Random Thursday: Random Squeefuls

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Once again, we were reminded that the Calendar Spring is not Weather Spring, as the first robin was encased in ice during Monday’s snow infestation.

But there is still squee to be found, if you look.  Or your friends do and send it to you.

Thanks, guys.


Introducing:  My Spirit Animal

Manatee Hug

Now giving free hugs!

(Thanks, liligriff!)



That is all.

Baby Hedgies

My husband sent me this, presumably because he thought the high pitch of my reaction would knock something loose in my sinuses.

Thanks, honey.


Watch This

And then watch it again and mark the time
when you said, “Wait. Whoa.”
and report it in the comments, please.

Mine was about 18 seconds in.

And then 46.

And at 1:03.

And 1:56.

I love this so, so much.



Sunny called them Squidvengers, which is even better.


Me: I wonder how easy these are to assemble?

Kev:  Well, they are filled with glorious polyfiber.

(Thanks, Watson!  You’re right, these are two of my favorite thiiiiiings!)


“There’s No Way to Outsquee Baby Hedgies.”

Cumberbatch Tiggie

Your argument is invalid.


Literal Time Suck

Jane introduced me to a series of trailers on YouTube which hilariously describe every single thing that’s going on in them–including the production symbols—not only with subtitles, but a sort of Gregorian Chant that isn’t half bad.

She started me on one for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which I loved
(“Colonial Running Shoe Commercial . . . “),
even though I had no prior knowledge of the game, but I decided to show one for a movie that I’ve actually seen.  Twice.

Trust me and stop at 1:50—the video are good, but the junk at the end is annoying for anyone not of a certain demographic.

 The Hobbit is good, too.  Or Harry Potter.

Or, you know, all of them . . .


Random Thursday: Random Surprises

From the “Rendered Sarah Speechless For More Than The Record .025 Seconds” collection:


What’s in a Name?

This is a Bramble Boot, and I can’t think of a better name for it.

According to the Bata Shoe Museum, which I’m planning on storming if I ever get within fifty miles of Toronto, this beautiful work of art isn’t actually made of wood—Garry Greenwood of Tasmania* wet-formed and laminated and burnished leather—and quite possibly used elf magic as well—to make something that I’m longing to wear just once for five minutes, even though I wouldn’t be able to walk for  two weeks afterward.

Thanks to Cha-Cha for the squee and the new Time Suck.


Trust Me

I’m going to ask you to follow these directions—read them all first, or you won’t be able to see the second one.

1. Without looking too closely at the screen, position your mouse on the play button, close your eyes and click.
2. Listen to one full chorus, then open your eyes.
3. Record your reaction in the comments.



Yeah. Me, too.

This is Mr. David McIntosh, who vocally reminds me a lot of Howard Keel and visually reminds me of both Rick Astley and Puck from the second season of MTV’s Real World, but with better taste in clothes.

And he’s singing for Yale, which makes him a Whiffenpoof,** and means that this young man not only has some pipes on him, but also a brain.  I refuse to Googlestalk him, but I’m sure wherever he is, he’s doing really, really well.

While you’re listening to it again—and you know you will—don’t forget the third instruction!



Not only was the talented, versatile, and very not bad-looking Benedict Cumberbatch, whose name is not unknown here,  given two uncredited cameos in two different clips during the Oscars*** Sunday, but in my inbox today was the new Tor.com newsletter, which features photos of him on the set of the new Star Trek movie, in which he plays a yet-unidentified villain.

There was a video, too, but it was removed before I could watch it, much less post it.  C’est la Dangit.

Click for Tor’s discussion of who Mr. Cumberbatch might be playing, if you care.  I do.

I was also sent a link (thanks, Kev!) to the new, extended trailer for the first part of The Hobbit, starring the talented, versatile, and slightly more huggable Martin Freeman and—speaking of lovely voices–a couple of pin-up dwarves:

It doesn’t get much geekier than this, my friends.  And even though these jobs are keeping Mr. Cumberbatch and Mr. Freeman from working on the third season of Sherlock—which is an almost unpardonable offense, even though Stephen Moffat isn’t quite done with the script for the first ep, yet—I’m so there for these two flicks that I’d like to camp out in front of the theaters right now.

‘Sides, I could catch the Avengers movie while I’m waiting . . .


*Who has the perfect name for someone who creates footwear for Tatania.

**Not—I repeat, not—a Spizzwink. Good mercy.

***Brownie points will be awarded if you can tell me which movies and double for which awards the clips were shown.

Random Thursday: A Hairy Week

Sunny, who sports a gorgeous head of riotous, dark blonde curls that had my MIL looking at me askance for a short time before she remembered her own uncle’s unruly locks, begged me to straighten her hair yesterday with my wand-thing.***

She asked so nicely, my four-year old grifter-child, that I caved just this once.

I used the lowest setting and sprayed some stuff on her that supposedly keeps hair from being fried by the heat, and slowly, reluctantly, removed all the bounce and boingy-ness.

She loved it, which I suppose is what’s important. But she just didn’t look like my kid.

