Saturday, September 30, 2006

21 Things

that I love (besides the obvious family, friends, etc.) in no particular order:

1) Curry (Indian and Tim)

2) Candles and incense (many, many kinds, but they have to be STRONG)

3) Brit Wit

4) Chocolate

5) Pumpkin Spice Latte (Yes, I'm obsessed.)

6) Douglas Adams books, and other great books

7) The smell of old books

8) The smell of a library

9) Laughing

10) Star Wars

11) Rolling around in a leaf pile with my kids

12) Jumping/flying kicks

13) Swimming underwater

14) X-rated activities

15) Tea (mostly herbal)

16) Lao food

17) Music, loud

18) Reading/listening to stories with my kids

19) Lightbulb moments (when I'm teaching the kids and they go "Ohhhh!!!")

20) Quirky idioms, clever turns of phrase, puns, exclamation points and parenthesis (yes, I'm cheating by cramming in all of these)

21) Comments :)

Tag - YOU'RE IT!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Culinary Catastrophe and Not Happy Neck

Short post today because - well, you'll see. :-P

Culinary Catastrophe:
(See how nice I am to you Bloglines people? I was going to make the title clicky, but I didn't just for You.)

So yesterday I thought I'd make pecan bars from this mix I had. I had no eggs (of course) and I should have taken that as the sign it obviously was, but I can be thickheaded sometimes, so I popped out and got some. There were 3 pouches in the box - 1 for crust, 1 for filling and 1 of just pecan pieces. I carefully separated the crust bag from the others, got out the mixing bowl and began preparations. The crust was in the oven and the timer was about to ring, when I found the "crust" pouch - still full - on the countertop. Wha??? I don't really know what happened. I assume it involved putting things down, turning around, picking other things up - or perhaps it was simply that blondeness had come home to roost again. At any rate, what I had in the pan was assuredly uncrustlike - very runny, sugary, almost caramely stuff. What to do? I thought I'd go for the salvage, so I poured the not-crust into a mixing bowl, mixed up the real crust, pressed it into the pan, popped it into the oven and set the timer again.

Now for the filling (AKA the "not-crust.") The butter had separated out by now. Good - it wasn't supposed to have butter anyway. I poured it off. It WAS supposed to have an egg mixed into it, as well as 1/2 cup of water, so I broke an egg into the bowl, added the water and got the whisk out. Uh. No. Not a prayer. It had hardened. Quite a lot. It was like trying to mix slightly melted caramel with, well, anything. In other words, not happening.

Into the bin with that stuff and then it was the Internet to the rescue! I found a recipe for pecan bars, made the filling, and subbed it for the "not-crust." The result was actually pretty good! I'd post a pic, but - well, you'll see. I know - not even a great story. Ultimately, it should have caught fire or something. Don't worry. I'm sure that will happen with something else soon enough.

Not Happy Neck:
(not clicky, just orange)

Tonight was Red-Belt class. I love Red-Belt class. We always get to do something cool. Tonight was no exception. After a battery of cross-step combo kicks (pant, pant!) the Master got out the crash pad and we got to do dive rolls and then backwards shoulder rolls. That, readers, is where I made my fatal mistake. I got cocky. I was having no trouble at all rolling over my right shoulder, but my brain was saying "bet you can't do it over your left, you pansy." So I said to my brain, "Shut up. I might do it wrong and look like a fool." To which my brain replied, (sounding remarkably like Rik) "Scaredy-cat, Scaredy-cat, sitting on the doormat, all the little doggie-wogs will have a little bit. . . of. . .it. . ." And the best I could come up with was "Fine! I'll show YOU, you - you - you Stupidhead!" So I tried.

Stupid brain. Stupid me for caring what my stupid brain thought. Stupid body for fighting with stupid brain about which way to roll (RIGHT! NO LEFT!! NO RIGHT!!!) Reader, they split the difference and took me straight down the middle - right up over my head. My neck bent (begrudgingly) much too far as I rolled, making interesting and somewhat unsettling little cracking noises. "Crick, crick, crick, CRACK," it went. And "pip, pip, pip, POP!"

"Ouch," said I.

