Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Live Long and Prosper

Saturday, Dec. 22
Drive to Appleton. Some rain spatters down, and the phone tag with Mom in the middle of Chicago traffic stoppages is diverting, but the big story is the dense fog in the Wisconsin night. It feels as though dementors are breeding out there, though I don't feel sad.
Get reacquainted with Ruthie. She won't let me hold her yet, but she smiles at me and bounces on her Mama's lap. Parents finally arrive from the hotel, and when Ruth is in bed we eat Mom's gumbo. It is delicious, and she does not get kicked off the island. I begin reading The Golden Compass.

Sunday, Dec. 23
It snows. A lot.
I spend some time with Ruth in the morning and get her acceptance, so get to hold her. We play on the floor quite a bit, and I try to teach her to crawl.
Later, Mom and I go get groceries for my guest chef night. I plan a pork roast, with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash and (gulp) boxed scalloped potatoes decided on in the store (my own scalloped potatoes have never worked, and, as my Mom points out, there is absolutely nothing wrong with boxed potatoes).
When it is time for me to cook, the directions go like clockwork, although a minor hitch with the food processor sets me behind by about half an hour, and I need my mother's assistance to monitor the squash.
When dinner is ready, we sit down. The roast, crusted with basil-caraway-mustard-parmesan, is good and moist; the mustard sauce is hardly necessary, but also tastes interesting, if strong. The potatoes rock. I find I don't care if anyone else enjoys the squash or not, because I need that sort of palate-cleansing normal taste with the flavor of everything else. I do not get kicked off the island.


Monday, Dec. 24
At this point, life is falling into a pattern; we get up one by one, I come down to find Sarah with Ruth, I take over and play with Ruth for a bit, our parents arrive, they play with Ruth, she goes to bed and we eat lunch (today it is sandwiches made by Dave; I hear they have mustard smileys in them), we take naps and read and so on, we get up after Ruth's nap and play with her some more....etc.
Tonight, though, we go to church. We all get glammed up, and go to the local First United Methodist Church, where we enjoy a pleasant service. Ruth likes the handbells, but grandma takes her out for the sermon when she gets restless. At one point, though, I swear she makes a kiss face close to grandma's cheek. The sermon is funny, and I manage to keep my church giggles to a low ebb.
For dinner, we have Dave's stroganoff, which is creamy and hot and makes me very sleepy indeed. Dave does not get kicked off the island. It is Christmas Eve, though, so we also put out the presents and close the stockings away where the cats can't get them. My sister and I also decorate the tree and make the cranberry sauce for tomorrow's big event.


Tuesday, Dec. 25
Christmas. Eventually, we are all gathered together, safe and warm. I think this is the day when Dave makes a great breakfast, with eggs, sausage, bread, cinnamon rolls, and so on. Actually, it's brunch, and we all leave the table stuffed. So, we unstuff our stockings. This is Ruth's first stocking, and she has a great time chewing on everything that comes out of hers, including her special baby food desserts (in their packages...though she is learning how to work the spoon, and will take it out of the hand of whomever is feeding her. She is particularly fond of orange squash, which I cannot relate to.).





Once she's in bed for her nap, we begin the presents in earnest, setting Ruth's giant pile aside for later. This process takes forever, and by the time Ruth is up we all still have a pile to open, but we do some of hers, so I finally get to hand over Paddington Bear, all the way from London.






Eventually, Christmas dinner must be cooked, so presents go on hiatus until tomorrow. Mom and I pitch in where we can in the kitchen and entertaining the baby. The end result is a beautiful and delicious capon dinner, with all the trimmings. My sister's prayer makes me cry. She is not kicked off the island.

Due to various elements, new or simply out of the ordinary, my sister pronounces it a weird Christmas. That might be true, but we were all together, surrounded by love and introducing the baby to this strange, new world of holidays, and all told I think we did a pretty good job.


Wednesday, Dec. 26
Boxing Day. We finish opening presents, particularly the giant stack that is Ruth's. She receives a lot of clothes and some pretty neat toys, but finds particularly interesting her new bib overalls, which offer an enticing set of buttons. Her I'm a Little Teapot book, which sings, is also riveting.
The rest of the day leads up to the current tradition of Chinese takeout and a movie, this year HP 5, which we don't finish because we are all tired. I work on the little white knit pixie hat I have for Ruth. When finished, it will frame her face with white fuzzies.
The weather for Friday is iffy...there is a snow watch out, and I may need to leave a day early. I agonize about this.

Thursday, Dec. 27
The snow watch is canceled, but snow is still in the forecast, so I decide to leave for Madison after lunch, and book my hotel for an extra day. I am going for the Badger Showcase hockey, which BG is playing in and which I am doing as a Christmas present to myself before heading back to Ohio.

Our parents come to say goodbye and depart for Michigan. Ruthie goes to bed for her nap, and my sister and I settle in with soup and salads, and Poirot's Christmas, then some Christmasy desserts--pudding for her, ice cream pie for me. After, I clean the snow off my car and sadly leave.
The drive to Madison is fine. The sun is going down, and I listen to Feist while zipping past snowy fields and houses. I do get lost for quite a way when I get stuck in a lane that has to turn off, and then there is no way to get back on. This is frustrating, especially because it is dark, but I eventually work it out and check in to the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club, which is right downtown and walking distance to the arena. There is practically no one around.

I am cranky, so I go to sit in the hot tub, and there is no one there, in the entire pool room. The hotel does have some guest rooms that open right onto the pool, which is weird, but the family is in the arcade and I have the place to myself, even though it is about 7 pm. I soak out some of my anxiety, and then get showered and changed to seek out dinner. The Bar, one of the hotel's restaurants, is also empty, but I order some wine and a burger anyway, and chat with Kate, the barkeep. Then some guys come in, then some more guys, and a few more scattered people. I eavesdrop on the guys behind me, and it turns out they are official-type people from Colgate, one of the schools in the Badger Showdown that I will be attending on Friday. Also, one of the hotel's manager-type people is evidently bored, because he comes into The Bar to chat with Kate, and ends up getting my takeaway box for me. I mention this only because he looked a little like Judd Nelson, in a good way. He says no one ever told him that before, which makes me feel old.
I sleep badly.




Friday, Dec. 28
Snow Snow Snow. I go shopping on State Street in the snow. It is really coming down, and I am glad I drove in before it hit. I buy some bath stuff, some ski vests, some arm warmers, and a really cute and sparkly jacket and black dress. I sit down for some chai and journaling, and then set off to loop past the Kohl Center on my way back to the hotel, so I can see where it is. About an hour later, I head back there, pick up my ticket, and walk into the arena. It is huge...three tiers of seats. There is hardly anyone there, but the very first people I see I know, which was fun.





Sadly, BG loses their game to the Northeastern Huskies, a game they could win, but in keeping with their unfortunate trend, they play awesome for a half hour, and then the second half of the 2nd period it's like they get distracted and then never get back on focus until the last half of the 3rd. Every team has a period or stretch in which they struggle; MSU's used to be the 2nd period. But BG just seems to slide too far during their bad stretch. Some of the opposing fans are jerks, too, which doesn't help. I do manage to catch up with the rest of my guys after the game, just to say hey. I watch part of the Colgate vs. Wisconsin game out of curiosity, but want to get home before it gets too dark and revelers get drunk. It turns out this is wise, because the game went into overtime and then an 8-man per side shootout! I later catch this part of the game when they replay it on TV...after I've already seen the Colgate team come back to the hotel looking tired but cheerful.

I spend some more time in the hottub and pool, too, which had a few people there this time. Later I realize my swim might have been a bad move, because my shoulder is killing me. I cannot sleep in this room very well, for some reason, and the problem is made worse by the bed springs of my neighbors. They are enjoying their hotel time. I eventually drop off, but keep waking up.
Funniest moment of the day: I had the closed captioning on while watching the end of the Colgate vs. Wisconsin game. At the end, the announcer says the Badgers will be playing the Falcons tomorrow, only he says Falcons like "Fulcons," and the closed captioning reads: Badgers vs. Vulcans.

Saturday, Dec. 29
I check out of my hotel, not without a little sadness. I begin my drive home and aside from brief stops for tolls, I only really stop once to get gas and lunch. This is really pretty amazing, if you know me. Also, I realize that I look sort of like the Unabomber with my hood up.
I arrive home around 6, get situated, and then begin my new London jigsaw puzzle while eating a cheeseburger and listening to the Falcons lose to the Badgers, though all my guys played, which I enjoy, and the game sounded like it went better than the night before, with, as the announcers point out, better teamwork and aggressive play. While I had a wonderful time on my vacation, I am glad to be back in my space. I'm not glad to return to the cares I'd temporarily left behind, and I have some new cares shoving the old ones around in my brain. But soon I will have a fridge full of food and some places to wear my new T-shirts, and that ain't half bad, is it?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Does anyone else have that problem where they can't relax, but they can't get motivated to actually do anything either? That describes me yesterday, when any normal person would have just accepted that it was ridiculous outside and stayed in to be nice and warm, and when I, instead, got bundled up and walked in to school since the town library was closed. Then, I looked at recipes and watched TV (movies I've already seen, no less...and own) for hours and sewed TWO, yes two squares of my hockey scarf together, rather than actually making strides towards finishing the scarf and wrapping presents, which is what I was supposed to do.
Today, I cleaned off my car. I took a picture of how much ice is on my left passenger door and window...it's bubbled up in great bulbs of solid ice from the roof dripping on it. I had to get some off my driver door, and of course scratched the window casing up because I'm an idiot.