Usually, no matter how much she brushes or how much detangler she sprays (the bottle has been placed on the highest shelf), her curls reassert themselves the moment she leaves the house. This time, because of the stuff I used on it, her hair was no more than slightly wavy when she came home.

“Will you make my hair smooth tomorrow, Mommy?” she asked at dinner.

“No. Not for a long time,” I said.


“Because it’s not good for your hair—and I miss my Curly-Q.”

“You can call me Straight-Q,” she said, without missing a beat or a bite.

We all cracked up . . . but the kid was serious.

Oh, boy.


Required Weekly Geek Bit:

Peter Jackson is doing a vblog of the filming of The Hobbit!

It’s fascinating to see the prep work involved by costumers and carpenters and writers and stunt coordinators and location scouts.

And it’s so much fun to watch the initial uncostumed blocking of the opening scene at Bag End and see all these six-foot “dwarves”** parade into Bilbo’s kitchen (about 5:26—duck!) as Martin Freeman scurries behind with an unexpected armload of weaponry, baffled as only he can baffle.***

There are three of these so far!  I can’t wait for the next one.^


Have you seen Despair.com’s collection of demotivational posters?

They’ll lift your spirits, or at least satisfy your cynicism.


Remember the windfall promised to me by that fortune cookie this past Sunday?

Tuesday morning, I discovered my bank card was missing.

I knew the last time I’d used it was at the gas station near the branch library Monday morning, so when the very nice man at the bank asked me if that was my last purchase, I said, “Oh, thank heavens, yes!”

There was a pause, and he said . . . “Did you buy two tanks of gas there? About twenty minutes apart?”

Oh, $#!%.

Luckily that’s all the person bought—at least, that showed up at that point—and because s/he had to use it as a credit card, I’m not responsible for the purchase.

You know, I thought Janie’s take on “windfall” was funny. But having a bank card fall out of your pocket? C’mon, now.

Then again, my horoscope has been telling me all this week not to go on any spending sprees, so at least one oracular system has my back . . .


Leftover Night at the Wessons:

Me:  What do you want for dinner tonight?

Jane: That pasta from last night, but without all the cheese.

Me:  Yeah.  I’ll get right on that.

My husband:  What does Janie want?

Me:  She wants me to squeeze the filling out of the tortellini.


Speaking of hair, here’s a new favorite commercial:

Now there’s a role-model.


* I have mentioned that my hair is all cowlicks, right? My goal is to get them all going in approximately the same direction before I leave the house. After that, meh . . .

** Who include Richard Armitage as Thorin, which makes this movie an official requirement, even if my love of the source material, Martin Freeman, and Benedict Cumberbatch hadn’t already made it so.

*** Actually, that pale blue jacket and tie ensemble he’s sporting a little further on is also baffling.

^ Yes, I am waiting for Benedict Cumberbatch to show up in one (or more) of these vids—however did you guess? I figure it’s a good bet, since he’s the voice of Smaug and is also playing “the necromancer,” whom I suspect may end up being Sauron . . . But even if he doesn’t, necromancy isn’t exactly cuddles and fluff, so he must be having a blast being two kinds of evil in one picture—and when Mr. Cumberbatch is having a blast, he shares. Thus endeth the weekly meeting of the Society of Defiantly Post-Pubescent Admirers of Benedict Cumberbatch (SDPPABC)

Random Thursday: Sunny with a Chance of Photos

It’s Thursday already?  Where does the time go?


Writer Bling!

This is, you will note, a magenta, molded plastic, ballpoint quill pen, which my friend Grace bought for me at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival:

I love it. It has good heft and sits in my grip well—the ink flows nicely, too.  I wrote part of my revenge scene with it.

Little known fact: silly pens help with writing serious stuff.  It’s true.

And the pen goes very well with my new scribble book, which I found at Border’s for $2.99.  There’s foil on the cover!

I love writer bling!  Especially shiny bling!


Doing the Happy Geek Dance

I found out the voice of Smaug in the new Hobbit movie is being done by Benedict Cumberbatch, who caught my attention in BBC’s Sherlock and never let go.

He’s on my personal list of actors I would gladly pay scale—hey, librarian’s salary—to read the telephone book, should no erotic poetry Shakespearean sonnets be at hand.

He’s also starring in a screen adaption of one of my favorite John le Carré novels, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.


I am replete with squee, y’all.**


Talenti Gelato:  The Best Ice Cream Ever, Grocery Store Freezer Division:

I’m not kidding.  I bought it on a whim this past weekend because I liked the screwtop lid—I am a simple person—and I love milk chocolate ice cream, which is difficult to get around here.   That night, I sampled a spoonful.

I’m fond of ice cream.  We have an emotionally satisfying relationship.   I’ve even been known to down a whole pint now and again.  And again.

But please believe me when I say that I’ve never been tempted to describe ice cream as a holy experience—and I’m not tempted now.

This is a pint of sex.


Shifting gears, now.

Can anyone tell me what this is?

It’s growing at the end of our driveway.

I thought it was a lily of some sort, but I really don’t know.


If I was three feet tall . . .

