Girl, u so dead.

Alternate heading: American Horror Story season 3, episode 12

I  bring spoilers to those who have not seen the above mentioned episode! Look away, look a… ok? Ok!

So… *this* specific moment right here:

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made me think our dear Fiona Goode was about to bite the dust. “But how? How could she bite the dust?” I thought to myself “And what was all that talk about her only having those two weeks left to live?”. I was under the impression that her deal with the voodoo deity was still standing, why wasn’t it standing?! Someone please explain.

Then of course, juuuust when you think to yourself for the first time “Oh there she goes again, yapping about her childhood memories and how yaddayadda, soooo drama queen…Who cares about your calico cat!?! “, you then have a split second when you just know that she has one second left before getting an axe to her back and

*crunch*

But seriously, besides that doubt I mentioned, doesn’t it just seem odd that the Supreme, with all her amazing powers (she does still have powers, remember how she owned Queenie at the beginning of the episode), could not mind control, clairvoy, telekenese or any other mumbojumbo her way out of this ‘perdicament’?

Misty says she’s gator food. Is she? Hmmm, I must admit I am a bit anxious to see the season finale, I hear the ending is quite unexpected.

Any ideas on who the next Supreme might be? Or if there will be a next supreme? Do you think Cordelia managed to avert what she saw in her vision?

Soooo curious hehe 🙂

And for dessert:

The stuffed avocado was glorious btw. I was really surprised (and proud, I don’t take culinary risks that often)!

Then came dessert, also a Pinterest discovery. Thin apple slices with a bit of cinnamon and a tiny bit of ginger.

They were so crispy and the apple flavour was so rich! A really healthy alternative.

Turning the slices halfway through the baking time really helped to crisp them up faster, and not getting too enthused with the temperature really helped in avoiding burning them (which happened to me last week on my test run. Burned apples don’t taste good).

While we are on the subject of buttons:

Back to my box o’buttons: Some are really old, and it shows. I made a Pinterest profile yesterday, put up my stuff, and some pictures I had in my tablets that I had found inspirational. Then I started pinning other things, among which hand painted buttons. That’s when I got the idea that I could easily give my old buttons a new face! So I grabbed my acrylic paints, and got to trying it out. Had plenty of fun painting in the tiny details and such (while watching a movie), but then my boyfriend asked me what would I do with my new buttons. Thought about it for a bit and decided that they would look pretty neat on my upcycled sardine cans! I did use flowers on my first one, so why not use these ones too? Here’s the makeover button, a before and after shot: image And the upcycled can idea where I could put it (and others I’ll eventually paint): image

Well I sure as hell took my sweet time!

Just scrolled down to see when exactly I decided to make my button tree and it was scary: November 2012!

I made it yesterday lol.

Here’s the link to the original idea : Original button tree idea

I ended up grabbing a small canvas I had laying around and started making a trial painting with watercolors. I had never painted anything on a canvas, nor had I used watercolors since I was a kid, so I gave it a go. When I thought it looked acceptable (don’t really like the tree trunk, might try to fix it a bit later, but I love the background), I realized less is more, and even though my b/f had got me a big canvas for my tree, this little one, with less buttons, looked like the best option.

Just a quick recap for those that don’t feel like reading what’s on the original link: I’d play with these buttons as a kid. I’d sit on the floor looking at them and just making drawings with them on the floor. My granma kept them in a box. I loved that box, and after her death I was lucky to have found it.

Here it is, the final product:

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P.s- yes, granma bought me bunny buttons 🙂
P.p.s- really need to fix that tree trunk

A world without locks…

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I’ve never been very good at falling asleep. I remember being five and already staying awake for hours in the dark. This was when I developed the habit of entertaining my head with stories, adventures, scenarios etc. Unfortunately if something upset me that day, it was very hard for me to not dwell on it, to the point it was tiresome. This is still an issue to this day, although I have learned how to switch that crap off much faster than before.