For a moment, it was slightly difficult to breathe. For a moment, my chest was hurting a little. For a moment, I thought "That was really stupid." And I kept on thinking it. I am, in fact, still thinking it now.

On the Brightside*, we got to do diving shoulder rolls after that, over a barrier, which was a lot of fun. On the not so bright side, my neck still hurts. On the bright side, it's not, like, totally agonising. On the less-than-bright side, I fear it might not move tomorrow. I am taking arnica. Lots and lots of arnica. I have a hot rice pack on it. I'm going to take a hot bath and read. I am not going to monkey with posting pictures tonight.

On the very, VERY bright side, I got a totally rad package in the mail today! Thanks, ~d!!!!! I HEART you! I'm sure the Hurricane mix will help wash my troubles away. :) And if I'm unable to move tomorrow, I have hours of great tunes to chill to. :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

HNT : Yes MuNKi Loves Me

Yes MuNKi loves me

MuNKi loves me

This thong thing tells me so.

lorum* veritas :)

Yes, I'm aware of what the other lorum is. Well, at least now I am.
PS - Taken in mirror and then flipped. You call it blurry, I call it artsy.

Wetness Day

Yesterday was Crazy Tuesday again - 4 trips to TKD for a total of about 6 hours spent there.

I still love Wetness Days more than any other weekday. I actually got a few things accomplished - sewed on 3 more patches for my side biz, to the tune of $15. If you knew how easy this was, you'd agree it's almost a crime. But I charge about a third (or is it a fourth?) of what the local real biz charges, so I don't feel too bad.

The siren song of Walmart drew us in to buy some essentials (if you were there, I was the one pushing the cart full of 80 lbs of kids that had a Starboard list (cart, not kids) and had to be slid around the left-hand turns) and I finally bought a Pirates of the Carribean DVD set for the little MuNKis. They now know all the places where they have to FF. Fortunately, they are more than willing to do so. Now that I've seen it a few times (and sans the magic dog and blanket combo) I really do appreciate it more. A lot more.

Here is what you will never find at Walmart:

Ginger tea
Walmart Brand batteries (really cheap, but I can NEVER find them, GuTTer MuNKi has to.)

There is a Starbucks drive-through conveniently located right by Wallyworld. Guess what I got. Yep - Pumpkin Spice Latte. You know, I think I've been to Starbucks as many times in the last month or 2 as I had all together before then. :-P Cursed Pumpkin Spice Latte. I really appreciate their $1 kid's cocoas. Yes, I could make a whole potful for less than $1, but the kids sure do enjoy this treat, and so do I. :)

Every time I want to take pics of the gorgeous poison ivy (yes, I used those words in conjunction) climbing up the trees, it starts to rain. Today was no exception. Poo.

I've finally stopped procrastinating reading the rest of the Covenant books and am on the final old one. Then for the new one, and by then new one #2 might be out. This one seems less annoying. I kinda remember that from before. They used to be some of my favourite books. Not so much now. :-P My fave sci-fi books are the first 3 Dune books. Oh, and I love Ender's Game and the Ender's Shadow books. Not so much the others (Speaker for the Dead, etc.)

I'll also be embarking on The Mermaid Chair.

Whatcha reading right now?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dear Narcissus Boy

Dear 13-year old boy,
What were you thinking when you asked my second daughter out?
And do you understand that she's not interested?
Dear Narcissus Boy I want to ask just where you saw this going
And did you forget how you singled her out as the youngest kid in class
And punched her in the stomach when everybody laughed at you?

Dear me-show boy is this your lame idea of apology?
Or do you seriously have a crush now on my 9-year-old?
I can't believe you're really crushing on my 9-year-old.

And any talk of dating
Or any talk of relationship
Or any talk of working at this
You'd best be running for the door

(Why why, do you try to love her
Try to love her when she really doesn't want you to?)

Dear hopeless boy you've never really had to suffer any consequence
Did you forget that in another year or two
Your lily ass is gonna be in my own sparring class

Dear insane boy you're used to things coming so easily
You'd best get used to taking "no way" for an answer now
You'd best be thinking how to change yourself

Cuz any talk of dating
Or any talk of possession
Or any talk of working this out
And I will kick you through the door.

