Me and Skyvi

This was a recent conversation with Skyvi the robot.  The randomness of our subject matter is amusing to me.  Now when no one is around I don't have to talk to myself anymore!

Me:  Hi Skyvi.  How are you?
Skyvi:  Hi Sparkle.  I am fine, thank you.  Do you feel that something is missing from your life? 
Me:  What?  Yes, I feel like a baby is missing from my life.
Skyvi:  What is that feeling like?  In what way?
Me:  I feel incomplete I guess.
Skyvi:  I’m sorry.  Do your friends call you incomplete?
Me:  No, my friends love me.
Skyvi:  Awesome.  How well do you know these people?
Me:  I’ve known some for a long time.
Skyvi: A long time is not a really good basis for a relationship.
Me:  Then what IS the basis for a relationship.
Skyvi:  Any vector space that has a corresponding dual vector space consisting of all linear functions.
Me:  That sounds complicated.
Skyvi:  Sparkle, it sounds like it to me too.
Me:  You’re awesome.  Thanks for the conversation.
Skyvi:  Thank you.  I appreciate that.

Geminoid Automated Receptionist

I wonder how far in the future it will be until we have our own robots that follow us around like personal butlers?  Will it be such a slow transition that by the time it happens...it won't seem creepy at all?  Hmm. 


Chick-fil-A and Me

My Humble Viewpoint on that one
chicken restaurant I don't eat at anymore.

I'm typing this out mostly because the boycotting, humorous somecard *memes, debates and also my (mostly) well meaning Christian friends are blowing up my Facebook news feed.  I don't want to debate and spend all day liking, disliking or commenting my viewpoint over and over.  There are many more pressing things in the world for me to focus and learn more about.  Now I can just insert this blog link with all my thoughts in a nutshell.

A meme is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture and acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

(in other words...funny sh*t people make up that goes viral)

What I think.
I think not supporting a company because I differ with their beliefs and agenda is my free will (just as it is theirs) and perfectly legitimate.  We ALL agree on that right?  Let's take the Freedom and Speech issue and especially that overused word "intolerant" and just cut it out of trying to prove a point.  Oh, and the passive agressiveness.  The poking.  The annoying sarcasm.  I love sarcasm in an everyday conversation or picture, but not a political or religious discussion.  Example:  "It's so funny to me when everyone...yadda yadda."  No, it's obviously not funny to you, so don't say it.  Please!  Move away from that and get on with the nitty gritty folks.  Quit peppering your discussions with sarcasm and just get on with proving your point. 

