12.21.2014

Thrifty Gifting: Library Goodies with Poetry

Pop quiz, hot shot: It's the holidays, you have no money, shopping is not an option, a move is being planned, and the last thing you want is more crap in the house to pack up, but you still want to give someone a gift they really want and deserve for being an awesome uber-friend. What do you do? What do you do?

A: You make like Eve and go to the library. 


How I made an unforgettable gift with help from the library:
  • I reserved 10 items specifically selected for the gift-receiving uber-friend.
  • I penned a sufficient amount of lyrical prose to describe the gift.
  • I printed the itemized list and prose on a standard-size sheet of white copy paper.
  • I gave the paper a decorative trim with Fiskars paper edgers.
    • Caveat Crafter: Cheaper brands do not work as well as Fiskars.
  • I folded the paper neatly and sealed it with a sticker.
The gift was a wild success, not only because I managed to give something without bringing more crap into the house, but especially because I made sure to reserve Volume 1 of the first season of Breaking Bad. We had not seen any of the shows at that point and it had recently ended its run on air, so our curiosity had finally bested us and we wanted to watch it from the beginning. Renting or buying the series was not an option, so that is when I checked to see what the local library had in their online catalog. Wouldn't you know it, they had the entire series available on DVD. Now I was cooking. Once I made this discovery it was on like Donkey Kong and my thrifty gifting idea of library goodies fell into place from there.

Thanks to this gift of library goodies, we eventually worked our way through the entire series of Breaking Bad for less than $5, due to a couple late charges. It took us a few months to get through the series; I would reserve a DVD each time we finished one, since the series has to be watched in order. The first DVD took the longest to arrive, but after that the waiting lists got shorter. Since all the DVDs contained three to five episodes, it was always a mini-marathon when a new disc arrived. Sometimes we would go a few days waiting for the next DVD, but the break gave us time to speculate as to what could happen next in Walter White's world. Plus, the library was a 1-mile walk away so it didn't take anything but my bipedal abilities to get me there. Overall, a super successful thrifty gift that has my uber-friend and I eagerly awaiting the premiere of the follow-up prequel Better Call Saul.

Library Goodies Caveats:
  • Do not borrow anything that you cannot take responsibility for. Libraries may be open to everyone, but as a frequent user I can attest to the fact that not everyone knows how to use a library or how to take care of library items. Please learn what your responsibilities are from your local library before borrowing.
  • Library goodies require a modicum of supervision to ensure that the items are not lost or damaged. I gifted library goodies to an adult housemate, so the items did not leave my residence and I had supervision over them; I picked up and returned all items myself without passing the work on to my friend (FYI, errands are not gifts). If the library goodies will not be with you, or if the receiver is not responsible enough to properly take care of the library goodies, or if you have to pass the work on to someone else who will not ensure proper oversight of the library goodies, the gift may not work in your favor and may cost you money in the end.

Library Goodies Benefits:
  • Low maintenance: no unnecessary wrapping.
  • Minimalism: no excessive clutter after the holidays.
  • Little to no cost: so long as the items are not lost, damaged, or returned excessively late.
  • Want not, waste not: no throwing away of anything that is unwanted or has short-lived appeal since it all gets returned to the library.
  • Convenience: reserve library goodies any time online, while in your pajamas, naked, or even in the bathroom (library participation may vary). 
  • The gift that keeps giving: when one item is returned, reserve another item as a surprise to keep gifts coming all year.
  • Test run: find out if an item is worth purchasing by checking it out first.
  • Personal development: use creativity, ingenuity, and originality in selecting and presenting the gift.
  • Resourcefulness: utilize what you already pay for through taxation. 
Thrifty Gifting: Library Goodies with Poetry by Eve Penman
Merry Christmas from Eve Penman
I selected these items just for you and I hope you find that they will do.
Try them all out and see what you think; there's nothing to wrap and nothing to keep.
I'll pick them up and deliver them to you, and then I'll return them so they aren't overdue.
Should you want something longer than a few weeks, you'll have to buy it yourself because I'm too damn cheap.

What's your thrifty gifting idea?
Share it in a comment.

Thank you for reading.


