Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hodgepodge

Finally, something positive in the press about Daniel Craig Even though it does have a stupid title and the writer is a little ditzy.

OK, so he does need to learn to drive a stick (and, because I'm such a nice person, I still offer my services freely to both Messieurs Craig and Brosnan for lessons since I'm pretty proficient with a stick. Take that as you will.) But you have to admit the man is buff. He was buff in TRI and now he's in even better shape. Is that possible? And not that bulked-up, giganto, scary buff, but a nice slim, hard (wow do you have a gutterbrain for thinking that!) buff. And parkour? I think that would kick my ass. I hate to say it, but I'm a sprinter, not a distance runner, and I have a slightly challenged knee that would hate me for running up stairs. So I'm impressed. And a little jealous that he can do that. And blown away by that pic of Monsieur Foucan doing a handstand on a rooftop railing. *gasp*

So the guys, I'm sure, are sick of hearing me talk about DC. And after Fal's tux shot (oh, Fal's tux shot! deep, focusing breath), I should be content. Where was I? Eh, I forget. Oh yeah. Time to move on. :o)

I failed in girlieness at sparring, but that's OK cuz no one wants to spar like a girl, least of all me. I'm afraid this is not the girliest look in the world:


Yeah, that's my arm. There's no target there. I'm not sure what happened. And why there's a bruise-free line in the middle is beyond me. Unless I got kicked twice there. Who knows? We were sparring to 2 again. Always fun, but always more intense. I can't bend or flex the last 3 toes on my left foot anymore. But that's been coming on for a while now, LOL! Ah, who needs 'em anyway. Flippers are just as effective. ;o)

Tonight we worked on jump spinning inside kick. Watch the guy in the blue hogu - he does it near the end of the clip. Poor red, LOL!I can do it standing or sparring with no probs, but this was with a running approach and I have really got to work on that. :oP My jump spinning back kick is coming along pretty well. I tried it twice in sparring last night. I need a little more speed still.

OK, I've bored enough peeps with TKD talk. John and I are going to see Les Miserables in a couple of weeks. I have to find someone to watch the Heathens while we go. I'm excited! I think it's on Easter, and we were going to go visit family, but we'll prolly launch the next day. Besides, that way we don't kill FIL by overlapping him by too much. (He's only home once a month or so.) Or, more importantly, he doesn't kill any of us. :oP

I *think* I may have found a way to get my mom to come and visit us. (She loathes Chicago and won't drive through there, plus her leg pain makes it too hard to ride in the car for long.) The answer: the train!! It's not really that much $! I think it's $79 to come this way and $62 to go back (okaaaaaay. . .) She could walk or stand on the train, and not worry about Chicago, so I'm feeling optimistic. (mostly cuz I haven't approached her about it yet) As long as there are no "Snakes on the Train!" everything should be fine, right?

My friend made bibimbap (sans bap - noodles instead of rice) for us for lunch after swimming. Yummy! :o) I have leftovers in the fridge. Eat your heart out, She-Ra. If you would come visit instead of pleasuring the nuns, we would feed you well. Not to mention Mollusc's - oh, wait that's a secret, I forgot. You have to wait. Neener neener.:o) Do you still read my blog? Cuz if not, I'll tell everyone else. Muahahaha!

OMG, does this look like fun or what?

Annyong hee ka seyo. :)

Girlie Stuff

I have recently (since about last summer) been trying to become a bit more of a girly girl. I've always been a sporty girl and a devil-may-care girl and never really been much for practicing the fine art of, well, I guess flaunting my femininity, or even letting it get some air. Frank, I know you've been counseling my sis in these matters, so I guess it's partly that upbringing - the hide it all in the name of modesty mindset. (Oh and BTW it's working cuz her friend just told her she's such a girly girl. My sis! Wow!) I don't think I come across as a particularly modest person once I get to the point where I can speak freely with someone, but as far as body goes, well, yes. Until recently I had a fairly "hide the curves" attitude. Now I don't mean that I'm walking around looking like trailer trash or anything, but I'm getting into skirts (I like those boho ones because they are so not me in my past life and yet seem just right for me now) and maybe a wee bit of cleavage and things like the shiny shirt with a bit of coordinating bra peeking out.

Along these lines, I was informed by John a while ago that I don't walk like a girl. In fact, I think his exact words were that it looked like I "had spent years learning to not walk like a girl." (don't misunderstand - this wasn't a bash, just an observation brought about by a book I was reading to help me in my quest for goddesshood, LOL!) Hm. So I have a - well, I guess a gender-neutral walk. Is that anything like a Pat walk? Ack! Help me someone. I want to learn to walk like a girl. But will I still be balanced - grounded as it were? Will I tip over easily? Cuz I don't need that. I'm reminded of Hugh Grant's "funny run" in Mickey Blue Eyes. :o)

It's really quite something to suddenly start paying attention to your walk. I mean, I've been doing this for over 35 years - it comes pretty naturally by now and I never used to think about it. Now I find myself thinking about it a lot. How awkward. So I try the hip thing and that just feels fake - and really slow, LOL, but kinda fun. I need to get around faster than that, though. It's one thing to sashay into the room, but quite another to sashay in fast forward when you're on a mission. That just looks stupid. But maybe that's all part of it. Maybe girlie girls are never in a hurry. Or maybe I wear the wrong footwear. My preferred footwear is nothing, or sandals if I'm going into a store, but in cold weather I'll wear tennies or boots. I have some pseudo-practical girlie boots. I don't like heels. I'm quite tall enough already. I don't like to tower over people any more than nature has already dictated that I must. And that whole wobbly thing with the pinchy toes doesn't appeal to me. My foot isn't shaped like that. It's kinda square on the end. It's definitely not shaped like this ^ on the end. That's not to say I've never worn them, but these days I don't have the occasion to, thank goodness. Plus, my leg muscles would just be kind of freaky in heels now. Scary thought.

There may be more thoughts on this topic later as I continue my evolution.

And now for a pussy shot. Meow, Egan!


