Saturday, December 29, 2007


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


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!