Friday, September 18, 2009

Facebook. That's all I'm sayin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Busy Month

Hello my darlings, (esp. Grampa Carl!)

It has been a little wacky; lots of perfectly bloggable things occurring and me not recording them. April is wacky, two birthday's and end of term...yeah...not a lot of spare time. Frankly the minutes I have open I would rather spend reading.(or playing scrabble on Facebook) In an effort to keep my steady readers placated (no Mom, I'm not dead) I shall commence the new and improved categorized lists of Belly Acres Trivia Update:

KIDS: Zoli cut all his hair off and donated the resulting one pound! to Locks of Love. Matt is excited about a job with a Russian lady scientist and diabetic rats. Isabel is reading Book 4 of The Twilight Series.
HOUSE: Blown insulation. Good!! realizing we should have done this BEFORE, we have a Purple house w/polka dots (at least till our Painterdude can get here.)
BARN: In a fit of spring enthusiasm Pete tore out the 100 year old dead rose canes that had been strangled by the ever present grapevine. This mass of detritus looked like pubic hair sprouting out the east side of the barn--dry crunchy pubic hair-- with thorns. It took him about two hours. In the process we discovered a beautiful wrought iron trellis that will be holding black beans in the garden.
GARDEN: Petey built me a third box. 4X12 rectangle for parnsips & carrots--other seedlings are all sprouting right along though I did have two beefsteak tomato babies damp off...sad... start over. One more flowerbed to go (the raised stone bed out front) and all the beds will be tidy. OH! Isabel has claimed the mound by the flagpole as her "Fairy Village" we have added some creeping thyme & creeping phlox to the lily of the valley GrammaTerry gave her for her b-day. Sarah got her a gollum and some fairy art--we will start building houses soon.
CHICKEN: still needs a roommate. She does not care for her tractor so much, but-- it is necessary as I spotted this predator drooling on her for about a half hour Friday morning. I was throwing tennis balls for the dogs and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in the big tree by the driveway. I looked closer--that's not a cat..holy crap that is a big ole raccoon. It was about 10:30 aren't coons sposed to be sleeping by then?? was staring at my chicken like she was a KFC bucket and a hockey game was on! Chicken must be supervised or in her pen....sheesh...
DOGS: All is well, adopt-adog Uly seems to have a fondness for licking my shoes, no real damage yet tho she did eat Hannon's atheletic cup! Actually they eat a lot-- 50lb bags of dog food every other week. We like the 'gentle leader' --I can walk both girls on one leash. Jarvis got a hair cut too. he was getting dreadlocks.
JOB: Well Winter term is done and my grades are turned in so I thought I was going to have a chance to finish my "Umbridge Paper" (It is actually Feminine Power in Harry Potter) which is due the first weekend in October (Sirens Conference) and maybe even continue editing "daBook" BUT NOT JUST YET!! Oh no dear ones-- Annette has me writing a proposal for a Special Topics class for next Winter. WOOT!! Cross yer fingers!! The Wayne Public LIbrary guy has frozen at the interview stage.
BOOKS: Just finished reading "A Year of Living Biblically" by A. J. Jacobs. I had fun the day I checked it out of the AADL because at the same time I requested "God is Not Great" by Chris Hitchens. Sadly, there was noone to witness the juxtaposition and comment on my eclectic reading habits! I just boogied through the self check out. I devoured the new Harry Dresden and am slogging through "The Nature of Monsters", Mieville's "King Rat" is picking up steam and "Drood" is quietly staring me in the face--It may wait till winter. It seems kinda depressing for spring. It is the last of the initial shopping spree w/my b-day card from Ray.
MOVIES: Finally got to see "Let the Right One in"--CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! DO NOT waste your netflix $ or queue space--Gods-- the hype around here was spectacular. I can't believe I was genuinely sad we couldn't see it in the had some nice cinematography but poorly dubbed Swedish Vampire films about prepubescent lovers??? CRAP!
HOWEVER!! We did drag the kids to see "The Soloist" last night. Of course the book was MUCH better, I don't care for way the film treated his Lopez' relationship with his wife and combined some secondary characters--it was a little choppy, but the spirit was there and I teared up. (note I wept like a baby at the book). This would be a good netflix moment.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Isabel's 11th b-day party

We played putt putt, opened presents, ate cake&ice cream--and got SILLY!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let them eat cake--

Step One: Park for free
Step Two: get coffee & cake from SweetWaters with $20 bill I find in parking lot.
Step Three: Send Pete back to truck for umbrella!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31st 2009

I have decided that the zombie jester birthday cake is achievable--

Tomorrow (April Fool's Day) Z. turns 14. HOLY CRAP.

It kinda snuck up on me, Pete is in charge of paintball this Saturday and we ordered his fencing kit back a couple weeks ago so today's Recon mission was mostly for inspiration,*insert despondent sigh* I wish we had Duff & Ace of Cakes here in Michigan. I stopped in at The Rocket and got some silliness (fake poop, prank vomit)--still wasn't motivated... so I went to Fantasy Attic (now in Depot Town) did find some toe tags and an awesome new jester hat--but what was startling was that Depot Town was HOPPIN! Whoops!

There was no place to park cuz I forgot Hilary Swank was taking over Sidetrack for a movie. Yes my freaky darlings--Ypsiwood is upon us. The parking lot was filled with big tractor trailers including one that had big black star shapes painted on people sized doors--I was going to take a picture with my cell phone-- but, well-- Frankly the creepy bald security guy with his bluetooth headset kinda freaked me out. I came home and googled zombiejester cakes...I am on my own...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My orchid bloomed!!!

