Thursday, April 30, 2009

Introducting Gretel

I know that no one will believe us, but honestly we just went to look. No really, we were just going to look, seriously, that was all we were planing on doing when we visited the Dumb Friends League Buddy Center this past Monday. Then yesterday at 4pm, we went to pick up our new addition - Gretel:

The Buddy Center
At Buddy Center Greeting her new Mommy & Daddy (she cried all the way home, for a little thing, she has quite the set of vocal chords)
The first glimpse of the new home.
We knew the family would want lots of snap shots but at first she was just too quick for us.

Too many things to explore in her new home:



Then we had to play and play and play.
Finally after the first quarter of the Nuggets we finally conked out.

And here are the money shots.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Comic Book Day - May 2nd

Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May, this year that hit on this Saturday, May 2nd. Free Comic Book Day is when participating comic books shops around the world give away comic books free to any one who walks into their shop, yep, absolutely free.

To find out more details on this fabulous day you can visit the Free Comic Book Day website or to find a participating shop near you go to their official FCBD Shop Locator.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Spring Time in the Rockies

Looking out at our backyard on this beautiful spring day here on April 27th in Colorado.

Snow

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola

Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and OthersI have read Hellboy 1, then 4, then 2, and just finished 3, because why would you want to do that chronological thing? Any hoo, Hellboy 3: The Chained Coffin and Others is like Hellboy 4: The Right Hand of Doom (or should that be the other way around?), where at the beginning of each section there are notes from author/illustrator, Mike Mignola, on his inspirations for the stories. I enjoyed those notes as much as I did the stories because they go into the mythology and folklore he used as the basis for the them.

The stories in this volume include The Corpse, which is adapted from the Irish folktale Teig O’Kane and the Corpse (think Changeling with a Hellboy twist). The Baba Yaga story answers the question in Hellboy 2 of how he shot her eye out. The Chained Coffin is from an English folktale where a witch has her body chained in a coffin so a demon cannot take her soul. The Wolves of Saint August is based on the Irish legend about St. Patrick curing a group of pagans to turn into wolves. The last story Almost Colossus was inspired by a Clark Ashton Smith tale, The Colossus of Ylourgne, as well as James Whale’s Frankenstein movies. Interestingly, Mr. Mignola said he was originally going to kill off Liz Sherman in this story, but then art director Glen Murakami talked him out of it.

Overall, folktales and legends intertwined with great suspense up to the end where then Hellboy just kicks major butt against some nasty demons and monsters. Oh, and there is also a Hellboy gallery at the back of the book. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Lover's Purchase

The Swamps of SleetheAs mentioned in the previous post I ventured out to the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover to take part in the Book & Lovers' Celebration. They did not have any Gorey, Hellboy, or Fables in-stock (just probably too hard to keep those on the shelves), they did have Dresden Files, but then this book caught my eye on their display of poetry books for children. Well, what could be more inspirational than poetry from beyond the solar system? Poems from beyond the solar system with lots of bright and shiny pictures. I think I am going to be very happy with my The Swamps of Sleethe by Jack Prelutsky and after all, it is National Poetry Month. Also as part of the celebration, with my galactic purchase, I received a bookmark and rose. Luckily no one was behind me in line, because you had your choice of several colors. It was between a yellowish pink or pinkish peach one, I ended up going pinkish peach. I guess I should have gone with glow-in-the-dark alien green to go with the book, but you know, surprisingly, they did not have that color. Maybe next year...

Book & Lovers’ Day

If in Barcelona Spain, you would be amongst a celebration of romance today. Per an article from the Tattered Cover Book Store here in Denver:

It all began in the Middle Ages with an annual Festival of Roses to honor St. George, Patron Saint of Catalonia, who as a brave Roman soldier allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful young princess. Accordingly, a rosebush sprouted from the blood of the dragon and the soldier plucked its most perfect blossoms to give to the princess as a remembrance. In 1923, the Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, established to celebrate the lives of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, both of whom died on April 23rd in 1616. Now, bookstalls and flower stands sprout up along the Rambla, a two-mile stretch connecting the city with the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of Barcelonans crowd the streets to enjoy a festive atmosphere of readings, music, literature, and dance.