I also fall asleep faster. Rare are the nights where it takes two hours or three for me to finally switch off. Having a much calmer and uncomplicated person in my life has really helped.

Anyways, all this information to explain why the hell would I be thinking about a world without locks at 1am: I was trying to not think too much.

So: A world where nobody can lock anything. There are no locks of any kind. You cannot keep anything in a safe, anyone can enter your home, nobody can be locked up, anyone can get into your car etc, etc.

How would this world be? Would it be a land of horrors, where chaos ruled? Would it be crawling with thieves, hooligans, people hurting others (more than in the real world obviously)? Would it be a Madmaxian scenario, where people were armed, defending their homes? Would there be a different social structure? Would we be organized into clans for better protection? Yadda yadda yadda…

Or

Would it be a world where people did not accumulate wealth (anyone could take it)? Would people be more equal? Would we behave better, because we had to (better not piss off your neighbor, he might come visit you while you sleep)? Would this freedom make people more aware of what is right and wrong? Would we have the latest iwhatever and the best flat screen tv knowing that the local beggar could walk in at any moment? Would we be ashamed? Would we even have our own homes?

What would be sold? What would be valued? What would… well, you get it, right? Just so many differences, all because of something as simple as a lock.

I fell asleep fast after starting to think about this. Still an interesting idea.

Silly ego-booster

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Had to get into a packed train in the subway today (a strike had just ended). Not much room, so I had to stand with my back pressed to this cute younger guy. He grinned. How silly is it that I think of this as an ego-booster? Oh well, it was, so I’ll take it thank you very much (at 34 I’ll take as many as I can for as long as I can lol!) I prefer these subtle things than the more obvious ones, even though some still make me laugh (clearly a Latin thing in my opinion, men here think that being obvious makes them more manly).

Anywhoo, one of my closest friends commisioned one of my flower bookmarkers. I sold it so cheap the train ticket was practically the same price (a few cents profit), but the whole giddy feeling I got out of someone asking me to make something for them was the real bonus 🙂

Cute little rose

Heya 🙂 ! Just made this little rose and I find it really cute, so I’m sharing a photo of it with you, and I am also linking the videos that will help any beginner create something easy and beautiful. I’ll make a pin out of it :).

Here it is:

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Leaf

Rose

The videos are by Yolanda Soto Lopez, check her channel out, it is full of great tutorials!

Merry Christmas all!

I hope everyone out there celebrating Christmas has a wonderful holiday, with your loved ones by you, with joy, health and great food 😉

Here’s my newest creation 🙂 A crochet Poinsettia 😀

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I’ll be giving it to my mother and really hope she likes it. I am making it with the intention to be used as a table decoration, but it will also look great on a coat, so I’ll give her a pin too in case she’d rather wear it 🙂

The video with the tutorial is here, it was really helpful and well explained. I made a few alterations, the green leaves I made bigger, and I added  light green color to the yellow center.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BrcSo0KF9Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player

OMG what is WRONG with me?!

I don’t know what the hell has happened to me since the beginning of December but this is just getting ridiculous!

I have no will to work what so ever. Like nada, nothing, ziltch! Granted there isn’t much to do at work at the moment, which is stupid (Xmas, I should be busy purchasing new things for the shop, registering them, pricing them etc etc, but since the lovely crisis is here, we’d rather sell what we have and have money for salaries and Xmas bonuses at the end of the month), but even the little there is to do is just ugh!

All I want to do is go home, make a wonderful cup of coffee, put on my pjs, my dads old oversized wool coat (mom made a his and hers waaahaaahaaay back when they were married, decades ago, and I still have it and I wuves it), and sit at the pc, playing this new game my boyfriend got me, well, it’s old, but it’s new for me, and I’m loving it (Witcher, based on books written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a story I might end up reading).

That’s all I want. So simple.

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Oh what the heck! For the sake of posterity!

