Friday, July 29, 2011

cupcakes and pikachu

Yesterday was Hans's birthday. He had to work most of the day but I'd say he came home to a pretty sweet little gift...

Miniature black cherry chocolate cupcakes!
Okay, so Hans's sister and I wanted to make him cupcakes, but we didn't have a cupcake pan so we used a tea cake pan. You can't tell because I'm a failed photographer, but they're in all kinds of fun shapes--hearts, stars, roses, etc. We used black cherry preserves instead of icing, I think they're adorable! Bitesize is always favorable. Also, we made about a thousand, not six.

I also painted him this cardboard portrait of Pikachu, because we're little kids at heart. I presented it to him first thing in the morning and I was dead tired so my memory is foggy, but he probably squealed with delight.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

dream: skinny weirdo zombies

Last night I had this funky dream. Okay, I quite nearly always have funky dreams. I used to always document them but I've stopped. I want to pick it back up again though, so here goes.

I was in the house I grew up in with Hans and my family. We were sitting on the couch, various blunt objects in our hands, awaiting the arrival of a zombie horde. The zombies were all bone-thin. In fact I don't think they were even anatomically correct. My dream must have added extra bones to achieve the level of skeletal creepiness these guys possessed. They'd arrive in small groups, and each group rang the doorbell. We'd march up to the door and open it to welcome our frighteningly thin guests, and beat their heads in (I was duel-wielding small baseball bats). Then we'd throw them in the basement where they still stood upright but we somehow knew they had been rendered useless and were no longer dangerous.

The shock came when we opened the door to a pair of our smiling neighbors, talking animatedly, but still clearly very much living corpses. Here my dream kindly flashes to a little explanatory scene which takes place in a mall. A girl is up high in a tiny elevator, which may or may not be part of a Space Needle replica, when a pair of the zombies below announce they know how to operate it and proceed to psychically force the girl to lower the lift down into the crowd of writhing corpses.

THEN IT FLASHES AGAIN, THIS TIME TO ALBUS DUMBLRDORE. Dumbledore is sitting in his study, writing a letter, apparently to me, and the dream kindly allows me to hear him narrate the letter as he writes it. He explains to me that if ever in life you taught a person how to do a thing--any thing, like ride a bike, use an oven, operate an elevator--then the person you taught, now a zombie, will be able to control you and by some psychic power, force you to do whatever action you once taught them to do. He tells me he is shut in his study and unable to leave, because he has taught everyone ever, so any zombie would have some form of control over him. He could therefore be easily overwhelmed. He goes on to tell me that zombies you were close to in life (like my friendly neighbors) will retain their personalities when and only when they are around you (or whoever else they were close to).

Flash! and back to my house, chatty zombies still rambling. I beat them over their heads but they kept talking, even with brain pulp showering out of their open skulls like confetti. We decided to just call them done-in and throw them in the basement, only to realize the basement was full. We decided to lead the harmless, broken zombies outside to make room for more. Throughout the dream refugees had been joining our number and in our mission to lead the bashed-in zombies outside, one of these refugees was found torturing one of the talking zombies. We all thought he must be some kind of sadistic sociopath because hey man, how can you be torturing a thing which is amicably carrying on a conversation with you? Yet we kept this psycho around because we didn't have the heart to throw him out.

We walked out into the backyard to see a bunch of animals wandering around, and suddenly the animals are the zombies and the zombie invasion is a friendly cuddly game which is part of a Disney MMORPG for children? Next thousands of shiny animal visages overlaying each other like a gigantic zoologist's kaleidescope keep flying at me, encompassing my sight entirely. Now the dream ends.

What. I love dreams.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Phoenix has grown so much since we adopted her! She looks like a dog now rather than an awkward puppy. And she is gorgeous.

Phoenix has developed a new hobby of chewing on Kenya?!!?! Hans and I are both at a loss. Kenya seems to sort of like it? What.

My baby beauty (and her goofy ear).

I so so adore my animal kiddies. I spend too many hours a day staring at them and that is just fine.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

another venture into the realm of my ancient artwork

Today has consisted mostly of cleaning house, eating sweets (after going 22 years of NOT being addicted to sweets, I am now addicted to sweets), "grooming" Phoenix, and reading Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Kundera is my newest literary love--every one who hasn't done already should check him out. This evening my parents are hosting a family dinner shindig and Hans's parents are coming. Mom is making tempeh tacos, and I'm more than the appropriate amount of excited about it.

In blog news, I want to be posting lots of my art on this blog! Sadly, I've been suffering artist's block for weeks now but I'm happy to say it seems to have finally released me from its sticky grasp. I've been painting and doodling and coming up with some new stuff, but nothing yet that I'm ready to share. So for now, here's another of my old, old, OLD pieces of art (I have shared one other old-as-heck work, HERE).

This time around I have yet another sad humanoid...thing.

