Monday, January 21, 2013

My Favorite Martian Bloghop

The day for the My Favorite Martian Bloghop is here! Yay!

I couldn't whittle my favorite down to just one alien, so I bring you two-three...ish.

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My absolute favorite alien race has always been the Tenctonese from Alien Nation. Alien Nation was this alien buddy cop show that mainly followed the Francisco family (shown above sans the two people on the left) while they tried to make their place in earth society. The series also dealt with issues of bigotry. It was done quite well in my opinion and I'm always sad that there are only 22 episodes in the series. Oh well, at least we have the movies.

My favorite Tencotonese specifically was Buck, the Francisco's son. He had this bad boy thing going on, which is always appealing, but it wasn't one dimensional. Even though he was a bit of a dick, you felt genuine sympathy for him. Not only was he a teenager who had to deal with bullying in school because he wasn't human, but he also had the added difficulty of trying to stay in touch with his own culture while basically being stranded on a planet whose culture and people he didn't really want any part of. And on top of that his dad's a cop bent on integrating and cohabiting with the humans that populate the earth.

I think what was really great about his character is that the series showed him learning the errors of his ways and thinking, slowly but surely. By the end he still had residual anger but he wasn't that much of a bad boy. He had grown and matured. The show gave him quite a bit of good character development and, I think anyway, did a good job of showing all sides to the story that is Buck and Buck's life.

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Plus Sean Six who played Buck is yummy, so there's that.

From the same series I'd also have to pick Moodri, the Francisco's uncle. He was this awesome hippy type character who had a pet goat. He could walk in salt water without getting burned (salt was like acid to the Tenctonese). He was funny and wise. I really wish that he had more screen time in the series and that we were able to learn more about him and his life. Unfortunately, if I remember correctly, he died in the series not to long after he was introduced.

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Pictured above, Uncle Moodri being awesome. No other context is needed.

Last, but not least, my favorite alien is Quark from Star Trek.

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Oh my goth, Quark is great (Quark's is fun! Come right now! Don't walk, run!). Where to begin? He was conniving, smart, smart-assed, and hilarious. But he was also really sweet in his own way. I always kind of thought of him as some sort of chaotic neutral with a few twinges of good. You could trust him with your purse, just keep the wallet in your back pocket, kind of deal. I loved how he just had his own sort of thing going on and his own code of ethics that he adhered to. I myself would be lying if I denied consulting the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition a couple of times for my own problems.

I love how Armin brought his character to life. You can just tell by watching the DS9 series that he took a lot of joy in portraying him. I always paid attention a bit more whenever him and Odo were in a room. The way those two bounded off of each other, it was just a lot of great chemistry between the two actors. He was enjoyable in all aspects even when he was being a bit of a coward. Plus, for an ugly guy he got a lot of prime tail and you just have to respect that.

Thank you for letting me blab your ear off and completely fangirl out about my love for the above aliens. Now hop on down the blogger's trial:


Monday, January 7, 2013

Short Story: L'Escargot

So I finally did it.

After about 30 edits and lots of fretting I put up my short story L'Escargot for sale on Amazon's Kindle market.

It's a quick read, .99 cents and you can buy it here. Also, if you are a Prime Member, it is free for the next 5 days in Kindle's Lending Library.

I know that it gives a preview already on the Amazon page, but I thought I'd post the preview here (plus some extra) for you to read before you decide whether or not you would like to borrow or purchase said story.

L'Escargot

Margaret sat slouching in the seat of a hot new restaurant. The kind that catered to wannabe cosmopolitans and took itself too seriously, but not seriously enough to let the prices show. Sticking her lower lip out, she blew her bangs out of her eyes. She immediately glanced around, paranoid that her posture and actions had drawn ill looks and small tuts of disapproval, but no one seemed to have taken notice of her. Still she straightened up and tried to look like she belonged there. Like she went to places like this all the time...or even half the time, not like she was some poor, bored college student who was meeting a blind date set up by friends.

She crossed her legs, tapping the tip of her shoe against the other in a quick, steady rhythm. Staring across the room into nothingness, Margaret wondered what her date would look like. Her friends had told her almost nothing about him other than his name was Simon, he would be wearing a yellow corsage, and she should really give him a chance. That last part was what worried her. While meaning well, her friends had a habit of picking guys completely her opposite. Especially if the guy in question was 'nice' or 'sweet' in any aspect. The words 'nice' and 'sweet' seemed to rule her dating life. Margaret hooked her arm around the top of her chair and, leaning her head into her hand, sipped some water. Her date was running a bit late today, if he didn't get there soon she would have to order something. Margaret had been repeatedly declining the waiter's offer of something other than water and complimentary bread sticks, but she couldn't dodge him for long.

