Saturday, May 28, 2005

Random Musings

What? Two posts in one night? Well, gotta do something while nursing the Prawn --yes *gasp* I'm still nursing her to sleep at 3 yrs, 5 months of age! :oO ;o)

So one of the good things about living in Michigan is that you can ALWAYS pretend you're camping because there's so much iron in the water. AND, you don't have to shell out for iron supplements! Also, the weather is startlingly unpredictable. However, it's pretty much guaranteed to be the opposite of the extended (2 or more day) forecast, which is a very helpful tidbit of info to know. This is as opposed to the California forecast, which was always correct because there was never any weather. I don't mean to suggest that there was no atmosphere, and therefore no resulting atmospheric conditions. I mean "weather" in the colloquial sense of the word, which suggests actual CHANGE in these conditions. Call me crazy, but it actually got monotonous. And when it rained, people forgot how to drive. That was weird. Maybe they were so entranced by seeing actual "weather" that they forgot to look at the road, or to press the gas pedal, or, in some cases, simply forgot where the brake pedal was located.

This really ought to be the Iron State, instead of the Wolverine State, since wolverines don't live here anyway and never did. (There's some irony. Maybe the Irony State would be more appropriate...) There are iron stains everywhere from sprinklers. Toilet bowls are good at accumulating them, too. (ugh) My friend's tub (older farmhouse) is actually COMPLETELY orange, even though it was once white. Fortunately, we were the targets of a drive-by Rid-o-Rusting, and we now know how to get rid of the stains. (And no, CLR does NOT work. I think the R actually stands for "ravioli" or something.)

See, I meant it when I said "random musings."

So I'm reading The Princess Bride now and was gratified to learn through net research that my suspicions were right about the non-existence of S. Morgenstern. It just seemed so weird, but there were a lot of credible-sounding details, too, in both intros. (I'm reading the 25th anniversary edition so there are 2.) I was starting to feel like a real dork not being sure about this "Florin" country, LOL! I guess all that stuff about Goldman's son is made up, too, if he even has a son. And how about his wife? Same story, I guess. Anyway, he's obviously a talented writer and the story looks like it's going to be great. I have heard so many good things about it from fans of the film.

I finally saw Napoleon Dynamite. That was kinda painful because I lived through a lot of that. It It certainly had its moments, though. I think I'll use "you're bruising my neck meat" at Tae Kwon Do during self defense #s 3A and B when we get put in headlocks. :o)

Well, the babe crashed pretty quickly tonight, so I'm free to do other things like rid-o-rust the iron stains in my toilets, so ta ta...

Oh - gotta link this hilarious yoga clip before I go. :oD

It's Friday and I'm out of my sewing slump!

So, what are y'all up to these days? I FINALLY, FINALLY made the circular knitting needle holder for my friend's bday (which was waaaay back in January) and thus ended my sewing slump! So over the last coupla days I've been whipping up things as I feel like it. Nothing with a pattern - just catch alls, PJ bags - stuff like that. I think a twirly dress for Prawn may be coming on soon.

So I don't have tetanus, which is good news. ;o) I stepped on a toothpick the other day - totally JAMMED the sucker into my foot. YEEEEOUCH! Kacey extracted the remainder from the carpet - it had really gotten shoved in there and was hard to remove. John was insistent about finding the rest of it when he got home, even though there was nothing visible in the hole in my foot, so I dug up a few pieces and it looked like they all went together with nothing missing. It was a little tender for a few days, but no biggie. I did class and sparring that night on it, class on Monday and Tuesday, too. My biggest concern was keeping it clean since the Band-Aid wouldn't stay on during TKD classes. When we got home from class I'd just clean it well and I was using Bactine, and triple antibiotic twice a day (a little paranoid since my tetanus booster is overdue.) One night I had a sore neck and couldn't sleep (something about reading about stiff neck being a sign of tetanus, LOL!) So I went online and researched tetanus at about 3 in the morning and learned that there was no way I had tetanus. Of course I was relieved, because it's always good to find out you don't have tetanus. :oP What a paranoid freak I can be from time to time -- usually only in the middle of the night though. About 5 days after it happened, I was cleaning the entry spot and some cotton ball fibers got stuck in the hole, so I asked Prawn to bring a tweezers so I could pull them out. Lo and behold, a piece of toothpick about 5/16" long came out of the hole! *gasp* EEEEW! Sure gave me the willies, but it healed up really quickly after that, LOL!

