Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Untitled Horror Story

Hi Guys, welcome to my story workshop. I figured why not post a story here? All the greats do it. I am in no way a writer in any sphere near Neil Gaimain except by following him on Twitter. And lucky you, I can't afford an editor. So please give me some idea. It's just a rough draft, nothing more.

Happy Halloween

It’s not that I don’t like animals, I do. I had many pets growing up. I donate every year to the ASPCA, receive my wrapping paper, or stationery stickers in appreciation. No wonder they always need money, they are always giving stuff away. It’s a bad business model.

Anyway, it started on a Tuesday night. I remember, because Ginny, the house was dark when I returned home from work. Ginny and Cara were at Zumba, a mother-daughter bonding group or something. I’m sure they’ve told me and I’ve forgotten.

I headed to the kitchen to look for something for dinner. On occasion Ginny would leave something, if she had enough time after work to cook, and I was hopeful. There were lingering traces of cooked meat in the air. I searched high and low, nary a scrap of aluminum foil to signal leftovers wrapped up. The freezer lacked any frozen meals as well, a fact to which my stomach protested in a deep caveman guttural tone.

Muttering to myself I picked up my keys and left the house to go to the supermarket a few miles away. As I emerged fat raindrops began plopping down on the shoulders of my coat, adding to my irritation. My approach to the car was announced by the neighbors’ dog, a whining Chihuahua mix that pranced anxiously along the edge of the fence. As I slid into the driver’s seat it began alternating jumping and digging as it watched me.

I backed out of the driveway, leaving it behind, quickly arriving at the grocery store, the evening crowd of after work shoppers almost gone. Good. A handful of frozen dinners and I was out again, my mood lifting at the prospect, only a ten minute car ride, and a few minutes pacing in front of the microwave away. Perhaps I would make two, since one of them never seemed to be enough, I thought as I drove, the windshield wipers gently whooshing in a hypnotic rhythm. The girls wouldn’t be home for a few more hours, maybe a whiskey to go along with it.

I admit I wasn’t paying much attention as I drove down my street. Didn’t notice the gate was open next door, didn’t see the small dog, in the headlights, running around on the wet asphalt. Maybe if I had I couldn’t have helped it anyway, with the roads being so slick. Maybe I would have spun out and died myself.

It was a soft thump, but it woke me from my trance. Echoes of the last bark translated themselves into thoughts in my brain. The dog. Was out. I hit it. I slid into the driveway, putting the car into park, on autopilot. Shaking, I got out of the car. There were clumps of tissue and fur in the treads of the front tire by my door. A trail leading out to the street.

The house next door was dark. I looked up and down the street, didn’t see anyone, any other cars. We weren’t exactly off a main road so it made sense. And why would anyone hang outside voluntarily in this weather?

I nodded to myself, following the trail to the lump in the street. It was hard to tell what it was, really. Squinting it just looked like meat. I expected to feel more revulsion at it than I did. I nudged it with the toe of my dress shoe. I have no idea what I expected from it, but it was satisfying.

So was the silence. The lack of barking, just the gentle pitter patter of the rain. I could hear it without the yapping. The tires would probably be clean by morning, with the rain, but the pile in the street looked obvious. I walked to the garage, punched in the code and pulled out the snow shovel leaning against the wall. I walked back out to the street, ignoring the fact I was getting drenched. I scooped up the pile, it fit into the shovel easily and dumped it down the storm drain. I put the shovel back, retrieved my grocery bag and went inside to fix dinner. Maybe I would make it a double whiskey.

I slept well that night, Ginny by my side, the rain on the windows, a small dog’s keening mysteriously absent.

Ginny informed me the next night that the neighbors’ dog had gotten loose during the rainstorm. They were going to put up posters if it didn’t come back by the next day. I assured her I thought it would. I was surprised how easily the lie came. I wasn’t in a habit of doing it.

The dog never returned home. What a surprise.

I think the squirrel had rabies. You don’t often see them as roadkill. Raccoons, sure, but not squirrels. Too smart, too wily. The way that sucker was crossing the road was a sign, like he’d had one too many at the bar and the barkeep made him walk home. I figured I was helping out society when my wheels rolled over it and I felt the thump. I glanced back in my review, but didn’t stop. I was late for work.

The evening news had a story about spreading rabies in the wild animal population. Ginny said she thought she’d seen a raccoon with a suspicious gait and snuggled closer to me on the couch. I felt like a hero for a moment, maybe I had saved a kid’s life by running that thing over.

