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Hate the Mall? Gift Local!

17 Dec

Weee! Presents!

Weee! Presents!

I hate the mall.  I like shopping but I don’t enjoy fighting people for parking spots or listening to screaming kids present at the mall.  I would also like to avoid elbowing strangers in the face so that I can buy everyone I know the same $15 sweater as sometimes you must when you do your holiday shopping at a mall.  What I am saying is that I prefer a  less headache inducing experience.   Time is getting short for shopping and the malls are only getting crazier so I am happy to present Gift Local.  Various Seattle business including one of my personal favorites Cupcake Royale ( I may have mentioned them once or twice.  Did I mention I had their cupcakes at my wedding?) have gathered together to ask their fellow Seattlites to support local businesses with their holiday shopping.

This initiative centers on asking people to take the “Gift Local Pledge.”  This doesn’t mean that you have to swear off malls for all of eternity and wear only locally handmade everything.  I wouldn’t ask you to do that.  They only ask that in the course of your holiday shopping you shop at at least three local, independent businesses this holiday season.  That’s just one book from Elliot Bay Books or University Book Store, one fish from Pike Place Market, and one cupcake from Cupcake Royale and you will have fulfilled your duty.  It’s totally free to take the pledge and they will also send you a packet of great deals to aid in your shopping.  Also, you’ll be stimulating the local economy  and helping to keep Seattle awesome and that’s just a bonus.

I have already taken the pledge as I have already been to more than three local stores mostly because I really like shopping and but too many gifts.  Sadly I still had to go to the mall.  So, if you hate malls, go on, take the pledge and discover some new stores and maybe a get a few more unique gifts this year.  If you need some help finding places to check out you can search by category or neighborhood

over at Think Local .  I just learned that there is a store in Redmond that sells nothing but Tiramisu.  That’s what I call a good time.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Fashion Friday: Shades of Grey

18 May

If the title of this weeks post didn’t pique your interest, lets be honest youve been living under a rock.  Despite the erotic romance genre, this 3-series literary installment is a real page turner, and I mean cancel your weekend plans and have your significant other on-call if you are so inclined ;) Kidding sort of. But what do these books that are commonly referred to as mommy-porn have to do with fashion??  Nothing, really except remind us to incorporate shades of grey (maybe not fifty, but a few) into our everyday ensembles.

Fifty Shades Darker, the second book with Diesel watch, Ray Ban sunglasses, Stella McCartney jeans, 3.1 Philip Lim sweater and Giorgio Armani belt

I love the color grey, and contrary to popular belief, there is a shade (no pun intended) that will complement your skin tone.  From heather to charcoal and everything in between, grey is the ultimate neutral hue.

Use these tips to add a shade of grey to your wardrobe today:

  • Grey denim a chic alternative to everyday blues
  • Grey sweater or lightweight tee break up the monotone by adding depth and texture to your look
  • Grey scarf, belt, watch and/or sunglasses these little extras are a perfect way to incorporate the shade without the gloom
  • Grey shoes try a rich suede, soft leather or casual canvas for an unexpected contrast to everyday black

 This week’s assignment: incorporate grey into your wardrobe and read the books (seriously, if you haven’t already do this, you and your significant other will thank me).

Stay tuned and stay stylish.

Cats + Books = Awesome

30 Apr

First off, contrary to what that title may have you believe I am not a hoarder or an animal hoarder.  I just really enjoy both books and cats.  Though I am not much interested in books about cats.  Though, they would be better than books about horses.  I don’t understand some peoples’ horse obsessions.  I am not a horse person.  Anyway…I’m getting off topic.

Seattle is a city that loves to read.  We are one of the top ten cities with the most bookstores and one of the most literate cities in the country as well.  Seattle has also been on multiple lists as one of America’s most pet friendly cities.  It is no surprise then that sometimes these two things collide.  There are many bookstores in town with their own feline mascots to help you pick something out.  I am particular to the two cats that live at Ophelia’s Books in Fremont. (more…)

A Portland Getaway is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

23 Sep

I’ve lived in Seattle for 6 years now. But before I moved north, I called Portland home. While I love Seattle, Portland will always hold a special place in my heart as well. I have several friends making the trip down I-5 this weekend, so I thought I’d share a few of my recommendations for a fun-filled Portland weekend!