About two years ago I took some belly dancing lessons. We came up with a choreography because the gym asked us to participate in their annual show. So after two months of bi-weekly lessons, we came up with this. It is pretty simple, but we loved it ;).

I guess it is pretty easy to figure out which one I am, as the boyfriend focused a lot on me (cute, but I wish I had more of my friends, still… cute, so heh *blush*). The camera was terrible, its from a photo machine, so not that great. There are a few seconds of musical confusion at first and I spot one mistake from my side (not bad for me lol)

I just put it up on Youtube. Since this is an anonyblog, I don’t really mind showing it lol. And it will be good to look back at it, along with all my other posts.
Our teacher is the on on the far right. Only three brave students had the guts to participate, the rest chickened out haha!

Here’s the link:

 

 

The bookworm book marker!

Here’s my second improv! For a while I thought it was a fail, and that I’d end up using it as a Christmas wreath lol, but I think it looks pretty neat now. Putting a head on it really made it more convincing ;).

I made it pretty long (doesn’t show on the photo) so that it would work on a large book, or a smaller one. The idea is to have it mark the page you are on and then fold over the pages, and leave the head hanging in front of the cover.

For me it took quite a bit of time and trials, but I think that it is a pretty fast and nice and easy Christmas present (or any present) for a pro to make. 🙂

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Crochet book markers for Christmas!

Righty-o, here’s the next thing I’ve been up to: Crochet book markers. It’s great to be able to do something that makes me feel good, and then give it to someone I know will appreciate it, and save money in the process.

I found the idea in this great tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHsPxiZCulE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The tutorial for the pansy one is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfC8iuMqUdo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I think that on a good day, including my near-crochet-newbie status, a full time job, and all the normal activities that affect a normal person’s life, I can make one of these a day, or two, if I skip going to the gym, which I do often ahaha :p

Here are the ones I have done so far:

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The bear that turned into a mouse

I was looking at this Youtube video to try to make a bear appliqué, didn’t really like the way it looked on the video, but the basic shape was what I really needed help with, so then I made up the snout part aaaaaand, it looked like a mouse!

Hah! So then I made a tail for said mouse, and went out to purchase the perfect ‘mouse eyes’, and a bag of sew-on pins, and presto!: another Xmas gift for my best friend’s baby!

The original Youtube video is here for anyone who may want to try a bear/mouse appliqué:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foTcPkaD9QA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

And this is my mousy:

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My first crochet improv!

Behold! The very first thing I have created without the use of a Youtube tutorial or a pattern (which I cannot read anyways).

This will be a pin for my best friends’ baby. He’s turning one soon. I was really careful to secure the buttons well, and hopefully one day he’ll wear it on a winter coat 🙂

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My very first upcycled sardine can

Here’s a photo of my first upcycled sardine can. It was easy to make. All I needed was some nice magazine cut outs, laminate adhesive, to make the cut outs look shiny, a ruler, scissors, glue and these little flowers I bought in a local shop. I think I will make a picture frame out of it, or maybe something weirder, not sure yet 🙂

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Game of Thrones present

Ages ago (over one year ago) I asked my brother on his bday “What would you like as a present? Money, or one of my pots, but with a GoT theme?” “POT!!” He immediately answered. I was happy with the answer, but then hehe, I never got around to it, until now.

I have a problem with this pot. I like what I have done so far, but it feels kind of naked. The pot is pretty big, so I’d like to have more area painted than this. Both my boyfriend and sister told me to leave it as it is, but I still have my doubts.

I’ll be giving it as a Xmas presie, and I guess that if I fill it up with cookies or chocolates, it will look better hehe 🙂

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated 🙂

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Learning how to crochet

Yesterday I spent most of the day learning how to crochet, mom and I went to a workshop. It was only the two of us so we got all the attention we needed. My mom mostly refreshed her memory, she’s quite good at it once she remembers what she used to make 20 or 30 years ago. I one the other hand took ages to make anything (mom made 4 granny squares and joined them while I made one lol!) but I’ll keep at it and hopefully things will get easier for me 🙂

Here’s a pot cozy I made, but it actually makes a pretty cool wrist thingy, warmer, bracelet, erm… smt

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Fearful Pranks Ensue – Finally somebody turned up the heat! :D

American Horror Story season 3 started a few weeks ago and I have felt that something has been missing, something I liked from the previous seasons. I guess there is no avoiding it, but I missed being afraid.

