Thursday, November 9, 2017

Freelance Writing

I know I have been away for a while now.  I took a second job, I've been thinking about getting a new vehicle, I've been working on getting my research together for a future trip, and the BIGGEST thing...I've decided to become a freelance writer.

Freelance writing...This is one of those things where you start out asking yourself "what the fuck am I doing?"  I'm sure it changes after a while, but I'm still in the WTF stage.  I have a handful of articles.  I've sent out some queries or the full article, depending on where I'm sending stuff.

Now I wait.

I know that editors are crazy busy.  I would just like to make some money.

If you're reading this and you're like "I could do give that a try".  I would suggest this book: Handbook of Magazine Article Writing.  Edited by Michelle Ruberg.  Published by Writer's Digest.  I found my copy at Barnes and Noble.  It's been SUPER useful!!!

I also have a spreadsheet going so I can keep track of stuff.  Things I keep track of in my spreadsheet:

  • Article Name
  • Where I Submitted (publication name)
  • Type of Submission (pitch or article)
  • Submission Date
  • Result
  • Money
  • Word Count
I'm currently working on a few new articles.  Once I have them written, I can pitch those.  I should probably submit my articles to some new places.

My personal writing goal is to start making a solid $2000/mo.  Right now, I'm at $0/mo from my writing.  Hopefully that changes soon!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Victory Roll Class!

Fairbanks MCM Architectural Club

I am thinking that I should start an architectural club in Fairbanks with the main focus being mid-century modern.

I've never been involved with an architectural club, but I know they're out there.  If you're interest is piqued, but you have no idea what it entails - don't fret.  I have some ideas that I have been gathering.

Club Functions:

  • Research local buildings, homes, and mid-century modern items (housewares, decor, etc)
  • Assist each other with finding items that members may be looking for
  • Present research on items to the club, one presenter once a month
  • Monthly meeting
  • Home presentation, a members-only function where one club member presents their home to the club.  Sometimes tied to cocktails or dessert/coffee.  The member gives a home tour, talks about heirlooms or important items, items they had trouble finding, any future plans, etc.
  • "Before" and "After" home presentations.  A member might want to show a house before a remodel, then again after the remodel.
  • Tour of local MCM commercial buildings.
I'm looking for people who are interested.  Contact me!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

All About The Hair

For the last two years or so, a local antique store has been asking me to teach some sort of vintage-themed class.  I was always like "what would I even teach?"  My go-to skills are sewing, drawing, painting, and general design work.  After a few games of bowling and an evening thinking it over, I decided that I should teach basic vintage hair.  I can do a few classes, each one with one particular hairstyle as the focus.

I am not a professional, but I have been doing my hair in vintage styles for the last 5 years or so.

I really haven't had luck with people showing up for stuff, so I hope people show up to classes.

I'll start with Victory Rolls.  If that goes well I can do The Poodle, the Happy Pompadour (Rita Hayworth style), and....I don't know....a loose curl glamour hairstyle or something.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Down A Size

I'm firmly down to a size 8.  I have been for a few weeks.  I just didn't want to jinx it somehow and gain size back.  The terrible thing is that I feel fatter than ever.

I'm going to continue eating keto until the keto supplements I have run out.  After that, I'm going back to paleo.

I'm back in a slump.  I think from lack of socialization.  I have tried to get people to do stuff with me - Saturday morning coffee, game nights, learning the lindy hop, etc.  Everyone is "too busy".  I'm just like -- I have binge-watched 5 seasons of 'True Blood' this week- please do something with me.  I like doing things by myself, but I also enjoy little events like playing board games or something.

I'm still going to do the Saturday morning coffee thing; last time I got 2 chapters read of 'Red Dragon' and I finalized my shopping list.  I am going to start bowling, once my things come in.  I ordered a bowling ball, a bag, and shoes.  I'll go to the cafe once a week and I'll go bowling once a week.

I have concocted a new workout regime.  I'm going to start it Monday.

I'm so tired of having no one to do anything with.  I don't make friends easily.  I can't wait to become engrossed in a new writing project.  Come on creative mind....please work quickly!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Things I've Learned About Keto

I've had a very hard time with the keto diet.  One little "splurge" can set you back a few days, in the sense of progress.  I think I have it figured out now.