How to Get There:

  1. Plane – You can fly to PDX for just over $150 round-trip and the flight is only an hour. Certainly the fastest way to get to Portland. Well, as long as security doesn’t take too long.
  2. Train – Amtrak is a pretty easy and inexpensive way to get down to Portland. You can purchase your trip for as little as $62 round-trip. The trip takes about 3 ½ hours, which is much faster than dealing with the traffic on I-5 during rush hour. And you get to move around, read, work, watch a movie, eat and even have a drink. If you take the Amtrak Cascades train you even get Wi-Fi. It isn’t the fastest connection ever, but it’s free!
  3. Automobile – The cost of driving will depend on how high gas prices are at that moment, and how much your car likes to guzzle gas. How long the trip takes will also vary, depending on traffic. I’ve done this drive a million times and it bores me. One thing I do like about the drive is stopping at the Burgerville in Centralia. Yum!

Where to Stay:

  1. McMenamins – I’ll admit right now, I’m a McMenamins fan girl. I freakin’ love this business! Anyway, their hotels are my favorite! There are a bunch of them in the Portland area, but my top three are Crystal Hotel, Kennedy School and White Eagle. I mean, who wouldn’t want to stay in an old elementary school? If you’re looking for value, White Eagle is the best!
  2. Inn at Northrup Station – It’s located in the fun and trendy NW 23rd/Nobhill neighborhood, and is just up from the Pearl District. It’s right on the streetcar line so it’s easy to get around. The suites have kitchenettes so you can have breakfast, snacks, drinks, etc. in the room. I love the design and decorations at the Inn at Northrup Station. It’s got a funky, retro vibe.
  3. The Jupiter Hotel – A cool, trendy boutique hotel on the eastside of Portland. The restaurant/bar that is connected with the hotel is the Doug Fir Lounge, another one of my Portland favorites. I also find it hilarious that they have an “After Midnight at the Jupiter” deal!

Where to Eat Breakfast/Brunch:

  1. Brasserie Montmartre – Best eggs benedict! They have an awesome brunch and tasty mimosas!
  2. Mother’s Bistro – Even if you get a late start to your day, you can get yummy breakfast from Mother’s until 2:30! So good this place has their own cookbook!
  3. Urban Farmer – Tasty breakfast and brunch items with an emphasis on tastes of the Northwest.

Where to Eat Lunch:

  1. McMenamins – Hey, I warned you I’m a fan girl! But seriously, they have awesome burgers, sandwiches, salads and tater tots! There are almost as many McMenamins pubs in Portland as there are Starbucks in Seattle, so it’s hard to tell you my favorite ones. I used to go to Blue Moon the most because it was blocks away from my apartment, but any of them will be great!
  2. Food Carts – Portland has quite a reputation for outstanding food carts. And they’re EVERYWHERE!
  3. Deschutes Brewery – I’m from Bend, where it all began for Deschutes Brewery, so of course I’m a fan! But hometown-bias aside, their food is awesome!

Where to Eat Dinner – Casual:

  1. Montage – Montage has a terrific menu with a variety of Cajun dishes, but they are best known for their mac and cheese!
  2. Pastini Pastaria – I really miss this place! Yummy pasta dishes of all kinds, but my favorite is the tortellini gorgonzola!
  3. Henry’s 12th Street Tavern – This place is especially great if you have a group and people that have lots of different tastes because the menu has a huge variety. They also have a fantastic happy hour, and it runs all day on Sundays!

Where to Eat Dinner – Fancy:

  1. Jake’s Grill – Jake’s is a Portland institution and is now part of the McCormick & Schmick’s family. There is also Jake’s Famous Crawfish a couple blocks away. Both are awesome!
  2. RingSide Steakhouse – This place is THE place to get steak in Portland. It’s been open since 1944 and has won many awards. You want meat? Go here! (Note: at the time when I published, the website was down. Not sure why.)
  3. Urban Fondue – Who doesn’t love fondue, right? I love this cute little restaurant up in the northwest neighborhood! Mmmm, cheese!

Where to Eat Dessert:

  1. Saint Cupcake – I really love this place! Best. Cupcakes. EVER! Get the dots so you can try plenty of the tasty flavors!
  2. Papa Haydn – For as long as I can remember, this was the best place for dessert in Portland. They are like pieces of art!
  3. Moonstruck Chocolatier – Need your chocolate fix, this is the place! Adorable, beautiful and, most importantly, tasty little chocolates for your pleasure!