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I can say without a doubt that so far the only part that really affected me was the first few minutes of episode one, to be specific, Mme Delphine Lalaurie’s horror show. Horrible. In every way.

And that was it.

There was no racing pulse after that, no shock, no anxiety, nothing. I cannot complain about the acting, not with those ladies leading the show. It is a royal treat in that aspect, but where is my adrenaline dammit?

Then came episode 4.

Finally I felt the element of surprise, some fear, some anger, some sadness. Thank you!

Myrtle Snow (Francis Conroy) was superb! Denis O’Hare’s (Spalding) character really suprised me, as did Josh Hamilton’s ( Hank Foxx, you freak.). Poor Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) I really hope she ends up ok… they always manage to make her my source for anxiety lol 🙂 .

It’s weird, but none of the main scary things scare me. The minotaur didn’t scare me, the zombies don’t scare me… Misty Day (Lily Rabe) scares me, Hank Foxx scares me, Spalding kind of gets to me. Still, this season has yet to give me shivers like the previous one. Does anybody else feel the same?

And no Angela Bassett, you don’t scare me either… yet.

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Road trip moment number 1

I’ll be adding some moments from my recent road trip. All random, no particular order. This moment was by far the oddest, and will fall under my “wtf moments” category. Imagine yourself reaching your destination, car slows down, you look to the side and you see this.

My facial expression must have been excellent at the time, because a tourist that was ‘admiring’ the same thing looked at me and started laughing. Of course I started laughing too.

In case any of you have any doubts, yes, this is a stuffed animal someone decided to ‘donate’ to the village.

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Learning how to knit

Last night I decided to try to learn how to knit on my own. Mom’s way too busy to teach me, so the next best thing is Youtube! There are some pretty neat and helpful videos out there, and this lady from knittinghelp.com has filmed things really well. She explains things calmly, takes her time, and it’s all a blessing lol.

I tired some of the things she mentioned in her video, like the purl stitch, and I’m doing it in the english style, I find it much easier than the continental style.
I make several mistakes, all of them, or most, when I let my mind drift and I stop paying direct attention to what I am doing. My main problem at the moment is seeing a mistake is there, but not knowing how to fix it. I can’t really understand, or see how the yarn moves when it is still.

Hopefully with practice I will begin to understand how things work and I’ll be able to fix things instead of just destroying everything and starting again (doesn’t bother me for now as I am just practicing over and over again).

I also have to find a video that explains how to join two ends together, or else I’ll be making a never ending scarf lol.

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Finito!

Finally done with the latest pot. It was probably the most intricate one I have done so far, and the most difficult one, but I had fun painting it 🙂  Mom’s bday is coming up so I might give it to her unless I make something nicer. I have to make a Stark sigil one for my brother, who also has a passion for all things Game of Thrones… Probably not the next one, but certainly coming soon 🙂

Here it is!

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Welcome to the jungle

Today my dad came over for a few minutes while I got something for him.

Immediately I became (even more) aware of the jungle that my apartment has become after I got addicted to transforming pots and light bulbs. Glass paint pots, Acrylic paint pots, Enamel spray cans, paint brushes, turpentine bottle, paint stained tissues, glue pots, glue tubes, painted pots, unpainted pots, yarn balls… good lord, I’m surprised my boyfriend hasn’t lost it yet! In fact, he hasn’t even complained once. Bless him.

So after I saw this picture I had a really good laugh. I’m sure anyone going through a similar creative spree will appreciate it:

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Next

Ok, I am working on this one now. Spent about two hours outlining the whole thing. By the end of the night my wrist was calling me names! It looks nice as it is, even without coloring in, but I’ll fill it in anyways. I kept the design on paper and can do it again.

