Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things I forgot.

Sometimes I forget to blog about things. For instance, when I wrote about The Mist I forgot to mention the best part of it: Dead Can Dance on the soundtrack. I'm still not certain if it fit, but listening to that beautiful, mournful song at the end... Any movie is basically made better by Lisa Gerrard's voice. It was even better than hearing Collide in the trailer for that most recent Resident Evil movie.

Another thing is that yesterday, I forgot to mention that one of the books that we bought is on spooky crochet, and it has a little crochet Cthulhu. You realize what this means, of course. Now I have to learn to crochet. I was thinking about that this morning, and reflecting on how women used to be able to do all sorts of handicrafts. In addition to cooking and baking, they could sew their own clothes, tat their own lace, crochet blankets and knit socks and quilt bedspreads and embroider handkerchiefs and needlepoint up something pretty for the wall.

And it made me think that women probably had to do all those things, not just to supply things for their home, but to keep themselves from going mad. It was unusual for a woman to work outside the home, of course. After you'd cleaned the house, assuming you didn't have a maid, what were you to do? Especially if the kids were in school? And what if you didn't have kids? It's no wonder it was considered terrible to be barren. A woman essentially was just considered to be a wife and mother in those times.

I'm happy to live in a time where I'm free to not have children, and free to work outside the home (even if I currently don't), and where I don't have to be the master of a dozen crafts. But sometimes I feel like I should be able to do all these things. It's so much easier now, with high-quality tools and materials, and good lights (honestly, can you imagine doing embroidery by candlelight?), and books aplenty. The only issue, really, is stretching myself too thin. I do worry that if I try to do too many things, I'll never really master anything.

Anyway, I really should be working to finish this anklet. I did let myself get distracted, and I probably won't actually finish it until tomorrow.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A night out.

So remember how I had all the books packed? Yeah, I went out and bought more tonight. Darn it! I think I've got to stay away from the bookstore until we move. In addition to the latest Bead and Button magazine. I grabbed a symbol dictionary (useful for researching the meaning of things that I use in my jewelry), and a how-to on origami jewelry. Nifty. Perhaps I can fit them into one of the already-packed boxes.

The funny thing was when we checked out, and the cashier was all "This is going to sound strange, but I totally saw you guys last Saturday at Takamatsu." And it did sound strange, because last Saturday Chris was at gaming, I was at home, and we haven't been to Takamatsu since we discovered Blue Wasabi. We'd heard of our doppelgangers before, when two friends of ours saw doubles of almost our entire circle of friends at IHOP, but this was the first we knew of them also being a couple. I suppose it could, in fact, be our doubles from an alternate dimension. I just hope they're not our evil doubles, because then we might get framed for a diamond heist.

As part of our evening out, we saw Iron Man. While I'm not sure if it was quite as awesome as I'd heard, it was a fun evening. And apparently everyone else in the theater was seeing Sex and the City, so we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. This other group came in at one point and sat right in front of us, of course, which led to some fun jokes, but they were nice and quiet throughout. I wish all of my movie-going experiences were this pleasant.

Just don't get me started on our adventure spending 10 minutes trying to get into a package locker at the post office, thanks to a stupid bent key. We're going to have to drive all the way down there again tomorrow. If it's once again a small priority box that would have fit in my PO Box, I will be a bit peeved at the USPS.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm beading again!

Oh, happy day! I managed to get to my beads this afternoon. I'm now working on a bright, summery anklet. Aqua and lime, one of my favorite combinations. I think it'll turn out quite nicely.

After finishing a BFAC project, I usually find myself working in colors quite different from the kit. So of course, I went from the subdued colors of Locked Away to the brightest colors in my collection. The funny thing is that the lime green I'm using is leftover from the 2007 kit! I loved that color as soon as I saw it, but after all the trouble I had with that particular project (I had to completely restart it at one point), I was tired of the colors. I haven't touched that gorgeous green again until now.

I'll probably finish the anklet by tomorrow, as long as I don't get too distracted by packing and video games!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beads: Inaccessable

My beadroom is still full of boxes. Stupid boxes, cramping my style.

Maybe tomorrow I'll get enough of them moved. I did relocate a few today, but not enough.

