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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Siblings on Christmas (2015)

Here is an extremely rare picture of me and both of my brothers! I can't even remember a time we three were all in the same room together. I know it's been years. Anyway, here we are! Hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Now, onward to the new year!




Saturday, December 5, 2015

I Just Discovered the Cutest Show in the Universe

It's called Clangers, and apparently it is a remake from a popular children's show from years ago in the UK. It's about these adorable little space aliens who whistle instead of talk. And the best part about it is it's stop-motion animation, which is one of my favorite types of animation! Check out a new episode of the revamped version and then a classic episode below it. So cute!!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kaiser is in Danger :(

Hi, everyone. I hope you are well. I have some bad news. Kaiser has gone into liver failure. A few days ago, he got into some chewing gum in a friend's purse. The gum (and also cough drops, which he got into as well) has an artificial sweetener called Xylitol in it. This ingredient is EXTREMELY TOXIC to dogs, so I am begging all of you to check all of your food to make sure it's not in it! I have heard that it's even in some peanut butter these days! And even if you aren't a pet owner, surely to heaven this stuff is not good for people to ingest if dogs are dying from it!

Anyway, Kaiser is staying the night at a 24-hour animal hospital. I took him up there a few days ago to have his stomach pumped when we caught him eating the gum (that was Sunday), but apparently the ingredient had done some damage and stayed in his system, even though we caught him right after he'd eaten it. So Drew and I took him back up there tonight (it is now Wednesday) when we noticed he wasn't acting quite like himself - sleepy, not eating as much, etc. His liver enzymes are through the roof. He's going into liver failure.

Please send good vibes. I love him very much. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. I will keep you posted.


*UPDATE*

He is home now, but he's still got a long road to recovery. I'm going to play nurse as best I can and hope that he will heal. I'm so glad to have him back, but he is mad at me and Drew!! Maybe he'll get over it. I know he doesn't understand all this. It's just a tough one all around. *sigh* Thank you for your loving thoughts during this rough patch!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A nice blend of day and night

I took this picture last night after some major storms had come in and knocked all the pollution out of the air. It turned out to be a lovely crisp photo of evening clouds with the distant moon shining in the left corner. A nice blend of day and night.




Monday, November 16, 2015

Unconditional Pass! :)

I am very happy to announce that I received an "unconditional pass" after completing my oral exit interview for my TESOL degree!

Now all I have to do is finish the semester strong and complete all my coursework, and I will have officially earned my master's.

Seems like I just started this journey, but on the other hand, I've learned so much about languages and other cultures that it's hard to believe only two years have passed.

It'll be exciting to see which direction my life goes next!

But first and foremost, I need to find a steady job........ *GULP*


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dark Things 2 Revisited

It's Halloween month, so I thought I'd do a quickie post to let you know Amazon has the anthology Dark Things 2 as cheap as $6.00 right now. This antho features my creepy historical horror story "The Chevalier Sisters: A Tale of Voodoo."

Click -->here<-- for buy link and to see what the couple of reviewers said. ;)




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fallen Angel Music

If you're feeling dark and Halloween-ish, here is some awesome music from the band Ghost that would be fitting for a fallen angel. By the way, this band is awesome live. Saw them in Dallas a few nights ago, and they totally blew the roof off.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Birthday Month!

Fall is here, and the weather is finally changing! I know we in Texas are ready for some cooler weather. I'm ready for the leaves to turn and for jackets to be worn. I'm ready to decorate with pumpkins and to switch from AC to heat. I'm ready to start celebrating all the family birthdays, too!

The semester continues to fly by for me. I'm taking my last courses as a grad student at UTA. I'm working on my final portfolio. I'm teaching a class at the ELI, and I'm tutoring an ELI student and a UTA nursing student in pronunciation. It seems like I just started this journey to get my master's in TESOL, but in reality, it's been almost two years! And I've learned so much. I'm so glad I chose to go back to school and pursue this career. (Now, we'll see if I change my tune when I graduate and am desperately looking for a job!) But it's been the best choice for me, for sure. Just feeling like I've helped so many students in so many walks of life has given me a great sense of purpose, and the busy pace of it has kept me quite happy.

That said, I DO have a book in progress, but it's barely started, and it came to a grinding halt when the semester started. But when I finish, I'd like to revisit it and see if it's one that would like to get completed or not.

Other than that, I'm a year into allergy shots and still suffering, still on a gazillion medications. Personally, I think the climate changing and the fact that Dallas pollution has reached Grade F levels is what's pushed me into this struggle, but all I can do is give the shots another year and continue to take my old lady regimen of maintenance meds to stay somewhat well!

