Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Prolific Procrastination

Well, it's quarter to 2 (am) and John and Joe are still working. They're wrapping things up soon, though, but then they have to take the behemoth to Jeep Truck cuz it has to be on a truck by 5 am. So here I am all alone in a house full of sleeping people. 5 of them, to be exact.

I learned that the behemoths are Dodge Durangos. Have you ever been up close to one of those? I can't believe how stinkin' big they are! I swear the thing barely fits in our "2-car garage" (really a 1.5 car garage - fits a van and a riding mower.) Who buys these things? Gas costs must be astronomical.

On the plus side, I think John gets to take comp time tomorrow. Yay.

Well, they're off to the scary part of Detroit and will hopefully be back by 3:30. I guess it's pretty hoppin' down there at this time of night. I should have sent a broadsword with them.

Right now I'm sorta stuck in my book. I vacillate between "this is good" and "what crap!" Sigh. It starts out great but progressively moves away from greatness I think. Blah.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Is it possible to wear out a CD???? *sob* POTO is skipping bits. *more pitiful sobs*

I prolly just need to clean it. I hope.

Victory on the POTO front. My friend who didn't really go for it (and on whom I consequently heaped no end of abuse and heckling, LOL!) bought a CD with a selection of the Michael Crawford version and says it's no better - she was remembering it differently. *cheesy victory grin* BWA HA HA HA!

Yes, I need to get a life.

100th Blog Post

Wow! I hit 100!:)

The Emperor's Club was very, very good. I wonder how it did at the box office.

Prawn had a rough day at TKD. She was afraid of Master Han and ended up crying for the last half of class. We finally got it out of her that she was afraid of him because she had dreamed that he had "hit her with Jabba's tail." That was days ago, but I guess it left its mark. Sigh. Poor Prawn. Poor Master Han.

We just finished supper and cleanup and it's 11:00 pm. D'oh! At least I don't have anywhere I have to go tomorrow. John's mom came today and needed a camera. She wanted to go get it before they sold out like the Target in PA did, so right after sparring I took her to the Brighton target and we bought the camera. Then we jumped through a few hoops while the young dweeb (nice, but a dweeb) at the counter tried to deal with using the $50 gift card for a bigger memory card. (Part of the camera deal was that it came with a $50 gift card.) He had it backwards and thought that the remainder left on the card as credit was the total of what was on the card prior to purchase. Now, the card had been given to MIL only minutes before, but alas, neither he nor his manager could figure out that he had the numbers backwards. Sigh. So after 20-30 mins of dinking around there that got worked out and we paid for my stuff (food) and promptly set off the security alarm when we tried to leave. *rolling eyes* The camera is definitely cursed.

John was putting supper in when we got home around 8 and it was done at around 10. Good thing Prawn had a nap today. (she fell asleep this afternoon before sparring)

I'm feeling uninspired. . .

Tip of the day: don't bother with gift cards at Target. They're ALWAYS a disaster.

Music of the day: POTO, Enya

Horoscope of the Day: Beware of small black objects. Beware Brits who eat eggs on pizza. Fire is still fun, but still dangerous. The hives all over your body are not an allergic reaction to your cologne, as you had suspected, but a sign of indwelling by a hostile alien.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Too Much of a Good Thing

Here are 2 examples of how you can start to get an inkling that you are doing too much of something.

My sister had been locked in the house for 3 days working on a case book for the local temple. She was using the Snap to Grid feature a lot in this program and I guess that makes everything click nicely into place just as if you were clicking, say, Legos together. So after 3 days of this, she finally got out of the house. When she slowed to a stop at the first stoplight, she was actually concerned that she was going to snap to the pole. *giggle*

For me it was too much sewing. On more than one occasion, when I'm whipping up the new season's wardrobe for the kidlets, I have gone to check my email and found myself trying to press the (non-existent) foot pedal to get the computer running. *chortle*

We challenged each other to an hour's goal tonight. I had to write at least 1,000 words of my book and she had to finish the current temple project. Her eyes are bleeding. OK not really, but I guess she's taxing them too much.

Oh yeah, She, I forgot to tell ya. Here in MI there is this special air quality that makes monitors really easy on the eyes. Yeah, that's it. . . And, um, you get a monthly stipend for being a stay-at-home Auntie. Yeah, that's the ticket. . . Better move here ASAP, I say! You don't want to miss out!

Hey, no rent payment. How much better can it get? If food gets too expensive, we can sneak through the woods and make nightly dumpster runs at Kroger. *giggle* Ah - the memories. ;o)

We worked hard at TKD. Sparring was 3 step and we went full on for over an hour (after the hour of class of course.)Master Han totally thrashed me at sparring tonight. But then I snuck in a scoring kick. Yay!!! LOL! I have bruises again, so I'm feeling back to normal. It was a little weird being (nearly) bruise-free over Turkey vacation. John had to stay here and wire some behemoth of a car with a guy from work. I don't know what kind of vehicle it was, but it was monstrous! Of course this IS Detroit - land of GIGANTIC automobiles that would easly seat Grendel's extended family.

I was talking up the Beowulf movie at TKD and one girl said "That's one I'll be missing." (She had to read it in school just recently I think.) It was funny how quickly she changed her mind when I told her that "The Phantom" is starring in it. LOL! (She LOVES that movie.) Score 1 for - um, I dunno who. Gerard Butler, I guess, if he can do THAT! A man of many talents.

Music of the day: shall I bother? You know, don't you. But I started with Josh Groban (I already said that this morning didn't I?) Then it was POTO, Beowulf and back to young Joshua (looping Alla Luce Del Sole.)

Movie of the day: Well, I'm gonna hit the tub and watch The Emperor's Club with Kevin Kline. Wait. That didn't come out right. Too bad, though, come to think of it. . .

Tip of the Day: It doesn't usually matter WHICH kick/s you use. Master Han will flatten you every single time. Your only hope is the element of surprise, and you have to be good enough to surprise even yourself, or he's gonna know exactly what's coming.

Horoscope of the Day: There is a devastating pushing side kick in your future. You're going to be on the wrong end of it. Sorry.

Beware of Vikings bearing gifts. Especially if the gift is an oversized, bloody arm. Run for the mead hall and tank up. If you have the presence of mind, grab a packet of peanuts, a Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic and an Electronic Thumb and get the Heck out of Dodge.