Where to Catch a Concert:

  1. Crystal Ballroom – Suspended ceiling makes for a bouncy floor, need I say more? (Yes, it’s another McMenamins.)
  2. Roseland Theater – A smaller venue with lots of room to dance and seats in the balcony when your feet need a break.
  3. Doug Fir Lounge – Awesome little venue where you can get really close to your favorite bands!

How to Get Around Town:

  1. The MAX – Portland has about a 20-year head start over Seattle when it comes to the light rail. The MAX is a stellar way to get around town. Fast, easy, clean and inexpensive.
  2. Portland Streetcar – Just like The MAX, it’s easy to use, fast, clean, etc.
  3. Walk – Portland is a very walkable city. Unlike Seattle, Portland is pretty flat. So go for a walk!

Portland Institutions (AKA – Don’t miss these places!):

  1. Powell’s Books – The best bookstore you’ll ever visit! If they don’t have it, it isn’t in print.
  2. Voodoo Doughnut – How can you NOT visit a place when the tagline is, “the magic is in the hole!” Get the bacon maple bar. Trust me!
  3. International Rose Test Garden – Portland is the city of roses, after all! This park is beautiful and peaceful. There are some amazing views of the city up here, too. Take a camera!

What to Do:

  1. Drink Beer – Portland is known for being a microbrewery capitol of the northwest. There are plenty of options including Bridgeport, Widmer and Deschutes breweries.
  2. Movies – I know it seems like a silly thing to do on a weekend away, but I love the movie theaters in Portland. There are a bunch of them where you can get a burger and beer while you enjoy your movie. Most of them are McMenamins theaters, but there is also the Laurelhurst Theater.
  3. Saturday Market – Don’t let the name fool you, it’s actually on Sundays, too! There are all kinds of crafts and cool items for sale. There is also tasty food to snack on.

So now you know how to have an outstanding trip to our neighbor city to the south. Go plan your trip!

What are your favorite places in Portland?

 

 

Stop in at the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

22 Aug

If you believe Michelle Bachmann’s version of American history – the one where our founding fathers worked tirelessly to eradicate slavery and, since the establishment of our independent country, skin color has not been an issue – this book may come as a bit of a shock.  A poignant, well-written, heart-wrenching shock.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is the bestselling debut from Jamie Ford, himself a former Seattle native.  The novel is a bit like those quiet ponds you sometimes stumble upon when you’re hiking around here: bright and inviting on the surface, but once you step in you realize it’s deeper than you thought.

Set in Seattle, the story takes you into the dual world of Henry Lee:  In 1986, he is a proud father of a UW student, a  widower, a Chinese-American man who has seen the once-distinct Japantown and Chinatown communities change and grow into something like the International District we know today.  In 1942, Henry is a twelve-year old boy who can’t remember a time that wasn’t wartime (the Japanese invaded Manchuria – the northern region of China – in 1931 and had installed a puppet dictatorship there before Hitler could even pronounce “Quisling“).  Henry’s father is a devout of the Old World and doesn’t understand – or appreciate – the burgeoning jazz scene that Henry loves; or, for that matter, the relationship that develops between Henry and Keiko, a Japanese-American girl that Henry meets at school (and, it turns out,  also loves).  In the wake of the bombing at Pearl Harbor, it is hard enough to “look” Japanese; as his friendship with Keiko develops, Henry learns how much harder it is to be Japanese, and never mind whether you were born in America or not.  In wartime America, one’s citizenship is most often secondary to what one looks like.

I’ve always had a little trouble picking up books that are set in Seattle – as someone who lives here, who loves it here, I’ve always felt authors sell the place short.  If you can’t describe Seattle well enough that I can recognize it, how can you really convey the beauty of this place to someone who’s never been here? Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of those books that I could stand to pick up in that sense – and once I opened it, I couldn’t put it down.  Regardless of whether you care for historical fiction or not, if you’re looking for something beautiful to read, I’d recommend this one to you.  It’s a fine, touching story and you’ll see our International District – not to mention the Puyallup fairgrounds – through slightly different eyes.