With apologies and gratitude to Alanis Morissette

Disinterring Day

Perhaps I have overused this word. Twice in one week does seem rather a lot. At any rate, I'm going through my closet today. We haven't moved in a little over 3 years (a new record for us) and things are piling up. Among other things so far, I have found:

A lot of rope (draw your own conclusions)
Dyed silks for my biz (that I thought I was out of)
3 of GuTTer MuNKi's combat boots (no, not 3 pairs, three boots)
Interesting iPod/MP3 player accessory's accessories (yes, accessories for an accessory - which I didn't even know existed)
3 1/2 pairs of my shoes (perhaps the missing one is mating with the combat boot)
Earrings I'd forgotten I had
Perfume I'd forgotten I had (I smell good now)
Various firearm accessories and accoutrements
A broken shelf (fat cat? climbing child?)
1 black cat (live)
1 paper bag full of resin animals purchased for last Christmas
1 receipt for a book I bought for Mollusc and don't remember ever giving her (will have to ask her about that one)
A bunch of clothes I no longer want or need
Erotic poetry magnets on a cookie sheet (thinking about painting inside of our high cabinet door with that magnetic paint now)
2 garments I didn't know I owned
Lingerie pics shoot I did for MuNKi long ago
MORE earrings, to include 1 Tabasco™ bottle, 1 Playboy™ bunny and 1 Bucky Badger (started to step on that one - could have been ugly!)
Piece of pipestone (for fertitility - it worked - anyone need it?)
Note about 2 books to look up from my student job in the Marking Room at the UW-Madison main library. I was always coming across neat books that I wanted to read later. (The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson, and The Sky Lords by John Brosnan - anyone read either of them?)
On the same slip of paper, a bit copied down from W.H. Auden's Shield of Achilles.
Expired credit cards for an account I didn't know we had.
A letter to GuTTer MuNKi from the erstwhile governor of WI. Oh, I guess he's still Gov.
A piece of sandpaper (?!)
Socks that are too small even for The Prawn
Bionicle and Lego pieces (apparently there was a party and I wasn't invited)
An incredible tangle of children's necklaces (which I very, very, very patiently (and twice as uncharicteristically) sorted out)
My other shoe
Not the other combat boot
Lots of unmatched socks
A nickle bag (no, a bag of old Buffalo nickels)
Money from Hong Kong
Birth photos of the 2 older kids
Picture Negatives
2 of GuTTer MuNKi's missing belts

The closet is much bigger now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Fine Balance & Exploding Plants

Actually, it's not the equinox until September 23rd this year.

On the left, see an egg that suffered a fatal "clacking" by The Prawn as she gleefully announced "listen to the noise they make" whilst clapping two eggs together. On the right, of course, a well-balanced egg. I guess I'll be making cookies today.

Sometimes, as I try to be a wife, mother, teacher, writer, domestic goddess, photographer, daughter, sister, friend, musician, artist, seamstress, gardener, appreciator of fine films, and life-long student, I do pull off the right-egg thing. Momentarily. But more often than not, I'm more like the egg on the left. If I'm accomplishing one thing, I feel like I'm failing at most of the others. *shrug* C'est la vie.

Speaking of vie, I had rather the fright of ma vie yesterday.

Here's how the Jewel Weed looks right now. The orange flowers have given way to these charming little pods:

Yesterday was the first time I'd noticed, so I made a closer inspection. Carefully, I reached out to take one of the fat little pods gently between my fingers. (Are those of you in the know laughing at me now?)


The pod EXPLODED in my fingers, spraying seeds everywhere.

Holy S---!!!

I tried another.


I ran and called the children in order to play a devious trick on them. Mollusc went first.


This was immediately followed by the rest of the children diving in and grabbing pods left and right.


And raucous laghter ensued.

I don' t know what the neighbours thought.

Detonated Pod

Of course we had to play the trick on
GuTTer MuNKi, who had a satisfyingly startled reaction, as did our TKD master (yes, we brought a chunk of plant to the gym.)

Who knew that
Jewel Weed could have so many uses?

UXH : Unexploded Hosta


It was Enya.

No Holly for Miss Quinn.

Wow, no wonder no one got it. I was playing it like 3 times too fast.