Jet found me writing the other day and decided to help. Thanks to my 8 yo who took the pics. :o) Jetty doesn't usually show up well in pics cuz my camera is prejudiced against black felines and refuses to focus on his kittiness.


Kitty Bliss - a few scratches in just the right places.

And now for a pubic Public Service Announcement. If you ever do this as a science experiment to study osmosis:

do not, I repeat, do NOT eat the ones on the right. Yes, they are plump and intriguing and entertaining. But they taste really, REALLY bad. Eck. All the raisiny goodness has gone down the drain with the brown water and they are just PLAH!

Soundtrack today: Sting (Sacred Love), Peter Gabriel (So), Cheb Khaled (Aicha), Chris Rice (Smell The Color Nine)

Nether Freckling HNT

OK, so this isn't "nether," but in the spirit of Half-Nekkid Thursday, half of the title applies. :-D



HNT_1

I think I should have had dh take it from farther away.

Startlingly, some of our plants started from seed still live. I should transplant them into pots.

Today is GORGEOUS! My older 2 went home with friends after this morning's hs class, the littles are outside, and the house is strangely silent. I'm going to muck out the car after lunch and then, hopefully, take The Phantom outside to write. :-D

My rambling on Fal's blog reminded me of the Star Wars Pants Quotes. This is ridiculously fun to do with your favourite movies. At least if you have the same sophomoric sense of humour I do. . .

May the pants be with you. Or not, as the case may be.

Contact

The Peter Gabriel song, Contact, would be running through my head if it weren't for the tenacious chorus of "the internet is for PORN" circling gaily round and round in there instead. :o) Oh, that reminds me. That song spawned a short story I need to dig out and rescusitate. (Contact, not Porn Song, LOL!)

That last post spawned more non-comment contact than any other, LOL! And what do I have to follow it? Nothing. On the plus side, tomorrow is Half-Nekkid Thursday. On the minus side, I'm not sure I have an idea. Though I did have dh take another shot last week that would work.

On the doubleplus side, I'm writing my lost book again. Really writing it. I got a bunch of the outline mapped out again, got impatient and dove in to recapture what I remember. I think it's coming out stronger than before.

I was told today that I "wear my height well" by an older gentleman who was really wanting to make conversation. It was cute. He was so sincere. I'm not even frighteningly tall - a little under 5'10". But that's tall enough to not be able to find pants that are long enough. I was so thrilled to get those jeans I mentioned a few months ago cuz they actually come all the way down and TOUCH the tops of my feet. But they're starting to fall off me. Crud. I guess the last of the nursing weight is melting away. And the BX didn't have 4s when I went back to look. Phooey. So I keep washing and drying in hot, and in the meantime they're plenty loose for working out on the bag downstairs, so I don't have to change to go kick it, which probably results in my not procrastinating like I would otherwise. There's an upside to everything, right? :o) Good grief I can ramble, huh?

OK, I have to get back to really writing. And now Boba's Vette is back in my mind. Thanks for the lyrics, Fal. Lusty lips, not nasty. I owe you one. :o) Mmmmmmy backpack's got jets. . .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back to the Regularly Scheduled Program

Back to regular blogging. I'll try to leave the artsy junk for Open Office. :o)

If you're a Star Wars fan and want to visit inside my head for a moment, click this link. My kids found it a week or 2 ago and that song is stuck in my head now. "My - my - my backpack's got jets. . ."

I'll try to get the fishy pics up later. Too lazy to go monkey on the other computer just now.

Last night we all watched "Yours, Mine, and Ours" which is mildly ironic considering the title of the poem 2 posts down. It was an entertaining film, and Dennis Quaid looks as hawt as ever. And in uniform, too. Yum! Who can resist a man in uniform? Not me. Pretty standard formula (I do think I'd like to see a departure from the norm) but still very watchable considering what's available to watch *with* children these days.

I drank cocoa this morning and then realised it was chocolate. (duh - really only the solid stuff seems like chocolate to me) D'oh! Last night I dreamed I was eating real chocolate but it turned out to be OK because it was Easter. I didn't think this abstaining from chocolate was all that hard, but I guess my subconscious does. :o)

Hey She-Ra - when are the Getaway Drivers gonna come play Motown? You guys should really see about booking a gig here. :o)


Time to blast off for now. Ahhhhhhh, my backpack's got jets. . .

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Do I Detect a Theme?

Well, sometimes life is like that.


Riding the rising tide
She feels it swell
Lift beneath her
Grasping, reaching
For that undefined
Magical

Elusive element
She stretches out
With every particle and cell
Her entire body
Aflame, consumed

Until finally
She catches, grabs, embraces it
The wave crests beneath her
Lifts her high -- stomach-flipping high
Then smashes her down
Crashes all around her
Flooding her body
Her mind
Her soul
She floats on ecstasy


© Candace Mahoney 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different

His, Hers and Theirs

His muscles displayed in broad, flat planes
Gleaming, sweaty, in the midday sun
As he erects smooth stones into a wall

Her linen dress, crisp and cool
Swishing softly around her ankles
As she brings an offering of iced lemonade

His look, surprised by her unexpected kindness
Her glance, startled by his unexpected beauty

His smile, teasing, knowing
But also understanding
She’s out of his league

Her kiss, unexpected, self-conscious
But honest
He has that effect

Their bodies as one, melding, entwining
Their cries of passion sweet and salty
Drenched in sweat and lemonade


© Candace Mahoney 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Give Me a Sign

My friend, Frank, wrote this great story called "Sign Language" and that's what inspired today's title.

On the way to Kalamazoo there are some signs that really tell you a lot about this state. You've all heard of 8 Mile, yes? They're not very inventive here. Of course we have 8 mi, 9 mi, 10 mi, blah blah blah, but then, when those were all used up, Heaven forbid someone should actually NAME a road. So we have things like this:

I saw plenty more - 6 1/2, 18 1/2. . .

And when a new road comes through, they do this:


Because, again, creativity is from the devil, apparently.