Can’t wait to get my hands busy painting it, but saddly, work comes first ;). This is the first design I have made using inspiration from works I saw on the net. A few changes here and there, but I really love it. Hope it looks nice in the end.

Here’s how it looks after the outlining:

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Addicted to pots

Here’s my most recent pot. I used a really old ball of yarn I found in the basement and some glue. Simple, easy and looks pretty fun 🙂
I’ve been a bit addicted to making new pots, I hope the addiction doesn’t end, because it is a healthy addiction and it is doing me a world of good. It is keeping me fulfilled, happy, entertained and inventive!

To think the addiction came back after I went to my mom’s and saw an old one I had made for her 🙂 . So glad the “crafter’s block” hasn’t hit me yet lol. Last time I had a ‘block’ it lasted me for years!

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Working on a new project!

Ok so now it is time to try light bulbs! The acrylic paint I bought works really well on glass, which is weird because a lot of people on the Internet say it doesn’t work well. I am making a Christmas ornament. So far so good, I haven’t had time to do much and I only started last night.

I can’t wait until I get back home to do some more painting. It takes quite a bit of time since I am making such tiny drawings on it, but it has a therapeutic effect on me lol 🙂

Here’s what I have done so far:
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My “wtf?” moment of the day

Today we went on another walk, and discovered new parts of the city… again. It is good to see that the Mouraria part of Lisbon is getting a well deserved makeover and that mid-October, the tourists are still merrily walking the streets, handicraft stores are filled with really interesting and new ideas, whilst others are selling small, adorable pieces of Lisbon’s history (I really had to contain myself not to go wild and start buying stuff I have no room to put in).

It was in a church in the Mouraria that I had my “wtf?” moment. I photographed it with my mobile phone as it is was more discreet and silent than my photo camera. Here it is, in all its amazing splendor: A steering wheel in a church altar.

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New things I painted!

Last post I said I was going to try to paint during my holidays, but I didn’t. I didn’t paint them during my holidays because  (‘yay’ ) my boyfriend’s boss told him she needed him the day before we were meant to head out to our road trip. So instead I painted my little pots and bottle during the weekend.

We were actually quite lucky that our hols got canceled, or rather, postponed, because the weather sucked that week, and we went the week after, and the weather was AWESOME!!!!!

I know I still haven’t posted all about my first hols, but I guess I’ll just add stuff as I feel like it. heck, it’s my blog and I’ll blog how I want to.

Here are some rather sucky quality photos of my latest creations. They look much nicer in person, but saddly my house isn’t as well lit as my mom’s hehe. I’ll replace the photo with better ones if I ever get around to it. I used the usual paints and also tried some new acrylic paints for fun, and I like them!

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That’s right, I’m slacking.

Done with work today, too tired to compute, so I am slacking and making drawings for my future glass paintings. My second half of holidays are about to start and I might get one done, hopefully more, as long as I manage to stay still for a few days… ok, so maybe just the one :p

Here’s an idea:
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Glass painting

Today I passed by my mother’s house to leave her some corn silk tea for an issue she has, kidney stones. I know she’d never bother making it herself, so I left her shitloads in her fridge lol 🙂

I was waiting for the water to boil when I noticed she had my Xmas gift to her from two years ago in her living room. I painted it myself, and filled it with yummy chocolates. Cheapest gift ever, but I think it was pretty cool. I took some photos of it to put here. Here it is!

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Been thinking about making more, on weekends, and then when I had loads, I could either give them to friends or sell them. I made more, I made one for my dad, one for a brother and one for my sister. If I ever come across them again I’ll photograph them and put them here 🙂

Lisbon shopping eating and exploring

Went for another great walk today. Feels like it is still summer. Splendorous weather! We decided to revisit some spots we had discovered a few weeks ago. We also ate some delicious Amorino icecreams, shopped for some winter clothes for me, ate our favourite burgers at Honorato’s and discovered some new bits of Lisbon.

