Monday, February 26, 2007

A Swift Post (with added chickeny goodness)

I got an email from Barnes and Noble today, inviting me to "Celebrate The Cat in the Hats' 50th Birthday." How many were there, anyway? One was too many for my taste. Anyone who has "fun that is funny" is the Anti-Christ in my book. After 4 kids, I am Seussed out. In fact, I believe I received my full quota of Seussian smarminess before even giving birth to my own children. Watching one of my littles pick up a Seuss book at the library and head purposefully in my direction has always produced the same visceral reaction I experienced so many times while riding the "G" bus in Madison. (The G bus goes to Mendota, and yes, thankyouverymuch, I did exit the bus BEFORE the final destination, Smarty-pants!) Somehow, no matter how many silent incantations and promises I offered up to the Gods of Mass Transit upon seeing 650 lb BO Woman, or Pen-Tapping Rocking Guy, or, yes, Awkard-Questions-Asking I-Don't-Need-No-Stinking-Medication Person heading in my direction, they would inevitably wedge themselves into the seat/s next to me.

But I digress. (plus, that is just too painful to think about any longer) Perhaps I should have called this blog "Tristram Shandy's Blog." :-P

Oh, but before I forget, HALELLUJAH, JAFFAR! 1) I finished that review book!!! and 2) The publishing company replied to my email and stated that they were aware of the errors (attributed to some sort of software glitch) and, because it's a print-on-demand setup, the new books will be unmarred by the aforementioned atrocities.

I smell chicken! Look!

I meant to attempt some sort of Tom Swifty post. But I'm not sure that that can be done, barring my resorting to referring to myself in the 3rd person and speaking in dialogue. So in lieu of that, I will just post some plain ol' Swifties (perhaps stretching the rules just a little) and hope that you will add your own. ^_^

* * *

"Someone's punctured my tire," Tom said flatly.

"I hope you don't expect me to wait out here in 12-Degree weather," Jane said icily.

"I'll walk you home," he said, switching from his regularly operatic timbre, to a more pedestrian tone. (Ark ark!!)

Er, there doesn't have to be any continuity between them. That just sort of happened. OK, now I'll give you both barrels - the worst of the worst up with which I can come. ;)

"A Teutonic man! Guarding sheep in the field," she barked. (sock!)

"$500! That's a lot of dough," she said, her voice rising incredulously. (pow!)

"Personally, I can't stand Theodore Geisel and that thing in the hat," she said cattily. (oof!)

Your turn!

addendum : wow, I just read the Wikipedia thing I linked. They have some REALLY good ones. I'm going to have to use my Jedi powers to come up with some better ones! (she said Forcefully)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Le Sigh

I'm sick of this review book. I'm sick of all the stinking typos, misspelt/misused words (no, you do NOT "role" onto your back, dammit!) and missing words. I'm sick of jumping between 654 characters' points of view and trying to remember whether or not I've met THIS guy yet, and if so, who the hell he might be. I'd like to try to pull a semi-positive review out of my ass, but it's going to have to really pick up before I can do that. To borrow from ~d, right now this is a "crap-ass" book. All I can think about when reading it at this point is "I have so many GOOD books waiting to be read." Le Sigh.

But it's still better than
that one book. (Not Peter and Beth, which was good, but the book from which I reprinted the paragraph in italics, which I choose not to name.) I'm not sure what to do at this point. I really try to take only books for which I'm pretty sure I'll be able to write an honest, positive review. When some place called this one of their "top ten sci-fi picks of the year" I truly did not expect it to be riddled with typos and annoying omissions. But at least the writing, in general, is decent. It needs help. It needs to be tightened up. There are whole pages that could go missing without harming the plot. I wonder if this book had an editor. At this point, I sincerely doubt it.