In other news, if anyone was considering buying Irresistible Apple anything at Bath & Body Works, thinking it is their new version of Country Apple, don't. It's basically like strongish perfume that doesn't smell like anything in particular. It does not smell like apples. I don't dislike it, but I sure would not be able to wear it around my allergic papa, and it sure ain't what I was expecting.
Actually, my whole shopping experience the other day was kind of a wreck. Every place was crowded, I scared a girl when all I wanted to do was ask where she got her snood, and it turns out she was with one of my students who didn't pass, the dance store I tried to go to has moved, and all sorts of crazy people were out. I did finish my Christmas shopping, but I wish it had been a little more uplifting. For once, though, I didn't cry after I put money in the Salvation Army bucket (Why cry? I don't know. It's Advent). I staunched it with a hearty Merry Christmas and momentary inability to get my money in there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

PR This Week

Well, it's blizzardish outside, but let's talk briefly about fashion anyway.
PR this week was interesting; I really liked the challenge. I kind of wanted to step through the TV screen and whack Christian in particular for his snarky attitude about it initially, but I didn't let him dampen my interest in the project. And Steven...well, he was unexpectedly irritating, but he also shot himself in the foot right from the beginning. He doesn't work with white? What the heck is that? I kind of lost respect for him. And whining so much about the type of fabric he had also irritated me, since polyester versions of things are often all I have access to. Shut up and sew already! His final garment wasn't hideous, but it had all kinds of problems and I was not sorry to see him go as a result. At least, unless I'm mistaken, no one made stupid remarks about the ladies' sizes. They weren't stick-shaped models, and they were all different, but everyone respected their achievements and worked to applaud that with clothes.
I really liked Kevin's outfit, and his model was just absolutely aglow about the whole thing. I also actually liked Christian's results and would love to have that blouse/jacket. I loved Jillian's dress, but as Amanda pointed out to me, her lack of use of the original fabric should have kept her out of the running for the win.
You know, since they do some sort of everyday woman/everyday fashion challenge every year, I would have thought the designers would come in knowing that will happen and be prepared for it. Why do they always look so shocked? Instead of getting better designers who are more adaptable, we seem to be getting designers who are less ready to throw it all down and just do it. People like to whine, and that's normal, but being actually unable to perform due to lack of preparation for anything really gets on my nerves. It's like a poet refusing to write a poem unless she has her favorite pen or brand of paper. I don't hold with that kind of nonsense. That's why I'm really still waiting on this year's grocery store-esque challenge. Really shake them up.
Now get off my porch you crazy kids! I got to sew up a scarf of t-shirt squares on which my hockey students have signed their names.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Happy birthday to my classy sister! I hope you have a marvelous day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Balance

I feel cross and frustrated. I feel ugly and tired. And so, the glad game:

Today, it is not raining. I see sunshine. I believe I shall take a walk or two.
Last night, I took myself out to dinner at Sam B's. I had a salad and bread, tomato-basil chicken on penne, a glass of reisling, and creme brulee with a cup of coffee. I was full to the brim and felt a little icky by the time I went to bed, but I deserved eating out and decided just to go for it.
New Pushing Daisies and Project Runway tonight.
I am finished reading portfolios.
There are children whisper-yelling outside my office door. They are saying "Be quiet! You're going to give it away!"
I might be able to finish my Christmas shopping on Friday after my workout (also, I worked out yesterday in what I hope will become a regular twice-a-week thing). Presents will be wrapped, oh yes.
Harry Potter 5 is out on dvd. And so is Pirates 3, which I haven't even seen.
I might make cookies tonight. We'll see how the oven feels.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

PR 12/5

All righty, time for the weekly PR rundown.
An interesting note about last week: Nina's blog mentions that she also liked Kit's outfit the best. So there!

What's most interesting to me about this week is that I was moaning to Amanda pre-show about more group work this week, and that the only way it would be okay for me is if they had to make a mini-collection.
And that's what they did.
I like mini-collection days. I like to see a variety of outfits toward the beginning of the season, and that's part of the reason I dislike group work so intensely. It cuts down on the number of things I get to see. I've actually been feeling like nothing I've seen so far this year has totally blown me away. I mean, where's the fashion drama? Of course, they haven't had much amazing inspiration yet, either. Still waiting on this year's grocery store.
Anyway...collections. Drama aside, I think the judges made the right decision on the winners. Jillian's team was polished and realistic, but also fresh. Jillian's outfit was lovely...I loved that blue sheer top she put under the bibs. Christian's collection was interesting, but I felt like it wasn't quite at the same level of cohesion. When I watched Team Jillian coming out, I seriously thought they could get away with that at a real runway show. It just felt good.
As far as fashion sins go, I didn't "get" either of the bottom teams' collections...I thought Ricky's outfit was the most hideous, but I really didn't like any of the six outfits at the bottom. This is unusual for me. I didn't blame the judges for giving the winner immediately, because the contrast was just so unbelievably huge.
Also, did anyone notice the model who cleary has no idea how to walk like a model? It was a little bit pitiful, poor girl. She's going to break an ankle.

Looks like there's a revelation of some kind coming up next week, with some tears. Good times.

Sadly, Supernatural tonight seems to be a rerun. The one with the creepy kids. But there is also an intriguing Top Chef holiday special at 9.
Now, you must excuse me. I have to go purch a hockey ticket so I can actually get in to Michigan vs. BGSU tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hockity Update

#18 BGSU is headed into a home-and-home series with UM this weekend, and since I know you are fascinated by my thoughts on hockey, here is some input from last weekend's series with Wayne State:
1. Passing looked better. There were still some turnovers (I'll have cherry, please), but pucks were actually connecting with sticks in a much more satisfying fashion than usual. Seemed like there were fewer underleds, and more coherence.
2. Two of my students scored, one on power play (David's third, I think) and one even strength (Tommy's first, I think). The power play in general has been tons better than it was initially. The PP unit is getting lots of chances, and also looking for rebounds.
3. Dan Sexton finally got a shorthanded goal; I say finally because I've been waiting for this freshman to get an SHG ever since the season started...he'd already had a number of chances, and his pick-up really got it going this time.
4. When it comes to simple puck handling and keepaway, I enjoy watching Brandon Svendsen do his work. He's a hard battler, and while he's not a huge guy, he has a good command when he has the puck.
5. Generally, I've just really gotten into watching the team develop in its teamwork, its ability to hang together. Things seem to be "gelling" this year, so much so that even BG's typical dull stretch, when they kind of look like they've forgotten what they're doing, was almost unnoticeable in Saturday's game.

That's about it. It was nice listening to the win Friday and watching BG smear Wayne State on Saturday. Michigan should be interesting, and I already know I have to go early to get a seat; pretty sure I won't be able to sit in my usual spot. It's going to be packed up in there, even if the weather is bad.

In other news, I love my new Feist album.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's Tuesday!

I am pleased to report that my new "tap" heels are awesome, they are very comfortable, and they were very popular with my Arts students. I am wearing them on the day I walk the most, and I haven't had any trouble.

Yesterday I kept thinking it was Tuesday. Today I'm very sleepy and having trouble grasping that it's any day at all. I look forward to the conclusion of Tin Man tonight, and hope that I'm awake enough to enjoy it.

I bought the new Feist album last night. It's been kind of a while since I bought music, so I'm kind of excited about this. I haven't listened to it yet. Probably during office hours tomorrow.

I used my Meijer canvas bags again for my groceries last night. I think it's a little extra burden on the checkout people, but worth the effort. I am considering trying out one of those long self-checkout lanes they have now sometime with my bags, because I think that might be fun.

Have you been to jigzone.com? I'm addicted to it. Thanks a lot, intern Megan.

I keep feeling guilty, like I should be doing something for work. Only there isn't any, and I keep forgetting. It's like when you're not working retail anymore but you can't stop yourself from picking stuff up off store floors, or when you're not working in the library, and you ignore instructions not to put books away. I have lots of stuff to do with my manuscript, but I have from now until the end of the year to get a viable copy, and I'll meet that easily.

I believe I shall go to the library and peruse the newest Dance Magazine.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hey, how was your weekend?

On Friday, I went to the ice arena to dance (I know, it sounds funny, right?) for somewhere in the region of two, maybe two and a half hours. It was bliss. I was exhausted. I also got hugged and picked up (!) by someone nice, and I think I might have smiled a lot.
Most of the weekend I worked my eyes to smithereens. I took a break for the hockey game (BG wins, with passing looking much better than it has recently) and chiseling my car out of the ice. I'm pretty much finished with essays, and that's good, because I just don't think I can stand any more.
Today things haven't been all that great, and I am anxious and tired and weepy, and it is Advent, which makes me even weepier. I'm trying to remember how good I felt on Friday, and thinking about how nice raspberry smoothie from Sephora is, and how cozy big sweatshirts are whether you are in one or someone else is, and how good it will feel to watch a TV show tonight without feeling guilty. And how good it will be to go get groceries tomorrow, and do a new jigsaw puzzle because I'm a nerd. And also that my pretty shoes from La Redoute came, and Lush goodies are on their way.
And now it's time to go to the library to find something nice and escapist to read.
I'll try to be more interesting another time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

PR ep. 2 and 3

I am getting slammed by the last essays of the season in fifty minutes, so here goes:
Pushing Daisies at nine...totally acceptable when it is preceded by Dr. Seuss. All became clear when I flipped over to see what was going on. Now, I know Pushing Daisies can be uneven, but as so many have said about other shows, I feel that its unevenness is still better than almost any other TV on right now. Seems like it's returning to its regular time in two weeks, which is a great relief.

PR...During PD commericals, I checked in on the last PR episode...not enough to see all the outfits on the runway, but at least some of their composition. I didn't love any of the outfits either, as Carrie posted in her previous comment. Some of them really seemed to catch the Bitten idea, though, which is good. Like Carrie, I also favored Ricky's dress. But I thought the judges made the right decision on who to cut.