Library Resources:

Get Eve In Your Feeds:

12.20.2014

Winter Rage: A Light for the Darkness

Rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

Please enjoy my color-infused photographs captioned with song lyrics.
(YouTube links included)
Rage on.
There's a dark and a troubled side of life,
but there's a bright and a sunny side, too.
Keep On The Sunny Side
There's a light in the darkness of everybody's life.
Rocky Horror Picture Show

Now I have traded the dark for the light.
I Saw The Light
Better get ready, gonna see the light.
Crystal Blue Persuasion
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree,
and the old weepin' willer is laughin' at me.
Oklahoma!
I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining, because I'm free.
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten,
and that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
Life of Brian
6 Practical and Powerful Ways to Overcome Depression
ZenHabits


May the winter solstice bring with it the return of much sunlight!

Thank you for reading.

Get Eve In Your Feeds:

12.05.2014

I Wanna Sax You Up: Christmas Sax

Twas the Night of Christmas Sax (A Visit from Kenny G)
by Eve Penman

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
a creature was heard stirring and it was my spouse.
A new sax had been placed by the chimney with care,
but he couldn’t resist once it was there.

He forgot about the time, people asleep in beds,
so he picked up the sax and he started to tread.
He crossed over the floor, to a chair where he sat,
then he started to finger this pretty new sax.

 
When out in the street there arose such a clatter,
he sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like the Flash,
he gazed through the shutters still holding his sax.

 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
reflected through the window and up to his ‘phone.
When what to his wondering eyes did appear,
but…Kenny G…and eight sax-playing reindeer.

 
With a curl in the hair, so bouncy and blithe,
my spouse stopped to wonder if he could be high.
As smooth as syrup the reindeer did play,
each fingering its sax as Kenny proclaimed:

 
"Blow, Dasher! Blow, Dancer! Blow, Prancer! Blow, Vixen!
Blow, Comet! Blow, Cupid! Blow, Donner! Blow, Blitzen!
To the top of the porch and to the top of the wall!
The glory of Christmas Sax must be heard by all!"


As dry reeds that before a wild solo are applied,
when they meet with a saxist the spit doth fly.
So up to the rooftop the sounds of Christmas Sax flew,
with the reindeer blowing hard, and Kenny G too.

 
And then, in a measure, there was on the roof
the prancing and pawing of little saxist hooves.
As my spouse scratched his head he sat back down,
when Kenny G came down in a melodic bound.

 
He was dressed in Alpaca fur, from his curls to his feet;
his clothes were untarnished and he even had pleats.
With his sloth named Murph hanging across his back,
Kenny G turned and said: Let’s make some Christmas Sax.

 
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, so merry!
His curls were like a phone cord from the 20th Century!
His pert little mouth gave a blissful blow,
while the reindeer played outside, enjoying sax in the snow.

 
Kenny blew hard and he felt it in his feet;
all this Christmas sax made him want to eat.
He felt the hunger rumble in his empty belly;
he salivated for a sandwich from the deli.

 
Still, Kenny blew on, in spite of his own self,
but my spouse knew that look and erected himself.
With a wink of his eye and a cock of his head,
he took to the kitchen to get Kenny G fed.

 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
he made Kenny a sandwich; then he turned with a jerk.
Kenny was there and they stood nose to nose,
then Kenny snatched the sandwich and did a selfie pose!

 
As he danced across the floor he tweeted his post-sax pic,
then away they all blew, the Christmas Sax over so quick.
But he was heard exclaiming as he disappeared from sight,
"Christmas Sax to all, and to all a good night!"

Thank you for reading.

Get Eve In Your Feeds:
 
Get Saxed Up:
Buy the album:
Get saxy with Kenny G this Christmas


For the saxists:
Big Book of Christmas Songs for Alto Sax


Sax it up for Santa:
An Erotic Sax Christmas
(Sexy Holiday Favorites on Saxaphone)



12.04.2014

Q: Is There Something Worse Than a Racist?

A: Yes, there is.  