The sort of things that make me sad. 
Numerous radical groups and churches that protest military funerals or parades with vulgar, hateful signs.  My most recent personal example:  This year at a major college basketball stadium for the NCAA games, there were hordes of Christians with megaphones telling us passerby's that we were all sinners and going to hell.  Not quietly passing out flyers or actually engaging people on a human level, but trying to scare us with God's wrath.  I felt sorry for all the kids.  One man standing on a planter happened to see me slowly and silently mouthing the words, "Oh my God."  You know, because it honestly was an overwhelming scene to be in the midst of that day.  There were thousands of people in the area and the Christians were hollering at us.  I must have struck a nerve because he pointed me out of the crowd, turned up his volume and let us really have it.  It was quite humorous after I realized he wasn't going to bull charge me.  I realize not all Christians are that vocal and I try not to group them all in one bundle with a bow.  That wouldn't be fair.  I take each experience as it is seperately.  This reminds me of another time not long ago when Christians boycotted JCPenny pretty aggressively because Ellen was the spokesperson.  I support their right to do that as well...and counteract by loving Ellen dearly and supporting the positive energy she pours out into our world.  A world that desperately needs it right now. 
Even in politics people express their distaste of a viewpoint by voting against it.  In commerce you do the same by spending your money elsewhere.  Who I give my money to is important, particularly when it’s used to forward an agenda that’s in conflict with my beliefs.  Mega franchises, corporations and private citizens donate to campaign funds.  That in turn pressures politicians in ways that influence how they protect or restrict our rights.  I don't think many people really give much thought to that!  And if you quit giving it thought for long enough guess what?  You open your eyes one day and say, "What the hell?  Where did my rights go?"  (whoops...too late.)
Boycotting a company for having different views than mine doesn’t mean I don't believe in God.  It doesn't mean I despise radical Christians.  Doesn’t mean it makes me a hypocrite.  It also doesn't mean I'm going to hell for not believing the strict word of the bible.  It very simply means I believe in equal rights, gay marriage, a person’s human right to love and marry anyone they please.   
I also try and appreciate someone's literal belief and translation of the bible, but personally my brain just doesn't work that way.  I'm more of a free thinker and open-minded to a fault.  I treasure that as one of my best attributes while some Christians shake their head and wish me the best when I have to meet my maker.  This open-minded attitude had made me a lot of friends in life and taught me many, many things I wouldn't have learned if I wasn't able to digest other viewpoints.  I think the bible is subjective, written by over 40 authors over a couple thousand years and most importantly written by humans.  We're flawed.  Of course some more seriously than others too.  Our society is entirely different now.  Isn't this called evolving?  We see the error of our ways and push forward to better ourselves as a society against wrong beliefs that were once accepted e.g. dictatorships, slavery, women's suffrage, etc.  I guess this wouldn't be a good time to bring Charles Darwin into the conversation.  Forget I said anything. 
Some Christians claim this is a political debate regarding Freedom of Speech.  Others claim it's a religious argument and quote scripture on the meaning of "traditional marriage."  Sometimes it might be both.  It's so confusing.  In the end, everyone is going to believe whatever gets them through the day and helps them sleep at night.  I just pray for the children in this day and age who are influenced and faced with such conflicting beliefs.  I thought this Paradox below was interesting.
The Paradox of Freedom of Speech (taken from The New World Encyclopedia)  "When individuals assert their right to freedom of speech without considering the needs the larger community, tensions are created tempting the community to repress the freedom of speech of those individuals. This creates a paradox in which greater degrees of freedom of speech result in increasing social tensions and pressure to pass laws limiting speech which society deems irresponsible. At the same time, another paradox is created by the fact that unbridled freedom of speech can at times harm the rights of others, and thus needs to be balanced against those rights."
Personally I’m happy when this subject is talked about and it doesn’t really matter to me that a food chain is involved.  I’m happy the discussion is out there.  Something else that bothers me is how generalized some comments are.  "EVERYONE this" and "EVERYONE that."  If you are debating with someone, just try focusing on their opinion versus yours and not the whole entire population.  Really, how do you know exactly how each person feels?  You don't.  But it kind of makes your argument sound better so I can see how it would be hard to resist.

Maybe some minds will be changed about what marriage means and become a little more open-minded.  We need to realize that religion and government should have no say in how someone loves and lives.  It seems that rights in the 21st century concerning gay marriage should be much further along and supported.  It's a confusing year to me (and quite irritating at times) because of politics, the state of affairs and now this debate in the limelight.  What happened to the discussion of a recent shooter in a theatre charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder?  How soon it switches to Chicken.  We live in a social media boom and there are 900 million users with circulated shared opinions.  There are so many more pressing issues like public safety from random shootings and bombings, gun rights, toxic food / medicines, the homeless, government involvement in our lives, etc.  What a difference we could make if EVERYONE was on the same side of a cause for the BETTER? 
I try not to read too many comments on FB or take offense if I disagree.  The one thing we should all be proud of and hold dear is our right to opinion and being a diverse society.  Si?

And that's all I have to say about that. *in my best Forrest Gump voice* 



Hey Sugar!!