This week's decisions disappointed me. Well, I don't know about the loser. Not finishing a shirt is a pretty big problem, so Carmen's auf was justified. But I was REALLY hoping Kit would win. I thought her fleece jacket would look awesome on Tiki Barber. It would be very flattering with his shoulders and neck. For once I didn't hate Christian's look this week, though I didn't think it would look as good on Tiki as Kit's. Steven's look was also interesting, with what looked like an ascot. People on the "rate it" thing don't seem to like it, but I thought it was pretty. Jack's outfit, while reasonably complete, was sort of boring. I'm sure I've seen shirts with bias-cut placards and what not, and I honestly didn't know why the judges loved that so much.
I am getting a better feel for personalities at this point; Kit is sort of in the lead for me. I think Jack and Chris seem nice, but I don't really find them engaging. Also, I may be talking out of turn here, but the lisping going on with so many designers is ridiculous. Has anyone else noticed this? I can handle such a thing in small quantities, (people have mentioned Tim Gunnn's slight lisp in other blogs) but SO much of it is driving me nuts. I don't associate it with gayness, as some do, because there are numerous ways in which such a thing could be picked up; people sometimes say that it results from being around girls so much, but girls don't talk like that! At least, not the ones I hang with. It really does make me want to cry hearing it so constantly. I've belabored the point enough.

So. Hardest challenge ever, I think, but also a lot of unnecessary whinging going on. I am getting a little tired of, "Everyone, I have a special guest..." and so on, and I hope that the celebrity drop-ins die down. That's just not my thing. I know SJP is a big fan of the show and all, and that's cool, but enough is enough.
Right, essays in the house. Rock it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Mix-It-Up

Maggie said something in her last post about canvas grocery bags, which reminded me I forgot to mention that I bought five of Meijer's blue canvas grocery bags, which henceforth will live in my trunk and be brought out for my shopping. They are extremely roomy and seem stain-resistant, unlike normal canvas. I am most excited about them.
One of my goals when I went home was to buy a black dance sweater just like the one I have in blue, which I got as a present many years ago, probably from Dance Distributors. I intended to purchase said article at Bottoms Up, a lingerie-dancewear store. Alas, no sweaters they had were long enough to cover my hips and rump like my blue sweater, so I had to console myself with pretty new warm-up pants. I almost consoled myself with these, in black, which would have been on sale, but the only pair they had left were 8s.
The good news is that the heels I ordered from LaRedoute,which were on backorder and thus which I was unsure of receiving, shipped, so they will be in my loving arms in a matter of days.
Yesterday, a student told me I was the best English teacher she'd ever had, that she wasn't scared of writing anymore, and that she found herself teaching others what she learned in our class.
I had bad dreams last night, probably due to digestion, but that pizza/wings/breadsticks/Greek salad dinner were SOOOOOOO good.
I finally finished putting away clothes! You can see my dresser and my floor now! (mostly).
Sadly, I am an idiot--or Time Warner is a jerk. I got Pushing Daisies all right, but stupid me forgot that stupid Bravo changed from channel 74 to 30 so I got an hour of static instead of Project Runway. The rerun is on tonight, of course, but for unfathomable (to me) reasons, Pushing Daisies is on at 9. If it stays there, that's going to put my Pushing Daisies-Ghosthunters-Project Runway watching into a tizzy. Also, despite the TV Week's claim that Supernatural would be on, Hilary Duff was instead, so in effect I got 1 out of 3 shows I tried to record. Someone please tell me Ghosthunters was a rerun or I'm really going to be mad that I didn't record it.
Anyway, my nose is running, I'm eating leftover pizza, there's hockey this weekend, and I'm going to read A Christmas Carol before I get slammed with essays tomorrow.
And possibly kill some fruit flies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weird things I'm grateful for

Obviously, given the awesomeness that is my family, my home home, and even my apartments home, among other things, I have a lot to be grateful for. But sometimes it's good to be grateful for the little or odd things in life, too, to give them some appreciation. Here are five of mine:
1. Peripheral Vision. I spent most of my child and teenagerhood in spectacles, and every once in a while, driving down the road with my contacts in, I experience afresh the miracle that is clear peripheral vision, being able to see shapes and colors out of the corner of my eye.
2. Strawberry Frosted Mini-Wheats. Honestly, I don't know what I did before these were in my life. And if you want to know whether I trail-mix these, some Cheerios, some honey-roasted peanuts, some Craisins, and maybe some chocolate chips in a bowl and read literature in the Harry Potter region, wrapped in blankets, when I feel like being snuggly and warm, well...yes.
3. A Christmas Carol, re: Scrooge's House: "it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgot the way out again."
4. Chessie Cars
5. Driving along, listening to "Harvest Moon" and then passing a sign for the Harvest Moon Cafe.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

From the Department of Awesome

Over the speakers of Munn Arena several times during the hockey game (and, as I hear tell, Spartan Stadium, and probably the Breslin during their respective games):
"SPARTANS! WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?"
The crowd: HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!

As Carrie points out, how can there be any doubt on who the best mascot ever is? Especially one that was, while skating during the break, grousing and pointing at either a: a kid in a Minnesota jersey, or b: my mother and me, trying to take a picture of him with her phone instead of showing proper spirit. We don't know how much MSU paid for licensing on that tidbit, but we like it. We like it a lot.
GO STATE!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

PR the first

I've been gently reminded that I neglected to do a Project Runway blog last week, and here it is already next Thursday and, since I had to record it this week, I figured I better get it out of the way now.
I liked the winning dress; it was my favorite (the picture on the website is totally not representative of the color, which made my reviewing a little confusing). Onscreen, the subtle gray was beautiful and I think was a particularly good choice for running across a lawn and grabbing something...it seemed like the kind of fabric that might be overlooked. I was also extremely attracted to the bottom of that deep purple charmeuse or satin dress...it was an incredibly rich color and moved like water. Finally, as simple as it was I would totally wear Steven's outfit. I wouldn't be caught dead in Christian's, but I also can't stand him. I call attention to him here only because the judges liked his piece. The ones they called out for being bad were for the most part on.
What I didn't like was, really, any of the designers' personalities. I realize it's a little early to judge, but these people so far all seem intensely prickly and grating in their own ways. I couldn't pick someone to champion, which I can usually do early, as with, say, Alison. Now, obviously we haven't seen much of anybody, but there just doesn't seem to be anyone NORMAL that the everyday girl can get behind. I'm hoping that someone emerges as my favorite soon because otherwise I'll be so turned off by everybody that I'll just turn the volume off when I watch. Obviously, that's not much fun.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Here's to another ring on the tree of my life.

Another birthday come and gone.
It was a unique and busy birthday experience. Here's the rundown:
12ish to 2:30ish: Dancing in the ice arena and refolding everything in my dance bag.
2:30 to 3:30: Library, checking mail, a huge number of facebook messages, and opening a couple of birthday cards.
3:30 to 5: Faculty meeting
5 to 5:45: Journey to Poco Piatti to pick up my carryout dinner (lamb chops, green beans, cheese and olive plate, pumpkin gnocchi)
6 to 6:30: Try to eat dinner and open presents at the same time. Fail. Get through a bit of dinner and a few presents.
6:30 to 9:30: Ice arena, Hockey game. Watch BG beat Northern Michigan. 2 out of 3 of my past and present students played. Go Brian and David!
9:30-???: Cosmic bowling. Glow in the dark. Drink Bud Light, as tradition demands. Lose spectacularly (69 and 74 were my scores), mostly because laughing so hard.
??? to 1:30: Go to Steve and Liss's, eat delicious apple cake made by Carrie. Almost play new Cranium, but instead argue about who is the better actor, Damon or Depp...or something like that.
Sleep
Saturday, I squeezed in grading, stopping by the big Thanksgiving/football extravaganza to coo at babies and Michigan State, stopping at school, getting groceries, opening the rest of my presents, and then zooming back to campus for the hockey game (BG lost, sadly, and only one of my past students played...but Go Tommy anyway). Then more grading.

Sunday settled down, but I have to say, I'm still pretty exhausted. I did manage to get through all my grading, in time to watch The Village last night and take a bath.

Thanks everybody for helping make my birthday awesome, and making me laugh (which I sorely needed) and for fun presents and cake, and for being my friends!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Best Laid Plans

Have you ever just evaluated your plans or success at meeting them on a day-to-day basis?

Despite the simplicity of my plans yesterday, I actually only did laundry and graded homework...and I barely did that, since it was thunderstorming and I, much like my friend Stirfry, was hiding in a dark and cozy space (ie a blanket). Eventually, it got done, and that was about it. I didn't even put it away, since I need to winterfy my closet.

Actually, this isn't quite true, since I only said I was going to rent Muppets, and that I did. Didn't watch it, just rented it. No Muppet Babies, though, which was a shame.

Tonight, I plan to watch House, and possibly Muppets. And try to figure out something to eat. And do my closet and drawers.

