Saturday, December 31, 2005

Photo Essay and NC-17 Toward the End

Don't worry. I'll warn you when to look away. ;o)

I have some catching up to do now that we're home and I can post pics. First off, a restaurant name that has been giving me fits for a couple of years cuz I can never read the sign before I'm past. I finally managed to immortalise it in digital format when we drove to WI on Christmas Day:

Dunno how to pronouce it. Like it's spelled, I guess. ;o)Still haven't Googled it like I planned to. Has anyone ever been there? It's near Janesville, WI. (OK, now I've Googled it for the lazy people ;o) )

Technically this should have come first but it's not as interesting. This is a building we always pass when we go through Chicago. It used to be a burnt-out shell, then we noticed that someone was gradually fixing it up. Wish I had a "before" picture.

Look, Linus!!! It's the GREAT PUMPKIN!!!!! Or else a HUMONGOUS Pez dispenser. . .

Ever need a place to stash all that dirty underwear? Here it is!

Please tell me you get it.

Oh yeah - Trillian celebrated our return by playing "tree-topper" while I blogged and listened to Bob Manor and the Getaway Drivers. (My sis is their new backup singer and I stole my sis's CD **grin** Really Great Stuff!! Don't worry. Navan is still alive and well!)

I had so much fun this week - laughed so hard!! (I'm a laugh junkie, so this was Nirvana!) My sis finally got up the courage to tell me what was so particularly disgusting about
Throwing-Up-Buffet-Lady. (a few paragraphs down, after the disclaimer) So what was so special (look away, oh weak-stomached ones) was that the lady was CHEWING what came up as she vomited. That is the all-time gross-factor winner in my book. I don't think a puking story can get any worse.

OK, now the NC-17 part. Avert your eyes, kiddies! (Mollusc, this means you, too!)

********(I'm not kidding. Go away, children)**********

My friend (I swear it's not me. I wouldn't have the guts to post it if it was me, LOL!) had a toy - you know - a *toy* - and it BROKE the second time she used it. The bendy wire buried in the core of the material (so it could be bent/shaped) BROKE and now it's experiencing Erectile Dysfunction. I wanted to cheer her up, but seriously, what can you say about something like that? So instead I laughed until: I couldn't speak, my eyes were watering, and my stomach hurt. Well at least *I* feel better. ;o) No one was hurt during this incident. Well - besides the toy that is. No, I don't have a picture of Floppy.

Love is Tragic

Why must love always be so painful, so tragic? Why does it happen that the timing is off by *just* enough to cause pain and misery? Girl, hang in there. The timing is such that it could be OK.

On a totally unrelated note, John just found a ladybug who was obviously intent on taking over the world. He had, in fact, just reached the actual TOP of the world, (or at least the lid of John's contact juice) but John had to move him, so he's going to have to start all over again. Sometimes you have to conquer the world twice because of conflicts with other people's plans. So it goes.

Movie of the day:

Must Love Dogs

John Cusack is just so stinkin' cute and funny that it's hard to miss with one of his films. In addition, the lovely Diane Lane did a wonderful job as a fragile divorcee, whose sister has placed a personals ad online for her. Oh and the dialogue was fast-paced and witty throughout. :o)

This was a great romantic comedy, helped by the fact that the inevitable painful moments (YK that formula stuff) were not nearly as painful as they often are in Romcoms. I hate the whole formula of sticking in that/those painful moment/s, but if the film isn't going to break from convention, at least this one didn't have me cringing at those places. My biggest complaint is that we get ripped off in the Gag Reel - ONLY TWO???!?!?! Come ON! You guys were that perfect?!?! I think not.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Annual HAGGIS HUNT is ON!!

How could I forget about this?? Last year I didn't see any. Then again, I may have found the site after it was done for the year. Today I've already spotted 3, including a Golden Haggis on the New York Cam.

Happy hunting, and LMK if you see any haggii!

(minutes later) Whoa - I'm up to 5. It's a haggis-rich environment! Look for "daylight" pics now while it's dark in Scotland and England. :)

Ode to My POTO DVD

I got inspired by a limerick fest at (yeah - got sucked in there after posting my parody) but I'm dedicating this one to Mossflower cuz she's a POTO Uberfan. :)

Ode to My POTO DVD

Shall I compare thee to a Broadway play?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
On stage, rewind or midnight shows are "Nay,"
And Broadway's lease hath all too short a date.
All times too much the tix of Broadway cost,
And often is it inconvenient;
And on the stage sometimes the charm is lost,
By actors, lines or props that somehow went.
But thy eternal greatness shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that "Ger" thou ow'st;
Nor telly brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as players play and eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

We made it to Lao Laan Xang today and ate well! :) Yum!! Also got to see my mom some more and watch her DVD of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" with the kidlets. She had made the stuffed cookies I never got around to doing. Hooray! Finally got Danger Mouse for the kids and was glad to see that it was as good as I remembered it being. :)

We watched "Lucky 13" and I mostly did Sudoku cuz it was one of those you can watch with just half your brain. Don't bother with it.

Your horrorscope:

Rethink nuking that garbage Aol CD you got in the mail. Well, at least think about nuking it in someone else's microwave - like one of the ones at work.

You will be totally blindsided near the end of the month when a project involving craft glue, flour and sequins lands you in jail.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spiritus Sancti

My SIL introduced us to The Boondock Saints which we quite enjoyed. This isn't the type of film I usually go for, but I did like this one. We watched it again tonght with She-Ra, so she could see it. She enjoyed it, as I knew she would. Sometimes I know which ones she'll like, sometimes I'm clueless. We watched the deleted scenes and I think all but the call from mum deserved to go or shrink down as they did, but I would've liked to see the call from mum in there in a shorter version, so you can see where they get their knack for messin' with people. I was glad to see the more graphic violence cut out.

Ironically, we have yet to find a good music store in Motown, so we hit the one here today and got some great piano stuff, including POTO non-easy version. YAY!!