On the other hand, there are some good ones:


And my favourite town -- I missed the best sign that gives you only 1 1/4 miles warning before you must:


That's not a lot of time at about 78 mph.

On the way to Kalamazoo, we pass Battle Creek, which is:

Can you smell the Corn Flakes?

We also pass a lovely establishment which we always make fun of:

But really, I think we'll all agree that it's better than dead ones.

On into Kalamazoo, where there is one of those banks with the stupidest name I've ever heard, as well as buildings both old:

and new:


right next to each other.



The space age-looking Jetsons building is where we were headed. Inside we saw CATS, CATS, CATS! There was a special room for the Savannahs and Servals which were what we had mainly gone to see. What magnificent creatures!


That guy is an F1 (first generation) male who was VERY friendly.

There were some darling kittens as well:


And an F1 female who was very outgoing:



I thought this sphinx had a face that only a mother could love (and that mother wasn't me) but Sluggie seemed to think it was cute:

It was surprisingly velvety, but I think it looks like Stitch:


Sadly, none of the signs directed us to purchase a Savannah today. (That's the Savannah breeder I talked to the most.) Too bad. They are truly awesome. I fell in love with one of her kittens, but she wasn't for sale. Just as well, since I didn't happen to have $8,000. (gasp) I'd even settle for a Bengal. (that's the Bengal breeder I spent the most time talking with) But I guess 4 kitties is good for now.

On the way out, we stopped by the hotel's MASSIVE saltwater aquarium which had plenty of cool fish, but I decided not to bore you with those pics in case no one else is a marine fish enthusiast like we are, LOL! I miss our saltwater tank! They even had a longnose hawkfish like our old "Lister." Someday we'll put another system together. When we get the right signs I guess.

Savannah-rama

Today we're off to Savannah-rama. That link is for last year's since I couldn't find anything for this year's. Hopefully I'll have some neat pics this evening.

Open Office (the Linux version of Word) is very user-friendly and I actually like it a little better than Word so far. I'm able to use it to open Word documents, and, supposedly, to write documents that can be opened with Word. The latter I'll have to test later today.

I've got to feed the crew before we head to Kalamazoo. (What a weird name for a city.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Testing Day

The red belts had to work HARD at testing today and the girlies did a fantastic job. Here they are breaking with spinning back kick as the last step to earn their belts. John helped with testing today, giving all the instructions and counts and holding the boards.

Sluggie (just before)


Mollusc (just after, obviously)


And with the Master and their new belts:


I just found out that the next tournament is in May. Should be fun. :o)

Mirrormask was too CGI to be enjoyable. There was just so much going on and everything was so unfamiliar that it was hard to focus. Usually, even in a fantsy or science-fiction film, there are plenty of elements to help ground you - things you can take in and then ignore because you know what they are and what purpose they serve. Not so with Mirrormask. Everything is outlandish and new and I found it terribly distracting. I know a lot of work had to go into this, and I should appreciate all the new and inventive things, but I kept finding myself thinking that it would make a great book instead of a film. I didn't make it through the whole thing. Granted, this was partly because I had to stop and sew patches on our new dobok tops at midnight because I'd forgotten, and John needed to wear his for helping with testing today. But I don't think I'd have made it through regardless. I got as far as the orbiting giants scene -- which had some very amusing dialogue -- but no farther. Stephen Fry's Librarian was entertaining, and Kryten played an amusing griffin. Percy's wife from Notting Hill was there, too, and if anyone knows what I mean by "Percy's Wife" kudos to you (since there's no Percy in that film.) So fully a third of Britain's main body of actors turned out for this work. ;o) I guess Hugh Laurie was too busy being an American to make it.

Cheeto (the raccoon) came to the deck tonight. John took some pics but they didn't turn out well at all, so maybe next time. I could tell it was Cheeto because 1) she waltzed right up to the sliding glass door ("doorwall" *snickersnort*) looking for treats and 2) she tried to GRAB the Cheeto bag out of my hand when I was pouring some out for her. :o) I think we'll have babies in a month or 2. Don't worry, we give her nutritious stuff, too, but she prefers Cheetos and Trader Joe's caramel corn.

You know that iPod toy? It gives new meaning to PG's "Steam." Maybe I don't need a muse. . .

Friday, March 24, 2006

Reminiscing

Gogo wasn't quite the babbler that all the girls were when they were tiny. He's making up for it now (BOY is he!!!) but I just remembered a funny thing that happened when he was about a year and a half old.

Gogo was always FASCINATED by the vacuum cleaner. He called it "kyoom" and he loved it. The noise would bring him crawling even before he could walk. One time I was in the tub and the "kyoom" was standing by the wall near the bath. Fishy wandered into the room and saw the kyoom there and immediately greeted it with a big smile, "Hi kyoom!" And what did I, his mother, get? Bupkus. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. (you get the picture) Thanks kyoom. How many diapers did you change today? I hate you. You suck. *snickersnort*

On a completely different note, my friend lent me "Mirrormask" and I'm going to pop it in. Yep. Neil Gaiman. (GAY-man or GUY-man?? I hate to sound ignorant, even if I really am. I vote for GUY-man but don't really know.)

Eggling Day

Believe it or not, the kids wanted more deviled eggs today. This time I made a few with wasabi mayo that Sluggie and I devoured greedily. I found out they're also good with a sprinkle of Northwoods Fire seasoning.

March 24th and it's snowing. Just flurrying, really, but still. It's rather incongruous to have these white flakes drifting silently down against a backdrop of warbling redwing blackbirds.

At the pool today, Mollusc, Fishy and I did Viktor Krum/shark head impressions and nearly drowned from laughing underwater. (Sluggie and The Prawn had already gotten cold and climbed out by then.)

I miss making chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cookies. Argh. When is Easter?

Tomorrow, the 2 bigs test for Senior Red Belt. John and I test for the same in May. After that comes Bo Dan (temporary black) and then Black. Scary. It will take almost another year and a half, though, because black belt testing is only twice a year. That will give me time to work up to 150 pushups and 150 situps. :oP Right now I can only do 50 pushups in one go and those last 3 are tough. Fishy got another tip, too, so maybe he'll be testing on the same day that John and I test.