What is Keto?
A keto diet is composed of 75% healthy fats (coconut, mct oil, etc), 20% protein (preferable lean meat), and 5% carbohydrates.  The keto diet eliminates the use of bread, grain-based flours, beans, sugar, starchy foods, legumes, and high-carb fruits/veggies.  You can have meat, low-carb fruits/veggies, dairy products, nuts/seeds, spices, and healthy fats.

What about carbs in vegetables?
You can still eat vegetables, but it's reduced in amount.  Look at the nutritional value of vegetables. The type you want to aim for are low carb veggies with a sufficient serving size.  Leafy greens are excellent for this.  Here is a small list of excellent vegetables for the keto diet.

  • Celery, 2 stalks, 4g carbs
  • Cucumber, 1/3 medium, 2g carbs
  • Green Cabbage, 3oz, 5g carbs
  • Radishes, 7 radishes, 3g carbs
  • Leaf Lettuce, 1-1/2 cup, 2g carbs
  • Iceberg Lettuce, 1/6 head, 2g carbs
  • Green Onion, 1/4 cup, 2g carbs
  • Asparagus, 5 spears, 4g carbs
  • Kale, 1 cup, 2g carbs
  • Cauliflower, 1/2 cup, >1g carbs
  • Mustard Greens, 1 cup, 2.9g carbs
  • Avocado, 1/2 fruit, 4.5g carbs
  • Zucchini, 1 medium, 7g carbs
I always try to have a 1/2 gallon of water a day, not including coffee and tea.  If you don't drink much water, you're probably like "Whoa!  That's a lot!".  It's actually the daily recommended amount.  I have a 32oz water bottle that I fill twice a day.  My magical secret is adding Mio or other brand that basically adds calorie-free flavoring to water.  It sure helps get the water down in a timely fashion.  Another thing that helps me, is sparkling water (make sure it's unsweetened).  It's carbonated and you can get it flavored.  I use it to fool myself into thinking that I'm drinking something special, like you might with a soda.

I don't just drink water.  I drink a shit ton of coffee too.  I just don't count my coffee intake with my water intake.

Also, with this amount of water, I recommend trying NOT to drink anything after 6pm or 7pm.  This is only so you can get to sleep without having to get up in the middle of the night to run for the bathroom.

What are healthy fats?
Healthy fats become your fuel source.  Here are the top 10 for the keto diet:
  1. MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides)
  2. Coconut Oil (natural source of MCT oil)
  3. Palm Kernel Oil
  4. Suet (this is an animal fat)
  5. Ghee
  6. Cocoa Butter
  7. Butter (standard butter)
  8. Tallow
  9. Lard
  10. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (recommended for non-heat use only)
MCT oils are naturally found in coconut oil, palm oil, and in dairy.  MCTs are easy for the body to turn into ketones, which are the fat bodies your body will burn for energy (aka your body uses your fat cells as fuel).

If I have a list of healthy fats, I should probably list some bad fats:
  1. Grapeseed Oil
  2. Sunflower Oil
  3. Flax Oil
  4. Safflower Oil
  5. Soybean Oil
  6. Corn Oil
  7. Margarine
  8. Vegetable Shortening
  9. Vegetable Oil
  10. Cottonseed Oil
  11. Canola Oil
Things I Do That Help Me Immensely!!!
  • I preplan and prepare my lunch for the work week.  I use divided containers.  This last week it was buffalo chicken meatloaf, broccoli, and snack-size cheese.
  • I eat a lot of fish and other seafood.
  • I tend to eat lean meat and use dairy to help get the high fats.
  • Tuna for breakfast.  Almost every morning I have tuna for breakfast, followed by a fat bomb "shake".
  • If I need a snack, I try to reach for: nuts, cheese, meat pieces, pork rinds, keto ice cream, keto cheesecake, and pumpkin fudge (see my list of recipes).  I try not to snack, reverting back to my high school mindset of "if I think I'm hungry, I'm probably just thirsty instead".
  • I bought a 1 pint ice cream maker by Nostalgia Electronics.  Check amazon.  A basic ice cream base for 1 pint is: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2-3 TBSP stevia, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt.  From that base, you can add nuts or flavoring or whatever to it.
  • K.I.S.S.  Keep it simple stupid.  I tend to make a big pan of something that will span across the week, especially for lunch items.  You might want to cook up some plain chicken, separate it out into serving size, and for your meals you can liven it up with different sauces.  Simple!
Things I Don't Care For
  • Bulletproof Coffee.  Every once in a while, I can drink a cup of bulletproof coffee.  I really don't like putting anything in my coffee, so to me it just ruins it.  Bulletproof coffee is coffee with 2 TBSP Kerrygold Butter (or heavy cream) and 2 TBSP Coconut Oil.  I really like black coffee.
  • Making Fake Bread.  I don't usually have a craving for bread.  I'm not going to go out of my way to (essentially) fool myself into thinking "Hey, I have keto bread" or something like that.  I'm just not into it.  If I get an acidic stomach (sometimes happens after I take my vitamins) that I can't ignore, I'll have a cracker or two which I can usually find at work.  I try not to worry about these carbs, but I absolutely try to ignore the acid stomach by drinking water or having a piece of cheese or something like that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Top 10 Serial Killer Films