Mollusc found some stuff that made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. (package warnings, etc.) Ahhh!

We made it to Frugal and traded in our books for some we'd been looking for. Also found Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. :o)

Your Horoscope:

Aliens may have kidnapped you, but that's no excuse for that outfit. You will be surprised to learn that people who live in glass houses do, indeed, sink ships. Beware the tubby orange cat.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


This is just so impressive it gets its own entry.

My sister gave her notice today.

On a sticky note.

She is MY HERO!!!!!!! :o)

I mean, really, how bloody COOL! She stuck a sticky note on her supervisor's desk that said:

"Sheila's 2 weeks notice.

Leaving to be a Rock Star."

ROTFLMBO!!!! That is so bloody awesome!!! It will be a selling point for her autobiography in 7 years, trust me. :)

Girl, you ROCK!!! In so many ways. . . :o)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In Which I Shackle Sis to Couch. . .

Actually, sis and mom, both, and I force them to watch The Phantom of the Opera! Yay!!!! And they loved it!!! :) And that in SPITE of The Prawn having a crisis at exactly every dramatic moment. *sigh* SIL is next! (also a POTO virgin) And sis wants to see it again. Now I can show her my parody, and she'll "get it." :o) My dad would've loved this film. Wish I could discuss it with him.

Yesterday (well, Christmas Day) we took advantage of the zero traffic and drove here to WI visit family. Good decision! We made GREAT time.

We have to get to Lao Laan Xang - our favourite Laotian restaurant while we're here. They have the best egg rolls in the universe. I guarantee it.

We may hit the Elvehjem, which is apparently now the "
Chazen." Whatever. Also should pop into Vilas Hall where She-Ra works to say hey and show the kiddos where I took my journalism classes. Also must get to Frugal Muse. MI doesn't have good used bookstores. Madison has 4 fantastic ones!! Like we need more books. Actually, I brought 2 boxfulls to sell to help finance - well - prolly to help finance what we end up finding. *rolleyes*

What else? Oh yeah - the fabulous pizza joint on State Street. Even John raves about it and his band of "OK" is very broad, so only things he considers exquisite get raves. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve! Check out Dh's handiwork!!

The evening started with a fabulous dinner. John's signature meal. :o) (keep reading - wait til you see what else he made!)

Pork chops and peppers in balsamic vinegar with garlic and rosemary, new potatoes with garlic and thyme, and steamed green beans. YUM!

On to the presents.

Mollusc will be learning to "paint like a pus!" (strange font on the box. It really says "pro" but it will forever be pus to us.)

Sluggie got sewing stuff, but the best pic of her was with Trillian:

Yes, Trilly forgot to put away her tongue, LOL!

"Beowulf" got a sword and shield:

And so did "Grendel."

A fight ensued!

I knew dh was making me a Christmas present in his basement lair. What I couldn't figure out, though was WHAT he could be making with wood, fabric, artificial flowers, a LATHE and saw, and paper mache, LOL! I LOVE IT!!! *huge grin*

It's Box 5, LOL!!

Here's a perspective shot with my other present. Yep - he Thomas Crowned it for me (presented it with a pic of "himself" taking it from the museum wall --from the film, LOL!) He assures me the borders will match. ;o)

It's been a great evening. Now we're watching Encino Man with the kids (Mollusc wanted to see it when NOT puking.)


And hello Iceland and Hong Kong and all my other international viewrs!! :o)

Friday, December 23, 2005

In Which I Flash Everyone at Target

We had a little last-minute shopping to do today. When I ran into Target - wearing the infamous Mystery Shirt - to grab something, I had been poking around for about 15 mins in various sections when I heard the lady behind me say into her cell, "just a minute" and then there was a tap on my back. I turned around and she mouthed at me, "your blouse is open!" I smiled my thanks and looked down, thinking it was just the regular top 2 open (they're kinda far apart, but just one open is pretty high) and lo and behold, I had 3 open! Well, like I said, they're kinda far apart, so I was putting on QUITE a show. Good thing I had on a lovely, coordinating bra. Well, Merry Christmas, Gentlemen! I hope that made your frenzied last-minute shopping a little more worthwhile, LOL! It was kind of a time-release realisation, so I never actually got embarrassed. To tell the truth, I blushed far more when a lady at the DIA was raving about my shirt than when discovered that I was flashing the whole of Target. :oP

I've been getting incredible blog hits: Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Valencia, Spain; Austria, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, Estonia, UK, and the list goes on. Hello to all of you, and welcome! Drop me a line if you like. It would make my day! :o)

We're going to watch The Lord of the Beans, so I think I'm off for now. Ta ta!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Grrrgh! Fire Good!

OK this whole having fire thing is very, very good! The cats agree.

Today was the last day of TKD before the dojang closes for Christmas and we got quite a workout. Then it was on to sparring. Wow! I definitely need to avoid sugar before TKD because by the time we get to sparring, I'm crashing and shaky. I'm better off with nothing and then just Gatorade right before/during class than if I have anything with sugar before class. This time it was a graham cracker and a very few sesame/honey cashews and even that did it to me.

Sparring was great as usual. There is a guy who has lately gotten REALLY good and I get a little nervous about sparring him - not afraid I'll get hurt, just that he'll kick my ah, bum, so all the more reason to spar him, YK? I feel pretty good about how I'm doing. I'm not doing the deer in the headlights thing, and I'm getting a lot better about moving out and back in instead of just wading in and taking a bunch of shots so I can dish out. I still have far to go, of course, but I like coming away feeling like I didn't suck, or that I even did a decent job. :)

On the downside, OW! I've got some killer inner thigh cramps off and on tonight. Dunno why. Maybe cuz I got further into some of my stretches than I usually can. I hope it doesn't get really ugly tonight.

Looked up from class today to see GoFish mopping the glass doors. *sigh* Why do they love cleaning when they aren't so good at doing the right thing or doing it properly? And why does that change as soon as they become more capable?

