Five Things Friday, 10/4/13

Sorry, folks: sometimes it takes a while to get five more things.

1. There is a new book about sea monsters out!

2. This dining table. For various reasons, I have to wait before I get some new furniture at my place, but this metal-wrapped trend keeps catching my eye. It’s slightly industrial and seems catproof: what’s not to like?

3. I quite liked this art personifying (animal-ifying?) various mental issues as creatures… and not just because some of my own were unexpectedly adorable.

4. The fourth season of River Monsters is now on Netflix! Last night, I began musing about a Jeremy Wade drinking game. So far:

  • Jeremy visits a shaman: 2 drinks
  • Jeremy + bull shark: drink (two drinks if it’s an unexpected bull shark)
  • Fish Market: drink
  • Right fish, but comically small: drink

Hindering this list is the certainty that “Inadvertent innuendo involving the words ‘rod,’ ‘gear,’ or ‘tackle'” would send a lot of innocent folks to the ER.

5. The ComiXology app for iPad, which might as well just install a hose that runs from my wallet to the internet right now. Also, Rex Libris.

Happy Friday!


Five Things Friday, 9/6/13

Some slightly spooky offerings this week…

1. Haven Season 3 released on DVD! I have no cable, so only watched the first episode of this season, but I’m so impressed by the way the first two seasons balanced long-term plot arcs with the week-to-week weirdness of the little town of Haven….so much so that I’ve spent more than one episode thinking, “See, Carnivàle? It CAN be done!!!!”*

Despite the time lapse needed for me to see it, this is my favorite show on TV.

2. Welcome to Night Vale  has the distinction of being the first podcast I’ve ever added and actually finished (and by “finished,” I mean getting through one whole episode of anything longer than Composers Datebook). It’s another little-town-of-weird thing, but very, very funny, from the five-headed fugitive dragon to the other world under the bowling alley.

3. The Sharksucker iPad keyboard. I’ve been looking for the right keyboard for a couple of years now, and the only bad thing I can say about this one is that it resembles a Mac laptop keyboard so strongly that I keep tapping an imaginary trackpad in front of the keys.

4. Even though the entire internet has already seen it, the walking shark.

5. And finally, the place where my little-town-with-a-secret fetish likely got its start: Children of the Stones. This is a British miniseries from the 1970s–the kind that gives the vague impression that everyone involved is somehow genetically linked to James Burke–and was shown in the US as part of Nickelodeon’s Third Eye series. How long ago did I see it? Long enough that I used to have a crush on the 13-year-old…when he was too old for me. (Now, though, it’s all about the vintage Gareth Thomas.)

Happy Friday!

*Okay, I may have yelled it at the Carnivàle box set. More than once.

Five Things Friday, 8/30/13

Let’s do it!

1. The Blue SwordI was reminded of this book while reading the essay on the problem with “strong female characters.” I cannot even imagine the reaction I’d have had to this book if I had ever gone through any real sort of horse-crazy phase as a kid; as it was, I didn’t get to this one till my twenties, having been scandalized by The Hero and The Crown at 11.*


2. The song I play on YouTube a lot every time I get a bunch of stuff at Teavana. ( I adore Teavana. One of my actual financial goals is to be able to afford all the Golden Monkey Black I want.)


3. Gojee has finally split their Food section off from all the fashion and design stuff they added onto the site. The Gojee app was one of the reasons I got an iPad, and I am delighted that there is now one strictly for recipes… and that the Food mascot, Barry the Berry, has apparently been released from whatever dungeon was holding him.

4.  This hot sauce. I first tasted it at The Hot Sauce Shop in Virginia Beach, then tracked it down online. It is very, very hot, but with a cinnamon and clove undercurrent, as if someone had tried to make jerk seasoning into a chemical weapon. I am currently putting it in salsa, and mixing it with sriracha to use with the onigiri recipe from the last Five Things Friday.

5. And, of course, long weekends. Have a nice one, all!



*The heroine has (implied) sex with someone who is not the person she is clearly going to end up with! And who is also a wizard! Actually, that last bit is probably a universally iffy idea.

Five Things Friday

Today starts a new feature on Quite Small Adventures: actual posting!

I kid. Sort of. But they say to find positive things in darkish times, so every Friday I shall dig up five.


1. The world’s prettiest shower curtain. Probably not actually also the world’s most expensive, but close enough.

2. Currently one of my favorite songs.

3. The art of Ando Hiroshige.

4. There’s a new Mystery Trackers hidden-object game out! I go through phases of playing the heck out of HO games, and even when I’m not wild about the story, the MT series always has fun gameplay.