Book nerds rule

15 Mar

Today’s post is for the book nerds of Seattle. If reading isn’t one of your favorite past times, feel free to move on to another blog post. No judgement here, just trying to save your unpracticed eyes and underdeveloped posterior parietal lobes some effort.

I am a self-proclaimed book nerd. I’ve always loved reading. When I moved to Seattle and discarded my TV (because I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay for cable. It subtracts from my happy hour budget), I started reading more than ever. And last night, I took my book nerdiness to a whole new level. I attended a book club. I know what you’re thinking, and no, the book club did not consist of five of my friends drinking a bunch of wine and talking about everything and anything except the book we were supposed to read. The book club I attended was held by Queen Anne Books, the group included approximately nine strangers who were all 10+ years older than me, and it was legit.

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A Purely Feminine Debate

3 Jan

I know it’s sexist, but what can I say?  I’m a sexist sort of person.  If any of you were you like me, you spent a little time during you post-New Year’s Sunday flipping idly through the channels on television, trying in vain to escape the myriad infomercials and special programs and hot tips for the miracle weight loss programs of 2011, when I saw it:  Anne of Green Gables on PBS.  I’ve never been a fan of the movie version, but I adored the books when I was younger and I was trying to find them to read online when I ran past an interesting query:  Who is the better heroine, Anne of Green Gables or Laura Ingalls Wilder?

I say neither.  Yes, Anne is the darling of Prince Edward Island and her imagination opened up a vast new land for me.  Yes, Laura is the plucky pioneer who helped tame the wild west.  But c’mon, did no one read about the adventures of Caddie Woodlawn?  The strong-minded tomboy of Wisconsin who ran wild with her brothers and saved the Indians?  I think this debate is missing an important protagonist.  Caddie was funny, she was strong, she was smart – she learned how to swim the river and she learned how to mend clocks, and she could box the ears off of any boy who dared to challenge her.

It’s been suggested to me that I like Caddie best because she was so violent.  She wasn’t violent!  That’s not it!

Let me know what you think and which heroine you support.  Because otherwise it’s back to the inescapable infomercials.  Losing weight and modifying your lifestyle so that you feel healthier and sexier is all well and good.  But, ladies, if you’re going to go that route, do please use your common sense and don’t waste your money.  Siphoning off pounds and maintaining your weight is the easiest thing to plan, but one of the most difficult things to execute and the last thing you need is to fall for some sort of fad diet.  Use your common sense.  You probably already know what you need – or need not – do.

I’m afraid I am one of those women with the detestable metabolism that does most of the work when it comes to keeping slim.  But even I need to pay attention to my body – because I love Oreos.  I love steak.  I love Chipotle tacos – the crispy ones and, I love, I for sure, love beer (see Kona Brewing Company; we do it right in Hawaii, honey).  Whole pintfuls of golden delicious empty calories.  Dammit.

So here are four things I pay attention to, that might help you, too:

1.  Hydration. Drink water when you wake up.  Drink water before you go to bed.  Especially drink water while you eat.  Don’t be stupid and drink so much water that you suddenly get overhydrated and have to go to the emergency room.  Oh, yeah, that’s happened (not to ME).  Pick up a water bottle – you can get them super-cheap at the Daiso at Westlake Center, or you can get them super-pretty at Barnes and Noble or at Starbucks, or you can just continuously rinse out and use that Aquafina bottle you picked up from the office vending machine.  But drink water, and especially drink water after you drink all those beers.

2.  Fitness. So Ceci pointed out to me the other day that I seem to think everyone and everything wants to attack me.  I never thought about it, but she’s right!  Going into the ocean?  Gotta be ready for a shark or giant squid attack.  Strolling down a city street?  Gotta be able to fight off serial killers and/or zombies.  In order to lay the smackdown on somebody – or run away, as the case may be – it’s important to be in some kind of reasonable shape.  You can find many really great non-gym, non-weight, you name it workouts at Self.com.  Or feel free to join a gym!  I love All-Star Fitness, where membership is a little expensive but classes are free, every cardiovascular machine has a television, and the cleanliness is top-notch.  Best cardiovascular exercise, by the way:  Hip hop class.