Now I'm off to tonight's game, where I shall spend my time rearranging the buttons on my bag instead of beading.

Stupid boxes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Packing is boring.

I spent most of today packing. And you know what? It was boring. And talking about it is boring. And tomorrow, when I do more, it will also be boring.

Part of what I'm going to do tomorrow is move boxes out of the beadroom so I can get to my beads and create! I'm so bored of just working and doing stuff on my computer. I need to make something. I'm not sure what yet, it will depend on what catches my eye tomorrow. Probably something simple and portable, so I can take it to gaming. I'd really love to start another embroidered project, but that might have to wait until after we move.

Moving, by the way, is just a couple of weeks away. YAY!

Because I'm a geek, that's why!

What did I spend my long weekend doing? Mostly playing Guild Wars, working on this huge multi-part quest to get a mini-pet. At this rate, I'll finish the quest right about in time for Guild Wars 2 to come out at the end of the year.

I also read my last issue of SteamPunk Magazine. I don't really agree with all of the viewpoints put forward in their articles, but I really enjoy the how-tos and most of the fiction -- especially the serials. I'm a sucker for serial fiction, I guess it comes from growing up with comic books. Issue #4 also had a great article on the interactions and overlapping between Gothic and Steampunk subcultures. Since I'm sort of Goth, and leaning towards Steampunk, it was very informative and thought-provoking for me. Anyway, now I'm sad because I read all the issues. Chris wants me to read some astrophysics book next. Do I have the only husband in the world who finds reading science nerd books sexy? Probably not, but I'm sure he's in a minority. A really tiny minority.

And another thing is that we finally watched The Mist. My reaction was a resounding "meh." I expected a little more tension, but I never felt suspenseful at all. I have a feeling that it functioned better as a novella (which I've never read, my Stephen King experience is pretty spotty, based on which of his books have been within reach when I've been bored and sick and had nothing else to read). I couldn't help but think, though, that the really large monster near the end moved and sounded a lot like the one in Cloverfield. Maybe they're related.

Tomorrow it's back to lots of packing and cleaning. I'm having a bit of trouble with Guild Wars on this machine, so Chris is going to give me his desktop (he does everything on his laptop now), but that means a lot of desk-rearranging and also transferring of files. Fun.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I miss my beadroom

I packed four more boxes of books today. I think the remaining two should pretty much take care of the few stray books scattered throughout the apartment. But all the boxes are in my beadroom, and I'm not sure that I can really move them to get to my beads. *sigh* It's going to be a long three weeks.

Mom and I went out to lunch, and I went into this boutique that had a few great steampunk-y skirts. It was hard to resist buying them, but the steep price tags on the two I really liked made it a little easier. Besides, I have enough clothes to move!

The only other thing I have to say is that I am SO tired!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Packing, packing, packing.

My beadroom is so full of boxes that I can't even think of starting a new project. I couldn't get to my beads even if I wanted to! Grr. Stupid packing. And I just went and bought another half-dozen banker's boxes today. Hopefully that, along with the 7 I packed today, should finally take care of all of our books.

I was feeling pretty beat after all that packing, so I convinced Chris that we should go to Seven Cups for tea again (it was really hard to convince him, let me tell you). We both tried Puer tea for the first time. I got one that was blended with rose petals, and it was delicious. Between the tasty tea and dessert, and the peaceful atmosphere of the teahouse, I was feeling pretty invigorated by the time we left.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Well, what now?

Locked Away was a big project, and now that it's finished, I feel like I'm pretty much free to bead whatever I want. But what should that be? Do I want to focus on smaller projects while I'm packing and moving, or do I want to follow this up with another biggie?

For the immediate future, I'll probably work on a few small projects. I could use some more anklets on the website, for instance, and I might make some earrings with some of the Earthenwood beads from my recent order. But after that, I might start another large project. It's nice to have something major to work on, it makes me feel like more of an artist.

In the meantime, I've mostly spent today working on non-bead-related stuff, like cleaning and packing and working out. I managed to work out and dance today, which was nice. The dancing was kind of like a little reward to myself after lifting weights and doing crunches. And I put a dent in the stacks of books in the closet. Ahhh, productivity!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

At last, my creation is complete!

