Saturday, December 29, 2007

GreatWolfLodge


We will return to your regularly scheduled blog entries after GWL!

Monday, December 24, 2007

hippy Solstice

longest day..shortest night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

elf brand



Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
-Taken from: Richard III

Solstice Party


Viking flags, Gelt, cabbage rolls and rather cut throat Monoply, cutest toddler in the world with dueling dump trucks and valiant (but failed) efforts at staying up all night. Bell's Winter White beer, gifts in reusable fabric bags (Carol yer a genius) happy new home owners, snow and electric menorahs.

most wondrous.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

okay--things are better



I feel significantly calmer than I did last we "spoke". First of all I got a very funny post card from R/T (see above), not that getting postcards from R/T is all that unusual--they seem to have an odd fetish, but I am always happy to enable my friends. Also, my cook top works again!! YAY for Gluttony Day!!! (also note: yeah for boiling water for tea instead of nuking it--something just wasn't happening there) I have also mailed out the last of the holiday greeting cards and taken care of the outgoing mail ordery things (tho I have yet to order Fina's b-day gift). I also got the basement stairs mopped because after three days of furnace installation they were coated with worker guys snowy mud prints and it made running downstairs to flip the laundry pretty nasty.
Other things I accomplished--our firewood supply is back up where it is 'sposed to be for "festive fire" enjoyment. After four days of no propane all the previously purchased firewood went bye-bye. Now, if I can get the damn bathrooms painted THIS HOUSE will be where I want it. Well except for painting outside but that is waiting till spring.

Matthew checked in and hasn't broken any bones yet.

Pete volunteered to procure the Christmas cow (I somehow thought I had a week to go before Xmas) & crackers.
98% of gifts are wrapped.
I still have yet to get Peter something.
Maybe heels and seamed stockings will do the trick--and more cookies--the first batch has been devoured.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

silent scream


Back a couple three years ago my friend Andre suggested I should start a blog. I scoffed, who the hell wants to know what I am thinking about??? Well if yer reading you must be numbered among the sick and twisted folk that I adore. You may even be slightly concerned that I am slowly losing my mind. I am starting to feel like the narrator in Charlotte Perkins Gillman's The Yellow Wallpaper. Or perhaps I am more Slyvia Plath-ish? There is a faint aroma of propane in my kitchen. Normally I can cheerfully deal with stress in the bittersweet fashion of one Mrs. Dalloway, or the sardonic and off kilter Antoinette of Wide Sargasso Sea. Oh if only I were a character in a feminist tract. Then somebody could shut the fucking book and I could get a break!!

I am fascinated by this idea, who is reading me? What character am I? Actually does anyone know the title of this tome? I want to propose a class. A LIT class, duh--but one dealing with meta-fiction. A genre I am not even sure exists. I may have mislabeled it. But I am thinking of books where the fictional characters exist in non-fictional world. That their "downtime" is when the book is closed. If someone is reading then the characters are like actors in sitcom or a movie. They are working at a job, with a script. I immediately propose the works of Jasper Fforde click here Mom ( pronounce both F's ffff fff forde). His Thursday Next novels are delicious romps. I also call to mind Cornelia Funke's Inkspell & Inkheart, where "real" humans get in and out of the narrative. The movie trailer is in theatres now. We could also play with the aforementioned Antoinette of Wide Sargasso Sea where author Jean Rhys has launched an universe that is transcendently hypnotizing. Fforde started that mythology, for me anyway, with his Eyre Affair . Okay, so I have already overextended an undergrad reading list but if any of these are familiar to you please suggest more to me. Titles like A.S. Byatt's Possession and the newer Diana Setterfield novel The Thirteenth Tale are on this list too--does the author count as the character? If the author's character is an author then yes. But they also dabble with history/time jumping and I may need to stick with the same time continuum.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ballad of the empty pig

Saturday morning we awoke to a thermostat reading of 56F ---hmmm that seems chilly.
well the temp dropped with this low front--and we know the furnace is dying, no surprise. Aren't we clever to order this new heating arrangement?

So there I am cooking turkey sausage on my PROPANE cook top and Pete says, "Do you want the sausage that low? Aren't they 'sposed to sizzle?" I look at the burner; which, I have been heard to bitch about --because the BTUs' are normally so damn high a nice simmer is difficult. "Ummm..No. I do not want them that low." The propane lasted through one grilled ham and cheese sandwich, one kettle full o tea water and one pot of potato and leek soup. It is the predicted death o' the 20 year old furnace--it is the last gasps of the propane pig.

nasty propane all gone!! YAY!! Geothermal furnace doesn't get here till this Monday. BOOO!

So this morning (Monday) I decided I wanted a fried egg, however, upon turning the knob to start said eggie--NADA. No feeble blue flame, no more fumes. So the eggs got cooked in the micro and life moves forward-- heated by ceramic space heaters! Today the furnace comes and hopefully DTE hooks up the gas line too.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Farmer Pete and the crew of the BellyAcres as they adventure into the land of the well heated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

plain old rambling journal entry


Last night when Carol & Rollo came to pick up Xanni (and eat dinner: delish curried squash soup served with sour cream and chopped green onion accompanied by grilled ham & cheese sandwiches), Matt (AKA Rollo--not my son Matt--there are too many Matts in the world) was pretty excited to see the back hoe still in the yard. "Pete" he announced gleefully, "Can I play with your back hoe??" BOYS! honestly! *smiling and shaking my head* Zoli got home from school and the first thing he did was head for the bottom of the pit! So they are back this morning. And I have to admit it looks like great fun, the 360 degree turns and backing up and zipping forward on the coil path...The worker guys look like nothing so much as kids in a giant sandbox! Iz proclaimed the big pit by the garage "Hagrid's grave."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

happy heat

Click here for pics of the beginning steps of the geothermal furnace installation. I'm so excited!! GREEN ENERGY!! Heat upstairs!!! yeee haaaa!
Did I tell you about the propane guy?? I didn't--OMIGAWD!! About the end of October this huge ass truck pulls into the driveway and makes a beeline for the propane pig. It is pouring rain and I am wearing my slippers, but I head over there all indignant and bitchy and I say in my very best "I'm from Flint don't fuck with me" attitude and give the guy an innercity..."Can I help you???" He in all his machismo and big truck driver glory starts in with the "I know what you need little missy" and proceeds to tell me he is gonna fill my propane tank. "Un uH!" So upon discovery that he was NOT going to make a $1000 sale he was very indignant and was all "well we don't give refunds." and I was all like "I don't want a refund. You can pick yer pig up WHEN it is empty, in the mean time get yer big stinky truck outta my yard." grrrrrr

So now I am DAYS away from calling his ass up and saying, MY GEOTHERMAL FURNACE ROCKS and you can suck it propane dude!"

What a difference.

One of the clearest examples of the difference between Zoli's old school and his new school can be illustrated by comparing the two choirs. hmmm, what I mean to say is that the compared behavior of the two choirs is startling. Last year when we attended the choir concert it was vastly different from the lovely experience we had last night. A quick list will sum things up because I don't want to dwell on negatives...but here goes...

a.) The children were very well mannered and attentive to their choirmaster. Noone was fighting, pushing or running around with their dress purposely off. Noone wore bedroom slippers (that made me happy.) Prior to the concert at our old school the kids ran around a gym like wild yahoos, laughing shouting obsecenties and completely out of control. In sharp contrast last night the choir filed into the auditorium (an actual theatrical space--with real seats!) and sat quietly until Mr. Hudson gestured to them; at which point they stood up, in sync, and took their places on the stage.

b.) Last night the soloists did not hip check anyone when their took their spots back in the rank and file.

c.) The kids seemed to respect and admire Mr. Hudson and they obviously adored the accompanist. They tried to get Mr. Hudson to do a rap he promised but he wimped out and noone was out of control during this impromptu moment.

d.) The music was simpler than Z preferred but I think the A2 Boychoir is more responsible for that opinion than any fault with our old school. Dr. T really challenges the boys and after all this was just "choir class".