One of the plants from Margie's funeral (almost a year ago...) was a beautiful white orchid from Pete's partners. I promised to try and not kill it. And lo and behold it is having a second bloom season. I am pleased.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pinnocchio (yeah more fairy tales..I'm in a rut--but it is my rut)

I like animation. Some people would say "cartoons"--but I have to disagree, because my freaky darlings you know of that which I speak...

Last month Grampy Ray in his consistent wonderfulness-- again gifted me with the seemingly bottomless Borders card for my b-day. And tho I didn't get as much anime as last year...I had to pick up the 70th anniversary edition of Pinnocchio. I am sure you remember the narrative. A mysteriously single Italian woodcarver creates a wooden puppet which is brought to life by the blue fairy, who grants Geppeto's wish that the puppet becomes a real boy; if only he proves himself "brave, truthful, and unselfish" (that would be Gryffindor). So instead of going to the TapRoom with Neek & Frank last night I watched classic animation with my kids. (Petey fell asleep so it is agood thing we didn't go out).

Now before I toddle down memory lane I need to answer one thing for myself...1.) What exactly is the diff between the terms "anime" and "animation"--off we go to Wikipedia that highly trustworthy source of knowledge...

"Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in a number of ways. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although several other forms of presenting animation also exist."

In contrast

"Anime began at the start of the 20th century, when Japanese filmmakers experimented with the animation techniques that were being explored in France, Germany, the United States, and Russia.[3] The oldest known anime in existence was screened in 1917 - a two minute clip of a samurai trying to test a new sword on his target, only to suffer defeat.[4]
By the 1930s, animation became an alternative format of storytelling compared to the underdeveloped live-action industry in Japan. Unlike in the United States, the live-action industry in Japan remained a small market and suffered from budgeting, location, and casting restrictions. The lack of Western-looking actors, for example, made it next to impossible to shoot films set in Europe, America, or fantasy worlds that do not naturally involve Japan. Animation allowed artists to create any characters and settings.[5]
The success of Disney's 1937 feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs influenced Japanese animators.[6]"

I left all the footnotes in from Wiki cuz that is where I stole it from and I am still on my first cup o' coffee--plus the mention of Snow White is nice transition back to Pinocchio, now that we know there is only a language difference--except--there isn't... because modern anime has an edge..a sexy edge...a violent edge... a twisted maturity (individual artistic soul?) that does not lend itself to innocent (read superficial) viewing that Disney(tm) has stuffed down our throats. The mechanical procedures maybe the same but, there is a difference in philosophy (or culture?) that USED to be present in Disney films that is a strong part of "anime"--an acknowledgement that the modern manipulation of mass market does NOT equal ART. Snow White was art--Cinderella was art--but when Pete and I were kids something fell from Wonderland and in '66 Walt died (didn't they freezedry his decapitated head? Sounds like a Futurama episode)--here is another quote from Wiki-- "Traditional hand-drawn animation, with which Walt Disney started his company, no longer continues at the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio. "

sad--and then they made Hercules...gag

Izzy and I were chatting as Z skipped through the numerous ads promoting the pastel puke that Disney(tm) is currently hawking.

Iz: "I thought you hated Disney."
Me: "I do. This doesn't count."
Iz: "why not?"
Me: "same theory as Sleeping Beauty"
Iz: "I thought you liked the dragon..."
Me: "I love the dragon--wait till you see this whale....

Next Friday their education continues...Don Hertzfeld will be in town....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

babies are magic, wizard wrockers & fairy tales

I think dear ones, that at this exact point in time I am centered and in control. I realize how remiss I have been in properly posting--my free time sort of evaporated the last few weeks but as I just said--I think I am good--for the moment. First and foremost (1.) my Xanni (aka Alexander Robert--the big boy at ChezMcClane) is proud to announce that he is officially a big brother. After a lovely St Paddy's dinner of bangers & mash; they checked into the hospital. Carol had the baby this morning!!! I am yet adopted Jewish Auntie!! WOOOT! Elinor Beatrice was born before class this morning and when Rollo called to tell me I was still teaching...whoops broke my own class rule of "turn your phone off". Many of the students knew I was waiting for news and they all chanted "answer it"--so when I repeated her name they all cheered. Her pics are on Matt's facebook. I can't wait to hold her!!

(2.) The ball was massive success. By the end of the night my hat was more than a little askew. As you can see!

Getting into the VW was a trick. I had not accounted for the low head room vs the height of my chapeau nor had I considered driving a stick with the size of my petticoats-- the bug is still quite sparkly. The fabric of my overcoat seemed beautiful at the store--but at home it's gaudy goodness leapt from the weave like rats abandoning ship. I now understand the bumper sticker comment that sez "Glitter is the STD of the Craft World." My over coat bled glitter everywhere I went. Pete called it Fairyrhea. Nice.

Regardless of the excess of sparkle, we sold at least twice as many tickets as we needed to break even. Sarah ran around w/my camera (till her cold meds wore off) I was bouncing around with Kate & Vickie and hugging all my old students and occasionally would wander back to where Stacy , Pete and Andre & Stephanie and Geo who all said they had a good time people watching. My archery pal Wendy & her posse added to that aspect! I especially want to thank Warren for donating his time and equipment--one plain cheescake coming up!! Like this week!