Since this is a project with steampunk elements and inspiration, I felt that it was only appropriate that I do a little mad scientist title. Yes, that's right. Locked Away is complete! I spent pretty much all day today completing the clasp and attaching everything, and I am one happy beader. Although it changed quite a bit from my initial vision, I think the final necklace is even better than what I first planned.

One obvious change is that I did away with the rivolis. They didn't fit as well with the new design, and besides, I know that a few other participants are using them in the exact same color I was going to (it really matches the red beads well), and I like to stand out.

Another big change is that I was originally going to do a spiral rope for the neck chain. I changed that plan for three reasons. One is that I always do spiral ropes. Another is that I decided I wanted to let the pendant shine, so I wanted a visually simple chain. And the third is that I thought that this particular chain, with its resemblance to actual chain, fit the steampunk aesthetic more.

Now let's talk about the clasp:
(ooh, look! I used macro focus for this image!)

I knew that I wanted to do an adjustable clasp for this piece. I frequently make my necklaces too short, so I was determined to make this one long and adjustable. The easiest way to do an adjustable clasp is to have a hook or lobster type clasp and an extender chain, but I think that a beadwoven clasp looks best on the end of an otherwise entirely woven and embroidered necklace. Besides, I'd never done a beaded toggle, and I like to do new things for my LL-BFAC projects! I decided that I'd do three rings, because it's easier to have multiple rings than bars, and three is a good number.

As I mentioned before, pretty much all of my books and magazines are already packed away, so I had to figure out my own toggle design. I decided to use the same technique as a bezel for the rings. It's simple, attractive, and allows for the pleasant contrast in color between the 11s and 15s. For the bar, I was going to just do a brickstitched stack of more 11s, but then I was looking at the bugles, and I thought "Hey, they're shaped like bars anyway." Two bugles, flanked by seed beads, turned out to be the perfect size to go with the 30 bead ring I'd already made.

But the idea I'm really pleased with was the one to connect the rings with seed bead figure-8 links. This allows the rings to pivot, so the excess rings can dangle like charms, instead of just kind of being there and in your way. Plus, if the eventual owner decides that they only want to wear it on the shortest setting, they can easily snip off the extra rings if they want. And perhaps best of all, it echoes the design of the chain.

Now, I'd like to give some much deserved credit to some people who helped me out with this! To Melanie of Earthenwood Studios, for providing the keyhole cab and the earring accents. To Deb of Bead Indulgences, for giving me the drusy cab, even though neither of us knew what I'd use it for at the time (and also for constantly encouraging me!). To Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini for writing the excellent book The Art of Bead Embroidery, which helped me immensely. And to Barbara L Grainger, for designing the right-angle-weave chain I used here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Toggles and things

My beaded toggle concept worked out well, so I'm thinking that I might finish Locked Away tomorrow. Pretty exciting, huh? I'm not sure what big project I'll work on next, except for the obvious big project -- packing!

I haven't made much progress on organizing and packing lately, so it's time to really buckle down and get some work done this week. We're closing in about three weeks, and I want to be pretty much ready to move then.

Things have really been kind of quiet around here, I've been spending a lot of time playing video games, and tonight I returned to my stack of Steampunk Magazines. Issue 3 is about the end of the world, a subject which I have some interest in (does that make me sound diabolical? I don't mean it in that way). Of course, after reading the article on ten end of the world scenarios, I'm feeling a little scared. The world's in worse shape than I thought, and that's saying something!

Friday, May 16, 2008

More cactus flowers

This picture isn't quite as good as the one yesterday, but I think it's nice to have some pretty cactus flowers to brighten up the blog, don't you agree? This seems to be a similar species to the yellow one, except that the cactus is not pink and the flower is not yellow.

Today I finished the neck chain for Locked Away. Next step: beaded toggle! I plan to make three toggle rings, so that it will be adjustable, somewhere in the 22-24" range. I'll probably work on the toggle tomorrow, while Chris is doing things for his business. I already packed away all of my books and magazines that might have had instructions (whoops), so I guess I'll figure it out on my own. Probably for the best, since I'm limited to the beads in the kit, so I'll need to come up with something that utilizes the sizes available to me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I love my camera!