Nonetheless the music was lovely and the kids were obviously very proud of themselves as well they should be!

Did I mention Z is the only guy? This will serve him well in the future, but right now I am just happy he is okay with it. Singing is THAT important to him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

ooh so true

My horror scope for today:
You are motivated to show others how independent you are and this might make you less accommodating than usual. Your patience may be tested and you are tempted to say something that might be disruptive. Nevertheless, there's no need to put up with childish games. Just be prepared to deal with the ramifications of your current rebelliousness. The results may be well worth the temporary turmoil.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Two men and a sledge


The carpenter ant damage is finally being repaired. At what point will there no longer be workmen in my life? I know at least not until the furnace is in. I can't even remember all their names. There have been so many repair/delivery/install guys in the last three months. Oi.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How the SCA saved my slippers



The chapter of my life that immediately preceded discovering the SCA would have had me deep six-ing my old (read fav) slippers. First of all I should note that said slippers were purchased (over three years ago) simply because they resembled something that might pass as period footwear. They are just boiled wool mules. PURPLE!! Like Imperial Roman Purple. I mean a color only found in nature--but only on a very bright afternoon...and the soles are simply a heavier grade of felt. Not really a good choice for running to a port-a-castle when drunk in a snow storm--ya know? Ya don't?? --feh too bad...come to an event. Yes you! The eight of you constant readers who think the SCA is a sex cult.




For those of you who do understand the need for water tight footgear, continue reading--

Now here at home (in the MK) I seem to find myself hanging out with a lot of Vikings, it's okay--they are "Good People". And they let me sit by them. One of them (Sir Dirk by name) is an accomplished bootmaker and he has tried on several occasions to entice me into his web of leather working. I have watched him at work and observed some tool techniques. Enough so that when the seam on my purty purple slippers burst away from it's soul (atheist amethyst slippers?) I pondered. Not moaning and whining cuz Vikings don't whine--I said to myself, "self" I said."We can do it!"
So I found the curved needle and the awl punch (which I did NOT own prior to the SCA) and I fixed my slipper!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

support your marginalized others

Today marks the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, which begins at sundown.

Quote of the day: "May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind." — Author Unknown

Check out this cool story I heard on NPR this morning. click here

Monday, December 3, 2007

HOT DAMN!

Saturday night we snuck into the sneak peek and saw The Golden Compass!!
IT WAS SWEEET! Two thumbs up. It was very exciting. The boys (Z & Evan) were very happy--Filled with chase scenes and explosions. The director skimmed over the top of the story and It certainly wasn't as "chewy" as the books; but what can you expect? (Actually Peter Jackson set the bar for MY expectations very high--if he can do "it*" everybody should--including the HP directors!) They changed Iofur's name for some bizarre reason; and the guillotine (they changed it to a cage???) scene was heart wrenching. Izzy and I were both in tears. Kidman had AWESOME costumes and I am in love with the whole "steam punk" genre. Which wikipedia handily defines as such, "The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history–style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality. Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely."

Golden Compass was very effective at portraying just that flavor. I'll give it a 8.5 outta 10.

There was a Spiderwick trailer in which Iz already spotted some errors/changes (she is our Spiderwick scholar) and the Inkheart trailer looked pretty damn good, Capricorn seemed a little giddy for my taste...more like the joker in Batman, than Tony Soprano, but Brendan Fraser is a big fan of Funke (he did the narration on the audio books) he will be great as Meggie's dad.

*"It" of course meaning fanatical attention to detail and dedication to original narrative, ie LOTR-- I don't think I should ever write screenplays!! Every movie in the world would be verbatim text!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

bitter avoidance

hey-- I actually wrote something on my myspace blog. I usually pop on there just to see who else is bored. In sharp contrast I use this blog to warm up for working on my book. But now I am avoiding working on my book because all day yesterday all I wanted to do was work on the book. Now I have an hour (whew-- look out! a WHOLE HOUR) and instead I re arrange the pictures of my friends on myspace. As soon as I get into Carol's comments (she returned her draft Sunday afternoon) I am sure the phone will ring or the dog will want out. Or the other dog will want back in--Today it is very windy and I keep watching leaves blow across the yard. Jarvis' ears act like little sails when he leaps up on the patio. he is just a wee beastie and the wind is quite strong. It is also very cold today.
I can't focus.
I made a yummy sandwich with some leftover green olives (stuffed with mozzarella and floating in chili oil) and left over chicken breast. I smashed it all between a whole wheat bagel.

I also had a chunk of bananna nut bread.

Eric saw a white crow in Flint.

I bought new yarn. It is yellow. I stopped in Art Attack on the way home and got Jesse's new comic and some canvas for Izzy. I saw the yarn..right there..in the case. Nice. support your local artists.

maybe I should flip through some muggle knitting patterns...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Step



This spring I will have one helluva garden. The first seeds arrived! My lettuce seeds came!!!
AND they sent me a whole bunch of free gifties!! I bought asparagus and 3 kinds of lettuce and they gave me basil, tomato (eeep there is a challenge... 'maters from seeds!!) iceberg, carrots, celery chili peppers, and sage. Please let me recommend these Heirloom Seeds

I am so geeked for spring. I know we haven't even had an inch of accumulation yet--but I want to plant my garden NOW!!

It's time

the annual I HATE CHRISTMAS!! tirade

I do not hate Jesus, nor do I begrudge his followers their happy time-- but dude at the risk of sounding like a little Pace Clone whose rants are here. I do despise the plastic shrinked wrapped greed/guilt fest that starts the second the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade ends. It makes my head hurt. I suppose it comes from growing up with Frakenmuth in my backyard.

Things I adore about the Winter Solstice:

ice skating
sledding
snow balls
real coco after said activities
Charlie Brown Christmas (on DVD avoid commercials*)
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (ibid)
candles
cedar greens
mistle toe--It's a parasite!!
real tree-- freshly killed by my boys
decorating cookies!!! (we have dinosaurs and VW bug cutters and we have Channukah shapes, we have CRAZY cookie cutters)
other kinds of bars and treats (like peppermint bark and peanut brittle--ho made toffee...mmmmmm)
buckeyes
my daddy's fudge
those little red berry ball wreathes
looking at (laughing) other people's tacky yard ornaments
cringing when my husband starts his tacky yard display (every year I try to decorate in a "classy pagan meets Pottery Barn" flavor and Petey goes for the "haven't quite out grown making the animated deer look like they are getting it on" phase

We must get the tree soon.


*I do like the Dolly Madison strawberry Zingers AND their commercials

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

serious eeep!-age

Look what just showed up in my email!!!!
OH!! sweeeeet!

Out Now: Classical Comics’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V


Classical Comics is a new UK-based independent publishing outfit with a unique approach to publishing great works of literature in an accessible, reader-friendly graphic format.

