February 28, 2010

And for my next trick

Dear Blog, I guess it's no secret that I've aspired all my life to be a cartoonist. Yes, yes, I know...I should be satisfied with the fact that I have a friend and fan who loves to do comic books, and actually collaborated with me on one. (Hi CC!)  Believe you me, it was a huge thrill to write a comic.  But in a perfect world I would be able to draw, too.  You know, Blog--like, say, Alex Ross:

But the Justice League is WAY out of my league.  Heck, Family Circus is way out of my league.  But since when has a fact like that stopped me?  Since when has lack of talent stood in my way?  You are looking at the woman who composed a theme and variations for pipe organ when she had no idea how to play the foot pedals, Blog!!!  Untrained? So what! Unskilled? Pah!  So I decided, TO HECK WITH ALL THIS TALK OF TALENT!

And I created this comic strip!  Yay!  It's called "Living in Catmandu," and is about a house cat (Gregg) and a white tiger (Dan) who have pooled their limited resources to buy a condo together.  The condo, located in some medium-sized Midwestern city, is called Catmandu, and is geared for young, single cats of all sizes.  Gregg and Dan's place is a 2 BR 2 LB.  You know, two bedroom, two litter boxes.

So here is the first installment.  (Which, knowing my attention span, is probably also the last installment.)

Hey, after that build up, you were expecting maybe a new Charles Schultz?  Good grief.

Whew, Blog.  Feels great to have that out of my system.

In other updates from the weekend:

I made a new switchplate cover from polymer clay, an experience that once again demonstrated to me that a person can get lucky, sit down with virtually no plan, and have something accidentally come out cool.  That's the nature of polyclay.  You should try it, Blog!  It's awesome stuff!

Our good pals Andy and Cherie came over and we watched the Cinematic Titanic version (with riffing by Joel Hodgson et al.) of a horrendous movie called "The Doomsday Machine."  It was made half in 1967 and half in 1972.  Since the original cast was unavailable, the last 15 minutes of the movie consisted mostly of two people in spacesuits (helmets and all) staring out the window of their spacecraft.  And not moving.  Or even talking.  They made less motion and noise than YOU, Blog.  Horrors.

And congrats to the Canadian Men's Hockey Team.  Great game, sad ending for us U.S. hockey fans.  Okay, here's my question, Blog.  The percentage of hockey fans in Canada is probably like 99.9%, whereas in the States, not so much.  However, figuring in that the population of the U.S. is like 3582095878 times that of Canada, aren't there more of us down here?  Do the math!  Aw, I don't want to be a sore loser.  I raise an imaginary Timbit of tribute to you, Canada!

Now enough Glowing Hearts, bring back our regularly scheduled programming!  I think I've forgotten what Ted Mosby looks like!

Come on along and listen to

...my thrilling post re Broadway! Dear Blog, you were supposed to sing that line to the tune of “Lullaby of Broadway” from “42nd Street.” Have I lost you already? Hey, it’ll get worse.

But I should take a more positive approach here, shouldn’t I, Blog? Okay, I will! You know, I’m sure one of your greatest wishes is that you knew more about that great musical institution, Broadway-style musical theater. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a fun way to experience the best and brightest of musical theater, be entertained and learn at the same time?

Well, you’re in luck, my dear Blog! I decided to put together a nifty list of the 20 best composers and lyricists of the genre, and a film of one of each of their musicals that you can rent. See them all and you will be the most well-rounded Broadway expert you know besides me, and heaven knows I really rock that shizz. Included for your amusement are a famous song by each, from the movie in question.

Try to hold it together, Blog, I can see how excited you are.

