Category Archives: A-Z challenge

(W)ine

W is for WINE!  I love wine and going wine tasting.  Some of my favorite types of wine are Riesling, Muscato, and Gewurztraminer.   Here is a picture I took in San Francisco where they had lots of bottles for sale, and you could sample some of them at the bar on the other end of the store.

The sepia tone effect I used during photo editing.  It is part of my weekly submission in sepia scenes, a weekly photography meme for sepia photos.

Do you like wine? What’s your favorite type?  How do you select your wines?

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(V)ampires

It seems like wherever you go or whenever you turn around, there is another Vampire show, movie, book series, etc. coming out.   I think since the Twilight series became popular, it started this Vampire craze amongst pre-teens, teens, and even adults. I myself got hooked on the Twilight series, both the books and movies, and I find myself watching The Vampire Diaries tv series, and the HBO series True Blood….I’m kinda addicted.

In the spirit of the letter V for Vampires, here is my list of tv shows/series, movies, books, and famous Vampires:

1. Twilight series

2. True Blood series

3. The Vampire Diaries series

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

5. Dracula

6. Interview with the Vampire

7. Blade

8. Underworld

9. From Dusk Til Dawn

10. The Lost Boys

11. Count Chocula (the breakfast cereal vampire lol)

12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer series

13. Gomez and Morticia Addams/ the Addams Family

14. Count von Count (from Sesame Street)

Who is your favorite vampire (if you have one)?

And for fun, here is a Top 10 Vampire Myths brought to you by the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency:

The Top Ten Vampire Myths

Most vampire myths come to us from the Dark Ages, when science was in its infancy and people looked to religion or superstition to explain the world around them. While many vampire myths have their basis in Christian orthodoxy, others represent imaginative interpretations of actual vampire behavior.

Vampires sleep in coffins

Bela Lugosi as Dracula

Source: This myth probably arose from gravediggers and others who observed vampires emerging from coffins and crypts.
Truth: If a vampire did spend the night in a coffin, it probably had nothing to do with sleeping preference. In the old days, many victims of vampire bites were interred while still in a vampiric coma. The truth is, vampires will sleep wherever they feel safe.

Garlic repels vampires

Source: Most likely based on observation.
Fact: Vampires have sensitive noses and can momentarily be driven off by pungent odors. However, this method of deterrence is unreliable and certainly won’t work on an experienced vampire.

A cross employed in WB’s
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Crosses repel vampires

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Crosses have no effect on vampires.

Vampires are killed by driving a stake through their heart

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Because their blood is circulated by skeletal muscles, vampires can easily survive injuries to the heart.

Vampires burst into flames upon exposure to sunlight

Source: Most likely based on observations of a vampire’s extreme reaction to sunlight
Fact: Sunlight renders vampires, with their hyperdilated irises, blind. It also causes neural pathways to fire randomly in the vampire brain, creating an extreme epileptic reaction. As dramatic as this reaction may appear, it will not be enough to start a fire.

Holy water burns the skin and flesh of vampires

Source: Christian religion.
Fact: Holy water, or any water for that matter, has little effect on vampires (although vampires can be drowned).

Lugosi whispers
sweet nothings to
his next victim

Vampires prey on virginal women

Source: A reflection of Victorian-era fears over the sexual awakening of young women.
Fact: While vampires have a stated preference for the taste of young blood, they are not particular as to which gender provides it.

Vampires can fly

Source: Observation of leaping vampires; association of vampires with bats.
Fact: While they do possess extraordinary leaping ability (vampires have been observed leaping over fences 20 feet high), vampires cannot fly.

Vampires turn into bats

Source: Association of vampires with bats.
Fact: No, vampires cannot turn into bats.

Vampires are not visible in mirrors

Source: Christian religion. It was thought that a vampire, or any creature lacking a soul, would not produce a reflection in a mirror.
Fact: Vampires are visible in mirrors, although interestingly enough, they are often quite uncomfortable with their own reflections.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(U)mbrellas

I know I already did a post for the letter U, but I couldn’t resist adding this one.

I found these cute umbrellas for sale when I was walking around Chinatown in LA.

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(U)ndo It

 

UNDO IT by Carrie Underwood

I should have known by the way you passed me by
There was something in your eyes and it wasn’t right
I should have walked but I never had the chance
Everything got out of hand and I let it slide

Now I only have myself to blame for falling for your stupid games
I wish my life could be the way it was before I saw your face

You stole my happy, you made me cry
Took the lonely and took me for a ride
And I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it
You had my heart, now I want it back
I’m starting to see everything you lack
Boy, you blew it, you put me through it
I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it

Na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na

Now your photos don’t have a picture frame
And I never say your name and I never will
And all your things, well I threw them in the trash
And I’m not even sad

Now you only have yourself to blame for playing all those stupid games
You’re always gonna be the same and, oh no, you’ll never change

You stole my happy, you made me cry
Took the lonely and took me for a ride
And I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it
You had my heart, now I want it back
I’m starting to see everything you lack
Boy, you blew it, you put me through it
I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it

Na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na

You want my future, you can’t have it
I’m still trying to erase you from my past
I need you gone so fast

You stole my happy, you made me cry
Took the lonely and took me for a ride
And I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it
You had my heart, now I want it back
I’m starting to see everything you lack
Boy, you blew it, you put me through it
I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it

You stole my happy, you made me cry
Took the lonely and took me for a ride
Boy, you blew it, you put me through it
I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it

I love the lyrics to this song.  There are quite a few relationships I have had and mistakes that I have made that I wish I could undo and just forget about them, though I guess they have each taught me something.  Do you have any relationship(s) or mistakes you wish you could Undo?