I present Exhibits 1 through 25, researched and compiled from Dictionary.com:
  1. Ape:  An imitator; mimic.  
  2. AutomatonA person or animal that acts in a monotonous, routine manner, without active intelligence. 
  3. BigotA person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.
  4. Busybody:  A person who pries into or meddles in the affairs of others. 
  5. Buttinsky:  A person who interferes in the affairs of others; meddler. 
  6. CopycatA person or thing that copies, imitates, mimics, or follows the lead of another, as a child who says or does exactly the same as another child. 
  7. EchoA person who reflects or imitates another; any repetition or close imitation, as of the ideas or opinions of another. 
  8. FussbudgetA fussy or needlessly fault-finding person. 
  9. GossipA person who partakes in idle talk or rumors, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. 
  10. IgnoramusAn extremely ignorant person. 
  11. Imitator:  A person who follows or endeavors to follow as a model or example.
  12. InterloperA person who interferes or meddles in the affairs of others. 
  13. Intermeddler:  A person who takes part in a matter, especially officiously; meddle.
  14. MeddlerA person who involves themselves in a matter without right or invitation; a person who interferes officiously and unwantedly.
  15. MimicA person who imitates in a servile or unthinking way; ape. 
  16. MisinformerA person who gives false or misleading information.
  17. NewsmongerA person who spreads gossip or idle talk; a gossip or gossipmonger. 
  18. Nosy ParkerA nosy, overly inquisitive person. 
  19. ParrotA person who, without thought or understanding, merely repeats the words or imitates the actions of another. 
  20. Scandalmonger:  A person who spreads scandal or gossip. 
  21. ScaremongerA person who creates or spreads alarming news. 
  22. Sensationalist:  A person who uses subject matter, language, or style producing or designed to produce startling impressions, or to excite and please vulgar taste.
  23. TattletaleA talebearer or informer, especially among children. 
  24. ToolA person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw. 
  25. YentaA person, especially a woman, who is a busybody or gossip.

More Words to Consider:
  1. Bigotry:  Complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
  2. PrejudiceAny preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.  
  3. RacismA belief/doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others;  
    1. Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Eve's Definition:
  • Racist: The first person who cries 'racist' when they disagree with what they hear.

In conclusion, I question: 
  • If racism is 'hatred or intolerance,' then who is the bigger racist: the person who says an unpopular comment, or the person who is intolerant and hateful toward the person who said the unpopular comment? 
  • What makes a statement racist; is it always the person making the statement who is racist, or is it ever the person passively hearing and (mis)interpreting what is being said who is the racist?
  • Why should it matter if someone says something unpopular when that is what freedom of speech is about; in other words, does everybody have to think the same?
  • And if a person makes a racist statement and nobody cries about it, will bears be able to shit in the woods in peace?
Got a thought? Leave a comment.
Thank you for reading.

'Masterpiece of Nonsense' from Hank Williams, Sr.:
Mind Your Own Business




12.01.2014

Fungal Inversions: A Photographic Trip Through 2015


Why You Need Eve's
 * * * * *
> Fungus Rules <
 > Original Photography <
> Educational Wonder <
> Uniquely Northwest <
> Universal Appeal <
> 2014 is History <

Visit Zazzle.com/ProseAndPix
Too drunk? 
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Too naked? 
Can't leave your llama?
Twin Peaks by David Lynch
No problem.

Visit Eve's ProseAndPix Zazzle Shop
from your kitchen, bathroom, couch, bedroom,
and anywhere else technology allows.


Thank you for reading

11.26.2014

Want Peace? Stuff Your Pie Hole


Is it just me, or with the passing of Marion Barry
is anyone else tempted to make a marionberry pie?
For this first Thanksgiving in the Olympic Peninsula my pie-making skills have been called upon to work their wonders.  A suggestion was made that both a pumpkin pie and a banana cream pie be the desserts of the day and I found no good reason to argue against such a delicious idea.

So with pie on the mind and a world of humans fighting, it got me wondering: Could pie help bring peace?  As Egon would affirmatively reply: Is the atomic weight of cobalt 58.9?