Their first two titles, Shakespeare's Henry V [Amazon and Macbeth [Amazon] are both being published in three separate editions, with identical illustrations across all three, but different interpretations of the text: 'original', 'plain' and 'quick'.

In a press release, Classical Comics' Karen Wenborn explains the concept: "Having been told by young readers that they were bored by the Bard, Classical Comics set out to make Shakespeare as energetic and colourful as Spider-Man.


"With literacy levels in schools, and amongst school-leavers, at an all time low, Classical Comics has devised a revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach as an invaluable classroom teaching tool. Each book is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading."

Clive Bryant of Classical Comics explains further: "We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language.

"The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used.

"We believe that we've created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability."

Karen continues: "Not wanting to patronise its readers, and mindful of the sanctity of the original text, Classical Comics carried out a large amount of research to arrive at the right approach with its books.

"The response from teachers, parents and young people themselves has been extremely positive; three schools - Olveston Primary School, Gloucestershire, Ingleton Middle School, Lancashire and City of Ely Community College, Cambridgeshire - are currently road testing the books. Teaching resources, in the form of both hard-copy ready-made lesson plans for teachers, and interactive whiteboard toolkits, are available to accompany each book."

Four more titles have been scheduled for publication later in 2008, with each being made available in an abridged Original Text and Quick Text versions:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (EEEP!)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

And there's plenty more information on the whole project at www.classicalcomics.com.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I think I wet them


OH! Oh oh wow!!What an amazing page!

So last night I finished reading Mademoiselle Boylen by Robin Maxwell. Nice little romp. What is significant is that as I flipped through her acknowledgments and the LCD "reader's guide" I notice the reference to the Luminarium. Sweet Jesu Joy of man's desiring!! I sat on the couch for hours after everybody else went to sleep til my battery was at 31%. I was ecstatic. seriously good shit.

Friday, November 23, 2007

sheesh

This is my favorite roasting pan under this giant beast. Can you just see it, under the ginormous fowl? I do 5-8 lb briskets in this pan. I cook about 6-8 lbs of sausage in this "big pan"--but to quote Dolly Parton--this is 5lbs of mud in a ten pound bag.

I have cooked larger hunks of meat--OUTSIDE!! I was afraid it wouldn't fit in the oven. It did fit but there was only about a half inch of clearance. Once I got the bird on the big rack and in the oven the heating element would have been WAAAY too close to the breasticles.

So we bisected the bird. My cleaver and electric knife and the poultry shears. God I wish Helowyse had been here, a dr and and english prof do not a butcher make. Happily we got the thing in there --post brine and with maple glaze. There are new pics at the album.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

reaction time

My dearone (L.) has a spiff signature on her email right now, ""What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens."--apparently one Thaddeus Golas pronounced this. I agree with him. For example this morning I had several options.

1. cry
2. stomp my little feet
3. call a tow truck and pay for a jump
4. ask sleepy father in law for a jump (ewwww scratch that image out of your brain)
5. push bug out of garage and explain to children that we were gonna pop the clutch

OPTION 5 (40 year old + 12 year old + 9 year old) X sloping drive=SUCCESS

Got Z to school, got to Isabel's school where we have anywhere from 15-25 minutes till her bell rings. We usually do an "I SPY" page or three from her library book. I, in an effort to reduce emissions shut the car off. It is still warmer than the playground which is the fair weather choice for killing time. (see crochet dishrags of earlier blog) Either way upon arrival at Estabrook I always cut the engine.

NOOOOOOOOO!

Of course in the less than four mile journey--the battery had insufficient time to charge, immediately realizing my mistake I tried the key again. failure

Repeat the listed options above,however please subtract sturdy 12 year old & sloping path. But do add to the list--6. call DH and whimper. Note this was achieved AFTER arrival at EMU because the prospective addition of #7 seemed fruitful, ask little chubby man with big key ring if he has jumper cables in his truck.

"No." he replies,"...but HE (pointing behind me to HS parkinglot) does." I glanced behind me and saw to my glee, TWO MORE chubby guys with big key rings and they were fixing a broken bus. I played the stupid chick card and got a jump from the maintenance guys.

Isabel went in to school and I drove to work--where I sat... with the engine running for 45 minutes. Thankfully me and my Odwalla bar, to go mug (Thank you Trex) full of java (thanks to DH) just calmly listened to NPR's Morning Edition.

Everybody cross your fingers that the bug starts when I leave campus eh?
Guess who is getting a new battery for Thanksgiving!! ME!!! yay!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

No whey!! YES!! WHEY!!


Saturday we made mozzarella. There are pix at the new album to the left. We shall definitely be doing this again--it was FUN. Hey--do you know anybody with a cow or a goat?? Things we learned: 1. there are levels of pasteurization 2. warm mozzarella is delish 3. we doubt whether there is an actual difference between "cheese salt" and any other kosher salt. 3. we prly paid too much for the thermometer and cheesecloth but where the hell else would we get the rennet? Now we have enough rennet for 60 batches. 4. One gallon of milk = 1/2 lb cheese (not counting the bites we ate 5. Citric acid looks pretty boring despite it's spiff packaging.

What is rolling through my brain

8 grown ups 2 kids (potential for two more of each. Come On Burrows' household you can blow off work!)

da Menu:

pre bird snackies=olives, pickles, ho-made mozzerella, crackers nuts etc--

MEAL=
Turkey (local free range from Kirk Coleman's farm) will be brined overnight and roasted with a maple glaze--dressing out side of bird--apples inside of bird
taters--smashed w/gravy
sweet tater (w/ mini smushmellows) casserole
green beans (some how haven't quite settled on this: The contenders are: Daddy wants the Campbell's soup & fried onion combo--Pete wants evil&withered & Izzy wants steamed....I am NOT making three green bean dishes)
tinned cranberry jello served in perfect round slices
actual cranberry & orange relish
Zoli's sour dough rolls with Poppy seed and sesame (real butter)

Post Bird Treats=
punkin pie w/ real whipped cream
choc/punkin cheesecake--new idea
choc silk pie A la Rollo


I like it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This morning in the Freep...



Phillipa Gregory writes historical fiction, really accurate and interesting retellings of famous bits of history. Period dramas if you will--with really great sex scenes. My favorite of hers is "The Other Boleyn Girl" and I noticed this morning that Terry Lawson, Free Press Film critic extrordinaire, was interviewing Natalie Portman (Isabel's hero). Ms. Portman shared the info that she and Scarlett Johansson (Pete's hero but for a entirely different reason) will be in Peter Morgan's film version of Gregory's book.

YAY!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tea & a fantasy road trip

There is a fantastic little shop in Stratford, (Canada not England) --not that I've been there in the last year ): called Distinctly Tea. They have a spiff web presence here. They are located at 18 York St.

I feel there is always something inherently "good" about lower numbered addresses; some antique karma that says "I have been here the longest, I have roots." which a street addy that reads 678455513 Seven Mile Rd just doesn't evoke.

We found "Distinctly Tea" about four or five years ago when we were killing time between plays. It is very near the lake--in the back. It isn't up on Tourist Row, it is a picturesque little alley that reminds me of nothing so much as Vieux Ville in Quebec. (say it right! Kay beck)

Lovely people in a beautiful space, so calm and pleasant. The glowing wood floors and atmosphere of a lovingly cared for 100+ year old building housing sparkling glass apothecary jars sealing in the most heavenly scents. Delicately dried and preserved white tips and crumbly black shards of brewing temptations.