Remember how I said that I took some photographs while I was dog-sitting this past weekend? I finally sat down to edit a couple of them. Be sure to click for the full-size images, especially of the one above! The cactus flower is at once alien and beautiful.

What sort of cactus is it? I don't know. I think it might be some sort of cholla, but I'm not a botanist or even something resembling one. I just like pretty flowers and an excuse to play with my awesome camera.

In this image, you can see that the branch of the cactus is pink, whereas the part directly below the flower is green. Add in the yellow and red of the flower and it's very colorful. You can also see that it's rather spiny. I was stepping quite carefully when I went out in the desert to take this picture, and I still came back with lots of cactus needles in my shoes.

I'm really excited to see what macro mode capabilities can do for my jewelry images. I'll have to experiment next week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cleaning and organizing, what fun.

So, I'm working my way through the mountains of bead clutter. I've got a lot more beads now than I did when we moved in here 6 years ago. I can't even remember how I moved them last time, but I don't recall it being much of an issue. This time around, it's my main concern. I want everything to go as smoothly as possible, so that I don't have too much beading downtime after moving in.

It's amazing how many half-finished projects and leftover beads I have lying around. I'm such a beading slob! One of my goals is to stop being like that. I need to make a better effort to put everything away when I'm done with a project. It will make my life so much easier, and keep my space so much prettier.

While I'm doing all of this practical cleaning, I'm also daydreaming. I'm going to have a lot of space in my new beadroom, and I'm wondering what I want to fill it with. Do I want to buy some sleek crafters cabinets? Do I want to hunt down a cool old apothecary, typesetter, or watchmaker type desk/cabinet dealio? Or do I want to buy things on the cheap at the thrift store, and use all the extra money for more beads?

Although I always like the idea of more beads, I find myself jealous of people with really cool workspaces. Sure, the desk that I found by the dumpster is great and has served me well for the past 5 or 6 years, but it is pretty boring looking and only has two drawers and one cubbyhole. And the plastic iris carts that I keep most of my beads in are effective, but there's an awful lot of wasted space in the deeper drawers and again, they're boring.

We'll see what I feel like after I've been in the house for a while. To start with I'm going to take my dumpster desk and my iris carts, and see where I want to go from there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Becoming a necklace -- Locked Away, Part 9

Please pardon the glare, I'd never used my friend's table as a backdrop before and so this picture is a little wonky. However, you can start to see what I'm doing for the neck chain on Locked Away. The row of chain that you see now will have more chain woven through it, which makes for a simple but attractive piece. It's not actually attached to the pendant yet, I just laid it out to give an idea of where it will be.

I went a little overboard weaving the base strip and may have to shorten it by a couple of inches, but that's no big deal.

Now the question on my mind is... button clasp, or beaded toggle? Button clasps are kind of my "thing," but I'd also like to give a beaded toggle a try, and I think it might go well with this design. Of course, I'm thinking of making it adjustable, which would be easier to do with a button-and-loop. I'll have to play around with it once the chain is done.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm home, and tired!

Well, I got home early this afternoon, but I was beat, so I mostly dozed around and then we went out for dinner, and then killed time playing video games. Now here I am, finally hitting my blog.

I did all kinds of things while I was dog-sitting. The foremost thing was taking care of the dogs, but they're pretty low-maintenance. So in between walks, feeding, and petting-time, I did some reading, beading, and photography. I finished the Faerie magazine, but only got through two issues of Steampunk. They pack those things full of articles and stories, which makes for lots of good reading. I got a lot of work done on Locked Away, so there should be a post about that tomorrow. And I played around with the macro mode on my camera, so if any of the flower pictures I took turned out, I'll be posting them throughout the week, too.

In the meantime, I'm quite tired, so I'm going to veg out for a bit and then go to sleep.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Off for the weekend!

Tonight we're going to go hang out with a friend who we haven't seen for a very long time, and then it's off to Marana for dog-sitting. I'll be back sometime Sunday, probably late in the afternoon.

I'm feeling much better today, after a lot of sleep, but I spent most of my time doing e-mail and getting things ready for this weekend. I did do a little work on Locked Away, and I'm taking it with me, so I should be able to do a lot of beading during the weekend. I'm not taking my laptop, so I won't have any computer distractions.