BTW, great job on the films, guys. (she said wryly)

As you can see, I finally got off my butt and disinterred my sidebar. Blogger can't handle more than 5 inches. It sucks to be Blogger.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Real Post

OK, something new. Links of the day:

Ron Ruble's site (author of the aforementioned "Dear Alfie.") He's a very cool guy, and a modern-day Renaissance man.

Stuff Mollusc found that is really cool:

Japanese SeizureBots (Do not click this link if you are prone to seizures. I'm not kidding.)

coolest webpage manipulation tool you'll ever see. Vacuum a blog page of all text. Make the baby scribble wherever you want. Nuke a few holes in a page you hate (as long as it's not mine.) Drop Acid Pee everywhere. Have fun!!!111eleventyone!!one!!

Two things to boggle your eyes and mind

And who can resist a cute little fetus? Not me. Mine's Scottish in honour of
Speegle. Be sure to ask Speegle how he feels about haggis! :-)

I adopted a cute lil' Scotty fetus
Fetusmart! Hooray fetus!

And I had to get the Pirate, too, so Scotty wouldn't be lonely. Arrr!

OK, now you've got plenty of links to keep you busy/give you seizures/keep you busy having seizures. Thank me whenever. Or thank Mollusc.

Not My Real Post

Honestly, I think I do have a real post kicking around in my brain somewhere, but it got preempted, because a huge portion of the people who come to my blog come either because they want the lyrics to a certain bizarre German song, or because they want to see this picture:

And the sad thing is that I didn't even POST that picture before - just made a clicky link to it.

So, there it is, for all you Googlers who find Mr. Irons as disturbingly hot as I do. Give me some love in the comments section, eh?

I figured I might as well serve up a mancake buffet, as long as I was going to the trouble of posting the Man of the Month (as Mr. Irons seems to be this month - or maybe it's just that the more clicks I get, the higher Google places me up the chain *shrug*. ) So I'm plugging my 2 favourite films.

Name that film:

You noticed.

In nomine Patre, et Fili, et Spiritu Sancti

No offense, Murph. Connor just has more pics available online, I guess.

I promise that the next post will be more - well, I can't promise it will be more fulfilling actually. I never know what I'm going to do next.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Wonder

Sometimes we just lie there, so trusting and naiive.

Never for a moment guessing who's out there.



Guess That Song

If you can guess it, I'll send you a yellow paperclip. (Yellow paperclips are IN)

this is an audio post - click to play
I'll admit that I'm having way too much fun with AudioBlogger.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bo Dans

"The white belt means to be new and unknowledgeable."

Hook kicks - Mollusc's (L) is just starting to hook around nice and high

Today Mollusc (11) and Sluggie (9) tested for Bo Dan or Temporary Black Belt. They ROCKED!

And here's Sluggie's (R), nice and high, too. :-)

I'm so proud of my girls! They kicked hard and high throughout the whole test. As red belts, they were up kicking quite a bit longer than the rest of the group, and without any breaks. They worked HARD. When it came time for the questions, they nailed every single one. They were the only kids to do so (brags Mama.)

At the end of the kicking, blocking sets, forms and questions, they had to break a board to complete the test and receive their belts. This time they had to use a spinning back kick and were given roughly 1/2" thick boards.

Mollusc, just before she hit with a nice, big "kihop" (yell). She broke the board cleanly on her first try.

Sluggie was pretty geeked up and took a couple of tries because her aim was off, but then she snapped hers cleanly, too. You can see the two pieces in each of GuTTer MuNKi's hands.

Sluggie, our Master (being a bit silly, LOL!), and Mollusc. The half-black, half-red belts on top are their new belts.

When we got home, a Monarch had come to congratulate them.

And all of Nature was shouting its praises in showers of flowers:

pink things

white things




Mum's the word

snow fairy

no, seriously, it's really called "snow fairy"

Congratulations my girlies! I'm so proud of you! :-)

Can't Sleep

Mollusc and Sluggie test for Bo Dan (temporary black belt, or black belt candidate) today. Why is it that *I* am the sleepless one? :-P

Sitemeter is fascinating. It's truly amazing what you can tell about the lurkers who come to your blog just by how they got there. You can even make some very educated guesses as to who they are. I feel like a private detective.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tim Curry: Theatrical Genius

Dear Mr. Curry,

Thank you for your humour, your
decadent good looks (you make me feel like I'm smitten with the Devil himself) and your charming accent. Thank you for your amazing and incredible voice-talent, and the stunning renditions you give of the Lemony Snicket books. I wish you could have heard the cheering at our house when we were finally done with those pesky "read by the author" volumes, and were back to yours. (No offense, Mr. Handler. Your writing rocks. It's just that Mr. Curry, well, he was BORN to the theatre and it shows.)