The An Open Book in Greeley CO, will be celebrating the day with a 20% off one book discount (if newsletter subscriber) and complimentary flowers.

I will be heading out shortly to the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover Book Store where they too are celebrating with a 20% discount (if newsletter subscriber) and giving away complimentary roses and commemorative bookmarks with the purchase of a book. I haven’t decided what book yet, I am making my way through both the Fables and Hellboy graphic novel series, so those are strong contenders; however, I have been kind of missing Harry the Wizard from Dresden Files. On the other hand, I feel in need of some inspiration and nothing inspires me more than Gorey, perhaps the The Twelve Terrors of Christmas? Decisions, decisions.

Happy Book and Lover's Day!

Stack of Books

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Stuff

Happy Earth Day!!

Here were a few things I came across Earth Day related that I thought I would pass on in case anyone out there in cyberspace was interested.

There was an article in The Denver Post this past Saturday on household items you could use to celebrate for Earth Day all year long. A few of them listed were: Post-its made in part from recycled paper available at select Target stores or online at target.com; The P3 International P4400, and really with a name like that, does it even matter what it does? Actually it is an electricity usage monitor that allows you to find out which appliances are using the most energy; UGlu adhesive strips, which are chemical-free, acid-free, odorless and waterproof glue strips supposedly powerful enough to hang artwork or hold down carpeting.

Sunset also listed a few ways to eco-nomize for Earth Day all year long:

  • Compost and recycle
  • Forgo disposables
  • Line-dry your laundry when possible
  • Garden wisely by choosing low-water or native plants
  • Turn your wood-burning fireplace into a d├ęcor statement
  • Support green businesses
  • Replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (I also saw where Home Depot now recycles CFLs)
  • Install an Energy Star-related programmable thermostat
  • Clean or replace furnace and a/c filters
  • Caulk and seal walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and ductwork
  • Host a solar party: get the information with friends over wine & cheese. I also think a “green” party would be a cute idea where all your party favors, table settings, and invites would be the color green (using recycled materials of course). It could be a potluck where every one has to bring a dish made from home-grown or local grown ingredients, perhaps every one has to wear green too and bring one green idea. The one with the best green idea wins a green prize. I don't know, could be fun?
Okay, just thought I would pass those along. I bought some lavender seeds the other day, which is a low-water plant, and also a plant I love (great for decorating). I don’t have much of a green thumb but maybe with it being Earth Day, the planting gods and goddess will be kind and in late summer I will be blogging about my abundant lavender crop.

If interested, you can visit the Earth Day Network site for a listing of Earth Day events by location and date.

Trixi-Belle

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coffee and Comics

Enchanted Grounds CoffeeMy sister and I sort of made a New Year resolution that on our sister weekends we would try at least one new experience. Of course once we made that resolution because of this, that and other things I will remain in denial about, our first weekend did not take place until April. Since it had been over 5 months since our last sister weekend and our first one for 2009, we probably over did the "new things" as we jammed packed as much in two days as one possibly could which then kind of ended up reminiscent to a family vacation to Disneyland we took as kids (well I think we were in our 20’s and 30’s, but hey, we are still kids at heart even now in our, er, never mind). I remember the family loaded up in the suburban and drove from Colorado to California and back with stops at the Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Disneyland, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, and every single “The World’s Biggest X” tourist trap imaginable in a week's time. It was basically get out of the car girls, take a picture, okay back in the car, on to the next stop. If you have watched Lampoon's European Vacation where the daughter collapse on the Louvre stairs and the son goes “...look you have killed her.” Yeah, the vacation and the weekend were a little like that. We will probably need to pace ourselves a little better for the next sister outings which hopefully will be in a couple of weeks versus 5 months.