Ordering some Darjeeling online is just not the same as smelling broken-leaf Assam. Such an elegant experience, the perfect black with dark copper tips. The bold bite wafting up like the cartoon finger of steam in a Merry Melodies cartoon pie. When you are in the shop you can't wait to rush back to the room and tap your foot till the tea is infused, to smell the vibrant aroma so reminiscent of honey, and perhaps a hint of malt. The first sip warms your soul--calm descends-- the finish has notes as distinctive as red wine. More shopping?? feh-- just make me a cuppa. OH No WAY! They will!-they will brew you a cup right there. If I weren't so clearly aware that I also wanted to hit Elizagoth which has awesome kitsch and to actually see the plays for which we have purchased tickets, I would have never left this shop.

I would still be there learning that saying Chai Tea is the same as saying Tea Tea--kinda dumb, and that steeping and straining methods or pottery vs. glass are just as important topics of conversation as say George W. or the beautiful former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Good luck girl. I'll bet you could use some tea. It fixes things.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

shoulda listened to my Mom


The day after I buy two pounds of michigan cherries to make a cherry lavender pie I discover that my Mom was correct.


When she came down for a visit and we wandered around the newly purchased property-- she pointed to plants that she recognized from her gardening experiences. She said, "Sweetie that's a cherry tree." I, smart mouth brat that I am said, "Nunt uh--It's crab apple; if those are cherries--well then I am tall svelte rock star." We moved on-- exploring and poking and trying to keep stupidawg under control.

Yesterday while I waited for the electrician to hook up the hot tub (It's still a cold tub--the heater died in transport.)-- I cleared brush (hey I'm presidential!!) and I dragged the never ending garbage outta the woods. This sweaty hair tangling in the branches work got me close enough to said fruit bearing tree to realize that I was standing on 20 thousand little mushballs with a slippery marble implanted in them. "Self" I said to myself, "Crabapples do not have pits. Nor do they smell like cherries." I had to admit my mamacita was correct.



Next year we pay attention and harvest our cherries BEFORE they turn into bird food. I'll send Izzy up the tree like the little monkey she is and we shall have nummy cherries. For those of you intrepid readers..yes I tasted one..tangy but highly edible. And waaaay better that the most horrible tasting berry in the world which is still unidentified. Carol and I think it might be a sloe berry and that it won't ripen until after the frost. all I know is when I tasted it every instinct in my brain said "spit!!... spit now!!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fresh paint


We left the chips up for a week. Three outta five residents liked "Sweet Honey", one vote for Spicy Pumpkin (Isabel) and one for Dandelion (z.) We spent the bulk of the weekend painting.


I am pleased. Now...onto the drapes. MISSION: Cotton velvet-- lined and properly hung.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Book Report

Did you ever get a book from the library and realize that you should have bought it?

I think I have a new hero. Last spring Barbara Kingsolver was on NPR discussing her new non-fiction book (I haven't read any of her fiction--she was on the Oprah List & that takes some serious pushing for me to get over--sounds like one of them is Mosquito Coast-ish which was very engaging

--but I digress let's stay on topic. The topic dear reader is local food.

She has an asparagus bed--and morels--I am inspired and share her concern about the food we buy, grow and devour--despite bristling at her phrasing "feel like a Wiccan" when the UPS guy "catches" her making cheese. Okay a.) I want to make cheese and b.) some of my dearest friends are Wiccan and frankly she doesn't seem to be helping dissolve any misconceptions with that little adjective bomb. However she can turn a phrase and her metaphor simplifying our carbon footprint into drinking a quart of motor oil has stuck in my head.

She is just trying to help us remember what's in season.

INSERT PERSONAL ANECDOTE SUPORTING CONCEPT:

I get a produce box from Door to Door and I may be switching from that company soon because I had gullibly believed it was local--till I got papaya and pineapple (dear readers will remember) that I am pretty sure were not grown in Michigan--Kingsolver labeled these well travelled fruits--"the Hummers" of the nutrition world.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't use no double negatives.

William Safire cracks me up. He is well known for his syndicated political column for The New York Times, but my fave factoid is that he is a regular contributor to "On Language" in the NYT Sunday Mag. The column is on popular etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics.

He has generated a list which I am handing out to my poor trapped guinea pigs today--"Fumblerules". It consists of sarcastically composed sentences such as
"Do not put statements in the negative form."
--which brings me right around to the most confusing construction--the phrase/fragment that reads something like:

"I would not be unhappy to have a bar of chocolate." GADS! I hate that. Be precise--say what you mean.

Another example of Safire's wit? "Verbs has to agree with its subjects." snicker

I think it is funny.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

purposely vague

I went to a meeting last night...it was apparently a convention of Stepfordwives(tm) and Mr Roger's clones. Everyone was so...so...CLEAN and well fed. It scared me. Nothing like the crowd in the city. Each "individual" (I use that term loosely) was in Complete agreement with everyone about everything--no discussion, no alternating opinions--no passion. It was so...white bread, so perfectly well behaved. The gathering of those who abide in houses that the house shitter shit out (to quote my dear one) was to discuss the new park.

If I am the creative rebel--if I am the dynamic force--well Groucho said it best..
"I don't want to be a member of a club that will admit me."

Now granted they were celebrating a victorious lawsuit to purchase said property away from nasty developers--and I know I have a couple associates in the subs somewhere --but honestly...they were, hell I can't think of the word...oh hang on--UNIFORM!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Not my first choice for a morning activity

Mulching leaves at Wallace took about oh... 45 minutes. I have been mulching leaves for over two hours. AND I'M NOT DONE! I have to let the mower cool off. My ears are ringing--not as bad as the were on National Chipper Vac Day--but bad enough. I think I vibrated my pinky off. I feel like a poorly groomed race horse--got all sweaty now I am freezing. It is supposed to snow tonight. Happily for the only bit of "lawn" we are concerned about being *turf* is all good. I got the croquet field mulched up and put in the compost barrel. The barrel always amazes me. Ya stuff it full and it all just magics itself into 1/16 it's former mass. I shoulda took three pictures-- one of the area with the leaves--one shot without the the leaves (just straight lines of mulch--like when you vacuum plush carpet--the ugliest green and gold striped shag carpet--kinda Brady Bunch style... and then the third pic would have to wait for the small pile of "black gold" I will get this spring. At least the croquet field is okay for this batch of droppings--the two biggest trees are still holding their leaves but I bet they drop them this week. Then I did the outside of the driveway (s) and put those clippings on the flower bed by the parking spots--but if global warming works in my favor it will rain like a bitch--wash the new mulch down into the turf--freeze the clingy leaves--they drop-- and I repeat what I did this morning on a some sunny day next week. Gods--if I ever needed convincing for the native grass meadow (which I didn't) I am convinced now that monoculture manicured lawns are the devil's work. I promise you dear one-- any chance of maintaining the golf course are DEAD. This place is freaking huge. We gotta get a goat.

I can't wait till they tear up the barn area for the geothermal coils. Then I can see what planting pattern I will have. I think they are gonna do a big loop? Soon I will know for sure..we got approved for the financing and they claim to have it all done by Turkey Day---EEP!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cook's Symposium

This was my second ever Cook's Symposium. click here Mom I didn't take the camera tho when I find the link to everybody else's pictures. I will link to them, especially the shots of Helewyse (my sausage muse) when she quartered a chicken in about 30 seconds flat. I will never pay for somebody else to cut up my chicken again.