OK, well that's enough ranting. Plus, I want to check out Sylvia. Of course it can't have a happy ending, but it does have Bond. ^_^

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fry Day

First, I want to thank you all for your very kind reception of my guinea pig YouTube. I still have plenty to learn, like why some of the picture resolutions dropped so low, when others stayed high, but I'm on my way. :)

I'm plodding through my current review book. Even though some other place raved about it and called it one of their top ten sci-fi picks for the year, I'm finding it sorta uninspiring so far. But maybe it will pick up as it goes. I need to finish it quickly, regardless, because I have The Shakespeare Code coming for review next. That one looks pretty cool! And I find the fact that the cipher wheel was discovered in a warehouse in nearby Detroit very intriguing.

MuNKi and I recently watched The Illusionist and The Prestige. Though neither was stellar, I found both of them entertaining.

Today I worked on Bio Vid #1 for a couple of hours, and after renaming/numbering all my clips and dismantling it (so I could add stuff and stretch as necessary without messing things up further down the line,) adding fade-ins and fade-outs, cross-dissolves and text where necessary, I have a whopping 18 seconds of completed film so far. ^_^

I'm looking for new music to love, so if you have something about which you're rabid, please tell me, and I'll check it out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


OK, so Egan will hate this (the song and the cats) and Diesel might hate this (singer somewhat Bluntesque) but I must joyfully proclaim my YouTube success from the mountaintops. Or at least from the chair in the office.

Basically this is a love note to my family. I apologise that it's not more relevant to the Blogging scene, but there you are. Stand back, World. The only things standing between myself and World Domination now are spray cheese and shoelaces. Oh and lots and lots of Jell-O™.

Hmmm. Everything seems to flash a millisecond too late. More tweakage required I guess.

Woden's Day

Our holy day has arrived once again. How I do love Wednesdays! Shall we go to Borders? The library? Just be vegetables at home? The beauty of it is that we can do all or none of it according to our whims. Ahhhhhh! :)

I have a few projects lined up, all of which are things I love to do. I'm going to serge up a couple of things for my mom (lavender and fluff filled kitty pillows as per request,) I think we'll pull out some art stuff, and there's the next segment of bio vid to shoot, as well as the arranging of existing vid. (might need Wodin/Odin's help there) Oh, and writing. I need to read more of the review book and possibly finish it (it's kinda lame so far, so not a ton of motivation there) and of course there's always the piano to torture, and the guitar to mangle.

All this, and Sting, Khaled, and several other wonderful musicians have kindly agreed to hang out in the living room and serenade us at will. Life is good.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Relief Worker

I've been saved. Saved I tell you. By my wonderful GuTTer MuNKi. He has done some sort of Wizardry (don't worry, cleanup was minimal and no one saw the naked-dancing-around-the-bonfire part AFAIK) and has resurrected my project and yea (Biblical "yea") even burned the sucker onto a DVD. Hallelujah, Jaffar!!!

And so Adobe may live to die another day.

I see that Sluggie takes after her mother because last night the kids watched "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" at a friend's house and then she wrote a hate letter to the screenwriter because he killed off the ant. She hasn't mailed it. It was really just a cathartic exercise (much like my blogging) but she is rather eloquent in her spewing of vitriol, I must say. Mama is so proud. ^_^ This could be a genetic thing. MuNKi's grandfather used to pen letters to congressfolk back in the day. His letters always began the same way: "You Dirty Carp!" Needless to say, Grandpa M LOATHED

Even though MuNKi was able to breathe life into my monster ("it is aliiiiiiiiiive!") I think it's too big to YouTube. Bummer. MuNKi says he can help me with a youTube version though. Someone deserves a gigantic reward. ^_^

Even though I have fallen down on the presentation front, I do have something fabulous for you anyway. Check this out. That's my uncle. (No, not the woman on the home page, silly! The photographer!) Yes, artistic greatness flows through my veins. Hopefully it hasn't all flowed out through the many cuts and scrapes that I've sustained over the years. I'm doing my best to tap into it. And Joe has been extremely kind in helping me to ensure that I am not at home to Mr. Cock-up. Thank you, Joe!!