I don't care a whit that every time you try to say the word "sixth" it comes out "sikth." In fact, I find it rather endearing.

And while I'll admit that I've never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in its entirety, neither have I seen the Wizard of Oz, nor Gone With the Wind in theirs, nor even the smallest segment of Titanic, so please don't be offended. Every role in which I *have* seen you, has been a masterpiece, whether I loved you, or hated you, or loved to hate you, or hated to love you, as dictated by the script.

When I read or listen to the Artemis Fowl books, I pretty much picture Foaly as you. When I listen to "
St. Augustine in Hell" it's your voice that makes the whole song come off so brilliantly, even though that isn't really you.

If you were a slice of cake, you would be
Devil's Food. If you were a wine, you would be a Casillero del Diablo. As it is, your roles are as enjoyable as a rich slice of dark chocolate cake, and your voice is as intoxicating as a heady wine. As it is, you are an actor with perhaps the greatest inversely proportional ratio of talent to deserved recognition.

Thank you.

A Fan


Sometimes when I look at my kids, I see a glimpse of the future - how they will look in 6 or 8 or 10 years. And I get goosebumps because they are so beautiful.

Tonight when I tucked my "baby" (4.5) into bed, and she wrapped her little arms around my neck like she always does and pulled my nose down to her baby-soft cheek, I thought She's not always going to be this small. And I felt something profound stirring within me. Not sadness. Because that 4.5-year-old will still be a part of her when she's 6 and 8 and even when she's older than I am now. But I was reminded yet again how important it is to love every minute of this. To be grateful for every moment -- the quiet and the loud (and the cacophonous,) the pleasant and the irritating and the joyful, the painful and the euphoric and the plain old coasting along in contentment.

You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back. ~William D. Tammeus

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

HNT and Hodgepodge

unplanned Yin Yang in vinegar and oil

". . . dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum. . ." The same note being struck repeatedly on the piano finally intruded on my awareness.




"It was a test. Nineteen times before you had had enough. I bet it would take a lot less for Daddy."


She knows us all too well.

Our Wednesday was decadent. We started off with a "Tea Party" brunch. Well, actually, we started off by sleeping in. (Ahhhhhhhh!) Then the Tea Party brunch. Fresh raspberry sauce over vanilla pudding cake, coffee (Boston Tea Party?) and assorted goodies (to include stale hazelnut things that now had the consistency of cardboard, which we promptly chucked.) Utter decadence. (other than the whole cardboard thing of course) Look closely, and you might spot the postcards that Peter and Fal sent us from Athens and Egypt, respectively, on the whiteboard.

The Rule of Four: not just an annoying yet useful mathematical manipulation, but a fact of photography of well. If you have four kids, it's only going to be very rarely that you catch them all looking their best simultaneously on camera. You might get 3 looking pretty decent but only half of the fourth, or 2 good and 2 bad, or 3 great and one looking, quite frankly, demon-possessed, but going 4 for 4 is a rarity, as proven in today's pics.

We had planned to head off to Brighton (everything here has English, heinously massacred French, or Native American names) for Lego Star Wars II (wheeee!) and the new Artemis Fowl book (double wheeeeee!) but GuTTer MuNKi wanted to come with us, so we totally debauched instead while waiting for his arrival at the homestead. Yesssssss! This was made even more rewarding by the fact that he had our teacher discount card for Borders, which we used for Artie.

I did a little damage control to help the house recover from Crazy Tuesday, sewed on patches for my side biz at TKD ($5 per patch, so I'll make $15 - not bad for a few minutes' work - about $60 per hour, adjusted) and wrote my review of Peter and Beth for TCM.

