Monday, February 18, 2013

The Way to Woo

Just stopped reading comments on a blog post which asked for easy appetizer recipes. Gah! The canned goods and cheese products were flying fast and furious. To sum up: cheese with some mayo and a little cheesey sauce on top.

And Back Again
Both girls got the fever/sore throat virus. Both are better. Bun was the second to succumb so she still has a bit of a sore throat. But both were bicycling yesterday in the nice weather. I got a walk in the sun too -- that is a good day.

My MIL had a gall bladder attack and is in the hospital. She has reduced liver function from disease damage long ago. They have to do twice as many tests on her before they decide if they can blast the gallstones or take out the gall bladder or what. I talked with her yesterday and she wasn't in pain so that's good. So much for her cataract surgery that was supposed to be this week. Getting older is hard work.

Mom lost a dog last week. Risa stopped wanting to eat which is the opposite state of normal dogness. There weren't any mouth troubles and it didn't go away. A scan at the ABQ vet showed a possible mass by her adrenal gland. Mom co-owned the dog with a vet in Denver. (Long boring story about breed dogs and obedience training.) After consultation they decided to take Risa up to her clinic to get another opinion and any surgery done there. I tutted because Georgia is not in such shining good health that she needs to be driving single-handedly 8 hours north through mountain passes in February. She fretted as well but was bent on getting to Denver. She called my brother who agreed to fly down and drive up with her.  He earned some serious brownie points for that effort, what a mensch. Sadly it was all for nought. The second scan showed something in the spleen. Surgery revealed cancer that was very advanced. They thought removing what they could see and stitching her up would only give her three weeks to live. They put her down. Mom and Kat and I all cried. (Kat still cries when we talk about our old cat who died when she was five.) Mom is down to two dogs, her old standard poodle Token and her young retriever Sizzle.

Got to go dancing with Nod on Saturday night. It was contra dance at our neighborhood elementary school, couldn't have been more convenient. Nod really caught on, I thought he was remembering what we'd done a long time ago at the family dances at the library. But he said it was his bass lessons, learning to hear the rhythms and counts that helps him put the steps together. Our fellow dancers were an agreeably odd mix. Just what we like. It was a date night out, super cool. I hope to go again next month.

Nod is starting what he calls a heavy season of woo. Lent isn't speaking to him this year, it's all about 5 Rhythms Dance and kirtan and (gulp) drum circles and so on. I've decided to read the Psalms for Lent and wish him well. I like dance from time to time but for me it roundly sucks that it conflicts with our church service. Nod said he was sorry he was so fickle and didn't feel he could just settle down and satisfy his spiritual urges with Episcopalianism. He plans to attend when the kids are singing or serving. It is more important to me that he has spiritual urges. The fact that he's chasing them around with different methods is acceptable to me. As long as we can talk about it and he'll listen to my experiences and tell me what he perceives from his outpost.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well Being Well

The throat tickle did not develop into crud. A fine weekend was had. Kat is now at home with a fever. Waiting to see if it goes on its own or if it is really strep after all.

My midsection has told me that the decison to eat two half gallon containers of Breyer's mint chip ice cream in January had consequences. Maybe Zumba is not a ticket to eat every treat ever. Rats. Speaking of Zumba, last night I got the double time butt shake that has been eluding me! I can't yet shimmy like our instructor with the great rack. But yay for the salsa butt shake. I am amused that one of the entertaining aspects of this class is the nasty quotient. In other trivial food and exercise news I have switched to tea in the morning. If I need caffeine to get going I can do the calorie-less kind. I plan to relish my coffee with sugar and cocoa powder on the weekend.

Everyone got up early this morning. Bun bounced out of bed and got dressed in her all-hearts outfit because today is the school Valentine's Day parties. I swear that a holiday calling for special clothing will get my kids up like nothing else. I will have to devise costume requirements for the daylight savings week. Kat slept through the night and even though she is still not feeling well was ready to be awake. I got up and did my leg lifts to protect my sweet knees that let me jump up and down. Then I did some hula hooping while listening to the State of the Union address highlights. Glad to hear that climate change got a little attention in between the guns.

I got to the library last night and damn, now I have a lot of books to read. Started Alif the Unseen right away. I am liking the set up but hoping the supernatural kicks in soon. Harry Dresden reminds me a bit of the Kim Harrison's Hollows books (wizard p.i.) but less inventive so far. I will try to finish it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spirit Banana

I have been reading the Spirit books by Rachel Aaron very quickly. My speed has even increased as I've gotten closer to what I assumed would be the explanation of all at the end of the third book. But then I got a little closer to the end and all these big questions were opening up instead of being resolved. This is never going to be tied up in thirty pages, thought I. That was correct: there are five books in this series. Maybe I am feeling a little deceived. Huff. But I've put a reserve on the fourth book. I really like the world and most of these characters and now I really want to know what happens. I guess I'm lucky that they've all five been published and are at my library. The last book is still in their "new books" category. The first three titles are Spirit Thief, Spirit Rebellion and Spirit Eater. I couldn't remember what the next ones were so the kids were helping me think of possible titles: Spirit Jumper, Spirit of Spearmint, Spirit Banjo. (Actually the 4th is Spirit War and the 5th is Spirit's End, vastly less interesting.)