Remember those optimistically planted seeds of a few weeks ago? Some of them are still growing! Emmett (bad orange kitty) did eat the tops off of the ones near the edge (GRRR!) but we have quite a few sprouts that we will keep on trying not to kill before transplanting weather comes. I have some other seeds I need to plant, too, but I'm not sure where to keep the flat where it will get light and be away out of reach of the snapping jaws of doom.

Writing beckons!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

HNT Time Again

Happy Half-Nekkid Thursday, everyone. Actually, this would be a Fully-Nekkid Thursday, but I'm only posting half of me. No artistic effects this time, just a good ol' shower door.


In other news, I found the Open Office stuff on my laptop and started outlining my largest lost work. I remember thinking I had some clever things in there, but I can't seem to recollect most of them. On the brighter side, maybe that means they weren't really all that clever. :oP

No great bruises at sparring tonight. I smashed my shin bruise again, but I don't think I did anything new to it. Not that I can tell anyway. I remembered to use the drills we've been working on, so I feel much better about that. It's always hard for me to integrate new stuff into my sparring. Once it's in there, I'm fine, but having to think about it slows me down. I'm getting better at integrating, though. The first time I tried thinking while sparring (early on), I just blew up, LOL! I'm getting better at reading my opponent and getting out of the way, then back in with my own kicks. I still need to work on light contact to the head, though. I do land some head kicks, but I still pull too much, which will make it hard to actually hit well at a tournament.

Swimming tomorrow. Wow! Friday already?!?

I made a deal with a boy at TKD a few weeks ago. He wanted a Jedi costume like I made for each of my kiddos. Well, no such thing as a free lunch, right? I knew his mom had been trying to get him to be more careful about his school-work (he's hsed, too) so I told him that for every 100% he got on a test (any subject) I'd make him a piece of the outfit. He got really close last week in both math and spelling. This week he did it! So today I delivered part one of his outfit. :o) I don't think he realises he's raising the bar for himself with all this good work, LOL! But he was really excited about it and it made my day. :o)

Then tonight I got all inspired and whipped up a rice bag (nuke it for 2 mins and it's like a hot water bottle) for The Prawn, since I realised she doesn't have one of her own (the other 3 do) but we are OUT of rice!! How can that be?!?!? Argh! I haven't sewn for a long time. I hate being thwarted in my attempted projects.

Fal, I have Sitemeter, you know. I see you there in France. How's the IMM? I'm dying of curiosity. I suppose that is your evil plan. Sigh. Were you a medieval torturer in a former life?

Did I mention how much I love Peter Gabriel? **blissful sigh**

Razed and Raising, to Say Nothing of Raisins

Well, sounds like my writing is in the great cosmic toilet, so it's time to accept that fact and start over. On the plus side, maybe it will be better this time. John put Open Office (Linux version of MS Office) on my laptop and as soon as I can figure out where it's actually lurking, I'll be off. I have 25 minutes to write before I go teach. Obviously I don't have my HNT up yet, but I have an idea that is more of a FNT. We shall see whether it works. Or maybe I'll get a nice bruise at sparring. :oP Anyway, stay tuned. I'll try to get it up (you know - that just sounds wrong - especially from a girl) before midnight, and since I'm on Eastern time, you don't even have to stay up late.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Top 5

In the spirit of High Fidelity, here are some of my Top Fives as of today (different moods do seem to create different lists.) Not in the spirit of HF, these are in no particular order.

CDs:

Peter Gabriel: So - every time I listen to this, I am blown away by how great each song is. I love "Us," but "So" has so many great songs.

Sting: Sacred Love - Cerebral, spiritual, musical, literary, haunting - he just keeps getting better

The Phantom of the Opera Movie Soundtrack - oh my, what a smorgasboard of great stuff! Eerie, moving, romantic, downright HOT in places, clever and witty, emotionally draining. Sigh.

Children of Dune Miniseries Soundtrack - why yes, I AM a geek. Thank you for noticing. The music embodies so much of what I feel when I read the 1st three Dune books. Just amazing. "Inama Nushif" is so stirring and everything is a fantastic backdrop for writing.

I only get one more. I fear to pull the trigger. I saunter out to the living room to peruse my collection and come back with my mind reeling. So many CDs are vying for slot number 5, but only one will be chosen. Annie Lennox believes she deserves the place, and on some weeks, she does. Tears For Fears claims the slot is rightfully theirs because they've been with me for so long, and when I want that driving Oleta Adams piano solo, boy is it theirs. Chicago 17 says I have to pick it because it's the first contemporary music I ever bought. It doesn't realise how little I play it anymore, though I'm sure it's aware of its power to transport me back across the years. The other Sting and Peter Gabriel CDs jump out at me, begging, and I nearly choose one, but then Sarah catches my eyes. Yes, Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing gets slot number five.

Books:

This will be hard, won't it? Why am I even trying to narrow it down to 5??

Dune - the first 3 books. I'll pretend they come in one volume. Maybe somewhere in the world they do. If I have to pick only one, I'll choose #1.

Ender's Game - I'd like the whole Shadow series, but I'll take Ender's Game.

Atlas Shrugged - Read it to death, but have a new one and will read it again I'm sure.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - again, I'd take them all if that would work.

Again, my collection creates a horrible ruckus, each book screeching for my attention. Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently books, Orson Scott Card's Homecoming series, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, P.G. Wodehouse, oh so many books, but in the end I choose The Mists of Avalon, an epic that appeals to so many different parts of me.

Movies:

You know I watch a lot of DVDs. I take after my dad to some extent in my love of films. This will be hard.

Star Wars - my first love. My first theatre movie, even though theatre movies were verboten at the time. *grin* They will always have a special place in my heart.

The Thomas Crown Affair - I have watched this one probably more than any other film, except maybe Star Wars. Yummy!