5. Smoked salmon onigiri.  I’ve tinkered with the recipe a bit, but I have been eating this twice a week for the last month. Leftovers make a good lunch, too. I do recommend using a rice cooker if, like me, you are a supernaturally incompetent producer of watery rice.

Bonus bad video of my fish eating: I hadn’t actually seen Thornton eat since the first day I got him until I was making this video for my mom.  Bloop! Bloop! What a pretty fish!

New Shoe Review

I was going to wait till I’d walked in them for a few more days to talk about these shoes, but I see the Evil Yeti of Discommoding Precipitation will be paying a visit to my area this weekend, so I’ll soon be back in my one pair of weather boots.


The Merrell Wonder Glove:

In recent years, I’ve noticed my clothes reflecting what the columnist David Brooks referred to as an “adventure gap.” Given recent fashion trends, I think it’s understandable: in a world of “tissue” T-shirts, the only way to assure yourself of sturdy clothes is to buy things designed to emerge unscathed from the woods. And so I visit my local outfitters’ somewhat guiltily, sometimes buying a T-shirt that really meant to go to the Amazon, but which instead might make it all the way to the really good restaurant in the next city.

I saw these for the first time just before Christmas, as I pondered the Vibram sneakers and wondered why I was born without a runner’s gene. The Wonder Gloves have the same “barefoot” technology as the sneakers, but a Mary Jane outside that makes them more versatile for wearing to around town.

Until quite recently, I was unable to wear flats due to pain. I’d been easing into the idea. I ordered these in red anyway.

…And they are magnificent—not a word I’d generally use about a product that seems to be breaking me in rather than vice versa. When I put them on, there was a strange moment when they seemed too big; seconds later, they fit like, well, a glove. (I have been doing this for a few days now, and it still feels like sorcery every time.) My toes jammed into the front of the shoe at first when walking; after a few minutes, I had presumably changed something about my gait to correct that. The sole feels hard and supportive on the outside, but inside is the “barefoot” thinness that intrigued me in the first place. And while retaining a certain athletic-shoe appearance in materials and stitching, they are nonetheless quite handsome.

For me, the mark of  good shoes is whether you are sorry to take them off at the end of the day. I found myself wishing for a bunny-slipper version of the Wonder Glove, so they pass with flying colors.


PS: I don’t suppose anyone gets the pun in the title? Alrighty then.

Its Name, Motorola: Its Only Translation, Terror!

It’s a very old story in horror fiction: someone commits an act of violence with intent to kill. But some things just won’t stay dead. Some things reappear and haunt the guilty. Some things return.

In this case, my Bluetooth earpiece.

Remember iOS 5? My Motorola and I were inseparable! It was the first I’d ever had that didn’t hurt my ears, my constant companion, my little dark red-trimmed flip-mic confidante. Then came iOS 6 and trouble. Many had issues with the Bluetooth all around, for listening to music as well as talking to people. Dear old Motorola only failed on one front: communicating with the only person I talk to really frequently, i.e., a good 80% of the reason for its existence.

I tried troubleshooting. I greeted every OS update with hideous hopes! Eventually I sat the little darling on the dresser, where it languished for months* while I frantically wiped makeup residue off my phone several times a day.

This week’s update seemed so promising. But when it, too, failed, I lost it and threw my little friend against the wall. It fell back. Again I hurled it!, hearing something break off. Cursing myself for acting out my frustration, I retired to bed Friday night feeling more than a little foolish.

…And then it began.

The next day, I began playing a game on the phone soon after waking. It took a while, in my muzzy-headed state, to realize that the volume seemed awfully low. In fact, the sound seemed to be coming from the opposite side of the room.

Motorola! Alive! But in what unspeak(er)able form?? I looked around wildly, but saw nothing. Eventually, I forced the phone to forget the earpiece and ended its spectral whisperings.

The next day, I found the ear loop, lying on top of the armoire. Nothing to be alarmed about, I assured myself. The parts of my dear departed friend were bound to turn up eventually.

And so all continued in quiet, until yesterday. I awoke, got up, pulled the pillows back to make the bed as I always do, and saw Motorola lying next to the space where my head had been!

[Would everyone please hum the shower-scene music from Psycho to themselves for a few seconds at this point? Thanks!]

At any rate, Motorola is alive and largely intact, back on the dresser, though he will not tell me how much battery he has left. Others might say it’s because he’s unpaired, but I think we all know he’s just not speaking to me.

*Losing only some small fraction of its battery, which should have been my first indication that something eldritch was afoot. More seriously, if you want Bluetooth with more standby than the heads of Easter Island, I can’t recommend Motorola enough.