3. Hunger pangs. It’s not all about what you eat, and I’m not going to lecture you about what I’m sure you already know should be in your diet (although, if you have no clue, I find the Food Network to be both helpful and entertaining.  Alton Brown especially rocks my socks).  It’s also how often you eat throughout the day.  If you’re eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner like you should, in the portions recommended, and you’re occasionally practicing how to kickbox your mugger, then you should still be getting hungry between those meals.  Snacking is super-key.  Try to avoid eating anything processed.  Try hard, even when those Oreos are singing their siren song.  If I’m actually hungry and it is between one of the three major mealtimes, I try to eat dried fruit, beef jerky, or crackers (wheat thins, triscuits, or pita chips) and some kind of dip (guacamole, babaghanoush, or hummus).  Keep your blood sugar up and hunger levels down.

4.  Number of times I threaten to murder someone. Here’s the thing:  When my throat is whetted (with water or beer, you know), when I feel strong enough to put down an axe-toting zombie serial killer, if I’m eating generally okay – I don’t threaten to kill people as often.  If I’m chatting with my friends or family and I start inventing gruesome and admittedly creative ways in which to murder them – and then I tell them about it – then I know that I’ve gotten a little cranky because I’m not taking care of myself.  It’s about motivation.  I tend to think of myself as a veritable wordsmith but even I know that the people who love me get a little tired of hearing of their imminent demise.  It’s about sticking with it.  If it takes a workout buddy, if it means paying for a fitness class that you love and know you’ll return to, if it takes one of your friends reminding you that he’s going to start ignoring you every time you say you’re going to push him down an escalator, then push him down again when the escalator brings his body back up the floor you’ve just thrown him off of – well, you gotta remember to keep it up.  Try and remember how good you feel when you’re healthy – and sexy! – and don’t let it go.  Because the alternative does tend to be unpleasant.

To Platform 9 3/4!

23 Oct

My sister Stephanie and I in Edinburgh, Scotland at The Elephant House where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. My favorite part is the sign "Birthplace of Harry Potter. Now serving draught beers..." Now you can catch a piece of Harry Potter history here in Seattle.

Muggle.  Quaffle.  Gryffindor.  Dumbledore.  Since the release of the first Harry Potter book in 1997 these nonsense words have come to have meaning for thousands of people.(However, if those words mean nothing to you just do yourself a favor and stop reading this now.  There are no spoilers, just extreme nerdiness to follow.)   Those seven books will have spawned eight movies, 2 full length internet musical parodies , YouTube puppet videos, endless ridiculous merchandise, and has also given throngs of adults semi-legitimate excuses to go out in public dressed like a wizard.  (All you need is a striped scarf, and old graduation robe and a stick for a wand and you have an instant Hogwats student costume).

Seattle has just opened up another reason to break out your dress robes and make J.K. Rowling even wealthier.  Harry Potter: The Exhibition has landed, like a mail-carrying owl here in Seattle at the Pacific Science Center.  The exhibit opens today and will run through January 30, 2011. The exhibit does require separate admission from the science center itself so check it out early before all the good days and times are taken.  Admission prices can be found here.  The exhibit is mostly a collection of props from the movies ranging from Harry’s glasses to a large selection of costumes to a full size hippogriff.  There are some interactive parts like trying your hand at tossing a quaffle through a Quidditch hoop and potting a mandrake.

Even if the prospect of wandering through a little slice of Hogwarts doesn’t excite you (and I must say I’m not the biggest fan of staring at stuff that was in a movie or once touched  by someone famous) the other cool part is the accompanying IMAX movies.  If you can’t wait for part one of the Deathly Hallows (which comes out on November 19th) you can see some of the old movies the way they should be seen.  On a screen six stories high!   They are currently playing the Prisoner of Azkaban and will move on to Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, and Half-Blood Prince before the new movies is released.

So come be nerdy and please bring friends.  You do not want to be that guy wandering around alone in a cape at a children’s exhibit.  Also, for the record, though I may have attended a midnight book release or three I never did go to any of these in costume.  I just wanted to make that clear.

I spill, it stains.

31 Aug

I had a different post planned for today. It was a good post. In fact, I was very fond of it, up until about 30 minutes ago when I spilled cranberry juice all over the front of my very white shirt. Just completely missed my mouth. You know how that goes. We’ve all been there.

Luckily, my favorite coffee table book (yes, I really do have a favorite coffee table book), The Experts Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do, taught me exactly what to do in this situation. Before reading the chapter “Remove a Stain” by Linda Cobb aka the Queen of Clean, I would have simply stomped and cursed. But today, I stomped, cursed and grabbed some soda water.