Captain Ron - what's not to love?
D'oh!! Where's POTO?? What kind of drugs was I on?!?!? POTO will have to knock out Captain Ron. Sorry, Captain. I love you, but I love POTO more.

Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail - how could this not make the list, I ask you?

Again, dilemma time. Notting Hill? Bridget Jones's Diary? Down With Love? I think I'll go with Four Weddings and a Funeral. I love it so much, it's what I put on for distraction when giving birth to my last child at home. Sadly, I tuned out pretty much as soon as it started. Things were moving along quite rapidly. Who could forget that moving W.H. Auden poem? Oh, but A Fish Called Wanda is soooooo good. Ack. I think A Fish Called Wanda edges out Four Weddings.

Minis or collections:

Pride and Prejudice - BBC miniseries. Need I say more? Sigh.

Wooster and Jeeves - pure genius!

Coupling - I will never have my fill of Jeffisms.

The Vicar of Dibley - So many quotable lines!

Children of Dune - I have enough comedy on here already I guess, and this was very, very well done. Especially considering how much I love the books. Usually these sorts of things are a disappointment.

Foods:

Curry - comfort food and oh so delicious. My dad used to make a lot of curries. His years in India as a child gave him a taste for them.

Tacos - the best ones I ever had were a batch my sis and I concocted in CA. We attempted to make tortillas from masa harina - a delicious failure! They didn't wrap, but sure were yummy! Fresh avocados mixed with lime and salt, black beans with garlic, cumin and salt, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, lots of cheese, oh, my!

Sushi - so versatile and yummy. We make the roll kind. John likes Spam sushi, I like whatever - kimchi, chives, cucumber, fake crab, fresh ginger, carrot, scrambled egg, avocado, blah blah blah. . .

Potato Thing - the running joke with my sis-in-law, sister and myself is that we scoop out a serving of Potato Thing and the rest belongs to us (whoever has possession of the pan at the time.) This is a concoction of shredded or diced taters, sour cream, cream of chicken (or cream of whatever) soup, and cheese, topped with cornflakes. I could eat this forever.

#16 from Lao Laan Xang, ginger tofu/chicken/protein - one of the few things I could eat while preggers, still one of my all time favourite foods. Mmmmmmmmm!

Desserts:

Do you like how I got around the food thing that way? I do.

Chocolate - well, duh. Um, Cadbury.

Chocolate cookies - (Homer-like appreciation noise)

Chocolate Chip Cookies - cuz, yum!!

My mom's chocolate cake and icing - which I just can't duplicate

Maurie's chocolates - if I have to pick one, I'll go with the Elemental or Essential (?) truffles. Otherwise, one of everything, please. Especially the Grand Mariner butterflies (ah, this is apparently what you get when the Ancient Mariner gets soused on Grand Marnier :oP ) hazelnut thinggies, dark ting-a-lings, turtles - oooooh yum! I guess it's a good thing I don't live in Madison anymore.

Well, I've killed way too much of my evening doing this. So goodbye in my top 5 languages:

Dzai Dzien (sorry, She-Ra - Mandarin will always sound less whiney to me, even though Cantonese sounds like home, LOL!)
Annyong he ka seyo
Goodbye (in any accent besides American)
Shalom
Arrivederci!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Peg Leg

OK, it's not a peg. Yet. Here's what it looks like right now. These are the colours from my "second knee" (acquired on Thursday) after it bled down into the rest of my shin. Bleh. It's way more vibrant in person. And the reddish part near the bottom is from last night - separate sparring incident. I'm thinking I shouldn't have used arnica just so I could see what it would've looked like otherwise, LOL!


This makes me laugh, because I have cats.

I get all giggly every time I look at it. It's from a comic called "Heart of the City" by Mark Tatulli. The cat's name is Spock. What a great cat name!

I really enjoyed Flightplan. The only major difficulty were the very empty, open, wasted spaces inside the plane. Having worked on planes made it very difficult to employ "suspension of disbelief" there. :oP But OK. Pretty interesting. Needed more Sean Bean (there's a phonetically challenging name - "Shon Bon," "Seen Been" - NO "Shon Been") preferably unclothed. Heh! And it had Peter Sarsgaaaaard, so now I know who folks (OK, Kris and commenters on her blog) are talking about when they mention him.

Ah, Wednesday Eve. Debauchery is in my future. :o)

Relenting

So after my lapse of eating the chocolate icing on my friend's cake (done purely for propriety's sake - well, OK, *mostly*) I have re-Lented and am off chocolate again. It hasn't been too hard for the most part until just lately. Before, I actually tested myself a few times, asking "Wouldn't you like some chocolate about now?" To which I would reply, "Devil, get behind me," and the ensuing physical contortions would be sufficient to distract me and prevent me from agreeing with myself. But lately, kamikaze chocolate things jump at me out of cupboards and scream my name, assuring me that they will be miserable unless I eat them. It's good for sparring, since I have to practice blocking quite a lot. But it's hard on the psyche to have to wrestle the chocolate things back into the cupboard and leave them there weeping distraughtly to themselves. Sometimes I feed them to the children rather than let them suffer.

In the spirit of the Lenten and approaching Easter seasons, I feel it's time to resurrect some of my favourite links. Yes, Peep Research, and Lord of the Peeps. I particularly like the vaccum experiments and Medical Miracle with the Peeps. The injected solvents are pretty good, too. Someone obviously put a LOT of effort into Lord of the Peeps. Possibly too much. My favourite bit is where "Galdalf throws as much of the ring as he can into the fire," LOL!

Today I attempted to assuage my chocolate tooth by trying to convince it that it was merely a sweet tooth. S'mores would have been good, but I settled for nuked Peep. About 20 seconds in our nuker will take a Peep to critical volume, after which, it suffers a complete breakdown. Of course they begin to deflate the moment one opens the nuker door, so this isn't as spectacular as the peak of the Peep's inflation. Perhaps this guy should lay off the sugar.

Life interrupts. More later.

Hi Frank!