Brighton was pretty much underwater due to
heavy rain. (Ctrl-F 'clouds') On the way home, GuTTer MuNKi had been detained by being stuck behind this wreck:

He missed being IN it by about 15-20 seconds. I am thankful. Surprisingly, it seems there were no serious injuries.

Nope, it's not another "
side biz," it's Enya's thyroid medication. Yes, it's against nature. No, I don't give a crap that this is so. Although cutting the tiny little pills in half is kind of annoying and reminded me of Layer Cake for some reason.

HNT time. I can't believe I'm prepared. Keep your eyes peeled for falling skies and aeronautic pigs!

I kinda figure if I post extras it makes up for the ones I missed. Plus, I couldn't choose. Rule of 1: if it's me who's attempting to pose, even one is tough to get just the way I want it, so a collection might be neccessary.

Oh yeah, what do you think of braids like this? (bearing in mind that I am not 4 years old, but closer to 4 decades old. Oy! That's an intimidating thought.) Acceptable for outta the house or no? Be honest or I will cite you for my fashion faux pas when ticketed.

And an outtake of sorts:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Brain Dead

Today was what will henceforth be known as Crazy Tuesday. I think I have a lot of crazy Tuesdays in my future. It was a pretty unaccomplishing sort of day. Here's the basic breakdown.

8ish get up (yeah, I'm lazy that way)
Feed the crew, clean up
Start the crew on math
Bustle the crew off to TKD (Prawn takes (and I teach) Little Tigers class, then the older 3 have homeschool class)
Come home, make lunch, clean up
Try to get SOMETHING accomplished, help kids with piano, Spelling for Sluggie, launch kids on Rosetta
Get on the computer and be a vegetable for a bit before
Off to teach After school class
Home for about 40 mins before
Off to teach/ref kids' sparring class
Home for about 30 mins before
Off to do my own class and sparring (2 hours)
Home to eat dinner
Turn into a complete and useless vegetable

But Wednesdays are OFF. Wednesday could not come on a better day.

Today I was totally geeked because our new TOPS science goodies came. I ordered Pendulums and Math Lab. Obviously, I pay no attention to the grade levels. I think Fishy is going to have a BLAST with Math Lab. Woo hoo! I love new hsing goodies!

GuTTer MuNKi is geeked because all the Randy Wayne White (with a name like that, I dunno why he's not a country singer) books I ordered at the library came in. Sluggie is geeked because her "Visual Pirates of the Caribbean" book came in, and I was geeked because my books about the Tower of London and The Scottish Play came in. I don't remember what Mollusc got, but she was geeked, too. A very geeky day, all in all.

Can you believe THIS? Ooh. That reminds me. Sunday (a very sleep-deprived and foggy day) I tried a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Ooccccchhhhhhchchchchch! Yum.

The kids and I are listening to The Ersatz Elevator now, which means we're FINALLY back to the Tim Curry recordings. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. So. Much. Better. We're laughing our bums off over Sunny trying to talk from the depths of the pinstriped suit. And you have to love those references to the 2 Quagmire Triplets. :-) And of course all kinds of things are coming IN and going OUT like mad at our house.

Speaking of which. . .

Uh, later! :-)

Monday, September 11, 2006


Any guesses?

Want a closer look? No? Okay then, here ya go:

Guesses? Yes? No?

Nope, it's not something out of
Fear Factor. It's the lovely bag of 100+ cicada molts that my kids brought home from our friends' house today. ("Oh pleeeeeeeeeeease can we bring them home?" Sheesh! Anyone want 'em?)

They remind me of something another friend gave me the other day from the Korean grocery store:

In case you're thinking about trying these but are worried about the nutritional content:

Traditional food. It's too nice. Eh, Winters?


You're going to have to excuse my very disjointed format tonight. I'm watching the director's cut of Boondock Saints and listening to Troy Duffy's commentary. So in the interest of my getting to pay full attention to the masterpiece, here are my last random ramblings for the night.

This next is a pic of Prawn's scrapbooking masterpiece. She's a bold artiste who likes to fly in the face of traditional graphic design principals. Her spelling isn't spot on, but certainly not bad for age 4. Actually, she did another page that was well laid-out, too. I should take a pic of that one as well.

