Friday, August 11, 2017

White Rose

My favorite bit from the new Spiderman movie is that when he goes to the Homecoming dance he's wearing a white rose in his lapel. It's so Galahad, virginal knight. Despite its blockbuster slot, the movie paid attention to tone and small signals. Oh, I also liked, "Hey Spiderman, do a flip!!" a whole lot. And Ned! I was successful in having low expectations for this one and was really charmed. I smiled a lot. The Avengers stuff in this did not charm me. All very military-industrial complex.

Windows 10 displays an icon in the middle of the screen before login. It's a generic user, the suggestion of a head on shoulders. Or is it a very depressed cyclops?







No world news here. I am resolutely turning the radio down when djt comes on. I'll be trying to get the kids ready for their start of school next week. I'll be wondering if we'll have clear skies for the eclipse in ten days. I'll be tending to my dog in the cone of shame.

She's worn it so long now that she's willing to bump it into the floor and obstacles now. Originally she wouldn't even lay down with it on so she's adapted a lot. I'm sorry for her but she's chewed the scab off her foot over and over and we've got to do what it takes to let that heal completely. Maybe she can spend the second half of August without a cone on her head.

Lots of painted lady butterflies have visited the Joe Pye weed that we have in the front yard:



Monday, July 31, 2017

Forging ahead

The Incredible Jessica James (Netflix flick) lives up to its name. You should watch it now. Even if you only watch the opening title sequence of Jessica dancing by herself, it'll be worth it.

This USGS Water Science School website seems full of tasty knowledge. I learned from my technician husband that absolutely pure water does not conduct electricity. It's the stuff dissolved in water that makes it conductive. Of course water on earth always has stuff dissolved in it thus the common sense that it's conductive. Perhaps I will learn more exciting and ground shaking facts.

====================

Benign neck lumps. That's the biopsy results. I am supposed to go back to the ENT for a follow up appointment in 4 months. Now that I have had that experience I will need tranqs before I do another neck biopsy, grr. I have full range of motion now, ten days after.

I am feeling quite exasperated about parts of my body that I have never thought about before. Recent mix and match feelings about my physical condition: sad, angry, resigned.

I'd like to enjoy rather than resent being in my body. I'm going to do some morning plank work with loud music. Might need a boombox for the bedroom. I'm going to do some super relaxed yoga. I'm going to jump my husband when we get a chance. And I'm going to keep thinking about things that feel good.

The forecast is ominously pleasant. Who said Kansans could have highs in the low- to mid-80s to start August?! Topsyturviness.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beachy

Watching our two kids proceed through security and disappear into the gate area at the airport was weird. The TSA agent checking their IDs looked around so I waved at him. He said, "I thought you'd be nearby somewhere." Leaving the airport without them felt a bit wrong. Soon I will do the swa checkin for their flight tomorrow. I'll fill up the car with gas tonight. Later on I'll talk with them and my mom. I'm glad to be ticking off the things that get me closer to seeing them.

Just read a pastor's tweet (ha! twitter is the modern home of the cri de coeur) that I'll paraphrase as "if there's no transcendental being with love and compassion for us limited humans then what are we all doing here?" In my opinion we humans get to be the transcendental and the limited, all at the same time or by turns.

L and her friend K want to go to Disneyland when they are old enough to travel on their own. They are the perfect twosome to have great time with the Mouse. Parking this here for reference: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-disneyland-ride-wait-time/  July 2017.

Sea glass, lovely sea-smoothed bits of color. It would be fun to make a sea glass window. A wonderful woman posted her technique lo these many years ago. In short: use plexiglass for the background and then glue the pieces of sea glass on with E6000 glue. It would be fun to find a cool frame first and put eye bolts on the top to hang in front of a window. I'm imagining being on the beach enough to find all the sea glass...

History of art in French, anyone? I'm trying to read a little bit and limber up the brain.

The milkweed in the front is budding. I haven't seen any monarchs on it but it still makes me happy.

