Thursday, January 31, 2008

Out and About

After some local power outages 2 nights ago that didn't actually seem to affect us, we were without the benefit of the "intrawebs" until tonight. It didn't really matter, though, since I finished up a Mr. Darcy book that I need to return to a friend, and got a new review book in the mail today. The new book is "Firefly Lane" and so far is fantastic. Yay! The library is still without power, so I guess we're lucky to have it here.

Yesterday was a day of book shopping (3 new books for the Ancient History class we'll be starting, the newest Alex Rider, and a Garfield) and a night of LOTR watching. I love days like that.

Tonight is class and sparring, to be followed by more LOTR watching. :-)

The girls and I have been brushing up on our Black Belt curriculum questions. Now that they are 1st Poom (the 15 and under equivalent of first Dan) they have to learn the adult curriculum, which is a LOT longer. They're doing well, though, and I think they'll be ready when we test a week from Saturday. Still not really looking forward to that, but it's a positive experience in an esprit de corps sort of way. And oh, poo, I was supposed to order power gel stuff for that. Argh. I wonder if it's too late? :-P

Friday, January 25, 2008

Simple Cushions, Martha-Style

I'm sure that just like me, you've been cleaning the house while the freshly-made foie gras is chilling when you've been suddenly seized by the urge to have more pillows. Well, my friend, you are in luck, because that's what today's post is all about; foie gras pillows.

First, you need just a few basic materials - the kinds of things that I'm sure you all have lying around in your crafting vaults:

whale bone - a nice 6-8" piece (We will only be using a small portion of this, so don't fret if yours is a little on the scant side.)

eggs, freshly laid Auricana (look for these in your fridge if they aren't in your vault)

a basic assortment of clays and powdered gemstones

a goat

bamboo, freshly harvested, preferably Phyllostachys aurea

fine muslin (hand loomed of course!)

Panda fur (shed from a 3 month-old panda for greatest softness)

Using basic techniques, craft a brush from bamboo and goat hair and mix up a nice array of paints from the eggs, clays and crushed gems. Now, simply paint a picture on your muslin and wait for it to dry! Spray the dried fabric with industrial fixative and bake it in a slow oven for 2 days to set. Hand wash on cold in goat's milk (you can use the same goat!) and dry with a hair dryer set to "primp." This should only take about 12 hours. Wash again in a vinegar bath to "double-set" and air dry in your walk-in humidor.

Woo hoo! You're almost ready to sew!

For the back, round up a bunch of scrap fibers such as sisal from the mat we made in last month's craft, raffia from your gift-wrapping stash, and hemp from the neighbour's garden. The more varied your collection, the better; we're going for a very "primitive" look with this. Dental floss is discouraged because it will make your pillows smell like old people.

Weave a nice, tight mat of fibers, cut to size and bind the edges.

From your whale bone, craft a sharp, slender needle and get stitching!

Fill with baby panda fur and slipstitch the opening closed. Voila!

Wasn't that easy? Be sure to check back next month to learn how to craft a recliner from your stash of toothpaste caps!

1 or 2? 1 or 2?

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Tomorrow I will put on a bra for the first time in a week. That's the longest since puberty that I've gone without one. I dunno. Something about that just struck me as. . . well it just struck me I guess.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Boy With a Coin

Thanks to my sis for sharing this:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alive and Kicking

Well, no, actually, not kicking.

But alive anyway.

Which is really saying something.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


The flu. I has it.

So not fun.

Without tea I would be dead.

At least it's not a stomach thing, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Girl and Her Raven

Or maybe he's a rook.

Anyway, Joan Aiken's books about Arabel and Mortimer have got to be the funniest kids' books ever written. I had forgotten just how precisely delightful they are until we started reading them again last night.

TKD is closed through Saturday because the Master has a nasty flu. The only exception is the kids' after-school club, which must go on (because where else are they gonna go?) so I'm handling that. The kids were very good for me today, but when the last one's mom came to pick him up, he turned into a complete snot. I couldn't believe what a brat he became. She let him walk all over her, too, which was both embarrassing and frustrating to watch. I need to talk to the Master about the idea of adding some sort of off-the-mat behaviour tip as a testing requirement.