I am a big fan of serial killer films.  This list took some time to put together because I like a lot of these types of films.  These are not in any particular order, by the way.  I'm only listing films, not television shows.

1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
This film is about Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole - real serial killers - who team up and go on a serial killing spree.  It stars a young Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy) and Tom Towles (House of 1000 Corpses).  This film takes some artistic liberties, so it's not 100% true.

2. Silence of The Lambs (1991)
One of my all time favorites.  This film really got me loving serial killer films.  If you're looking at this list and you have never seen any of these films, start with this one.  It stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

3. American Psycho (2000)
Based on a book with the same name, this film is AWESOME because it is relate-able.  That may sound crazy, but our main character, Patrick Bateman, has so many stressors - including his own routines - that he goes crazy and kills.  Also, he likes to spit out music trivia.  Music is pretty good in this film.

4. Ed Gein (2007)
The story of Ed Gein, the serial killer that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.  This actually shows you the mental state of Ed Gein, more than his low IQ and craziness.  This touches a little on what the cops actually found - the real list is long and disturbing (like a a belt made from human nipples).

5. Gacy (2003)
Gacy is played by Mark Holton (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - "I know you are, but what am I?").  This film never made it to the big screen, but it is pretty good.  Holton does a great job as John Wayne Gacy.

6. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Hands down, this film on the list has the best soundtrack.  Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis star as the killer couple.

7. Citizen X (1995)
Stephen Rea stars as the morgue doctor trying to figure out who is responsible for the bodies.  This is based on the true story of Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo.

8. The Frighteners (1996)
If you are looking for something a little light-hearted this may be the film for you.  Michael J Fox stars as a guy who can see ghosts.  Lately, in his little city, there have been a weird string of deaths that no one can figure out.  This does involve a serial killer couple - one living, one dead.  Also, this is a Peter Jackson film.

9. So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993)
This film is hilarious.  It's about Charlie (Mike Meyers) trying to make it as a comedian/poet in San Francisco, seems to find love while being super paranoid, and then finds ties to her and the serial killer "Mrs. X".  This is actually fairly kid friendly.   I'll leave you with this: "Woman!  Whoa-Man!"

10. M (1931)
Directed by Fritz Lang, the genius behind Metropolis.  Peter Lorre plays a serial killer who preys on children in Berlin.  A manhunt ensues.  This is a classic suspense film.

Runner-Up.  Mr. Right (2015)
Hitmen aren't serial killers, I am told this by my friends who love the serial killer genre.  Technically, they are though they get paid money for it.  Anyway, I'm including this on here because I love Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick.  In this film, they are the lead characters!  He's pretty crazy and she's a weirdo who needs crazy.

Runner-Up. Monster (2003)
This is about Aileen Wuornos.  Aileen is played by Charlize Theron.  Based on real events.  Aileen was a prostitute in Florida who went a little nuts after a john decided to beat on her.  Led to a killing spree.  She died by lethal injection in 2002.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Personal Future

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Are you happy with your current job?

Do you want to live in the city your in?

All of these questions have come up in the last week and it has sent me into a spiral of "trying to figure my life out".  If you've been following this blog, you know that this happens once or twice a year to me and causes a bit of stress.

My answers to these questions are, in order, "I don't know.  Single?", "No", and "Not really, but I can manage here".    All of these answers indicate that I need to have some sort of life change.

I'd like to be my own boss since I haven't made it as a writer.  I have a fantastic collection of business ideas, but I don't know if I want to do them here in Fairbanks, AK.  Despite a growing rockabilly community, I don't know if  rockabilly clothing store (just one of many ideas) would do well here.  On top of that, I haven't really found any locations for a shop that I like.  They're all a little out of the way or have some other issues (bad neighborhood, no parking, hard to get to, etc).