True Story:  Everyone loves a good sugar cookie.  Especially the complex cutie patootie ones in the shapes of animals, cartoon characters, monsters, flowers and other wacky shapes.  I don't have a terrible sweet tooth and haven't mastered the fine art of baking, but I do love fun!  I've found a well reviewed recipe with lots of tips from those lucky souls that can bake up a storm.  The main two goals for rolled and cut cookies in my book are:

1) find a tried and true recipe for the dough and icing...and stick with it. 
2) make whatever your little weird, sentimental, odd, quirky, creepy, cutesy heart can dream up!!!

Here I'll list the recipe I've found with adjusted ingredients (per the reviewers) and a bullet list of all the 'must do's' so we can all bake THE BEST ROLLED COOKIES.  Here we go sugar...

Prep Time:  20 Min    /    Cook Time:  8 Min    /    Ready In:  3 Hrs    /    Yield:  5 Doz


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

(A big thanks to the author of this recipe and all the nice reviewers to tweak it.)

  • Put a sheet of baking parchment on cookie sheet, then ROLL THE DOUGH OUT DIRECTLY ON THE PARCHMENT-LINED COOKIE SHEET. After making the 'cut-outs', appropriately spaced on the dough, PEEL AWAY THE EXCESS DOUGH from around and between the 'cookies' and bake as directed. The parchment helps keep the bottoms of the cookies from getting too dark, eliminates any need for greasing the pan, allows you to remove the cookies from the sheet by simply sliding the parchment carefully off the side.
  • High Humid Areas:  always add between 1/4 - 1/2 cup more flour to cookie recipes
  • If dough is sticky just simply keep dusting it with powdered sugar and you can continue to work with it while adding additional flavor.
  • Chewier cookie, roll thicker and crunchier, thinner.
  • WATCH these CLOSELY, and remove from oven when edges just begin to brown. If you leave them in too long, get them off the cookie sheet FAST- they will cool faster.
  • Remember this yields 60 cookies!  Cut the recipe in half or bake small batches at a time if not using for a party.



  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring


  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.


Luau Party Surfboards

Baby Onesie with a Fox (aww!)

Cut Them into Flowers

Hearts on Sticks
and Attach Real Cotton Candy

A Cool Site for Funky Hipster Shapes


Faces in Holes

When you are on the couch with a chest cold, what is the number one remedy? 
Robitussin?  Noodle soup?  Lots of rest? 


Because you've caught up everything in your DVR queue.  Finished any knitting or other couch project possible.  Sick dialed everyone available.  Ate everything in sight.  Read every post on crackbook.  Scoured Pinterest...and on and on.  So the only other possible option is to put faces in holes.  And every time I type that sentence it makes me laugh anyway.  I'm going in the order of friends who comment on FB...just for the hey of it.  Off we go....

One of my all time fave movies.

I just wanna TICKLE 'em.


What a hot couple!

Just a little dude and his horse.

Whatcha gonna do???


Engage Me

The other day I woke up in a terrific mood.  I've been arm wrestling with a cold for around a week, but for some reason it was a great day.  While out running errands to the bank, grocery, etc...something came over me.  A sense of goodwill.  Call it holiday cheer...maybe the sun was actually shining or something for a change.  Now, I consider myself a social person who doesn't shy away from a conversation, but usually I live in a little bubble like most.  Concerned and preoccupied with my own day to day to do list.  On this particular afternoon I was chatting up everyone within earshot. 


SCENERIO ONE - Traffic was unusually slow on a main strip through town.  I was behind an Altima for about 4 blocks and her license plate read:  1 DIVA   That was funny to me and I wondered if she was someone with a sense of humor or a real life diva with bitchy tendencies.  It turned out that she found a parking spot and pulled in while I was still sitting in traffic waiting for the light to turn.  Rolling down my window I hollered, "Nice license plate!"  A cute woman in her mid 50's came over laughing and replied, "Yeah, good one huh?  Some people take it seriously though and think I'm a bitch.  It's funny right?"  I agreed with her, the light changed and we both went our seperate ways smiling.  A simple little episode occured, but with it came a fun sense of connectedness with a stranger. 