A great day and my feet are killing me 🙂

Here are some photos I took with my mobile:

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And here’s a photo of my very first Henna tattoo! Did it two weeks ago, practically gone now, but it will stay photographed for eternity!

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Another wonderful theory about a character in GoT (contains spoilers)

This post contains spoilers. Look away if you don’t like spoilers, I’ll mention some pretty big ones.

Stopped? Ok.

 

 

 

As the readers are aware by now, the Hound is dead. This does not mean that Sandor Clegane is dead. G.R.R Martin wrote Brienne’s visit to the quiet Isle in a very well planned manner, it is filled with hints that tell us that Sandor Clegane IS alive. I won’t be showing these passages for you, I’m sure most of you picked up on it.

But this post is not about Sandor being alive.

It is about his return.

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Ok, so picture this: Trial by combat for Cersei. Who does she pick? Un-Gregor of course. Who does the Faith pick? You got it 😉

No, let us all start praying Sandor wins in case the theory is right, m-kay?

Shocking Plane Radiation On Flight From Chile To US.

This is really scary guys. Please pass it on.

The Truth is Where?

By Greg in Oregon USA.  1st July 2013.   Find Article Here:-

This is STAGGERINGLY bad news and shows, clearly and positively, that Fukushima Radiation is THICK in the atmosphere above even the Southern Hemisphere. It gets worse over North America and the U.S.

Note…and note carefully – a CPM (Counts Per Minute) reading of 100 is a mandatory HAZMAT Quarantine EMERGENCY in the State of California. Get that? The shocking readings shown in the photos below are what the passengers were breathing and fully-exposed to during the flights from Chile to Atlanta and then across the US to Portland, Oregon.

The US EPA is fully aware of this situation but does nothing to inform the flying public. The AIR over North America is heavily saturated with radiation from Fukushima Daiichi. The government’s response…Don’t Worry, Be Happy! Enjoy The Radioactive Friendly Skies! When many develop cancers in the years ahead, no…

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Aaaannnd now… The Mountain is recast

Yes ladies and gentlemen, another GoT recast it seems!

Ironically it is a recast of a recast I complained about this very day (see previous post): Ser Gregor Clegane III !

His name is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Icelands’s strongest man, he stands at 6’9″, is 24 years old and has no previous acting experience. It certainly does not sound promising, but at least this guy actually looks like a mountain, unlike Gregor Clegane II, and he doesn’t really have to act, he just has to fight his ass off and bash… stuff in (saved ya from a spoiler there). Plus, if he keeps his helm on, I miiiight just be able to imagine Gregor Clegane I in it!

Here he is, in all his glory:

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Daario Naharis has been recast

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Yay, another recast…

So Michiel Huiman is to replace Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis. I was not a huuuuge fan of Skrein’s interpretation of the character, I thought he was a tad too mellow, not testosterone fuelled enough, but hey, I got used to it and hoped that in season three his temper and impulsiveness would be more evident. No clue as to why Skrein is being replaced yet, although the news has been confirmed since it IS in HBO’s website.

I really hate getting used to one image of a character (which was already totally different from the books), and then have it shuffled around altogether. I know crap like this sometimes has to happen, but it should be avoided as much as possible.

Which leads me to the WORST recast in the history of GoT: Conan Stevens replaced by Ian White. This recast, I must admit to my great shame, went right through me and I didn’t even realise it. Conan plays season  one, Ian plays season two. I didn’t even realise Gregor Clegane appeared in season two because of this. Sure I was baffled in Harrenhal when they mentioned Clegane’s name, but my brain just thought “huh? He’s not even there” and then proceeded to pay attention to the rest of the dialogue.

I know Conan Stevens left GoT to go to The Hobbit but was it really necessary to replace the actor in season two? Was Gregor’s presence in Harrenhal aaaall that important in season two? Did he say much? Did he do much? No. They should have simply not put him in season two and them brought him back in season four.

