Monday, October 20, 2014

Art in Austin

I traveled to Austin, TX recently on business and extended my stay by one precious day to visit with a cousin and her family. The two things which stand out in my mind from this trip are:

1. Cemeteries seem to enjoy turning up in my life in October (through no fault of my own, the hotel at which my colleagues and I stayed was right next to a graveyard); and

2. Austin's chock-full of art.

I had no idea of the latter, and deeply regret that I didn't keep my camera phone at the ready to snap up the beauty all around me, though I did manage to capture a few things.

Dale Whistler's Nightwing (1998)
Whistler's sculpture pays tribute to the nearly one million bats which hang out beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge every summer. (Yes, I know—cemeteries and bats. I really do seem to belong in Austin, except I don't drive and would, thus, likely be screwed with regard to getting around and whatnot.)

Jen Beck’s Crow I (2013)
According to nearby plaque-type thing,
This work is part of a series best described by the word saudade. (Ed. note: this is a uniquely Portuguese word/concept.) With no direct translation in English, saudade describes a nostalgic or melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that will never return. It is the complex and bittersweet recollection of feelings, experiences, and places that once brought excitement, pleasure, and well-being, and that now still trigger the senses and make one feel alive.”

I deeply regret not making note of either the artist or the work's name, 'cause I heart it. It might be the work of Judith Simonds.

Sarah Collins’ Untitled (2013).
This work is composed of fabric, thread, old clothing, and old linens. Of the piece, the artist says, “My textile collages, which include old clothes and housewares, are based on abstract paintings and landscapes. Stitched artwork pieces were once supposed to be tidy, but these bring the process to the forefront and show the heavy mess of thread. By flipping the fabric and leaving edges unfinished, I am playing with ‘wrong’ versus ‘right’ sides of the fabric.
I love this for its motion and colors. Love it.

I believe this sculpture is the work of Austin artist James Tisdale, but don't quote me on it. In any event, it's certainly doing its part to keep Austin weird. :-)

Dudes, I had the best time checking out all the groovy artwork and sorely wish I'd had more than just one free day in the fabulous city of Austin. I reckon my saudade for the place will take me back someday, se Deus quiser.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Words, wOrds, WoRDS

Time for another round of Words, wOrds, WoRDS, peeps.

Using the Random Word Generator at, I'm going to toss out a word and you're going to share the first thing that comes to your mind, in the comments section below.

Ready? OK!

Today's random word is...


To learn what came to my mind, select the darkened text between the asterisks.


Completely closed minds, whether they're right- or left-leaning.

Also: Bubblegum pop.


Go on, then. Reveal unto the world what that word inspired in your little gray cells.

If you dare...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop!

The end is nigh! And Jackie @Bouquet of BooksDani @Entertaining Interests, and I want to know how you're going to survive it!

To welcome back one of our fave TV shows, The Walking Dead (season premiere's this coming Sunday, October 12!), we're building our respective zombie apocalypse dream teams and survival kits. Below are the folks and items this Goth Mom (Lite) wants around her when the shit hits the existential fan:


1 The Walking Dead character
Michonne, because GIRL POWAH!!!!! Also, I really admire her no-nonsense demeanor (and since I'm all-nonsense, I think we'd make great foils for one another, n'est-ce pas?).

1 book character
Molly Michon from several Chis Moore books because 1. I dig the symmetry of her last name and my first crew member's name and 2. she's an absolute nutter whose wackadoodle ideas always seem to turn out right, whether she's on her meds or not. Also, she's a BAMF with a broadsword (or is it a katana? I forget).

1 movie character
Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, for his already proven zombie-killing skillz.

1 TV character (other than TWD)
Piper Halliwell from Charmed, 'cause she could freeze hordes of the walkers so we could snuff 'em out en masse.

1 loved one
My Kid, Balthazar, so he could wiseass the zombies to death. (To their second, more final deaths. obviously.)

1 friend
My Dear Friend Karen, because she'd so totally organize our sleep/work/slay schedules.

1 freebie
Satellite radio DJ Madison, from Sirius XM's Alt Nation, 'cause slaying soundtrack.


1 comfort item
My copy of Georgette Heyer's "The Convenient Marriage" because it's hilarious and I find the hero wonderfully dreamy.

1 weapon
My rapier sharp wit.

No? OK, then; Max Brooks, author of "The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead," commends the machete for being the ultimate zombie-stopper, so that.