P.S. Supernatural last week? Hilarious.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day off = day off for once

Right on.
So...it's been a busy weekend in avaciousland. Winter Wheat has come and gone for another year, and I am pleased to note I got a few interesting poems and poem beginnings out, including a couple about the behavior or cicada killers, and for once I got to attend almost all the workshops aside from when I was teaching. I also got to spend two hours in my car with a good friend of mine from grad school, talking about deep ideas and experiences, which fed my poetry soul. I also got all my drafts and revision done and now have only to apply myself to the stack of homework I've been ignoring for a month. I am awesome.
I am celebrating Vets' day today by doing laundry, getting groceries, and renting some dvds of the Muppet Show and, if I can find some, Muppet Babies. Why? I'm not sure, but Muppet Babies in particular has been on my mind lately. And given my upcoming Natal Celebration Day, I figure it might be nice to remember this happy piece of my childhood. I want to giggle a little. I believe I shall also have a bath.
I am also excited that I got to sleep in today, and when I say sleep in, I mean wake up several times, realize I have nothing important to do, and deliciously drift back into a drowsy haze. It could only have been better if I had good dreams, but I really don't remember any. Maybe something about zombies. Not like yesterday morning when I had a really kind of romantic dream with somebody handsome, although the beeping of my phone telling me I had missed a call at 7 am was sort of intrusive. I mean, who calls me at 7 am? Was it YOU?
Anyway, more on my birthday plans later in the week, because I know you want to know all about my exciting day. I'll give you a hint...it includes hockey.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Wrap-Up

Yes, I am still alive.
Yes, I have a tremendous headache.
Yes, I have been reading too many essays too fast, in an effort to get rid of them before the bulk of Winter Wheat.
Yes, I was sad that Pushing Daisies was not on last night, because I'd done so much work I was actually contemplating a two-hour break for PD and Ghosthunters. As it is, there was only Ghosthunters to interest me, and to be honest it wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped.
Yes, I have to record Supernatural tonight and watch it...I don't know, sometime.
Yes, I'm actually going to try to be done with all the rough drafts currently in my possession by the time Winter Wheat festivities start at 1 pm tomorrow. Revisions can just sit there until Sundayish, because I hate doing them.
Yes, I need a hug. And clean socks. Without holes in them.
Yes, plans for my birthday are bigtime in the works. I plan to be selfish. And go to hockey games. My Princess Sparkle T-shirt is ready to party.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hockey weekend

To bring you up to speed, the Falcons won both of their games this weekend, both in overtime. Friday they were at Western, so I had to listen on the radio; this is very frustrating, of course, but I snuggled up on my couch and ate some dinner to try to chill out and keep the nerves down.
The game was a battle from behind as BG tied it up twice, and then my current student scored the gamewinner in OT, which was exciting. On the whole, it sounded like BG was playing well in general, getting lots of shots off, just not getting them in the net, and power plays weren't going well, as usual. But then, when the Broncos got a penalty in OT, you could just feel it--BG was going to make them pay for it.
Saturday night here in BG the Falcons scored 4 in the first two periods, before the Broncos, in the third period, got going and tied it up too fast. BG is struggling around minutes 30 to 50, in several games so far, but they did get their energy back, and then took it into OT. They wanted that game, and if you'd seen one of the Falcons literally jump over a Bronco to get to the puck, then you'd know what I mean. I have to say, it was extremely satisfying watching our guys get some pucks in the net, and some on very clean and speedy plays, when everything comes together at the same time.
Disciplinewise, Friday night was better, because the Falcons let the Broncos' inclination to get scrappy take them into the box. Saturday night, the Falcons got angry too many times. At one point, five of ours and four of theirs were in the box, which is as full as I've ever seen boxes anywhere. To some degree, you do have to assert yourself, but it was better Friday when BG drew Western into penalties. A couple of 5 on 3s hurt us, and even when it's 4 on 4 we come off worse. A couple of our penalties were definitely unfair, though, for instance one that resulted from one of our guys getting straight up whacked with a stick after the whistle; he didn't retaliate at all, but the ref seemed to think he did, which led to a 4 on 4.
Anyway, it was good to be in the arena and watch the Falcons win.
On the downside, after eating too much on Friday I didn't eat enough on Saturday, and even though I had about the same amount of caffeine as normal, without the food to absorb it I was in rough shape. I nearly passed out twice when we scored. On top of this, it seems like everyone I've talked to in the last two days has looked at me like I'm crazy or like I should just stop talking. I can't figure this out and it is making my nerves very jumpy indeed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Me + Youtube = Lazy

I'm spending my lunch hour watching Square One TV on Youtube today.
Here's a little Halloween link for you. Go learn about probability.
But if you're feeling lazy...learn about the Mathematics of Love.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So, I'm not having a really great week at this point; it's not that anything bad has happened really, my mind/spirit/whatever just is not in a good place. When I am close to tears in the middle of the afternoon and walk all the way across campus to get a reuben sandwich, and am closer to tears when I think about what will happen if I don't get one, something shady is going on in the Avacious headspace. True, I worked hard this weekend. True, I've sort of opted out of Halloween this year (despite the Russian doll costume I put together at the last minute to stop by a party with the sole purpose of seeing all the babies dressed up). True my relax time hasn't been as relaxing as I'd like. I don't know. Things just ain't right.
Last night, I made some real efforts to get myself together. For instance, I checked out one of my old youth favorite books by Lloyd Alexander, and read the whole thing (130 pages). I also wore my Tinkerbell pants, which have been aforementioned in this spot as soul-quieting. I also made some potato soup--I never have before, but I threw some butter and seasoning in a pot, baked two potatoes in the microwave while heating a cup of evaporated milk and however much skim milk seemed appropriate, then threw the chopped up potatoes in the soup and mushed it around. I left the skins in. I'm here to tell you it was the most soothing thing I could have made at that moment. I ate it along with a chicken leg, and later had some bread pudding and apple salad, and I was full. That soup...man, it was so good.
So, somehow things will get back to normal eventually. I'm going to try for a walk tonight since it's a bit warmer, and then try to relax for reals. Maybe even a bath.

Friday, October 26, 2007

As there is no hockey this weekend, things will be pretty quiet at the Avacious household. I'll be grading some essays and probably doing the following:
Taking several naps because this chilly, cloudy weather is making me feel like a sleepy bear.
Stopping by a Halloween party for a few minutes with the sole goal of seeing some little ones looking adorable. I will probably be dressing as Ballerina Barbie for that brief time period. Gotta use that blond wig somewhere.
Making something nice to eat. If I meet my essay quota early tonight, I'll make a proper meal, or perhaps I'll go throw something on high in the slow cooker so it can cook whilst I do essays. Seems to me that I bought some stuff for slow cooker coconut chicken or something like that.
Watching some Halloween TV. My love for Halloween movies is well known, and there's a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be finished while I watch whatever presents itself to my eyes.

On a related note, can I just say that Olive and one of the aunts singing "Birdhouse in Your Soul" on Pushing Daisies warmed my heart? That show continues to deliver the kind of quirky hilarity that I need in my TV life right now. It and Supernatural are about neck and neck for my favor. It reminds me of the years in my teenage girlhood when SeaQuest, X-Files, and Dr. Quinn were all wrestling for my attention.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Truer Words...

Today, during 110 game day, Team Picasso went out to an early lead. While their celebration of good point-earnings remained throughout the game, their hand-raising and answering of questions got less sharp as time went on, and as Team B took over the scoring and eventually ended with an insurmountable lead.
In response to this movement, I felt moved to quip, "You're having the same problem the hockey team had last night."
Like Team Picasso, the Falcons came out strong last night; they looked slightly overmatched, but willing to grit their teeth and fight for a win with confidence. The team looked a little more physical than it should, which led to a lot of penalties again, but other teams have used physical strategies before. As long as you have the pass efficiency to back it up, no biggie. And for a while, they did. Plays were being made, and cleverness came into play when plays went sour or when loose pucks needed to be collected. I love looking at the team make something out of accidents, or have the presence of mind to capitalize on another team's lapse in concentration. It's beautiful, like poetry. I love it!
That energy and display of smarts deteriorated after Notre Dame scored their second goal. The play became scrappy. A few good plays were still made, but on the whole it looked like the Falcons were scrambling, as though they weren't thinking anymore, couldn't see what to do with quirky puck movement. Exhaustion plays a role, especially with recent games and with so much PK time (PK still succeeding pretty well, by the way--hooray for the slide block, used to great success by MSU back in the day). But concentrating through the exhaustion...I'm not seeing it. And, once tipped off their early momentum, they were never able to recover the same strength and coordination as a team with which they began.
The team this year has great potential to succeed in games. They can win, and I think they know it. I think they're smart, and are capable of showing that throughout a game. But I saw ghosts of last season lurking in that arena, especially in the third period, and it had nothing to do with Halloween.
Win or lose, I love my team, and I'm generally pretty proud of them when they're working hard and playing like they mean it. I understand better than most the sheer exhaustion of being under the lights for long stretches of time and straining your body past its limits. But my training from day one was in performance--not letting on that you're tired or discouraged until you are out of those lights, and practicing that vitality even in rehearsals, when you're the only one to motivate yourself to care. So, it hurts when I can tell the boys are discouraged. I saw some good things last night, and even some great things. But I want to see them in the third period just as much as the first. I'm greedy, I admit it. But I want to think my men are just as greedy.
Which sounds a little naughty. We'll just go with it.
I heart you, BG hockey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Avacious on Ice

So, yesterday I "Skated with the Falcons."
I wasn't going to go, because I'm a little concerned about a groupie reputation...fan is okay, or even superfan, but groupie is too much. But I was on campus, the time was right, and I thought it would be heartwarming to watch the guys skate around with the kids. I didn't even bring my skates in at first, but then I saw that there was a variety of people there, including wee ones and adults and very few students, so I hauled the skates out, laced up, and got my lazy butt out there.
It was fun; it was indeed heartwarming to watch the guys with the little kids, and to chat with all my guys as we all circled around. I didn't fall down, which was a plus. I did have the worst foot cramp for a bit, but even that eased up after a while. I almost got picked up, but given my desire not to fall down when set back down, I declined for the moment. Picked up lots of hugs though. And got a poster signed for my office.
All in all, it was a much needed balm to my soul for what promises to be a tough week.
Tomorrow, hockey vs. Notre Dame. Can you handle it?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reasons I'm happy today, in no particular order