(3.) Finally, before I split today-- I have to mention this amazing book--The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. OMG!! dark fairy tale extraordinaire...LOVE IT!! I am finishing up the endnotes. I highly recommend it. Beautiful prose--great story...seriously good read. If I ever get the 300 level HP class this book will be required reading.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

There will be pictures Saturday. I feel like the love child of Glenda the good witch and Barney. Big purple and glittery! Still haven't settled on shoes/legs yet. Purple & silver stripes? Black? solid purple? boots? witchy spike heels? glitter kitten heels??? ARRRGH I wish I had girlfriends in this room.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

costume concept

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED--I know what I am wearing to the ball.

Pearl tiara that is just TOOO much for my SCA persona (perhaps w/Turkish hat&veil)
Smart little jacket w/Elizabethan inspired collar. 3/4 length sleeves (cuz you know at some point I'll be working). It's color is labeled 'sterling' but it is in fact a pale dove gray. Tasteful neckline.
Floor length Dark Plum underskirt with sheer gray sparkle overskirt--(simple pattern Two days max) got the fabric at Joanne's for 50% grand total of $52. The price included two orange fabric roses (not sure what I am gonna do with them) and thread.

now shoes......

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2.28.09 thrifty & old

I turned 42 today.
I managed to renew my license on Thursday. The sec. of state opened at 9--I was outta there at 9:05!! woot!
That should be enough birthday right there.

Oi, not so much-- The cards started last week with the traditional cards w/cash from Daddy/Mom and my grand parents. Apparently my adopted Jewish status allows for a week long celebration. I'd rather not, but despite my slight embarrassment it has been a steady stream of cards and love from friends--I am pretty sure R&T planned the 50 year old dog cards--that was very funny.

I am thrilled with the annual Border's gift card from my darling Father-in-law.
The ice cream sundae supply kit from Carol & Rollo was awesome as was the scrabble & LOST fest after dinner last night.

This morning the birthday fairy left awesome gifties scattered around the house; a vintage Chinese cookbook, Muck (tm) Boots, the perfect SpartyMom hoodie, a six pack of Pear cider, a new battery for the key fob for the bug (which actually included sitting at the VW dealer while that issue was dealt with). Matty & Roxy came in late last night and hung out all day. After seeing that the mail brought a package w/two anonymous books--STIFF & BONK--I was pretty sure it was Lisa and Paul and I was correct!!-- We started my day of tyranny with breakfast at Northside Grill where my apple cinnamon oatbran pancakes (real maple syrup! Thanks Tish!) and fresh squeezed OJ and a side of bacon was FREE. (There were a couple good prom dresses at St. Vincent de Paul, but nuthin worth buying). Then we went to Zingermans to get my free six bagels, THEN we wandered around Treasure Mart and Izzy found me three Fiestaware cup & saucer sets!!! We came home and laid around playing whip it w/Luna--scrabble, Wii fit (see b-day cash earlier) and watching cartoons (Cowboy Bebop and Ren&Stimpy) till dinner time, when we went to Yotsuba and pigged out on sushi, went to Toys R Us in search of Katamari and/or the new LOST figurines (nada) came home and guess what??? PLAYED more scrabble!!

The b-day is done now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

what am I doing that is worthy of attention??

very little.

I am getting the itch to start seeds. But I now have a lovely settee in the bay window and am loathe to put moist earth in my dry cozy library. I want one of those awesome shelf trays w/grow lights. Carol assures me that the tomatoes will self sow. I agree. As much fruit that fell to the ground because of bad I miss that ketchup. It was so good. Lori has started her onions and leeks--I have one leftover leek from last year that is trying to draw spring all by its lonesome. A limp little lightening rod of warmth.

I should sit Izzy down and make all the newspaper pots--those worked great last year. Pete is gonna lay two more big boxes so we can avoid the spacing dilemmas of last year. We also need to make Gertrude (and her incoming coop-mates) a hawk protection device. It would be lovely if the snow would go away....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Head of the 5th House Robes

This is too boring huh?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chris Moore--a freakin' genius

Absolutely brilliant,I can see where "Fool" could be quite a daunting reading experience depending on whether or not you have read Shakespeare's "King Lear." I am fond of the Shakespearean tragedies and Lear is right up at the top of my list of favorites. (Oh yes, esp Kurosawa's RAN)

Moore names Lear's fool, Pocket. He is much more than the observer from Shakespeare; in Moore's version our truthteller is the instigator--hmm kinda like my Padgett! Who else to manipulate silly royals? In fact I am kinda having a moment of frustration because Cornwell has a new book out titled Agincourt and now this jester as protagonist (okay my Padgett isn't the main character..but still...I really should be editing Fealty instead of blogging and playing scrabble on Facebook!

Anyway, I found this to be a lovely, smutty, funny and enagaging read. I read it in less than 24 hours--most of which I should have been sleeping--but the end game is fantastic. I reveled in the hodgepodge of the tragic and comic--the footnotes were charming (as opposed to D.F. Wallace's all encompassing footnotes--or the post modern footnotes Dumbledore/Rowling has in Tales) I enjoyed watching the plotline of Shakespeare's play unfold with this new interpretation. Poor Edgar for god's sake! And Gloucester eyeball...EWWWW

... once I got to the wrap up when we see who Pocket's parents are I really couldn't stop-- the book as a comic novel is wonderfully done, but the empathy for this character (who totally wins in the end!) is what kept me up till 3 am.