How does this relate to my original post, you ask? Well, I figured that some of you might be as clumsy and laundry-ignorant as myself, and therefore could benefit from a stain removing how-to. I’m telling you, it’s changed my life. I’ve become the MacGyver of clothing stains. Besides, I can save my (Warning: unabashed plug/teaser ahead) rant about Match.com for another day.

Below you’ll find a list of the  Queen of Clean’s  recommended spot removers for various stains. Bet you didn’t know today would be Home Ec day on the Belles blog!

Alcohol: grass stains (Shannon side note: Did you know that you can remove a red wine stain by pouring white wine on it? Old trick my mother used to use.)

Ammonia: Perspiration stains (Shannon side note: Gentlemen, time to soak those white undershirts.)

Baking soda: Removes odors. 1/4 cup to one bucket of warm water. Soak for an hour and pour bucket into the washer and launder as usual.

Club soda: Great for any spill. Prevents spots from becoming stains.

Denture-cleaning tablets: Cure-all for white linens and white cotton. Dissolve one tablet per 1/2 cup warm water. Pour directly on spot and let it sit 30 minutes or so, and then launder as usual.

Hydrogen peroxide: Works best on blood stains (Shannon side note: Creepy, but good to know.)

Lemon juice: Nature’s bleach and disinfectant. Rub into stain and lay garment in the sun. Works best with white fabric.

Meat tenderizer: To remove protein-based stain such a milk, blood, egg, etc. Apply cold water, sprinkle unseasoned meat tenderizer, let sit for an hour and launder as usual.

Shampoo: Cosmetic stains. Just working into the fabric — no water required!

Shaving cream: One of the best spotters available! Moisten spot with cold water, work in shaving cream and rinse with cold water. Even if it doesn’t completely remove the spot, it will keep it from setting in until you can remove it using another method.

If you interested in learning more about The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do, you can check it out at Amazon.com. The book includes a cookie baking tutorial from Mrs. Fields!!

Any other stain-removing  methods I should know about? Lord knows, I’ll eventually spill something on myself not included in this list. Ha!

Cathy is Retiring!

15 Aug

My cartoon namesake will be no more.  The cartoon creator of Cathy (the aptly named Cathy Guisewite) announced that the comic strip would be done October 3rd.

My first and only "Cathy" book.

I was in middle school when I realized there was a entire comic strip named after me and this was quite a discovery for a comic enthusiast.  I gleefully purchased the book shown below and was ready so to read about “my life!” Unfortunately, I was 12 years old and even though cartoon Cathy is supposedly ageless to make her relatable to all women, seventh graders don’t really fall into the the woman category.  The book looks well-worn and much loved, but I distinctly remember dropping the book in the bathtub and not taking much care to dry it nicely.

But the end of “Cathy” got me cogitating upon comic strips that I actually love and I started thinking about “Calvin and Hobbes.”  Written by a man known mostly for his reclusive nature and unwillingness to license his characters, Calvin (the boy) and Hobbes (the tiger) were named after the protestant reformer John Calvin and the social philosopher Thomas Hobbes.  Yes, they are smart and philosophical cartoon characters!

I’m not sure I took much from any philosophy class in college, but I have always found myself quoting Calving and Hobbes.  This has led to many awkward explanations as to what I am talking about.  Try explaining to someone that you are quoting a cartoon and blank looks will ensue. Consider the strip below.  With no visual reference, saying “Well, in the fourth panel, Calvin is looking for the multitudes” just isn’t funny.

Image Courtesty of gocomics.com

You can imagine my joy when I read earlier this week that a Calvin and Hobbes search engine had been created!

The Internet is done. We can all turn off our computers and go outside now.

This might be the apex of the internet.  The search engine allows your to search for specific phrases in a strip and it pulls up all the cartoons that contain the key words.  It also allows for date specific searches.  Unfortunately, I went to test it again this morning and too many people have discovered it.  The site hosting the images is down but it sounds like the creator of the search engine will have it resolved soon.  However, the text search function is still working.

I’m obviously partial to Calvin and his antics but are they any other comics you all love?  Any Fox Trot or Far Side enthusiasts out there?  Send me an e-mail at cathy@bellesofthesound.com or find me on Twitter @cathy_c.