So--we left Ypsi about 8:40 and got to Kazoo in great time but then a cute (but fierce looking) cop wouldn't let us off the freeway where we wanted to so we took the grand tour all around Kalamazoo including a quick jaunt through the "Holiday Parade" they conveniently forgot to tell us about. Rollo has the best toys--his GPS on his phone pointed out that we were still off by two miles--we corrected course and finally got to the site about ten to 11; thus effectively missing Hauviette's 16th C Ottoman class. Serious bummer. Okay be flexible--next class? YAY Helewyse and the afore mentioned "Knife skills" class--dude..she is a goddess. The care and feeding of one's knives is an important thing and I trust the daughter of a butcher. I learned much--had some basic beliefs confirmed and got reprimanded firmly for putting my knives in the dishwasher. CAVEAT: The fact that they get their own space, not touching anybody else or anything only earned tightly pursed lips. Okay so then I finally found Faillen and Kassia (I knew Vickie would be in the lunch tavern) and we scooted off to different classes.

Rollo's Anglo-Scandinavian Feast class (really more of a guided discussion brainstorming session) went really well-- and I repeat I have never met a Viking I didn't like. We had a great discussion centered on the reason FOR feasting and how the SCA feast is really a hybrid animal--a mythical beast perhaps? I learned that the Oseburg Burial Tripod is really prly an honorific grave site token thing and not actually a functional kitchen item. I don't care cuz the replica somebody brought along was sooo damn sexxxy--sigh

I didn't make Alys Catherine's comfit class but that is okay cuz I spent a VERY happy two hours in Giles' class learning about period food preservation. Giles shared an anecdote he found during his research that is a little icky--but I like icky and I'll bet I have you attention now eh? Okay so these archeologists are working and they find some sealed amphoras--yay for them--bad form they pop the tops off and discover 10,000 year old honey--and damn! It still tasted good--second brave (but scientifically irresponsible) archeologist wants to taste ancient honey too and dips his hand down in further into the jar for a bigger scoop and pulled up...( i had guessed a cat) EWWWWW BABY HAIR!!! EWWWWWWW. They mummified a kid in the honey!!!

I of course start thinking it had to be a slave kid or something cuz wouldn't an honored heir (hair heir get it? bad pun) get better treatment than a cooking jar full o honey? Then I start thinking oooh maybe they murdered the kid and this is where they hid the body---hmmm I think I smell a short story--or an Amelia Peabody plot!
Later in the class a tiny light bulb went off over my head when I realized..I OWN A CHIMNEY!!! EEEEP!!

I bought the CD with the facsimile cookbook and everybody's handouts (Oh--in case you were wondering? Vikings don't give handouts--they take them!) Can't wait to check it out--it better be Mac friendly!

Rollo and I split after Kassia & Faillen announced that we would be getting together for a whole new holiday twixt xmas & newyears--- GLUTTONY DAEG!! (More details later)

We hit Bell's YUM for dinner. They moved the general store to the front of the block and we did NOT go in--that would have been too much unsupervised fun--I finally tasted the 8000 batch that is like $15 for a freaking six pack and found it to be a tangy yummy VERY strong ale. They served it is a tiny little brandy snifter--which was clever cuz that shit was heady--wowsers!

We got home a smidge before nine and I, pathetic geezer that I am-- was asleep by 9:30.

Friday, November 2, 2007

de-decorating

Humph. It really isn't as much fun taking down the decorations as putting them up... nor enjoying them. Our fun new additions this year included a bat that flies around in circles in a very realistic fashion (Very funny L. ha ha) and a collection of tiny action figures from The Rocket.

One set is "B" movie victims and the other is Glo in the Dark zombies. I mingled these little peeps in amongst the candles on the mantle. So it looks like the zombies are chasing the movie extras. Of course, like the letters that hold Solstice stockings and spell out "S" "A" "N" "T" "A"--the figures kept getting re-arranged and placed into compromising positions--loyal readers will remember Peter's prison deer-- OI!-- so instead of "Santa" our mantle often reads "Satan" or "a Stan". Pete & Matty keep joking they are gonna buy more letter shaped hooks from target (there is often Joy and Noel available) and expand the lexicon.
Yeah--so our first official Samhain mantle decorations were zombies hunting b movie victims and more often then not the zombies and screaming women would be "interacting", similar to the reindeer for the yard--Pete placed them in "rutting mode" sigh...

But all the porch lights are in and the punkin candles rewrapped and serving platters tucked away. My favorite holiday is done till next year--happily we have lots of sugar leftover.

Why haven't the kids eaten it all yet? Because we filled a large plastic cauldron with treats for our NEW neighbors while we went tricksy treating back in NPNA.

I turned on the skull lights & the orange lights lining the front porch...when I placed the "Take one! Happy Halloween" sign
BUT-- I failed to flip on the porch light. The "international symbol that we want to play" signal (alternately known as the "Bitch, the light is out! The candy is GONE! beacon) I suck. *bad neighbor* At least nobody TP-ed us & now we are up two bags of Reese's! Yay us!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

oh my head hurts

*WARNING BORING EDUCATIONAL THEORY FOLLOWS. There is nothing funny or conversational or slightly entertaining in this blog post just my exasperated mental vomitus. hey... it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.*

It isn't like riding a bike; teaching I mean. Three and half years off was apparently enough of a break to hold the cheerful level for one month. Today sucked. Sometimes I am pretty sure the kids are smarter than me. At other times I wonder how the idiot standing in front of me managed to get his pants on. Oh wait --they do seem to be sagging pretty horribly...perhaps he can't generate a complete sentence because he knows we can all see his underwear. I personally would be distracted away from compositional topics if I knew the entire Halle Library could see *MY* drawers.

Today was a very frustrating experience for me. It was another day of spinning my wheels and jumping through somebody else's hoops. I am trying to maintain my respected colleague's syllabus with the dawning realization that I cannot read her mind simply by running my finger over the printed words of her handouts. This lack of understanding on my part should in no way diminish the plan said colleague laid out for the students, but I am at a loss as to how to "discuss" something we have already covered for an hour & 15 minutes. You see dear one,much of what is coming up makes more sense in my head to have been done early in the writing process. I have looked ahead in the syllabub (intentional pun there as I need a drink) to see another day spent at the library--then a week of conferences, and the assigned readings are some sample papers from past terms and really..honestly not a lot to work with--buzz words and useless page numbers. Thank the gods that Turkey Day is in the middle of this last month or my brain might implode. I have to keep her scheduled due dates because we are on that path now--but I am gonna have to dig and I mean dig deep to get at least three more class periods organized into a more efficient use of these kids' time. There is time allotted for presentations?? WWHHAATT??? why weren't these done back by the proposals when questions and discussion generated could help formulate a thesis statement. It is kinda late in the term to start questioning one's topic choice. ARRRRRGHH.

I can't just sit there and stare at them--we have to DO something. Maybe I'll teach them how to play poker for Halloween candy. That would be just as effective a time waster as going to the library en masse.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

slow recovery or "linkfest"

To the few of my freaky darlings who still have the metabolism to get up from a party without limping-- I salute you. Okay Punkin Day '07 was tremendous. (I have the sinking feeling I am going to run out of juicy descriptors before I finish this post.) The party was Saturday night and I am still licking my metaphorical wounds.