Tell my evil sister to call me next time you see her. ;o)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Snakes On a Plane, Baby

O.M.G. How could this be a real movie?!?! Somehow I was convinced it was all a delightful sham. But, no. There's an IMDb listing. And a trailer, LOL! Wow. They have so run out of movie ideas in Hollywood. The awful CGI puts this somewhere below "B movie" status, but it's funny in a "laugh at, not with" sort of way. Cruel? Um, yeah, go watch the trailer and tell me I'm cruel, LOL!

I don't seem to have much of anything to blog about today. I've been so totally uninspired since Phantom (my laptop) lost its map to all my writing. Gah! On the plus side, I've read a lot more. Yesterday I tried to buy this great-sounding book that Jenna mentioned, but alas. They only had book 2 at Borders. Wah!

Last night The Prawn was so tired, she crashed out on Gogo's blanket chest:

Obviously she's the little one on top of the chest, not the big one on the floor. The night before that, she fell asleep on the loft floor. Methinks she's entered another growth spurt. Especially after seeing her hork down a ton of spaghetti tonight. Wowza!

My melon (head, bad people, head!) hurts and I think it's time to go watch a different airplane movie that isn't entirely laughable. (Flightplan) Later 'Taters!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wake Me When March Ends

Today is my dad's Death Day.

If life were an Episode of Red Dwarf, Marcus (and probably a lot of other folks) would be pissed, but aside from that, we'd be having a Death Day party for my dad. And he'd be sitting here with an "H" on his forehead while we all ate and drank and had a rousing good time. The only difference would be that he wouldn't be able to touch anything or eat anything. Come to think of it, that would be pretty rough on him because he loved messing about in the kitchen and creating new things, so maybe that's not such a great thing.

Unlike Billie Joe Armstrong, I wasn't a child when my dad died, and it wasn't unexpected - it took a little under 3 months from his diagnosis with cancer until his death. I was lucky enough to know my dad until I was 29, to have had a good relationship with him, to have heard him tell me that he was proud of me. What more could a person want?

Time.

If my dad hadn't died, he would have thought flash memory sticks were the coolest things ever. I'd have watched The Phantom of The Opera with him and then bought him the POTO DVD and the extended edition of the music soundtrack. I bet it would have been one of his all time favourite movies. He was a romantic at heart and would probably have thought Christine was ├╝berhot. And I would have watched the Coupling DVDs with him, too. He would have laughed his ass off.

He'd have gotten to see my third and fourth children: my son named after him, my daughter after a character in a book I think he probably would have loved. He hadn't really been into fiction until near the end.

I could have grilled him more about his childhood in India, China and Taiwan and asked him to tell me the story about the bee who "bit" him again.

He'd have gotten to see and hear my sister's group Navan's 2 CDs and know that they're working on their third. Their THIRD! :o) And that she was recording with The Getaway Drivers the other night.

I'd go visit him and my mom in South Dakota and we'd find that letterbox on Dinosaur Hill that we've walked right past, unknowingly, every time we've been there. He'd have seen me get a story and poetry published and photos accepted for further consideration. We could have talked cameras and lenses and shown each other our pics. We could have reveled in the amazingness of digital photography together. I could have asked him for tips on chess and lost innumerable games to him. I'd be able to hear all the new music he would have written, would have heard about his latest obsessions (usually technological gadgetry), gotten the lowdown on every new movie from him and so much more. But that is never going to happen now, because he did die. He had an amazingly complacent attitude about it through the very end - never wanting us to feel sorry or frightened for him. He said he was ready, at peace, willing; that he'd see us on the other side. And he will. But in the meantime, I miss him.

***Gordon Shigley: 8 January, 1941-19 March, 1999 *** Ruht Wohl

Saturday, March 18, 2006

That's All She Wrote

I'm having a very hard time getting motivated to write again until I know the status of the stuff trapped in my laptop. Argh. Plus the laptop - well - I don't know what's all going on with it, but it needs some help before I can write on it again, and I don't like sitting in The Cave (computer room) to write. :oP

Maybe I'll invent a muse.

The other day, Emmett (orange kitty) fell in the bathub while I was still in it. Yikes!!! I was rather concerned that he would shred all the flesh on my bod, or eviscerate me or whatnot, but he was rather calm about the whole incident. Pretty good, considering that the water was deeper than he is tall. He managed to stay up on his back legs and reach/scrabble for the side. Obviously that wasn't going to get him anywhere, so I boosted him out. He then went 'round the edge to leave (and no doubt have a proper kitty bath, thus magically drying himself) but he fell in AGAIN, this time behind me. *cringe* Oddly enough, we both survived the incident unscathed. I'm still not quite sure how. Then, the next day, he blew out of the window. Poor kitty. He's having a better week now.

In other news, turns out you can't believe everything you read. (well, duh!) But reports are sure getting more creative. Remember when Daniel Craig got 2 teeth knocked out during the fight stunt? Um, WRONG! He says, "I got bumped and I knocked a crown out. I got it fixed, simple as that. It didn't hurt and there was no bleeding. I saw a dentist and never left the set. I completed the day's work."

Tomorrow is March 19th. I tried to forget that date, thinking it would be easier, just like I purposely ignored the calendar when my kids were weaning cuz I never wanted to know the last time I sat down and nursed them. I never wanted to think "this could be it." But some things don't work that way and just as the address of the first boy I ever wrote to will always be permanantly emblazoned in my memory, so March 19th seems to be stuck in my mind. And maybe that's a good thing.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Jelly Legs

Tomorrow will be interesting. I had jelly-legs after our unique class tonight - lots of running, jumping, kicking, more running, more jumping, more kicking. I may have had a minor heart-attack as well. I hear it'll heal stronger, though, so that's OK, I guess.

Wednesday, The Prawn had a rough day. She was feeling carsick (for the first time ever) just as we got to Borders, then thought she was lost not once, but TWICE, then got a paper cut from her new book on the way home, then felt carsick again! Blargh! Then today Fishy seemed a bit weepy at the pool - not quite weepy, but on the verge. He was cold and looking pale, so we called it a day earlier than usual and came home to eat lunch with our friends and play. He seems to be fine. My friend made her chocolate frosting that I've been hearing about for months now, so I was forced to abandon my Lentular abstinence from chocolate and try it. Oh yeah!!!! Back on my chocolate abstinence now. But YUM! While we were swimming, I told my friend about
Egan's theory on pool-peeing, but neither of us is able to accept it.