Indian Summer

This is SO weird. The snow melted (actually I think it mostly sublimated) yesterday and today it's BALMY! I've actually cracked open a window in the living room. Yes - the same one I block off with couch cushions. I know - I prolly could get the same breeze if I left it shut, but this way I get more of the fresh air smell. ;o)

I made it through the night. We watched Bionicle 2 and then the Croc Hunter movie (FARAMIR - woo hoo!) I was awake til 4 then slept til 9. Not too bad!

Today I have Josh Groban's Alla Luce Del Sole on loop. What? No POTO? Fear not. I'm saving that for later. ;o) No doubt that will loop for the rest of the day. Actually, I'll likely loop the Beowulf music for a while as well. That's great writing music.

Well, Stink!

Nah - it's not so bad. John needed to sleep, and I didn't, so the timing is pretty decent.

Young Prawn is up and barking like a seal. Not croup, thank Heavens. It's just like this for her when she's first getting a cold. Jeepers, you'd think we'd've had our fill what with a cold and then The Plague. But, no, now another cold rears its ugly, misshapen head. Mollusc was getting it first, but I thought she was just having a relapse. She's prone to getting stuff worse than anyone else. But, no. It's yet another illness.

On the other hand, the Christmas tree is lit up, I'm wide awake, and The Prawn and I are snuggled in a nest on the couch watching Bionicle 2. *grin* OK, things could be a lot worse. :) It's slightly reminiscent of Prawn's birth. Just a quiet moment in front of the Christmas tree. That was really a lovely birth. Lying there between the warm fireplace and the Christmas tree, and welcoming my fourth child into my arms in the comfort of our living room. Too bad more people aren't educated in the joys of homebirth.

Well, I guess I'm going to make the most of my time and keep hacking away on my novel. :)

Movie of the day: Double Jeopardy - REALLY good!

Music of the day: Minidisc mix, POTO (several times) and Genticorum.

Tip of the day: Even a little plastic bowl can shatter a Corelle bowl if it torpedoes it from about 18". (who'da thunkit??)

Horoscope of the Day: Green frisbees signal bad news for you today. Also, an unknown dog will eat half of your lunch. Fire, while fun to play with, can be damaging. Avoid.

Good wine

Good wine, good friends, good fun. Sheila, the only thing missing is you. I can't believe how much it sucks living away from family. Life is great. BUT. . . Sigh.

Is it possible to have it all? Dunno. I think I did for a while there.

OTOH it is so great here. We've met some awesome people, are hooked up with an awesome TKD gym, have awesome scenery. She - how the heck can I get you to move here?

Colour me tipsy and nostalgic, I guess. Or more accurately, colour me bluntly honest.

E - any chance of Navan coming this way? Tell my sis you guys need to move here to MI, OK? There's plenty of Celtic stuff going on 'round here. (I think. . .) Prolly more than in Madison at any rate. There has to be.

Sigh. It's good (and maybe unusual?) for sisters to get along so well, but it sure hurts to be apart.

Back to the writing. I guess I'll take out my sorrows on my sparring partners tomorrow. Feels like I haven't sparred in forever since the gym was closed on Thursday. The weird thing is, it's always a little scary until I get started, and then it's just fun. Isn't that strange? I think so. I can anticipate it with eagerness, and then after class, when sparring starts, I go sit with everyone and wait to get called up and I can't believe how nervous I am -- how trepidatious. But once we're out there and we've bowed -- once Master Han says "Choon be!" and we're in fighting stance, wow! It's just fun. I don't have time to think much or be nervous. It's just looking for an opening, dodging back or blocking, planning a (hopefully) devastating series of kicks. No time to think. Very weird. And then, when he says "Go man!" (stop) I'm always bummed. (what? over so soon?) I used to be grateful that it was time to breathe, but now that my endurance is so much better, it's just a bummer when we have to quit. " 'Odd,' said Mabel. 'Very odd.' " (See Duckat.)

Tell me about Burns, She. How's it going? Waiting on that book still, I suppose. I'll get into the one I've got here tomorrow, but it's not in Gaelic. Still. . . Tell me the name of that Gaelic one so I can put it on hold, eh? I assume it was translated. He didn't do anything in Gaelic as far as I know (which, frankly, isn't a lot I guess. At least I'm honest.)

Send me my bit when you have it. *cheesy grin*

Oh - hey - keep meaning to ask you. Can we use some of your stuff in our indie film if it works out? There may be a scene where Navan music is just perfect. You can email me.

Aw stink. The Prawn's up. 'Night. . .

Saturday, November 26, 2005


We mucked out the garage today so we can get Cyd (van) in for the winter. Much better! When we came back in, I saw the Killer Rabbit hopping surruptitiosly past with someting in his mouth. I asked him what he had and he BOLTED. Mollusc chased him down and found he had some sort of fudge cookie (no doubt detritus from The Prawn.) He ate it before she could stop him. He then went on to snack on the minidisc cord (BAD BAD BUNNY! REALLY BAD!) and THEN he found a Junior Mint. Ugh. Chocolate and electrical cords cannot be a healthy diet for a bunny. I'll breathe a sigh of relief if he makes it 'til we drop him off at his family's house tomorrow. ;o)

He's actually a cute little guy and reasonably snuggly. I can't get over how the cats have accepted him. Uh oh - he's eating something else. Arrrrgh!

Last night Trillian climbed the Christmas tree after it was all up and decorated. She then proceeded to slither and fall spectacularly down out of it, bringing part of a light string and quite a few ornaments with her. Evil kitten. I think Jet was climbing it, too. We have the EWS (Early Warning System - big jingle bells) installed, but mostly it just alerts us to an impending spectacle rather than saving the tree from anything.

We went swimming today as a reward for the hard work in the garage. The snake slide was open, which is always great fun. You can see on the wall where it leaves the building and comes back in. The Prawn almost doesn't need my help anymore. She can swim, come up for air, go back under, tread water. Wow!

Tip of the Day: You can fit 5 people into the pool shower if you absolutely have to. It helps if 4 of them are quite small.