So the next one, the skunk, I saw, and I didn’t try to put on my brakes, in fact I swerved slightly towards it, without realizing I was doing so. I would save people from the offense of being sprayed by a skunk.

Don’t run over skunks. Not worth the smell. It goes off when it dies. How awful. Why wouldn’t it? Animals piss and shit themselves, why wouldn’t the glands go off?

At least it made a more satisfying sound than the dog. Made me wonder what it would be like to hit something even bigger. People hit deer all the time. Did it pop, crunch, thump? I started to get distracted at work thinking about it. Ginny asked why I was being so different. I told her I wanted to take a vacation. Somewhere cold for Christmas.

I added a better front bumper to my car before we went on our road trip. I cross referenced indexes on deer population late into the night. I found an alley where strays liked to hang. It was behind an seafood restaurant. Easy pickings, not much of a challenge. Stinky little animals, breeding incessantly. Not much will stop them. Should we spay and neuter them all?

My tally book added up quickly. I thumbed through it constantly. Cats-27, dogs- 3, skunks-1, raccoons-4, squirrels-1, crows-1, possums-11. I was ready for some fair game. But I wasn’t ready for the ice.

Unless you’ve been in a car accident it is hard to understand the eerie stillness of time as the scene unravels around, chaos spinning outward, uncontrolled, and you really are just a passenger to fate.

The doe lay bleating in the road, a sound not much different than the one my wife was making from under the dent in the passenger side door. Didn’t you see him? Ginny had screamed after, once the shock had worn off. None of us had been seriously injured but the car was totaled, and the deer was put down by the animal control officer who came to the scene. It was an overall disappointing vacation.

You’d think that would have been that, curbed my obsession, ended it. But cars were easy to replace.

Wives not so much.

It didn’t surprise me when Ginny left. It was the night she found the ones that didn’t go down the drain. My trophies. She said there was something wrong with me. I had changed. And she was going before it got worse.

There was nothing for me to do anymore but drive. Every night, in my new car, I would prowl the streets, eyes open wide, ready for the slightest moment that wasn’t metal. Then one night a bicyclist, out late for a joyride one abnormally warm winter evening, hit a pothole caused by caused by all the recent rains. He flew out right in front of my car, a sign from the universe.

Any witnesses would say it wasn’t my fault. I had no time to brake. Truthfully I had become one with my car and probably could have done something. But he was put in my path. Maybe he was a serial killer or something. But how gentle it was, no more than a large dog. I was around the corner and out of sight moments after, calmly parking my car and walking around the corner to see what I had wrought.

So much sympathy from those collected. Did they know what it felt like? The joy, the power? For a moment I was ready to burst with my experiences to share. But looking closer I could see in their eyes it was the discomfort of understanding, the revulsion. Why was I the only one?

I backed away from the scene, no longer wishing to be part of it. As I stepped away I slipped in something.

I looked down. Guts, of some sort? I tried to shake it off. I took another step, my foot falling into more of the stuff. I kept backing up, trying to scrap it off my shoe. I noticed a paw in the muck. Its’ fingers clenched around the hem of my pants. I screamed, trying to back away. I was firmly held by the small fist. In my struggle to get free I didn’t notice the police car careening around the corner.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finn Hat Pattern

Hello Ladies and Gents.
We are switching things up this week. Today I will be giving you a crafting blog and tomorrow with be your lit related blog. I am finishing up a short horror piece that I would like to share with you for Halloween.

This is a super cute, last minute idea for a costume for anyone. I made this one for a coworker's baby daughter. I used the Adventuretime Finn Hat Pattern found Here.

To get the correct size for the pattern I printed out the picture, and used the diameter of the person's head I was trying to make the pattern for, divided that by 2, and then blew up the pattern so the side pieces were that length.

I used fleece from Joann Fabrics, and white quilting thread with with a quilting needle since the fleece was thick and I knew in some spots would be four layers thick. I picked up a big snap, since I knew it would be on a baby and her mom would appreciate not having to fiddle with small buttons, or the like.

I cut out doubles of all the pieces (4 of the side pieces.) Then I pinned them together to create the 5 main pieces of the hat. (Sides, top, ears). Once those were sewn inside out and turned around and finished stitching, I pinned the 3 big pieces together and sewed those inside out. Then I added the ears. Then went the snap on the bottom, to snap the two sides together.

