Oops

I know, yesterday I forgot to tell you to do something. If you knew the state my brain was in then, though....Suffice it to say, daily life gets substantially more difficult - and interesting - when you've only been getting three hours of sleep a night. (Watch out for those doors, my friends; they are devious.)

But anyways, for today's entry, tell us what your favorite fairy tale, myth, or folk tale is. If it's impossible for you when I put it that way, then one of your favorites.

I'm going to go with the story of Aino, a lovely and tragical episode in the Finnish epic the Kalevala. Super short Wikipedia summary here, for the curious.

I lied! Also, prizes.

Okay, I know I said that I intended to give you entries in exchange for advertising, and thereby include non-regulars in the latter part of the giveaway - but I really am about ninety percent whim, and for various reasons I decided I don't want to do that right now. So there, non-regulars. Haha.

I am starting to get quite excited to draw the winners. To be honest, I still haven't done the math to figure out how many there will be, haha. However, as far as prizes go, they are all things that I would like to get in the mail, and I've already got a couple of the books sitting next to my laptop.

On another note, five out of the thirteen [edit: make that eight out of sixteen!] people who commented with their Myers-Briggs type are the same type as me. (Group hug, INFPs!) Vair interesting, no? Whereas of the general U.S. population, only about 4.5% are that type.

Personality Test Dork Awareness Day

Thanks to having a best friend who's a psychology major, I'm slightly infatuated with the Myers-Briggs personality test.

I love learning what type people are, so that's what you gotta do if you want today's entry: take the test (unless you already have previously) and then tell us what your result is!

I, for your information, am an INFP - the so-called Idealist.

In my opinion, the best part about knowing your type is being able to read up on yourself (which in itself probably says something about my personality). The descriptions of your tendencies and abilities can be startlingly on-target. There's tons of that sort of information to be found on the internet, but if you're interested, this page is a good starting point.

Test away, me hearties!

P.S. It was a real treat reading all the delicious quotes you submitted on the last post - I loved all of them!

Extract of shiver-lovely

"Right now I want a word that describes the feeling you get--a cold, sick feeling deep down inside--when you know something is happening that will change you and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know , for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again be quite the same person you were.

"I imagine it's the feeling Eve had as she bit into the apple. Or Hamlet when he saw his father's ghost. Or Jesus as a boy, right after someone sat him down and told him his pa wasn't a carpenter after all.

"What is the word for that feeling? For knowledge and fear and loss all mixed together. Frisdom? Dreadnaciousness? Malbominance?"

- Jennifer Donnelly
in A Northern Light

One of several passages from that book that had such a true, bittersweet resonance that they left me a little breathless, a little shivery.

Your assignment for today is to share a favorite passage from a book (or poem, or whatever). Same deal as before in regards to posting it in the comments or on your blog.

It can be something you find lovely or sad or funny. No constraints on length. Just make it good! :)

Sharing time!

Good evening, friends!

I have another question for you today. You can leave your answer in the comments, or if you prefer, answer in a post on your blog and leave a comment with a link to the post.

What prompted you to start blogging, and when did you make your first post?

Your answer can be as short (or long) as the back story of your blog is. And just for fun, include a link to your first post as well.

The first time around, the fall of my freshman year of high school, I started blogging because one of my best friends from middle school who was going to a different high school was keeping a blog. I enjoyed reading hers, and our respective blogs were a nice way to stay in touch. And you understand the appeal of having a space on the internets to fling out the ideas and the details of your life, once you come across the notion.

When I took up my blog again last October, it was due once more to the inspiration of friends who blogged - this time around, the wonderful bloggers from LRRH.

My very first post - full of whingy freshman-ness, haha. Actually, a lot of my posts back then were about ballet, as I was getting into serious bunheadedness at the time...I ought to read through them again myself.

Hail Thursday, fairest of days...

I really love reading books recommended to me by friends. Not just because my friends generally have such good taste in books, but also because I feel like I'm closer to the friend for it, like I learn something about her that way.

So today, for an entry in the giveaway, this is what I would like to hear from you: If you could recommend one book to me - or to any friend, for that matter - something that you really love, an outstanding book that is close to your heart, what would it be?

You can choose a book that you would recommend to any and all of your friends, or one that you think I especially would enjoy - whichever you prefer.

(FYI, I do intend to actually read your recommended titles. If you want to see if I've already read what you have in mind, you can check my Goodreads shelf.)

Let's do this puppy

This is the commencement-of-lovefest post! I.e. here is what you need to know about Ye Giveaway!

- Starting now, every post will include something for you to do to earn an entry: a question to answer, a small internetsy task, things like that. You get one entry for each time you do what I tell you to do. (Cue dictatorial cackle.)

- Partway through the giveaway, you will also have the opportunity to earn extra entries by spreading the word about the contest on your blog or other social media site. You will only earn extra entries if you do that after I give you the thumbs up, though.

Why partway through the contest? Because while I don't want to pass up the advertising opportunity, it kind of defeats the purpose of this shebang (namely, reader appreciation) to give new randoms who may or may not stick around as good a chance of winning the prizes as you cool people who are already among the readership. So for the first part of the contest, only you guys will be earning entries. After that, newbies won't be able to earn entries from the earlier posts.

Yes, I like you best. Keep it on the down-low.

- All the entries will be pooled on November 1st, and the freshman across the hall will randomly select the winners. I don't know yet how many prizes I will have, but there will be defo be multiples.

- You can (and should!) enter even if:
* you live outside of the U.S. or Canada
* you don't want to give out your street address (see here)
* you are a new reader
* you don't ordinarily comment

Did I miss anything? Any questions?

To earn an entry on this post, all you have to do is comment!

An Event of Great Significance (maybe)

I don't know if you have one particular nightmare that you constantly redream, but I do.

My recurring nightmare is the one where you find that just when you are in dire need of it, you have no voice.

Someone will be about to hurt me, and I will open my mouth to scream as loud as I can - maybe "HELP" or "STOP," maybe just a noise - but I can't make any sound come out.

The dream ends there; I don't have to watch myself be beaten up or murdered or whatever. Nothing so gruesome - just that sick, sick feeling of complete helplessness.

Last night, I had yet another variation of that dream. It was kind of funny, actually, a bunch of guys from my school trying to kill me by throwing coins at me like that poor English football referee because I wouldn't let them feed my longboard to their bonfire, and as I was running away one of them grabbed me.

(That's the Scream Moment.)

But this time, I could scream. My voice was kind of hoarse at first, but it warmed up right away and I was loud. I yelled, Help, someone help me, and then at him, Don't TOUCH me, get your hands OFF OF ME, and then some more HELP.

And someone did come to help me, and then I was fine, except spitting mad and still yelling profanities at this character over my shoulder.

I'm sure it would mean something to a psychologist, to triumph over a recurring nightmare of several years. I mean, even my inner literary analysis nerd is running gleefully wild with this one.

I try to keep her in check, though, so I shan't impose too much significance on this dream.

Interview Meme

Tagged by Summermoon

What are your nicknames?
The only one derived from my nom d'internet is cuil.

What was the first movie you bought on VHS or DVD?
Hm...I'm trying to remember. Most of the few movies that I own personally were gifts, so I think Broken Wings, an Israeli movie.

What is your favorite scent?
The air by the sea!

What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?
Germany. All of it, but especially Berlin - "Summer came, and Berlin was the most beautiful place on earth" - and the flavor of my times there, the dimension that my memories of it have taken on. Movies that show Berlin make me want to cry.

Do you trust easily?
To a certain extent, yes, but after that point, paranoia can strike even with my best friends! Sad, I know.

Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
Think first, though I may not seem to.

Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Nothing in particular, just general malaise.

