Angel has this week's Stuff We Like - she begs your indulgence to explain...
When I was a kid, most girls my age had dolls. I'm certainly not saying every girl I knew played with dolls. One of my friends played exclusively with horses. But I never had any interest in them or, really, pretty things in general. Other girls of my acquaintance wanted to play dress up and house, while I wanted to read books of gruesome fairy tales and had an early fascination with gargoyles. That's not to say I didn't like anything cute. I had lots of stuffed animals. But I preferred the unusual, you know, like snakes and hippos.
Anyway - I can't say I'm alone in this, and now that I've met a huge variety of people over the decades, I know I'm not all that unusual. But I like odd things and my friends know this. So they send me Odd Things.
This guy's from Toni. She thought I needed a little demon in my life. Can't imagine why. ;) Isn't he great? I love his eyes and his little pitchfork!
This is the Happy Birthday Grumpy Cat Diane sent me from Calgary. Because I just can't imagine a better oxymoron.
This is one of the gargoyle bookshelf companions hubby gave me many years ago. Yes, he's sucking his thumb. I thought he needed a teddy.
This last one is an iridescent octopus. Because one can never have too many octopi. I honestly don't remember who gave him to me, only that I didn't buy him.
So if you see me cooing over Ugly Dolls or making a beeline for the some bizarre stuffed thing in a store, just let me go with it and get my Odd on. :)
Hello everyone! This week of SWL is brought to you by the letter "s" for squirrel, aka Freddy. Last week, after a couple months of running my tail of at my EDJ, a care package arrived on my doorstep. This one was filled with goodies from my beautiful platypus, aka Toni Griffin.
Just in time too. I'd had a really cruddy day. She sent me a rainbow of Australian jelly, ANZAC cookies, macadamia nuts, Monte Carlos, and so much more.
What is the weirdly wrapped package you ask? Well, that's between Toni and me. She knows my family will pilfer Aussie treats so she sent one specifically for me in extra special squirrel wrapping.
Don't you feel the love?
Angel's here to host this week's Stuff We Like - with food.
My mom's German. She came over in '57 or so to work for a bank in Manhattan. As you might imagine, my childhood was filled with meat and potatoes kinds of dishes, but with an ethnic flavor. Rouladen, frikadellen, rotkohl, knackwurst - these were words I grew up with. The food wasn't spicy, for the most part, just yummy. Though the flavor palette was somewhat limited.
In college and later on, I started to discover all the wonderful foods the world had to offer. When hubby and I would travel with our son, (this was when we had money for travel and we didn't spend money on much else) the rule was chain restaurants only as a last resort.
Indian, Sichuan, Mexican, Ethiopian, Greek, Japanese, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, Hunan, Vietnamese, Spanish, Korean, Polish - the world was there for the tasting. While I may be able to have some of these cuisines more often than others, I don't really have a favorite. It's the variety, the unique qualities of each that make them wonderful. Sadly, many of the restaurants we loved while traveling no longer exist. That's the nature of the restaurant business. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop looking, and if I'm in your town, I'm most likely going to pester you for recommendations. ;)
Angel's here this week with a bit of a geek confession.
There was a show once, a little thing called Firefly. It ran a sparse few episodes and then through the moronitis of various studio executives, was canceled. I'm not along in my undying love of the show, I know that. A million voices cried out in anguish when it was canceled.
OK. I don't know if it was a million. I didn't count. But we have such a dearth of perfect SF TV series. You can throw other titles at me, go ahead, but nothing, nothing will ever match this one for me. It was the perfect ensemble cast - great actors playing quirky, sometimes sociopath characters with depth. Nine characters gazing out into the vastness of space and seeing something different:
There was universe building, There were political intrigues large and small. There were good guys and bad guys and lots (LOTS!) of gray areas. There was action, angst, funny moments and some of the best dialogue I've ever come across on television.
Oh, and spaceships and EVA's and interesting plots lines and Jayne's hat. If you're one of the lucky people who has yet to experience the wonder of this series, go do so now. It's stayed with me so strongly all this time, and though I'm still bitter that they wrenched it away from us, it's nice to know that there are tons of fans out there more rabid than I am.
I will, in moments of bleakness, sing the theme song still, that anthem to last-ditch hope defiance that still gives me chills:
Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand... I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me...
Angel has this week's Stuff We Like with a little of something old, something new...
When I was little, my parents would take us to the library and encourage us to pick out not only books, but also records to borrow. Our library had a wonderful section of vinyl narrations, you see, people with wonderful voices reading stories. The expressiveness of these narrators captivated me, allowing me to hear dialogue in different ways, to paint mind pictures I wouldn't have on my own.
We don't outgrow the desire to have stories read to us. You just have to look at audio book sales these days. But I have to be honest - a bad narrator can just kill a story and sometimes you just can't get past the first five minutes because of a flat, uninflected reading. Recommendations and reviews of narrators have become just as important as the reviews of the books themselves.
When you find a good narrator? Holy crumbs and crusts, it's almost better than Death by Chocolate. Or sex. Or sex with Death by Chocolate. In my rambling way, this is me saying that I like good narration and finding the perfect narrator for a story. For Shax? That person turned out to be Vance Bastian, our amazing narrator for Hell For The Company. Vance not only manages an incredibly fun range of voices for the characters, he gets the voices right for the scene. Shax - sometimes vain and roguish, sometimes a bit freaked out. Verin - from vaguely irritated to really pissed off. Ivana - from snark to sweet. Ness - from completely flummoxed to finding his feet. Heck, Vance even managed the perfect voice for Benny, which makes me want more Benny scenes so he can read them.
Look for Vance's work on Hell For The Company on audible and ACX, and here's hoping he agrees to do more. 'Cause we do like being read to and we most assuredly like Vance.
Vance Bastian can be found at: http://www.vancebastian.com/
Hell For The Company: Brimstone 1
Audio edition narrated by Vance Bastian