My current job is cushy.  I live right above my office.  I get to have the dogs around me all the time.  It's not a difficult job - in fact, it can be a little slow and boring.  I can spend my free time working on my own projects - between work projects.  I have insurance.

I have no idea where I want to live.  I have two labrador retrievers.  I prefer the cooler climate of the PacNW (and similar regions), but also Hawaii.  I don't think I want to move to a big city with two big dogs.  For their sake, and my own sanity, I think a smaller community would be preferable - somewhere near some water.  I moved to Portland a few years ago for about 14/15 months before my parents talked me into coming back to Alaska.  I didn't have a great job, I didn't have dogs or friends, but I was on my own.

Maybe I should start with a vacation.  I have almost two full months of vacation time saved up - I think I'm short by a few days, unless my sick days cover those few days because I'm almost never out sick....hmm.....yeah, I suppose it's a solid 2 months.  That means no vacations in the last 4 years.

I don't even know where to start with figuring out my future.  HELP!  Suggestions?

Skills.  I guess I should figure out what skills I have and apply for fitting jobs, right?  Do I have skills?  Applicable skills?  I feel like I have lame skills that don't work for jobs.  I can make my own sewing patterns, that's a skill.  I cook and bake.  I have the basic office manger skills (typing, using the printer/copier/scanner without beating on it, using Office suite, PDF creating/editing, answering phones, etc).  I'm pretty strong.  I can play bass guitar.  I'm pretty good at writing and editing written work.  I have research skills and I can draw stuff.  At one point I was a museum intern for 14-months, so I have some tour guide and curating skills from that.  I can make a damn fine cup of coffee.  I have general craft skills (like arts and crafts).  I do a lot of conceptual design and business ideas - these just get tucked away in my apartment.  I'm not super sporty, but I have some skills in taekwondo, boxing, fencing, baseball, and weightlifting.  I have organizational skills - I literally put together a pin up pageant for a car show.  I'm good with time management.  Publishing skills - I had my own quarterly paper for a year.  I have an art degree and a history degree, so I have those kind of skills as well. kind of job does that land me?  Why do I feel like my skills will only land me jobs like waitress or barista or receptionist or something like that?  I know the answer is low self-value.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

White Chocolate Almond Keto Cookies

Makes 12 cookies

4oz Cream Cheese
2 TBSP Heavy Cream
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBSP Stevia
2 TBSP Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips

  1. Place your cream cheese in your mixing bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  2. Add the cream to the warm cream cheese and mix together.  Add in your egg and vanilla, then mix.
  3. Add in the rest and stir until your cookie dough is thick.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.   Ready a cookie sheet by either laying a silpat mat over it or a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Divide the cookie dough into 12 balls.  Gently press the balls a little flat on the cookie sheet.  I suggest using a piece of waxed paper or parchment to press the dough - otherwise it may stick to your hands.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

These are pretty good.  I've been on keto for 2 months now and I've REALLY been wanting some cookies.  I know the white chocolate chips aren't really a keto item.  These are still really good.

As you can see -  FAT 11g, CARB 7g, PROTEIN 3g.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017



I am always looking for ideas for the subject of my next piece. My pieces are usually kept short, just one page front and back. Please post your suggestions here OR on my author facebook page, where I will also be posting these. My plan is to post one per week.


Sword Fighting/Swashbuckling Words

En Guarde
Extended Lunge
Cutting Edge
Razor Sharp
Run Through

Saturday, May 27, 2017

1941 Winter Wear - Alaska

I was at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska today and saw this at the Pioneer Museum.  I thought that it would make for an interesting blog post.  It's a simple wool jacket with a fun embroidered skiing design.  The pants are very plain, but match the burgundy fabric and are cuffed at the ankle.

Thursday, May 25, 2017



Before I begin, let me just say that the following is from my actual yellow writing journal. I am always looking for ideas for the subject of my next piece. My pieces are usually kept short, just one page front and back. Please post your suggestions here OR on my author facebook page, where I will also be posting these. My plan is to post one per week.


When I opened my eyes I saw pumpkins. A large field of pumpkins. The wet dirt soaked my clothes and I could smell the field – the dirt, the plants, the scent of lingering rain.