Movie Review of the day: Beowulf (1999) Hmmm. Not the best made movie: poor dialogue and a very confusing time setting. I guess it's the future but they've lost a lot of technology, so they have stuff like central gas and zippers, but primitive weapons. BUT, I think the guy playing Beowulf did a good job with what he was handed and the story was compelling enough to make us keep watching. We were forced to heckle a lot, though. King Hrothgar was good, too. Grendel's mom was pretty stilted and unbelievable. Sadly, we could only laugh when it appeared that the unnamed woman at the beginning of the film was about to be cloven in 2 by a gigantic straight razor.

Your Horoscope for the day: What ever it was you were thinking of, DON'T do it. Trust me. And that thing you were avoiding - take care of it by tomorrow or the results will be startlingly amusing for those who dislike you. (Not that anyone actually dislikes you. . .)

Alternate horoscope: Beware of people under 5'4" wearing green. One of them wants to harm you. Also, you will discover small scale nuclear reaction in your coffee cup. You will lose half an eyebrow and your best friend over the ensuing publicity. No, there is nothing you can do about this.

Friday, November 25, 2005

In Which Bob and Wendy Mate

Er, um, OK. . . We put the tree up and I gave The Prawn (3) a Wendy (of Bob the Builder fame) ornament to hang up. She asked if we had Bob, too, so when I found him, I let her hang him up as well. A moment after I gave him to her, I realised she was trying to tell me something, so I tuned out of the constant racket I have going on in my head, and tuned in to hear her saying proudly, "They're mating! See? Bob and Wendy are mating!"

Oh my. Avert your eyes if you are bothered by claymation characters doing the forbidden dance. I actually think it seems rather impersonal.

Can't you just hear poor Bob singing now:

"Comme si, j'n'existais pas

Elle est passee au cote de moi

Sans un regard, Reine de Sabbat

J'ai dit Wendy, prends, tout est pour toi." **

Just the same, I guess I'll keep my eyes open for mini Bobs and Wendys climbing through the tree.

Hmmm. I have a 3-year-old making Bob and Wendy mate, and an 8-year-old who wants to marry Snape when she grows up. (!!!) OK, Alan Rickman has something going on, but she wants to marry SNAPE. What's up with that?

I have to say I'm a little bewildered.

** (translation "As if I didn't even exist, she walked right past me, without a glance, Queen of Sheba. I said "Wendy, take, it's all for you."

With apologies to Cheb Khaled. For the real thing, listen to his "Aicha" - a truly beautiful song.)

The 60 lb Pot

We went out today in search of a large Dutch oven. I forgot it was Black Friday. (That's the Day after American Thanksgiving when there are big sales. It's the biggest shopping day in the country.) Holy stink! We parked right by the door at Kohl's, but the lines inside were wrapped around almost to the back of the store. We left.

We ended up finding what we wanted at BB&B though - a Lodge 7 qt Dutch Oven for $20 under list. It's a 60 lb pot in which you can roast several small children or one troll. Also doubles as a home security system -- simply whack your adversary in the head with it, if you can lift it.

OK, really it only weighs 16 lbs, which, frankly, shocks the stuffing out of me. It feels a lot heavier than that.

Now that we're home, the 2 bigs are sledding down the deck stairs *BUMPITY BUMPITY BUMP BUMP BUMP* Sounds like fun. They took the Killer Rabbit out to play with them. I hope he's not sledding down the stairs.

On the way to Brighton today, Fishy (6) was doing Mad Libs in the car. Every few seconds it was "I need an adjective." "I need a noun." "OK, now 2 plural nouns." "How do you spell that?" He ended up with some pretty good ones. I keep meaning to make them some custom Mad Libs - Star Wars, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, etc. Could be entertaining. Maybe I'll post some blanks here.

The Prawn (3) keeps breaking out into snatches of song from the Phantom of the Opera. It's pretty comical to hear "Da PHAN--tom of da Opewa is dair" coming from such a small person. The girl can carry a tune, though.

Today is Christmas Tree day. I can't believe it. We always put ours up on the day after Thanksgiving, but it seems so soon this time. Guess I'll have to get some hot cocoa and Christmas music going for when they're done in the snow.

Caveat Renter

I borrowed "Proof of Life" from the library on DVD and we watched it tonight. Well, we sort of watched it. Here's the thing about library vids: they're not always in the best of shape. This one had several nasty scratches so that every time you really got into the movie, it would seize up and you'd have to try to FF through the trouble spot, or keep pressing play, or chapter forward and then back it up. AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!

We should prolly have just given up, but we were already sucked in by that time. At some point it just got to be laughable. John accused me of stopping it on one particularly fine shot of Russell Crowe, and I have to admit that at that moment, I was really happy that it had paused there. *grin* We did miss some stuff, but turns out it was nothing vital (ouch - don't tell the Director I said so (but are you safe Miss Gradenko? tee hee) talk about derailing myself. . .) So it was maddening, but funny at the same time. I would not have given an untrained civilian a gun and let him run around behind me in a possible firefight situation, but other than that, I think it was pretty believable.

Supper was AWESOME!! Easily the tastiest food I've ever eaten on Thanksgiving. I told John he could definitely serve that to the Queen if she came over. (you know - next time she was in Detroit ;o) ) He could serve it to the Prez, too, don't get me wrong. It just seems like the Queen would be more picky than a guy from Texas, YK?

Yikes, nearly 3 am. Oops. . . It's just sooooo peaceful.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Blogging for Sheila!

Strange how things are all connected these days. So, I've been pestering Sheila about getting over to the Beowulf website to check out the interviews, hear about the weather and landscape, listen to interviews in Icelandic (?) and more.

It's the best movie site I've ever been to, actually - informative, well laid-out, and just plain interesting. Anyway, I further pestered her today, only to find out that her Celtic singing group, Navan, will be appearing in the dramatised version of the new oral translation by Dick Ringler.

How very 12. (see Chasing Vermeer if that makes no sense) Doubly so because I've been riding her about this Burns project.

So, on to my Blogging for Sheila. (cuz she won't do it for herself) *grin*


Sheila and my mom went out to a buffet today for Thanksgiving dinner. Now, you should know that my sister has the weakest stomach of anyone I've ever met so far. That's not to say she's a pansy, by any means, but icky stuff, or the thought of it, really bothers her. I don't think blood and guts bother her, but things like vomit bother her. In fact, maybe it's only vomit that bothers her, come to think of it. . .