Sunny was bored the other day, and I was busy, so I gave her my camera.  This is what life looks like when you’re knee-high to a duck:

 First of all, you’re a lot closer to your feet.

 And turtles.**


Tall people always put money, car keys, and phones out of reach. And art appreciation is a real pain in the neck.

 But one can always create a three-dimensional interactive floor collage. This one is called,
“A Few of Sunny’s Favorite Things”:


*And before a few of you comment, I am not a cougar—I respect his talents as an actor.  And anyway, he was born in 1976 and the fact that I knew that date off the top of my head is not relevant in the least.

**Yes, turtles are the serendipitous, unplanned theme o’ the week.  This one was my birthday present a few years ago from my MIL, because nothing says affection like a sixty-five-pound concrete turtle.   His name—the one he came with—is Shelley, though before we moved him out of the way, his nickname was Ouch-Damn-It-My-Toe.   I love him.

Random Thursday: Already?

I’d swear I did a Random Thursday about three days ago . . . is it just me, or is time speeding up?

I mean, unless one’s Internet connection goes down just as one hits the Publish button—and doesn’t come up again for three hours. 

Which is my way of apologing for the late post.  Sorry!


After the in-service yesterday, I scooted over to Borders to enjoy some child-free time before heading over to Jane’s school.

I didn’t go near the children’s area or read a single book out loud.  I dwelled for ten whole minutes in the mysteries and I passed by the various toy displays without once telling someone to look with their eyes and not their hands.  And I didn’t feel the need to tell anyone but myself that we weren’t going to buy that today, put it on your birthday list, how much of your own money did you bring today?*

I tried out all the  pens for weight and comfort and bought one,** then spent half an hour scribbling in my pink cupcake notebook, brainstorming plugs for a small plot hole that recently opened up because I changed—okay, fine, corrected—one little thing.

Had a smoothie, too.

I must do this again, sometime.  Soon.


Speaking of random, at the In-Service, during a pause between speakers, my friend Grace leaned over and said, “Want to go to the shooting range with me and take a beginner’s class?”

Do I!?  Is it Christmas?

I know a few things about guns—a very few, according to my Gun Expert— though most of those things are  important, like which end is dangerous. *** But since two Pigeon characters are experts and a third is learning, it’s past time I learn the basics with the real thing—and experience recoil.

I fully expect to stink at it, but I also fully expect to have, no pun intended, a blast.

Matt MacNish has it right:  there’s nothing like experience!


Will someone please tell me why it’s always pouring down rain when my children need poster board for an assignment due tomorrow—except they forgot until after dinner, sorry, Mom?

Jut asking.


It wouldn’t be a Thursday without the report of a brand new (to me) Time Suck.  This week, you can blame my husband, who sent me the link to  Space Base 8, a terrific webcomic by the talented David Scott Smith.

It’s only a temporary Time Suck—it’s relatively new, and I’m almost through the archives—but SB8 is compulsively readable.

It features—among other cast members both animal and mineral—an Everysimian crash test monkey, a smart and green-complexioned clerk who isn’t his girlfriend (“Why?  Did he mention me?”), and the cutest little ancient lighthouse robot in the universe:

You’ll have to check it out to see the adorable robot.  And you know you want to.


There’s been a sort of theme around here, lately, an examination of what it means, or can mean, when one attains a certain age that isn’t, for lack of a better word, young.

I believe the general consensus was, “Anything we damn well please.  Who knew?”

In one of those odd coincidences, a (an?) historical romance crossed my desk day before yesterday that also deals with the themes of age, self-worth, and for a bonus, body-shame:   Pleasure Me by Monica Burns.

Lady Ruth is a 41-year old professional mistress whose latest protector has dumped her for a younger woman.  If that wasn’t enough, he has also reneged on his promise to support her.   Retirement is inevitable and due to her own generosity, she doesn’t have much of a financial cushion.  She has no real options for improving her situation.

Worse, she believes no one will ever desire her again.

But then handsome, rich, and  younger Garrick Stratfield makes her an offer . . . but not exactly the kind Ruth expects.  Assuming it was made out of pity, she refuses.

When she discovers the real reason Garrick needs her, and exactly how shamefully young he is . . . everything changes.

And that’s before they fall in love.


And, to close this most random of random posts:  my latest earworm, courtesy of Kev the Earworm King, who has been bombarding me with every YouTube vid in which Benedict Cumberbatch appears. I think he even threw in one about cummerbunds.^ 

But this one song stuck.  I’ve been humming it for three days and finally broke down and added it to my playlist.  You’ll have to click through to hear it—for good or ill, it’s one of Sony’s:

There.  Now maybe I won’t be the only one.


*As you might suspect, this didn’t go over any better with me than with the kids, but at least my whining and rationalizing was internal, and didn’t appear to disturb the other customers.


***The answer is both.  Two other things I know:  all firearms should always be treated as if they’re loaded, even if you think you know otherwise; and outside of a range, you do not point one (or even unholster it) unless you’re prepared to kill.

^I’d say he needs a hobby, but apparently, he has one.