I loved it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

a quickie list

1. I am quite pleased I didn't get smooshed by a bread truck yesterday.
2. My seeds came from Wildseed Farms, normally this would be cause for great joy--but as I am sick I can only muster so much enthusiasm. Yay.
3. Have had a headcold and/or sinus infection for about five days now. I can't tell if I ache from that or from the gym; either way I am stuffy and whiny.
4. The plans for the Cosplay Ball are rolling along-slowly and full of red tape/lack of $ issues--but rolling.
5. The Book club has it's second mtg tonight. That really is awesome right there.
6. Tomorrow is Val Day. Countess Giulia is coming but no Thomas. What is Val Day w/out Thomas??
7. It is gray and frozen and dead here. I want to go to Hawaii.
8. Zoli is a freshman next year--thus much prepping and meetings...this week!!
9. I hate potholes--they are mean to my car.
10. I got two sections next Winter. sweet.

tired...going to nap now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just in case you didn't see it on Facebook

Check it out!! We are also a group on the EMU Student orgs page.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

wardrobe malfunction

This costume idea is eating my brain. Okay It does not have to meet SCA sumptuary codes so now is def. my opportunity for the turkish hat (gold) and pearl tiara--with peacock feathers. If I make a new garment it would be nice if it were multipurpose and could function in the SCA. This is a formal event otherwise I could throw together a purple and orange pirate ensemble no worries. I have an awesome Jessica McLintlock but it is red and blue an I feel like I should be in character; as Head of the 5th House and thus purple & orange. I seem to have orange tulle on the brain...or a purple tutu-- a tea length...


Orange and Purple Head of House Robes

WHAT WAS I THINKING?? Okay aside from T.'s fantasy of McGonagall's plaid--WHAT AM I GONNA WEAR?? Have you ever tried to find purple and orange striped fabric? Or better yet have you ever been shaped like Molly Weasley but wanna dress like Bellatrix? Oi.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I used to watch General Hospital---

Well, well, well now--last night's episode JUGHEAD was quite the trip.

A. NO JACK!! Wooot!
B. SURPRISE!! Des & Penny had a baby and they named it Charlie--after Widmore or the rockhobbit?? (BTW I suddenly have a severe distrust of Penny).
C. My biggest question is still WHAT is the smoke monster? But I am beginning to really wonder who are the GOOD guys?

I really like Richard Alpert (and not just cuz he rocks the kohl) and I like his character even more now that it is 1954 and he is gonna turn down John Locke in about ten years--that is a chewy bite isn't it? See--look; John (who recently got the compass FROM Alpert) gave the compass to Alpert so that John could NOT choose it --thus failing the test to become leader of the Others (see episode titled Cabin Fever)...well-- he is "not quite ready."


Widmore?? Is he good or evil? When do we get to read the Black Rock's logbook? How about Ben? His alignment will be the opposite of Widmore. Who according to last night is an original Other. He lived in "Old Otherton" afterall. I think I trust Frank. I definitely ride with Team Faraday, especially if he keeps Charlotte from imploding (which despite her preview line of "This place is DEATH!"--I predict Red is not gonna make it to the end of the series--that is why Daniel was crying when he watched the news footage of the "found" crash site. He should have kept her at a time prior to her rapid fire jumping to the island. The writers are implying that we lost Eloise/rat because of too much successive jumping. It doesn't seem to affect Dan or Miles though....

I am curious what is gonna happen if Miles ever gets to Jacob's cabin--BTW Miles is a good guy. Neutral Chaotic does not equal Evil.

Actually, let's think about Miles here for a minute. He can talk to ghosts--he can convince them to change their behaviour...can he calm Jacob's ass down? I was just discussing w/my fellow Lostie (actually it was Carol who started this whole obsession) and we were trying to pin down who was actually dead. (I know...define dead) Claire is a conundrum, but she is w/Christian whom we know is dead, Charlie is dead-- but he talks to Hurley...Claire talks to Kate? Does that make HER dead? (I wish Kate would die--she might be interesting then)--who else is dead? Mr. Eko--but he plays chess w/Hurley...(Why do all these dead folk talk to poor Hurley? ANSWER: I think HE is s'posed to lead the Others) Is Patchy dead? Does Time travel count as Dead? Then are Milkowski and Theresa (the new coma babe) DEAD?? Her sister sure doesn't think so. Ana-Lucia is dead...BUT SHE TALKED TO HURLEY!!! (Ethan and Godwin don't count--neither do Danny & Mr. Friendly) Alex is dead, so is HotCarl and Danielle (sniff). Nikki & Paulo don't count unless we have a zombie episode...been kinda waiting for that. Is Michael dead (fingers crossed) Walt's not dead--but he talked to Hugo. Don't ya love weak logic? How about Jin...if dead peeps talk to Hurley then Jin should have said something to comfort Sun. Based on nothing but Sun's gravesite visit --I predict Jin's death is ONLY part of Jack's lie. Sun will get her boy back. (Damn I LOVE HER!)

PS--I am still chuckling over "Libby sez Hi."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

EMU Harry Potter Book Club & Reading Group

I am the advisor!! we are on Facebook, we are an official student organization--FRAK from Pottercast is doing our crest--the Remus Lupins will be joining Tonks & The Aurors at our Winter Ball in March.
We ROCK!!!

In other Potter related conversational tidbits...I am reading a very interesting collection called Harry Potter & the Order of the Court. It was written by Robert S. Want and covers the RDR/Lexicon scandal. The presentation of objective facts and transcripts is welcome as is the clarifications of Fair Use and the implications for fandom. This book will become required reading Fall Term.