In the meantime, I figured it was time to get the kidlets up to date on shots, but no one wants to give them to them. Hmmm. The doc doesn't stock them and told us to go to the Health Dept. The Health Dept. said that as we have insurance, they'd rather we went elsewhere. So I called and got an appointement at their old pediatrician. I was told they did not need their check-ups first, even though we hadn't been there in about 2 years. When we showed up, there was no appointment on record and the doctor didn't want to give the shots (understandably) since she hadn't seen them in so long. Balked 3 times, and we were just reading about Balaam and his donkey. I think someone may be trying to tell me something.What do you think? Not to mention that in the preceeding week, Sheila had linked us to an NPR interview about the vax/autism link, and one of the Sewing Mamas' babes had a bad reaction to her 18 mo shots. Argh! Decisions, decisions, eh?

I got to go to sparring this morning. I escaped relatively unscathed from last night's session, but today I got large lumps/bruises on both shins. Ow. But is sure was fun! :o)

So today's project was a simple batch of jammie bags to help the kids corral their jams. Anything to help control clutter, you know? There's a second ladybug one that didn't make it into the picture.

It's great to be out of my sewing slump! I was just so intimidated by all the iron-ons, and the uncharted waters of the pattern for that circular holder. It really wasn't a difficult pattern; just fiddly.

I've also been reorganizing the sewing stash/scrapping stash/computer room. It's changing slowly but surely. Sewing up a bunch of my stash would help. :o) I want to get some of those Yoda/Darth Vader pillow panels from Walmart, but John didn't see them last time he went. Maybe I can find them this weekend. He did say they had other Star Wars fabric there. :)

My mom has been going to antique stores lately and she said that the old Star Wars guys are worth a LOT now. We're having too much fun playing with my old ones to sell them, though. Plus, as you may recall, Luke Skywalker's head fell off...

I've been planting all kinds of things in the weedbeds lately. Maybe I can take some pics tomorrow. So far, I think the creeping phlox has made the biggest difference, visually. I really want to put in some lilac bushes, but haven't yet figured out where to put them. John put the kaibosh to my idea of putting them in the weedbed bordering the driveway. Phooey!

Here's a big reason why everyone should love Star Wars. DARK CHOCOLATE M&Ms!!!!!!!! YUUUUUUMMMMMM!!!! I love both kinds - plain and peanut. And we bought some of the SW mini Ms yesterday - also yummy! And not freaky to feed to a 3 yo - no choking hazard. Then again, I've never met an M&M that I truly disliked, but I think the dark chocolate peanut Ms are my all time faves.

I'm hoping to draft this A-line skirt pattern for myself this weekend. One of the Sewing Mamas posted it for me. Looks like fun. :) People I know will be absolutely shocked if I turn up in a skirt. Do I dare fly in the face of pre-conceived impressions? We shall see. Sadly, I have no adult fabrics, though, so I may *gasp* have to buy some fabric. :o) I guess I'll hunt through my stash once more just in case, though. On the other hand, I could make a delightfully freakish skirt from children's fabrics. Tempting...

In the meantime, I need to make this impressively decadent-looking torte that Mollusc got a recipe for with her Birds and Blooms mag. If it turns out great, I'll post it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Everything Costs $$