I got kicked SO HARD in the bum tonight. Yeeeeeowch! So it goes, LOL!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Got Wood?

Yes!! Things are starting to heat up around here!

Last night I was too lazy to post more sparring pics, but Mollusc did such a nice job on her combos that I need to post some now.

Havin' fun!

"Got 'im!"

She did great combos last night. Round kick. . .

. . .drop. . .

. . .spinning back kick!

Tonight I'm taking the kids to a Christmas party at a friend's church. I wanted to bring cookies, but then remembered we are sans eggs. Thank goodness for Rice Krispies and marshmallows! We're bringing kripsie bars instead. Gogo hates getting dressed up, but I'm going to make him wear his button up shirt (actually a tiny bit small but it will work) and the Veggie Tales tie we got on massive markdown when the Christian bookstore was going out of biz last summer. I'll try to post a pic. I'm thinking I won't spike his hair into a mowhawk. ;o) (I've been doing that after swimming just cuz it's funny - should post a pic of that, too. And then a friend saw and said that Ricky Martin and some other guy are wearing their hair like that, LOL! Gogo is on the cutting edge of fashion.) All my skirts are Boho and prolly not very churchy, so it's black pants and the shiny shirt for me (buttoned up a little more, LOL!)


How cool is this?

Somone on the Beowulf board posted this link. Well actually they posted a link to the home page cuz the company provided some of the costuming for the film. At some point I think I need to order sword belts for the 2 littles (they're getting wooden swords and shields for Christmas)



I do love Wednesdays. (I know, I keep saying that.) Today we're getting wood so we can make FIRE! (insert caveman grunting here) This morning the weather-dude on the radio managed to sneak in the words "25 below" a couple of times before we hit the snooze button. I think he was on drugs. It doesn't get that cold here in MI. Does it? I didn't think so. . . WI, Yes! But MI?? Nah - he's on quaaludes or something. (there's a strange word - wonder what the etymology of that is. . .)

I swung the deal of my budgeting career last-night. Honestly, it was my finest moment as both a negotiator and as the financial planner of the household. We are dumping Satellite TV! YES!! That is going to save some dough. The killer was that the only thing it was used for was for football and racing. We never, never, never watched any of the kajillion channels and it was driving me nuts to pay for them. Yep - it was a beautiful moment. :o) Of course, it's already turned off cuz we didn't pay our bill (d'oh! - we are OUT of money and I have to come up with a way to pay the gas bill - eek) but we're not getting it turned back on. Woo hoo!

Oh my! Is it Winter Solstice today? Where did the time go? Good grief! Happy Solstice, everyone. I guess I'll give the kids the day off.

OK, I have to figure out what we're going to eat for breakfast. It's been oatmeal for too long, but there's no bread (or any bread-products for that matter), no milk (we don't do a lot of milk in the winter anyway - too much makes the kids break out) no eggs. I think maybe it will be a "lunch for breakfast" day. We have pasta and rice and I can do a curry or some kind of Medeterranian pasta thing (toss the pasta in olive oil, red wine vinegar and herbs.) Yeah, I think lunch is the way to go. Payday is Friday. Yay!

Sheila, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I think it's AWESOME!!! But I still think you should have done it with a sticky note. Hey - it's not too late. That's how you can give your official notice. Oh come ON!! DO IT!!! it will be great fodder for your bio when you're even more famous.

Oh yeah - speakinawhich - I did submit your info to the SW place, so hopefully you'll be contacted for that interview soon. :o) Good thing you have such a devoted sister to help with PR. :o)

CDs of the day (so far): Dragostea Din Tei, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (a musical written by a friend - GREAT stuff!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sacrifice to the Kitchen Gods

The thing about snow is, it's so fun to drive in. Our sub doesn't salt the roads, so right now, the entrance to our driveway and the road in front of it are - to quote Stony - "Greeee- Seee!" Perfect for some Bat-turns. *grin* Hit the gas just as you're turning up our drive and the back end will swing round fast, LOL! Or hit it just as you're pulling out, correct just before it swings and you do a lovely slide across the road. Woo hoo!

Today Prawn sparred again. It's like Teddy Bears sparring out there. :o)


Prawn's opponent gets in a nice kick.

Prawn gets in her own kick.

Clash of the (miniature) Titans!


D'oh! Prawn looks mean cuz she's kind of chewing on her mouthguard but it makes for a funny pic. Gotta work on my focus!

The Prawn cracked me up today singing "The PHAN-tom of the Opera is BARE, inside my mind." *gigglesnort* Maybe inside MY mind. . .

Note to Self:

When making buckeyes, do NOT put the chocolate and cocoa butter on to melt and then start swordfighting with 10 year-old daughter! When I went to get the wax paper to put the buckeyes on, I found only an empty box, which Mollusc promptly claimed. She then began whacking me with the tube, so I grabbed the empty box and we started a duel that took us around the entire kitchen. Sadly, the duel was brought to an abrupt halt by the smell of scorching chocolate. Bummer. There aren't many things sadder than chocolate that has been rendered inedible. *tear* Fortunately, our burnt offering appeased the Kitchen Gods and we were able to use our last bag of chocolate chips and more cocoa butter to successfully coat our buckeyes. Whew! And they sure turned out GOOD!

Phantom Menace of the Opera, Conclusion

First off: The Meaning of KEEP YOUR HAND AT THE LEVEL OF YOUR EYE. Hello, Googlers. I see you keep getting directed to this page, so I'll save you more searching. The point of this is that because The Phantom uses a Punjab Lasso to strangle people, theoretically, if you keep your hand up and he throws it around your neck, you can pull the loop loose and slip it off again. Notice that Raoul does a very bad job of following directions. Notice, too, the fate that befalls him. :-/ If you didn't like Christine's choice, try the whole parody here. :o)OK, on to the fun.

If you want to start at Part I, click this link.

