It's time for the ever-wonderful ever-useful Friday Five!  Or would have been five if only I could have thought of five things--alas, I could only think of three.  What have we for you today?  Three random jokes for which I cannot claim credit but hope will give you a smile as you celebrate the weekend.

1. Why did the rat roll in the mud and cross the road twice?

Because he's a dirty double-crossing rat.

2. Why did the hipster burn his tongue?

Because he drank his coffee before it was cool.

3. How did the art thief make his escape?

He stepped on Degas to make the Van Gogh.

It's supposed to be the wettest weekend in years out here, so Krispy and I will be bundling and blanketing up in an effort to stay warm and dry.  In the meantime, got any good jokes to share?


What's Up Wednesday (27)

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


I'm still not done with Coriolanus, but I think my reading slump is over! I did act on my own curiosity and start WE WERE LIARS, and I'm halfway through. The voice is superb! I'm really enjoying it.


Tinkering with that new project (figuring plot and such), which I hope I can start soon. It's a little mystery, a little poetry, kind of experimental, and it's a collaboration!


I think many of you have probably heard of this amazing in-the-works thing from Amtrak - Writer Residencies! There's something definitely romantic about trains and train-travel, and I would love to have a writing residency on one. It's also one of the few forms of transportation where I could probably do writing/reading without getting motion/airsick.

For more info, check out the link: Amtrak Writer Residency


Rested up this weekend, but didn't get a chance to go through my camera pics of our UK-Paris trip. There are A LOT of pictures from the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Like this one of me in King's Cross!

The Sister and I also got post-trip manicures to fix up the ones we chipped on vacation. Mine was neutral gray and neon pink. Hers was red tulips.

Also, Loki got his first professional grooming. He took it pretty well, especially for a first timer. I think it's because we give him a lot of baths. He's resigned to his fate.

It was awesome because he was SO SOFT afterwards, and he smelled like apples and vanilla!

The weekend marked my parents' birthdays (literally within days of each other), and my hometown's annual Camellia Festival - complete with small town parade and carnival.

Photo: Sister
Other than that, the THOR: THE DARK WORLD DVD was out yesterday (the Target 3D blu-ray pack comes in an exclusive shiny, green Loki slip case), so we bought that.

AND I am ridiculously excited for Friday because it's the Season 2 premiere for NBC's HANNIBAL. That show is so disturbing, but I love it - the mood, the visuals, the acting. It's moody and poetic, surreal, somehow gruesome and gorgeous. I AM EXCITE! (Yep, we're fannibals around here - not Alz though.)

What's up with you?


Pet Day!

So apparently yesterday was National Love Your Pet Day but as Krispy's Sister says, "National Love Your Pet Day is everyday."

So have a blinky Loki!

"What's going on?"
As well as two smooshy ratties:

"Must you invade my privacy?"
Have a great weekend!  Glomp your beloved pets!  Or, you know, gently pet and moosh them if they happen to be smaller than standard glomping size.  What pets do you have or have you had in the past?


What's Up Wednesday (26)

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


Finishing up CORIOLANUS, which is even better now because I saw the play live two weeks ago. Not sure what I'm going to read after, but I do have an e-ARC of We Were Liars, which I've been curious about.


Working a little bit on the new thing I mentioned a few weeks ago, but mostly, I'm still recovering from jet lag. I have been getting back into poetry again lately though. Here are a couple of #twtpoems.

When we were in Paris, I wrote a few #twtpoems too when we visited the Catacombs.

One of the few creepy pics I took when there was sufficient light.

Down to Hades' realm/ his treasury,/ human tomb/ we go./ Beneath a city built/ on teeth & bone.

Deep dark below/ your teeth & bones/ I treasure them in boxes neat/ my white pearls and smooth ivory.


Poetry! But in particular, the AAWW (@aaww) tweeted this poem by Michael Ondaatje yesterday, and I thought it was just gorgeous.