The three newest things about this year were in order of importance--1.) Roxy (Matt's new lady friend)--2.)the band who mentioned us on their webpage* and of course Warren who planned on simple ipod playlists and immediately segued into floor manager extraordinaire as he disco balled us into a dance frenzy. Warren you are the shit! 3.)the pig. The mouthwatering aroma of which is still swirling around the house.

I need to extend an adjective laden hug of gratitude to to both Clan Ullman and The Andelcrag Constituents. In the past we have learned that Petey needs to take the day off after Punkin Day. This year because of the amazing help of The Breakfast Club--clean up was mostly done my about noon on Sunday. I just stood around pointing a plastic sword and sipping a cold (VERY COLD) one. Well I did sit down while Maria brushed out my tangled mess o' been dancing and throwing spears all night..hair. But Monday was actually just like--sorting dishes and folding tablecloths. My friends are amazing. Especially Garth. You Sir are a god. I love you.

It was so awesome to see so many beloved friends--Tarrach and my girl had mentioned on his myspace page that they might have come in sadly they lead the list of missing guests--NO ONE represented clan Gohsman!!All is forgiven. Begg stepped up to bat for ya'll dancing with me in a most smutty way. It was wierd seeing Brian but no Ivory.... We knew Lisa & Paulie couldn't--but we missed them anyway. Eric claimed he was gonna show--even called to get directions but apparently got lost. No comment. Rick (work) &Tim (Yale) were missed but we understand. PunkAmy however has yet to explain her absence and Arianna was apparently overcome with an evil virus none of us really wanted to meet. S'okay--Movie plans are in the making. Hey..did anybody see Midair & the dancingqueen??? Um Pace?? thought you were coming?

I did see babyCelia who is the sweetest cutest little bundle of three month old in the state and her Mommy & Daddy are pretty cool too!
So... tonight is trick or treat and I am gonna be the Lost Vampirate of Northshield. We are going back to Normal Park because that neighborhood has a well deserved rep-- and eat pizza at Stacy's--thank god she is feeding us because we are all getting sick of the hodgepodge of party food leftovers.




*
They were a last minute thing...Melisant brought them and they literally sang for their supper. They had originally had a gig in Canada but did not realize they needed work permits and so were shot down at the border and when they...seeking refuge... phoned Melisant the Scrabble goddess; she said--"Let me call Daye." All's well that ends well!! Yay for us.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

sooo tired


Punkin Day '07. The barn was properly initiated with punkin guts and beer. Crazy dancing and black martinis. Pig roast, spider pinata, zombie hunt, blood sacrifice, sugar,surprise live band, a Tuchux!--waaaay too much food, gorging and feasting. Bonfire finally got peed on at 3 am. The dog only got away once. Spear chucking, and then Huevos for breakfast (which was really lunch cuz nobody was moving too fast) If it was a mastercard commercial I think it would be sumthin like

100 lbs of pork
1/2 keg of LaBatts

party with awesome friends: Priceless

minimal photos here

Thursday, October 25, 2007

fast food

I heart The Ugly Mug. I know most of my *peers* hang out at Bombadill's. I do love Peter and Leslie very much, great coffee--sweet art. But the kids at The Mugg don't necessarily want me to talk to them. You see dear one, at heart I really am a sour old curmudgeon and I want my damn privacy. If I walk into Sidetrack I want to drink my beer-- eat my damn cheeseburger and maybe hold hands with my honey. No politics, no city issues--just beer thanks. When I walk into Bombadill's I feel like I am in Rod Serling directed episode of "Cheers!". I am always greeted and called out to regardless if I can remember the callee's name or not-- So when I want to write--or just quietly grab a "Killer Everything" Bagel and lg black java to go--cuz I really should be grading papers...I like the quick get away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I like it. Too bad nothing local--

This seems like a good idea.Gee what could I do instead?

GO Blue!!

Ha! I'll bet ya'll are freaking out. Cuz *YOU* know we are Sparty peeps here at Belly Acres. Ah! But you see I am not referring to the U of M nor any of it's ridiculous tentacles invading my life. No I am referring instead to a darling human being. Mr. Blue Way of Depot Town's Blue Sky Carpentry (who is a wood working god..I shit you not) Our custom designed and "built in" hand rubbed cherry bookshelves are getting installed. I have been very patient. This was the first project we conceived upon arrival here at the new house. The books are still sitting in the boxes from several weeks ago. If you see Blue ask him about the spiffy dove tailing tool he got in Holland. I am ecstatic that the shelves are getting placed. They are beautiful but they will be even better when the books are on them. My li-berry is finally taking shape. Here are some pics of what Blue achieved yesterday.

Bye bye crappy fake brick--hello quality craftsmanship. OOh now I have to choose a color for the library walls...carmel?

Monday, October 22, 2007

SCARLETT IN THE NEWS

Zoli's new school lives up to it's rep. We love school! he loves Chess Club. He loves French class. His Language Arts teacher tags new releases for him. If I could just convince him to ride the bus...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

izzy





the clipboard


BARN!! CHECK!
keg check
bonfire check
salamander heater ...Arrives w/Garth & Kassia
tables&chairs check
cheesy decor check
disco ball--Warren on saturday morning
zombie hunt check
pig check!!
punkins -- this afternoon
side dishes--as the week progresses
glo sticks... hmmm could be an issue
cups check
plates & plasticware pretty much check
napkins--see glo sticks
black vodka..gotta find that

I will never pass for Mrs. Dalloway.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

why cook yer own when you could just hit the Fleetwood?


This blog post is stolen from Miss Shela who cited her source at the bottom--and right now I am getting in the car---

A LIL INFO ON THE FAMOUS FLEETWOOD DINER:
"Hippie Hash"
It's true. The sheer, boundless possibility that is dining in downtown Ann Arbor can be daunting sometimes. Within a few city blocks one can take a world-tour of cuisines, and explore a span of epicurean styles from fancy to plain and back again. But when it's three in the morning and you want some eggs or a burger, the choice is clear: you go to the Fleetwood.

The cooks at the Fleetwood Diner have been slinging hash at the corner of Ashley and Liberty Streets since 1949, when construction was completed on this steel and porcelain "kit" diner trucked in from Ohio. Back then it was called the Dagwood Diner and it's easy to picture the farmers in their overalls staring furtively at the bobby-soxed U-M coeds and their athletic dates as they all tucked into their restorative all-American greasy spoon fare. The good thing is that over 50 years later, not much appears to have changed at the Fleetwood (the name was changed in 1971).

A meal at the Fleet is a quintessential diner experience-something that's increasingly difficult to come by. Open 24 hours a day, every day (with the exception of the occasional holiday), this is more than a restaurant, it's a social hub for a huge variety of people. Go there on a Saturday morning and it'll be packed with couples reading the paper, families, budding or grizzled hippies, academic types sitting up at the counter reading Nietzsche, and everyone doing some serious eating. Go there on a Saturday night, late, and the age bracket drops considerably as students and the elite of Ann Arbor's black-clad, spike-haired artist-ocracy put in their orders, chatting with the occasional trucker.

Food at the Fleetwood Diner is, as one might expect, is no-frills, hot as blazes and delicately flavored with whatever else has been on the grill all day. This is a good thing. Come here for all manner of eggs, bacon, sausage, etc., burgers the way you want them, greasy fries, BLTs, tuna sandwiches and more. Don't miss the Fleet's most famous meal, Hippie Hash, a dizzying fry-up of shredded potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and broccoli all bound together with feta cheese and some kind of meat if you want it.