Conan Stevens has already said that he was not called to rejoin in season four, which is just about the most disappointing change I foresee so far. I was really looking forward to see Conan again in a scene just as epic as the one where he almost cut Loras in half. He is the MOUNTAIN dammit! Not the TALL LANKY GUY WHO LOOKS YOUNGER THAN HIS YOUNGER BROTHER.

-.-

HBO, please, stop it with the recasts if you can.

You know it’s bad when you have to resort to this

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Not meaning to demean Dan Brown here, but this is a pretty desperate move on my behalf.

I have done my best to not read G.R.R latest Game of Thrones book (published in 2011… hint hint Mr. Martin) in hopes to coincide the end of my reading to the launch of the new book. I’ve tried games, the gym, keeping my home cleaner, drawing, painting, cooking, and now Dan Brown.

One story has nothing to do with the other, one author has nothing to do with the other, one genre has nothing to do with the other, yet I was hoping the typical adrenaline rush Brown gives me would help me stop thinking about Tyrion and Daenerys and Jon… and Arya and Sansa, and Jaime, and Brienne, and oh heck even good old Cersei.

But no… *sigh*

Write like the wind G.R.R Martin, like the wind….

Lisboa, Lisboa…

Yesterday I went out for a long walk with my better half, a sort of commemorative promenade to celebrate our five years together. The night was hot, but with some kind strokes of cool air to help us in our way.

The city was quite beautiful, if one would ignore the plague of fucking tags that has not so recently assailed it (seriously, António Costa, you really would make my day if you started punishing these disrespectful, ungrateful, useless and degenerate pricks for ruining my beautiful city). It was alive, more than I had ever seen at night. It was alive with music, colours, smells, foods, children, tourists, immigrants, dancing, art, and it was calm, pleasant, happy.

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My boyfriend and I enjoy these long walks, and we tend to try new paths, most of the times they surprise us. It is so wonderful to have lived here most of my life and still have secrets to find. Last night it wasn’t the paths that surprised us, it was the multitude of people walking around us in such harmony, with so much to see and so much to do.

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Overall, a wonderful night, with a wonderful visit to a local Turkish restaurant to kill my “saudades”… 😉

Day 3 – Cappadocia

Day three was the day I had been dreaming of the most. As mentioned on the previous post, anything dug into the ground has always fascinated me and often visited me in my dreams, more often in my childhood than now though.

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We woke up nice and early for our visits. Our first stop: Göreme Açikhava Müzesi (Goreme Open Air Museum).

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Goreme is believed to have served in part as a necropolis to the people of Venessa (Avanos today) in Roman times. There is a huge funerary monument in its center, tombs and all. It was also and important location for Christianity during the second half medieval times (many Christian paintings, some well preserved, some vandalized for religious reasons, almost all well protected), and was an episcopal center from the 11th to the 13th century.

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The open air museum was wonderful, with lots of rooms to visit, ancient refectories, churches, and burial chambers. The view is stunning and you can see even more constructions, including ancient pigeon coops (pigeon excrement was used as a fertilizer) in a nearby yet inaccessible area. Its been a week since I was there and I still make myself fall asleep imagining what life was like for the first people of Goreme.

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Mind you, this was only a museum. This area of Cappadocia is filled with these smooth sandy marvels, some built into, some not. After we left the museum we were able to feast our eyes with more stunning views by walking amongst some of these areas. It was a day I will never forget!

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The rest of our day included a visit to a Turkish rug place, pretty neat, especially compared to the ones I saw in Morrocco. We were kindly offered apple tea and the traditional Raki (wooooooooo!!!).

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Day 2 – Ankara to Cappadocia

Day two was a mixture between Ankara, a loooong drive through fields, mountains and salt planes and underground villages 🙂

Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi – Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

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The Anatolian museum was small yet filled with unique artifacts that were beautifully preserved and displayed. Some pieces, such as the Cappadocian tablet, the golden burial patches and the Neo-Hittite Winged Griffon-Demons really caught my attention, along with some other items I added above and below.