I'm looking forward to seeing The Martian this weekend, as both Drew and I read the book, and I'm excited to compare the two.

I guess that's it in a nutshell! I hope your Fall is going well and that you have something fun planned for October!

Later!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Busy September

It's September and I am blissfully busy! I never do well when I have too much time on my hands and am not being productive or creative enough. But now that school is back in session, and I have a class at the ELI, and I'm tutoring a nursing student - life is good! I think we're in our last bout of heat. (Still in the 90's in Texas, y'all.) But soon, Fall will be among us, and then we will be able to wear long sleeve shirts and jackets and scarves again :)

Hope everyone's September is serving them well!

Toodles!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dumb

Dear Sarah Palin,

There is no language known as "American." That's a nationality. Americans speak a variety of languages, just so you know. The predominant language of the country is, in fact, English, which of course is what you meant, but please, if you're running for a government position, at least stop saying so many dumb things. Then again, the more dumb things you say, the less likely you are to go anywhere, so maybe it's a good thing.

Love,

Me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

World's First 3D Printed Violin

For the Laphelle fans, the stringed instrument fans, and the futuristic/sci-fi fans out there, --> this <-- is pretty cool. ;)


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pics from Painting with a Twist

Last week I did my first Painting with a Twist with my pal Bethany. Here are some pictures from the evening. I'd like to do this again!












Friday, July 31, 2015

'What We Do In The Shadows' Now Available in the US!



If you live in the US, my current favorite movie, What We Do in the Shadows, is now available! You can also rent it through Redbox if you don't have the money to buy it! So there are now no good excuses for why you can't watch it! There's something in it for everybody (except for children - it's rated R). But I promise you'll get a laugh out of it. I think it's the greatest thing ever. And after you watch it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Duck Photo

Took this pic at Veterans Park in Arlington, TX.  It hasn't been edited one bit.




Monday, July 13, 2015

Inside Out




Inside Out. It's still in theaters. Go see it. It's not really for kids. I mean, it's marketed as for kids, but adults will get more out of it, trust me. And if you miss it in theaters, rent it when it comes out on DVD.

Here are some things I took away from this film:

1) It's not OK to pretend to be happy all the time. Sadness can sometimes be a crucial emotion to our growth and health.

2) Our personalities shift over time. Who we are isn't set in stone. We are shaped by our experiences. The self is always changing

3) Many memories don't fit into one emotional box. Some memories are both joyous and sorrowful. And that's okay. The world isn't black and white, and neither are our emotions. Sometimes its the gray emotions that are a part of our core being.

All this from a kids movie? Yes. And there was a lot more (I want to see it again) but those are the three main things I took away from it on this viewing. I was amazed at how smart a film this was. Oh, and warning: if you go, be sure to take some tissues because I bawled like a baby.



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

James Horner

I just got the news today that composer James Horner has died in a plane accident.

James Horner was one of the world's most wonderful musicians. He created some of the most powerful and emotional movie scores ever made. Below are three of my favorite tracks that he composed. I did not know this man, but his music touched me and inspired me deeply. It is a great loss that he won't be able to compose any more, but I know he will live on through his magical work.

R.I.P.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Marfa

I really, really, really, really, really want to go to Marfa, TX. It's calling my name. Maybe because it's artsy or maybe because there's a hotel that has old typewriters as amenities and unlimited paper or maybe because you can see the stars so well at night or maybe because there are unexplained lights at night in the sky or maybe because it's about as far away from the big city as you could possibly get... Or maybe it's all of the above. I want to go!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Avengers 2 - Some Thoughts

So Drew and I saw Avengers 2 last night, and it was cool. It was pretty much as I expected: lots of action and cool effects with some laughs in between. I even shed a couple of tears when someone died (don't worry, I won't spoil it). But perhaps the biggest problem with a spectacle like this is that it's so grand, with so many characters, that it's difficult to really connect with anyone or anything. It's like there's almost too much going on for two hours. I wonder how the whole thing would've worked had it been a mini-series. The characters would've been able to get fleshed out a little more. We could've spent more time on people's back stories and motivation. I even felt like a lot of the jokes in the film were rushed. Sometimes fast and furious isn't always best!

Oh, and I also missed seeing this guy.




He actually did have a scene in the movie, but it was cut! BOO! Maybe it'll make it to the DVD/Blu-Ray. How could they cut Loki? He's a fan-favorite? I guess they had to make way for more 'splosions. Whatever!