Here they are, in approximate chronological order of the composer’s careers:

1. Gilbert & Sullivan - “Pirates of Penzance”

G&S wrote operettas in England in an age before true Broadway-style musicals, but their works are a definite foundation for the genre, and an absolute riot even today. Kevin Kline and Rex Smith were hunky pirates before hunky pirates were cool. Famous song: “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”

2. Cole Porter - “Anything Goes”
    George Gershwin - “Girl Crazy”

I admit I haven’t seen either movie, which is why I’m giving them each a “half vote.” Thing is, these two gentlemen HAD to be on a list like this. Cole Porter: One of the snappiest lyricists ever. For example: “Flying too high with some guy in the sky is my idea of nothing to do, but I get a kick out of you.” Who rhymes the first syllable of “idea” like that, huh Blog? And George Gershwin: Mind-blowingly great tunes, syncopation and harmonies. “I Got Rhythm” rules my world.

February 27, 2010

Put de bacon in de vodka and drink 'em both up

Dear Blog, unsurprisingly, someone asked how to make bacon vodka.  The site from which I stole this fine illustrative photo has instructions just like the ones I followed.  (I hope the vast quantities of traffic I'm sending her way will make up for the stealing of the photo.)

I actually threw some extra bacon fat in the mix when I made my batch.  Of course it's key to get all the fat out when ready to serve.  A bacon martini with fat floating on top is pretty disgusting.  Frankly, a bacon martini is pretty disgusting, period.  Or at least it was to me.  My tongue was telling me, "You're eating bacon!" and my mind was telling me "Why is it not crispy then?  And wet?  OMG this is weird, Tongue!"  The dissonance was quite disturbing.

Bacon vodka is not too bad though when used in bloody marys.  Although I think I made my vodka just TOO baconey, Blog.  It simply wanted to be served on a plate next to some eggs, which of course would have been a disaster of a totally different kind.

But while I'm discussing bacon, which, like cowbell, makes almost everything better, a couple of related matters:

While bacon and vodka may not be the ideal mix, bacon and mayonnaise are.

And also not a bad idea is the combo of bacon and cats.


I'm happy and a bit astonished, Blog, to report that I made more money selling ebooks than print books in January.  All because of that crazy little thing called Amazon Kindle.

Best line from the Olympics coverage:  Fred Roggin said, "Join us on Curling After Dark...pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your favorite Marvin Gaye song, and grab your broom."

I have a girl crush on Canadian Womens Curling Team skip Cheryl Bernard.

And I'm wondering if anyone else get a little turned on when chefs use the term "mouth feel"?  Do you, Blog?

Lastly, how exciting is it that one of our labels now has two posts?  Whoa, Blog, are you trembling with excitement over that, or with rage that you still have to wait for the Broadway post?  Tomorrow, I promise!

February 26, 2010

Cell phone selfies

Dear Blog, today I just had to share with you how cool this jewelry set is with my outfit today.

I made this set with some super awesome stones that no sooner had I bought them (with a gift card from friends John & Jeri, thanks guys!), I totally forgot what they were called. See extreme close-up....

Anyhoo, I flipped when I saw the combo, and I was like, geez, I’d love to show this to Blog!

Well, that of course entailed a photo, and I was in a rush to get ready for work so I just grabbed my cell phone ’Berry. I’ve tried to take selfies with ’Berry before with little success. But you know the key to the thing? Do it with a mirror! Like this:

1.  stand in front of mirror
2.  point phone camera at self
3.  watch reflection of image on phone till you dig it
4.  click and cheer for cell phone selfie success

’Berry ws pleased and wanted to make this selfie his wallpaper but I put the kibosh on that. It’s not like I’m as attractive as this tiger head I currently have as wallpaper. (Sometimes ’Berry is a bit of a dumb phone.)

In other news, Blog, this morning at work we got a complaint from a customer in Toronto about the fact that he had to register to download CAD models from our website. He griped crabbily about it but then closed with “I hope you don’t think all Canadians are bad.” No, Customer, but I do think one or two of them are very cutely passive-aggressive. (Maybe he was worried because of how the Canadian women’s hockey team celebrated their gold medal.)

I also gave my associate and friend Matt the gift I made for his upcoming (outcoming?) baby. He really liked it a lot. It’s very cool to me to think something I made has a shot at becoming a baby’s favorite pal, the one s/he sleeps with, drools on and vomits between the ears of like I did as a kid with Bugsie. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

And, Blog, congrats are due today to daughter Katie for paying off her car, Bloodball.