I had to order new math books for Mollusc and Sluggie today. Argh - both at once of course! Mollusc (10) is headed into the 7th grade book, and Sluggie (7) into the 4th. Mollusc's NEXT book will be Pre-Algebra! Unless that's too lame and we have to skip it and go straight on to Algebra. Zoiks!! At the rate Gogo (5) is going, he's not going to be far behind and I'll need to buy YET ANOTHER book. A couple of weeks ago we were in the grocery store and he announced, "I know what ten minus one hundred is." And I was thinking "Well, this will be cute..." But then he proudly said (OK, he's Gogo, so really he was shouting...) "It's NEGATIVE NINETY!!" Um - yes - that would be correct. :-O So I gave him another Q -- 10-90 --and he got that one right, too. He also loves to multiply. Go figure... Oh and chess - my goodness, the boy loves chess already. He sets up the board with no probs and knows the moves the various pieces can make, can castle, put someone in check, etc. The other night John was working through Chessmaster 9000 and Gogo ambled up and said "Oh, the knight can eat that pawn, or he can go there..." Oh my. He's a total Star Wars nut, of course. Good lad! Too bad this next movie looks like a bit much for the kids. I wonder how long 'til it comes out on DVD.

John got his new sparring pads (he'd kicked splits and holes in the others - mostly on people's elbows.) Hopefully these will be better. So far mine are OK...

I started reading "Frindle" to the kids last night. I have to hide it when I stop so no one steals it to read ahead. Always the hallmark of a good book. Mollusc is reading the Hobbit and the Geronimo Stiltons and the Lemony Snickets, Sluggie is reading Goblet of Fire and several other things. Gogo is pretty happy with his Star Wars books, and Prawn (3), while able to sound out words now, prefers to jump on the bed while reading her sight cards. :oP

Did I mention reading "Our Lady of the Lost and Found" recently? I really enjoyed that one. :o) I've been looking through the Bas Bleu catalog lately and checking out possible buys from the library to see how they are. I did buy "Here Speeching American" for Mollusc for her B-Day and she loves it. We laugh 'til we cry over some of those!

I FINALLY am able to do the end of my form (Tae Geuk O Jang) without falling over. We call it a "Twist Stance" though in that link it's referred to as a "cross stance." (scroll down in the link for the pic) Now I'm working on perfecting my side kick. I've been chambering it a little wrong all this time. Argh! I think I have it fixed now, but I need to keep practicing to make it stick. After a hot, sweaty class and then some more practice on my kicks, I think my hips will be glad to get in the hot tub, so that's where I'm off to now...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sigh. I Was Wrong, and You Were Right

There, Sheila. Are you happy now? Yes, Sam Rockwell WAS Guy Fleegman in Galaxy Quest. Here's his filmography. Myueuh! (general noise of disgust)

I do need to see that again. I love the bit about the Pig-Lizard. "It turned inside out...And it exploooooded!" **snort** Is it true that an alternate Klingon soundtrack exists on the DVD? Some people may well have too much time on their hands...

Today we spent the day at a tournament in which Sluggie participated. All the kids from our school did great jobs, whether they scored that way or not. They were clearly superiour in technique. And even though this is the rigged tourney in which one of our kids was robbed of her gold last year (announced as 1st place and then given a re-match so the gold could go to a student from the host school - GRRRRRRR!) our kids took a lot of first places. There were quite a few frustratingly insufferable moments and I'm glad we'll never go again, but it an Experience. Sluggie did the best form I've ever seen - just AWESOME! She got a silver for forms and gold for sparring. All the Han's TKD kids had vastly superiour sparring styles. Most of the other kids only threw round kicks or tried to punch (rolleyes) -- even the red and black belts! Now at that level, that's just embarrassing! But ours were throwing all kinds of kicks and combos, and I think they were a real wake-up call to the main school that ran the tourney. Then we hung around to watch Jamar spar (excellent young man we've seen at the other 2 tourney's we've been to - prolly an Olympic hopeful.) His match lasted all of 15-20 seconds before his opponent was incapacitated. And I think he was taking it easy on the guy. It must be frustrating for him because there's just no one in his league with whom he can spar.

After the tourney, I was too brain dead to do anything so, after recalling that it was national scrapbooking day, I attempted to find QVC since one of my mags claimed there would be scrapbooking specials. Now, we have satellite TV, but only John uses it, and only for football and racing. I have no clue where any of the channels are. Sigh. The only one I've ever known is BBCA. Suffice it to say, I found a Spongebobmini-marathon by accident, and John and I drifted in and out of consciousness (both wiped out!) while watching with the kids. Actually, the kids were drifting back and forth between Spongebob and their new Lego Star Wars game. Now THAT is a really cute game. :o) When I eventually did find QVC, the endless chatter was so annoying I couldn't stay with it. Something about the infomerciality of it all, if you know what I mean - it just makes me want to run away.