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Ataturk Mausoleum

Next came the visit to Ataturk’s mausoleum… Which started of rather weirdly… we were told to exit the bus, pass through a metal detector, and then allowed back into the bus (no inspection was performed to the bus 0_o), and then drove up to the mausoleum.
The mausoleum itself was massive, spacious, simple yet impressive, and it truly conveyed the love many Turks still feel for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and what he represents. The area was well guarded by the military, yet there was a great feeling about, kids were laughing and playing, tourists exploring and admiring, and ceremonies were taking place.

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Then came the long drive to Cappadocia, this was where I started to realise how big Turkey is. The fact that cities like Izmir, or Ankara, or Istanbul have more people in them than there are people in my own country should have prepared me (yes, and looking at the good old map), but you only truly grasp the dimension of the place when you are there.

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This part of the day included the only ghastly meal I had, trout, that seemed to have been cooked four days ago and then microwaved. This was in a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and the upstairs floor was exclusive for passing tourist groups, where a coke cost the same as an entire meal. The ground floor was for the locals/ natives, and had normal prices… found that a bit rude, but “oh well”.

Özkonak

Just before arriving at our hotel, we visited an underground village dug into the vulcanic granite of Mount Idis. We were received with smiling faces and laughter.

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I love anything underground, and quickly abandoned the group and the boyfriend to explore on my own. I even found one of their toilets! The Özkonak village was great fun to explore and learn about. This particular place was different from similar locations in that it has a defense system where the inhabitants could pour boiling oil on top of their enemies.

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Day 1 – Lisbon to Ankara

I am back from my long overdue holidays to some place outside of my own country. Destination: Turkey.

Day one was a whole lotta flying, from Lisbon to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Ankara. The flights went well, had the best meal on air I had ever had (and also one of the best genuine Turkish meals I had during the holidays, weird, I know), and we sat next to a very nice Turkish gentleman who spoke to us about all the places we were going to visit over the course of the next week. Also, the airplanes had some good movies on, and I could play some games against my boyfriend, this made the flight much easier and seem faster.

Once we arrived at Istanbul, we realised we were the only people of the group that did not have their boarding tickets to Ankara with them. This was the beginning of a frantic race, from Turkish Airlines guy to Turkish Airlines guy, flapping e-tickets in their faces and each one telling us that we’d get our ticket further on. Good things our bags had wheels, we boarded to Ankara just in time, and a little sweaty.

This is the first time I was traveling with a group of strangers, all with the same travel agency. I have always done things without groups, and thus was a bit worried, if all those other people would get in the way of what I wanted to do and feel. They seemed nice enough, so after a while the concern stopped bugging me as much.

So finally, Ankara. Our bus dropped us off at the Ankara Swisshotel (it was dark by the time we arrived, but the city seems clean, (er, way cleaner than Lisbon) yet lacking personality (easy to say when you live in Lisbon). We took our bags up to our room, opened the door and I was like this:

O_O

Because the room was like this:

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When I travel, I don’t do it for the hotel unless it’s one of those holidays where you just want your brain to melt into the horizon, where all you get is comfort and wonderful food, and walks by the ocean, blady bla… I actually never had one of those, but I bet that in a few years I’ll be needing one. I always value the cultural aspect of traveling more than the comfort aspect, but if I can get both, then who am I to say no?

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Let the vacay commence!

The irony of desti(nation)

Last week as I was walking down the torrid streets of Lisbon I saw these on the walls of an abandoned building.

The cool part, apart from the obvious solidarity and empathy between two distant countries that are undergoing tumultuous (yet different) times, is that I was there, walking down that street, because I had just finished the last details for my vacation in Turkey. 🙂

Definitely looking forward to it, tumultuous or not 🙂

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