Owly Images
Source: @aaww tweet


As you know, I was away last week because I was in London and Paris! I can't believe I'm already back from the trip. I want to go back! Pictures still need to be sorted and uploaded, but I will share some of the trip highlights now since my data plan made Instagramming overseas possible (not to mention Google-mapping everything - lifesaver!).

The biggest thing was that it was not that cold! It was colder and wetter than Los Angeles (but then again, most places are), but we were lucky to get generally rain-less days in London and temperatures stayed in the 40s. So it was cold, but not freezing - except when the wind blew, but luckily 4 years of university at Berkeley trained me for wind + horizontal rain. See, higher education does teach you life skills! :)

The few cons of the trip were as follows:
  1. Stairs. Tiny stairs, winding stairs, subway stairs, stairs for days. Not fun when you have to lug luggage up 3 tiny flights or up and down subway platforms.
  2. London = expensive. Mainly because the US dollar is weak to the pound. Therefore, everything looks deceptively like the right price (Oh! Starbucks for around 4£!), but in dollars is...almost double (You just bought an $8.00 caramel macchiato!). My wallet, it weeps.
  3. Tube strike when we arrived in the UK meant one of the most expensive cab rides of life and also walking a lot in the wind and rain. But our cabbie was very nice, and he even apologized for all the traffic caused by everyone driving because of the Tube strike. The Sister and I kept mouthing to each other, "It's not even that bad!" because nothing is bad once you've experienced the living hell that is the 405 freeway. London traffic ain't got nothing on LA traffic.
  4. We packed way too many layering items because we were so scared of the cold. It made packing souvenirs a bit of a challenge. Also, heavy suitcases + stairs = so.much.misery.
But obviously, these are little things compared to all the FUN we had. The things we had planned generally worked out, and there were wonderful tips we received from friends. And here, I must make a brief shout-out to Miss Cole, who gave me some useful pointers about what to do in London.

Anyway, a more detailed recap in the future! For now, pictures!!


Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
Photo: Krispy
Photo: Sister

Buckingham Palace selfies and the London Eye
Photo: Krispy
Photo: Sister
CORIOLANUS! Such an intense play, great production. Tom Hiddleston was tremendous.

SHERLOCK adventures! St. Bart's hospital and 221B Baker Street & Speedy's of the TV show.

The actual Baker Street!
Photo: Krispy
Photo: Sister

Millennium Bridge and Shakespeare's Globe Theater  [Photos: Sister]

Pretty colors in Notting Hill's Portobello Road Market.

Photo: Krispy
Photo: Sister

HARRY POTTER adventures! Platform 9 3/4 and the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour!

At King's Cross!!   [Photo: Sister]


The Louvre

Musée d'Orsay and Arc de triomphe
Photo: Sister
Photo: Krispy

Eiffel Tower

What's up with you?


Happy Valentine's Day!

In other news, our dearly beloved Krispy has returned from frolicking abroad!  Welcome back, Krispy!  I expect for her the weekend will be spent hibernating to recover from jet lag and also regaling me with tales of her adventures in Europe.  I will also be hibernating but for no particular reason other than the fact that I love sleep.

Do you have Valentine's Day plans?


Shady Loki and the Mouse

Loki has many friends and some respected alpha dogs and a few punching bags.  But like any true villain hero, he has a nemesis.  Specifically, there is a mouse that lives in the tree in his yard that is the bane of his existence.

It's a little mouse.  We've seen it, Krispy and I, a little scurrying blob cloaked in the darkness of the night, seen the tiny glint of its eyes when a timely flashlight spots it.  Sometimes it hops onto the roof of the house to do who knows what, though Loki is convinced it is up to mischief and there's only room for one God of Mischief in his territory.