What’s that? You want the Broadway post? Soon, my little digital friend, soon.

February 25, 2010

My Breakup

Dear Blog, I know we’ve just met, but I honestly feel like we are going to be good for each other. Way more so than my last blog. Yes, the breakup is final.

It may just be the thrill of a new love, untainted by the contempt that familiarity can breed, but I already feel I’ve made the right choice. Old Blog was not fulfilling me anymore, I’m afraid. I’m not saying we can’t still be friends, even visit each other occasionally, but that relationship was getting just too limiting.

Limiting how, you ask? Well, Blog, a lot of it was my fault. Being the Marketing Babe that I am, I felt a heavy responsibility to talk about things on Old Blog that I thought had fairly broad appeal. I was always second-guessing whether something interesting to me would have any relevance to anyone else. That’s pretty inhibiting, especially for people like me who are so often interested in things with little relevance to anyone else.

Like making jewelry that looks like olives!

See what I mean, Blog? With you I am free to do things I could never do with my ex! I just love you for that! And in a corollary vein, with that blog I also felt that horrible obligation to Stay on Topic. The topic being, “Erotica with Soul.” Hey, I love discussing love, sex and romance as much as the next person (unless the next person is Tiger Woods, erg, sorry, new blog is not license for bad jokes). But sometimes I just want to talk about something random.

Like this Sky Mall Kitties video with which I am currently obsessed!!!

See, Blog? You actually let me post Sky Mall Kitties! Is there nothing that you aren’t willing to let me share with you? Wow. I’m so thrilled.

I can see I’m going to get to discuss on this blog all the sorts of things I’ve been repressing for the past five years that I spent with my ex. Things like the stuffed lion collection I keep in my office. Or how I made bacon vodka. Or how I heard about ChatRoulette for the first time from my 84-year-old technologically savvy dad. Or why I can’t get enough of Benjamin Linus.

Okay, yeah, I talked about that on Erotica with Soul. Hey, I’m not saying I will never talk about love, sex and romance again. It’s just so liberating that I don’t have to! I still love writing romantic stories and I’m sure I will again soon enough, but the intensity of last year took a bit of a toll. (I published five books including that “worldwide sensation” How to Catch and Keep a Vampire, all while holding down my day job.)

Say, Blog, I bet you’re wondering why didn’t I take advantage of this opportunity to come up with some really creative name for you. Well, I’m afraid the Marketing Babe in me is not totally dead, and the Equivalent Dollar Value of Internet Prestige Rating (EDVIPR) for “Diana Laurence” is currently $12,357.68. So that’s why.

[Want to know the value of your blog name? Visit http://www.edvipr.com/ to find out. Or don't, since I completely made all this up.]

Anyway, being an eclectic person (you know someone else who makes jewelry that looks like olives, Blog?), I just want the chance to express myself in a broader variety of ways. You know, by gesticulating wildly, finger painting with soup, singing Sky Mall Kitties over and over and over, and so on.

And you, dear Blog, are giving me that chance. For this I love you forever! Well, probably for at least five years as that seems to be a normal cycle for me. I wrote the Hockey Snacks ezine for five years, I was with my ex-blog for five years, I’ve been obsessed with Ben Linus for five years...wait, is he coming due? I want to renew Ben Linus please!!!

I digress. But wait a tick! With you, new Blog, there is NO SUCH THING AS DIGRESSING! Oh sweet freedom! I can’t wait to post to you again, my wonderful BFFY (Blog for Future Five Years). And who knows what my topic shall be? (Hint: Broadway musicals, and if that topic bores anyone, tough. Blog will find it fascinating, just like every other dumb and useless thing I have to say!)

P.S.: I also intend to get way more creative with the tags, like cool people like Neil Gaiman and my daughter Katie do. Let’s see, I think I’ll tag this post not only with “cat videos,” “EDVIPR” and “Ben Linus” but also “bacon vodka.” Done.