Gees, that was a bit of a long-winded digression to make my way to comics and coffee. Sorry about that, I will not dally any longer. One of the sisters’ new experiences was the Enchanted Grounds. We went there because it had been voted best coffeehouse. What an awesome surprise to find out that they were also a comic book shop. The only thing better than browsing comics is browsing comics with a latte in hand. The staff was super friendly and very knowledgeable, we had a great in depth discussions on Umbrella Academy and Mouse Guard as well as art versus writing in comics. Besides my latte, I left with a handful of Fables and Invincible comics and my sister came home with a few Umbrella Academy, B.P.R.D., and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz comics. They also sale games, and my sister could not pass up the Gloom Playing Cards, where the object is to kill off your family. Can’t wait to play.

Enchanted Grounds Comics

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Time in the Rockies

Was suppose to be spending this weekend up at the folks perhaps getting to play a little golf, definitely getting the pleasure of walking two exuberant puppies, and I believe getting to munch on home-made oatmeal bread. But we ended up having to postpone until next weekend so I am staying home looking out our windows and enjoying the wonderful Colorado landscape here in mid-April:


Chair
Deck
Evergreen
lamp post
front walk
Yeah, pretty much over this white stuff.

Friday, April 17, 2009

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American GodsI have never been physically exhausted after reading a book until American Gods by Neil Gaiman. A one-word description: INTENSE. I was never sure what to expect on the next page, heck, not even in the next paragraph and there was a lot of “oh, that can’t be good.” I will also confess I am not up on my gods and goddesses like I should be thus there were several wikapedia breaks during reading this book.

American Gods begins with Shadow getting out of prison a day early because his wife has been killed in a terrible accident. On the plane ride home to the funeral, he meets a mysterious stranger that wants Shadow to come work for him. Let’s just say the position has a somewhat vague job description. Meanwhile there is a storm brewing in American where past and present beliefs are about to clash and Shadow finds himself right in the middle of the storm’s path. As I said, it is an intense ride, but if you can weather the storm, totally worth it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roadhouse Joe at the Little Bear Saloon

Since the Nuggets are off tonight why not head up to the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen for some hard blues and full tilt boogie with Roadhouse Joe. The blues start at 8pm, for more information and directions visit Roadhouse Joe's website, roadhousejoe.com.

They had the house rockin' at The Barking Goat last Friday night.

Roadhouse Joe
Full Tilt Boogie
Bassist Robbie

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week April 12 - 18

Just an FYI that this week is National Library Week. This year's theme is "Worlds connect @ your library." If you don't have a library card, this is a perfect week to get one and explore your local library. And during this time when we are all trying to pinch some pennies, you can't beat the price. For more information you can visit the American Library Association's website as well as your local library's to see what festivities they have planned to celebrate National Library Week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sister Weekend - Indulge

It was a cold and rainy Easter here in Denver. Last Sunday it was a cold and snowy, but instead of watching Cold Case on the couch in my sweats, I was indulging with my sister. It was our first true sister weekend in over 5 months!! And it almost did not happen, in fact it was postponed by a day due to the weather. Who would have thought we needed to worry about getting snowed out in April.

On her first night we treated ourselves to a new restaurant that recently opened in my neighborhood, Indulge Wine, Tapas, & Desserts Bar. They have a wonderful patio area with a scenic view of the mountains; however, with those annoying white flakes flying around in the air we chose to dine inside, which was just as nice with live jazz music smoothly playing in the background. We did the Tour de France and actually found a French wine we liked. I in no way can remember what the name was, just that it was white, but I believe my sister wrote it down (if she just remembers in what sketch pad, we will be all set). For our tapas we had warm roasted red pepper and feta hummus topped with Kalamata olives served with flat bread, roasted tomato and herb soup drizzled with basil pesto and gourmet Gouda and cheddar grilled cheese, and grilled flat bread pizza with caramelized acorn squash, Gorgonzola, arugula and red pepper flakes. Any one else hungry now? Next we splurged on a French press along with ginger cream ice cream. Now I am really hungry.