The Holiday Victoria's Secret arrived today. The diamond bra is 4.5 million dollars this year. It's actually kind of cute, with bejewelled holly on it, though nothing will ever beat the sweet wing-styled one they had a few years ago.
The Falcons beat RIT 5-3 last night in a very exciting hockey game, which I happily listened to on the radio while eating pizza and these little Meijer mushroom appetizer things and balancing my checkbook. There were about a zillion penalties, but the PK came through and the guys held on. Have I mentioned how much I heart/am obsessed with hockey?
It is a gorgeous day outside, with some sun, but it still feels like fall. I will be taking a lovely lovely walk today, or several.
I finished rough drafts, and any school work that remains for the next few days can be completed at school. This means time to solve a wing-related problem.
This month I solved a mystery from my childhood; I never understood that song in the Shirley Temple A Little Princess. The title sounded like "Old Candrow," and what the heck would that mean? Then, recently, while watching a rented dvd of The Muppet Show, I heard them sing it, and darned if I didn't at last figure out it was "Old Kent Road," so I could finally find the almost incomprehensible lyrics online.
Hooray for today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week in review

My birthday is in four weeks.
The fantasysports team names I was looking for and decided I'd thrown out are in my keyboard drawer, where I thought they should be but where I mysteriously could not find them.
The new dress went over pretty well with the students. I'm angling for the best-dressed instructor award.
I have decidedly not gotten enough exercise this week, but have eaten a number of prefab food items.
I tried to do this online health assessment thing; what it taught me is that I'm underweight, but that I should get more exercise and eat less fat and more healthy items.
Sadly, the Falcons lost last night to the Niagara Purple Eagles...and yet they outshot them. Remember what I said about shooting luck and turnovers? Yeah. Boys, remember--lift and separate.
And due to my excitement about listening to the game, I straight up forgot to watch my favorite show, Supernatural. I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.

Right. I have 13 revisions and 17 more rough drafts to read. My goal is to get the revisions done or at least mostly done before I leave this office. Then, drafts, and then hockey on the radio vs. RIT. Good times.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back from the wilds of Bath

What I did with my Saturday and Sunday:
1. Novi LUSH. "On my way" homehome, I stopped in Novi to visit the store that is now closest to me (though still an hour and a half away--curiously, it only adds 10 minutes to my route home). They aren't in their permanent location yet so no fridge and therefore no fresh face masks. Also, I found out that my now-favorite (thanks to the demise of Ginger) product, Something Wicked This Way Comes, is being discontinued, and someone had already snatched up every last one. I didn't cry, but I felt like it. But I still bought (mumbles vague amount) worth of stuff.
2. Homehome in Bath. I confess, I didn't do much. I sat around and talked to my folks, ate a brownie, watched some hockey on tv, wrote my hockey blog, failed to get the MSU-N. Dakota hockey game on the radio (do you see a pattern?), read some HP 7. Ate burgers and fries--you'll remember my Mom's fries are the best ever.
3. Church. I love going to church at home. Then we ate at Subway.
4. Memorial Service for Dr. Durr. I admit I remained dry-eyed--I've already shed my tears for Dr. Durr, and my sadness at losing such a "fierce" lady too soon is now internal. There was a dance in her honor, which was pretty, and a few faculty members in particular had nice memories of her in addition to reading some poems. We sang a few hymns, and I got to visit with my friend Kim, with whom I experienced some amazing dance things in college via Dr. Durr's encouragement. Through some of the service, I was trying to reconstruct in my head some of "The Dixinator"'s choreography for Evita.
5. Back to BG. Despite basically having twice the church-style singing in one day, I sang a great part of the way back. I even brought out my Belinda Carlisle for some extra 80s power.
6. Worst sewing disaster ever. The dress was almost finished. All I had left was some hand sewing of facing on the inside. But then my iron burned two holes in part of the bodice/sleeve and the sleeve band. GAH! I had to deconstruct the sleeve band and facing, replace the band, and sew the whole thing back together, this time higher up on the bodice/sleeve to hide the other hole. It will be about an inch off, but I think the style of the dress will make it unnoticeable. Fingers crossed. I have to finish the hand sewing tonight and test it out tomorrow, I think. Miraculously, I didn't get that upset, just sort of resigned. What does this mean?
Today, we're back to the grind. I have one day left of no essays for a week or so.

And finally, will someone please tell me how this works? It's from CNN, an article about Fresno's secret underground: "Omachi's father, a Japanese immigrant, was born here in 1913 "between a bar and a house of ill repute," she said."
If he was born here, that sort of makes him NOT an immigrant, yes? Even if in 1913 new births were considered not Americans in Chinatown, our designations would change now, wouldn't they?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hockey Analysis

OK, so BG beat Windsor with a kingly score of 12-1. One might think that, in a game without much competition ,as the results show, one can't learn much. In some ways, I agree; the Notre Dame game coming up on the 23rd will be a better look for me at what BG can accomplish this year. I know the guys are feeling good about things, which warms my heart. Still, some mental notes I made:
Centering looked better last night; there were a few lost pucks and a few empty sticks, but on the whole the centering pass was cleaner and more effective than it has been in the last few years.
I was also delighted to see what the sports people tend to call "creative" moves on the ice--turning some not-so-pretty puck handling and body movement, and loose pucks, into productive moments, simply through being alert and adaptable. Our team has lacked that, and I'm interested to see if this is maintained. I hope so, because it's fun to watch, and gives fans confidence.
A big shout-out to the defense for keeping Windsor shut out on their power plays, and even enabling a BG shorthanded goal by frosh Dan Sexton (who hat-tricked, with Mazzei). Defense is so often a thankless job, and truthfully there were a few scrappy moments but also some good clears and some playmaking. I'm anxious to see how play looks when more pucks make it in front of the net, but for the moment knowing BG did well on the penalty kill is important. Also, I saw a lot of good puck stripping going on at zone's edge. Most of this was of the poke and hook check variety, but not only did it work, but the offense was ready to pick it up, which is happy.
I have been watching BG line changes with a shrewd eye in the last few years. Last year, they were ridiculously slow. They look better this year, and Brian Moore in particular gets my thief-in-the-night award--I know him, and therefore pay close attention to his time on the ice and I still can't figure out how he got on and off sometimes without me seeing. Sneaky.
My new favorite kamikaze player is one of my current students. Last year it was Kai Kantola because no matter what that guy would throw himself at whatever he was doing, and he never looked as tired as I assume he felt. Last night, I watched David Solway perform similarly; whether on his skates or on his knees, he was willing to throw himself at a play. He also spent more than his fair share of time in the penalty box...also like Kantola, who was eventually escorted off with a misconduct.
Areas needing improvement: I still say better passing is in order. Windsor isn't that great either, so I didn't have much to compare to, but having grown up a Spartan in the glory days I know what good passing looks like and we're not there yet.
This brings me to my biggest pet peeve ever: So help me, if they (and I don't just mean our team) don't stop beating on the ice every time they want the puck or are open, I am going to take their sticks and smack them. I have NEVER seen this work, usually it's just like yelling "throw to me! I'm open," which immediately means you won't be. It's distracting, and I hate it. The only man allowed to beat on the ice is the goalie, when power plays are almost over, which is just common sense. Please, men, just learn to sense where your teammates are.
I saw better skating last night than I am accustomed to, but some of the guys still could profit from some movement lessons.
Finally, TURNOVERS. These need immediate improvement. Even given the higher level of play I saw last night, the turnovers were ridiculous. MSU has occasionally had problems with this, too, and BG suffered in some late-season games last year. Better teams than Windsor will capitalize on these lost pucks and all the other good work we're doing will be for naught. This goes hand in hand with the passing, of course, making sure that passes are clean and that the skater keeps moving once he has the puck...having a plan for that puck.
That's about it. It was good to see three of "my guys" (Moore, Dee, and Solway) on the ice, and good to get back to the arena for some action. It was also good to see pucks make it into the net. Here's hoping we get some better luck with shooting this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some simple Thursday facts

1. My back hurts.
2. I will be wearing my fleece Tinkerbell pants to the reading tonight.
3. I will be going to the hockey game tomorrow night.
4. Pushing Daisies remains hilarious.
5. Casey deserved her Top Chef crowd favorite award.
6. Ghosthunters was not scary last night.
7. I will be wearing an Icy Hot patch this evening.
8. Students are frustrating.
9. I am cold.
10. Progress reports are more time-consuming than administrators think.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Please go and read this. It's a good article, but also Randy DeVita is mentioned in it, and I know him. That is cool beyond belief. Stephen King put Randy's name in writing. Randy, you rock!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Let's start the week off right

First, let's talk a little about the Falcon Face-Off.
It was not terribly crowded in there, but in some ways that's okay. Really, the boys had about all the autograph signing they could do afterward, and it was also a nice chance for the visiting parents to get to see their boys and get to talk to them after. I hope they come back to see what it's really like during a game, though.
As far as skills go, centering passes need work, and pass instincts still do, too. I'm telling you, if these boys don't stop beating on the ice every damn time they want the puck I'm going to (gently but insistently) beat them with a hockey stick. I mean, what's the use if an opposing player can then bang on the ice, and get the puck passed to him (which, if I'm not mistaken, Derek Whitmore actually did at one point) because people don't know where their teammates really are? Players need to be able to sense these things, to feel intuitively where one's team members are. That's something I always admired about the Spartan squad when I was at State, and before, and something I have seldom seen from any team, including the Spartans, since. This trend of banging the ice must die in hockey. It's not improving anyone's game.
Basic ice movement looked better than usual. A lot of the younger guys are very quick; too ready to get all unnecessarily tricky with plays at times, perhaps, but eager. However, on the whole I felt it took much too long for both sides to look like they cared, and the "white team" didn't look really ready until 13 minutes in, which is ridiculous. The "orange team," while ultimately losing, at least got out and banged some stuff around right away. That can backfire, but it's better than being too tentative and/or blase. As I told my current hockey-playing student last week, "You have to get the grr." Don't look tired. Perform. Etc.
On the whole, it was a good studying experience for me, and I've never even seen some of "my guys" play before; all of them got at least a shot off, and two of them scored. After, I made my four sign white t-shirt squares that I will be sewing with some orange squares into a scarf. Because that's how much I heart them.

