arguing between the two. Which may be why Mycroft is always making John be the liaison between the two-which also adds to the comedy.

This has gotten quite lengthy, but I guess something that will always be true of me (if it has endured for the first 25 years of my life surely it will stay for the next 25 and more) is that I love Sherlock. Important that, I suppose? Until next time~Q