I had so much fun doing this! I am really going to miss it! :o( Here goes:



As CHRISTINE and PHANTOM proceed down the passageway, spiraling ever lower, VADER joins them from an adjoining passageway.

Is Miss Giry with you?



VADER looks back over his shoulder as ALL THREE continue to run on.

Why, you ask, was I bound and chained in this cold and dismal place?
Not for any mortal sin, but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!

Hounded out by everyone!

Met with hatred everywhere!

No kind word from anyone!

No compassion anywhere!





MADAME GIRY is taking RAOUL towards the PHANTOM’S LAIR.

Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!

... at the level of your eyes ...

This is as far as I dare go.

(holding up his paper 3-D glasses to his eyes)
Madame Giry, thank you.

RAOUL continues down and falls through a trapdoor into a tank of water.

RAOUL (Cont.)

RAOUL struggles and thrashes dramatically only to finally stand in water that is only just over his knees. EYEBALL-ON-A-STALK MONSTER snakes a tentacle toward RAOUL, who pulls out his half of DARTH MAUL’S lightsaber. It sputters and then gives him a powerful shock. He yells, then begins whacking at the tentacle with the lightsaber hilt. The tentacle withdraws. RAOUL looks around twitching with paranoia. We hear a deep, distant CLANKING NOISE and then the walls begin to move inward.

This is not my day.
(pulls out comlink)
Threepio, can you hear me? Threepio? Come in, Threepio!


Threepio! Threepio! Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Phantom’s level.

Master Raoul? Oh, Sir! What’s happening?
(whacks a beeping ARTOO on the dome with a CLANK)
Quiet Artoo, I’m trying to speak with Master Raoul.

Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Phantom’s level!


(to ARTOO)
Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Phantom’s level – no all of them!

(whistles and beeps)


(accidentally reactivates lightsaber and gets another couple of powerful shocks) AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHH!! AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHH!!


Oh, no! He’s dying! We were too late!

(from comlink)
It’s all right, Threepio. I’m all right.

Oh, thank The Maker! You did it Artoo! You saved him!

ARTOO(whistle, whistle, raspberry)

What do you mean, “Why?” Honestly R2-D2, I don’t know what’s gotten into you!


(to VADER)
What have you done with RAOUL?

I have not harmed him. . . Yet. . .
(crosses to guard the closed portcullis, folds his arms across his chest and looks on)

(with a knowing grin – thinking of RAOUL’S supposed fate in the garbage masher)
I don’t think the fop will be a nuisance to us any longer.

(angry now)
Have you gorged yourself at last, in your lust for blood?
Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?
(rips off PHANTOMS mask)

(stands facing her openly, hiding nothing)
That fate, which condemns me to wallow in blood has also denied me
the joys of the flesh . . .
this face - the infection
which poisons our love . . .
This face, which earned a mother's fear and loathing . . .
A mask, my first unfeeling scrap of clothing . . .

(CHRISTINE turns away, ashamed)

Pity comes too late - turn around
and face your fate: an eternity of this before your eyes!

This haunted face holds no horror for me now . . .
It's in your soul that the true distortion lies . . .

Wait! I think, my friends, we have a guest.

(There is a great splashing and thrashing as someone comes running through the thigh-deep water, slips and goes under flailing, thrashes and splashes a lot more, partially rises, slips back under, and finally RAOUL stands up outside the portcullis, bedraggled, looking into the PHANTOM’S lair)

CHRISTINE tries to hide a giggle

(breaks out in a full-out good-humoured laugh – not really spiteful as if he’s laughing at RAOUL – more like RAOUL has just told him the most wonderful joke. He tries very hard to recompose himself)Sir, this is indeed an unparalleled delight!
(*snort* shakes head to get a grip)
I had rather hoped that you would come.
And now my wish comes true - you have truly made my night!
(trying very hard not to smile or break out laughing)

(gives PHANTOM a dirty look)
Free her!
Do what you like only free her!
Have you no pity?
(throws out his hands, pleadingly, slips and goes under again - thrash, thrash, thrash – gets up again clearly very frustrated)

(snorts, laughs again, trying desperately to stop)
Your lover makes a passionate plea!

(has been holding it in, but it breaks out in a big snort of laughter and she doubles over, clutching her stomach)
Oh Raoul!
(laughs again)
Raoul, I’m sorry – it’s just – well it’s just the timing, and –
(snorts again)
Oh Raoul, I’m sorry.

I love her!
Does that mean nothing?
I love her!
Show some compassion . . .

The world showed no compassion to me!

Christine . . .
Christine . . . Let me see her. . .

Be my guest, sir. . .
(nods to VADER, who makes a Force Gesture to raise the portcullis)

Monsieur, I bid you welcome!
(VADER helps RAOUL get through the entrance without slipping – RAOUL mutters “Thank you.” The portcullis closes behind him.)
Did you think that
He would harm her?
Why should he make her pay
for the sins which are yours?
(on the word YOURS, VADER uses The Force to lift RAOUL and pin him against the grille of the portcullis, also choking him, but conveniently not enough that he can’t sing his lines)

Order your fine horses now!
Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes!
Nothing can save you now - except perhaps Christine ...
Start a new life with me -
Buy his freedom with your love!
Refuse me, and you send your lover to his death!
(VADER gives an extra squeeze for emphasis and RAOUL makes a choking sound)
This is the choice -
This is the point of no return!

The tears I might have shed for your dark fate grow cold, and turn to tears of hate. . .

Christine, forgive me please forgive me. . .

Now for the extremely confusing, 3 part song in which everyone sings different words. VADER watches in much the same way as a spectator at a tennis match, but with dignity.

RAOUL (Cont.)
I did it all for you, and all for nothing. . .

Farewell my fallen idol and false friend
We had such hopes
Now all those hopes are shattered

Past all hope of cries for help: no point in fighting
For either way you choose, you cannot win

For either way you choose, he has to win!