So they're at the buffet and Sheila ends up in full view of this woman behind my mom who is not feeling very well. In fact, she's feeling very, very poorly, and by the time Sheila is having dessert, the lady is blowing her beets. I can only imagine in what way this was happening, because Sheila told me it was spectacular, but then refused to describe it any further due to getting nauseous just thinking about it. I only know that it ended in spray. (SNORT - OK, I'm sorry, maybe that's not funny, but I'm remembering my poor, beleaguered sister trying to get through telling me all this on the phone without shouting soup herself.) My sis sits there trying desperately NOT to pay attention (yeah - good luck, eh?) and also not to draw my mom's attention to what's happening and chance ruining dinner for my mom as well. (Our mom used to be a nurse, so I dunno if that would really have mattered to her, LOL!) So there she sits, trying to turn all her attention inward and at the same time hoping she's not somehow coming off as sullen and surly to our poor mom, who is blissfully unaware of the spectacle ocurring behind her. *chortle* Poor She. I really do feel for you, ya know. ;o)

Now every time someone in the restaurant coughs, Sheila is hearing vomiting sounds (like when you know there's a mosquito in the room, you know?) and there's no WAY she's finishing her dessert. But the CAPPER is that Beet-Blowing Lady goes off to the bathroom to clean up and comes back feeling a LOT better. SO much so, in fact, that she proceeds to have about FOUR more plates of food! *snickersnort* I think Sheila and my mom got out of there before the re-load could be fired off.

Maybe you have to know my sis in order to fully appreciate this story. :oP

I don't know why I have a cast-iron stomach but she can tell you I get no end of enjoyment out of trying to gross her out sometimes. I think my proudest achievement in 5th grade was grossing my friend out of her pudding so badly that she gave it to me.

John is making his masterpiece balsamic vinegar, peppers, rosemary, thyme pork chops and they smell MARVELLOUS!!! In the meantime I keep filching fresh green beans while he's not looking. It's been an odd Thanksgiving with just us - more like just a vacation day than a holiday. Kinda nice, though. :o) With the snow and the early sundown, it's awful nice to just hunker and relax.

We were working on story submissions today (John's helping me wrangle them into the various formats required by different publishers) and then found out one place wanted a pic with the bio, so we messed around taking pics today, hence the new profile pic.

Need to do more work on the shooting script and track down a good shotgun mike. If anyone's selling one that's decent, please let me know.

Haven't gotten much hacking done on my novel today, so I guess it's time.

Oh, yeah - Sheila, I have my first word request. It's "Thank you." And a few things like "Who are you?" "Where am I?" and "What are you called?" would be helpful as well. Thanks, woman!!

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

It's weird, because this just doesn't usually hit me, or I'm able to keep on a good game face if it does, but today, I'm really missing my Dad. The song "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" just brought it all home today -- made all the more poignant by the fact that my dad was a musician and composer among his many other talents -- and I had to hide in the bathroom for a bit of a cry. (Why do we hide when we cry? Fear of exposing our weaknesses?)

Thanksgiving 7 years ago was our last time together untainted by the knowledge of what lay before us. He was diagnosed a month later, on Christmas Eve, with terminal bone cancer. He never knew I named my son after him. He never knew I'd go on to have another daughter, that I'd get a story and some poetry published. But maybe he knows now.

So here's to you, Daddy, my father, my friend, amazing musician, composer, nurse extraordinaire, computer guru, scientist, writer, and so much more. I miss you.

Driving Upside Down

How could I forget to mention this? It had been snowing for an hour or 2 before we left for the DIA this morning, but nothing major. Mostly, the roads were just wet. Nevertheless, on our 30 mile trip, we saw no less than 7 wrecks. Two of those involved cars lying on their sides and a third was upside down. Now that I think about it, I believe there was another upside-downer, too. I'm not sure what's so special about wet roads that makes Detroit drivers want to try driving upside down, but it was in vogue today. Another was just a spinout where an older lady somehow ended up spun out backwards up a hill. I have no clue how that happened. She was on her phone when we passed her. I assume she was phoning for help, though it appeared she could just have driven down the hill again without any problems.

I also neglected to mention the absolutely fabulous suits of armor they had at the DIA. Most were from the 1100s to the 1500s. Ubercool.

Driving home through downtown Detroit was interesting. But there was something a little heart-wrenching about the "Touch of Class" salon with iron grillwork over the doors and windows, and the boarded up video shop with a big opening revealing the burnt-out interior. The ex-psychic reading store - well, that was just ironic. They should have known it was a bad location, shouldn't they? Maceo's Croquettes and (something?) was all shut up in iron grillwork and looking deserted. I don't even know what a croquette is. Something fried?

A portion of the road (Woodward was it?) ended up being closed for a bunch of parade floats. Seems a strange day for a parade, but they weren't parading yet, so maybe they were preparing for tomorrow. I know there's that big Natl one on Thanksgiving, right? But I've never liked parades, so I never pay much attention. Dunno why - kinda like clowns. Too much of a spectacle, maybe.

We hit Krispy Kreme on the way home. If you've never had a Krispy Kreme doughnut, don't start. It's the only way to save yourself, trust me.

Sheila, I watched my Clive Owen movie tonight, and appreciated it even more now that I know who he is. *grin* When are you flying (really? or was that just idle banter?) or whatever to see us? Too bad you can't Apparate. That would be SO handy!

The Killer Rabbit is happy and healthy. Still, check on me tomorrow to make sure he hasn't struck in the night.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Amazing Mystery Shirt

What is is about this shirt? I've worn it two times and been stopped three times with comments on it.

Not that I mind, don't get me wrong. Maybe it's the sheer shininess factor. Or maybe the light colours in winter when everyone else is wearing depressing blacks and navies?? Or maybe the peekaboo factor, but it's women asking where I bought it, so?? The men just - ok, well, they stare. *blushes* I never, ever used to notice that - never occurred to me that anyone might stare.

We went to the DIA today! HOLY COW!!! WOW!