Monday, January 26, 2009

next weekend we don't leave the house--

The last week (month?) went by so damn fast.I taught class,we got a new president and LOST came back-- I blinked and it was Friday again--except this week instead of getting Gretchen & Chris married-- Ray turned 81. We went to Paesano's for dinner and he got Spumoni for dessert. He cracks me up. We spent most of the meal debating which comic strip was the best ever.

On Saturday Zoli had fencing (he is getting his own gear for his b-day) and Pete zipped in to Sparrow Meats & picked up the Haggis for Burns Night (see Facebook for pictures). The Haggis was definitely edible and surprisingly tasty! Next year I will make it from scratch and it will be a bit spicier. Maybe garlic. We shared a bottle of scotchy scotch (Ardbeg) w/our crazy friends and *I* was warm enough to not notice the below zero windchill when we went outside--tho Petey claims his kilt is quite warm; I noticed he was walking fast!

Moniack Mead, Highland Wineries, Moniack Castle, Inverness, Alc 14.6%, 75cl, £6.99

On Sunday the caterpiller ate through three bowls of soup and one delicious glass of Heather meade (from Scotland no less). It is called Moniak after the Inverness castle where it is brewed. click here Andy.
Carol and Rollo were so funny--eagerly waiting for us to taste this necter--but what was even funnier were all the stories Lori/Brian (aka Philippe & Simone) told us about how they became part of the Moniak Army. Apparently we now need to get to Windsor (Briar-- help???) and stock pile this precious beverage as they no longer import it to the states. It was smooth and delicious. Faintly whiskey, faintly honey, warm and brandy-ish. It very well maybe my new fave liquor. If I had to choose between a glass of Goose or a glass of Moniak---well it would be the heather meade. It is perfect.
Kinda wish I had a glass right now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yummy sandwich

Petey and I got lunch together today. We went to Beezy's. All my Ypsichicks are lovin' it so off we went. It's a new place in downtown Ypsi--right across the block from the DEJA VU. I skipped breakfast (shut up Matt) so I had no problem scarfing down an avocado BLT on grilled sourdough. The place was PACKED even as close to one pm as it was. I was thrilled to see Faygo in glass bottles so I also splurged on an Orange soda. It was cold and sweeeet, real cane sugar thank you very much--prices weren't bad. Pete loved his soup. My favorite thing was the BIKEYPSI flyer. They had an egg salad that sounded tasty--I'll go back.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gertrude isn't a mutant!!!

We were beginning to worry. We expected her to start laying in Sept (she hatched in April), but nothing---UNTIL today when I went out to give her fresh water THERE IT WAS!!! OUR FIRST EGG!!! It wasn't there this morning. And she sure as hell was more interested in playing with Luna then sitting on it--so there we have it! An egg--YAY!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jan '09

It is still the first month of the year and if the excitement of the last few days is any indicator of the rest of the year '09 is gonna be a HOOT! Two weeks ago I got home from teaching class; I released the beasties, hung up my coat and checked the answering machine. Gretchen had called; twice. I called her back and fully expected her question of "What are you doing next Friday?" to be an invitation to meet her for lunch. I replied that I taught in the morning but would be done about 10:30. This was met with a huge mock dramatic sigh and she said she would ask a sister...I was puzzled--why couldn't we get together?? WITH her sisters? either one?--then she explained. She needed somebody to witness HER MARRIAGE TO CHRIS!!! AHHHHH AHHHHH!!! Then she swore me to secrecy. So I couldn't tell anyone. GREAT!! I finally get to be a "Best Woman" and I don't get to do any of the goofy girlfriend shit. Had to switch on the filters on and control my enthusiasm. I had to quell my natural instincts as a Mrs. Dalloway wannabe and just stand there holding Chris' ring. Did it.

Drove up to Vassar Thursday (so as to avoid any bad traveling delays) and they were married Friday morning in a very quiet ceremony attended by their doggies and Sam & I. Got a little festive at her sister's place with a champagne toast and cake, went to Tiffany's Pub for lunch and headed home to check on the frozen pipes. yep they were still frozen.

Mostly because Hell had Frozen over (well Gretchen did get married). Our cold water feed pipes had two of our three toilets out of commission and the winter conditions continued to demand our attention...

Saturday was date night--a real date. With my "boyfriend"--you know that guy I used to date before I married the overworked doctor?? We had gotten tickets for the productions at Hilberry Theatre on Wayne State's campus back several months ago, Tom Stoppard's brilliant play Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are Dead was being performed with HAMLET. We got the tickets on the only day they staged both plays so we could see both performances back to back. What a treat!! R&G were adorable; we arrived in the 20 questions bit--about 15 minutes later than the start of the play because the driving conditions I had anticipated screwing up the wedding actually had Matty getting to us a little later than he expected. I was not about to leave the kids with a fire in the fireplace, frozen pipes and no official adult.

Considering that we left later than we wanted and the roads were so horrendous I am actually quite pleased with the results. I thoroughly enjoyed the first play (despite the chilly auditorium) and at it's conclusion we slid around the corner to The Inn on Ferry Street HUBBA HUBBA!! what a beautiful place seriously. Petey surprised me with the whole overnight stay thing which in itself seemed over the top, I mean-- we only live 40 minutes from the theatre--but he was adamant that we needed a break so I was amenable--Matt was home with the chilldwens. I really need to get a grip on this anxiety thing. I explored the Arts & Crafts antiques that adorned our spacious room and started to relax for real--Then there was a knock on the door, "Front Desk"--and there was a lovely man with THE TRAY. You know the tray they put in all romance movies? The silver ice bucket with champagne nestled into it, a dozen red long stemmed roses arranged above a box of chocolates? My boy is sooooo smooth...giggle.

