Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quote of the day

Dentist ::flipping his cool England tea mug around by the handle:: "I bet your cup won't do that."
Me ::with paper coke cup:: "Nope, mine isn't that cool."
Dentist ::discovering tea stains inside his cool England tea mug:: "It is cool, but it's pretty gross."

In other news, we did a bit of research on the three Anglicans martyred by Bloody Mary on Broad Street near Balliol College, Oxford, in 1555. They were Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer: the Cranmer, the Book of Common Prayer Cranmer.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quote of the day

I love Dr. Hake...

"I had a good friend living and working in Iran right up until the end (under Khomeini, some years ago). He knew another American learning Farsi, who cheerfully greeted her garbageman as a "refrigerator" each week. No wonder they think we are strange! ... Maria Von Trapp said angrily (to a vegetable salesman in New York): 'Twenty five cents?! I could become (German bekommen, to get) a cauliflower myself for twenty five cents around the corner!' "


I had adventures last night. I started by getting home from work late, because the finances were all tangled up. Somebody entered something as negative instead of positive and it messed it up good and proper.

So I dashed home, made dinner for Daddy and me because Mom and Em were in Albuquerque, and then went up to Bible study. This is the girls' Bible study, led by Sophie, not to be confused with the mixed Bible study at the Gac's. After it was over, Sophie goes, "I have to make the cakes for Abby's wedding on Saturday. Wanna help? You can spend the night." So I did.

I didn't actually touch the cakes. I cut out parchment paper. I find it ironic that, having this very week decided cake-baking and cutting with scissors were not my gifts, I then proceed to stay up till three-thirty helping bake cakes and cut with scissors!

And for a girls' Bible study, there sure were a lot of guys around. Last time I went, several brothers, her dad, and a random other boy all walked into the room where we were--the cellar--you have to work to get to their cellar--and all got kicked out. Last night most of her brothers were gone, but the remaining one had just gotten his wisdom teeth out, so when I arrived he was lying on the couch in the other end of the room, completely out of it. Pretty soon he got up, all perky, wandered around without his shirt on, demanded steak, tried to get Jack Daniels for painkiller and Sophie made him take his prescribed medication, drove himself to the store, got food, and invited hordes of guys over. It was something else.

Sophie's aunt, a drama coach and aspiring playwright, also turned up. She wandered in and out of the kitchen dramatically and loudly, discussing the play she's currently directing and trying to figure out how to make it funny. The lines, apparently, are kind of hopeless, so I tried to rummage through my Macbeth thoughts and asked if there were any funny actions they could do. It didn't sound like it. She decided she'd have to rely on props and considered and rejected alien antennae and medieval dress.

Also in the middle of cake-baking, I sat and read aloud an article from Home & Garden magazine about barbecuing symbolizing our desire to break through the thin crust of civilization to our primitive roots. (I mixed my metaphor, but he didn't.) It was, actually, astoundingly good New Historicism criticism. Thoroughly wrong, of course, but he was well-acquainted with Claude Levi-Strauss and also referenced Freud. It was even well-written. But of all the remarkable things to find in a normal magazine--!

So then the guys watched a crude German cartoon and the girls watched Guys and Dolls. I'd never seen it before, but it was splendid fun watching the original of that song Edie did for the talent show--the one about getting sick from not enough romance. :-) I like Edie better. But that's natural. Around three-thirty I crashed on the couch Sophie's brother had vacated.

This morning we had coffee problems worthy of Chincoteague. First, the grinder messed up--it was probably my fault--and Sophie spent about 40 minutes knocking the stray beans out of its innards so it would grind again. Then the coffee pot had issues. I think it was clogged or something, and at one point it was set to self-clean. We finally got enough really strong coffee out of it for Sophie to make frappuccinos!

Then I went to church, to Sonic for a round of cokes for my family doing something at church, to church again, to the gas station, home to feed the cats and grab my very overdue library books, to the post office and library, home to check messages and make sandwiches and arrange to go see Lady in the Water tomorrow night after the wedding, back up to church to deliver the sandwiches, to the theater to buy tickets--Sophie's sister gave them to me free, which was so nice of her--and then I got back and discovered a postcard from KCP and a package from Kay!

So I've now been home for about three hours out of the last 32. And I have wonderful friends. I miss you guys, but home is not looking entirely bleak these days, either. :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Life and whatnot

--wedding shower
--church ladies' coffeehouse and poetry night
--ten pages of Macbeth scrapbook, including a rather clever two-page spread involving red banners like the Macbeth's
--Mom's birthday, and cake-baking therefor

--I need to become better at foreign languages.
--I love warm, sunny mornings on which I can roll down the windows as I drive to work.
--I love rainy afternoons too.
--Baking cakes is not my spiritual gift. Nor is cutting straight lines with scissors.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Andsaca story...

