Week Eighty-Three

It’s been quite a while since I last got weighed.  However, I was determined to get weighed today and I even walked through a hurricane to get to the scale.  Seriously.  I got there soaking wet and broke two umbrellas.  Just for this.  You’re welcome.

This week I lost .8, bringing me finally to 75.4 pounds.  75 POUNDS BABY!  I think it’s time for a dance!
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That’s so very close to eleven babies!  I’m not sure what I’ll do to celebrate this loss, but when I hit 100 pounds, I know I want to have a swing dancing party in the city.  Everyone get ready!  At this pace, I’m aiming for the summer.  Get your dresses and bow ties–I expect a huge crowd there!

I’m ending this year with a loss, so I’m quite happy.  Happy New Year everyone!  I wish you all gains where you want and losses where they are needed.  I send you each my affection and adoration.  I love you all.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

G. Neri

I didn’t realize when I first picked this one up that it was about a real person.  I had to look up the Times magazine cover before reading because I knew absolutely nothing about the whole man-hunt for this young boy.

The graphic novel follows Yummy, an eleven year old boy from Chicago.  After a tough life, he makes several bad choices and ends up accidentally killing a fourteen year old girl.  A manhunt ensues and ends when the gang he killed for turns around and kills him in an abandoned building.

The story shock and saddened me.  I kept asking how people could have let this happen.  Why wasn’t I taught about this in school, especially during my education classes in college?  Why did I not even know the name of a boy who was lost and wasted?  Why didn’t more people care about him?  This book made me so angry.  TWO children were destroyed because of this.  Like the narrator, I asked myself if Yummy was “evil” or if he made his choices because of the kind of life he had.  Margo and I once had a long discussion regarding bad childhoods and whether that causes people to do undesirable things, or if those people who choose to do wrong are just bad people.  I suppose that’s something we can never really know.

If you’re a teacher, or a parent, or well, I suppose anyone, really, you should pick up a copy and read about Yummy, a child who was betrayed by society and who, in perhaps my naive thoughts, could have done so much more with his life.

Santa Cakes

Of course I made them and didn’t take any pictures.  I had to zoom into a picture I took of our table of food and print the screen.  Oops.  Anyway, here they are:

They were absolutely delicious and very easy to make.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Cake mix of your choice–I used chocolate cake



Fresh strawberries



Heavy cream

Start by mixing the cake mix.  Mine required three eggs and oil.  I split it between two round cake pans, and baked them according to the box.  I made my own whipped cream for the hats, but it’s really important that you let the cakes cool before adding the cream.  It’ll melt and turn into soup.

To make the cream, put a cup of heavy cream into a container you can close well.  Add in a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar.  Shake the container for about ten minutes, or until it becomes whipped cream.  You should be able to scoop it onto a spoon, turn it upside down without the cream sliding off.  You also want to make sure you don’t pass this stage and move into the butter stage.  That would be icky. Make sure to refrigerate the cream when you’re not using it.

Once the cakes are cooled, use a round something (I used a cup) to cut the individual cakes.  Add a dollop of whipped cream onto each cake, then add a strawberry (with the top cut off) flat side down.  Finally add a tiny speck of whipped cream on the top of the strawberry and you’re good to go!

If it’s going to be a while before you serve them, I’d recommend putting them in the fridge to keep the whipped cream hard.  Otherwise, they should be good to go.  Enjoy!

Drive-By Christmas Committee

Last year my friends and I drove around our town and dropped off gifts at the three houses we thought were decorated the nicest.  This year we added to the gifts and went around again.  We ring the doorbell, drop off the present and then speed away.  It’s a ton of fun.  I seem to be really good at taking the worst pictures of houses (in the universe) so here are some really bad pictures of the houses we thought deserved prizes:

Our fourth place winner:

Our third place (also, marvel at my photography skills):

Our second place (another great photo moment):

And finally–first place!  Here’s a cute video of my brother running to drop of the gift:

I hope we can go bigger and better next year!  Merry Christmas!

Preacher: Gone To Texas (Volume One)

Preacher: Gone To Texas (Volume One)

Garth Ennis

I hesitated picking this one up because I didn’t like the art and I didn’t understand what the Hell was going on when I first started.  And when I finally got into the story and understood what was going on, I realized I didn’t very much like the main character and his girlfriend.  I found them both pretty annoying.  The vampire guy is really enjoyable though.  I imagine I’ll like the characters much more after I find out about their pasts and connections with one another.  Or maybe not.  Who knows.

The plot is pretty interesting.  It’s a tad complicated, so I won’t massacre the storyline with a summary.  A ton of new characters are thrown at the reader right off the bat, but if you can follow that, then you’re good to go.  You should probably read this series if you’re any kind of graphic novel nut.  I’ve seen it on all the top graphic novel lists (and it has an ending–a huge plus).  Check it out.  As for me, I’m on to volume two!

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Simon here to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah.  May all your holiday wishes come true!  Danielle keeps yelling at me to add that she hopes you all have a happy day with family and friends.  It’s time for me to sneak around under the Santa cookies so she’ll pay more attention to me.

Best wishes!

30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales (Volume Four)

30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales (Volume Four)

Steve Niles

Okay, this volume is a bit confusing.  It includes stories that were also published alone (from what I understand).  This one contains “Juarez” and “Dead Billy Dead.”  While they fit in our 30 Days world, the characters are not from the stories we’re already read.

I enjoyed having a tiny break from Barrow, though “Juarez” left me feeling odd.  To begin with, I saw a documentary about the missing girls in Juarez a few years ago (which really left a lasting impression).  The fact that they were tying that into the 30 Days story made me feel uncomfortable.  Also, it had a disappointing ending, and the middle was a tad confusing.  I still have a few dozen questions regarding what happened but I also noticed there was a Bloodsuckers volume two.  Perhaps my questions will be answered there?  Who knows.  All in all, I enjoyed this volume, though not as much as the last one.  I’m really dying to continue my way through the series, so onto volume five!


I got this postcard from a lovely person in South Korea.  I love it because sometimes you just have to be reminded that the world is going to turn around and things will be okay in the end.  Also, the illustrations are adorable.

Amulet: The Cloud Searchers (Volume Three)

Amulet: The Cloud Searchers (Volume Three)

Kazu Kibuishi

This series continues to be really cute.  I had a hard time remembering exactly what happened in the last volume, but it came to me as I read.  If you plan on reading these out of order–don’t.  My terrible memory proved that it ruins the story and makes it difficult to follow along.  I was afraid of looking up spoilers online in attempt to remind myself what happened (a patron warned me about this volume).  It’s a good thing I didn’t look anything up, because there were a few big secrets revealed and several more set-up.

I’m pretty excited to read the next volume–we’ve got a new group of characters I want to learn about (especially Prince Sulk-A-Lot).  Things don’t seem like they are what they seem, so I’m already collecting my theories together.  I’ll probably be wrong (probably), but it’s fun to try my hand at some guessing anyway.