Speaking of testing, black belt testing time has rolled around again, and our test is in a little over 3 weeks. This will be the first of 6 bi-annual tests toward my 2nd Dan. Not looking forward. :-P But I'll probably live through it. MuNKi, Mollusc and Sluggie are testing too.

I'm on a roll of seemingly getting nothing done at home, so I'll probably be scarce for a while.

Later, taters!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Odds n Ends

Today is voting day. Sadly, there is no one terribly inspiring for whom to vote, but I went anyway. Fishy insisted on wearing a tie. (We tugged his sweater down for the pic so it would show better.) Mollusc thought that maybe there should be a new system for narrowing down the candidates:

1) Logic Tournament

2) Sparring Tournament (in this order, so we get the fittest smart person rather than the least dumb of the fit people)

3) English Grammar Test


I think she may be on to something. Chess might be a good idea as well - something to demonstrate a decent grasp of "strategerie."

Last night after Little Kids' Class, we went to the library for "Yummy Memories." Each of the kids brought a recipe card and got to scrap it on a piece of 12" x 12"paper. Prawn wanted my help, which is a true test of mommy skills, because as a scrapper I want things reasonably balanced and coordinated, but as a mom I know it's important to let her make her own choices and have fun with it. After all, it's supposed to be her page, not mine. So if she wants to cut out a random scrap of paper with decorative scissors and glue it over the mixing bowl on her card, and then decorate it with a face, more power to her. And if she wants to colour the sticker of the giant glass of milk pink and draw a guy reminiscent of the subject of Munch's The Scream on it, so be it. And in the end, it actually came out pretty cute. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm Loving All of This

The Grocery Game rocks BIGTIME! Today Kroger was doubling coupons up through $1 (so you could get up to $2 off per coupon.) I went through all my coupons, and armed with my List (from the GG) headed off to do battle.

End result:

Value of groceries bought = $389.29

Total I had to pay = $157.98

for a savings of $231.31

HOO ra!

Quite a few the items ended up being free. In fact, they paid me to take some of them away! ^_^

Friday, January 11, 2008

Homeland Insecurity

I've been doing some online research about bank alarms and security, hostage negotiation procedures, and the psychology of various participants in hostage situations for a story I'm currently working on. Do you think someone's gonna break down my door?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Ongoing Saga of the Ring

OK, so to recap (rather than pointing you off to a bunch of tedious posts):

○ I lost my original wedding ring down the tub drain.

○ The diamond fell out of my engagement ring, which was soldered to my new wedding ring.

○ The replacement ring I was wearing flew off at the park and was lost in the tanbark under the merry-go-round.

○ I broke my new ring whilst punching the bags at TKD.

○ The new ring was repaired (by the World's Most Dangerous Jeweler), and I began taking it off to spar and to punch the bags. On the one occasion I left it on when unexpectedly called out to help teach punching at a kid class, I broke it again.

○ It was repaired again, and now one of the little tiny diamonds (oops - cubic zirconias - whatever) has fallen out. :-P

I'm thinking of just having a ring tattooed on my finger. :-P

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Search Me

Most frequently googled subjects that bring people here:

~ "My sister's panties" and variations on that theme (from when I was sewing those Hello Kitty V-Strings)

~ "Bidibodi Bidubu lyrics" Let it die already!

~ various MuNKi pictures, which I find odd, because I don't hotlink them (post the pics on my site by putting their addy in the IMG SRC tag) since that is stealing bandwidth, and a big no-no. I just make a clickable link that redirects to their page, and maybe sends you down a fun bunny trail at another site. So why does Google direct them to my blog?