We saw actual Picassos, Van Goghs (incl this self portrait), Cezannes, Berninis, a Seurat, a Monet, a Rembrandt (scroll down to see part of The Visitation) and more. We bought a membership today and that got us free tix into a special Rodin and Claudel display. Wow!! It was actually very surreal. And get this - I thought there would be cordons keeping you back from the art. Nope. You could stand right there, and if you weren't worried about getting clubbed by an overenthusiastic security guard (or damaging a priceless work of art) you could just reach out and touch the paintings! I seriously thought about copping a feel of one of the Rodin sculptures just to have touched one, but I showed enormous self-restraint and refrained. (pats self indulgently on back)

My favourite sculpture (well, OK, some of the Rodins and Claudels were really awesome, but another one I just loved) was a small Madonna and child, and the look on Mary's face is just priceless - like a real mama has when she's looking at her babe, thinking "he is just so darned cute!" Wish I could remember the artist. Guess I'll have to go back (how tragic :o) )

OK, Sheila, you asked for a pic of The Boy, so here 'tis, taken just a few mins ago. Please ignore the fact that he's wearing his sister's PJs and try to appreciate his newfound skill of crossing one eye.

While I'm in picture mode, here we are after one of the all-nighters when we had The Plague last week:

He's actually sound asleep and twitching in that pic. Looks so happy, doesn't he?

And Prawn after the first all-nighter:

It's been snowing all day and we have about 2 inches right now. It's gorgeous out there. I took Mollusc to the library after we got home from the DIA and when we came out, it was just starting to get beautiful. The snow was sticking to the trees and everything was turning white. There was that amazing hush you get when the snow is falling, and everything was sparkling.

Sheila, I got some Robert Burns stuff from the library and put a bunch more on hold, and I expect you to keep up with me on the research *wink* Elizabeth, if Sheila hasn't already told you about this, force it out of her. I think this is something that could be HUGE for Navan. HUGE!!

She, did you know he collected Scottish folksongs and there are books of his songs that he collected and/or wrote? There is an amazing amount of fodder for this project. Remember, you saw it here, first! :o)

I accidentally found another Shig on the web, but no clue if it's a relation. Very strange to see the old nickname and not have it referring to one of us. Very strange.

Oh, yeah. She and E - check it out - all in Welsh, though a bit different from what you do:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hackety hack hack

Nope, not sick, just hacking away on the book. But every now and then the undeniable compulsion to procrastinate grabs me by the fingers and wrenches me off into cyberspace.

Sheila, I have a GREAT reason for you to come visit me. I have a Clive Owen movie. I didn't even realise it 'til just last week. I got it back before we moved here and watched it once, before I had a clue who he was. (OK, to tell the truth, I don't think I ever heard his name until that Arthur movie we watched in Aug.) Anyway - turns out he's in this flick I've got, so you need to come visit and we can have a fest. (*giggles while remembering our emailing fleshfest*) Oh, yeah, and if I rent a few more films, we can do a live action comparison of that site I sent you *wink wink* I'm not going to tell you the name, cuz then you'll just go rent it and not have to come here.

Hey, since you're the movie girl, you're going to have to tell me what you think of that new one - whatsit - Derailed. Not that I'll believe you since we seem to be nearly polar opposites in our movie preferences. How did that happen??

Still, you have to like POTO. I refuse to accept any other possibility.

So there we go - a curry and movie festival of such magnificence that you will never want to leave MI. *grin* Maybe we can even borrow the Viggo that works at the movie place. ;o) 'K, maybe not. . .

Tip of the day: hide all of the towels so no one can make them dirty.

Music of the day: hahahahahahahahahahahah!!! But also Enya's new one thanks to John. Had to return to my standby, though.

Killer Rabbit

Lippety, lippety, the Killer Rabbit hops innocently around the house. So far we're all in one piece, but I know he's only biding his time. He'll probably attack while we sleep.

Emmett (orange kitty) was trying desperately to get the rabbit to play. I had to tell him to let go of the rabbit's head. He then resorted to laying uside down and flapping the rabbit's ears with a paw.

I shaved John's head and shaved off his moustache last night. Nice!!!!!!! Why I didn't tie him down and do this before is beyond me. He was all for it as long as I was willing to make it worth his while. Well, did I, Vanya? Seemed like it. *saucy grin*

DIA tomorrow!! Woo hoo!!! But this eve we have 1) kids' sparring 2) (maybe) big kid class 3) our class. Oy! It's the last chance for any of us to have class all week, though. Mollusc and Sluggie had a private lesson this morning cuz none of the other hsers came to homeschool class. He does it mostly in Korean now, and they understand it all. Cool!

I am finally writing for the first time today. Yikes. Off to hack on the book. . .

Monday, November 21, 2005


Ahhhh - that's better! I got to spar tonight. Well, it was three-step, but I still got sweaty and bruised, so I'm feeling more like myself again.

Even though (or maybe because?) I didn't get a chance to eat before class because of the my dentist appointment, I had LOTS of energy for sparring. 3-step is the most grueling because it's nonstop for the whole time, and even on my last partner, I was still plenty bouncy, able to repeatedly, quickly switch stance, move in and out - it was AWESOME! I'm starting to try remembering to kiyap during sparring and even that didn't sap my energy. w00t!

We're bunny-sitting and the cats are highly intrigued. It's bizarre cuz they FREAK OUT over other cats, but any other animal is just a curiosity to them. Very, very odd, IMO.

The hygienist at the dentist asked what school the kids go to, and I told her we homeschool. She asked lots of Qs and seemed very, very interested. I'm always worried I'm going to offend someone. I mean, frankly, school isn't good enough for my family and that's why we hs. It is NOT the ideal learning environment, but I don't think people who put their kids in school are evil or anything. I think I do well at not offending folks (well except maybe just here where I let it all hang out, eh?) and they always react very positively. Well, from what I can tell. I do kind of suck at reading people as it turns out. But anyway, this woman was really asking lots of Qs and seemed very interested. She also asked a lot about TKD. Maybe they'll show up there.

Tip of the day: pushups are hard when you're laughing.

Music of the day: don't be ridiculous. POTO of course. I did squeeze in a couple Aichas (Khaled) and a wee bit of Sting but then I had to hurry back to POTO. Still plugged into it as I type, in fact. Nothing has ever moved me, spoken to me, stirred me like this music. And it just gets better as you listen to it more. Amazing.

Well, tonight I shave John's head and mustache. Cool! I'm looking forward to that. Momentous, too.

Gotta write. . .

The Amazing Vanishing Kitten!