LONG slow Dinner at Traffic Jam and Snug--great fun and delish food. That is such a great space. Pete's iphone finally impressed me as we sat there sipping after dinner mugs of coffee and scrolling through the text of Shakespeare's play trying to trip each other up in a silly game of "identify the speaker". Eventually we toddled back across the tundra to see Hamlet. Seriously the perfect date. except for the hazardous driving--which we mostly avoided by not driving home after Hamlet. My boy is truly clever.

The performances were strong--not spectacular, not crappy. The Ren Fair costumes were distracting, but maybe if I didn't spend so much time with costuming laurels from the SCA I would have had better suspension of disbelief. The fun at seeing both plays back to back was totally worth it. I love both plays but my obsession with deconstruction and meaning --all Waiting for Godot and signifiers..yeah..I was happiest w/ R&G.

...and when we got home...Matt had the pipes thawed!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Countess Cordelia Lisney

Click on the following link to get your steampunk name!!!OH! What great fun!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Houston--we have icicles

BIG SCARY ICICLES!! Meaty manly icebergs. Icy stalagtites of dooooom. My poor gutters. Some of the worst are right outside the bathroom window. So I can scowl at them until I get so cranky that I open the previously winter proofed & gummy goo sealed window, remove the screen and whack at the chunks with an ax. The first time I had help. Pete and Matt were home and we took turns and cleared the entire area. The window bit and the bit that was causing the problem. That would be the section of roof where the skylights allow tons of heat to escape. Stupid skylights. I really dislike those skylights. When there is a full moon you can read by the reflecting glare. And they are cold. Plus, one of the motors has died so even IF it were 80F (ha ha ha --ROFLMAO--can't breathe...pant pant) sorry, lemme catch my breath--okay--so, even if it WERE warm out--we can only open one. At least not till we swap out the dead motor. Stoopid skylights-- I am sure they are heat sinks--because there is no attic in that area to be "poorly ventilated" (as all the ice dam web pages note). If they break my house I am gonna be CRABBY.

So there I was today, leaning out the bathroom window and wailing--wait is the term I want "whaling"? anyway I am sure the suburbanites were laughing as I smacked about 40lbs of ice from my poor old gutters. That's me entertaining the masses. I did not attempt the danger zone up around the peak--but lemme tell ya, we are soooo getting those wire heaty things. sigh.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sat. morning baby Yoga

well. After having done yoga for almost ten years-- today I had a little moment of braggadocio. I attended a class at the new place and was so far ahead of the class it wasn't even funny. I guess I have to admit I am no longer a beginner. It was soooo easy. so..watered down. so...lame. And I am sorry substitute yogateacher--that series was NOT Sun Salutation. Admittedly I did have an epic failure when she got to Shoulder Stand. NOT my favorite asana and not one I do regularly. Okay--not one I have done in about three years. I sorta went all the way over into Plow and then kinda flopped over rather unceremoniously. not pretty. But the other 99% of class I was beyond confident.

My confidence matched the loveliness of the studio. Hardwood floors and floor to ceiling windows. One thing that was odd was the OM plaques every five feet. I am positive it was designed for ease of "spotting" (focusing on a spot to help you keep ones balance) but it struck me that if this were a temple or chapel of some other sort-- that those spaces would not have been decorated with crucifixes or Stars of David every five feet. It seemed disrepectful.

On Thursday I had a similar epiphany to today's class--the awesome girl (Laura? yes her name was Laura) showing me the circuit training machines said I was strong. I don't feel strong. I feel gimpy and fat. I know what it is to be strong and this ain't it. But we mustn't argue with the staff. I was very happy to find my gloves in the lost and found. They came up missing Thursday evening and I forgot to ask on Friday but there they were today..My toasty purple leather driving gloves. YAY!

Friday, January 9, 2009

HPBCARG--or The 5th House

Now we are cooking!! The Wizenmagot (the organizing members) for the Harry Potter Book Club and Reading Group met today at the Tower Inn. We (they--I ate my sandwich and smiled a lot) accomplished much. We settled on a name less cumbersome then HPBCARG...The 5th House. It was a close race with similar versions, The Lost House and The Forgotten House (as in the house that got left behind). In fact it was so close I might be might have ended up being the The Forgotten House, but the meeting minutes will be emailed soon enough.

We have a date and room reservation for Jan 30 for the actual Book CLub meeting. We have fun stuff planned for those who appear in the Student Center that evening!! They also got officers settled and started getting our upcoming Cosplay Ball/Wizard Rock Concert organized. It was also decided to *hold* on the filmfest until closer to the release date of Film 6. But the term marathon got bandied around quite a bit. That will be a hoot.

I am proud of my darling cuttlefish...or hippogriffs or whatever Purple and orange beastie they decided on. This is going to be pure fun!

BTW-- today is Snape's b-day. Happy B-day Sevvie. I reread the epilogue of my favorite fanfic Tea With Black Dragon at lunch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aqua aerobics

I ordered some shoes. That is prly a good thing because today the music ROCKED. I had fun. I was again laughing, a bit more to myself, as I bobbed around in the tidal currents. Less visualization of hunky vamps and a lot more channeling of a volleyball jock today. I also kinda felt like a dolphin. That water--seriously, it is different. A.) The pool doesn't reek of chemicals. When we walked into the water park at GWL recently the chlorine hit us like a wall. The pool at TH&FC@WCC is this pleasant warm oasis. ESPECIALLY the big ole therapy pool. I named it "the mermaid pool" today. Remember the scene in Peter Pan when the merbabes beat the crap out of Wendy?? I felt langourous and sinuous as slithered through the water. This relaxation was necessary after sliding all over on icy roads in the bug. (On days like this I miss my 4WD Jeep Cherokee.) I walked in feeling pretty tense and hyped up. In about five minutes I was totally relaxed and drifting...veddy nice . Total jello brain, until I used the stairs to leave the happy place and gravity and cool air sucked the joy outta that moment. It was so weird. I prefer floating.