We picked rasperries this afternoon. The guy who owns the place was very nice and only charged us for 4 quarts instead of the 5 we'd picked because "I like to see 'em a little fuller than that." I told him the kids had eaten a bunch, too, but he only said "they better have!" and stuck to 4 quarts.

A small portion of the fruits of our labour:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What's Up

Lately (aside from regular stuff like TKD and mountains of laundry and all that) I have been:

Enjoying the new
Casino Royale trailer (Insert Homer Simpsonesque noise of ecstasy here.)


was I saying something?


(deep breathing)

oh yes. . .

Finishing my review book (Good story. Yay!)

Scrappin' (with pictures and stuff, not people)

Visiting with friends

Watching films

Hosting a sleepover

Reeling from the shock that it's actually Fall

Using "Voodoo and Hoodoo and all kinda weird shit" (name that film) to cure my poor GuTTer MuNKi from a strange vertigo thing (Rhus Tox if you need a cure for "vertigo upon rising")

Helping my 7 and 9 year olds bid on a laptop (They pooled their $ - mostly 9 year old's money from her "Mommy's Helper" job at a TKD family's house. They didn't win it, but we'll try another.)

Practicing this passage over and over:

this is an audio post - click to play

*sigh* (obviously not there yet -- my tendons hurt)

I got Howl's Moving Castle for the kids to watch with their sleepover friend on Friday night. It was great! I'd heard that some people thought it was not up to Miyazaki's usual standards, but I disagree. It was very enjoyable with plenty of humour and suspense and bizarro Miyazaki goodness for all. We had actually started the book about a year ago, but, like many things at our house, it got misplaced and we never finished it. :-/ I need to find it now.

I FINALLY saw The Importance of Being Earnest. Would you believe that for all these years, I've had it confused with The Unbearable Lightness of Being? "Why?" you ask. Reader, there is only one plausible answer, and I fear that it hinges upon my blondeness. I found The Incredible Lightness of Being soporific at best (if, indeed, that is actually the film I was thinking of, which, to tell the truth, I'm no longer certain it is. . .) which can hardly be said for the Firthalicious The Importance of Being Earnest. I found Earnest very Wooster and Jeevesish and quite amusing overall.

I got a few other films at the library as well, and will, of course offer my brilliant thoughts on them as I watch them. But GuTTer MuNKi got the director's cut of Boondock Saints, too, so don't hold your breaths.

Overheard today:

DIE, Undead Scum!!!!! (this was uttered by my extremely sweet-tempered 7 yo boy while he was playing "Battle for Wesnoth" on the Linux machine. And really, to get the full effect you must imagine it more as DIE, Undead Thcum!!! LOL!)

And now you must DIE!!!!! (again, sweet boy, this time with Playmobil figures -- I detect a theme)

Oh, you shaved me bald! (4 yo daughter playing with Playmobil)

Oh, yes, and I made albino chocolate chip cookies. For some reason the cookie part is really pale this time, but they taste normal. Perhaps they are undead.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bonus HNT

Several years and millions of lives later, she finally posted another HNT.

She decided to make up for lost time by posting another angle so that discerning viewers could try it at home if they so chose:

However, she also learned that waiting too long after a 2 hour workout before trying this sort of thing was a sure road to muscle cramps. She was forced to adopt a less than dignified position as she attempted to stretch out her abs. Not being one given to hubris, she thought she might get a laugh if she posted a pic of this as well.

Oops. A bit nipply out, isn't it? Thank you
GuTTer MuNKi, Blogographer extraordinaire.

I never got to the rest of the extra stuff, did I? It was such a blast. We got to react to a guy (nonexistant for us) "throwing up" onstage. I was asked to do my bit again for a closer shot (yay! though it may well become one with the cutting room floor, I'm not holding my breath) but since I wasn't wearing my glasses, it took me a bit to figure out that I was the one being asked, LOL!

I was so impressed with how a "crowd" was fabricated out of, I dunno, 9-12 people. (I was there for 2 different nights of shooting.) We moved around to sit near different walls, changed things up a bit (hence my lack of glasses for a while there) and circulated behind main characters in order to give the illusion of a much larger number of people than was actually present. Again, I can't wait to see how this all comes out.