Just as the annoyed waiter was about to ask her if she was sure she wanted to wait or did she want to start ordering now, Simon walked into the restaurant. Margaret spied the yellow corsage immediately, having trained her eye for the better part of twenty minutes to hone in on anything even slightly yellow. Now that she saw him, she wasn't sure if 'walked' was the best way to describe what he was doing. It was more of a slow glide. As he got closer she noticed with a pang of guilt that he was limping. She forgot that her friends did mention he was born with some sort of leg ailment. While Margaret rose to shake his hand in greeting, Simon plopped into the seat in front of her. He sat slightly hunched, breathing through his mouth. She thought he looked out of breath.

"Hi, I'm Simon." He said thickly.

She began to sit again and started to take her hand away when he shot his hand out, grasping hers. Margaret fought the urge to recoil. His skin was moist and pallid. Somehow she managed a smile instead of the grimace that almost took over her features.

"I'm sorry for running so late, there wasn't any parking nearby."

"Would you like to order something to drink?" The waiter interrupted them, placing a menu in front of Simon. Simon slowly rolled his eyes towards the waiter, "Just some Bordeaux Blanc for the both of us."

Margaret raised her hand and fluttered her fingers in midair like a panicked butterfly, trying to get their attention.

"I don't really drink wine, I'm a bit of a 'tee-totaler'." She said, making air quotes and forcing a quiet laugh. I can't believe I just made air quotes.

"It's a very nice and somewhat fruity wine. You should try it. I promise you'd enjoy it. Besides dates, especially first ones, should present new experiences to try." Simon said. His breath quickened. He sounded excited and congested. Simon grinned at her as both he and the waiter waited for her response.

His teeth look so..short. He seems sweet though. And I think I'm going to need that drink.

Margaret grinned back, showing her approval with a rapid nodding gesture. Simon smiled wider showing more of his short teeth as the waiter left to get their drinks.

"This is a very special restaurant. It was the only one in the area I could find that served escargot." He grinned again and his breath came out in short, excited huffs. He looked very pleased with himself.

Margaret thought he looked like an eager pug or..Like a snail. That's what he looks like. Like a slimy, little snail himself. Maybe I should call him out on his cannibalism.

Covering her mouth, Margaret tried to suppress her giggles at this latest thought. Simon looked somewhat confused but kept his smile in place through his unease. Margaret could feel the inappropriate laughter bubbling up. Every moment she sat in front of him was another moment it threatened to burst out of her. I need to get out of here and calm down. She stood abruptly, practically hopping out of her seat, banging her knees on the edge of the table.
End

So there you have it. Now go, read it, rate it, leave a little review, do a little dance, make a little love, and get down tonight if you so please.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Belated Festival Of Trees

A while back our troop decided to do another tree for the festival of trees. Which means awesome tree pictures for you. This time though, we decided to do a small 4 foot tree. We think the next time we do this we'll stick with the 4 footers. It's just easier to decorate and easier for the kids to make the ornaments for a 4 foot tree as opposed to a full sized one.

I was very proud with our tree. Our theme was duct tape and the tree was called, 'Duct The Halls'. Very cute. The tree sold for 150 dollars and won second place ribbon in the 'designed by children' category. So without further adieu, and because I'm awkward and shitty at segueing into things, here are the pics of every one's awesome trees. I apologize ahead of time for any somewhat blurry pics. It was very crowded that day and hard to shoot around people.

'Snowman's Delight' by the Zanvyl and Isabelle Kreiger Fund. Designed by Dantech, Inc. and Out Of Sight Home Theater.

This had the misfortune of being taken before I started trying to take pictures of the placards as well, so I don't know who did this tree. It is however cute as hell. I like the idea of a suspended tree.



This was a Baltimore themed tree that had this awesome little diorama at the bottom of the Inner Harbor and a bunch of sites and places from downtown.

I think this was one of the only Preakness trees I saw there.

Cute little strawberry tree and it came with the book The Little Mouse, The Big Ripe Strawberry, And The Big Hungry Bear. Along with a few others.