In other news, let's talk abot TV for a sec. House was funny...House is always funny, but Wilson actually has me giggling out loud right now. Ghosthunters (and Steve is in total agreement with me on this) was creep-to-the-y scary on Wednesday. As in, I was mildly afraid in the shower that night. Top Chef, by comparison, was a disaster. The live thing was pointless, and I was so sad for Casey's fizzle and Dale's ultimate loss I was sorry I'd watched it. Thursday, of course, was the Supernatural premiere, and let me just say, thanks, show creators, for the background footage which included Sam's big makeout before the episode proper, because, well, I needed that. Dean's mild debauchery is a sight to behold. Bless their hot little hearts. Oh yeah, and lots of stuff happened.
Now about Pushing Daisies--I wasn't going to watch this show, not being in the market, really, but Kristin Chenowith is on it, and darned if Jim Dale (aka the voice of Harry Potter audiobooks) narrates it. I watched it when they replayed the pilot, and you know what? It's weird and cute, and thus far I approve of it. So, it just may make it into my lineup.
TV sucked on Friday so I rented 1408. It was very S. King short story in the timing/pacing department, and on the whole I enjoyed it. I was more creeped out toward the beginning, though, than the end, as is often the case. I was creeped out enough to stop the movie and take my shower before I watched the rest, but then ultimately decided I needn't have bothered.

And finally, it's hot and there's a dead squirrel in my front yard that stinks, and I have no shovel with which to remedy the situation.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Next Saturday is the beginning.

One week 'til Falcon Face-Off action. Are you ready for hockey season? ARE YOU?
Did I mention I highlighted all the game days on my due date master list?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Minutes, Wednesday edition

Minutes spent trying to find old fantasy sports names: 5
Minutes spent remembering that I threw away old fantasy sports team names and ideas when I thought I would not play fantasy sports again: 1
Minutes spent searching through recycling for fantasy sports team names information before realizing that's just silly and it isn't in there anyway, not after all this time: 2
Minutes spent trying to pick a new and humorous weather + sexiness + sporty related fantasy sports team name: 6
Minutes spent finally deciding that there are few fantasy sports team names that combine those features better than one used in a previous league: 1
The Texas Hookers it is, then. Hockey, bring it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little humility for Tuesday

3 Things I'm Not Good At

Dribbling a basketball
Whipping cream
Sticking to a grocery list

Monday, September 24, 2007

Food Talk

Well, last entry was fashion, so I guess we'll move on to food.

Foods I have recently tried and immediately gotten attached to:
Custard Jello pudding mix.
(I know...I could just make some custard. But for some reason this sounded good recently, and it really did hit the spot. I need to get several more boxes now that I know it's a hit. Also, I have no idea why I'm craving pudding. I find the feeling novel.)
Thai Kitchen peanut noodle lunch thingy
(It comes in a little tray with a draining lid, and can be done via microwave or boiling water. It even comes with a fork. I have a Simply Asian pad thai thing to try at the office, too. We'll see how they compare.)
My mother's pork cutlet recipe, made with chicken breasts
(For the uninitiated, this is usually delicious pork cutlets topped with a little sauce from the Kraft Spaghetti box dinner and some mozzarella, and baked. I did it in a skillet with some chicken herbed with flour, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano, fried in olive oil, then simmered in some white wine with a bit more seasoning. Then the sauce and mozzarella. It blew my mind. I love it with pork, but I don't always have cutlets on hand, and this was a super alternative.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why I will no longer be watching Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

You all know me. You know my affection for Tim Gunn and his advice-giving on Project Runway. And once PR starts back up, I'm all over it.
But after watching one TGGtS episode all the way through, then two more in snippets, I will state flatly that it's over.
Here's why...
...not because on the first episode, as soon as she was all made up, the woman was tossing her hair in that broken-neck, stiff-shoulder, aren't-I-the-best-thing-ever way (a really sweet woman, who looked in her body language all of a sudden like no one should dare touch her, and a real snot, despite her smile)
...not because all of the women can't seem to get over someone looking in their underwear drawers (grow up, geez! It's underwear. Not a breast exam)
...not because the women are suddenly completely devoid of clothes, have a few new ensembles, and then we never find out if they get to actually have more than those few ensembles, particularly their casualwear (NOT "sportswear"), and therefore have to completely restock their closets out of their own pockets with their new "knowledge"
...not because no one seems to be allowed to wear a pair of cozy lounge pants in the sanctity of their homes
No.
The moment of complete rejection came today, as a mother of 2 was being remodeled. She was given a shiny (and I mean shimmery, not simply lustrous) diaper bag/purse (I think it was shiny leather, actually). Personally, I found it odd and not very attractive, but that is a taste thing. But what Veronica said next was unforgivable:
Everything you buy needs to be this level of style, chicness, and quality.
My response to this: CLICK.
I was so disappointed! I mean, as a teacher I will be the first to acknowledge that people, particularly students, wear some pretty ridiculous things to class, and when flip-flops came back as "fashion," not as beachwear, I was mortified. But I categorically reject any notion that all clothing you buy has to be metaphorically or truly shiny, high-maintenance looking, and even expensive-looking. At "this level."
I reflect on a pair of pants I picked up at Victoria's Secret on clearance. They are lounge pants, light yellow with white and grey racing stripes, and even a little rhinestone decal. They were cheap, but decently made. I bought them because they were soft and the color was pretty, and new to me. Now, I think that in the right instances they look stylish and chic, and they're cute on me. They're perfect for running or walking, going to Meijer, or "walking the dog," as was the case in the first episode (the woman got a DRESS for that, which was stupid). But they certainly aren't part of a category that would include that pretentious bag, and the comment I rejected so strongly makes me wonder if Miss Priss would reject my pants. And I just can't be a part of a show that would.
I generally applaud a show that encourages women to think outside their fashion boxes, and get excited about new things that fit them well, and a new understanding of what shapes look nice on their bodies. But I question the practicality of the actual choices made, and also teaching women the one side without giving them the balance of the other side...those moments at home, or when you simply want to go take a walk by the pond, or when you're feeling sad and just want to curl up, these require a different side of fashion, and women need to believe that this is acceptable, too. Women don't need a "sweatsuit alternative." They need to wear things besides sweatsuits, certainly, but every fashion item has a time and a place. Having nice things is great, but a wardrobe devoid of true "puttering around" wear and casual comfort that makes you feel good is not a proper wardrobe at all. Slobification? Fine, but don't let the inverse be true--please don't snobify these women.

I will not start watching this show again unless I hear they miraculously buy a woman an inexpensive and everyday (stylish? fine. but not "this level") set of cozy clothes to go for a walk in. And Veronica buys some, too.
Tim Gunn, I'll see you on PR.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tueday Mash-Up

In celebration of being essay-free for the week, and of what seems like it will be a pretty and warm weekend, I believe I shall go to the zoo at some point Saturday or Sunday. What do you think of that? I haven't been to the Toledo Zoo in a while, and I think the time is right. It's expensive as all get out, but I want to see some wildcats.

Also, I need to do laundry. The underwear drawer is starting to look sad.

Also, I need to get groceries, and at some point cook something delicious.

I have noticed of late a problem with my usual make a casserole or large dish and eat it for several days routine...I've been getting tired of food faster. I cannot decide if this is a loss of willpower or if my body is trying to tell me something.

My LUSH supply is starting to run low, and now that it is bath season, this is a problem. Am currently unsure of what to do about this.

There are many craft and sewing projects I should do in my week off. I envision myself getting very little done.

Have I mentioned how cute my niece is?