B.) The warm bouyant water of the therapy pool peeled off like a robe and left my poor shivery self questioning the lifeguard; his answers?-- the deck was about 80F, the big lap pool was about 83F and the therapy pool was a balmy 95F. sigh could float there forever.

I'll have my shoes next week let's see how that goes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I joined a gym. Actually I joined a thing...The Health and Fitness Center at WCC. The place on the whole is pretty impressive, heated towels, the lockers work, the showers have doors and the membership is on sale till Feb 15. (I saved $100!) Sunday in a fit of motivation I stopped in and got a contract. I really just wanted a yoga class. I haven't taken one since Crystal moved to New York. This place is NICE, almost posh--wood grain lockers, and peeps! So far I have seen my Literacy Buddy Ele; Sam (actually Julie tipped me off to this place about two years ago). I have also caught sight of 'Nette & Krause and my "fearless leader" Russ--who isn't the Dept. Head anymore but will still crack Rocky & Bullwinkle jokes with me.

This morning I participated in an Aqua aerobics class. OMG!!! I was laughing so hard. I kept getting these bizarre visions that were spawned I am sure by the CORNY music. Now don't get me wrong I am totally going back Thursday but the music the teacher chose was GOO oooh OOFY! All patriotic marches and shit which granted is great for jumping up and down to but combined with the surprisingly buoyant salt water in the pool and the tidal current generated by my mushy and sizable classmates and the fact that I was barefoot (apparently we now wear shoes in the pool --didn't do that the last time *i* took Aqua aerobics--but that was ten years ago when I was preggers w/Izzy. C'est la vie.

Okay so imagine me treading water in this rather warm salt water womb. I am surrounded by a small herd of decidedly UNfit ladies bobbing up & down. All of whom look like they just walked out of the kitchen of a Hungarian Reform Church. They have hairsprayed coiffures (many of whom did not get WET at all--the whole time!) and those swimmy suits with the skirts attached. Honestly, what designer was doing what drug when they decided that a "swim skirt" was gonna hide 40 years of cellulite?? God Bless America starts playing and the bobbing becomes more frenzied. I of course imagine Stephen Colbert leading the class. She isn't Stephen Colbert, she isn't even Tek Jansen, BUT the nice teacher did remind me to move up to the shallow side of the pool so I didn't drown. Hmmm--that helped but the waves were still crashing around my face as the Church Ladies began their workout in earnest--often the teacher would get us all moving in a conga line (can walruses conga? YES.YES they CAN!), the water would form a whirlpool and then the NiceTeacher would direct us to all reverse direction and do the fun dance step AGAINST the current--the music changed to what I can only think of as a "cotillion song" It was some Early American down south kinda ballroom song and I immediately envision Bill (yes from Trueblood) in his Confederate soldier uniform and seems how we are doing a waltz I decide to pretend he is my dance partner and my addled brain wanders off into a daydream that has me wearing the drapery dress from Gone With the Wind and sexxyVampireBill whispering "Sookie"--then the music changed. Damn that was working for me!

Actually the whole executing various dance steps in the incredibly bouyant water was the closest I have felt like the 89 pound me I remember. The muscle memory surprised me. I felt light and graceful. I felt like ME--The rock hard abs me who was a letter winning gymnast and ballet/tap/jazz freak on weekends.

So the music changes to what can only be described as hoedown music. And yes..we are doing the frog like jump side kicky move you can imagine if you think of Stinky Pete and his XXX jug celebrating a new gold mine. Sheesh-- I couldn't help it--I kept laughing and making the lady next to me laugh and we cracked jokes about getting cowboy boots instead of pool shoes. It was good as long I kept imagining various dance partners. Then it was some kind of Coyote Ugly music and we were line dancing.

Oh holy crap. I really hope Thursday's music is different!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Moanin'

naw it wasn't that bad.

Despite the vivid awareness that at 7:40am I would much rather have been waking up to Landra cooing in the living room of the GWL & have coffee w/Fina & Tarrach-- then gulping down one cup so I could drive Z. to school. Everybody got where they needed to be and of course I got a crappy parking spot, but class started at 9 and was a rousing success. And I paid for a new term of coffee (to drink in front of 40 people who want me to teach them something).

This term should be fun. Only 40 students instead of 97. The EMU Student Organization titled The HP Book Club and Reading Group gets under way this month, with yours truly as the advisor or "Housemother" --and I have some new canon to discuss what with Tales of BB now common knowledge.

It is often odd for me to reflect upon the fact that I have been hanging around Pray-Harrold since 1985. Granted there were years when I wasn't there, but on the is kinda creepy. I wish they would build us a new building-- if the state of my 41 year old body is the same as the state of that 41 year old building...well let's just say I bought a gym pass.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I have been meaning to do this for several days. I have been distracted by a.) travel b.) loss of power c.)holidays d.) a particular Xbox game called Fable2, e.) new anime additions to my collection and f.) figuring grades from last term (praise Excel) and g.) pure decadent laziness-- but I have finally generated a list of books that I read in 2008 that particularly wrapped themselves around my spine. Pete helped with this conquest as he would nod and say "Yeah that one got under your skin." I suppose that means I babbled about it in addition to blogging about it.
SOooo w/out further padding--the '08 recommended reading list.