Mind you, I am not talking about world peace or a pie-bedazzled utopic dreamland where everyone gets along all the time.  As if.  I accept that, as a human and having observed humans all these years, humans are only capable of so much, and world peace is not something humankind has proven to be capable of at this juncture.  However, that is not to say that peace, in and of itself, is unattainable.  I know peace is possible in pocket-sized amounts, from my own experience; it is just that I do not expect to see peace on any grand scale, though I welcome being proven wrong.


So, while pie may not stop the unending conflicts of the world, pie may help bring peace amidst the unsettling problems that occur everyday in a household, in a relationship, in a family, in a business, or elsewhere.

Be a hero, keep the peace.

Think about it:
  • There is the peace that comes with preparing the pie, since fussing in the kitchen is more productive than fussing with a man or other family members.  
  • There is the peace that comes from inhaling the pie's scent, so that the exhale is filled with thoughts of pie instead of moot political points.  
  • There is also the peace that comes with the pie being eaten, the ceremonial stuffing of the pie hole, which can reduce incessant chatter; minus the silent sounds of mastication that overly-alert ears like mine hear.  
  • Then, if you make your pies just right, there is the pie coma, wherein the pie-maker enjoys complete silence while the noise-makers unknowingly surrender in peace, until the next round.
Granted, there are caveats to consider:
  • The peace that a pie creates may not last forever, but neither does a shower, so repeat often for best results.  
  • As well, a pie may not have the same peaceful impact on all humans, simply because that is how humans are, so proceed with caution.

What kind of pie, or other food item, do you plan to stuff into your mouth to keep the peace this Thanksgiving?

Leave a comment.


Happy cooking, eating, drinking, and passing out!


Thank You for Stuffing Your Pie Hole!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

11.24.2014

Autumn Rewind 2014: Moments From Life

Being in a new area means new discoveries, which is just about everything right now because so much is new to me, thus turning discoveries of wonder into distractions from other tasks. I may be a native of this state but the Olympic Peninsula is refreshingly not the same as the south Puget Sound region, so it makes for lots of daily discoveries and first-time experiences.

Not only am I adjusting to a new region of Washington, but I am still adjusting to being back in Washington.  At the time of writing this, it is only a little shy of two years since returning after residing four years in Montana. The first time I visited the state, it made a mark on me, and living in it made more marks on me; it will take time for their imprints to fade. However, I am hopeful that, based on my experiences thus far, being where I am at now will help my ongoing acclimation process for the better.

Please enjoy photos of recent experiences during my first autumn
in the Olympic Peninsula:
A day exploring Port Angeles, meeting locals,
and tasting regional brews @ The Lazy Moon

10.10.2014

Crab Fest: Will Volunteer For Crab

It's not the crab that makes me want to volunteer, but it is a tasty perk along with an event t-shirt.

As a new transplant to the Olympic Peninsula, I figured why not learn more about this region while meeting locals and lending my hands at one of this area's biggest events, the 13th Annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. You can find me greeting folks to the crab feed tent on Friday and Saturday evening.

Admittance is free, and the festival goes on whether it rains or shines. The open market offers a variety of vendors and tasty treats ranging from $5 to $16, plus a crab feed. The crab feed includes local crab, corn on the cob from Sunny Farm's Produce, and coleslaw from Nash's Organic Garden. The crab feed cost is $29, with a $5 discount to everyone on Friday.

What else is there to do? Take part in the crab derby, taste chowders in the chowder cook-off, watch cooking demonstrations, hear from professional chefs, make art with beach debris, meet people from Washington and Canada, visit local shops, learn about marine life, and more.  Click here for more Crab Fest information.

Inside the crab feed tent:
Dine under a giant jellyfish!













9.21.2014

Pushing Myself: Photographing Insects

The past few years my appreciation for things that creep and crawl across floors has slowly grown, due mostly in part to my camera. The past month or so I have continued to warm up to the plethora of spiders and unavoidable webs that occupy the new property, many of them larger than I'm used to. In fact, I am often told, "You gotta see this, bring your camera," in response to creatures that once would have sent me running the other way...or at least walking at a brisk pace since running wasn't my thing then.

Last night my bug boundaries got pushed to new limits with the discovery of this mammoth insect ten feet outside the front door:
Oh, my god, Becky, look at that bug. It is so big.