Have we mentioned that this place is tiny? This makes for some great eavesdropping opportunities and a chance to strike up a conversation with some of Ann Arbor's most colorful people. If cigarette smoke gets to you, then (weather permitting) get a seat outside under the awning-the service is just as good. The waitstaff will even bring a bowl of ice for your dog on a hot day.

The Fleetwood Diner is located at 300 South Ashley, at Liberty, 734-995-5502. It's always open.

© Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2003. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

coyote poop

How big is coyote poop? It would look like dog poop right? 'cept maybe not so "uniform"? I think we saw some coyote poop when we were walking this morning. Two big reasons I think it was coyote poop. 1.) the guy who is mowing the park said that Monday when he was working he saw a coyote. 2.)If this was a domestic/pet dog poop somebody needs to reassess their kibble.
Also--the Metro Parks area has been reporting coyote sightings more and more frequently.
I hope it was coyote. Predators mean the food chain is intact.

Monday, October 15, 2007

well ya learn sumthin every day

Today I learned there is now CARPET being made from recycled soda bottles! I knew about the various garments (the fleece is pretty groovy) and I have touched the yarn...but I admit I was surprised to find out the Mohawk has a corn based (instead of petroleum) carpet! How cool is that?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

virgin lust


Virgin --snort--yeah and I am a demure and ladylike super model.

I enjoyed a very nearly perfect Friday evening. Ya know what?? I am trying to think what made it not perfect?? Um...think think... we were a couple five minutes late for dinner because of traffic (a seemingly constant state of affairs) and we misjudged the busy/loud factor of Ashley's Pub and so ended up walking up and down the same block twice to find a place for the post flick dessert discussion. Nummy Cosmo place Truly dear one, it was my idea of a perfect night out. Dinner at Red Hawk w/Himself and Arianna--a couple absolute & tonics and then we boogied around the corner to gorge our eyes on the Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It wasn't great-- but I would give it a strong 8 outta ten. The costumes were deliciously spectacular. John Dees was awesome, admittedly I was hoping that Roger Ascham would make an appearance. *sad fan girl* Also...Despite Eli's clarification-- I stand by my opinion that the Mary Queen of Scots story line was distracting--tho when they pulled the Iron Maiden off her cousin's face --that was pretty cool,

I could make a list to sum up the evening-- that would be quick & easy--but I am toying with doing a longer piece on Cate Blanchett and her interp of Elizabeth. alas--that would be a separate issue. And so without further ado--the "I watched too muchLettermanasakidnow I am obsessed with Lists" response to my perfect Friday night

1. Eli has great taste in lingerie.
2. Pete made the right choice skipping out on Dylan.
3. The Michigan Theatre is the most beautiful theater in the universe.
4. Queens riding astride in full plate are inspirational even when their speeches are insipid.
5. "semi-freddo" is Italian for yummy chocolate hybrid dessert thingy
6. I can't get the image of Arianna playing beer pong outta my head.
7. it is officially scarf season
8. I like conversations with people who use complete sentences, have intriguing vocabulary at their disposal and still laugh at fart jokes.
9. Ann Arbor is pretty cool.
10. literally.

Friday, October 12, 2007

haiku

darjeeling hot tea
white china mug, thanks-- no cream
double honey warm dry socks

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

on Walden Pond

okay--so there is a tire and a rusted out dock frame.

I am happy because I took the doggies for a proper walk today (it has been a while) and we were very pleased to find that Kevin's dad's old golf course is BEEEE U TEA FUL!. It was obviously part of our family's property. There is a palpable feel of functioning farm. The 1920's gas pump. The decrepit out buildings (Our barn was def. the "big barn") there is a very dangerous looking old well head. It seems that Between Crane Rd & Munger Rd is 47 acres of massive oak, chestnut and beech trees that marked the field lines--it all butts right up to our property. If can envision our farm house, plus the adjacent "son's" farmhouse-- heading up 180 acres of farmland. I am desperate to find out the family name. I shall start the research after I finish this sandwich.) Rolling greens and a pond!! complete with critters. The doggies got to dig in the bank after some sort of mammal that lives in a den. Bree did not want to leave the little pond to explore the rest of the property.So we stayed until there was no way you could tell she just had a bath yesterday. I admired the reflection of the huge willow tree. I met the guy mowing the "back 40" that's what he called it, I swear. And he shared what litle he knew about the imminent "improvements" apparently the TWP plans for what we had heard was gonna be a "play park" is going to be closer to Lilly Park with trails and "natural" areas. I am quite content.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Matty likes Stumble

But I am kept pretty busy just scanning my google news alerts; I found this little gem this morning.

“You can’t divorce the plays from their historical context or the present, Michael Boyd told The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. “But for me you get less juice out of the plays if you set them in the present.” Giving a play a modern-day scenario can encourage the audience to draw simplistic, distracting links between that and Shakespeare’s words, he said. It had benefits “if you are alert to the pitfalls. The gain is immediacy and availability. The problem is, you are stuck with the contemporary references.” Referring to the National Theatre’s setting of Henry V in today’s Iraq, he said: “I don’t think we have gone into Iraq ‘to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels’ ”, as Hal is advised to do in Henry IV, Part II.


Now I won't argue about HV in Iraq. It is hard for me to reconcile French civil war with W's lying about oil profits. BUT I do beg to differ with The Times' Ben Hoyle, who wrote the snippet up top. I will argue dear one because I immediately recall the excellent productions of R3 in Nazi garb (that was Ian McKellan ('95) if I remember correctly) and most especially Michael Almereyda's Hamlet 2K. Hawke is brilliantly moody. Anything with a nakey Kyle Maclachlin catches my eye, but Bill Murray and Julia Stiles portray THE BEST Polonius/Ophelia combo I have ever seen. When he pulls her little disco sneaker up on his lap to tie her shoe??? THAT!! completely sums up their relationship. It is stunning. I love it. Plenty juicy. So in my wishy washy mood this morning I suppose I'll go with "which play?" I have seen some good modern dress Othellos, West Side Story is pretty good--Kevin Kline is having fun with the comedies--eww... I do recall a live production in Lansing in the late 80's. LCC did a horrible version of Winter's Tale in Native American Indian garb. That was blecko. What thinkest thou my pet?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Janet Leigh's bra


That is what we were all focused on. This old poster sums up the subject pretty nicely. I have seen some prominently displayed titties at SCA events , but dude..I have NEVER seen a re created Anglo-Saxon Princess with Madonna cones. How can you NOT look at them???

We DVRed the 1958 film "The Vikings". Finally got around to watching it last night and it was actually quite fun. Occasionally my inner snark couldn't control herself and I had to make some bitchy comments about the costumes,esp. the line about the corset--that was just too much for me to take-- but we all sat there (Ok Petey was reading The Subtle Knife) and enjoyed the story. Apparently there is a novel by Edison Marshall. I'm sure I can find it at the AADL. I hope so. I want to read it. The plot of this movie was intricate and well-written. The cast was impressive, (Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh & Ernest Borgnine and Kirk Douglas--wow!) & the acting was spot on. Richard Fleischer's direction absolutely solid. Norway was beautiful filmed (I was pining for the fjords) and a great score. From the very beginning (the credits are like an animated Bayeaux Tapestry), I was sucked in. Lovely. just lovely.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Boondocks


Tomorrow night Boondocks is back! Have you got the "itus"?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

E.

