Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 29, 2010

Grrrrrrrr

Okay, so last week?  Sucked.  I ended up crying three days in a row, and I can’t even remember the last time I cried before that.

Pretty much it’s a mix of multiple things.  Some of which I’m not allowed to talk about, some of which are inappropriate to talk about, and some are both.

I need some changes in my life asap or I think I’m rather at risk of losing my mind.  However, for the time being, life goes on.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 20, 2010

Spring

Kitten!

The weather has been perfect the last few days.  Here’s Kiiiiitten! enjoying the sun after he knocked my glass of water off the windowsill.  THANKS Kiiiiiitten! for always being so helpful.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 19, 2010

The Girl…

I veered slightly away from my teen book reading addiction to check out some oh-so-popular books of the moment: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire the first two books of the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.

Lisbeth Salander?  Best character ever!  Overall I’d have to say that these books are compellingly.  Sometimes the writing gets irritating and repetitive, but if you can ignore that here and there, they are the sort of book you don’t want to put down. 

In my opinion, the second was better than the first, but a little more out there.  These books can get super graphic.  I can’t wait to read the third book, but it’s not out in the United States yet, drat!  But!  to make up for that, the original Swedish movie version of the first book is being released in the US, now.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 18, 2010

Derby-ness

Derby is … going okay I guess.  So far the beginning of the 2010 season has gone past in a blur.  The Bombshells had their first big home bout, and the Hellcats (my team) are scheduled to have ours on April 10th.  I feel like I’ve barely practiced in the last month though.  A month ago I was really sick for a week, and this last week I was even sicker for over a week.  This stop, go, stop, go, schedule just isn’t cutting it for me.  My endurance has improved, but I’m not where I feel I should be.  I’m the stand-out weakest link on my team when it comes to that.  If the coach says something like, sprint 15 laps as a pack, I’m the first to be pushed and shoved to the front, and then dragged along and yelled encouragement at the whole time.  Which is fine sometimes, but sucks when I’m already having a bad night.  It’s just not a reputation I want.

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Skill and strategy-wise I’m feeling fine.  I can hit.  I’m really hard to hit.  I’m starting to really be able to skate and keep my head straight about where I should be in the pack, and help communicate instructions to the others.  For awhile I was the favorite weakest link to pick out and trap in the back by the other team, but in recent scrimmaging that hasn’t been an issue for me at all.  The one thing I still have trouble with, above all else, are my turn stops.  Yeah, I learned how to do them.  I started being able to do them going a little and little bit faster.  However, I failed to realize that however it was I was doing them only seems to work when I’m skating in a straight line.  Not on a curve.  Which is totally useless seeing as derby is played on a circular track.  Everybody else can do them, except for me, and it feels like I am wearing a great big sticker on my helmet that says turn-stop FAILURE, and somehow just because I can’t do turn-stops, it eclipses everything else I can do, and that’s what stands out about me.  Well that, AND being slow.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  And seeing has I’ve been hopelessly busy with life, and work, and derby, I haven’t really had time on the side to work on them on top of being constantly sick.  Plus it doesn’t help that I keep hearing that the only reason someone can’t do turn-stops is that they’re afraid of falling.  Bullshit, do I look like I am afraid doing anything else on the track?  Anyway, it’s utterly frustrating.

I am looking forward to the bout on the April 10th.  I’ll most hopefully be playing.  I love bouting at the Civic!  It’s such a great crowd, and tons of fun.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 15, 2010

She Shoots….

Saturday was the first Santa Cruz Derby Girls bout of the 2010 season.  My league has two teams, the Boardwalk Bombshells (who were playing), and the Harbor Hellcats (my team).  I was the side-door bouncer for two and a half hours before the bout, and then was supposed to help usher, but it ended up that I wasn’t especially needed so I got to watch the bout and take some pictures.

The final score was Santa Cruz 110, Central Coast Roller Derby 128.  The most impressive part of the bout was Santa Cruz’s comeback after the first half.  They were so far behind at halftime, but came back fighting hard, and if there had been another minute or two, they might have even been able to snag the lead.  Not bad for the first bout of the season.  Apparently it was Central Coast’s fourth bout – that really can make a difference.

The next home game will be played by the Harbor Hellcats on April 10th against SINtral Valley.  Make sure you get your tickets early!  Saturday’s bout sold out 8 days beforehand, and I have a feeling April bout’s tickets may go even faster.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 14, 2010

The Abhorsen Trilogy

My colleague Ben hooked me up to this great trilogy.  I was skeptical at first, judging the book by its cover (bleh), and the fact that I don’t usually go things that stand out as so fantasy-y, but one day I was desperate for a good book-on-cd and typically when Ben recommends a book for me, I like it.