So, do you end your days with me,
or do you send him to his grave?
(VADER chokes RAOUL a little harder)

Why make her lie to you, to save me?

Angel of Music ...

Past the point of no return –

For pity's sake,
Christine, say no!

. . .Who deserves this?

... the final threshold

...Don't throw your life away for my sake ...

CHRISTINEWhy do you curse mercy?

His life is now the prize which you must earn!

I fought so hard to free you.

Raoul, there’s still good in him. I can feel it.
Angel of Music ...

You've passed the point of no return

... you deceived me -
I gave you my mind blindly ...

You try my patience - make your choice!

(approaching PHANTOM through the water)
Pitiful creature of darkness
What kind of life have you known?
God give me courage to show you
You are not alone. . .
(she kisses PHANTOM, looks at him, says softly)
Your thoughts betray you. I feel the good in you, the conflict.

There is no conflict.

You couldn't bring yourself to kill him before, and I don't believe you'll destroy him now.
(kisses him again)

PHANTOM looks into her eyes with wonder and then smiles softly. VADER, watching, nods slowly. PHANTOM motions behind himself to VADER, who releases RAOUL.

Christine – I love you.

(just before he kisses her again whispers)
I know.

Christine! NO! You belong to ME!
(unthinkingly activates lightsaber again, which shocks him)AAAAAAAAAGHGHGGGGGGHHH!

She BELONGS to no one.

But I give you my heart, willingly.

VADER uses The Force to open the portcullis and Raoul stomps out, but slips and falls, thrashes, then rises again and slogs off. A second later, Meg comes running/splashing lightly through the water.

Quickly! They’re coming! You must hide!

VADER steps forward to MEG and holds out a black-gloved hand.

Join with us. Together we will rule the universe.

MEG turns to him, awed, then smiles coyly, bites her lip and places her hand in his. PHANTOM picks up a candlestick and smashes five mirrors arrayed around the room, revealing five separate passages. He then slides another mirror open, revealing a sixth passage.

That will buy us some time.

PHANTOM takes CHRISTINE’S hand, VADER draws MEG after him, they pass through the opening, and the mirror slides closed behind them. We hear a double duet of “All I Ask of You” fading as the four move away along the passage.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

.Phantom Menace of the Opera, Part the Seventh

10 points to the house/lair of your choice if you can identify the other lines. :o)


Here the sire may serve the dam, here the master takes his meat! Here the sacrificial lamb utters one despairing bleat.

Poor young maiden! For the thrill on your tongue of stolen sweets, you will have to pay the bill- tangled in the winding sheets! Serve the meal and serve the maid! Serve the master so that, when tables, plans and maids are laid Don Han triumphs once again!

I your truly faithful friend will once again recite the part. Your young guest believes I'm you- I, the master, you the art.

(silent – he’s still frozen in carbonite)

When we met, I wore your cloak, she could not have seen my face. She believes she’s all alone in her master's empty place! Furtively, she’ll scoff and quaff, stealing what in truth is yours. When it's late and modesty slips with wine and petit fours –

(dramatic pause)
-“you” come home! I use your voice- slam the door like crack of doom! You shall say, "Come hide with me! Where oh where? Of course my room!"

(does nothing)

(putting his hand to his ear)
She comes!

AMINTA (CHRISTINE) comes onstage with a duster and walks over to HAN SOLO. She dusts him and the blinking lights on the side of the carbonite block catch her eye. She studies them. Finally, tentatively, she pushes a pulsating red button. The Carbonite starts to dissolve. A bright white light shines out from within, and then HAN falls into CHRISTINE’S arms, shaking violently. CHRISTINE screams and stares at him.

(shivering, stammering)
Wha - What’s happening? I c-can’t see.

CHRISTINE continues to hold him, staring at his face. She gently smooths his hair away from his face and gazes at him, entranced.

Who are you?

Someone who loves you.
(lowers her face to his and kisses him)

PHANTOM roars with rage offstage. CHRISTINE stiffens and gasps, clutching HAN even closer.

It’s Jabba! Quick! Hide me!

HAN staggers to his feet, aided by CHRISTINE. She helps him offstage. Then wanders dreamily back onto the stage, alone.

No thoughts within her head but thoughts of joy. No dreams within her heart, but dreams of love."


(In SOLO’S clothes, masked)
Passarino- go away! For the trap is set and waits for his prey.

You have come here
In pursuit of your deepest urge

In pursuit of that wish which till now
Has been silent
I have brought you
That our passions may fuse and merge
In your mind you've already succumbed to me,

dropped all defenses
Completely succumbed to me
Now you are here with me
No second thoughts
You've decided

(watching with OBI-WAN and C3PO from box 5, shakes his head)
This is SO confusing!

I agree, Sir. I am fluent in over 6 million forms of communication, and I believe that musicals are among the most difficult to interpret and understand. At least during the first 3 or 4 viewings.

But the lyrics are so clever – and the rhyming – brilliant!

I’m not sure what’s happening, but I think I’ll call in the Gendarmes.

(Force hand gesture)
You don’t need to call them yet.

(sitting down again)
I don’t need to call them yet.


(approaches CHRISTINE)

I never dance.

Well you’ll have to this once. Frankie’s made another bet.

PHANTOM and CHRISTINE dance the Lambada. RAOUL, watching, grows more and more appalled. Finally he’s had enough.

(pointing at PHANTOM)
Gendarmes!! Vite! ArrĂȘtez-le!

(throws his cape around her and nods at VADER on the catwalk, who uses The Force to cause the Chandelier to plunge from the ceiling. PHANTOM shoves a lever with his foot and down they plunge. . .)


(running with CHRISTINE)
You’re a hard act to follow, Christine. You know why you and I get along so well?


We are two of a kind, you and I.

(stops running and looks puzzled)
We are nothing alike.

I don’t think we’re alike, but I do think we’re a pair. Opposite sides of the same coin.
(looks at her, then continues)
You’re laughing at me.