1 luxury item
Moisturizer. Though it's less a luxury than a necessity, as my skin's hella dry, and dry/cracked skin leaves one susceptible to all sorts of infection!

1 food item
Nutella. (Because YUM.)

1 medicine/first aid item
Rum. (What, ain'tcha never heard of medicinal alcohol?)

1 hygiene item
Since I'm suspending my disbelief anyway, a magically renewable supply of Always sanitary pads. ('Cause I can't imagine it being easy to pick these up when one's on the run for one's life.)

1 freebie
Matches. Fire good!


Montuak, Long Island (Me likey the ocean!)

Los Angeles, CA (Probably.) (It totally makes sense.)

Cause of it
Reality TV

Cure (if applicable)
An intrinsic sense of self-worth which isn't dependent upon others' adulation. (Haha...that's a toughy.)

1 item you NEED to find
Sturdy, water-proof, comfortable walking shoes with good arch support that come in a wide width. Oh, and they should be red, 'cause that's my fave color.

1 item you WANT to find
The Lindt chocolate factory.

Method of travel
Fire-breathing dragon, so we can fly high above the hoary dead while roasting them into oblivion!

And if you've a brief moment of respite from dodging the dead, be sure to pop 'round the other bloghop participants' sites to see how they plan to survive!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ten Books I'd Incorporate Into My Life...

Dani at Entertaining Interests (and my co-host for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop) challenged me with her Book Life Tag. Essentially, one who's been tagged lists features/characters from ten books to fill various areas of/in life. So, to address the questions of the tag:

Who would be your father?

Victor Frankenstein, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Because weird science.

Who would be your mother?

Grendel's mother, from the epic poem Beowulf. Because when she goes medieval on someone's ass, she really goes medieval on someone's ass.

Who would be your sister?

Thursday Next, from Jasper Fforde's brilliant comedy-fantasy book series which began with The Eyre Affair. Because Thursday's a BAMF ex-military gal and Special Operations agent whose task is to detect and stop crimes against literature—of course we'd have to be related!

Who would be your brother?

Pelham, Viscount Winwood, from Georgette Heyer's Georgian romance novel The Convenient Marriage. Because he's largely an idiot, but a courageous, caring, and loyal one, and will do anything in his power to support his family, even if it means fighting a duel over a hat.

Who would be your pet?

Harold, the dog and narrator of Deborah and James Howe's wonderful book, Bunnicula. Because I can really relate to this laid-back, meditative mutt. And how I admire his remarkable vocabulary!

Where would you live?

In the fictional sea-side town of Pine Cove, which can be visited in three of Christopher Moore's books: Practical Demonkeeping, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, and The Stupidest Angel. Because A. I've already blogged about my love of the ocean, and B. the town's full of nutters who, despite their nuttiness, manage to defend themselves against a demon, a primordial sea creature, zombies, and evil land developers.

Where would you go to school?

I have to admit, this one stumped me a little. Had to go digging on the Interwebz to find a fictional school that wasn't Hogwarts and eventually came across Wayside School, from Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories From Wayside School. I remembered reading this to my Kid, Balthazar, and really enjoying the surreality of it all. (Naturally.)

What would be your fictional job?

I think I wouldn't mind being the Vampire Queen in MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unwed series. Because, hey—royalty!

Who would be your best friend?

Nora Charles from detective novel The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Because the gal's got a sharp wit and knows her way around a cocktail.

Who would be your significant other?

Mr. George Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma. Because he's a man of sense, compassion, and honor. And not at all because actor Jeremy Northam portrayed him, heavens no... (But seriously; W00F.)

Right, so; my work here is done. It took me a while to come up with answers for all of these, though it was a labor of love, if you will. That said, I'm not going to tag anyone, but invite all interested parties either to leave their choices for these categories here in the comments or to write up blog posts of their own. If you opt for the latter, please comment here to let me know to pop 'round your blog and have a look!

Monday, September 29, 2014

And the winners are...

The winners of TFK's 1st Anniversary Giveaway, as selected by, are:
  1. Jackie
  2. JoJo
  3. Melissa
Congratulations! Winners, please e-mail me at aoorooo at gmail dot com with the name and address to which swag should be sent.

And thanks to all who joined in, for their comments and good wishes. I hope to have more smut available for reading in the not-so-distant future! :-)

Meanwhile, this also happened:

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