Monday, September 17, 2007

In which I gush about how awesome my niece is

So this weekend I journeyed north to see my paternal side of the family in honor of Ruth, my four-month-old niece. I haven't seen much of this family in ages and hadn't seen Ruth since June, so it was certainly going to be a big event. I drove up to East Lansing and stopped to get my hair cut, then went up the rest of the way and arrived in the evening. It's beautiful up there, Crystal Valley, which is near Hart. It was getting cold, but the light was clear and melting in the trees. My dad and brother-in-law were out cutting brush, so I stopped for quick hugs and then went into the warmth of my granny's house. After hugs all around I sat down to enjoy a chat with the "womenfolk." I watched for the first time my mom be a grandma, and loved seeing the smiles erupting from Ruthie at Grandma's antics, such as "Shoe the Horse" and "So Big." There's no question; she loves her grandma. It was also adorable to watch her grinning through the window at her grandpa and dad when they came up to say hello, and to watch her with her new London-bought Rubber Duckie with the crown on its head when she had her bath.
Eventually, I decided that what I really wanted to do was get dirty and tired, so when my bro came in, exhausted, I went out to take his place. My dad and I set about hauling heavy walnut branches and dumping them in the field. Dad later complimented both my strength and my ability to use my body properly to haul brush up the steep hillside. I always joke about being the family boy, and being glad I now have a brother to help out, but the truth is, I do like getting out there and hanging with my Dad, and getting pure and honest work done. We came in at dark for dinner, which my mom had cooked in advance and brought up to keep my grandma from having to cook for a pile of people. So, after all that work, I got to have some French Beef Stew from my mom's own kitchen. Eventually, my parents left for their hotel while the "kids" were staying with our grandma. I got to have a late-night chat with my sister, something I miss when she's so far away.
The next day was Ruthie's party, and we all went to the Crystal Valley United Methodist Church. She was resplendent in a pink dress with a sheer white pinafore and a bonnet, and while she didn't particularly enjoy the crowd and the noise, she was very well behaved and sweet, and particularly enjoyed playing with her dress (she fluffs her skirts the same way any girl does...and then chews on them) and watching her mom open presents. The white handmade afghan was of special interest. For my part, I got to see tons of relatives and feel like part of the party, since I am The Aunt. I got to chat with lots of people and enjoy the spread put out, including the cake with little peapods iced on it, in honor of our Sweet Pea.
Saturday evening was pretty sleepy for all of us, made more so by our lasagna dinner. Even Ruthie, sitting on great-grandma's lap, was just sort of looking around and taking things in. Imagine my surprise when I heard we were not in fact going to church the next day. It was just as well, because we all were pretty exhausted. We all sort of straggled out of bed and ate breakfast on Sunday, then hung around until dinner and until I had to leave. Highlights included my mom's rhubarb pie, getting to sit and snuggle with my mom for a bit after lunch, and watching my dad put a very cross Ruthie to sleep by whistling through his teeth softly, I gather parts of operas. I also, of course, got to hold the baby for a while, since I was going to be the first to leave; my sister is really good about making sure everyone gets a chance with the baby. I was sad to leave, but had that smug feeling of satisfaction that I'd just had an awesome weekend.
Ruthie is a charming baby. She is pensive about things, studying objects and people; but then you interact with her and she just smiles and smiles. She likes chewing on her clothes and even when she's getting ready to cry for real, her little soprano wails are very ladylike. I'm pretty sure she's a genius.
I miss her already!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Space

Yesterday was a day of sad remembrance. Today, I wanted to focus on something that made me feel warm inside, so I spent a few minutes learning about the progress of Spirit and Opportunity far away on the Red Planet. Bless their little hearts, they've been at it for 3 1/2 years. Opportunity is preparing to travel down a crater, and Spirit is doing its own work elsewhere.
Being the nerd that I am, it makes me feel happy that a project of human technical creation could work out so well and for so long, that its research could have far-reaching applications, and that we've gotten what I consider to be good value for the expense. And they're awfully cute.
I wish you luck, little rovers!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

B-E S-T-R-O-N-G-E-R

In February of 2006, I wrote about my college dance mentor, Dr. Dixie Durr. Sadly, Dr. Durr passed away this past weekend. She was an amazing lady, and everything I learned from her is still a force in my life as a teacher, writer, and of course a dancer. I have a lot of fond memories of classes and rehearsals with her, places where I learned and hurt and smiled and found out a lot about my personal limits and how far I should push them. As she said, "Never apologize for being alive."

Monday, September 03, 2007

If by "Labor" you mean lounging around in jammies...

I've been lying low this weekend, making sure that my body is indeed back to normal. This has given me ample opportunity to make jewelry, to start building some wings, and to watch gallons of TV...as a matter of fact, my VCR is currently taping part of the Murder, She Wrote marathon. Live the dream.

In all the ruckus of last week, I forgot to tell you I finished the dupioni jacket to go with my skirt. The pictures, taken the day before I got sick, didn't much turn out, but I got a few decent ones. I thought the lying down one was cool when I took it, but now I look at it, it's pretty obvious I have a fever.




Anyway, the wings are going pretty well. I experimented with simple, bakeable clay yesterday, the kind that comes in little blocks wrapped in plastic. The "bones" actually look pretty awesome. I haven't checked on the ones I did with air-drying "improved" papier mache clay, which is supposedly sandable. Anyway, the next step will be putting on some tulle or something and stiffening it, then attaching feathers. I need to figure out just what shape the tulle will have to be, which basically means drawing out the feather pattern first before I can proceed. Essays are coming in tomorrow, so the project has to get to a good stopping place.

Well, my office is unexpectedly freezing so I will be leaving as soon as possible. Thanks to all of you well-wishers this week, and for understanding when I've kept myself hidden away. I'm seeing my niece in less than two weeks, and I want to be fit!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Things I've Learned This Week

Yes, I'm on the mend. I'm taking it pretty easy right now, but things are better, and I even went ice skating today for some nice exercise. And I got my skates sharpened for the first time ever, which was novel and entertaining. So, here is some knowledge I've racked up these last days:

1. My feelings and my functionality need not match.
By all rights, I should have been flat on my back all day Monday. Yet through sheer force of will I walked to and from school and made a valiant effort to say a few things to my students before I sent them out the door. My Mama says I have a strong stomach. I think it's just stubbornness! I often find myself acting normal and even dressing neatly, when I actually feel like crud. So despite my concerns about getting complacent and lazy, I found out I still have a little of the old constitution going.
2. Odd symptoms may coincide with no relationship whatsoever.
The consensus among medical professionals? An uber swollen eye the day after a two-day, fevered bout of a virus isn't connected. I think I would have felt better if they had.
3. The folks at the Wood County ER care about me.
That's right, I said ER. I tried to go to ReadyCare on Wednesday night, even though my eye was better. The nurse barely started the chart before determining that I should go to the ER because they would not be able to perform any needed tests there. I went to the ER and told them how dumb I felt being at the ER when the problem would likely be solved at my physician. And they said, given the problem, I would probably have been referred to the ER anyway. The doctor I had listened to me for about five seconds and seemed to know exactly the problem...allergy-induced conjunctivitis. She thought probably I had an allergic reaction to something that got in that eye, and after tests involving dye and instruments showed nothing else wrong, she gave me some eyedrops and that was that. She was really nice, and no one treated me like I was overreacting, which is what I felt like. But I was really scared Weds. morning, and so was glad to have the problem resolved.
4. Don't joke about rashes.
Making light of the situation, I joked that I would probably wake up with a rash the next day as yet another random health thing to go wrong. Then, in the ReadyCare that night, there was a little boy who was touching everything and sitting on every seat, and he had...you guessed it...a rash. At this point, touch wood, I am rash free.
5. If I don't want Dr. Pepper, I'm really sick.
6. If an illness had made me not want to eat something I have in the fridge, it's okay to throw it away (still working on this one).
7. When you live alone and are sick, make sure someone knows.
Thanks, friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The plot, by which I mean the eye, thickens

So, yesterday I was pretty sure I was on the mend; fever down, stomach better, headache dissipating. I had a proper small dinner of casserole last night and, though it didn't taste as good as it should, it didn't make anything worse. I woke up feeling pretty decent this morning and ate some Cheerios, but then noticed that my eye felt awful funny. And not funny haha. A perusal in the mirror shows my eye to be swollen. It doesn't hurt or itch, I can see out of it just fine with my glasses on, but it looks glassy and either the lids are swollen enough to make the eye look swollen, or the whole darn thing is swollen. It doesn't look horrible, but it doesn't feel right. A call to the Med Mutual nurse line (are you using this? you should be) suggests I should see a doctor today, and as my own doctor's office says, "life, limb, and eyesight," which I thought was sort of funny. So, off to the Readycare I shall go tonight, because I can't bear to mess up my schedule enough to go to my actual doctor. I shall be using hand sanitizer and not touching people all day, so...I love you, stay out.
Edited to add: It is 1 pm, and mysteriously my eye is much better. The swelling has gone way down. It is like my body has decided to have every symptom imaginable at one hundred times the speed. Tomorrow? Rash. Oh wait, that was last week, when my legs decided to get razor burn.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Day I Couldn't Stand Up

So, yesterday I had something of a health catastrophe. I woke up around 8 and thought "I feel queasy," and then went back to sleep. By the time getting-up-for-school time rolled around, I got up, decided I needed to lie back down immediately, and then had to spend two hours trying to get up and not doing a very good job. I felt hungover, though I hadn't had any alcohol at all.
The day was sort of awful. I came to school, but could not sit or stand up without feeling sick. Ultimately, I gave my students their assignment sheets and sent them on their way; I kept my first three conferences and canceled the last three, and went straight to bed as soon as possible. I had a fever of 101.2, bad headache, upset stomach, and heartburn. These symptoms do not usually happen to me in combination, so I was very confused. Naturally, I called my mother. Eventually I was able to eat a few Cheerios, drink some water and a few sips of cola, and feel a bit better with the help of Advil, Pepto, and my fan. And of course my Mommy.
Today, I feel a little wobbly yet but way better. I made it through all my activities, though I now feel quite exhausted and due for a big nap. I am hoping that I feel even better tomorrow and that whatever this is will have gone away. My throat is a bit sore, so I hope the ick is not just changing, though as long as my stomach is okay I'll be better off than yesterday.
I might even get to eat dinner tonight!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Timing

On Friday, I was watching The Fellowship of the Ring, and when I say watch I mean listening to and then looking up when my favorite parts come along, like the little hobbit girl listening to a story in the party scene. I was doing a puzzle and enjoying a breeze through my screen door. Then, in that bit where the firework dragon explodes, I saw out of the corner of my eye a ginormous flash. Startled, I looked at the TV screen, pretty sure I remembered that it doesn't explode quite that much. Ten seconds later, thunder.
Basically, that first flash of lightning in the coming storm coincided exactly with the exploding dragon. Well done, God. Way to get my attention.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Open letter to the girl on her cell phone in the ladies' room

Dear girl,
I don't care if you aren't actually in a stall yourself and are standing by the mirror yammering away. But I am going to pee during your conversation whether you like it or not, and I am going to wash my hands as loudly as possible. You don't bring your phone into the bathroom at home, and I assure you your friend wants to listen to me pee just as much as he wants to listen to you pee, and as much as I want your friend to listen to me...which is not at all.
Get out of the bathroom.
Thanks.
Avacious

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hot Funk

So, last night's TV offerings were abysmal, so I went to Video Spectrum with high hopes of Hot Fuzz being in, and it was.
I liked it so much, I watched all the special features instead of Murder, She Wrote. Outtakes are by far my favorite of all special features...I actually watched those before the movie. But the movie itself made me giggle, as Pegg and Frost always do. It was funny to see Nick Frost in a more sort of naive role, and Simon Pegg's hard cop voice during the climax sequences was hilarious. And there was Timothy Dalton, which I didn't know.
Pegg and Frost are sort of like Jim Gaffigan for me; they don't make me completely lose control for a long time like Gaffigan does, but when I laugh it is spontaneous and impossible to suppress. Often unexpected. I like movies that can do that to me, because I don't generally laugh at what most people laugh at anyway, so it's harder to get me.
Good on you, mates.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First day of school! First day of school!