A special thanks to the Jaramillo family for this excellent photo of "Finn" in her hat.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Low Carb Scotch Eggs

Also known as the best quick breakfast ever. It's really easy to do.
5-6 Hardboiled Eggs (Go here for a fool proof egg timer for your hardboiled egg. Mike always come out just right, though you do have to look at the colors from time to time.
1 package of Jimmy Dean's sausage, we liked the hot kind (Thawed if it was frozen)
1/4 c parmesan cheese
Thyme, salt and pepper
Optional: Worcester sauce (I put it all over my egg when it was done because it's one of my go to condiments.
Glass casserole dish

Set the oven to 375
While the oven is warming peel your eggs (if you haven't).
Crack open your Jimmy Dean sausage, take out a handful of sausage goop and flatten it in your palms, until you have a circle about 4 inches wide, 1/3 inch thick. Wrap this around the egg, rolling it around in your hand like you would dough, until it covers the entire surface.
Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
Shake thyme, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese over your eggs, rolling them around in the excess to cover them.
Pop them all in your dish (foil lined if you want to keep cleanup simple) and toss into your warmed oven.
Depending on the size of you eggs they will be done anywhere between 30-35 minutes. (If you poke them they shouldn't be red in the middle anymore.)
Pair it with whatever other items you want, but 1 of these was enough for each of us for breakfast.
Bon apetit!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Happenings

It's getting close to Halloween again! My favorite holiday! (Though this year I am more psyched for the other two ones left, on account of getting to see family this year.) But I am interested in sharing with you guys some neat events going on.

Tomorrow night (Friday. Oct. 26th) Bootlegger's Brewery in Fullerton will be hosting their third Halloween party. Bootlegger's Brewery Website They have really great beer, so don't forget to come by and enjoy a pint and wear your costume!

On Saturday Long Beach will be hosting Long Beach Zombie Walk for those of you not yet bored with Zombies. (I do like Shoreline village, so it might be worth checking out.

The Porticos Theater in Pasadena is doing one of my favorite plays Sweeney Todd If you have never seen it, or have only seen the Johnny Depp version, do yourself a favor and check it out. Goldstar has some tickets left for the Friday and Saturday performances.

See you at the aftermath! Peace!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Long day today. Not much to share. Been enjoying the Mercedes Lackey book from the Humble Bundle I got recently. I have to download the rest before I forget.

Dinner tonight was a modified Octoberfest. Beer brats in mustard, red cabbage and apple in balsamic and coconut brown sugar, mushrooms cooked in garlic and butter (Or in my case garlic, and garlic butter!) Made up for the kind of sad pork chops, kale and cauliflower I made last night. (Though the cauliflower was roasted and not half bad.)

I am finding myself constantly frustrated since moving close to an hour from work. It's nearly impossible to feel I fit in everything I need to fit into a day. And I don't even have kids! I need to find a good life hack that will give me more time. For example:

Today I woke up at 6:55, was in the car at 7:05, drove an hour, worked 8 1/2, grocery shopped, drove an hour, did yoga, made dinner, ate dinner, now it's already 10 pm and I still need a shower. No time for reading, crafting, or getting more than 7 hours of sleep.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Egyptian Celebration

The Egyptian Anniversary Event was amazing. The food was great, the orchestra was fabulous, the dancing fun, even with my graceless feet. We taught the guy running the roulette table how to play roulette! He was giving us some big payments, we didn't tell him it was too much, though! (Only fake money anyway.)

The drinks were quite strong, a little too sweet for my tastes, but luckily they had really good gin and tonics to the rescue.

Here are some photos of the outfit I put together. I forgot the earrings but you couldn't see my ears anyway! Josh looked fabulous in his tux. We even got to make little movie flip books.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Story, Update, Thoughts

It's been a crazy week. Not the most spectacular one, but a learning experience. I am digging my low carb diet, but I am not a fan of cat litter in my toothbrush. (Kitty revenge for Josh leaving for a week, along with some nasty surprises.)

That's taken a lot of my attention. I have also been digging on Rings of Orbis The Neato RPG based on a book series I downloaded on my kindle a year ago and haven't had a chance to read. (Guess what I just started reading?) I admit I tried it because Nathan Fillion endorsed it and I do value Whedonite opinions on nerd things.

Tomorrow is the Egyptian Ball. Got almost all my costume pieces ready. Need a few more items. Like a clutch.

I do want to provide you with another quick recipe as an apology. Josh brought me back garlic form Gilroy (Yay!) So I of course immediately roasted a good chunk of it using This Site!. Mine needed an extra 1/2 hour btw, it all depends on the type of garlic.

Then when I whipped up some spaghetti squash I also tossed together some low carb meatballs! I used 1 head of the roasted garlic, 1 lb. ground angus, 1/2 c parmesan (from the plastic can), 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning. Squish it all together, roll into balls, bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Ridiculously good, you won't miss the breadcrumbs and the roasted garlic makes them indescribably good. I will definitely make a double batch next time and freeze some.

Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers

Honey pie came home Monday so I was too busy to update. I do have a belated recipe for you I made last night. I don't have a pic unfortunately.

I have started a ketogenic diet to help with my fatty liver issue so most of my recipes from now on will focus on low carb, low sugar alternatives as I delve into this realm. Do there is trial and error to follow, but hopefully success in the long run.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
Pack of hot italian sausage
2 Decent sized peppers, sweet or green
1 medium sized onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 c shredded asiago
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While doing that preheat a non stick skillet on the stove.
Once the skillet is preheated I added the olive oil, peeped the skin form the sausage, added that, added the garlic and onions.
I let that cook till the sausage was brown and the onions translucent, then added in the tomatoes and spices, letting it simmer for 5 minutes.
Arrange the peppers in a loaf pan (or a bigger pan if doubling) then add the filling. Cover with the asiago.
Seal it with foil and cook for about 30 minutes, until the peppers look nice and soft.
Take off the foil and let the cheese brown for about 5 minutes.
LEt sit about 5 minutes to cool, then serve.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I wasn't home last night to blog and I don't have a cocktail recipe either, but I do have a recommendation.
Go see Sinister if you like horror movies. It's a fun little flick, different than the generic Paranormal, Saw or exorcism movies. Ethan Hawke was great as always. A few moments actually did give me a jump, not normal for me.

Tomorrow I will be checking out LA Decom, an LA based Burning Man Event. LA Burning Man Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

I am a finalist on a essay contest. I would really like to win. I need your votes. Please hop onto facebook and vote. Please, please!!!!! Here is the link to the essay.The Essay Finalist Home Page

Click LIKE at the top of the story to vote.
I should have more chain mail to show you tonight and possibly some persimmon cookies! Whooo! Sure made my day better!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I have an addiction to kindle books. I am always taking off what I have read just to try and keep it from getting overwhelmed. But since I moved I have not had even half the time to read but I still keep buying/(scoring free) books.

Be that as it may I recommend checking out the following link. Humble Bundle is a great place to help support authors, charities and drm free e-books. The current package is a fantastic collection of sci-fi and fantasy authors. I spent 15 for all. I thought it was fair. What a great way to represent your bibliophileness.

Anyone want to have a read along with any of these?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick Chili

You guys will definitely get more updates this week since Josh is out of town. Today I want to share my go to quick chili recipe for weeknights.

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 packet McCormick's lower sodium chili seasoning
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can no added salt kidney beans
1 can no added salt black beans
1/4 c dark beer
Secret Ingredient: Dried Dill Weed
Optional Toppings: Sour Cream, cheddar cheese, jalepenos

Dice your onion and mince your garlic. Saute with the ground beef, pouring off the fat if you have a 85/15 type. You probably won't need to if it's real lean.
After the meat is browned and the onions are translucent toss in your beans, tomatoes, seasoning mix dill weed and beer.
Let simmer 10-15 minutes then mix in the red wine vinegar.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yule Ball

Working on a couple things to show you guys soon. A Finn from Adventuretime baby hat and also my outfit for the Egyptian ball.

We are already gearing up for our second ball of the year (second ball of all time,) the Yule Ball at Whimsic Alley on December 8th, the great Harry Potter themed place here in LA. Josh and I are gonna scope it out for a wedding potentially. Who wouldn't want a great hall to have an HP wedding at? Whimsic Alley

Here's the website for the info, but I recommend buying tickets through since it's a pretty penny.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A friend lent me Promethea so I have been reading that. I love a good Alan Moore comic book.It's a great meditation on so many topics with an interesting mashup of styles.

Still reading IT,about 2/3s through. I hope to finish next week when Josh goes away. The Last Romanov is what I am reading on my kindle. What are you reading?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is amazing. And if you aren't incorporating it into your daily life what are you waiting for? Here's a link to get you started. 80 Uses for Coconut Oil.

I like to use it in my baking. It gives brownies a really gooey fudgy quality. A little goes a long way though! If you use too much it ends up oily. Most places recommend 1:1 ratio for butters and oils, but I find slightly less works just as well.

There are plenty of uses that have nothing to do with consuming for those who don't like the taste. I also recommend it for your scalp instead of head and shoulders. Who needs all those chemicals to get less dandruff? And it's good for a lot of baby issues where you don't want weird chemicals.

Are you a convert? Are you skeptic? A lifelong user? I want to know!