John has one last-ditch plan to try to rescue my wriitng. Fingers crossed!

I was not a credit to my Irishness today, as I neither wore the green nor imbibed the Holy (Fire) Water. Bad girl! And the only foreign laguages I used were German and Korean. Maybe French, I can't remember. What a very bad Irish girl, indeed. Maybe I can make up for it tomorrow.

Slainte!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Left Foot HNT

First a famous movie, and now an HNT coming to a blog near you!




Nothing too exciting. It will have better colour in a few days, as will the lump on my right shin. What hurts the most is the lump at the base of my leftmost toes, but that doesn't show up in pics yet. Bummer of a sparring night. Got to spar my arch nemesis, but neither of us did a good job of remembering to use the drills we've been working on. I'm not good at thinking *too* much while I spar. I was trying to get lined up for some of the defensive stuff we practiced, but it seemed one of us was always in the wrong stance for it. I did use the jump spinning back kick I've been working on, but came up a little short. Next time I'll try to really go for it. Then I sparred John and kept hurting him. I was trying hard not to, but he kept ending up beyond where I thought he was headed and I got him once in the top of each thigh. Argh. So that match didn't last long.

The raccoon, on the other hand, is having a good night:

She's still out there grazing as I type.

Swimming tomorrow. Hurrah! Swimming is always lovely.

Marshmallows, Take 2

"What?" you ask, "Have monkeys actually flown out of your rear end??"

No, my friends. This was a different recipe, so I didn't have to wait for the aforementioned monkeys as a sign that it was time to make marshmallows again. Besides, I think 1 monkey attack per lifetime is more than enough.

Always trust Australians, that's what I say. Plus they're fun to listen to, and an Aussie accent always renders a guy several points higher on the hotness scale. Obviously, this was an Australian marshmallow recipe. Specifically, it's the recipe from "The Australian Women's Weekly" dated December 24, 1975. Why do I have that? I don't. The recipe is a photocopy that was given to my mom by an Aussie friend in HK. No, not Bradley Grieve's mom, the OTHER Australian family. Don't get me started thinking about how lovely Bradley's grown up looking. And you know he has an Aussie accent. Sigh. Eh, where was I? Oh yes! Success! (sadly for all of us, cuz Take 1 was a lot more entertaining)



They are really light and fluffy and taste quite good! Much nicer than store-bought marshies. Yes, I ate the strip that's missing, and then I ate more! No fat! But what a sugar buzz. By the time class is over I'll be all shaky for sparring, LOL! Maybe I should bring a marshie for a booster. Maybe the whole pan. . .

My friend at TKD who gave me recipe #1 (yes, she's still my friend in spite of that) tried to make them yesterday and they flopped for her, too. Obviously she had not yet seen my pics, and I had forgotten to fill her in on Monday night about the dangers of attempting that recipe. She didn't have sticky goo, though. Hers separated. Bleh. I say we blame the evil recipe, which is clearly a plot by Martha Stewart, or possibly one of her forerunners since it's quite old, to make us feel inadequate.

In other news, a thief came in the night:

Yes, the raccoons are back. Time to start throwing leftovers out on the deck again. I wonder when the first babies will make an appearance. I'll try to get pics.

The other day Mollusc had an idea:

I particularly applaud the use of a swim mask for safety purposes. I did tell her to get the heck away from me so I wouldn't die in the inevitable ensuing explosion. The Prawn immediately picked up on this, ran to John and shouted excitedly, "Daddy!!!! Do you wanna DIE?!?!?!?"
Odd girl.

More fun with surgical gloves:


STAND BACK!!!!!!

I don't think they're sterile any more.

Mollusc poked Sluggie's with a pin and the resulting concussion was fantastic!! Sluggie then held a funeral for her glove. She even invited the glove's murderer. She buried it under Fishy's bed.

No HNT yet. Egan, I'm not sure you get to look since you mock it. ;o) Haven't decided what to use. Maybe I'll get an amazing bruise at sparring. I had another idea, but it would actually constitute FNT and no one wants to see that!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hell

Who's an idiot? Oh, I know! I know! *jumping up and down and waving frantically* Me!! Me!! It's me!!!!!

My 4 month old laptop is where I keep all my writing. 15,000 words of one book, 6 or 7 other 1,500 - 5,000 word stories. Outlines. Notes. Oh crap - just remembered another - dunno - 10,000 or so word beginning of a book.

Was I smart enough to back it up? *shakes head*

Is the hard drive dying? *nods head*

Will it ever come back online long enough for me to slurp out my files? *weeps*

Oooh! Lookie! It's my own personal hell. :oP

Angels and Demons

Guess what we were making tonight:

The kids were hungry for them and at sparring one of the moms was running to Farmer Jack's (or as the sign says, "Far er Jack's") for eggs because they were on sale 2doz/$1 and offered to grab me some. So that's a little over 2.5 dozen eggs minus whatever the kids carped before I started.
After a rousing game of "Ppppbbbbttt!" "Shield!" (see if you can guess how it works)

we tucked into the yummy eggs.
Prawn did this for her pic, so of course everyone had to follow suit. "And a little child shall lead them," no?

Slug (always with the crazy hair):

Fishy:

Mollusc demonstrates how they got the name "Deviled Eggs":

When all was said and done, this was what remained:

Not very Martha Stewart, I'll grant you, but this is a real house and none of us are patient people. You'll find no fancy piping of egg guts through frosting bags here! Looks like there are 13-14 whole eggs left out of our original 31.

Comments heard thereafter:

"I feel sick."
"Ooooh. My stomach hurts"
Mollusc, looking at the remains of her last partially-eaten egg: "Uuuuuurgh!"

Hope they're hungry for them again tomorrow!