What a little stinker!! Trillian vaporised when it was time to load her up to go to the vet. GONE! (like the squirrel in Christmas Vacation) I ended up calling to let them know we couldn't find her, and rescheduling for 4 and as soon as I hung up, she appeared. (I thought I could hear Scotty's voice right before she beamed in.) Tiny brat! So I called back and they said they could still take us. What a naughty wee kitten. Scotty's in trouble, too.

Trilly's almost tripled in weight since we got her. She definitely has rescued-kitty syndrome (eats whenever there's a chance.)

I'm contemplating some large changes in my novel already. That didn't take long. Well, not huge structural changes, more background changes, I guess. Off I go to see how that works.


Trillian has a vet appointment today and I need to pick up new meds for Ennie. Ouch. Homeschool bowling is today, but we just can't swing it this week. Maybe next time. Then I have my dentist appointment. I will be so glad when that's all done.

I've got publishers figured out for three submissions, possibly four, so that's on my list for toay. The biggest hassle there will just be getting the stories juggled to the right computer and put in the proper formats. Some publishers want a Word attachment, while others want ASCII text in an email, and still others want a hard copy. That's the not-so-fun part of writing -- all the dinking around to get it to the right people in the right format.

Gotta run!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


OK, time for a little shameless promption of my sister's Celtic singing group, Navan. I've added the link to my right-hand sidebar as well. If you know anyone who loves Celtic music, their CDs would make AWESOME Christmas presents! For fans who want a bit of a scoop, they're recording #3 now.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled post. . .

We did some brainstorming about the film on the drive up to the BX and back - locations, continuity issues, changing a scene and adding another. It's good to be moving forward.

F-16s were flying at Selfridge today. It was good to see those again. (I used to fix them in the Air Guard.) I hear they're swapping their 16s out for A-10s. That will be cool! (used to fix Warthogs before our unit got F-16s)

The Prawn can eat with chopsticks really well! Not yet 4 and she can handle the kwai-dze. I'm impressed! She can pick up chunks, and everything. She's been doing it for a while now, but I didn't think to mention it. Silly me.

I got even smaller jeans at the BX today. Yep - size 6 and they fit with no problems at all. I'm keeping the 8s to wear with long undies when I play in the snow. Yes, I still play in the snow. I keep telling you all I'm just a big kid. It's true!

Sheila, what day are y'all heading to Boston? Maybe we can drive over and hear you sing. Vanya says it's expensive there, though, so maybe not. Sigh. I miss you! I don't know when I'll see you again. This is crazy! The younglings are getting so big you'll barely rocognise them. I'm letting Gogo's hair grow a bit long (compared to his usual buzz.) Should I let it go to Anakin length? We actually have to brush it now, LOL!

Sluggie ratcheted her sparring up yet another notch. She gave her arch nemesis a real run for his money on Saturday. (They're good friends but he's the only real match for her at sparring nowdays, and it's fierce competition.) Mollusc brought a much better game to the ring, too. She's cutting back on the hopping and really walloped her 2nd opponent. Gogo continues to do well. He's not a natural, but he tries hard, which I really respect. Hopefully, Prawn will get to start soon.

John and I get to spar again tomorrow night. It seems like a long time since we've sparred due to all the illness. In reality, I think it's been about a week. Wow! Tomorrow will be our first class as red belts. *grin* (yeah - still fired up about that) We rarely get to spar each other, though.

Well, I think I busted through my writer's block, and I need to go make sure. . .

Sore and Happy

I woke up with delicious soreness this morning. You know that feeling of having worked really hard the previous day and just having streaks and stretches of soreness throughout your muscles? That and a sense of accomplishment. *grin*

All the soreness is in my upper body except for a touch of it in my hamstrings. Even though we did roughly 500 kicks, I think my legs are just used to it now. The upper body soreness comes from doing the extra block/punch combos in conjunction with kicks.

Today we're off to the BX for a bit and then home. We'll do some work on the shooting script on the way up, so I need to get my bum in gear and grab what I need to take. Not sure what we'll do later. At some point this week, we need to go swimming.

Dzai dzien!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


YES!! I did it!!! Euphoria!! I was dying during the test. We'd have a question answering period and I'd get my breath back and then we'd launch into more kicking combos and I'd think, "I feel great now" and give it my all again (I can't stand not to give it my all) and then I'd be dying all over again.

We broke with Axe Kick again, which I love. :)

Afterwards, in the car, I was rubbing my face and I could feel the roughness of dried salt all over my face from all the sweating. Well, ick.

Sigh - euphoria! Time to celebrate tonight with mead! If you've never had mead, I have to caution you against drinking it alone, cuz it makes you RANDY, Baby! (Not that I really need the help *snicker* ) I won't be alone. John needs to celebrate his red belt, too! *wicked grin*

I only found out yesterday that John has the WHOLE week off! Woo Hoo!! I didn't realise we were so close to Thanksgiving. He had originally taken off so we could go visit family in WI, but now his mom and dad aren't going to be there and we're not going, hence the excellent opportunity to visit the DIA on Wednesday. Yay!

We need to work on our film, too. The next step is to go through the script together and make a shooting script, figuring what kind of shots and camera angles we want, and then to try to get the outdoor shooting done before it gets too cold. We have already decided on an excellent location in Kensington Park for the first scene we'll be shooting. If you've ever seen the book "Stranger in the Woods" I guess that's where he shot his pics. I haven't been able to verify that, though the photographer did say he did a lot of wildlife photography there.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to go back to the BX for smaller jeans this week. Bummer in the financial department, but not in the happiness department. :oP


*big breath*

We test for red belt today. I'm doing much better than I used to do early on for the lower belt tests, but as time creeps on, and as I'm less and less able to turn my thoughts away from it, I get more and more nervous. The answers to the oral Qs aren't scaring me. I've known them all for a long time now. For those it's just a matter of focusing and not letting the pressure get to me. The kicks don't scare me. I know I can do them all, and I know I can survive the length of the test because I can survive an hour long class followed by an hour of sparring - even 3-step which is constant kicking back and forth with a partner. So why am I nervous? I don't expect to fail. Maybe it's nervous excitement more than anything.

Red belt is a big deal to me. After Red comes Senior Red, then Bo Dan (temporary black), then Black. Red is some kind af plateau, I guess - the last new colour belt before Black.

Here's one of the Qs I'll be faced with today (and its answer)

How do you show respect?