"I'll catch you on the flipside. . ." ^_^

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Clinging to Sanity

Adobe hates me. I can tell, because after spending 3 days on a silly little slideshow, it won't let me burn the blasted thing to DVD. Rather than performing as advertised, the program informs me that I should go to hell while it shuts down. And it won't let me port it to another computer without making me go into the picture folders and pointing out all 147 pictures one by one (if I could even find them all again.) For some reason when I export to Windows Media, all video gets dropped (though the audio is great.) Quicktime fares better, but the sound sucks the bag. And the timing get thrown off a bit. And it's still too big to email or upload anyway.

My friend said today that her sis (an Adobe honcho) gets all kinds of hate mail. I told her that I totally understand why. ^_^

I have learned some valuable things from this exercise in futility:

- no matter how high tech a program might appear to be, I will be the one who needs the one seemingly simple little thing that it cannot do

- never try to build anything with Adobe Premiere Elements on the left-hand computer again

- make a tiny little 3 second movie as a test, rather than a 4:24 one

- anything else I may have learned has been replaced by a bad word starting with "F" and every time I attempt to access that portion of my memory, that's all that comes to mind

Somehow tomorrow is going to be Monday again already. How does that happen?

Oh, on a far happier note, Going Great White had a blurb in the WI State Journal today. Clearly Frank and Frank are having more success with Adobe than I am. ^_^

Friday, February 16, 2007

Frustration Station


Have you ever tried to use Adobe Premier Elements? I suspect that my 'puter hasn't got the horsepower to keep up with things. The timeline says my slideshow is going on track with the music, but the vid isn't in synch. Well, sometimes it is.
MuNKi "rendered" an earlier version for me (no, I have no idea what he did with the digital fat, nor do I want to) and everything was copasetic, so I'm pressing on with glory. HOO rah! (That's for my squidly readers. Of which there are none AFAIK. Oh well. Maybe it will trickle into Mr. Logo's ears.)

Today was co-op day, so we are fruity and vegetably once more. And my shea butter lotion stuff came in, so maybe my hands will stop sloughing off. I'm down to about 85% of my original hands. OK, maybe not quite that bad, but winter is hard on the appendages.

Short post, because I'm going to finish this vid if it kills me. I want to burn a DVD of it for my mom. And I think my sis will like it, too. (Think she'll trade me for the new Getaway Drivers' album?) Plus, I'll probably inflict it on you guys so that I can figure out how to YouTube stuff. Aren't you excited now? It's Joe's fault. He called me a mogul and it went to my head. So far it's proving to be a bumpy ride. ;) (please put the gun down now)

Procrastination Station

Egan knows what I did today. So do Amanda and Gawpo. Was it what I was supposed to be doing? It was not. No, between emailing my sis, slow-time chatting with Egan, Amanda and Gawpo in Egan's blog comments, and returning over and over to loop a YouTube song, there was not a ton of writing going on.

Tonight I got started on vid making, and because of my new obsession (this song I'm about to present) I'm doing a practice slideshow vid before cobbling together the first Bio vid. What fun! :)

OK, so here's my new obsession. I did finally buy the song tonight. I'm showing a Clivegasm that someone else put together (using footage from Beyond Borders, a depressing film, but it has Clive, so OK) rather than the original (boring) vid by the group. So now I give you Chasing Cars, by Snow Patrol.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Filmsy Excuse

Didn't accomplish much domestically today, because Wednesday is Creative Day. I got some writing done and we started on a silly Biology film to complement the new course, which arrived a couple of days ago. (YAY!)

Mollusc and I scripted and storyboarded the first segment and then I shot it.
MuNKi is sucking it into the computer for us, and loading Adobe Whatsit onto one of the non-dungeon computers so we can tinker with it.

While you wait for that gem, you can enjoy this!
Oh, and please go vote at the Word Game. :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Going Great White

While tonight's title could pertain to the current snowstorm we're having, it's also the title of my friend Frank's film. :) Remember when I got to be an extra? (last half or so of the post, but it's long and rambling, so you needn't bother if you're not up to it ^_^ ) Well here's the trailer. I actually spotted myself in there twice, but only very briefly, and only because I knew where to look. ^_^

Monday, February 12, 2007

Go Trudy!