Is done.

Is not "done," exactly, in the sense that I want to publish it. But the project as for DRW, is done.

I owe you all a long newsy blog post, having neglected you so much in order to work on it. I actually have two or three in the files. I wrote 'em when I meant to be working on it but wasn't and wasn't near an internet connection.

But they're sort of out of date and I don't feel like posting them. In fact, I'm tired. But I'm really glad it's done.

Talk to you in the morning. :-)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Meet the intrepid Peabody

My sister got her new car!

It's a '98 Intrepid, in beautiful condition, named Peabody after the intrepid Victorian Egyptologist.

She's been looking forward to this day a long, long time. She's wanted a car for years, and now she has one. :-)

She and Dad test-drove it Saturday, called to buy in Sunday, and learned it had already been sold. But then today Dad got a call that the other buyer's check bounced, so we could have it after all.

And here it is!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Life is just a bowl of cherries

Yesterday at church someone invited us to go to her house and pick cherries because they couldn't use them all. So after the church picnic, Mom and I did. We spent about 15 minutes and got more cherries than our family can use, either. They turned out to be really good cherries. :-)

So we took them home, washed them, and invited a few people over for games. We fed them guacamole, coffee, and cherries: oh happiness!

The game of choice, you'll be fascinated to know, was apples to apples. Some of the best choices: Forlorn--giant squid; neglected--Emily Dickinson; cold--my dreams; delicate--bagpipes. :-) I lost good and proper. Ah well. After about two and a half hours of this, we got bored and moved into the living room, where Em and I dredged out our two acoustic and one electric guitars, and had a bit of a jam session. I forgot how much I enjoy live music, especially from good musicians, which I am now more motivated to become.

We still have a lot of cherries.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Emily and I saw Superman Returns tonight. It just didn't do it for me. Probably part of my trouble was that I never really saw any Superman before.

I knew Lex Luthor was the bad guy, but I wasn't really convinced. And this movie didn't convince me he was nasty until about half an hour in, by which time I rather liked him. He made classical references. He was educated. He looked like Dr. Vanderpoel and even had Vanderpoelian mannerisms. He was daring, thorough, and decisive. He listened to symphonies and opera and had a good sound system. There was some conversation, that was supposed to prove he was nasty, but it was all talk until he and his henchmen started beating Superman around on the island in the most unimaginative manner possible. With kryptonite, of course.

And in that same half hour, Superman spectacularly failed to gain my sympathy. He was cute. Really cute. He was ridiculously strong and capable. He made flashy rescues: a plane including Lois Lane saved from crashing, snatching people out of midair, stopping gigantic globes from squashing his editor: and he had several annoying scenes consisting entirely of basking in crowds' adulation. His main trouble was winning the heart of Lois Lane, who now had another good man--a live-in boyfriend, but a very solid guy. (Richard proved himself a good egg over and over. Lois doesn't deserve either him or Superman, though she is sweet and remarkably pretty.)

Superman's mother isn't as cool as Spiderman's Aunt May. Granted, it would be really hard to do. Superman's editor isn't as outrageous as Spiderman's, either.

The moral of the story didn't really make sense to me. They repeated the phrase, "The father becomes the son and the son becomes the father" several times in a significant way, but I'm not sure what they meant. Em was explaining it to me. I guess it has something to do with the old movies, but l didn't see them. "With great power comes great responsibility" is blunt, but at least it makes sense.

One thing I found rather interesting was the smoking theme. Superman exhorts Lois not to smoke, and Lex Luthor does smoke. On Lois' last "what do I do now??" moment, she pulls out a cigarette and then decides not to light it. I'm glad smoking is painted negatively, because it really is bad stewardship of oneself, but--it's so heavy-handed, and I just wonder at their priorities. There are such a lot of worse vices than smoking.

Upon consideration, I think the movie suffered from pacing and characterization problems. It would have been better if there had been more characterization through action early on, and if there hadn't been so much denouement. Not much really happened after the dramatic final battle.

There were good moments. Superman's friend, Jimmy I think his name is, is a uniformly good minor character. He's funny. :-) Richard, as I mentioned, is a good guy. The son is okay, though I wish he had more superhero moments. The opening credits were utterly Star Wars, theme, wonky font, spacey background, and all.

In my opinion, the best line of the movie was "We had some trouble downstairs. Brutus is dead. He was hit by a piano." Although, "These pictures are great. They're iconic. They were taken by a twelve-year-old with a camera phone" comes close.

So...yeah. I enjoyed Superman, but I didn't think it was as good as Spiderman. I actually liked X-Men 3 better, too. I say this, fully expecting at least half of you to disagree with me passionately. :-)