Now for the rest of 2015, I'm looking forward to watching Ant Man (a lesser-known comic book character), Spectre (the new James Bond), and of course STAR WARS!

And this month What We Do in the Shadows comes out on DVD, and this girl is going to be the first in line to buy it! I have a feeling it's going to end up being one that I watch on a frequent basis. If it had shown in more places than Dallas, I probably would've seen it in the theaters more than once. It's that good!

Adios for now.





Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Already??

Tomorrow it'll be May (already!!!). I'm nearing the end of my 3rd semester out of 4 at grad school, and I'm getting the itch to write a sci-fi/fantasy short (or maybe something longer, who knows?). So in my itchy phase, I found this little gem at Half Price Books (see the pic below). It's a book of post cards filled with very cool sci-fi art. I'm feeling inspired. I may have to take one or two and let them be my inspiration for some new stories. Wouldn't that be fun?

I'm not sure yet if I'll be teaching at the ELI this summer. Today I wrapped up my little Grammar/Writing 1 class of two students! They were quite nice to work with, both hard workers, and very gracious. One student brought up a pot of Arabic coffee for me to try today. It was nice! I only had a teensie little bit because I'm cutting caffeine out of my daily routine--only going to have it on occasion now--but I had enough to say I had a decent sample. It was good. It's different from the stuff Americans drink in that a) it's lighter in color, and b) you can taste a lot of spices in it. It's also apparently stronger, caffeine-wise, according to what my student said. I couldn't tell because I didn't have enough of it. But I recommend it if you ever get the chance to try it. Has a nice fragrance, too.

Anyway, here's the cover for that cool sci-fi post card book if you want to take a look. Happy May, everybody.



Friday, April 17, 2015

OMG STAR WARS TRAILER!





When I was a young teen, I lived in the world of Star Wars (in my head of course). I watched the movies over and over, not kidding you. Every day I'd watch one of them. I'd sync up my stereo to play parts of the soundtrack so I had surround-sound. When the remastered versions came out, I saw each of them like 12 times in the theater. I had the posters on my walls, along with plastic glow stars so I could pretend I was in a galaxy far far away. I read the books, I wrote fan fiction--and seeing this trailer tonight, I CRIED TEARS OF JOY! OMG I AM SO FILLED WITH NOSTALGIA AND EMOTION!! I CAN DIE HAPPY!


Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Main Street Art Festival Find

It's become a tradition that every year Drew and I go to Fort Worth's Main Street Arts Festival to look around and find a little something for the house. This is what we found this year (isn't it cute??):



Friday, April 3, 2015

RIP Bear

My friend Lainie is putting her horse, Bear, to sleep today because he's going into kidney failure. Lainie had bear for nearly 39 years! Isn't that incredible?

Bear has lived a long, happy life.

But like many of us who grow close to our animal friends, Lainie will be heartbroken for a while... They're both in my thoughts and in my heart this weekend.

Animals are truly wonderful companions. Even though they don't speak our language, they speak the universal language of Love. I believe they have thoughts and feelings just like we do, only they aren't so concerned with worry and obsession like humans. Animals live in the moment and are authentic beings. I also believe they have souls. They can teach us so much about friendship, compassion, sacrifice... I can't imagine a world without animals, especially life-long friends like Bear.

And so this post is dedicated to Bear, the horse who lived a very long, happy life and provided the blessing of friendship to a loving human being for many years.

RIP Bear.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Alike than Different

Yesterday, Drew and I stopped at Panera Bread to have an afternoon snack, when Drew made a new little friend. We were sitting by the window wall, and this kid, maybe 7 years old and sitting on the other side of the window (he was out on the patio), knocked on the glass to get Drew's attention.

The kid pointed at his own black and white Converse shoes and then at Drew's. When Drew realized they were wearing the same shoes, he smiled and laughed, and the kid gave a thumbs up and did a little dance. Drew returned the thumbs up.




After that, the kid made reference to his own long hair and then pointed at Drew's. More thumbs ups, smiles, and dancing.

Following that similarity, the kid pointed at his cargo shorts and then at Drew's. They were practically twins! It was so adorable.

I thought this moment was really neat, and here's why: this young person chose to see the similarities between him and Drew, rather than the differences. He saw the two of them as more alike than different.

Even though he was a kid and Drew was a grownup.

Even though his skin was black and Drew's white.

Even though his hair was in ebony dreadlocks and Drew's wavy and blond.