Showing respect while on and off the training floor is part of being a student of Tae Kwon Do. Respect must be shown at all times, including to one's opponent. One must never lose patience because that is a sign of weakness. Maintain self-control and self-confidence at all times. Showing respect to your instructor: At no time are you to refer to your instructor by their first name. If he is a 5th degree black belt, he must be referred to as Master at all times. If a Master or Grand Master enter the training area, it is respectful to call the class to attention and bow. If a Master ranking below your instructor enters the Dojang, no attention needs to be given. When approaching or being approached by your instructor, it is respectful to come to attention and bow. Always begin and end your conversations with "Sir" or "Ma'am."

(don't hassle me about grammar incontinuity, I just memorise it, I don't write the stuff. ;o) )

Hey, I could add that to my list of Bond Girl abilities. I can memorise long(ish) rambling speeches. Good for doing lines, eh?

I wonder what we'll have to break with. (At the end of the test, if we've passed, we have to break a board as the final test to get our belt.) I'm guessing Spinning Back Kick or Spinning Hook Kick, but I'm not sure. My favourite so far has been breaking with Axe Kick.

I think there will be 4 of us. 3 of us are testing for Red, and 1 for Senior Red. There was a new guy I saw a couple times. He may have been coming on nights we don't go, so he *could* be testing. If so, he's going to luck out and get to stand and watch a lot while we do all the upper level stuff. That's a nice break when you have higher belts testing cuz you get a wee break while they do their form, blocking set and 4-sided hand technique.

Ramble ramble - yep, I'm nervous. Sigh.

I have a permanent soundtrack running through my head. Can you guess which one? It's there for everything (yes everything.) I suppose it will be with me at testing.

Well, I have to get the kids rounded up for sparring. T minus 3.5 hours. *big breath*

Friday, November 18, 2005

Betelgeuse Death Anthem??

I thought my kids were getting sick of the POTO soundtrack, but they're up there warbling away bits 'n' pieces. Right now, though, I have to admit they've gotten a bit carried away because whatever they're singing now sounds more like Ford and Zaphod's Betelgeuse Death Anthem than anything POTOesque.

They've created a lovely batch of freaky Lego centaur-people. Hmmm. One is a chef with a missing arm. Dude! Watch that cleaver!

Argh! Procrastinating. Sigh.

Note to Self

Always, always put away your toys when you're done. Unless you're really good at tap-dancing. The words "what's this?" have seldom before put me at such a loss for words. At least it wasn't an obvious one. . .

Other Notes to Self:

Note to Self #2

Note to Self #3

This is Me Banging my Head Against the Wall

Ack! Ack! Ack!

I hate writer's block.


Funny, though. I was looking back over the blog and the more somewhat pointless rambling I did here, the more real writing I also did on those days.

Well, this too shall pass. Always does. . .

On a brighter note, my awesome man has said we're going to the DIA on Wednesday. Woo hoo!! That will be inspiring!

OK must force way through block. Does that mean I'll be surfing for hours? *rolling eyes* (it does work sometimes)


I'm watching The Secret of Roan Inish with the kids and Prawnie asked what the Grandmother was putting in the fire.
"It's peat, I think." I replied.
"What's peat?"
"Kind of like clay and grass together."
"Don't they have any wood?"
"Not so much and peat is plentiful - it's easy to find."

A moment later we're watching Fiona with Grandfather and Prawn says, "Did he die?"
"No." (slightly exasperated) "Grandfather's right there with Fiona"
"No. Pete! Did he die?"

And then I tried to explain it wasn't Pete a guy, but peat - something you can burn. Jeepers.

Friday! Friday! Friday!

I love Fridays! We had fun swimming. Prawn is getting better and better, as is Gogo. I have so much fun. I guess I'm still a kid at heart because I just put on some goggles and have a blast swimming aroung underwater. It's like a different world under there. They put new lights in the pool - very cool colour changing ones that cycle through a bunch of colours every few mins. It's a really neat effect. My friend's son was sick (same shouting of soup we had here) so they couldn't come. I thought we'd have the place to ourselves as usual, but there were 2 dads with their kids, a group of older kids and a couple with some children, too. (for a Friday that is PACKED!)

The kids and I tried to reverse the whirlpool and we actually got it to sort of work. I didn't think it could be done. It was a lot of work, though!

Here's where we swim. (top 3 pics) I can't believe it's only $3 per person and Prawnie is still free. See the giant snake waterslide? Part of it goes outside the building and then comes back in. The kids were saying it would be funny if it froze in that section (there was a dusting of snow on it out there today.) I wonder if it's colder in there in the winter. It HAS to be. It's only on in the afternoon/evening, so I won't find out til we go back on a weeknight. It's so dark in that thing you can't see your hand in front of your face. Actually it's pretty (OK, I'll admit it - VERY if you're at all claustrophobic) freaky the first few times.

We went to the library after lunch so the girls could do some volunteer work. They had a great time rounding up unshelved books, reshelving vids, restocking scrap paper baskets, etc.

I found some DVDs on England and Ireland, no Scotland, though. They do touch on Cornwall in the England one, so maybe it's a UK thing and will have Scotland as well.

I also got some movies to watch, including Beowulf (obviously the older version.) Found a book of Beowulf, too. I hadn't known about the paper J.R.R. Tolkien had written that brought Beowulf more into the limelight. Cool.

I'm dying to get back to my writing, so off I go. . .

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Still Trying to Get the Hang of Thursdays

Brrrrr!!! It snowed today. Really just flurries. And actually, I just threw a hooded sweatshirt over my shirt and the kids just wore fleece jackets, so it wasn't that big of a deal. The unfun part has been sitting on the couch by the (unlit) fireplace cuz a) the wind comes sweeping o'er the plain and down the chimney and straight though the living room and b) that blasted window by that couch that may as well have no glass. I stood some couch cushions on the sill - very high tech - and that's helped some, but the only thing that really did the trick was 40 pushups.

You know, though, I feel like a total wuss complaining after watching the interviews about filming Beowulf. They're great - EVERYBODY has something to say about that Icelandic weather. :o) I need to focus on being glad I'm not in Iceland. Unless one of those big warriors would help keep one warm. . . *evil grin*

I taught TKD class this morning but the kids were definitely in full moon mode today. It was all right in the long run, but that cute little newbie cried for the last half. We never figured out what was wrong. Poor little guy. I hope he doesn't quit. I can tell that he has potential already. He's really physically advanced for his age.