And now there's a new one:

"Howie Mandel and Naked Pics"


Strange Admissions

So we did the sledding/hot tubbing/snow angels in swimsuits thing again with our friends on Saturday. What a blast! My jeans were so soaking wet by the end of sledding (lots of falling off of a snowboard) that they were dragging down, yet hard to get off. :-P It felt soooo good to get in that hot tub, with the steam billowing up into the night air. I took a few snowboard runs down a baby slope in my suit, and (strange admission #1) log-rolled down the hill a few times, too. It probably looked very silly, but it was nothing if not invigorating! It makes one feel very Swedish. And getting back in that hot tub always feels amazing. I highly recommend pretending to be Swedish yourself if you can arrange it. ^_^

Strange admission #2 is that I had a sex dream about Howie Mandel last night. This is bizarre for a lot of reasons, the fact that the guy was Howie Mandel being a biggie. I mean really! What's up with that? I have no strange affinity for the man. So, OK, he's shaved his head, but he's still not my type. And besides, he didn't even have the decency to have a shaven head in my dream. In fact, I think he had dreads. And he was wearing long-johns! Oddly enough, he was basically a tripod, but come on! I don't even know how I knew it was supposed to be Howie Mandel. For God's sake, if it had to be a Howie, why couldn't have been Howie Long? Or not a Howie at all? Why not Clive Owen? I mean, I HAD just watched a Clive Owen flick. Or the delectable Daniel Craig? But NOOOoooo! I get Howie Mandel. Why? I can't even remember the last time I heard him mentioned anywhere. All I can figure is that I must have been punishing myself for something. I wonder what the long-johns meant. And the long johnson.

And then I went to Jay's blog today, and who does she mention but Howie Mandel. O_O

The worst part is that in my dream, I liked it. :-P

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bang Bang!

MuNKi and I watched Shoot 'Em Up last night, which was a riot! As I understand it, and also judging by some of the reviews I read, a lot of people don't understand that this film is a send up of 'shoot 'em up bang-bangs.'

I think the underlying reason for this is that so many of the last decade or so's shoot 'em up bang-bangs (or SEUBB) are so ridiculous that people mistake this for just another one in a long line of crap SEUBBs.

Think again, dear Viewer, think again.

If you're wondering why I rented this flick in the first place, here's basically how the stream-of-consciousness dialogue in my head went:

"Clive Owen. Yummy! Action film? He's not so much an action dude, is he? Can he really pull that off? I'm not sure I can imagine. . . What does it say on the back? Nothing. Nothing? Oh, you have to slide it out of the little sleeve thinggy. Hmmm. Sexy and funny? And Clive Owen. OK, I'm sold."

Check it out. If it doesn't "crack" you up, I'll post nothing but naked pictures for a week. (Better watch it so you don't have to be subjected to that!)


Friday, January 04, 2008

Decluttering Streak

I've decided to work systematically around the house and declutter as ruthlessly as possible. I started with the BILLYs, and I already have a nice, big, overflowing box of books to take to the used book stores when we go back to Madison this Summer or Fall for my sister's wedding. Oh yeah. Did I mention that my sister is getting married? For the first time ever? Cool, huh?

Anyway, I'm thinking that taking and posting pictures of the stuff I'm decluttering might be kinda motivational. For me, at least.

I'm also thinking about sewing or quilting or braiding a rug to go in front of the kitchen sink. Trillian likes to sleep there, and I think my feet and knees would welcome the softness, too. Being the instant gratification junkie that I am, I'd prefer to sew it. I'm not sure if that's actually "done" but I think I could pull something off. Especially if it was pseudo-quilted. I'm not so sure about the braiding thing, as it involves ripping lots and lots of fabric into 2" strips and sewing them end-to-end and then braiding them, and then sewing the braided strip into a big coil type of thing. The edges are gonna be all fray-y. And as much as I enjoy The Fray, what if I hate the rug? Then I'll have ripped a ton of my fabric up for no good reason. Then again, it might help with the fabric decluttering. Especially if I ripped up prints that I no longer love. I'm sure you can see my dilemma here. No? Frayed knot, then. :-/

CLICK VIDEO HERE (The Fray won't let me embed them, dirty (and possibly pleasant) as that sounds. Oh, and don't look now, but is the piano player sporting a Hairrow? Look what I started! ^_^)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Incongruity and Beauty Interspersed

Is it ironic that the stuff I found all over the floor this morning was "Resolve"?

If you're feeling a little stressed by holiday stuffs, Orisinal is still my favourite site for random games. The animation and music are always beautiful. Mollusc says she could watch the deer crossing one for hours because it's just so peaceful. I don't play them a lot, but my spawn do and I love hearing the music. Here are the top 2 current faves. Double click the title box to start them.




