July Blogging Challenge: Day 19

Day 19 – Today the sky is . . .

The sky is a mixture of things today. There are streaks of gray clouds mixed with white, small pockets of blue in between, and poking through the trees, a glimmer of sun.


And today is also a very special day – my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to one of the most patient people in the world!


July Blogging Challenge: Day 18

Day 18 – A recipe

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I do not like to cook. No, scratch that. It’s not that I don’t like to cook, it’s that cooking can sometimes completely stress me out.

Unless . . .

Desserts, man. All the desserts. Why do the things that are bad for you taste so damn good! In any case, I am going to share one of my favorite recipes. This is not original – I am definitely not good enough to create my own. This recipe comes from Kitchen Comforts: Recipes to Feed Body and Soul.


I do love me a lemon bar!

Incidentally, when I pulled this book out, it was dusty like you would not believe. So that tells you two things: one, I don’t cook often enough, and two, my house is very dusty. And yes, I should probably do something about both of those things.

July Blogging Challenge: Day 17

Day 17 – My Patronus

So for anyone who doesn’t know (and seriously, y’all should know this by now), a Patronus is from the Harry Potter books. It is a spell that creates essentially a sort of spirit guardian in animal form that is capable of chasing away Dementors, evil creatures who are able to steal happiness away from people. When I saw this was the topic, I honestly wasn’t sure if they were speaking literally or metaphorically. When dealing with fictional concepts, it’s sometimes hard to tell.

So I’ll start with this: what do I use as a Patronus in my real life? The answer for me would be theatre. I adore it. There is nothing like the feeling of being onstage and having the support and camaraderie of the cast, the crew, and the audience. I haven’t been able to take part in a show for a while now, but nothing is able to lift me up like that does.

Going back to Harry Potter, of course, you can’t end a post about Patronuses without taking an online quiz to see what yours would be, and if you’re going to do that, you might as well take the quiz written by J.K. Rowling herself over at Pottermore. And it turns out:

That’s pretty cool!

July Blogging Challenge: Day 16

Day 16 – Three celebrity crushes

This one is slightly tricky for me, because I follow different celebrities than most people do, with one or two exceptions. But here we go.

  1. Ramin Karimloo – This one has got to be number one. He is a singer and actor who has performed on Broadway and the West End in many, many productions. Can’t get to either of those? Check out the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables (he played Enjolras) or the 25th Anniversary performance of Phantom of the Opera (he played the Phantom). He is amazingly talented, beautiful to look at, and on top of all that, is a super nice guy. I have actually gotten to meet him twice, once at the stage door when he was in the Les Mis revival on Broadway, and once after a smaller concert he gave in Virginia on tour.
  2. Matthew Mercer – This one could be considered a crush, but is also someone that I just straight up admire. He is a voice actor who has been in many animated features and video games, but what I know him from is as the Dungeon Master on Critical Role, a web series where a bunch of voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. He created the world they play in, the story arc, and a whole slew of characters, each with a unique voice and personality. It’s really remarkable what he does. Plus (again), he seems like just the nicest guy! Someone you would want to come over to hang out and play games with.
  3. Alan Rickman – Sigh. RIP Alan Rickman. I was so unbelievably sad when he died. I was at work when I found out and had to go into the bathroom and cry for a while. This one might seem a bit odd, since he would be old enough to be my father, but I have always loved the man. I first saw him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where he played the Sheriff of Nottingham. A lot of people don’t like that movie, but I always enjoyed it, especially his scenes. His character was so over the top crazy! And then . . . he played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.  That was it. I was done for. Seriously, I could listen to him speak all day long. His voice was just amazing. He could read the dictionary and I would just sit there enthralled. I got to meet him too (sort of). He was in a play in New York called Seminar, which was really funny, and I got to meet him at the stage door and get his autograph.

July Blogging Challenge: Day 15

Day 15 – An unsent letter . . .

Dear friend,

I’ve never told you just how much your friendship has meant to me. I’m not the easiest person to be friends with, something that I have tried to work on with varying degrees of success. It is my instinct to push people away, to insulate myself from anything that could hurt me. Despite this, you are one of the  people who has touched my old, crusty heart. While we don’t see each other as often as I’d like, the times we do get to spend together always bring a smile to my face. And while I’m fairly certain that you mean more to me than I do to you, I know that you always have my back. For that, I am forever grateful.

Love always,


July Blogging Challenge: Day 14

Day 14 – A weird thing I do when I’m alone . . .

Honestly, I probably do this when I’m not alone as well, but I can’t always help it.

I. Talk. To. Myself. Constantly.

I have conversations with famous people. I have conversations with fictional people. I come up with lines and comebacks I wish I had said from conversations that had already happened in real life.

This happens a lot in my car. That’s probably the place I do it most.

There have been several times when someone has come in on me talking away to myself and I have to try and explain that no, I’m not crazy. I’m just gabbing to myself for no reason.

Well, you know what they say. Sometimes it’s the only way to have an intelligent conversation.

July Blogging Challenge: Day 13

Day 13 – Something I’ve always wanted to be good at

So many things! I always had a bad habit of quitting at things that I didn’t master, or at least feel like I could master, right away. So right off the bat, I wish I was better at being persistent at things. Besides that, here are two other things I wish I was good at.

Music was a big thing for me, especially when I was younger. I started playing the piano when I was six or seven and then started playing the flute in sixth grade. For a while, I wanted to be a professional musician. I thought the best way to do that would be to learn more instruments, so in the summer between ninth and tenth grade, I started learning the oboe. And I LOVED it. Except . . . when I played, it sort of sounded like a tortured duck. I tried really hard and got a little better, but it was never something anyone would want to listen to. When I moved before eleventh grade, I had to give it up and was never able to go back to it.

Another thing I wish I could do is draw. My daughter is an amazing artist and loves to draw anime characters. I’ve always liked drawing, especially when I was a kid, but I was always lucky that I could color inside the lines, much less draw my own pictures. I’ve thought about trying to draw, maybe see if my daughter could teach me something, but every time I’ve tried in the past, the results were laughable at best.