...I guess I wanted someone to shut up. I always have a lot of fun looking back at my old drawings. One of these days I may try to compile a year-by-year progression of my art skillz. That would be interesting, I'm sure (possibly to me alone).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I am a complete spaz and I probably shouldn't pose for pictures ever because all it does is capture permanently what a fool I am. But, I really like this dress I found at a thrift shop a little while back. Here are pictures of me in it, along with my favorite vegan boots and some necklaces, taken by my ever-talented sister Nanner, who would probably prefer a better model.

I AM an indian princess! I live in the jungle with my dog! I will keep make-believing this until I die.

These were taken up at my parents' place. They live on several acres with their dogs, cats, and horses. It's so beautiful there. Hans and I visit nearly every weekend.

Boots: Big Buddha Casi in Taupe
Dress: Thrifted
Necklaces: Leaf by Dottie and Octopus by random Dragon*Con vendor, sadly no links

Monday, July 18, 2011


Hans and I went to the HP7.2 premiere! After weeks (okay, months. Okay, years!) of anticipation, the night finally arrived: the amazing, sad, beautiful, terrible, wonderful ending to my childhood.

at the hp7 premiere
sleepy Hans and dork-faced me at the premiere

We arrived hours early, armed with chocolates and candies (we need sugar to stay up late; we're oldies), and sat in the lobby reading Deathly Hallows until the moment came. Hans was right when he said the buzzing nervousness felt just like the fearful excitement of climbing the tallest hill of a roller coaster.

read read read

On Deathly Hallows Part 2, I can say I loved it. There were some little parts I didn't like, mostly having to do with what felt like choppy editing, but nonetheless the final film was incredible. Every actor gave a great performance, especially Alan Rickman, who has always done justice to my favorite character, Snape. And the film had me falling more in love with Neville Longbottom than even the book did (and trust me, in the book when Neville rises to such heroics, my heart throbs). I definitely cried more than I have ever, ever cried at any movie. Basically from Death Number 1 to the last death the film shows (we know whose that is!), I was sobbing. Sobbing! Movies don't usually get me like that! But this is more than a movie, these characters live in my heart and soul, damn it. Sobs and sniffles could be heard throughout the theater at the midnight premiere. It was touching, really. And, true to my dorky character, less than 24 hours after the premiere I was back at the theater seeing the film again (no lies: I will probably do so many more times). I have to see it more than once to get a proper analysis! And my analysis is that Deathly Hallows parts 1 & 2 are the best films in the series since The Sorcerer's Stone, and thank goodness, because how bad would it be if they messed up the ending?!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hey blogalog, I'm just popping in really quickly to mention Google+, which I think is fairly awesome. I'm not an avid Facebook user (read: Twitter is where it's at), but I've been lucky to snag an invite to Google+ and so far, I totally dig it. It's a little empty over there though, as it's still invite-only. I'd love some new Google+ friends, and thanks to the ease of "circles", I've decided to keep my account largely public, so I'm welcoming all my interwebz pals to be my Google+ friends. Find me: Sara Shuford.

And! I'm not stingy--if you haven't been invited yet, I can invite you if you send me your email. Let's face it, we all want to be hip, elite users of the newest social network on the block.

Google+ party commence!

P.S. I'm still deep in my Harry Potter re-read/re-watch, thus the lack of regular blog updates, but I'll be back after it's all over (perhaps with my thoughts on the final film!).

Friday, July 1, 2011

I love you, Tallulah

Hi, blog friends! I have long been away from my little blog. I must admit it's mostly because I can not tear myself away from the Harry Potter book series, what with the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows part II a mere week away. I'm so nervous and I'm reading the books in a fever. I'm a teensy bit emotional over the whole thing (read: I was totally crying while watching the London world premiere yesterday, oops). But, I'm breaking away from my reading spree to blog about the wonderful birthday getaway I went on a couple weekends ago.

I went with a troupe of my oldest and best friends to my favorite place in Georgia, Tallulah Gorge. We packed my mom's SUV (which she bravely let us borrow) full with camping gear, filled all 8 seats with bodies, and after a cramped two-hour drive we arrived in beautiful Tallulah Falls.

We set up camp and then headed down the gorge straight away (after signing wavers; they only let 100 people down per day). Traversing the gorge involves a lot of rock hopping, a lot of stairs, and a lot of wonder. But who wants words, especially when I can hardly do the place justice? I'll let the pictures to the talking now. (Sorry, picture heavy!)

(I almost chose to caption this, "besties!")

I am not tall/agile/brave enough to ever get up there...

Walking along this waterfall is one of the most thrilling parts of the journey for me.

At the end of the long trek, you can scoot out onto this natural slip and slide and be swept away into the icy pool below. It's mighty rewarding and tremendously fun.

While breaking camp I made friends with this little guy.

This was my third and most favorite trip to Tallulah Gorge, and I certainly hope to make many more trips back throughout my life. The sense of wonder and adventure I get down in the gorge is incredible.

P.S. For more about Tallulah Gorge and some of my other vacationing exploits, check out my guest post over on Erin's blog.

What are your favorite places to go when you want to get away from it all?

All photos taken by my talented sister, Nanner.

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