Even if you're not going to play them, they're worth a look for gorgeousness of art and music alone. And I love that nobody dies if you mess up.

In other chicken news, yesterday Sluggie was playing with Prawn and speaking to her in a demon-like voice, telling her all the horrid things that would happen to her if Sluggie caught her, much to Prawn's delight. I glanced up to see Sluggie calmly reaching out to button the back of Prawn's dress, all the while continuing the threatening monologue. ^_^

Lately I've been listening to the lovely Azam Ali. Now you can, too.

And don't forget to check out Going Great White and play the "Spot Candace" game. I keep popping up in the convention scenes. ^_^

So Much to Say. . .

. . . and yet I realise that most successful posts are short and sweet.

It snowed a whomp-ass lot of snow here. We've gotten maybe 9 or 10 inches and I think it's still going. Naturally, I was forced to get my stuff on and go play in it today. I mean, how could I not? So whilst MuNKi wrangled the snowblower and cleared the driveway, I built snow forts with the kids. Pictures will have to come tomorrow, but it was pretty good weather for it, since it was 34-36 degrees F while we were out there. We've really got to get one more big pair of gloves though, because one of our "pairs" consists of 2 left hands, and Mollusc wears the same size I do now, so at first I wore one of Fishy's gloves and one of the 2 lefts, which got cold in a hurry, and then MuNKi gave me the other big set and wore a giant Air Force mitten and an oven mitt. ^_^

After snow play, it was time to make Buckeyes, since the garage is perfect for the setting-up process in this weather. I have to stop making those. They're so yummy I'm forced to eat them even when I'm full.

From there we proceeded to a fabbo supper from MuNKi's new cookbook (it was even the recipe shown on the cover there) and a viewing of some episodes of Red Green (another of MuNKi's Christmas presents.) I have to say that I really am benefitting from his gifts as much as he is. ^_^

Oh, and we had a fabbo trip to WI last week. We were spread pretty thin over the various familial units at times, but it was a great adventure all around, and we even got together with our friend Frank Sommers and a bunch of his girls, upon which he presented us with 2 copies of Going Great White. (Insanely clever people will click on "Buy DVD" in that linked page. ^_^ ) MuNKi and I watched it tonight and it's a scream! It totally kicks Best of Show's ass. I mean TOTALLY. MuNKi and I are credited, so we can have our own IMDb pages if we want, though MuNKi will have to use his middle name or something, since his has already been sucked up by another famous actor. ^_^ It was funny and cool seeing ourselves in a film. ANd, yeah, I want to do it again. :)

I keep getting stuck and unstuck in my novel. What a painful, yet alternately joyful process. :-P

Oh yeah, and we're down to just the one car now that MuNKi's work has reclaimed the work Jeep. Bummer. And I lost his cell somewhere in WI, too. Possibly in a snowbank. At least it was broken, so it's not a hugely huge loss. Or so I tell myself. I dunno what he's gonna tell the folks at work, though. Urf. Well, screw 'em for taking his car away. That's like a massive pay cut, so yeah, screw 'em.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008, Y'all!

We watched the Industrious Clock again this year because we are, in fact, total geeks. Actually we watched it twice, because the upstairs computer was right on time, but one of the downstairs computers was a couple of minutes slow. ^_^ As I recall, it's hard to link to because it's an application, so just Google the sucker if that doesn't work.

We drove home from WI (where we were visiting family) just ahead of a snowstorm. Actually, we were in the storm in Chicago and other parts of IL, but we broke out of it and managed to stay ahead of it through Indiana and here into Michigan. Now it's snowing like gangbusters (whatever they are) and we're supposed to get 6 to 10 inches.

It totally rocked being able to hang out with family for a week. We drove out on Christmas Day, which meant that Chicago was like a ghost town. That's the only way to drive through that city, let me tell you! The bits we went through today were pretty deserted, too, making for a pretty much stress-free drive except for the first stormy bit.

A real post may be coming, as promised, or maybe I will stick to my New Year's Resolution of not doing anything I say I will. Wait, does that mean I do or don't have to? My brain hurts. I'm going to post naked pictures now.