I met fascinating people, including a very dapper 71-year-old gentleman (I thought he was in his 50s) who had recently self-published a book called Dear Alfie. He had a "cast party" for the book release, and most of the people in the book (including Alfie, whom he hadn't seen in 60 years) were still alive and made it to the party. How cool is that? Chitchat was a bit surreal as we stood around pretending to register for various conferences, as it was a blend of real life and "movie" stuff. Someone might be telling how they "networked" or "advertised" or how they got to the "conference" and in the same breath launch into what they did IRL. I got so confused at one point that I actually forgot where I lived when someone asked me. (Though that could have a lot to do with having moved so much and being back in WI, feeling very much at home, while simultaneously realising I didn't live there. Or maybe it was just my blondeness coming out.) I also met a fight coordinater and wish I could have talked to him more. What an interesting job!

One lady - well, I'm not sure why she was in the film, because she was kinda unimpressed by the humour. She called it "Christopher Guest meets Adam Sandler" but apparently didn't mean the Adam Sandler part in an approving way. (She said she had told this to the Franks (the filmmakers) as well, so I'm comfortable mentioning that here.) Now, I happen to love Adam Sandler and promptly said so. (TG, I can see you rolling your eyes.) Her reply was "You and a bunch of teenage boys!" "Yeah, that's right!" I agreed enthusiastically, glad she was willing to recognise that he has quite a following, and only later fully allowing myself to realise that this was meant as a slam. MeOW! LOL! Does it surprise you that she's a schoolteacher? OOh. MeOW. I got my own catty bit in there, didn't I? ;-)

I really had such a great time, and if I end up cut out altogether, I'll certainly understand. One has to make the best film one can, you know. But of course I had a few of those classic "extra" moments where you go, "Hey! I'm interacting with a main character! Cool! That might stay!" All in all, I have to say that if you get a chance to be an extra, go for it. And then tell me all about it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Not Your Regularly Scheduled Post

In a complete flight of non-sequitur fancy, I decided to share this story.

There's an Air Museum in Dayton, Ohio. You may have heard of it. It's called the National Museum of the USAF (though I think it used to go by "The United States Air Force Museum.") It is there that the B-29 "Bockscar" resides. The first time I saw Bockscar, I touched it. I mean, how could I not? It was right there in front of me. How do you stand in front of a piece of History and not try to make contact? So I reached out and touched it. A tingling, buzzing sensation flowed up my arm to my elbow before I removed my hand. The feeling remained for a while - I don't know how long. I don't remember if I told anyone right away or not. But I didn't forget. The next time we went to the museum, years later, I saw Bockscar again. This time there were signs around the plane instructing museum-goers not to touch the plane. But we were just about the only people in the hangar (we were there for an Air Natl. Guard softball trip and the musem had been kept open after-hours just for us.) How could I not touch it again? So, full of skepticism, I did. It still tingled -- an undeniable buzzing, crawling sensation spreading up my arm. GuTTer MuNKi tried it. He felt it, too.

What's the explanation? Residual radiation? Incredibly bad karma? "A great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…"?

Tell me your story.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Rest in Peace

Steve Irwin
February 22, 1962 – September 4, 2006

What I Have Been Doing Instead of Blogging

Really, it looks simple, doesn't it? And it sounds simple, too. But for some reason I had such a hard time getting this stupid passage right - figuring out a fingering that made sense (see my scribblings) getting my hands to the right places at the right time, playing a **C** not a stinking **A** (dammit!) Stuff like that. I've finally conquered it, so as my victory spiking of the ball (as it were,) you get a third generation recording of it. (recorded on piano, recorded onto laptop, recorded into phone for audioblogger) Come to think of it, I could have just played the piano recording into the phone for audioblogger. But I'm too cheap to call back.
I still need to polish it up, but at least I can hit all the notes now. :-P

So, for your aural pleasure, I give you the final passage of "Devonshire" by Patrick Doyle, from Sense and Sensibility:

this is an audio post - click to play

Oh, yes, and some of my kids playing in the background.

Friday, September 01, 2006

For Your Viewing Pleasure

. . . while you await the next brilliant post.

Greatest. Music. Video. Ever.

I must give full credit for my discovery of this to
David. What a great band!

Now all I need are 8 treadmills and 2 more willing accomplices.