What I am taking is the big stack of magazines that I need to read. One issue of Faerie and 4 of SteamPunk. And I'm taking my camera and macro mode instructions, so maybe I will come home with some pretty pictures of flowers and insects.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I took the day off.

Aside from necessary housework, nothing got done today. I don't know what happened. I thought I slept well last night, but I was absolutely exhausted today. Chris was really tired, too, so I suspect there must have been something that interfered with our sleep. Whatever it was, I spent half the day with a headache and couldn't focus on anything, and then I took a nap with Chris after he got done with work. I usually can't sleep during the day, so I must have been tired.

With any luck, tomorrow will be better. I'd like to finish Locked Away!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's almost done! -- Locked Away, Part 8

I've been one busy beader. Here it is, Locked Away, almost finished! Actually, it would have been done a lot sooner, but I kept having to readjust the fringe to make it work. I had planned to make a lot more fringes, but the crystals were so large that they kept crowding into each other and banging into the key. I think that the sparser fringe works much better here, as it allows each bead to have its own personal space, and it doesn't overwhelm the pendant.

After finishing the fringe, I also decided to make a pair of cute earrings to match it.

You know what, though? I'm pretty sure this key was a lot more copper-colored when I started. It must be oxidizing or losing its plating or doing something else that metal likes to do. What I do like is that the key is just the right size that it looks like it could actually fit into the keyhole on the cab.

Over all, I am thrilled with how this is turning out, and I'm excited to start on the neck strap, either tonight or tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A busy, busy day.

Well, first and foremost, I got a lot of work done on Locked Away today. After I posted last night, I went ahead and started the edging, because I was impatient. Then today I finished the edging. I really like how it looks, and I was going to take a picture and have another post about it, but I'm pretty tired from the rest of my day!

This evening my friend Alex took me and Chris out to a really cool place as a belated birthday treat. The place is called "Seven Cups" and it as an Asian-style tea house. They have a huge menu of all kinds of wonderful teas, and a small menu of Japanese and Chinese desserts -- you know, the kind you always see people eating in anime, and you wonder what they're like? Yeah, those. And by the way? They're delicious!

Seven Cups is nothing short of awesome. The tables are wood with beautiful shell inlay patterns. The teas are artfully presented. The waitress was very nice. And we got tiny little forks to eat our dessert with! So cute! Plus they sell all of their teas packaged up, and a nice assortment of tea sets and cups and pots and things. It's the sort of place where you can spend over an hour drinking tea and talking -- they provide you more hot water for your tea as long as you're there, and we never felt rushed. A very nice experience all around, and one we hope to repeat in the near future.

After that we went out for a Mexican dinner. Yeah, we had dessert first, we live on the edge :D All in all it was a fun night, lots of talk about life and gaming and movies and things.

Oh yes! The tea that I got was very cool! It was one of those flowering teas, you know, the ones that are tied in an artful bundle that unfolds as it steeps? I had to order it because it was called the "Faerie's Basket." It unfolded into a basket-y shape with a chrysanthemum flower in it, a handle formed of jasmine flowers, and a pretty pink flower at the apex of the handle. How neat is that? We all had fun watching it unfold :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Territory -- Locked Away, Part 7

Once again, it feels good to be beading a lot. Last night I finished stitching down the rest of the teal beads, and then today I did all of the amber. I finished that early enough in the afternoon that I was also able to cut it out and glue the backing on. There's also a piece of cardboard to help keep it stiff, and a secret message hidden inside. There's something about the sandwich-y layers of bead embroidery that drives me to hide things inside. And by things, I mean cookie fortunes! I'm weird, I know, but at least it's a harmless weird.

I find this current stage very exciting. All that excess felt has been cut away and the shape has been allowed to fully emerge. And next, I move into new territory -- edging the piece! I've never gotten this far on a large bead embroidery project. I'll probably wait and move onto that tomorrow. It's getting a little late, and I like to be fresh when I try out something new.

And by the way, The Art of Bead Embroidery by Serafini and Kummli has been invaluable to this project. I already had a couple of books on the technique, but this one is just a cut above the rest. While all of my other beading books have been packed away for the impending move, I kept it out to make sure I could progress nicely on my project.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Time to get into shape!