Well the trip up to Hurley was far more pleasant than anticipated. That was the first time I left a hospital visit NOT completely depressed. His hand isn't shredded!!--persay...What my darlinks? You have no idea of what I type? Pete's oldest friend, the closest thing he has to a brother,Eric, is a painter--the whole apartment kinda painter not the artist kinda painter. On Tuesday morning he tried to unclog a power sprayer by smacking it around and managed to shoot 2800 psi of (ironically enough) "Safety Yellow" paint into the palm of his hand. (She mutters "dipshit" while shaking her head.) So his buddy at worked rushed his ass to the ER up in Flint and within four hours they had his hand flayed open and had irrigated the tendons. HOWEVER--last night they went in the back of his hand and did the same thing. Pete is worried. I am worried.

Friday, October 5, 2007

vaguely creepy today

I am in a very odd mood. We are gonna go visit E. and his fillet o fish hand tonight. I feel like we are on the cusp of a new era...engaging the clutch as it were...

so let me wax all personal and emo.

Call Me
by Frank O'Hara

The eager note on my door said "Call me,"
call when you get in!" so I quickly threw
a few tangerines into my overnight bag,
straightened my eyelids and shoulders, and

headed straight for the door. It was autumn
by the time I got around the corner, oh all
unwilling to be either pertinent or bemused, but
the leaves were brighter than grass on the sidewalk!

Funny, I thought, that the lights are on this late
and the hall door open; still up at this hour, a
champion jai-alai player like himself? Oh fie!
for shame! What a host, so zealous! And he was

there in the hall, flat on a sheet of blood that
ran down the stairs. I did appreciate it. There are few
hosts who so thoroughly prepare to greet a guest
only casually invited, and that several months ago.


~fin~

okay enough morbid romance

just to mix it up--now for something completely different

new pics

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Daddy & his new puppy


Meet Little Fred.

maple syrup

and butter. warm oat waffle. scrambled eggy. black coffee. mmmmm foood

Monday, October 1, 2007

RIP Moneypenny


"you never take me to dinner"

Lois Maxwell....growwwwl

14 Bond films!! She hung out longer than ALL the guys!

fair food

Gotta get this book-- it is entitled "Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy" by John Bowe -- "brilliantly reported."

The USA Today review (9/17/07) is even more effusive: "Nobodies' is investigative, immersion reporting at its best... Bowe is a master storyteller whose work is finely tuned and fearless." The review wraps up with this:

"Something must be said of Nobodies' final chapter, a masterwork and mixing pot of ideas, spiced by the anger of an intelligent man who has witnessed too many instances of the Latin proverb, homo homini lupus: man is a wolf to man.

There's a chill in the air when he writes: "If you can read this page, you are on top of the world and billions of people are beneath you. Your ignorance and your lack of a program will likely equal the squalor of your grandchildren's existence."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

She's from Deeeeetroit!

I have very fond memories of watching Matthew play the Resident Evil games while I sat on the couch and pretended to knit. We would figure out the puzzles together and he would shoot the zombies. I would say purposefully annoying things like "Are you sure the dogs will attack? what if you approach them slowly?"

So Saturday we drove over to MSU and I got to check out Matt's new crib--which was happily...far FAR tidier than I expected. Four college guys?? I expected a bit of a hell hole. As the devil said in Tuesday's premier episode of "Reaper"--a little bit of hell on earth--but I was quite pleased to see not only the kitchen floor-- but they had coasters for the coffee table! They are running with an Early American Beer theme with a colorful splash of Sparty pride and smart ass mixology posters. I doubt that I will ever get to test my mad old school ninja beer pong skillz on the kick ass BeerPong table that dominates the shared living room, but that is gonna be one wicked stencil of Sparty (the statue not the cartoon logo) when they are done.

So his apartment was habitable and he has declared a major (physiology), so we took him out for dinner and a movie. We ate at a lovely Italian place called "Bravo" and had mojitos and shrimp. And then we saw Resident Evil:EXTINCTION. WOOOOOT!!! OMIGAWD! It was fantastic. Silly, violent and massively empowering. Alice is cooler than Lara. Most you freaky darlings are aware of my crush on Ms. Jolie (when Lara does the press handstands into a front walkover in the games (My signature move BTW) I always get a little tingle of suspended disbelief and I think for a minute *I* can solve laser beam + Egyptian mirror trick puzzles and then fly a Huey to the Antarctic and dead eye some rabid vampire wolves while dual wielding my glocks.

Nostalgia reminds me how much liked the afterschool forays to Raccoon City. I remember one plant puzzle that had us stumped (pun fully intended) for about three days. I saw the first movie and was like bleh--whatever...but for some reason I have been devouring action films this year. The latest Bourne installment was tremendous fun and slicing an dicing zombies yesterday and high five-ing Iz when Alice made the ten foot vertical jump just in time to only slice off a fraction of her boot sole before the laser grid scanned the corridor of doom---and then when the Evil Dr. Isaacs sprouts those--oh you haven't seen yet? Get off your ass and go see it. Mindless, choppy (both cinematically and literally) and bloody gory action-- strong women--good role models...at least for the afternoon

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Geothermals


No--my freaky darlings--I am not crocheting Georgina a thermal bra & panties set. Petey and I, did however, meet with this amazingly awesome dude who is gonna implant our new "hook up bed". We're gonna get us some below the frost line heat. We are getting a geothermal furnace. At the same time they dig the four trenches (3ft wide by 110 ft long and five down) they will begin the process for the native grass meadow I plan to nurture next year.

This geothermal does both heating and cooling and while the initial investment is equal to Matt's tuition-- and more than the roof just cost us--it will pay for itself in five years! (let's see if Matt's education does that!! LQTM) (What you don't know what LQTM means--gods! yer soooo lame... like LOL--It stands for Laughing Quietly To Myself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

puppy shoppin


I am looking for a puppy. I am sure about the puppy bit--but there are several things I am unsure of, for example; breed? another JRT? then I could be the mistress of the "Jackpack". That could be fun. But what I really want is a shepherd. I miss Emery and "BellyAcres" needs a big dog. I am more than okay with a mix breed and would welcome a rescue-- If I ruled the world a female GSD puppy would magically appear. But I don't rule the world and last night I cruised some of the better known rescue pages. There are two dogs that are tearing my heart out. On petfinder.com I read the ad for two GSDs named Victor and Trevor. They were left trapped in a foreclosed property and tried to escape. How horrible can humans be? Ya know what if you want to be cruel to yourself that is your own dumb decision but to purposely leave these animals locked inside without food or water--that is enraging.

I would have gone to pick them both up last night but they need a house diff than ours. Bree is granted MUCH calmer and more pleasant to live with, esp. now that most of the repairs are done-- but she is still very dominant and rowdy--she is a Jack...and while Jarvis gets along with everybody; somebody that fragile (Trevor's leg had to be amputated because somehow he got plastic wrapped around the limb) needs a quieter house. And one thing this new place isn't is mellow and quiet. Think Grand Central Station. We need somebody with some "spunks" to paraphrase Zora Neale Hurston.
or how about a lab/shep mix? those are good dogs. Somebody with enough confidence to live with Bree but not aggressive.
hell, after thoroughly depressing myself last night (so many doggies need a help) maybe I'll turn the barn in a dog rescue.