'Christmas Tidings' Designed by Laura Evans. At first I completely thought the tree topper was supposed to be some sort of hat from the renaissance, but it's totally a jelly fish. I'm not sure why I thought it was a hat.

Another race car Santa.

'Crabs For Christmas' Sponsored by Flanigan and Sons Inc. Designed by Natty Boh Gear and O'Crabby Creations. Another Baltimore themed tree with lots of cute decorations. They even had them made out of crab shells. I remember my Grandma Frieda sometimes used to save some of the backs of the crabs to clean and make ornaments out of.

Here's a close up of one of the shell ornaments...obviously.

'Walking In A Zombie Wonderland' Sponsored by Comcast. Designed by Weyrich, Cronin and Sorra, Chartered. I love a good monster or Halloween type Christmas tree. They're always fun.


Kind of reminiscent of Plants VS Zombies. It also came with a book of zombie Christmas carols called It's beginning to look a lot like zombies!

'Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow' by Valley Motors Inc. I have no clue what category they won first place in, but they totally won it.

'Graffititree' sponsored by Rizzuto Development Corporation. Designed by Fandango Productions. I absolutely loved this tree. You can't see it in the picture but it's base was a trashcan with more graffiti on it and the star was made of chains. Had I had the money I would have bought this tree, and if there weren't a ton of people (and if I wasn't parked halfway across the parking lot) I would have stolen it that's how much I loved this thing. All your 'tis the seasoning's be damned! This tree was awesome.


'Tree Huggers' Sponsored by Merritt Properties, LLC. Designed by Fandango Productions.

The back where you can see more of the huge ass teddies.

'Tree Rex' sponsored by Fabiani and Company. Designed by Fandango Productions. Apparently they were very busy people this festival.

'Spirit Tree' sponsored by Sodexo Services. Designed by Kennedy Kreiger Institute Patient Accounting. This was covered in tiny little alcohol bottles and the garland was wine corks. And that is completely awesome.

I wasn't able to get any good pics of the tree itself, and from what I can remember the ornaments were pretty but no big deal, but I made sure to get a good picture of the topper. I think this was the cutest topper out of all the underwater/sea inspired trees.

'Sesame Street Christmas' by KIPP Harmony Academy. They also won second place in the designed by children category.


And here is our tree. There was a third picture but it won't upload for some reason. I took way more pictures than just these two. I'm actually surprised that I didn't find a way to crawl in the tree and take pictures from the inside (Holy shit, look a branch!).



'The Peanuts Gang' by The Kennedy Krieger School LEAP Program.



'Willy Wonka' by the South River High School Dance Company.


'In The Spirit Of Service' by Fort Meade, Girl Scouts Community 41.

'Who Let The Dogs Out' by Mema and her Grandkids. This was so cute. In addition to all the dog treats and toys all over the tree it also came with a couple of dog stuffed animals and some boxes of biscuits and a 50 dollar BARCS gift card.


'Even Santa Has To File Taxes' by Ellin and Tucker Chartered. I loved the little W2 forms.


'Diagnostically Yours' by BD. I have no clue who BD are, but from what I googled they might be a medical technology company. The tree ornaments are little petri dishes glued together I think and it came with science center vouchers. I've never been there but it looks neat.


'Rubber Dub Dub' by Fluteskateers.

'Emma's Delight' by Kyle Albrecht. So much Pez!


'Homespun Christmas' by Prettyboy Tiny Tots.

'Turn On Your Little Lights For Literature' by Spidersmart Learning Center. Being as I was just learning how to use my new iphone I didn't realize I could turn off the flash, so I was unable to get a close up of the glass ornaments since they were in a shady area and light reflects off glass. But they were these cute, plain glass bulbs with strips of literature curled inside. The tree came with 18 books.

 OK, that's not a tree, obviously, but it was awesome. There was this stand selling year old Moon Jellyfish dyed and encased in glass.


And this I just thought was cute. This woman was selling hand made matryoshka and had this cat lady of the matryoshka dolls.

I wanted to get more pictures but by the time we had viewed all the trees and eaten something my sister was getting bored, having run off with her friends and saw everything at the lightening quick speed that only kids can. I love the Festival of Trees but that is the part that kind of whomps about it. Unless you have little kids, or are a little kid, after you've seen the trees, gingerbread houses, and shopped a bit there's really not much to do afterwards.