It was a sweet moment that I wish the rest of the world could have seen.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Springy Thingies

The sun is out and starting to get warm! I just got back in after cleaning out the shed and pulling weeds in the flower beds. I'm ready to start planting some new things soon. Thinking I might actually try some vegetables this year like tomato and bell pepper.

Though it's very pollen-y out there, I think my allergy shots may finally be kicking in a little bit. I'm still having some trouble, but I'm not knocked on my ass like I was last year, so that's good.

For my spring reads, I'm finishing up the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz. These books have been fast reads and just what I need during those breaks in between working on my graduate coursework.

In addition to grad school, I've also gotten an 8-week teaching gig at the ELI. This is a Level 1 Grammar/Writing class. And it's the smallest class I've ever taught at 2 students! But I'm learning quite a bit--and also spending a lot more time on lesson plans than I would a large class, so that's good experience, too.

Hmm, what else? I'm just glad spring is, or at least seems to be, here for North Texas. I'm definitely someone strongly affected by the weather and the amount of sunshine outside. More sun = happier Carrie.

Anybody have any plans for spring? Doing some cleaning? Gardening? Going out for more walks? Feel free to say hi in the comments :)




Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reminds me of Malynko

I do not know who the artist is. Wish I did.

This guy looks a lot like how I pictured Malynko when I wrote the angel trilogy.

Hmm...


Okay, back to reading scholarly articles and creating power point presentations for class... (So much for "Spring Break"!)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Comic Book Movie Era

This is a really cool post about all the superhero/comic book movies slated to come out within the next few years: Upcoming Superhero Movies - 2015 & Beyond.

As I read, it reminded me of how much I love sci-fi/fantasy and got my creative gears churning.

I'm busy with grad school right now, on the downhill slide and set for graduation in December. I will be picking up a small grammar/writing class after Spring Break - thank God for employment!! - so there's not a massive amount of time to write. But I have still been reading.

I want to read more graphic novels. Years ago, I started reading the series Preacher and the series Transmetropolitan, both of which I'd like to pick back up and finish. I'm also down for trying out some new speculative fiction novels, too, if you have any recommendations.

Feel free to comment!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Faced my Biggest Fear

I actually did face my biggest fear last week. For many of you, this would have been something fairly easy to do, but because of past trauma, it was one of the hardest things I've forced myself into doing.

I got my blood drawn..............

**cringe**

I had them do a full scan of everything, so they took 3 or 4 vials. I'm not sure because I didn't look. I was pretty brave up until the moment she slid the tourniquet on. Then when she stuck me, it was like a lightning bolt of pure horror struck me. I didn't cry or throw up or faint, but I was clammy and trembling and overall, completely humbled by how out-of-control my feelings were.

I at least waited until hours later, when I was home, to shed some stress tears.

It had taken me twenty years (yes, you heard me right) to willingly face that and get it done. Luckily, I ended up getting a good report. All systems normal. I'm in good health. Whew!

I wish I could say that I'm cured of my fear, and that by facing it, the terror is somehow less now. It's not. I still think it's my biggest challenge, as far as phobias go. But at least I made that first step to confront it. I stopped running from it. So at least now I can say that I did it, and it didn't kill me, so I could do it in the future if I had to.

What about you? Do you have any phobias that you are afraid to face, or that you avoided for a long time and eventually did face?


Monday, February 16, 2015

A Eulogy for Winnie Jones


"Winnie"
a eulogy by Carrie Sullivan 

            Who was Winnie Jones?
To begin with, Winnie was one of the biggest animal lovers to grace the planet. It is impossible, when thinking of the woman, not also to think of all the happy dogs and cats she gave her home and love to over the years—and one very protective Chihuahua in particular who was a permanent fixture on her lap. I'm certain that her beloved pets who have passed on are now overjoyed to see her again.
Winnie was fearless and quite the tough cookie. If you had to choose anyone to have your back during a fight, you'd want to pick her. Tiny-framed woman that she was, she was also a force to be reckoned with, and loyal to the end.
Winnie was my Easter Bunny. For a number of years, her daughter, Misty, and I celebrated Easter together. Though we were teenagers, Winnie always had an Easter basket waiting for us at the house. She even hid Easter eggs out in her fabulous gardens for Misty and me to hunt. It didn't matter that we were way too old for that by society's standards. I always looked forward to those baskets filled with candy, eggs, and a smiling fuzzy stuffed animal.
Winnie was a source of patient warmth. She never minded if I wanted to spend the night with her daughter. I was always welcome. She enjoyed it when Misty and I dressed up in our home-made costumes and paraded around Lawton making our amateur movies—she'd even sit down afterward and watch the final product, fully engrossed, a true fan. She was one of the "cool moms" who let us stay up as late as we wanted, even if it was a school night. She gave us free-rein of the entire living room during our Academy-Award-watching nights and helped to start our Oscars tradition that Misty and I still do today.
Finally, Winnie was a devoted mother. Many years ago, she was willing to open her home to a little girl who would later become my best friend. She not only adopted Misty in name, she chose to love her throughout the years as her own daughter. That love transcended the common bonds of blood. She watched Misty grow from a child, to an adolescent, to a teenager, and finally to a woman with her own children. And her adoration for her daughter and grandchildren never wavered for an instant. They were part of her family. Period.