Pushing myself off the ground to stand, I realized that the field was larger than I had imagined with a yellow farmhouse and red barn in the distance. Between my position and the barn was a T-shaped post, where a scarecrow would be hung. There was no need.

There were no crows or any bird sounds, for that matter. I caught the brief scamper of a mouse, but that was all. The only sounds were of the wind rustling distant leaves and a strange heavy shifting sound like an armful of hay plopping down from a barn loft – only the barn was too far away.
How did I end up in this strange field? I couldn’t remember.

Wet wranglers and a clammy flannel made me frown. They had been washed and freshly ironed when I was at the market. I moved slow, stepping over pumpkin plants, as I headed towards the yellow house.

I stopped when I heard the heavy shifting sound again. I turned and saw a pile of fabric and hay not too far away. The hat blew in the wind, flopping on the ground.

A chill ran down my spine and I tried quickening my pace. I stopped when I heard the heavy sound again.

Glancing over my shoulder, I saw the pile of clothing and hay had moved! It was closer.

I hopped over the next row of pumpkins and quickly turned.

A man-sized scarecrow with an eerie grin stood there watching me.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Creating a Minimal Mid-Century Modern Space, Part 3

The following are the few items I have collected over the years that I am so happy to own!  These help my space to look unique.

This is my mom's parents' 1941 RCA Victorola.  It needs to be fixed, which is a special process so the bulbs don't explode.  Below, I have the two top doors open.

This is my wonderful Joybird couch.  It's one of the first really BIG purchases that I've ever made - aside from travel expenses.  This is the Hughes Chaise Sofa, in case you're wondering.

One of my aunts found these pillow covers.  They look like burlap, but they're really soft.  The beaded curtain print matches the couch.  I actually pulled these out at Christmas and never put them back.  I just like having them.

My mom found these old tv trays with a stand. They're a little scuffed up.  I've been thinking about repainting them.  Do I keep the checkerboard pattern or do I come up with my own pattern?

 My kitchen small tikis.  Tiki mugs, a tiki lamp, and tiki figures from Hawaii.  I even have a skull cookie jar that holds dog treats.  Also, random cowboy that was my grandma's figurine.

This was a Christmas present this year.  It works pretty well.  I really like it.

8 Cool MCM Items

1. Brighten Your Space With A Mobile  $79-149.  Purchase as-is, customize your colors, pastels, or even glow in the dark.

2. By The Lamp Light!  Colorful Finials contact for price.  Offering atomic, molecule, and artsy lamp finials.  These are lamp toppers that provide a little extra oomf!

3. Mid-Century Modern Wallpaper price varies.  Add a MCM style to your walls or just to an accent wall.

4. Post-War & Atomic Wallpaper  $76-81/roll.  This wallpaper is a little more tone down than that of the Double E Company.


5. Add Some Unique Tiles  price varies.

6. Plant It With A Bullet $170-180 (depending on size) bullet planter.  I have it shown in rattan, but these bullet planters come in a wide variety of colors and leg finishes.  Great for indoors or outdoors.  They also have a mini version!

7. The Shop With A Little Everything  prices vary.  Retro Planet has a bunch of stuff - clocks, kitchenware, signs, gifts, etc.

8. Retrograde Your Landline and are the two best places to get refurbished or reproduction phones that are ready for you to use.
1940s wall phone - Erico
1959 princess phone - World to Home

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Basic Ahi Poke

Poke is a Hawaiian dish of marinated raw tuna, usually served with rice and/or veggies.  I just put it with some broccoli and made it soy-free. Pronounced Po-kay.  Summer luau?  Maybe try some poke!

Basic Ahi Poke
serves 4

1 lb Ahi Tuna, sushi-grade
2 TBSP Lime Juice
1 TBSP White Wine
2 TBSP Bragg's Aminos
1 TBSP Honey
Sesame Seeds
Onion Powder and/or Scallions, chopped

1. Wash your tuna and cut into small cubes.
2. Mix everything together in a bowl - tuna, wet items, dry items.
3. Chill in the fridge for 5 minutes.
4. Serve with rice and/or veggies.

You can add in fruit or sriracha or whatever to alter your poke.  You can also add in various veggies.  This is commonly served with sliced avocado, chopped cabbage, pineapple, etc.  Make it your own!

Be careful when consuming raw fish.  Always serve the poke chilled.