No, at the fact that I used to find you charming.

(moving closer, leaning in)
I am charming.
(he kisses CHRISTINE)

(when they finally come up for air, sighs)
You’re right.
(kisses him again)

I’m always right. Come!
(he grabs her hand and they start running again)

(to be continued - or concluded. . .)

Ack! I can't stop here! Show me the conclusion!

Need More Votes to Decide Raoul's Fate!!

It's tied at 3-3. There are 3 votes for him to die at the Phantom Board, 1 vote there for him to live, 1 vote here for him to live, and I get to vote, too. I vote helives cuz he's great for comedic effect. :oP Anyone else care to tip the scales? His fate lies in YOUR hands!!

Phantom Menace of the Opera, Part the Sixth



PHANTOM, CHRISTINE and DARTH arrive on horseback. MADAME GIRY is waiting impatiently outside.

You were supposed to have her back an hour ago.

(dismounting and lifting CHRISTINE easily to the ground)
My apologies, Madam. There was a small matter we had to settle first.

(under his breath)
The weak-minded little fop!

He is NOT a fop!

Christine, my dear, even you have to admit that he IS a bit of a slave to fashion.

CHRISTINE makes a wry face and sighs.

And that HAIR!

I don’t understand. It really works on Obi-Wan. And Anakin – oooh la la!

VADER(still on horseback) turns to face CHRISTINE directly and inclines his head in acknowledgement.

(blushing and putting a hand to her mouth)
Oh. . .

(mutters under his breath incoherently, then to VADER)
Come, we have work to do.
(jumps astride the horse again and they canter off)


We have all been blind
And yet the answer is staring us in the face
This could be the chance
To ensnare our clever friends.

We're listening...

Go on.

We shall play their game
Perform the work,
but remember we hold the ace
For if Miss Daae sings
They are certain to attend

We are certain the doors are barred.

We are certain the Jedi are there.

We are certain they're armed.

The curtain falls
Their reign will end!


PHANTOM and VADER are trying out each other’s cloaks for effect, swishing and flourishing them.

This has a marvellous sweep!

(reaching down to lift up hem of cape and pointing out areas along the hem to PHANTOM)
There are small weights in the hemline. They add a certain drama to the flare.

Ahhh, I see, yes! Clever!

The lining on this is quite impressive. Is it real silk?

Only the best!Do you mind telling me about--
(motions at his own mask, indicating that he’d like to know about VADER’S mask)

Ah, yes. It’s a prosthesis, actually. Third and fourth degree burns, so the whole helmet is part of an integrated life-support system which includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Very impressive. Mine? (snorts disgustedly) Nothing as fascinating as all that. Birth defect. A face even a mother couldn’t love, apparently.

(shaking his head)
Tragic. My mother was an angel. She died because I wasn’t strong enough to save her.

And your father?

I never had one. You?

(shakes his head curtly)

So, you and Miss Daae – do you have an understanding?

Indeed. Though she seems to forget it when that young fop comes around.
I gave her my music . . .
made her song take wing . . .
and now, how she’s repaid me:
denied me and betrayed me . . .

I, too, have tasted betrayal. Padme betrayed me with Obi-Wan. I believed him to be my friend. But I know he spent time with her while I was on an assignment for the Jedi. I could sense it when I came back. And then she brought him to Mustafar to kill me. And yet, I love her still.

I shall never properly understand women. What can Christine possibly see in Raoul?

That contemptible worm! I should have finished him off in the graveyard, but I did not want to upset Miss Daae.

Women are so easily affected by such things. With the exception of Madame Giry, that is. Oh!
(looks at pocket watch)
She’s going to be very angry if I am late again.

I shall not stand between you and Miss Daae, but I think I will stay to watch the fun. Perhaps young Raoul will attempt to occupy the same space as my lightsaber blade.
(evil laugh)

Seal my fate tonight
I hate to have to cut the fun short
But the joke's wearing thin
Let the audience in
Let my opera begin!

(to be continued. . .)

Take me to Part VII!

Hey Amy! Lookit!

Maybe you'll like this one better.
I know, I know. "Get a life, already" right?

I came across it when I was looking for some of the lyrics for the story and I'm too lazy to go turn on the email computer. :oP

How Could I Forget?

This was a BIG day for Prawn! (well, Saturday that is - we're still up) She got to spar for the first time! It was SO STINKIN' CUTE!!! She got to spar with her best friend (the Master's daughter) and they were like little teddy bears sparring. They were so polite - each one kicking and then waiting for the other to have a turn - SO not the point of sparring, but so incredibly cute!! Prawn was VERY shy about making any kind of hard contact, but her friend was getting in some really NICE kicks. :) Wish I had video, LOL! Another dad took pics and hopefully will email us some.

We watched Bram Stoker's Dracula tonight. I remembered really liking it before, but it had been such a long time that I'd forgotten how good it is.

Mollusc and Sluggie are sleeping over at a friend's (who slept over here last night.) Ah, the blissful age of sleepovers. Prawn did great tonight. Last time they were gone, she was fine til bedtime, then got sad that they weren't here. This time, I heard her remarking to Fishy that it was too bad they would be gone tonight, but she didn't get all sad. Whew!

OK, I'm not procrastinating the story, really. Off to write. . .

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Freshly 4 and Some Birds

Just realised how much I can zoom in on the bird pics!

A titmouse. Stop laughing. That's what they're called.

If Yoda became a cyborg and joined General Grievous. . .(courtesy of Mollusc)

Freshly Four!

Still training up my Star Wars geeks! She LOVED the talking Darth Vader bank - her main present. (she also got modeling clay, some creamy crayon things, body crayons, a book, and from Seddy, a Cinderella Barbie)

What a look on her face, LOL!