I didn't realize how very oddly shaped wombats are. The fact that they poop in cubes is not any stranger than the vast distance between the eyes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Moving and shining

Recovering
Up sick in the night. I stayed home the next day. I am back at work but still feeling a bit weak. Not sure what that was about. No one else in the fam got sick. Maybe I'll try planks again tonight.

Throaty
Biopsy will be next Friday 8am. I called to ask what to expect. The nurse I spoke to was bad at explaining. Then the connection went out and the call was cut off. I may try asking someone else. Google says I should be able to drive home and go back to work after.

Bush of Whos

Compound flower puffballsButtonbush. These flower balls, each whiskered with pistils, looked perfect and Seussian. L spotted them beside the lake as we waited for our turn to kayak. She brought up the Whos on the teeny ball on the flower that Horton hears. And then I realized that the Grinch was as teeny as the Whos -- mindblown.

Strawberry Ice Cream Moon
We got to watch the full moon rise over the lake on 7/8. It was faint pastel pink as it came up. Got brighter and brighter white as it rose further from the horizon. Beautiful twilight water colors. And a bright moonpath over the water before we left. No pix because kayaks and cameras don't mix.

Can you accept what you are?
Self-care basics. This is attitude and practice, not something you buy. I love #1 - feel your feelings without judging them. Such a big hurdle to cross to my adulthood.

Take off
D├ęcollage in French means take-off / lift-off. I had to look it up so I'm putting it here. De-glue-ing is one literal deconstruction of the word. The plane is unglued from the ground!

Twitter doggo concern
Chris Evans' dog is oooookay.

Hippodanger

First, watch out for the hippos
A story about hippo zookeepers and their bottomless fondness for their dangerous blobby charges. My fave part:
...Remember that time she bit down while I was brushing her teeth and she broke every bone in my hand?” and all the other people are like,  “Aw, precious Nile princess! I remember riding with you in the ambulance!”
A follow up comment clarifies, "Also, not to let you think that my cousin or hippo people in general are irresponsible: They apparently have very strict and very clear rules limiting human-hippo contact and a massive, strict set of safety policies….it’s just that hippos are so fucking devoted to injuring people that shit happens."

Rickman4evah
The Story of Lunch turned out to be not my thing. Clearly smitten by the cast, I would have rather heard a description like this:  prose poem adapted into a teleplay, less than an hour in length, almost entirely narrated by a self-involved 50 something seeing an old flame. Good old Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson were not enough to shift that balance. I gave it fifteen minutes and bailed.

Wow, Alan Rickman's late film roles seem to have been in some universally loathed films. But he was following in the footsteps of excellent male British actor Michael Caine who appeared in everything that paid well. They seem to have a workmanlike approach, better to be paid for acting than not. I've seen Love Actually (his subplot is meh and I don't enjoy rooting against him) and the Potter films. Of his others since 2000, Snow Cake was interesting and affecting. Blow Dry was extremely silly. I might try Perfume. I'd like to see his Caterpillar in Alice. The Search for John Gissing seems best reviewed of the bunch.

Listen and watch
Harvested from the Bloggess's request for listening goodies:

http://robpaulsenlive.com/talkin-toons-with-rob-paulsen/  Interview podcast with voice actors.

http://www.thememorypalace.us/ podcast  Small portion history podcast

http://www.dancarlin.com/ Hardcore History podcast

http://www.talkthetalkpodcast.com.au/ Language podcast

http://www.dolloppodcast.com/ History nsfw podcast

And a metaflitter-recommended web series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo   http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAumukunDCqfi1CmaOM20f2jzQtKIP7rt

From metaflitter askme Tai Chi vids https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvF6r6DOvc

https://www.yesbroadway.com/newsandfeatures/podcasts and https://theaterppl.com/the-podcast/2017/4/24/introducing-broadway-backstory  Broadway related podcasts!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Forthed

Light it up
Fireworks felt a bit perfunctory. Lots of unsanctioned lights and booms going off around us before the city show. It was muggy but there was a blessed breeze that came and went. Realized that I have a hard time remembering past 4ths separately which is frustrating. Got to meet a 6 week old which was definitely the highlight. In general I felt sorry for the dogs. I started out nervous about my fellow firework watchers but as Nod told me, they weren't any different than any other year. That'll do for the gunpowder holiday.

