Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing video has grown on me

I have to admit I didn’t think much of it when it released but Coldplay‘s Strawberry Swing video has grown on me. At least it’s not those scary puppets that were in Lost Technicolor ii. And the drawings remind me of a beefed up, more colorful version of Harold and the Purple Crayon. I adore that book, so there is that. I have no idea why I’m reminded of Harold though. It’s not like Chris Martin is drawing anything here. Go figure.

And look, Harold and the Purple Crayon is posted on YouTube too:

:)

A ramble on gluten

Until recently, I hadn’t been posting all that regularly on this blog. Life got in the way. You know how it goes with that. The thing is, I felt like hell for a long time. Since I got diagnosed with PCOS I’d been getting progressively worse. Sounds backwards doesn’t it? And that’s why I mention it. I did what my doctors told me to do. I changed my diet to stop eating white flour and watched my sugars. I switched to more natural ingredients too. Yet all my symptoms got worse and my former doctors had no freaking clue what was going on.

Turns out, gluten was the issue.

My allergy had gotten so bad it was a struggle just to get through the day. My head was foggy and I was tired all the time. And that made me frustrated and grouchy. I felt like a chronically ill zombie who couldn’t even find energy enough to track down brains. Sheesh. And this allergy being out of whack caused a dairy allergy too. Luckily the dairy allergy was temporary. I seriously would have died not getting to have cheese! Just saying.

If you have PCOS and aren’t getting better with treatment, you may want to ask your doctor about gluten. You can even cite nutritionist, Melissa Diane Smith who has said that 85% of her PCOS clients test positive for a sensitivity to gluten. When these women remove gluten from their diets they often see a marked improvement in their PCOS symptoms.

I’ve now been gluten-free for three months. I’m finally starting to feel better (YAY!!) but I’ve still got a bit to go. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

I’ve been doing a lot of research online and decided to make a directory of gluten-free resources. I’ll update as I find more good ones. Feel free to pass along any you’d like to share too. And I’ll be posting occasionally to let you know about good gluten-free foods I find, like the addictive Glutino pretzel sticks, Van’s French toast sticks that taste great topped with blackberries, and the super yummy EnviroKidz Koala crisp cereal—I promise no Koala’s were harmed in the making of said cereal :P).

That’s that.

End ramble.

Directory of gluten-free resources

A few handy sites:

A lot of companies list gluten info on their websites:

Gluten-free brands:

Misc products:

  • Breyers yogurts all except YoCrunch appear to be gluten-free (checked 8/9/09)

For those out there dealing with a dairy allergy too  Go Dairy Free is a fantastic resource. And they have a wonderful cookbook too—I recommend the pumpkin pie smoothie :D.

Lot’s more to come. I’m still putting this post together…

If you have a site you’d like to recommend, please do so. Thanks!

The X-Files 01 x 07: “Ghost in the Machine”

I’m re-watching some of The X-Files series over from the beginning and trying post a write-up about one episode a week.

Episode seven wasn’t all that great and actually came across as a bit hokey. A machine comes to life and starts killing people. Mulder and Scully get called in on a favor by a former colleague of Mulder’s. And even though we know from the get go that it’s the machine killing people and not the programmer, it takes the death of Mulder’s former colleague for him to see the truth for what it is. That’s when he decides to confront the programmer and then to destroy the computer with a virus.

All in all kinda dull for a machine takes over scenario. The writer of the episode, Howard Gordon, even referred to the episode as “one of my biggest disappointments.” Yes, I think I’ll just have to agree with that statement. Let’s just move along to Ice where things start getting great again… :) It’s one of my favorites and I’m off to watch that one as soon as I can…

Fun Tidbits:

  • Deep Throat was originally only supposed to appear in the one episode titled, “Deep Throat.”
  • Scully uses her gun for the first time in this episode.
  • The scene with Scully and the fan blade was originally supposed to be a more action packed scene in the elevator shaft. However, putting that scene together ended up being too expensive so they opted for the rotating fan scene instead.

Writing Prompt: One Eye

I’m trying to get back into writing more regularly. I figured I’d start with a few writing prompts before diving back into the trilogy. I came across an archive of a lot of wonderful 5 minute exercises on C.M. Mayo’s site. Here’s the one for July 30:

“One Eye”
Your character has lost an eye. This creates all sorts of unexpected challenges for him or her. What are they? Be specific. Sketch out a couple of mini-scenes.

Enjoy!

The Everafter by Amy Huntley

The Everafter by Amy HuntleyWow. Let me say that again. Wow. The Everafter by Amy Huntley is a unique and mesmerizing story told from the afterlife.