The most striking book I read last year was definitely All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well: A painfully true novel by Tod Wodicka. If you even know WHAT the SCA is--you need to read this book. It, like Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, is a fable of obsession. A warning...

In second place was the Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman. Mysterious and lush. The perfect mix (for me) of subject matter and craftwomanship.

Showing up third I have decided David Liss's The Coffee Trader was pretty damn good. Granted he does get brownie points for complimenting me (via a surprising email) on a glowing review I wrote.

In fourth place on the list but prly the most life changing was Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She is my hero and as soon as I am done typing I am gonna fill up my mug and starting pawing through seed catalogs. 75% of the motivation for this new "hobby" is her doing. This book definitely altered my existence.

Speaking of the SCA, craftsmanship and food, number five on my 2008 list is an out of print book titled The History and Culture of Japanese Food by ISHIGE and Naomichi Ishige. This book was assigned to me by His Majesty Raito of Northshield as I prepared his coronation feast. The research and learning demanded for this project began with a simple joke two years ago when I announced to him (I think we may have been painting toenails or floating in an innertube) "When you crown Aesa, I am cooking your feast." Months later, after his victory-- I saw him quietly perusing the merchants at Crown Tourney and I approached him. I bowed--he grinned as if to say "I'm not wearing my hat" and I then leaned against him (cuz that is what dogs do to tell you they love you). THEN he said, "Will you still consider our feast?" HELL YEAH! but then tricky sensai that he is--he announced..."You do know sushi isn't period." At that point I was cocky and confident. I can do anything. That attitude changed quite drastically as I discovered the first of many obstacles in this quest. Not the least of which was the fact that I had to interlibrary loan the book from CMU. I haven't smashed so much learning into my thick little skull since grad school. I learned. That project was accomplished. It was not perfect. It did not look like Hauviette was in charge, but...thanks to my minions: esp, my girls Clan In gen Aeda, MyThomas and the Chiv he wrangled into serving, my darling lord husband who grilled 75 portions of salmon in the freezing rain, poor seasick preggers Carol being my moral support and DukeHardbutt washing sticky rice dishes all afternoon. That mission was accomplished.

This post is about books right???--

Books about Food apparently becasue the next one on the list is Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. Hilarious!!! and enlightening and filled with butter and garlic! (BTW-- if any of you freaky darlings wants to set up a paypal account so I can buy awesome ingredients you go right ahead!)

Number 7 is also working my prevalent theme of medieval matter is The Voyage of the Short Serpent eeep!!! Cannibal Catholics attack Vikings. EEEP! This delicious little volume by Bernard du Boucheron and Hester Velmans just fucked with me. CRAZY!

Number Eight (Eight, Eight. Eight is great...Eight is the number we do not hate!) A series. I enjoy reading series. I wish that books never ended. If I can't get a series in toto-- I will devour all that an author has written. Case in Point? Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. More carefully written than HP and twice as mature. The little Lyra's Oxford etc are delish little bites that extend the narrative. I am sure you are well aware that the movie SUCKED! However, in sharp contrast to the cinematic dreck-- I heartily recommend these, especially if you like sharp knives, parallel universes, hot air balloons and gorgeous evil chicks.

Number Nine (can you hear John Lennon? Number 9...Number 9?) It is true that Generally speaking-- the closer Oprah is to a book the further away I stand; but The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski is a keeper. This story is beautifully written and heart achingly honest. Despite it's designation in Oprah's Book Club as #62, these characters authentically materialize and you worry about them when you can't be in their universe.

There is a tie for my number ten spot. Two ugly, mean and petty books. The characters are selfish and vicious. They are vile and reprehensible, I love to hate them more than the baby eating catholic (#7), more than Mrs. Coulter cutting away children's daemons (#8),more than High Fructose Cornsyrup(#4). They are titled Finn and Mister B. Gone.

Let's start w/Finn because he is quite possible the sickest character I have ever encoutered. Yes dear one, this version of Huck's daddy is right up there with Thomas Harris' famous Hannibal Lecter and his far far less sympathetic nastycreep in Red Dragon. I mentioned to my friend Joe C. at work that I was reading Finn by Jon Clinch. Joe was immediately on a soapbox pontificating and pronouncing. It was fun for me to pick a renowned Twain scholar's brain I went through this juicy tome. We still haven't fully discussed the haunting white room completely--I'll get to him at Burn's Day I suppose. THAT should be a lovely drunken conversation!!
If you enjoyed Huck Finn as a naive child, the bitter adult in you may get quite a kick out of Pap Finn's gruesome truths.

'K--so I said Finn was tied for last spot on the "Books Daye thinks You should read List." If you see a little book called Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker. PICK IT UP!! that is a little joke--for you see dear reader like Inkheart and it's sequals--there is a little space time continuum thing working. Things get misplaced including your sense of reality. Characters going into and out of texts--for example fForde's The Eyre Affair, like Will & Lyra in Pullman's books. I really want to design a class around this meta-fiction concept. Barker does a stupendous job of finally creating a character that isn't one dimensionally evil. That isn't a caricature of Hell, this poor narrator is ensconced in an upside down world where "bad" behaviour is the social more and yet... you like him...

So there they are, in contrast to Andre's MILF of the first annual Books I'd Like to Fuck.