Our class was easy - too easy - but that's OK I guess. John and another guy are both suffering from the after-effecs of nasty colds, so they can hardly breathe. We didn't stay for sparring cuz we figured it wouldn't be a great idea for John, plus the last thing we need to do is roll an ankle and break it right before wee test. Yeah - we're pansies aren't we?

Swimming tomorrow!! Yippee!! I've dropped through a new weight threshold. I'm getting to the point where there's not much left to lose. I'm shrinking out of my TKD pants, but I can't get a smaller size cuz they'll be too short. My belt has gotten longer. Weird. I shrank out of my bathing suit a while ago and had to get a new one cuz the old one fell off when I swam and dived. D'oh! I'm happy about it, though, of course!

Prawnie fell asleep on the couch plugged into the MP3 player this afternoon. Very cute! I got up to take a pic and she woke up but promptly feigned sleep again when she saw I was trying to take a pic. What a ham. Someday I'll figure out what's up with my website and post some more pics. (I think I reached the limit of my picture storing capabilities.)

I'm outlining the new book and have gotten almost through, but there are a few little things I need to work out. All part of the process.

Mollusc is making some really lovely subtle jokes and observations these days. She definitely has my bizarre sense of humour. She and Sluggie are both drawing up a storm lately. They're showing soome real talent. I'd love to get to the DIA eventually, though don't really want to take the kids solo since it sounds like it's not in a great part of the city. Man! I didn't know until posting that link that it's the 5th largest museum in the country. Cool! I know they have a Cassat or 2 there that I'd love to see. Maybe while John is off during Thxgiving vacation.

Off to the tub for now.

Music of the day: You wouldn't seriously be asking would you? It's The Phantom of the Opera movie soundtrack of course!! All day, every day, baby! Sigh.

I need to figure out how to contact Andrew Lloyd Weber so I can send him a big THANK YOU! What amazing, inspiring, fantastic music!

Sheila, if you haven't seen it yet, you're absolutely nuts. Tell me any movie - even a gory awful horrid one, and I swear I'll watch it if you'll watch POTO. Better yet, come visit me and watch it here! :oD I miss you! It sucks not living by family.

That's the only thing that really sucks about living here. The rest is pretty awesome - great scenery, milder weather (than WI), great people, awesome TKD studio, FANTASTIC homeschooling law. People in the city can get a bit "East Coasterly" by which I mean that they don't look at you or say "hi" or anything I guess - I havent come across that yet. Oh and the concept of "customer service" is pretty much an alien concept here. That's bizarre. But here in our town that's not the case. The driving - I don't find it any worse than anywhere else, just different. I far prefer the highway driving to that in CA. Those folks are crazy, IMO. They don't get in the lane they need 'til the absolute last second and then they cut you off. Here, they get in like half an hour before they need to, so that can be a little frustrating if they make a big backup, but preferable to the swerving straight at you thing. WI was messed up, too. Very inconsiderate drivers - "you want to get in this lane? Not on MY watch!!" Here they're a LOT more considerate. If you're waiting to pull out onto a busy road, someone will stop and let you out, guaranteed. I think the scariest place I've ever been on the road was Texas, though. I'm trying to figure out if part of that was due to not having been in a car for 6 weeks or however long 8? It's all a blur now(Air Force basic training) and then being overwhelmed by it, but, no, I think those Texas drivers are just bloodthirsty maniacs.

Well, the poor Phantom is on his way down once more to the dungeons of his black despair and it's time for me to head down the hall to the tub.

Ourfeetaresore (deutsch)
Hastylumbago (espangnol)
Ariverdirty (italiano)

oh enough language corruption already

annyong hee kaseyo

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Introducing the new Bond Girl:


Yes, that's right, as soon as the list of qualifications includes the following. (translation to Bond girl assets in italics)

-ability to hike while slinging a baby all day long (for the uninitiated, this does not refer to throwing the babe, but to wearing the baby in a sling) Strong, with great endurance

-real stretch marks (not those lame Hollywood prosthetics) from heroically carrying multiple children to term and just as heroically squeezing them out of one's body without killing anyone in the process Men say they like "real" women these days, also not a wimp - can take pain and hard work on the set

-Tae Kwon Do skills (hey, I'm a gold medalist in both forms and sparring, LOL!) and VERY fierce when protecting children Can do one's own fight stunts

-ability to nurse a toddler in public with one arm tied behind one's back Strong arms and not ashamed of breasts

-ability to tailor the answers of difficult questions so that they are comprehensible to those with less life experience Can work with dialogue issues

-ability to make up spur of the moment songs to fit any situation Able to improvise

-Ability to work with with dirt, grime, muck, sludge. Able to clean up others' disgusting bodily funtions while maintaining a supportive, sypmathetic and cheerful attitude even at 4 am after being awake all night Not a prima donna - works well in exotic locations without whining

-ability to play the piano while answering multiple questions Musical and multitasking - can play piano and flirt with Bond simultaneously

-ability to remain calm in the face of major financial disaster, household disaster etc. Doesn't go postal on the production company if the check is late, can act calm when being pursued by multiple henchmen

-ability to function at a high level on sparse amounts of sleep and food excellent when the shooting days get long and the catering truck has crashed enroute to the site

Come to think about it, Bond girls are just a shadow of most real moms. ;o)

Feel free to add to the list of qualifications if you have some of your own. :o)

I have to attack the house a bit. Right now the spring inside me is coiled pretty tightly, but I'm going to make myself write a bit more first before I let it loose. Then I can rush around getting things done really quickly and be more brutal when getting rid of stuff.

It was flurrying outside a wee bit ago. Brrr.

Enough procrastination and warm-up for now.

I changed my profile pic. It was pretty entertaining sitting there on the bed doing self-portraits. I'm developing that skill as a new art form. ;o) The best part of self-portraiture is that you always know exactly when the shutter's going to be released.

Robin, if you're reading this, I JUST NOW got a call for dh from a headhunter. I'm going to email you his name and # in case your dh can use it.

Wow, there is a cold wind blowing on me from the closed window. Good grief. I wish we had Andersen windows like in the last house! They NEVER let in the cold air. When I used the oven, I'd actually have to OPEN the windows in the middle of winter to let the extra heat OUT. Ahhhh, those were good windows. . .