We've been planting our weed beds lately. I've chopped up quite a lot of all 4 weed beds and have planted actual herbs and flowers in one of them. In the others, I started planting seeds and plantlets we started from seed (at least those remaining after Enya grazed on them!) including a bunch of mystery seeds I'd saved from our Wisconsin garden. I'd like to do some more tomorrow, but I think I'm running out of stuff to plant. I also need to get the food gardens going, but I need some kind of wooden box beds first, since I'm going to be doing lasagna gardens. And I'm all excited about finally having a compost bin. Hooray! Now our kitchen waste can be recycled into the garden. :o)

My fridge smells like a Korean grocery store since my friend came over to teach me how to make some Korean foods. Stinky, but sure tastes good! Kimchi Bokum is particularly easy: cut bacon into about 1/2 inch strips, fry and then add a whole bunch of kimchi and continue frying until the kimchi is hot. The white part will get even whiter and that's when it's done. Or, if you want soup, fry the bacon, then add the kimchi and cover with water to within about 3/4 inch from the top of the pot and bring to a boil. If you like, squirt in a bunch of really soft tofu near the end. (I hadn't ever seen this before. It comes in a soft plastic sausage-looking package with a snip-off end.) Yummy! And much milder than kimchi usually is, due to all that water.

I planted some more sesame leaf seeds. I hope they work. The leaves are really pricey at the Korean grocery store. I also hope my 2 plants from last year come back to life this year. I'm incorporating herbs and edibles into the landscaping this year. Hope it doesn't get too hideous. I also planted echinacea seeds even though the packet said to plant them in late fall. I don't have that kind of patience. We'll see what happens...

Hey, when is Sting going to come out with a new album, and where is my Sacred Love album? If you know, or even think you *might* know the answers to these very important Qs, please, please, please let me know! For that matter, when is Peter Gabriel coming out with a new one?

John and I finished the Season 5 Red Dwarf DVD and are ready to move on to Season 6. The Suicide Squid was pretty funny. I plan to re-read the books soon. They make me laugh so hard I can't breathe. :o) In the meantime, I'm reading Early Thunder (again - to the kids), Prince Caspian (again - to the kids), The Original Michael Frayn (funny, funny, funny!!!), Eyes of the Tailless Animals (depressing, depressing, depressing), Blindness (ditto) and ah - can't recall the title - three stories of Lyra or Llyr or something by Patricia C. Wrede (very good so far, actually.) Ah! Here it is. HOLY CARP!!!! Um, I got it either for free or for a quarter at the library. Think I should sell my copy? Good GRIEF!!! I had no idea it was worth so much! Gulp... And it's even in good condition. Oh my!

Well, on that note, I'm off to bed and to read some of my extremely valuable book! Good night! :o)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Witch's Winter, Aslan's Spring and a Very Cheeky Squirrel

Well HAPPY MAY everyone!! April certainly went out with a bang. The White Witch put in an appearance on Friday the 22nd, bringing her evil, Christmasless winter with her. Here's the back yard on the 24th (it was STILL snowing - hadn't stopped since the 22nd...) I guess this entry is more a photo essay than anything else...

Fortunately, Aslan put in an appearance for Mollusc's birthday the next day:

For those with a small screen, a juxtaposition:

It was pretty weird.

Today a very cheeky squirrel stole the birdseed bell. He made off to the back yard with his prize, but was then dive-bombed by a blue jay and a robin, who both thought they deserved a share of the booty. Maybe they were the lookouts or something. Even when the squirrel disappeared behind the tree-trunk
(he was attempting to carry it up the big oak) or a branch, we could tell where he was by the attacking birds. He eventually dropped it and had to risk life and limb (fur and tail anyway) to retrieve it.

The empty stick (swinging in the wind - a bit blurry):

The culprit with his prize:

Isn't he naughty??