Stereotypically, women worry about swimsuit season. I'm worrying about convention season. Comic Con is in less than two months, and I plan to wear at least one midriff-baring costume. As such, it's time to tone up said midriff, and I might as well take care of my arms while I'm at it. I started dancing again tonight, and tomorrow I'll lift some weights, and I'll be stretching every night. Chris is joining me on this (well, not the dancing), so it should help me stay motivated.

Anyway, enough about fitness, on to beading! I was pretty tired yesterday so I didn't get much work done on Locked Away. After my chai buzz wore off, I crashed hard and fell asleep early, but that led to me feeling very well-rested today. As such, I did another row this afternoon and I'll probably do some more before bed. Tomorrow I plan to bead a lot, in between packing books and working out and cleaning and killing time on Facebook.

Writing has also been on my mind a lot lately. Whenever I read a good book, it makes me want to write. I really don't know if I can make time for it with everything else I've got going on, but I'm certainly turning over ideas in my head, both for the current book in my series and the stand-alone novel that I keep having false starts on. I think that when I finally do sit down to write, my stories will be much better for all the mulling over I've done.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A week of reading.

I finished Iron Council before bed last night, a week after I started reading it. I've been keeping myself pretty busy, so I only had a couple of hours a day to read. In a way, that was better than my usual preferred marathon reading. It gave me more time to absorb what I was reading, and built up more anticipation for the next night. I have to say that over all, I really enjoyed the book.

I have no lack of reading material right now. There are 4 SteamPunk magazines still awaiting my attention, plus a collection of Victorian fairy tales, and a Hawaiian mythology book that is the size of a good dictionary. All that, plus I'm expecting new issues of Faerie Magazine and Simply Beads. I doubt I'll find myself bored anytime soon!

I'd just started my night's work on Locked Away when Chris came home and distracted me with something called a "Chai X-Treme." Now that I'm hyped up on caffeine and sugar, it's time to get back to beading!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Four down, ninety jillion to go!

This bracelet is called Sea Blossom. I kind of wanted to call it Minty Fresh, but honestly, who would buy a bracelet that sounds like toothpaste?

Last night after dinner, we picked up some boxes for our books. I started packing today and easily filled up four boxes. Four of the eight that we bought. Uh oh. This could take a while, and several trips to OfficeMax for more boxes. That was just stuff that was lying around, and on the beadroom bookcases, and that was only about half of what was in there. I haven't even started on the gobs of novels in the bedroom closet.

When I wasn't packing, I spent most of today working on ads and marketing and networking. So if you came over here from one of my new ads: Hi! Welcome to Erthe Fae Designs! Don't mind the dust.

I started back to work on Locked Away today. The outline was still giving me trouble, but I finally got it under control. I have no gaming tomorrow, so I'll probably spend a few hours working on it. Actually, if I spend a few hours, I might finish the second half, and then it will be time to learn how to finish the edges of a bead-embroidered piece. Exciting!

Remember yesterday, when I said I would talk about more things today? I have no idea what those things were.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's my birthday, you're invited to my party down the hall.

I'm really growing to love photography! How do you like this little glamor shot? It's a teaser for my newest necklace, Guildmistress. Click the link to see two full images. This is the choker I've been talking about all week, and I am so happy to be able to share her with you. It's all I can do not to wear her to dinner tonight!

By the way, I've had those pretty blue teardrops for years. I'm glad to have finally found the perfect necklace for them.

As the topic says, today is my birthday! I'm now 26, which feels about the same as 25 so far. I had originally planned to have a birthday sale, but I'm already having a moving sale (remember! use code "moving" for 20% off!). So instead, I'm having a birthday contest! Isn't that more fun? The first person to post a comment with the name of the song referenced in the title, and the artist who performed it, will win a crystal bracelet! You can either pick one from my site, or get a custom one in any colors you want (as long as beads come in those colors. No Colour Out of Space bracelet, sorry).

I haven't forgotten that I promised a link to my review of Forbidden Kingdom.

There are more things I want to talk about, but I'll save them for tomorrow. I'm on my way out for a nice birthday dinner with my dearest.