We went to the TKD Christmas Party/Awards Ceremony last night and had such a blast. Good food, good friends, good fun - chiefly DODGEBALL!! Parents (as many as we could get to join in) vs. the kids. What a great time! I was also very pleasantly surprised and honoured to get a Certificate of Merit for good attitude, working hard, etc. That was really cool! And there were a few "perfect ___kick" and "perfect forms" patches handed out (a new thing) Sluggie got the "Perfect Side Kick" patch. Go girl!

I have more PMOTO coming up, honest. Sorry it's taking so long - busy couple of days. I have a chunk started and a couple of ideas jotted down and am hoping to finally get some more writing time tonight, so stay tuned. :) And thanks to my loyal viewers out there. *kiss kiss*

Remember, there's still time to vote on poor Roul's fate. His life hangs in the balance and only you can tip it one way or the other! I think there will be 2 or possibly 3 more installments including what I've got in the works now.

Yum! John's making Indian food for supper! I ADORE Indian food. Off to make the raita! (I do my own variation using what's on hand, but you get the idea.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

My Ultra-Talented Sister in the News! :oD

Check it out!!

If you click the 3rd link down - the one about Navan - you can watch the interview. They sing some Scottish Gaelic songs at teh end. Lurvely!! :oD

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lotsa Snow and Lotsa Shvet

Don't worry - more Phantom Menace of the Opera is coming! Today's is in the post below this one. :o)

It snowed all day, and every time I looked outside it was more beautiful than the time before, so I snapped some pics:

Mr. Cardinal. They always send the women in first and then the men come in if it's safe. *snort*

Cardy, sparrow, goldfinch and junco grateful for a feast in this snow!

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost

Actually, I know exactly whose woods these are because they are in my backyard, and they are just gorgeous. I'm glad I didn't have miles to go.

I just love the oak tree. I'll keep snapping pics through the seasons till it topples.

And now for the svhety part - not for the faint of heart. This is an exercise in braveness, cuz I am NOT at my best in these pics, LOL! These are an example of how bedraggled I get after 2 hours of Tae Kwon Do (1 hour of class and 1 hour of sparring.) And this was an easier class night. I've definitely looked worse if you can believe it. :oP Now I dare you - I DARE you to do something brave yourself. :o)

See that on my shirt? Yep, it's sweat. Mmmm! Don't you just want me to give you a big ol' (((((((HUG)))))) Nyck nyuck nyuck! Do ya like the 'do? True helmet hair! Sparring helmet, that is. And you thought I was a glamour gal. *wink* (OK, NO ONE thought that, but it sounded funny in my head.)

So, what did you do today that was brave?

Phantom Menace of the Opera, Part the Fifth


As OBI-WAN finishes his song, RAOUL shoves him away from CHRISTINE (who is dressed as PRINCESS LEIA IN SLAVE GIRL COSTUME) hard with both hands. OBI-WAN goes for his lightsaber before remembering that he lost it in the lake. Using the Force, he does a high, twisting, flipping jump, landing behind RAOUL. RAOUL spins around just in time to get a vicious side-kick in the chest which sends him flying backwards. CHRISTINE screams musically. With great murmuring, the CROWD draws back to the edges of the room. RAOUL gets slowly to his feet, hand to his chest. CHRISTINE sobs and starts to rush forward, but OBI-WAN has already launched himself toward RAOUL. RAOUL grabs a plastic, telescoping lightsaber from a man near him in a Darth Vader costume. OBI-WAN grabs a Nimbus 2000 from a guy dressed like Harry Potter. They clatter back and forth across the ballroom floor, fencing with their newly acquired weapons. OBI-WAN gets in a few nice kicks, but RAOUL’S no slouch and gets in a few of his own. Enter DARTH MAUL. Actually he was already there in a powdered wig and with a white sequined/feathered mask, but he drops his disguise and activates his double lightsaber. Both OBI-WAN and RAOUL stop and turn to face him, plastic saber and broomstick at the ready.




DARTH MAUL steps forward, twirling his saber. OBI-WAN jumps forward and axe kicks (a kick that strikes down with the heel from above) the saber in the centre, breaking it in two. The two halves go spinning across the floor in opposite directions, leaving a trail of destruction and a few body parts in their wakes. RAOUL springs after one and OBI-WAN after the other. They both charge back toward DARTH MAUL and in an instant they reduce him to an icky mess on the floor. OBI-WAN and RAOUL both switch their sabers off. All is silent.


Why so silent, good messieurs?

RAOUL looks from the mess on the floor that had until so recently been DARTH MAUL, to PHANTOM and narrows his eyes.

Did you think that I had left you for good?
Have you missed me, good messieurs?
I have written you an opera!
Here I bring the finished score
"Don Han Triumphant!”
Fondest greetings to you all!
A few instructions just before rehearsal starts:
Chewbacca must be taught to act,
not his normal trick of strutting round the stage.
Our Don Han must loosen up –

(PHANTOM pokes at HAN FROZEN IN CARBONITE with the tip of his sword.)

it's not healthy in a man of Solo's age.
And my managers must learn
that their place is in an office,
not the arts.
As for Miss Christine Daae. . .
No doubt she'll do her best -
it's true her voice is good.
She knows, though,
should she wish to excel
she has much still to learn,
if pride will let her return to me
Her teacher, her teacher ...

(PHANTOM grabs CHRISTINE’S SLAVE GIRL COSTUME neck chain and uses two hands to snap it in half as if it were only thread)

Your chains are still mine

You belong to ME!

THE CROWD gasps.

RAOUL reactivates his lightsaber and rushes toward PHANTOM, who disappears through the floor in a flash of fire. RAOUL hurls himself down the hole just before it closes and lands in the MAZE OF MIRRORS but the lightsaber is so brightly reflected in all the mirrored surfaces surrounding him, that he is temporarily blinded.

Aaaaagh! (throws up a hand to shield his eyes and deactivates the saber)

OBI-WAN’S lightsaber (which was last in PHANTOM’S possession) drops through the ceiling of the maze in a Punjab lasso, twirling dangerously and filling the room with blinding blue light reflected from all the mirrors. We hear PHANTOM’S MANIACAL LAUGHTER.