Looking at the picture gives me the total and complete creeps, totally; or at least it did until I researched what it was this morning: Belostomatidae, a.k.a. Giant Water Bug, a.k.a. Toe-Biter. It is a common creature in the northwest, so it is not invasive nor is it poisonous to humans. It bites when provoked, hence the name toe-biter, but this one appeared to play dead, as is their MO when feeling threatened by predators; it soon disappeared after taking the photos.

Considering it preys on small frogs, it makes perfect sense that it was hanging out in the entrance way, a place where frogs have been spotted. And since the giant water bug likes aquatic food it lives in vegetation near water, which there are wetlands not too far from where this guy was discovered. So it all makes sense; he was not out of place but merely making his presence known. Now I can only imagine what else might be lurking around, waiting to make its presence known when I least expect it. Such is rural living; it's good to be back.

In spite of the creeps that insects still give me, they offer fabulous opportunities for photographing, learning, and exercising self-control by pushing my bug boundaries; all the more reasons for me to appreciate the little buggers.  What personal boundaries are you pushing today?

Check out more of my pics @ Flickr.

Got pics of insects? I'd love to see them!
Share a link in the comments.


Thanks for reading.

9.05.2014

What Book Would You Ban?

Lunchtime poll a la Eve:
If you could ban a book, what book would it be? 

Or should that be 'which book'? GrammarNazis are openly invited to correct me since I am not in the mood to do the research. I would rather write my ramblings and let the grammatical errors speak for my humanness.

I stumbled upon this question while trying to think up something to write about the topic of banned books. So, with legal pad in hand, I posed the question to myself and my friend while sitting down to a bowl of herb to see what we could come up with. It was a fun challenge and I invite others to consider the question if they haven't before.

At first we couldn't come up with anything. As tempting as the idea sounds in a hypothetical playground, to banish any book(s) from the land that one does not see fit, the idea of stopping the flow of information was a hard concept for both of us to work around. While neither my friend nor I practice any particular religions, we do appreciate religions for what they are along with the writings. Therefore, we couldn't ban any religious doctrines.

I recently read through Matt Forney's review of The Communist Manifesto, which I cannot recall if I have read the book or not though I am familiar with it. But since we were stumped on what books to ban, I queried about Marx's Manifesto to get us past the block. No luck there either. As my friend sagely stated, "No, people need to read that kind of shit." Therefore, no political or philosophical doctrines were hypothetically banned.

After so long, the self-imposed poll resulted in us not coming up with a single book to ban. So, I kicked out some more questions, such as barring writers from writing in particular genres or barring people from writing in general. This proved to be more fruitful as my friend touched on the topic of what I call Talking Head books, by people such as Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and the like. Aside from kindling, it's hard to find a useful purpose for books where the aim is to effect popular opinion by dividing people through repetitive, rhetorical debate so that the people then take the debate to their representatives and the voting booths. Gag me with a bookmark. Therefore, no Talking Head books.

Also mentioned as a sub-genre of books which should not be allowed is any fitness or diet book that features someone on the cover that you do not want to look like; i.e., Dr. Phil. Are there any men who want to look like Dr. Phil? Not in this hypothetical utopia. Therefore, no Dr. Phil weight loss books.

For myself I had a hard time thinking of anything worthy to ban, until I remembered all of the books I have witnessed in the juvenile aisles of bookstores the past years that deeply hit my literary gag reflex: Vampire books and their demon-spawn copycats. Twilight can stay though, only because young girls should have a proper subliminal introduction to the kink that is autassassinophilia.

Overall, it was not easy for either of us to come up with a definitive list of books we would ban, though some genres we could most definitely do without. Even though we do not care for certain books and/or authors, neither of us would ever want books destroyed or authors barred from writing, whether or not we agree with the content. As my friend wisely concluded, "Just because you put out a book doesn't mean it's for everyone," and a book not pleasing everyone is no reason for a book to be banned.

Thanks for reading. 

What book(s) would you ban?
Answer the lunchtime poll question in the comments.

Come to the Dark Side ~ Banned Books Coffee Mug 
Find More Creations by Eve Penman @ ProseAndPix