Wow! The first song from the new Getaway Drivers CD is #1 in the Indie Rock category at Acid Planet right now. :) Go check it out, eh? (play button to the right) Go sis!! ^_^

Sorry? You didn't order SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, Trudy, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM? How about the SPAM special? ^_^

Random Item of the Day: While I think that French can be a beautifully expressive language, there are some things that just don't come off very well in translation, the name Capitaine Crochet being one of them. ^_^

Friday, February 09, 2007

Is Anybody Alive in Here?

Nobody but us in here. . .

I live! I finished 3, count 'em 3 books on Wednesday. No, I did not start them then. Yes, I do have the abominable habit of reading several books at once. But now I'm down to 3: Dragonfly in Amber (still!) Forge of the Gods (for review) and Chinese Cinderella, so yay, me!

In addition, I've been inspired to find/make time for writing more seriously again, so of course the blogging suffers.

Deb Gliori became one of the kids' and my top favourite authors the other day when we read this passage in "Pure Dead Wicked":

The mini-market demonstrated that the rogue apostrophe was alive and well in Auchenlochtermuchty, with banners offering FREE-RANGE TURKEY'S, FINE WINE'S, and oddly, FRESH ASPARAGU'S.

I think she's Mollusc's new hero. ^_^

I ordered new math books the other day and they showed up yesterday, to much excited hooting and hollering from the kids. Fishy felt sorry for his because it was cold, and put it on the heat register, Sluggie actually kissed hers, grabbed a pencil and started in right away, and Mollusc was duly impressed with her Algebra book. Poor Prawn was the only one who didn't get a new one, much to her disappointment. I wonder what will happen when the biology course shows up. . .

I have more to say, but I have to get ready to teach a new class, which may or may not be a recurring thing for me.

Oh yes, and my elbow hurts and the birdfeeders were emptied today, so I'm guessing a storm is on the way.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pics, Lotsa Pics, and Mostly Just Pics

The weird footprints of Princess Many-Toes:

Sarlaac adventure! (on Hoth, apparently)

Sledding fun at the house of friends.

And now, let the craziness (or Swedishness?) ensue!! ^_^

Yes, we made snow angels, took laps around the house (what must their neighbours think?) and had a generally great time, in spite of our frozen hair. ^_^ And all this in 9.5 degree (F) weather.

And now, I bid you adieu. Sweet dreams. . .

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Well, it kind of just needed its own post. More verbosity below.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Imbolc!

Happy First Day of the Spring Quarter! Happy St. Brigid's Day! Happy Candlemas! Happy Groundhog Day! Happy Everything!

Today we celebrated by burning candles (one a floating candle in a dish of melting snow) and consuming dairy products and mulled mead.

We brought in a big tub of snow and the kids spent hours making sarlaac pits for the SW guys. Sickeningly cute pics to follow. Perhaps tomorrow. We also hit the co-op, where I was delighted to find that we now have a cheese supplier. I got a block of raw, organic sharp cheddar as well as a bag of shredded mozzerella. When I brought the list of available cheeses home to show MuNKi, he wanted MORE! So I waited for my friend (who has really been wanting to check out the co-op) and took her on my return trip for MORE CHEESE! (yes, we lived in WI for a loooooooong time :) ) They also had organic popcorn from a local family farm, so I bought 2 lbs of that and can't wait to try it!

Yesterday, the kids and I made some
Artist Trading Cards (again, pics to follow when I'm not mead-filled and hazy - er - lazy.) This blog has a neat ATC theme per week thing going on. Looks like she's in Paris right now. Wow!

Will it kill you if I don't do a YouTube?

Ok, You know my love for OK Go. Yes? Here's a fun vid of the OK Go Phenomenon - a bunch of diff groups doing their copies of the "Million Ways to Be Cruel" dance. Very cru - er cool. ^_^

And the original, because, let's face it, no one can do it quite like these guys. ^_^

Oh yeah, and we got to play with nunchucks in red belt class tonight. I had to do lots of pushups cuz I kept dropping (once) or banging (many times) mine into the ground. Argh. I sux at nunchux. Plenty of room for improvement - yeah, that's the way to look at it. ^_^ All I can say is that it's a damn good thing they were the spongy spongey soft ones!