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


(T)ravel Tales

Travel is something that I love to do and wish I could do more of.  My problem is that I never have enough money to go to all the places I want to go, nor can I get all that time off from work.  Other than travel throughout the USA, I have been to Canada, Mexico, Poland, Ukraine, England, Egypt and Zambia.  My next scheduled trip is back to NY this October to see my family and friends, and for my sister’s wedding.

Because of my love for traveling, you can only imagine that I have lots of stories (tales) of various mishaps that occurred while traveling.   The one I’m going to share with you today, related to today’s “T” theme is how I was mistaken for a terrorist, not once, by 4 times, for the same trip!

It was August of 2003.  I was living in NY at the time, working at a brain injury rehabilitation facility and had sent one of my clients to an alcohol treatment facility in Florida.  He was about to be discharged but could not be unsupervised for travel.  I had asked my boss if I could be the one to go to Florida to pick him up and bring him back, so that I could also spend a couple days with my grandparents.  I got approved to go.  One of my coworkers picked me up at 4:00am to take me to the airport.  I’m not a morning person and like to dress comfortably when traveling, so that morning I put on a t-shirt, gym shorts, flip flops and pulled my hair back in a pony tail and was on my way.  As I was in line to check in for my flight, a security person comes over and tells me to follow him.  I started getting questioned about my travel and after I answered their questions and was searched, I asked what the problem was.  I was told I fit the profile of a terrorist/terrorist group and so they were checking me out.  I understood the need for security and all, but I was still half asleep,  was dressed in gym clothes essentially, with no where to hide anything since I had no pockets, no make up on, etc.  but decided I’m glad they were being thorough and didn’t let it bother me.

There was a lay over in Atlanta so I spent some time walking around the airport and grabbing some food before going to my next gate.  When I got to the next flight, again I was pulled aside and questioned, and they went through my carry on bag.  Again I was told about the terrorist profile, but was cleared and got on my flight.  When I arrived in Florida, my luggage did not.  I waited for 45 minutes to find someone to check on it and then filled out the necessary paperwork for missing luggage.  My grandpa was initially upset because I had made him wait and drive around forever, before he knew about my missing luggage and finding me.  After I got to their house and told them all that had happened to me that day, I got to thinking that maybe they had taken my luggage from my originating airport just to go through it again, since I was a person of suspicion.  My luggage arrived the next day, and when I opened it, there was indeed a piece of paper inside from TSA that they had searched my luggage.

I spent a few days with my grandparents and then was taken back to the airport so I could go meet up with client.  This time I chose not to check my luggage, so that it could not be “lost” again.  I got pulled out of line again and this time was asked to go through this full body x-ray machine and had to answer a bunch of questions….seriously???  I finally met up with my client at the connecting airport and was telling him about my ordeal while we were in line for our flight, when I was again asked to step aside to be searched.  I explained that my client would also have to be detained if they needed to keep me, which they were not understand of at first.  My luggage and carry on were again searched and I was again cleared to go.  I’m more than fuming at this point and vowed I wasn’t going to travel again.  I found my seat and put my headphones on and blasted some CD’s (there were not iPod’s at that time).  By the time we landed, I just wanted my bed and not to see another plane or airport for a long time.  I don’t know what terrorist they were looking for, but it was NOT me.

I have traveled several times since them, including internationally, and have never again been mistaken as a terrorist, thankfully. And just to clarify, I am NOT a terrorist, and wouldn’t even know the first thing about being one.

Do you have any crazy travel stories (tales) that you want to share?

This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.


Salmon & Spinach pockets

This is a simple and easy recipe that I found through Pampered Chef.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough (thawed)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and herb cream cheese spread

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  2. Heat oil in an 8-inch sautee pan until hot.  Add spinach; season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Cook and stir until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove spinach to a paper towel-lined plate.  Squeeze out all excess moisture; set aside.
  3. Lay one sheet of phyllo on large work surface and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place second sheet of phyloo over first, pressing sheets together to seal.  Continue laying down and spraying phyllo sheets to create a stack of four sheets.  Repeat with the remaining phyllo and additional cooking spray to create another phyllo stack.
  4. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.  Spread each salmon fillet with half of the cream cheese spread and then top with half of the spinach.  For each phyllo bundle, place salmon, spinach side down, on phyllo stack 2 inches from bottom edge of short side.  Fold long sides of phyllo in towards center.  Gently roll up phyllo from bottom to top.
  5. Place both bundles on baking sheet, seam side down.  Using a knife, make three diagonal slits across top of each bundle.  Spray bundles with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Bake 11-13 minutes or until centers of salmon register 130*F and phyllo is golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

yield: 2 servings

    

For more recipe ideas, check out my

Savory Stuff page.

Enjoy!