In other big news, I went to a movie in a THEATRE!!!!!! How bizarre! Haven't been to one of those since Jonah (Veggie Tales) and before that I think Mollusc was an infant. I did go to a Star Wars re-release (Empire maybe?) but can't remember when that was. Suffice it to say that it's been about 10 years since I saw a movie in the theatre. Anyway, John and I went to
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and it was great! I've loved the books forever. (You may have noticed the review at the top of my blog which has been there since Day 1.) It was different from the book (which was different from the mini, which was different from the radio show...) but still very much in the whole DNA style (obviously since he did write the screenplay) and very enjoyable. If you go, be sure to stay through the credits. I do have the "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish" song stuck in my head though...

The casting was great, using nearly all 9 of Britain's actors and actresses. I think Hugh Laurie was the biggest name missing. Oh, and Hugh Grant. Maybe there was a "No Hughs" policy or something. Stephen Fry does the narrator's bit (aka The Book) and Martin Freeman made an excellent Arthur Dent. I was really trepidatious about who they'd have for Arthur, but Martin was fantastic. If you think he looks familiar, it's because he's the porn movie lighting stand-in guy from
Love Actually . I didn't recognise Zaphod, but my sis says he's Crew Member 59 from Galaxy Quest. I guess I need to see that again. After a brief web-search, however, I've concluded that she's on drugs. It was Crew Member #6, not #59 and it wasn't Sam Rockwell from what I can see. He was, however, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And, eerily, Alan Rickman, WAS in Galaxy Quest (AND Love Actually, by the way. This is what happens when you put a limit of 9 on the number of actors/actresses allowed in your country.) Weird... Other than his head/s being messed up, he (Rockwell) was a great Zaphod. I didn't recognise Trillian or Ford, but Mos Def (apparently) made a very good Ford. It would be hard to ever top the Ford from the mini, though, IMO. Snape - er Alan Rickman - was great as the Voice of Marvin, who was played brilliantly by Wicket the Ewok - erm Willow - um, ah - Warwick Davis. Helen Mirren was the voice of "Deep Thought" (You know - the famous Answer to The question computer.) I was thrilled to see that the "real" Marvin and Arthur from the mini, also had cameos. :o) (Arthur was the pleasant "here come the missiles" message guy from Magrathea and Marvin was in the Vogon office-thinggy where Arthur was trying to fill out the proper forms for Trillian's release.) I thought they did a FANTASTIC job on the planet production floor on Magrathea. Wow! :0)

As a side note, I got to see a fair amount of the Star Wars Episode III trailer and WOW! I will be needing to see that in the theatre as well!!! What a difference the theatre makes. I hear that at celebration III, Ralph McQuarrie was begging people to only watch it in digital, so I'll attempt to do it right.

My Go-Go Fishy lost his second tooth tonight. He let me attempt to pull it out a couple of times, but I couldn't get a great grip on it, so Kacey yanked it out. Mayhap there will be pictures for interested family members on the morrow. He also got his blue belt on the weekend before last. Pictures of that will also be delayed due to the fact that the other (host) computer is off for the night.

In other news, I bought more Korean Movies on eBay and a Japanese one as well. Sea Monkeys (Japanese) is basically a Coast Guard Rescue Divers version of Top Gun and was fantastic. Even though my DVD turned out to have a glitch, it was GREAT!

Butterfly Club was racy, but good. It could have had a happier ending. We've decided that just after the credits roll, the husband and wife pull off the road and have a good scrog.

Everyone Has Secrets was great - lots of twists and intricacies and just very entertaining.

Daddy Long Legs was very good as well, though typically Korean in that someone snuffs it near the end. ;o( I'll pretend he doesn't. There is QUITE the twist in that one. Also, in the movie she's named her benefactor "Daddy Long Legs" and says "like in the book" By coincidence, I found "the book" at the library the next Friday, so I borrowed it. I didn't know it was REALLY a book. Weird... I think "My Tutor Friend" is still my favourite Korean movie.

Well, I had TKD tonight and the hot tub is calling me. So is a Margarita. Nice combo, I think... :o)