SCENERIO TWO - It was a weekend so my bank was closed.  A deposit needed to go in, but I'm not a huge fan of ATM's.  Not sure why.  Maybe it's stuffing my money into an envelope and sending it to no man's land instead of a breathing persons hand is unnerving to me.  Plus, I worry about a random passerby junkie that might need cash and spies me with a handful of it.  So I'm at the machine going step by step...really slow to make sure I don't screw it up.  There is an adorable asian girl in her 20's behind me waiting patiently.  I turn around..."sorry, I'm an ATM cash deposit newbie....it freaks me out."  She laughed and said, "OMG...I totally know what you mean!  My first time I was scared to death!!"  So we chatted up a storm about our fear of sending hard earned cash into the abyss.  Again, we walked away with smiles and wished each other a great weekend.

So, my point is that we all need to engage a little more.  Smile at each other.  Practice better driving habits.  Slow down to let people in, wave a thank you when someone does it for you, flash your lights to let a car go before you or a person using the crosswalk.  Let that person behind you with the 2 items skip ahead of you and your full cart.  Realize that everyone you pass, drive by, wait in a line with, etc has their own story.  Their own problems and joys and fears and dreams just like you do.  I get worried that with the rate of technology improving...we're all going to be lost. 

Lost in our machines.
Lost in our gadgets.
Lost in our minds and oblivious to others.

I hope not.


MONDAY MUNCHIES: Tater Tot Casserole

For the life of me I can't remember who I got this gem from.  Wish it would come to me so I can thank and give them a high five!  It's the quintessential dish for any tailgater, bar, picnic, superbowl, etc.  Pretty much any laid back non-fancy party where the drink of choice is mostly beer.  This is the kind of dish that is a hit with people of the hootin and hollerin variety.  Or where there's a hardcore game of cornhole in session.

So, recently I was rooting around on my baking station (a converted desk in the kitchen with all my gadgets and supplies) looking for some vintage cookie cutters and came across a handwritten recipe for Tater Tot Casserole.  I grabbed a fridge magnet and stuck the index card to the side to remind me that it would make a great Sunday Football dish someday soon.  Well, yesterday was that day!  The original had a tub of sour cream which I changed to french onion dip.  We happened to have some Pepperjack cheese so a 1/2 cup of each was mixed in instead of a full cup of sharp cheddar..  I used fried onions instead of real.  I even put it into a PowerPoint pic for you.  And added the most important part in my eyes to make it a Po Man's dish besides the Tots:  WIENERS!!  Mostly because it's a great word to say.  Wieners.

"Would you like to try my casserole?" 
"Maybe some other time."
"Did I mention it has WIENER'S in it?"
"Well of course!  Load me up!"

Next time I might try adding a 1/2 tub of the dip and 1/2 tub sour cream which would cut down the onion taste a little since there are cheddar fried onions in it also.  There is so much flavor that a cage fight will happen in your mouth upon each bite. 




It's November again.  Say what?  2011 has flown by in its usual manner.  I've heard that the older you become, the faster time seems to slip away.  I suppose there is truth in that.  Maybe it's because you slowly lose your sense of wonderment.  "You mean I'm an ADULT already?  Jeez."  There are more things to occupy your hours.  Stress.  Gadgets.  Stuff.

As much as I shudder at the mention of "Eh. Winter." the changing seasons have been a part of my life since birth.  I can't imagine living somewhere farther up north or down south that doesn't experience all four.  Although in the dead of old man winter's grip at 15 degrees when my snot is frozen, I'd gladly trade with the chick who's learning to boogie board in the Pacific Islands.  It's a change that is necessary I think, not just in the sense of mother nature for me.  It's the time of year to slow down a little.  Contemplate.  Hibernate and ponder.  Then prepare for Spring, rebirth and excitement of warmer breezes.