For my first day of school aura, I have selected:

"Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair! "

That should do it. Nip any jerkfaces in the bud.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Missing checkmarks

As I sit here in my friends' house, mooching off their internet, I find myself with some reflection time. School is just about to start again; my apartments are pretty clean, though there is laundry and grocery shopping...and shoe shopping...to take care of. Life has been good to me this summer. Most of my angst has been of my own making, out of my own brain. Many interesting things happened, most of which I've mentioned here in some fashion.
So, for a change, here are some things I did not do:
Make wings (yet)
Have a summer romance
Play tipsy whiffleball
See more than one movie in a theater
...and that's basically it.
How did you do?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My eyes! My eyes!

I haven't been reading the Bravo blogs for my shows lately because I hatehatehate the tiny print and noisy layout, but I was very curious to see what was being said about the Restaurant Wars episode of Top Chef this week. While I now have a tremendous headache, it was interesting to see that some intriguing background noise has been going on regarding Rocco DiSpirito and that a bunch of guest bloggers have been at work. And Ted Allen's blog for Top Chef is hilarious, and possibly my favorite.
Way to kill time instead of cleaning your office, Avacious.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need a hug and a nap

I think I hit a wall. I feel unaccountably sad and as I look around my still-not-cleaned-up office, I just want to wring my hands and cry a lot. It's only 3 pm and I'm already wondering where my next soda is coming from. In a blistering reminder of what my school life is like, I was late for a meeting and had to walk at top speed to get there (oh yeah, that's why I don't run during school), and I only just ate lunch, which was Easy Mac.
I hate to say it, but I think I might need to go buy some shoes. It's not that I think it will help more than momentarily, but...at least I'll have some new shoes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"I don't want to be a chicken cemetery!"

Sometimes, out of a desire to store information vital to my future, I'll read the parenting articles on cnn.com. Today was an exceptionally entertaining one about answering kids' questions. Read it.

Also, I learned something very valuable this weekend. I was getting ready to clean my stove, which was covered in stuck-on grease and burnt boil-overs. I've cleaned my stove before, using Clorox wipes or my Windex kitchen and glass cleaner. But it wasn't working. My arsenal was failing, and I didn't want to use up my one remaining Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Examining the contents of my cleaning bucket, I found some of those thin green scouring pads, the ones that are tougher than sponges but not crazy like steel wool. I thought, well, why not. I ran it under hot water, and then, in a stroke of what I now think of as brilliance, I put some dish soap on there. And it got EVERYTHING off. I had to scrub in a few places on the burners, but getting off all the little grease splatters was easy. I couldn't believe it. And dish soap is gentle on my hands and my nasal passages (unlike what I use on the shower mildew). So...keep it simple is my new stove-cleaning method.

In other news, my dupioni skirt looks awesome and I'm currently working on a matching jacket. I will also be looking for a cute little sweater or sweater pattern to wear with it when I want to dress it down a little. Ah, crafts.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Whatcha up to, Cloudy? Thursday edition

So, the manuscript is coming along. At least, I think it is...it turns out I have a lot of poems, so I'm almost putting this book together and deciding what might potentially go in the next and what the themes of that one might be when I have more poems saved up or written for it. There are some sequences in my order so far that make me feel good about them, and then others where I can't tell if it's working or not, and some where I'm totally baffled as to what will go there. And I have some of my favorites that I haven't fit in yet, and that is most confusing, and almost feels disloyal. I had a three-section thing going, but the middle section's original shape is too small and I have no idea what a larger but still workable shape would be.
The long and the short of it is, I have a severe case of eyestrain and crankiness. So cranky, in fact, that I think I might get McDonald's after my meeting tonight. I've been trying to watch what I eat at least to some degree, especially because it's been so hot. But a filet-o-fish and a nice walk later if it's not raining sound kind of nice, don't they? Or a cheeseburger. Or both (don't judge me).
The good news is, I am wearing a cute outfit. The bad news is, my apartments are a disaster of heat and dust and clutter. How am I supposed to clean if I can't even stand still without sweating? You know how much I like to be warm, and how sad I am when I'm cold, but sheesh.
The body knows fall is on its way, though. How else do you explain last week's sudden and undeniable hunger for pumpkin bread (handily satiated by my Betty Crocker)?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So last night it was officially hot enough that I couldn't sleep. Time to move the pedestal fan back from the workroom to the bedroom, I reckon. I had to get out the My Little Pony icepack.
'Course, there's a lot going on in the old rumination factory. It turns out putting together a poetry collection makes me a little crazy. I seriously almost started crying in the library yesterday because I couldn't think of something to put after a poem I wanted to come first, and then I obsessed about that problem for the rest of the day and am looking at going at it again this aft. What with that, bridges, and miners, there isn't a lot of spare brain power.
So if you see me walking or running about and I look like I might put a fist through a wall, I promise...it ain't you, baby.

In other news, I was reflecting yesterday on what an interesting and rewarding summer this has been. Niece and London, and projects aside, I've read quite a few books. A re-read of HP 6 and then 7 was joined by Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller, a couple of Dick Francis novels, Ordering the Storm about poetry collections, and others. Recently I finished off a library book entitled Madmen of History, an old edition. While the writing is spotty (in one chapter I found myself completely uncertain of what exactly was supposed to be mad about Rasputin, since the text said little about his deeds and more on the people who relied on him and then those who killed him), the book was at least interesting. Now I'm reading a book called Sex With the Queen, which is already telling me all kinds of things I didn't know, in the most matter-of-fact ways, such that I find myself wondering if it's all really true, as one does with gossip. Amazon calls it "scandalously readable." The fact that these last three books are nonfiction is amazing in and of itself. That two of them are history is nothing short of astounding, since that has never been my favorite subject. In the mighty words of Ralph Wiggum, "I'm learn-ding!"

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ice skating is nice skating...

If you're wondering whether I just got back from ICE SKATING the answer is yes!
Tessa and I went to the "cheap skate" for 2.50 for two hours and I broke out my skates for the first time in seven years. It was wicked fun, and my ankles are sore but I did pretty well. I didn't fall down! True, I didn't do very much that was impressive, but I worked on some cross overs and a few little arabesques once I got used to my skates again. My hands were numb!
And then I came back outside and it was 90 degrees.

Monday, July 30, 2007

And now I present to you...my weekend.
I went shopping on Saturday. It was joyful. I had a PINK coupon for free undies with the purchase of a PINK item from VS, and $5 off any hoodie. Naturally, I bought a green hoodie that says Pink Mustangs on the back, a little nightie with rosebuds on it, and some more sweet lounge pants that have elastic so they sit around the knee sort of like baseball trousers, only without all the complication. My free undies have stripes.
I also went and bought a tee shirt at Forever 21 that is cream-colored and has a bird made out of words on it. I found it on the website on recon, and then had to look at basically every tee shirt in the store before I found it, about ten feet away from where I'd started my search and where a shop girl told me it would probably be in the back. The shirt was three feet away from her, as it turns out, though under a set of different shirts altogether. There were only two left, which suggests they probably had more at one point, which suggests the girl does not know their stock very well.
I also went to Hot Topic, which at this point remains the only place I have been to that has any Harry Potter memorabilia. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. I bought two tank tops with Gryffindor and Order of the Phoenix pictures, and some new Magic Notebooks for conferencing. I was very excited about this.

I returned home and got some groceries, preparing for an experiment in stirfry. The challenge? Tofu. Cook's had info on this, and I tried it, and let me just say--it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. The glaze they suggested tasted good, but the prep method was too much mess for me, for a product I was dubious of anyway. Certainly, the chunks were reasonably crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, but...is that really what I want out of a stirfry? Out of a meat substitute? The answer is no. Tofu will never be one of my favorites, and it will never replace chicken.
I will note that the veggies, which I did with a sweet chili sauce, were very delicious and taste extra nice over couscous, which cooks up a lot faster than rice (I was running late last night).

In other news, shark week started yesterday on The Discovery Channel, and I watched rather a lot of it while I was working on albums, or rather, taking pictures out of albums and putting them in new ones or putting them in piles to figure out where they're going to go. The moral of this story is, if you're planning to stop by, don't expect to find a place to sit. I really wanted to watch Ocean of Fear, but it was on at the same time as Miss Marple, so I'm hoping they play it again.

And that is pretty much it. Good, eh? Now, I have a book about putting poetry collections in order and can't wait to do some real work on this myself.