I am going to have a hard time topping that meal on her next visit (which hopefully will be a lot sooner than 5 months). Any way, if you are in the Denver area and deserve some indulgence, I highly recommend Indulge Wine Bar.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

I first heard of the Blueberry Girl when attending Neil Gaiman’s book tour of The Graveyard Book (Newbery Winner) in Boulder. At the end of the program he treated us to a reading of the Blueberry Girl. He said that when Tori Amos was expecting her little girl she called him up and asked if he would write a prayer for her. Tori would call her baby bump a blueberry and from that Neil wrote this beautiful poem for girls (actually for women of all ages). Later he paired with illustrator Charles Vess to create this delightful and inspirational picture book.

This is a prayer for a blueberry girl...

Words can be worrisome, people complex, motives and manners unclear,
Grant her the wisdom to choose her path right, free from unkindness and fear.

Not only does this book make a wonderful present for an expecting mother of a little girl or the newborn herself, but I think it would also make a great gift to girls graduating from high school or college or even for a new bride.

Here is a video from Neil Gaiman reading Blueberry Girl, you can also visit his web site, Mouse Circus, where he explains what type of book this is.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Roadhouse Joe Buffalo Rose Snapshots

A few "blue" snapshots of the blues band Roadhouse Joe at the Buffalo Rose in Golden CO, last Thursday night. Great music, crowd and spirits. If you are going to be in the Denver area this Friday, come check out Roadhouse Joe for some hard blues and full tilt boogie at The Barking Goat Tavern, 363 Village Square Lance, Castle Rock, no cover.


Roadhouse Joe
Scott
Rick
Robbie
Hunt
Robbie
Groupie

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fables Volume 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham

Fables Vol.3: Storybook LoveTo recap for those not familiar with the Fables series, fairytale characters such as Snow White, Prince Charming, Briar Rose, Big Bad Wolf, The Three Little Pigs, Jack Horner, Goldilocks, and the like, are driven from their magical worlds and kingdoms by the Adversary. Those immortal fables that can pass as humans live in a secret community in New York City and those fables that cannot are forced to live on a large secluded farm in upstate NY to keep them hidden from the mundane (humans).

In Fables Volume 3: Storybook Love, we begin the main story with a reporter who threatens to expose the Fable community. With their leader Snow White still recovering from the failed assignation attempt against her life by Goldilocks, it is up to the other Fables to come up with a plan to stop this story from hitting the presses. Then when Snow is well enough to return to work, she and Bigby Wolf, find themselves once again being hunted down by the vicious killer Goldilocks. Will having to rely on each other for survival bring them closer together or drive them apart for good?

There are also two bonus stories in this volume. It starts out with a tale with Jack Horner trying to hustle the Devil playing cards in the swamp and ends with a story about the tiny folk and their quest for the jar of magic barleycorn.

Needless to say I am hooked on this series, already have book 4 in hand.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and I have stumbled upon several resources that I thought I would pass along for those who might like to celebrate this poetic month.

  • The blog, Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewer, is having a Poem a Day Challenge (PAD). Each day he will provide a poem prompt to get your poetic juices flowing.
  • For poetic inspiration, you can visit on Gregory K.’s blog, GottaBook. Every day this month he will be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different poet. A complete listing of the poets can be found in his 3/23 post, Announcing 30 Poets/30 Days. Yesterday he posted an amusing one from Jack Prelutsky, A Little Poem For Poetry Month, and today Midnight Stray by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. It is about a little stray cat, a subject very near and dear to my heart.
  • If you need more poetry prompts for the month, Poet & Writers is also having a Poetry Challenge with a new writing prompt or poetry-related assignment everyday during April.
  • Poet & Writers also has an article on their site on what the Academy of American Poets has planned for the month, including Poem in Your Pocket day on April 30th.
  • You can also sign up at Dailylit to receive though out the month 30 poems from late, great poets for free for those who would like a little poetry in their inboxes.
  • For the young poetry lovers in the Denver area, they can visit the children’s section in the Tattered Cover Book Store and write a poem or copy a favorite poetry verse onto a raindrop which then will be hung from the ceiling under a cloud for readers to enjoy spring poetry showers all during April.
  • If you belong to Facebook there are several poetry groups you can join such as, Facebook’s Poets & Writers Registry or World Salad Poetry Magazine.