Aaaaaaagh! (throws up a hand to shield his eyes.)

(enters with paper 3-D glasses held to her eyes and presses a second pair into RAOUL’S hand)
Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!
RAOUL raises the glasses to his eyes and creeps out after MADAME GIRY.


I’ll be down in a moment.(exits)

We hear DARTH VADER’S breathing and the hum of a lightsaber and the cabby falls in 2 pieces in the snow. With a swirl of his cape, DARTH VADER takes the place of the CABMAN. PHANTOM comes on the scene a moment later and does a double take at VADER in the CABMAN’S seat, throws up his hands and shakes his head slightly in disbelief. PHANTOM puts his hand to his sword, then, inspired, hides instead in the back of the carriage.

CHRISTINE arrives and climbs into the carriage, inches from PHANTOM, who is hidden on the floor beneath a large rug.


(emerging from around opposite sides of the mausoleum)Wandering child

(VADER and PHANTOM look at each other, but then back at CHRISTINE and continue without missing a beat)
so lost
so helpless
yearning for my guidance

(bewildered and looking up from one to the other)
Angel . . . or father . . .

friend. . . or Phantom. . .
Who is it there,

staring . . . ?

VADER and PHANTOM approach each other, arms folded over their chests.

(entering on horseback, shouting)Christine!
(he sees PHANTOM and VADER and brings the horse to a sliding halt)


VADER and PHANTOM both look at RAOUL, then back at each other and nod curtly. BOTH take out a lightsaber. VADER has constructed a new lightsaber with a red blade, PHANTOM still has OBI-WAN’S blue one with which he had taunted RAOUL in the MAZE OF MIRRORS. BOTH ignite their lightsabers and jump/soar down the full length of the mausoleum steps, capes flying out behind them. RAOUL draws his saber but VADER uses the Force to start throwing statues and urns at him.

(nods and chuckles appreciatively)

(Watching, aghast)

Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father. . .

(still getting bombarded with stuff, ducking, dodging)Christine! Don’t listen to him! Whatever you believe, he’s not your father!

RAOUL gets clonked hard by a big chunk of statue and staggers. Two more pieces hit him and he falls.

(rushing forward to put herself between RAOUL and the direction from which all the STUFF is coming)
No! Not like this!

Very well.

VADER leaps astride the horse. PHANTOM lifts CHRISTINE by the waist and tosses her lightly onto the horse behind VADER, then leaps easily on behind her. Fortunately, it’s a big horse. They ride off.

(Looking angrily after VADER and PHANTOM)
Now let it be war upon you BOTH!

(to be continued. . .)

Click here for Part VI

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Phantom Menace of the Opera, Part the Fourth

I'm taking votes on the Phantom board as to whether Raoul lives or dies in this version. Feel free to add your own votes in the comments section. (please do - my blog is lonely!) This one is a little short - still working. . . I'm also making a birthday cake for the Prawn. Four years ago today, she was born at home between the fireplace and the Christmas tree. :o) Uh-oh - Sluggie is drawing on my back. Prawn got to open 1 present early and opened the crayons for drawing on skin. We've been decorating each other all day.

Oh yeah - ten points to Gryffindor (or the house of your choice) if you can name Obi-Wan's song and the movie from which it came. Also, an additional 5 points for understanding the relevance of the Random Scottish Girl.



PHANTOM is on the roof, having overheard the whole RAOUL/CHRISTINE thing and looking like he’s been kicked in the stomach because that little hussy -- **ahem, excuse me.** Fortunately for us all, Jar-Jar Binks enters stage right and. . .

Christine!! Oh Christiiiiine! Mesa so tryinta find you!

(Steps out of the shadows, cape swirling, in front of Jar-Jar)
Who are YOU?!

Mesa Jar-Jar Binks. Mesa so smilin’ ta see yousa!

(frowning, obviously confused)

Mesa lookinta find dat singin’ girl.

(slowly, clearly, a bit loudly)
Parlez-vous Francais?

Whassa dat yousa sayin’?

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Mesa no knowin what yousa sayin’ Meesta Swirly Cape.

Jong-wen? Espanol? Hanguk? Italiano?

Mesa muy muy lovin’ Miss Christine!

A look of rage slowly crosses PHANTOM’S face as he realizes what JAR-JAR is saying. He pulls out the lightsaber and ignites it, looking dangerously at JAR-JAR.

(clueless, of course)
Oooooh! Pretty!

PHANTOM lunges forward, swiftly and gracefully carving the Gungan into tiny little pieces. It is a thing of utmost beauty to behold.


Different species on parade
Hide your face so the Sith will never find you
Every face a different shade
Look around, there's another clone behind you.

Flash of red, splash of blue
Lord and Sith, old is new
Green and black, Yoda’s back
Trace of scales, face of Dak
Take your turn, take a ride
On the merry-go-round
In an inhuman race
Chrome and gold, dome of blue
True is false, who is who?
Lekku swing, nexus slash
Neighbours clash, sabers flash
Drink it in, drink it up
Till you've drowned
In the light
In the sound

But who can name the face?

Think of it! A secret engagement!

But why is it secret?

(dancing past)
Girls LOVE secrets, Frankie!


Oh, look! It’s Obi-Wan!

Though I am nothing to her

Though she must rarely look at me
And though I could never woo her
I love her till I die.

Surely you heard My Lady
Go down the garden singing
Silencing all the songbirds
And setting the alleys ringing...

OBI-WAN places his hand on CHRISTINE’S shoulder. She falters and falls silent. Raoul puts his hand to his sword – or would but it isn’t there.

OBI-WAN (Cont.)
But surely you see My Lady
Out in the garden there
Rivaling the glittering sunshine
With a glory of golden hair.

* * *

Click here for Part V

Don't forget to vote!