Sabriel is the first, and the slowest, but good enough that I wanted to keep going onward.  Occasionally I was turned off by a little too much magic talk, but the strong female character and her sidekick cat won me over.

Lirael and Abhorsen are even better because they’re about a girl that’s a librarian, who’s awesome, and she has a dog sidekick.  Plus the plot runs a little bit more quickly through these.  Lirael was my favorite, and actually you could probably get away with just reading two and three if you really wanted to, as Sabriel is more like a prequel.

When I added them to my GoodReads account I was surprised to see that so few of my friends had read them.  They’re like one of those secret classics, that’s just on the edge of being mainstream.  Kinda like the Golden Compass trilogy, just lesser known. You should check ’em out!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 7, 2010

Cooookies!

A couple weeks ago I came across this recipe via Poppytalk for salty chunky oatmeal butterscotch cookies. That tab has been open in my browser ever since, just waiting for me to collect the ingredients and find the time to make ’em. I finally did! The changes to the recipe I made was an added cup of semi sweet chocolate chips, and I accidentally ended up with sweetened coconut (which I don’t think made a difference). They turned out om nom nom good!  My neighbor Jenna was skeptical, but she actually ended up liking them, and my work friend Ben was more than happy to chomp one down, though he had to remind me of my last cookie disaster where 99% of them turned out burnt.

cookies!

Crispy Salted Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from The Canadian Baker)
1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c oats
1 1/2 c butterscotch chips
1/2 c flaked unsweetened coconut
flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and the 1st salt measurement in a medium bowl.

2. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in milk and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add in oats, butterscotch chips and coconut until incorporated.
3. Spoon up a large tablespoon of dough and drop it onto a cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Slightly press down on each lump to slightly flatten and sprinkle a flake or two of salt on each cookie. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 24 – 30 cookies.

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | March 6, 2010

Excuse Me While I Lose My Mind

My apartment looks like a war zone.  In the four years I have lived here, I’ve had a couple ants every now and then.  In the last week though, they’ve decided to take over my apartment.  They’re EVERYWHERE and it’s driving me insane!  I know it has something to do with all the rainy weather we’ve had lately and the fact that my apartment is full of holes to the outer world, but I think the clincher this time is probably the foot of standing water in the cellar under the house.  That water isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so for the time being I’m apparently screwed.

I don’t like using poisons with all the furballs around, so after a quick google search I decided the cinnamon would be the friendliest deterrent.  Ants taking over the stove?  Solution:

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Ants eating the cats’ food?  Solution:

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The cinnamon works great as a deterrent.  The downside though is that it doesn’t kill the ants, so they just go on their merry little way to another part of my house.  More cleaning last night resulted in a dozens of the ants being sucked up into my vacuum cleaner.  Things seemed to have died down for the time being, which is great, because I’ve had enough of flipping the light on in my bathroom to see ants scurrying all over my dresser, across my hairbrush, and into my box of band-aids. 

Make it stop!!!!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | February 20, 2010

Baby Burrito

I finally got to meet and hold Miss Vivienne Claire today!  She just turned 10 days old.  She’s little, but makes up for it with adorableness.  She decided to come early so she’s stuck in the NICU until she chunks out a little bit.  In the mean time, I get to use her as an excuse to buy and make cute baby stuff. Muhahaha.  Congrats to her parents, my friends Bradley and Jackie!

Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | February 17, 2010

New Crafty Project! A Bunting!

Between being out sick, getting my regular weekend, and then getting days off for President’s Day, I managed to swing a six day weekend.  With so much time on my hands, especially since I was stuck at home because I felt crummy, I decided to open my own little sewing sweat shop.  And since some of my best friends, Bradley and Jackie were surprised by the early arrival of their new little one on the 10th, I decided my projects would be baby-themed!

I decided it would be fun to make a bunting.  During the last year I’ve seen them all over the blogosphere and Etsy, and I decided it was the perfect project for the beginning sewer.  They’re not really hard to make, but the results always seem impressive.

I have to admit that I wussed out a little bit at the end though.  I made all the triangles first and then got them strung out, and while I knew I wanted to spell out the baby’s name, I hadn’t thought through all the logistics.  After putting so much work into the flags and getting the letters cut out perfectly, I didn’t trust myself to get them all sewn on straight without mangling the letters or the flags.  I decided as a compromise I’d stitch a border around the letters before applying them, and then attach them with fabric glue so it’d be easier to get them in the right place.  I LOOOOVE how everything turned out (even though I feel like I cheated with the glue!).

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