Madison Stanton doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this—she is dead. And alone in a vast, dark space. The only company Maddy has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things she lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that, with these artifacts, she can reexperience—and even change—moments from her life. Her first kiss. A trip to Disney World. Her sister’s wedding. A disastrous sleepover. In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and frightening truths about her life—and death.

I hadn’t read that copy when I started the book. I had no idea what I was getting into. I was actually wanting to read another book but couldn’t get the file to work on my ereader. So, I skipped to this book. Once I started it though, I had a hard time putting it back down again. I ended up finishing it in one sitting.

This story is imaginative and gripping. What pulled me in was Huntley’s approach to the afterlife. It’s an item that went missing that pulls you back to a scene from your life and seeing that scene is what helps restore your memories. Plus, you only get to see the scene from where you lost said item. I loved that. I’d never seen something like that done before. I got absorbed in watching how that worked. Somewhere along the way, I connected with Maddy and her attachment to each item…and to life itself. I laughed and cried right along with her. Maddy has a voice that lingers with me still. I will definitely need to reread her story. This time I’ll have a box of tissues handy. :P

I’ll also add that shortly after I started reading this book, I was reminded of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, Margaret Atwood’sThis is a Photograph of Me” and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. This story is only similar to the latter two in that it is narrated in the afterlife. However, a few of Dickinson’s poems are featured within. They add well to tone of the tale and it almost seems like Dickinson’s voice is there too. I was happy to see them there.

The cover: I like it. I think those are orchids floating there. It reminds me of the objects floating in the afterlife space or “Is” as Maddy refers to it. Orchids were one of the things she lost. Plus, I can imagine the objects having that ethereal quality floating around her.

The X-Files 01 x 06: “Shadows”

I’m re-watching some of The X-Files series over from the beginning and trying post a write-up about one episode a week.

Episode six was never all that interesting to me. Fox requested they write more episodes where Mulder and Scully help people and so Morgan and Wong penned this one to do just that.

Strange deaths lead Mulder and Scully to investigate. (I know, when are they not pulled into strange deaths scenario, eh? :P) What they find is a secretary with a ghost for a bodyguard. I like ghost stories, but entering into the life of the mousy secretary seemed dull to me. I really could care less that her boss saw her as a daughter and felt the need to protect her…even from the afterlife. Dum dum dum…eh…that didn’t seem like a big reveal. This is not all that original a ghost scenario.

Anyway, the blood in the bathtub scene was fun to see…disturbing as that sounds. And it’s through that scene that she learns that her boss was murdered. It all leads to a cover-up at work that the company worked with terrorists. I liked seeing the whirlwind of paper fill the office as the ghost lead the secretary and Mulder to the disk of evidence hidden in the wallpaper. Scully, of course, misses that scene. Hah! Typical…

I don’t consider this one of the better episodes, but still…it is X-files and that is always good.

Fun Tidbit:

  • When they are covering Howard Grave’s name at his parking spot, the name they were placing over it was Tom Braidwood, who was an assistant director at the time. He’s better known to us as Melvin Frohike. :)

And I guess that’s that for rambling about this episode.

Until next time…

Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin CastThis past week I felt like such the teenie fangirl as I plowed through five House of Night books. They are fast paced and have an intriguing take on the rules of vampires. They  also have a wonderful blend of Pagan and Cherokee elements throughout.

But then I got to the fifth book, Hunted and I hit a wall. First, I think the authors have made a mistake with this series by having too many characters with similar names: Erik/Erin, Damien/Darius. The names get mixed up and used to identify the wrong character. I’d seen this happen in the previous books, but not to this degree. Hunted had the most glaring name mixups that it was jarring to read.

My bigger complaint has to do with the number of boyfriends Zoey has. I understand love triangles are a tactic used in a lot of teen girl fiction (as well as in shojo manga and adult romance). But seriously? By this book she’s had 4 swooney moments of “Ohmygodi’msoinlovewithhim!!!” It’s moved on from being that special connection to simply seeming like over the top, raging hormones.

Gag.

I’m holding out for the 6th book to see if the story can redeem itself. But I can’t help but be reminded of the Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series where Sookie always seemed to end up in bed with some guy…no idea how this keeps happening…tee hee. Sure, honey. You’re just a tramp. That’s all there is to it. *eye roll* Anyway, House of Night books are more toned down than that but it’s the same issue going on there. It’s why I stopped reading the Harris books and may be what stops me here too.

End ramble rant.

If you are interested in reviews for the series, here are a few from Love Vampires: