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curious, Cat - questioning

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World Book Day
Alice sings - performance
Look! I was a huge liar when I said I didn't post poems. I am posting a poem! Mainly because it is World Book Day and this one is about books. Listen if you like. Don't be completely fooled by the name: it contains one swear. Just before you go letting your children listen.

Here are the words, as I know some people like to read instead of listen.

Wordses about booksesCollapse )

call_me_katya, you rock in blogging!
curious, Cat - questioning
Oh wow, this is pretty pathetic for posts! Most people I've seen are in the hundreds. My entries are probably longer though!

A Friending Meme!
curious, Cat - questioning
two people back to back with their upper arms touching, and on each arm is half of a gold heart that reads besties

friendzy: active LJ friends!

Unfortunately a lot of the people who are popping up on this are people who pop up on all of these, and have deleted me in the past or updated so rarely all I remember about them is their username. Or, less unfortunately, people I already have, which is ace, but I already have them! Let's give this a new lease of life.

Also, I highly recommend the host as a friend.

LJ 18th anniversary
curious, Cat - questioning
I was beginning to think I wasn't going to get one of these! It came through today.

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

The Foods Of Canada
I haven't got the headspace to fully write about the trip yet, so here's a throwaway piece about which restaurants I visited and what I ate each day! It seemed to be my mission to eat at quite a few chains I'd heard of that don't exist over here.

Chicken satay pho [with amazing quality chicken and spicy broth] from Fantasia Noodle House.
Dairy Queen Reese's Blizzard, although I asked for what they had in the photo which seemed to be a Reese's brownie with icecream on the side. I don't know if it was a really misleading photo or just got lost in translation. I enjoyed it anyway.
iHop ham and cheese omelette with three pancakes on the side and choice of four different syrups [blueberry, butter pecan, maple and strawberry]!
A white chocolate meringue from Duchess Bakeshop.
Smoked Atlantic salmon tartare with pumpernickel crisps and saffron aioli. Turns out this was on REALLY HARD crispbread but I enjoyed it so much I ate it anyway. Yes, about midway through the trip I really noticed my jaw improving. Sadly it's back to being a bit crap now I'm back in work. Baked Arctic char: cracked pepper and maple glazed with orange ginger butter sauce and grilled saffron potatoes, both from La Ronde revolving restaurant.
Remedy Cafe hummous and pitta which was so huge I snacked on it for three days. Boxing up leftovers is a big thing over here. I also got a vanilla rooibos chai here, and then two more during the course of the trip.

A thing of beauty:

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Miso soup, spicy tuna and salmon from Tokyo Express at West Edmonton Mall food court.
Poutine and white truffle scallops, with a random slice of garlic bread on top. Olive Bistro, Jasper. My first poutine! Love those cheesy curds. Tasted a little sweet, almost. Perhaps the gravy.
Rye toast with strawberry sauce from Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge.
Grizzly House: 'cub' portion of chicken [1/4 lb] cooked on their garlic and herb hot rock, with a selection of their sauces. We had to cook this ourselves, which no-one actually explicitly told us until we were ordering. The menu was vague. We were first under the impression it was cheese fondue, and then told there were two ways of cooking which we thought meant we could do it ourselves or they could do it. It was eventually revealed that it was all on us.

Neil's rather more exotic 'exotic fondue' and my chicken in the background:

 photo 17796017_1497395000273467_5188264048651222054_n.jpg

Holiday Lodge cooked us a homecooked breakfast, waffles with strawberries.
'Beer bread' with a cheese dip, from Finn MacCool's. Basically a roadside diner/pub on the journey back from Banff.
Coconut chicken curry and rice from Delicious Pho. So tired could barely leave the house to get this takeaway. Good flavour, slightly poor quality chicken.
Swampstick, which is marinated, fried Louisiana alligator kabob with a sweet and spicy sauce, served with black bean salsa and chicken and sausage gumbo from Louisiana Purchase Cajun and Creole.
Barbecue on Elk Island National Park! Which isn't an island. Hot dog and 'Mumbai' spiced chicken breast.
Donuts from Take 5. I got a raised maple which was what I expected, light donut body with maple icing. I got another kind though, not raised and it was a very heavy kind of... almost cake batter? Like homemade bread, took quite an effort to eat. I'll get raised if I go again!
Red Lobster combination: coconut breaded shrimp and sole stuffed with broccoli, cheese and rice, with roasted carrots and butternut squash with Bourbon brown butter as a side. And free biscuits. If I ever go again, I'll eat small and fill up with the biscuits.
Butternut squash and lentil soup from Hotel Fairmont MacDonald.
Dude cooked me a meal! Chicken and roast potatoes with gravy and a herby crust. It wasn't ready until nearly 10:30 at night so the planning left a little something to be disered, but that's mainly because we were trying to fit so many activities in we were running late, and that was our lazy day.
A slice of 'truffleicious' chocolate cake from Remedy Cafe.

To-read Pile
curious, Cat - questioning
Just an update of the books in the house that I plan on reading soon! Feel free to give thoughts, but no spoilers.

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This was a present from last Christmas. I'm that far behind on my reading. I'm also not really keen on starting this as Terry never appealed to me and I read American Gods by Neil which I found a bit thin on character development. But Sandman was incredible so...

The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August - Claire North. I read the first chapter of this in the back of another book, you know the way they do that to grab your attention? And my attention was grabbed.

The Girl In The Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz. Sequel to The Millenium Trilogy written after the original author died. We'll see how that goes.

Wild Swans - Jung Chang. This has been in the house for more than two years I think. I really want to read it, but it's huge so I never seem to feel ready for it.

Maus - Art Spiegelman. I've wanted to read it for ages and got it for Christmas. Will probably read soon.

Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson. Got it for Christmas and again, will probably read soon. Highly recommended by friends.

Shadow Of Night - Deborah Harkness. I read part one of this series a couple of years ago and enjoyed, saw this in a second hand shop in December.

Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee. I've had this for about a year. I keep forgetting I have it as it's not in my bookshelf [hardback so it won't fit]. Slightly apprehensive.

Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger. Sounds interesting, from the author of The Time Traveller's Wife.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King. Got it as a present last week. Neil wants to read a book 'together' [starting at the same time] and he thought I would be more likely to do that if it was a King!

Mr. Mercedes [and Finders Keepers] - Stephen King. I always like to have an SK in the house when I don't feel like anything else.

Game Of Thrones: ASOIAF - George R. R. Martin. Borrowed it from someone over a year ago and have never started it because the series seems like such a huge undertaking. I would like to though!

The Twelve - Justin Cronin. I read part 1 in this series a few months ago and enjoyed it so much that I'm saving this for when I need to read something amazing.

Currently reading The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes and I've ordered Lies by Michael Grant [part of the Gone series] from the library.

Murals 1
I remember some of you were curious to see the results of some photo walks I was going to take, based around the murals. Well, here's the result of the first one! This was mainly around the Donegall Pass, Donegall Road and Sandy Row areas of Belfast, close to the City Centre and Belfast City Hospital. Most murals in these areas will have been painted by the Protestant community. Most murals are - by their very definition - paintings. But I noticed a new trend, a trend for... not commemorative plaques, as such but what I would almost describe as plexiglass placed on a wall. Reasons for this seem to be that it lasts longer than a mural, and that it contains more information: they seem to be used when lots of information needs to be given so there are large chunks of writing. I won't put all of these down here, but I'll throw in a few, for variety!

Many photosCollapse )

Oh, and a final explanation. The Red Hand is the ancient emblem of the province of Ulster, taken from this story. It originally hadn't anything to do with any one side but was propogated by the Protestant community as, well, it's a strong, defiant image. I hope to do some photowalks in Catholic areas soon.

Only Stephen King Fans Will Really Care
curious, Cat - questioning
So I got bored, and I can't remember the exact situation. I think I was watching a quiz show and one of the questions mentioned Wordsworth's 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' poem, so I started reimaginging 'cloud' as 'clown' and then with the word 'float' in the second line I was gone. I created this pointless little piece.

Pennywise's Paean

I wandered hungry as a clown
That floats [we all float!] o'er dales
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden-haired and tasty
Kids; beside the Barrens here
Singing and hiding in the trees

Continuous as the rats that line
My sewers where I wend my way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the sunset of the day:
Ten thousand saw I as I drooled
Tossing their heads, the innocent fools.

The rain around them fell; but they
Did wear their yellow macs in glee:
A gourmand could not but be gay,
In such delicious company:
I grazed--and grazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when in my pipe I lie
In craving or in greedy mood,
I flash upon his little arm
Which as a keepsake is embalmed;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
I ate until I'd had my fill.

Forgot this one!
Icy Rose - vulnerability
These things were everywhere. They even had their own shop.