Do you have a good body image?
Hm...sometimes, but it is vair fragile/volatile.

What is your favorite fruit?
Tough question. I really can't pick...fresh summer strawberries are incomparable, but then what about frozen banana slices or fresh, ripe pineapple or pear?

What websites do you visit daily?
Google Reader, my e-mail inboxes, Facebook, StatCounter.

What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
Sleep, the internet, baking.

What kind of person do you think is the person who tagged you is?
Thoughtful and fun, with way more cool things about her than I will ever get to know.

What's the last song that got stuck in your head?
"Out Loud" - Dispatch

What's your favorite item of clothing?
Blue sweater or gray skinny jeans. Perhaps gray bermudas.

Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Rice Krispies don't taste like much to me. Rice Krispie treats I do not like.

What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?
Pick it up, examine it, look around for an obvious owner, then pocket it. If it was somewhere where I could report it to a lost and found, then that next. If not, I'd keep it and save it!

What should you be doing right now?
Homework. Assembling a French composition that exists in two halves at present, reading the fourth act of a German play, or a short writing assignment for sociology.

I tag lishlove.

Dear Desk, Please keep your corners out of my hip bones. Sincerely, cuileann

There are a few important expectations I have of the world around me, or assumptions - sort of an "I'll do my bit if you do yours" deal. They're pretty basic, I think - e.g. that objects of a life-endangering size will not fall from the sky, that I will wake up every morning as the same person that I was when I fell asleep  and the universe does a pretty good job fulfilling its obligations.

There is one point, however, on which I am none too infrequently frustrated, and that is on my expectation that furniture and other such objects in my environs not move or otherwise behave in a hostile manner.

Generally, they do not, but they have their rebellious days. You know what I'm talking about. Those days when you are positive it's the chair that keeps running into you and not the other way around. Today is one of those days for me.

And to be honest, I'm not in the mood for their games right now. Life does a fine job being stressful without the inanimate objects acting up.

Comment now or forever hold your peace

(Well, not forever...)

I just updated my blogroll and want to be sure I haven't missed anyone. If you would like to be on there and you're not, leave me a comment!

Daughter of Cupcake, or, cuileann has a camgirl day

The more I thought about the first batch of cupcakes I made, mint-chococolate chip cupcakes, the unhappier I was with them. After three consecutive nights in August tinkering with the recipe, I finally got a cupcake that tasted right.

I documented my victory accordingly.





(Magritte tribute, yesh.)

"A laziness like wisdom"

I read this poem on Marya Hornbacher's blog a few days ago and I thought it was quite lovely - and a bit unusual. There are plenty of cozy brisk-air-and-turning-leaves autumn poems, but I don't want one of those right now, because that's not all autumn is to me. This one has more of the feeling that I get in the fall.

Autumn
Not working, not breathing,
the beehive sweetens and dies.
The autumn deepens, the soul
ripens and grows round;

drawn into the turning color of fruit,
cast out of the idle blossoms.
Work is long and dull in autumn,
the word is heavy.

More and more heavily, day by day,
nature weighs down the mind.
A laziness like wisdom
overshadows the mouth with silence.

Even a child, riding along,
cycling into the white shafts of light,
suddenly will look up
with a pale, clear sadness.

-Bella Akhmadulina

Poetry Friday round-up at Picture Book of the Day

"Om nom nom nom..."

I found a bunch of August pictures that I thought I'd lost, hurrah! Including some baking documentation! So here's a cupcake from a little while ago...

The inspiration: Who doesn't like eating cookie dough, whether on its own or in ice cream or as frightening-but-delicious chocolate-covered candies? I'd seen cookie dough cupcakes running around the cupcake blogosphere before, and, as we just happened to have premade cookie dough in our fridge, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw some cupcake tribute the Cookie Monster's way.

So - cookie dough cupcakes. :)


And here's what they look like on the inside. (And what my little sister looks like when she's bored at dinner, ha.)



The recipe: I used my standard chocolate cupcake recipe, which is from Cupcakes Take The Cake. After spooning the cupcake batter into the muffin tin, I put one small cookie's worth of cookie dough on top of each unbaked cupcake. Then I baked them as usual, and frosted them with chocolate buttercream (my recipe, another "throw everything together and fiddle until it tastes right" model).

The verdict: They turned out great - but really, how could you go wrong with this idea? This chocolate recipe is nice and soft and rich, and the cookie dough kept a sweet, still-mostly-unbaked texture. These cupcakes were just yum, and so simple, too!

What I'd do differently next time: I expected the cookie dough to sink into the middle of the cupcake while in the oven, but it stayed on the top. I might try adding it when the cup was half full of batter, and then covering it and filling the cup the rest of the way up with batter so the pocket of cookie dough would be a bit more in the center of the finished cupcake. No big issues, though.
P.S. You've got to check out these funny cupcakes that Q found.

Update

I'm planning to include one or two prizes in the fĂȘte d'octobre (ha), possibly more, that will be e-mailable, so if you aren't comfortable giving out your home address for giveaways, don't despair!

Guess what I'm celebrating this month!

No, not my birthday, but the fifth anniversary of the founding of this blog!

Lest you be too impressed, I certainly haven't been posting here for a solid five years, but I did make my first post here in October 2003. I kept that up into February '04, moved to a xanga for a few weeks, and then threw in the towel (or rather, as it turned out, took a very long break).

The fabulous blogs of the online friends I made through Little Red Reading Hood inspired me to return to blogging last fall, and though I chose a new address and name, I kept all my old posts, for the same reason that I fill up old journals instead of just moving on to completely blank ones.

So, taking inspiration once again from a LRRHer, I've been having notions of a blog fĂȘte of sorts for you my online friends, to celebrate all the months of good words and thoughts and connections that I owe to having stepped into this corner of the blogosphere - basically, some giveaway love for a couple weeks. Vhat you tink?

Muddy shoes and stolen flowers

Naomi Shihab Nye - well, I always think her words and thoughts are just gorgeous. This one is from 19 Varieties of Gazelle, her collection of poems about the Middle East. I love the story it tells, the picture I get in my head of these wild laughing school children with armfuls of stolen flowers. And whisper is such a fitting verb for dried flower petals. Just like the sound a pile of them makes, I think.

They Dropped It
A gardener appeared, waving his toothy rake.
Children with yellow bells in their hands
jumped the fence, snagging uniforms.
One boy trailed a purple vine.

They wouldn't be sorry,
pockets reeking jasmine,
mud staining shoes...
Who deserved flowers more?
Rich people who never came outside
or children stuck all day in school?

The sweaty gardener cursed them,
straightening branches.

Someone else lifted one large pink blossom
from the pavement beyond the fence,
found a scrap of tissue to wrap it in,
carried it home across the sea.

The dried petals lay on a table for months
whispering, Where are we?

- Naomi Shihab Nye

Poetry Friday round-up at Two Writing Teachers.

Well, I AM the Idealist on the MBTI

The ideal meme, tagged by Q

Rules: if you're tagged, make sure to add one more ideal "thing" to the list, besides the items that are already there. Be as descriptive and random and silly as you want.

My ideal...

Snack: fresh steamed rice with butter and parmesan cheese

Day: would be spent someplace beautiful with close friends

Book: "accumulates power/ like a sky gathering clouds/ quietly, quietly,/ till the story rains around you."

Friend: is a little (or a lot) crazy, can be counted on (especially to be honest), is fun to be around and someone with whom I can talk easily

Weather: about sixty-five degrees, slightly overcast but with a sky of lovely clouds and a soft breeze

Adventure: takes place spontaneously and late at night, preferably involving swings or a bicycle, with a good soundtrack (even if only imagined).

I tag Taiger.

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