Winnie was all of these things and more to those of us who knew her. When we think of her, let us remember the way she loved. Let us remember her strength. And let us remember her generosity of spirit. She will not be forgotten. She will be greatly missed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Consider Donating to my Friend's GoFundMe for her Dying Mother

Many of you know Misty from my posts--she's been a friend of mine for such a long time that I consider her family. Her mother, Winnie, has not been in good health for a while, but it appears as if she may be leaving us soon. The funeral costs are of course astronomical. Most importantly, there's a certain amount that has to be paid up front in order for the plot to be dug up. The family's in real need of some financial help so that this funeral can even take place. If you would, take a moment to read the details and consider Misty's GoFundMe -->here<--.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

V-Day

If you're paired up, do something sweet and special this weekend. If you're single, do something nice for yourself. Eat chocolate. Watch a funny movie. Cook something delicious. Go for a walk. Read a book. Snuggle with your dog or cat. Give your kids Valentines. Give your parents Valentines. Call your aunts and uncles and grandparents that you rarely talk to. Let people know you love them. Yes, it's a commercial holiday, but it's also a good day to hop on the Love Vibe and ride that thing because there will be lots and lots of happy energy out there. Don't be a curmudgeon. Just go with it. Valentine's Day can be whatever you want it to be--it doesn't have to be romantic love. Just...love!



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Big News in the World of Literature

I just read that Harper Lee is releasing a To Kill a Mockingbird sequel this summer. Guys, I think this could quite possibly be the biggest book release in the history of book releases! Check out the article here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Goooooal!

Since I first posted about MyFitnessPal, I am happy to say that I've reached my goal weight!





Part of the reason I've reached it so quickly is because I'd been cursed with a month-long bladder/kidney infection that pretty much scared me away from all alcohol and sugar. So even on my "cheat day" I was eating pretty healthy. Counting calories really works, y'all. You have no idea how much of what you're putting into your body until you start counting calories, and it also helps being aware of how many cal's you burn when doing certain exercises. So now that my first goal weight has been reached, I'm going to shoot for that *extra* 5 lbs since I now have the confidence I can do it!

In other news, school's started back, and I'm enjoying my semester. It's my second-to-last semester in the TESOL master's program at my university, and I can't believe the first year went by so quickly. There's plenty of work to do this semester, but it's all interesting and applicable. I like my professors and classmates, which also helps motivate me. Being in this profession, I also get to meet other professionals (not to mention students) from all around the world, which I always find to be very exciting.

The latest book I finished reading was Black Like Me, which I hadn't heard of before my dad recommended it. If you've never heard of it, check it out. It's a true account of a white male journalist who dyed/painted his skin black and shaved his head in order to immerse himself into the black culture in the South, circa 1959. Pretty fascinating read, and also a good reminder that racism is still a big problem in America. I'd love to see the day when it's not, but until then, we've gotta keep reminding ourselves to move forward toward a solution instead of sticking our heads in the sand. That's what his book was all about.

That's all for now! Hope everyone's had a nice January!




Thursday, January 15, 2015

MyFitnessPal

If any of you would like to keep track of your calories/salt/fat/sugar/carb intake, as well as log in exercise, come join me on MyFitnessPal. The app is free for your phone, and you can also use the desktop interface: www.myfitnesspal.com. My name on there is CarrieJillSullivan. Come join me as I suffer--ahem--make "healthy life choices"!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Little Wisdom from The Big Book

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
    a curse that is causeless does not alight.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the back of fools.
Answer not a fool according to his folly,
    lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
    cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds the stone in the sling
    is one who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
    is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[a]
11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit
    is a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
    There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor
    and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
    and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
    his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26