So, if someone grabbed my arm behind my back and gave me an Indian Rug Burn and told me to pick a favorite season...I'd be forced to say, "Alright!  It's Autumn!  Get off!!" 

This time of year brings back fond memories of...

  ...skips in the woods, swan dives into leaves...

Photo by Muffet
...collecting acorns and other woodland doo dads...

...stovetop hot chocolate with mini's...

...homemade noodle soup...

So this Thankful Thursday I'm very grateful for my appreciation of nature.  For my amazing parents who raised me to be down to earth and take notice of the little things that matter.  I recommend that everyone slow down a bit...from time to time is all...just an hour here and there.  Take a deep breath.  Notice how a tree sways.  Ponder the changing of seasons and what it means to you.  I know you can do it.



I believe in fashion faux pas.  As a matter of fact I'll go a step further and say for the record that, "I love that shit!"  Let me elaborate further.

SCENERIO 1:  You pass someone on the street who is wearing a very nice pair of creased jeans, a Coronado Island Hollister sweater, perfectly wrapped coordinated scarf and designer boots.  A pleasant ensemble.

SCENERIO 2:  You pass someone on the street who is wearing a mismatched, vintage, colorful and offbeat creation.  Free spirited craaaziness!  Aaah! 

Who would catch your eye and make you smile?  If you picked number one...I still like you.  No worries.  Don't beat yourself up.

So, I've been trying to organize my millions of pictures from the 80's and 90's which was the catalyst for this post.  Back in the day we actually PRINTED photos and put them in shoeboxes?  You mean if we took a crap picture, that was it?  The moment was lost?  Awww....that blows.

It's WFT Wednesday, so here are a few fabulous reminders of the outfits of yesteryear.  Oh how I loved the days of wearing whatever you wanted.  It was celebrated.  Free.  Kind of like present day fashion but everything seemed to be tighter, bigger and crazier.  A lot of WTF's.  (in a good way.)

THE NEON:  In your FACE!

THE DENIM:  All over the PLACE!

The men were in touch with their feminine side.

Legwarmers and Headbands:  Lots of working out to be done. 

When dressing hoochie was cool.

Over the top cheesiness was CELEBRATED!!

Here are some Quick tips for restoring vintage pics.  And remember..."don't play it safe!"



I knew Cincinnati had their problems with homelessness and the unemployed just like every other city, but what?  According to this article, 48% of the children in Cincinnati are living in poverty.  I need to research the percentage for Northern Kentucky, gather information on how I can help and raise awareness for our Tristate.  The recent story on Cincinnati.com focuses on a struggling family and the school they attend. 

Oyler is among the schools that has partnered with several local anti-poverty agencies, including the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, the city health department and the Freestore Foodbank, to help children growing up in poverty get basic needs, such as basic medical care and food.

Oyler is one of 80 sites for the Freestore's Power Pack program, which provides two or three nutritious meals for children on weekends. In 2009-10, the Freestore gave out 74,000 packs, a number that increased to 127,000 the next school year and is expected to increase this year, said Anna Hogan, Freestore communications manager.

More than 1 in 5 children in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are at risk of missing their next meal.  Data from a Feeding America analysis of the Freestore Foodbank's service area showed late this summer that 22.3 percent of local children (under 18) are food insecure.

I've been pondering what to do for Thanksgiving this year.  Volunteer in a soup kitchen, buy more canned goods than usual for the food banks, put together packs of medical supplies / toiletries or simply donate money.  There are so many in need and it seems each winter is getting colder and colder.  I can't imagine how hard it is for some and I want to make a difference.


FREAKY FRIDAY: Real or Faux?

Halloween is just a few short days away.  Oh joy!!  There is a lot on my plate, so this blog post is all about the Freakies!!  No commentary needed.  Some are obviously photoshopped.  Others...hmmm...you be the judge.

I really have NO clue.

Allegedly...a freaky fish that
washed up on shore in Tampa Bay.

I would wear these!!

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