Sing it
Heard part of a radio piece on the Star Spangled... song. It recommended adding the 5th version to the 1st that we all know. Despite the word 'illum'd' which I find a stumbling block, I'd like to learn it:

When our land is illum’d with Liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchain’d who our birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Check it
Going to schedule a biopsy of my enlarged thyroid. Still feeling irritated about having to think about my thyroid at all. Prefer irritation to fear.

Bake it
I watched some more British baking yesterday. But before then I baked another loaf of soda bread with sesame seeds on top. It was well received. Nod decided we needed to grill despite the rain on the morning of the 4th. He got the fireplace going on and made a nice bed of coals. Got some veggies for K and brats and dogs for the rest of us. It was a good meal. I discovered that I like berries with whipped cream more than (grocery store) key lime pie.

Get it
Both kids were at sleepovers on the 4th and we had some time for private fun as well. I quite enjoyed having the house just to ourselves. And then I missed the kids later during the fireworks.

Jazz it
Well explained by Katyboo: "It was traditional jazz, i.e. stuff that you can still hear the tune in, rather than stuff that goes on for eight weeks and sounds like a lot of pans falling downstairs."


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Or not so

Finished the 2013 season of GBBS on netflix last night. Am very disoriented because it's listed in n'flix as Season 2 and I had previously watched their Season 1 which turns out to have been the 2014 GBBO. Ack! The only explanation is that they are trying to undermine our mental stability. I can't say that I lost out on any plot by watching them in reverse order. There is nothing but timeless baking, cruel challenges, charming participants and occasional nature beauty shots of the English springtime countryside. Thank god.

Father's day happened. Nod got his kayaks the weekend before and we had an adventure getting them onto the car carriers and strapping them down in gusty winds. Turns out it's easier without the gusty winds. We're still learning about tying options for the incredibly long straps we have. But we got 'em successfully loaded, transported, unloaded, in the water and back. The water at our chosen lake was a pleasant temp and we all got a turn or two paddling around. It's lovely being so close to the surface of the water. Small fish jumped and a giant grey heron flew back and forth.

At the request of the paterfamilias I baked some kick-ass strawberry scones. My scones tend to spread out instead of rise high. I think I'm adding too much liquid and will try cutting back the yogurt. But even spread out they were delicious.

I am crossing my fingers whenever I think about my poor dumb 2006 wagon that got two new head cylinders in April. I would like it to have no further mechanical challenges until at least 2019 please. But the clicking in the front axles while turning is not encouraging.

Got through Four Roads Cross and it ended well. I did think it could have been cut down to a novella to better effect. On to the October Daye series! The first one went down easy. Currently I'm rolling my eyes at the second one. I *never* guess whodunnit and this time I'm convinced I had it in the first third and would like the protags to wake up and see it already. We'll see if my impatience is well placed or not.

Mowed the back last night. It looks good and I did the side yard as well. It was satisfying to accomplish. Roofing season seems finally to have ended. They picked up the last of their piled up supplies from the front yard this week. Road work has taken the place of roof work to inconvenience us. We'll see if the curb/driveway gets done by the end of the week. It's been cut and scraped down for a few days so the nabes and I are wondering when the new stuff gets laid down.

I don't know if our tomato plants in the garden have any chance of producing fruit. They're both flowering but I haven't seen any tomatoes yet. July will tell. Kale and parsley continue to be the big winners. I made a couscous salad last night with lots of parsley. Like tabouli with a lemon/olive oil dressing but using couscous instead of bulgar wheat. The recipe was on the back of the couscous box and called for -- of course -- an entire box of couscous. I didn't add it all to the salad because if I had it would have been hard to find the veggies. I made a very tasty salad and now need to find a use for the rest of this stuff.