Bedtime Stories: American Gods

american-godsPost by Mark T. Locker.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Note: This is not a story for children. But who says that kids have to have all the fun? -MTL

Neil Gaiman is an incredibly prolific writer who manages to have broad appeal no matter what he writes and no matter what the audience. From silly books like Fortunately, the Milk to the much-loved Sandman graphic novels, from a weird picture book like The Day I Swapped my Parents for Two Goldfish to adult novels like American Gods.

American Gods is noteworthy for a couple reasons right now. For one, it is celebrating its 15th anniversary. For another, it’s being cast and made into a television series for Starz. So in honor of these events I went back and reread this book. The first thing I thought of when I read this book was Douglas Adams’s weird and awesome book The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul in which slovenly and slightly questionable detective Dirk Gently gets involved with Odin, Thor and other gods of old. The premise is the same, sort of: the old gods were brought over here with the immigrants. Vikings brought Odin, Loki, Thor; slaves brought Baron Samedi and Exu; Irish brought leprechauns and other magical folk. But the modern world has little time or space for these old ones. There are now Media and Technology to worship. A Storm Is Coming. Wednesday, who we learn quickly to be Odin, hires an ex-con named Shadow who has just lost everything to be his errand boy. I don’t think anything will be the same for him again.

At times brutal and a little intense (A Storm Is Coming, remember?) it’s a fascinating story and educational as well. There are a lot of gods out there. And you may start to feel bad for them; many are forgotten and even those who are not need your support in this difficult time.

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Decorating with Painted Furniture in a Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.

If you have a collection of mismatched furniture and you’d like your room to have a more refined aesthetic, consider painting all the pieces one color. Painting is an easy and economical way to unify a variety of furniture styles in the same room.

Or, perhaps you need a splash? Purchase one brightly colored accent piece, such as a nightstand or side chair, and it could be just what your bedroom needs.

Be it black, white, or your favorite bold hue, let’s take a look at decorating a bedroom with painted furnishings.

Raspberry is the color of choice in this girl’s room. This tone might not seem all that practical, but it adds personality to what would otherwise be a pretty bland space. The sage green walls are a beautiful backdrop too.

Bedrooms

A shabby-chic style Chicago bedroom takes on an elegant feel with older white furniture. Notice the variety of white used here. Different shades make this romantic room feel cohesive, yet not boring.

Eclectic Bedroom

A turquoise chest adds just the right amount of color to this simple guest room with no headboards, painted floors, and sheer curtains. Can you picture the room without the chest? I think it would feel like it was missing an essential component. This room is a terrific example of a single piece of furniture completing a space.

Jill Sorensen

Black brings this bedroom to life. The black painted furnishings and roman shades combined with the funky chandelier and table lamp, not to mention the skins and guitars work well together for a boy’s room or guest quarters.

Contemporary Boys Bedroom

I adore everything about this bedroom. The delicate bed with a painted green finish; the white nightstands with green hardware; the symmetry, and even the placement of the bed in front of the window. Everything feels right.

Bedroom 3

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Breakfast in Bed – Swiss Eggs

Swiss Eggs 7

by Alison Hein

Read on if you think fondue for breakfast is a great idea!

Well, it’s not really fondue, but a couple of eggs baked between layers of gooey Swiss cheese doles out that same decadent, comfort food satisfaction. Treat yourself to a luscious little meal, or re-size the recipe for more servings, each baked in their own small ramekin.

Swiss Eggs 1

I like to use Jarlsberg cheese, for its slightly sweet and nutty flavor, as well as for its wonderful melting ability. Of course, you may just as easily prepare Cheddar Eggs or Mozzarella Eggs (or provolone, or blue) or whatever strikes your fancy).

Be sure to serve this lavish little dish with some hearty toasted bread slices – perfect for dipping and as a contrapunkt to the rich, eggy sauce. A Wheaty Baguette, toasted and slathered with butter, tops off a luscious little breakfast in bed.

Ingredients

Cooking spray
¼ cup Swiss cheese
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons heavy cream, of half & half
Fresh curly parsley, for garnish

Swiss Eggs 4

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a ramekin (or other small oven-proof dish) with cooking spray.

Cut a thin slice of Swiss cheese (about one tablespoon) and place it in the bottom of the ramekin. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into the dish. Dust the top of the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour cream over the eggs. Grate the remaining Swiss cheese and add to the top of the dish.

Bake the eggs for around 15 minutes, until cheese is melted, egg whites are fully cooked, and yolks are still soft. Cook eggs a little longer if you’d like the yolks to be cooked through. Garnish eggs with parsley and serve hot with buttered toast, if you like.

Makes 1 serving.

Swiss Eggs 8

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Movies in Bed: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

butchPost by Mark T. Locker.

It’s crazy to think that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is closing in on FIFTY YEARS OLD. And if it weren’t for a sneaky sickness keeping me home from work I might never have seen it. But I saw it for the first time just the other day.

If you’ve been living under a rock like I apparently have, here’s what you’ve been missing out on. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are a pair of old West bandits. Butch Cassidy (Newman) is a charming train robber. He’s a bit older, a bit calmer, but dangerously charming. Sundance is young, hotheaded, but a dead aim with a pistol. Together they have been hitting trains and banks all across the West along with Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall Gang. But after an unsuccessful train heist, Butch and Sundance find themselves unable to shake a sheriff assisted by an incredible Indian tracker who goes by Lord Baltimore. So they flee to Bolivia with Sundance’s girlfriend Etta.

I was amazed by how good this movie was; well-written, cleverly assembled and funny. Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy is particularly likeable and even though they’re outlaws, you can’t help but root for them the whole way. It’s a great movie to end a long week. Fluff up the pillows and get ready! Butch and Sundance are coming!

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Bedroom Design: 6 Fabulous Brooklyn Bedrooms

Post by Tracy Kaler.

What’s all the hype about Brooklyn? In case you didn’t know, Brooklyn has become one of the most desirable places to live in the country. It’s also become not so affordable, but that’s another story. With Prospect Park at its heart, charming brownstone-lined streets, a slew of indie boutiques, and a locavore mentality, Brooklyn is the place if you’re cool or trying to learn how to be cool. That being said, wherever you have coolness, you most certainly have beautiful interiors. Let’s take a peek at six fabulous Brooklyn bedrooms.

Brooklyn house gut renovation

This traditional bedroom pulls out all the stops –– rich, hardwood floors, a bold accent wall, and classic furnishings. I want to note the size of this room, which is in a house and not an apartment. This space is sprawling compared to most NYC bedrooms.

Loft Styling & Creative Charm in Brooklyn

This loft bedroom has a real Bohemian feel. Notice the lack of a nightstand, but a ladder instead. The relaxed space is a great example of a casual design that is well thought out.

One Brooklyn Bridge Park Loft

Sleek and chic, this bedroom is a One Brooklyn Bridge loft. Notice the fun pillows and the out-of-scale accessories. This space has a very retro aesthetic.

Brooklyn Penthouse

A bright blue bed wall sets the tone for this space in a contemporary Brooklyn penthouse. Storage is cleverly built into the design of this boy’s bedroom, which can easily double as a guest room.

Brooklyn Brownstone

This crisp master bedroom in a Brooklyn brownstone keeps the design and details simple yet luxurious. The arrows above the bed might be the most interesting art choice that I’ve seen to date.

Brooklyn Brownstone

How sweet is this bedroom? If you love lavender, you have serious envy by now. Although the colors and flowers lend femininity to the room, this romantic space could easily be a master bedroom.

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