So that was the Demons part of the post. Here come the Angels. This actually had the potential to be another Demons part, but they cleaned up the suds all by themselves:



Monday, March 13, 2006

Corny Jokes and Barbie Wars

I've heard a few corny jokes at TKD lately. Usually during warm-ups the puns start flying. But for some reason it was joke night the other night and we had to re-tell them all to the punniest guy tonight since he had missed them.

What do you call a bear with no teeth?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
A gummy bear!


What goes "clop, clop, clop, BANG, BANG, clop, clop, clop"

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
An Amish drive-by shooting. (no offense to all my Amish readers. ;o) Get it?? ) Can Amish people use guns? Is there, like, some kind of cutoff date for which technology is accpetable and which isn't?


Oooh! I remembered the last one!

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitaran eat?!?!?!?

Got any corny jokes? I'll be a hero at TKD. If I can remember them, that is. . .

A rather shocking (or at least highly surprising) Barbie post on another blog combined with my having read a post about feminism on a different blog made me think of the whole Barbie wars tonight. I played with Barbie as a kid, and I never ONCE, EVER wanted to look like her. I was a total tomboy. (Yes, I realise this is hard to reconcile with the whole playing-with-Barbies thing, but there you are.) I liked all her cool little gadgets - cases that actually *opened* and tiny little things to stash inside them and take back out again. (Maybe I was channelling Eeyore.) I had a Ballerina Barbie that could do the splits, high kick (OK now I'm thinking in TKD terms - um lift her leg really really high - what's that called?) even bend her knees (click, click, click - oddly enough my left knee DOES click now when I bend it, but this is never something to which I've aspired. :-/ )

When my girls were born, I had forgotten - completely forgotten - how much fun Barbie and I had had together. I'm sorry to say that I totally bought into the whole Barbie-bashing mentality without even giving it a second thought. My first wasn't interested in Barbies, being more a stuffed animal-loving child, so it wasn't until my second professed - oh horror - an interest in the plastic pal that's fun to be with (oh wait, that's Marvin) that I had to come to terms with the issue.

It's easy to bash something that everyone else bashes for seemingly righteous reasons. It's using your brain and, if logic dictates, flying in the face of popular opinion that should be respected. But alas. Making a conscious decision to purchase Evil Barbies (made in China by slave labour, and sporting unnaturally idealistic body proportions and decidedly non-thrifty clothes collections that will surely warp my daughters' self-images - oh did I mention? - turns out #1 likes them, too) has forever doomed me to live in the "sellout" category.

On the other hand, I get bonus points from John for buying pregnant Midge (with removable Communist plastic belly *snickersnort*) because he thinks she's hot. ;o)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sun Day

I never imagined I would hear this uttered by one of my children:

"I'm an anthropomorphic European Dragon!" (Fishy, 6)

Strange child, LOL!

***


Today was a Gorgeous Spring Day with capital letters. It was sunny, warm and calm. We headed off to Kensington Park (The farther East you get in the USA, the more British the names get.) We specifically wanted to get some photos of where we'll be shooting some of our film footage, but there was plenty to enjoy on the way.

The lakes have completely thawed now and the swans were out en masse, causing Fishy to proclaim, "now THAT'S what I call Swan Lake!"



Today's objective lies along the Aspen trail.



As soon as we get out of the car (which John has parked at a steep sideways angle on a hill, causing me to have visions of it rolling down the hill and crushing me as I exit) we can smell it: Spring! Joyous Spring!! The sweet smells of drying grass and pine needles mix with that of moist, thawed earth and budding trees. Our route takes us past countless sparkling little rivulets running clear and cold through the marshy grasses. Deer tracks of all sizes cross and re-cross the trail, and near the larger streams, little raccon prints are pressed firmly into the rich, black mud.

It isn't long before the birds spot us. The unmistakable ruffling flutter of their wings all around our heads tells us that they're coming in for seeds, and we truly regret not having brought any. Sluggie, however, finds some scattered on the path, and soon the birds are eating from her hand. She gives another to Mollusc, who immediately gets a chickadee to come for it.



Farther along, we find a gentleman giving seeds to a grey squirrel who is sitting a mere 2 feet (or less) from him. (That's the man's sleeve in the lower left corner.)



Sluggie discovers, among other things, a fossilized snail shell. And of course everyone needs a good walking stick.



Fishy blazes new trails through the woods, trusty walking staff at his side

and comes upon a clearing where the cattails tower above him.


There are quite a few little footbriges on this trail. I think everyone knows that the sole purpose of bridges is to provide something to look under.

And under and around most of these bridges is where we find a number of funny, striped bulbs pushing up through the newly thawed mud. We soon learn from an older lady passing by that these are skunk cabbages. She tells us that they are "Nature's Easter Eggs," which I find delightful.

All around us downed trees beg to be walked along single-file

and rotting stumps demand to be climbed:

We find the Aspen Trail
letterbox and look at the new entries. Someone has visited from Taiwan! We vow to bring our letterboxing kit next time.
The end of our hike takes us past the nature centre and the lake there, where huge, grey carp at least as long as my hand and forearm hang weightless in the murky water.

Every now and then one raises its pouty orange lips to mouth at the water's surface. And if we're looking at the right moment, we can see a fat, glistening body hurl itself up out of the water as it snatches at an insect.

The fish keep us occupied for quite a while

Mollusc hopes that one will nibble her fingers.

And The Prawn wants to know if they have teeth.

Finally, it's time to load up and head home. We'll be back soon!!

* * *

Supper was fabulous - barbecued chicken on the grill (YES! grilling weather) oven roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic, and sweet corn. The kids played outside both before and after supper and are only just now coming in to shower and settle in for the night.

Even though it's not Wednesday (Flylady's Anti-Procrastination Day) I finally finished a project the Prawn and I have been working on. The B&W pics with the smoke haiku were taken while she was painting the frame and letter white. Today I got the fabric on the backboard and assembled it all. D is for Prawn, obviously. ;o)



I hope you all had a wonderful Sun Day, too. :o)