While waiting for more spirits I am looking at nonfiction: The Five of Hearts and The Winter King. The second is about Henry VII and how his reign at the end of the wars of the roses was particularly uncomfortable and disputatious and set the scene for H the 8th and all that turmoil. This book was referenced by someone writing on the discovery of (what some historians have recently concluded are) Richard III's remains. I am enjoying it thus far although as usual am not following too closely all the dates and names. The writing style has some bounce but seems believable. The Five of Hearts hasn't grabbed me yet but I'll keep dipping in.

One small whinge. I have an ominous tickle at the back of my throat. A nap would have been great at midday today. I fear a weekend of crud. As opposed to a weekend of lemon curd which would be much better. Am drinking tea and trying not to mope while waiting for the afternoon to tick away. For the skin on my face and my general well being I wish I could go swim in the ocean and sunbathe. My rosacea acne is getting better. The zit right in the middle of my nose will be the last one to go away of course.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pop Culch

Pop Talk
Having elementary aged girls has me turning on the pop music radio stations more than I would otherwise. When I'm in the mood I love it. None of my friends and acquaintances discuss this music so I am at a bit of a loss if I have a question and neither daughter knows the answer. If you wonder about pop songs and like to judge them as much as I do you may enjoy the AV Club (offshoot of The Onion) irregular This Was Pop column. The entry I've linked answered several questions I had. Although why "Don't You Worry Child" reminds me so strongly of Rick Astley is still a poser. Their discussion of the song "Scream & Shout" notes that Britney Spears is currently working a vocal persona they call "sexy robot" and that together on this cut the two of them achieve a mood of "perky malaise". Yes! I'm enjoying the random-shit element of pop radio now that we live in the days of youtube sensations. "Thrift Store" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is the latest in that vein. It's a little smug and foulmouthed but it makes me laugh and is a nice change from the uber smooth ultra produced dance pop that is heavy on the repetitive. Pink's "Blow Me (One More Kiss)" is still making me car dance. Oh the AVClub also carries the Savage Love column if you need some sexy advice.

Super Picnic Chanting
The girls and I had a picnic last night while we watched the Super Bowl. My chicken wings were sadly uncrisp, I didn't set the oven hot enough to start. Don't make my mistake! But they got done and were still good with Frank's Hot Sauce. Nod was helping to host a kirtan event and did not do any Super Bowling. I'm still surprised at that but he felt a tremendous amount of responsibility for the event. He is having a hosting hangover today, grumpy and worried that it wasn't a big success. I am still trying to figure out what kirtan is even though I have been to a couple of events. Here is a NYT article from 2009 describing kirtan. It is yoga chanting, the kind of simple call and response you might do at the end of a yoga class. The first kirtan I attended was all sanskrit, but the second was mostly in English. There seems to be a lot of Sikh poetry sung as kirtan. I don't know anything about Sikh worship so I don't know how it's used exactly. It is another new agey thing that white people of a certain age like to do. The thing I like best is that it's participatory. I like to raise my voice with others and am going to a kirtan event this weekend to try it again.

Oh and the game was better than I expected, especially the second half after that very awkward power outage. I'm not pleased that Baltimore won but they earned it. It'll be fun watching Kaepernick next season. He resembles an ancient Assyrian king. Just needs a chariot and one of those molded stick beards. Here's an excellent guide to the Super Bowl for the non-football literate. Kottke linked it with this most excellent description of Kaepernick replacing the previous 49er quarterback: "the deliberate, steady bus was replaced by a flaming Apache helicopter flown by a nude Vladimir Putin".  The girls and I enjoyed the Oreos and pistachios ads the best. The Miracle Stain and the Audi kid going to the dance were good too.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jump Feb

Rabbit Hole
I read a post by our former rector on St. Brigid's Day, February 1. Then I looked up the pagan deity Brigid with whom the Irish abbess is identified. Then I looked up Brigid's Fire because Brigid's convent kept a holy fire which was from the previous regime, if you will. Then I found a site which was titled Brigid's Fire in gaelic. Then I was looking at a redhaired mound of venus. Then I closed my browser. Ermagerd -- only in the comfort and privacy of my own home.

Jumping Up and Down
I get to dance and jump at zumba and it makes me very happy. As I told Nod last night I am happy to be invited to jump and I am happy to be capable of jumping. When done with legs wide apart, this jumping challenges my sphincters. No disasters, so I'm hoping it's good for all the muscles' tone. Latest dumb song I am enjoying:  Shakira's This Time For Africa. It was the World Cup theme song for 2010. Happy sigh.

Splittin' Chores
Two blog posts by women married to men. Swistle's makes me mad because cleaning and cooking are circular chores that are draining and never done and most often done by women. I had to force myself not to click the (numerous) comments and rant. I have many feelings about how frustrating it is to cook for kids who don't want to eat your food. Snoozical's makes me happy because as a pregnant person she is needing nine hours of a sleep a night and resports that as a result her husband is doing the housework chores. I am glad she does not feel guilty. Rock on with being busy building a whole new human. I will never be tidy but this all makes me want to go get everything off the floor of our bedroom right now. Thank you Universe, I get it, yet another opportunity to start again.

Library Tween Months
Our city library is being rebuilt, bigger and better. The ground breaking happened in January and the old site is fenced off and the parking lot has been torn up. There is a temporary library space in the building that used to be Borders so we are not completely library-less. I've been in a couple of times to return the things we got before Christmas and to pick up some reserves. Most of the kid collection is available for browsing but there is only about half of the general fiction/nonfiction collection on the shelves, the rest has to be requested and retrieved from storage. I haven't felt comfortable yet. It may not be very comfortable until the new building opens spring 2014. I'm a heavy library user and it's interesting having this changed.