The second Loki hears anything treeward, he goes tearing off rawring and snarling and growling and barking and bristling.  He rises up and balances on his hind legs, and will try to climb up the tree or the wall or anything nearby the better to get at that villainous little mouse.  Then he'll go charging back and forth along the wall, barking and growling and browling and garking, and charge around all the rest of the yard to make sure that the rest of the yard knows he's not slacking on guard-duty, and then return to glower up at the mouse hidden among the branches, frustratingly far out of reach.  He'll also sniff around the base of the tree and investigate the area between trashcans.

If I sniff around here often enough, the mouse might magically appear!
I'm just like, "Loki, if you bark at the mouse, it's not going to come down.  What has the mouse ever done to you?"

And Loki, he whirls around with his hackles raised and he says to me, he says, "That mouse is a little bastard!  It's ruining my life, and yours, and everyone's!  It's a demon from hell hell-bent on destroying everything in this world that's good!  You couldn't possibly understand or else you'd help me catch that evil awful horrible terrible thing!"

All this week, Loki has been barking at the mouse.  We can hear it nibbling away on something.  It's quite a familiar tune to my ears since it's the same sound as when my rats are eating something, a sort of quiet studious gnawing.  It drives Loki insane.

Damn you, mouse! Damn you to wherever mice are damned!
Even my demoneyes aren't powerful enough to
laser you into submission!
I gave him a bone the other day that was stuffed with some kind of disgustingly gelatinous pale chicken mass.  It looked blech and it smelled gross and Loki loved it.  For the rest of the night, he was content to chew upon his new bone.

Mouse? What mouse?
And the next night, it was back to barking at the mouse in the tree.  I give him points for persistence.

He's gonna be a happy boy pretty soon because his favorite people are coming back and he won't be stuck with me anymore.  Krispy and her Sister have been having a blast abroad.  I've no doubt there will be picture-laden posts coming in the near future!  In the meantime, WELCOME BACK, KRISPY~!


Friday Five: Doodle Version

I was thinking about a post concerning the WTF-ery of Dragon Ball VS Dragon Ball Z, or a post about Real Life Experiences of Things You've Read About and Take For Granted (i.e. things like "he got the wind knocked out of him" or "her knees collapsed beneath her"), but those posts will have to wait since it is late and I was doodling with my tablet and then was like, Oh crap it's Thursday which means I have to post for Friday.

So here are five doodles for our Friday Five!

1. This was me today, because I neglected to check what the weather was going to be like:

If I don't look particularly wet, it's because I didn't get
particularly wet. But my thirst for vengeance is yet to be slaked.

2. I drew a unicorn!

3. I also drew a dancing unicorn:
Any resemblance to certain fat princesses is entirely coincidental.
4. Since Krispy is frolicking abroad in the land of BBC Sherlock and Doctor Who, I wondered if I could draw the Union Jack from memory.  I actually didn't do nearly as badly as I expected, although in retrospect maybe some cleaner line work would have made a big aesthetic difference...

5. Last but not least, I was in the process of doodling a ratty when I got distracted by a hunger pang.  After satisfying said hunger pang with a lemon Oreo, I got distracted by watching TV.

My weekend plans involve glorious things like sleeping and eating and playing with Loki.  Sometimes simple is the best.  Have any exciting or simplistic weekend plans?

Happy Friday, folks!


Krispy Goes Away

Krispy is off adventuring across the wild blue yonder.  I have explicitly instructed Krispy to bring me back a good rock--it can't just be any old London rock, oh no.  This has to be a rock that speaks to her in the resonant tones of geological destiny and says, "Krispy, you are to take me back to the United States for Alz."  If no rocks say this to her, then she is not to bring me one.  I'm hoping she'll bring me back a boulder-sized diamond but I never know what I'm going to get.

Have happy funtimes abroad, Krispy and the Sister!  They've still got internet while they're abroad, so if you've any sightseeing suggestions or foodable advice, go ahead and tell 'em!

In the meantime, Alz is on Loki Duty.  He's already suspicious and knows something is up, but I expect it will take him until tomorrow to realize that it's just him.  And Alz.  AGAIN.  The horror...