Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
1. When is the last time you had a paper cut?
A few weeks ago – thanks for jinxing me. And it wasn’t a paper cut, it was from a file folder, and you know how much that cardboard hurts. Ouch.
2. Would you rather have a 5 pound tumor on your face or a 50 pound tumor on your back, neither of which could ever be removed?
Probably on my back. People judge you so much by how you look and I’ve got so many strikes against me already, so I think it would be easier to hide something repulsive by draping myself with pretty shawls. And I already have a 50 pound load back there...it's called my a**.
3. What was the best part of your weekend?
This past weekend? Every weekend is excellent, but this past weekend we had an honored houseguest, Major Knitter, so that was obviously the best part.
4. Do you like peanut butter?
My most bestest favorite comfort food is peanut butter and crackers. ‘Nuff said.
5. List three foods you can’t stand.
Raw onions, seafood, Japanese popcorn (it tastes like fish). Although I will eat a fish fry and also tuna fish. I know, I'm such a paradox. Or confused.
6. Did you make your bed this morning?
Why yes I did. And I made DN2’s bed as well. When people come to your house expecting the grand tour, you have to maintain a modicum of neatness. Most of the time. Except in the box room. And the attic. And the closets.
7. When it comes to handshakes, are you firm?
8. What was the most effective punishment for you as a kid?
I was a bad child. I disobeyed a lot and my mother was very lenient. Face it, I was a brat. And so was my mother. As a matter of fact, my grandfather died when my mother was 10 or so, and just before he died he said to my grandmother, “You’re going to have a hard time with that one, Minnie.” You know what they say about payback…it comes in the form of your own children. But seriously, folks, my most effective punishment was delivered at Parris Island, circa 1983.
9. What is your favorite way to fix/eat potatoes?
Potatoes – food of the gods. Do we mean all potatoes? I could live off of potatoes so essentially I don’t have a favorite way because I like them French fried, baked, twice-baked, mashed, roasted, hash browned, home fried, in casseroles, scalloped, in frittatas, in salad, and in soup. Any other way? I’ll eat them. (And have you seen my a** lately? Please refer to question #2 on this one. I should just post a picture - that would sufficiently answer this question.)
10. Ask me something.
Okay, this is Kat’s question:
If you were stranded on a desert island with no hope of rescue, and you could bring one thing, would it be: 1) an endless supply of classic literature; or 2) a gigantic yarn stash and knitting needles?
I think this question is unanswerable. And I’m assuming there will be potatoes there already.
And here's mine:
If you were able to relive one day of your life, which one would it be?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
1. “Macbeth” - I think I’ve already posted about why I love this play. No, perhaps not, I think I just talked about the weird sisters. This play, for me, is first and foremost one that evokes a certain type of atmosphere. There is a large element of gloom and despair in the highlands of Scotland. I’m continually amazed by the outcome of not only of the truthfulness of the predictions of the weird sisters but also by how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are swept up by personal greed and how quickly they regret these unforgivable deeds that lead them to their end. A sad story, but very clever, especially since Macbeth is defeated by a man who is not of woman born (how can it be???). And of course like most of Shakespeare’s work, completely historically inaccurate.
2. “Measure for Measure” - If I could be a teacher this is the one Shakespearean play I would be sure to teach. This is a problem play and contains, well, problems for which there are no easy answers. It evokes the question of what price would you pay, or what would you give up, to save someone’s life. Plus it also delves into the topic of trust and hypocrisy in politics/leadership – always a contemporary theme. And sex, there's always sex. This would definitely be my number one if I weren’t from the same clan as Macbeth.
3. “Hamlet” – Yet another play where I wait for a different outcome that never seems to happen. I enjoy the argument over whether or not Hamlet was being cruel to Ophelia when he told her, “Get thee to a nunnery.” Fortunately DN1 and I are in agreement so we don’t have heated arguments against each other, we just agree to disagree with those scholars who say that Hamlet is being mean to the poor girl. I disagree! Hamlet cares greatly for Ophelia, and he sees what is going down in the palace – mostly because he is out to seek revenge – so he wants her to leave and get to a safe place, and perhaps stay away from all men in the future. But he never wants her to drown herself, poor thing. And if you like “Hamlet” then you must read Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”
4. “King Lear” – So great and timeless that Akira Kurosawa wrote a Japanese version, “Ran,” and Jane Smiley wrote A Thousand Acres, a Midwestern version. Of course if you actually research the play you will find that it is loosely based upon true events chronicled by Holinshead (and of course so is Macbeth). Hey, nothing Shakespeare wrote is completely his own, it’s all about interpretation, right? I’ve long considered writing my own version of Cordelia’s time spent in the cell and what she thought while she awaited her death. Another tale of loyalty, fidelity, madness, compassion, fratricide, and greed.
TIE 5. “The Merchant of Venice” – The infamous pound of flesh. Historically accurate in its portrayal of Jews, who during the Middle Ages were relegated to the role of banker because it was deemed a sin for good Christians to deal with money and who were then reviled for their banking power. Poor Shylock, how else would one expect him to act? This is a problem play for me because it has such deep ethical issues. And to Al Pacino, if you’re reading my blog, sorry big guy, but I didn’t really care for your version of the play, although I did try.
TIE 5. “Othello” –A play about race relations. A topic that will be explored continually because pride in self is not taught because we judge others based upon what they look like and not who they are. Othello suffered from insecurity based upon his race and believed that a white woman could not love him because as a Moor he was deemed inferior in the white community. And damn that Iago, he sure didn’t help the situation. SPOILER ALERT - The best performance of the death scene is in “Stage Beauty” with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes. Amazing.
Part of liking Shakespeare is becoming familiar with his work. I don’t believe that it is easy for anyone to love Shakespeare right away. It almost seems necessary to become familiar with the play first by reading it several times. What has worked for me is to read the play out loud, then watch it on DVD or video and read along whilst watching. The speech inflections help so much with comprehension, and of course every version is different because it is always based upon a director’s vision.
And excuse me for a moment while I get up on my soapbox -- I know that “Romeo and Juliet” and “Julius Caesar” are great plays in their own right, but come on, can we change the high school curriculum already?!? They taught these two plays to me, probably to my mother, and now to my kids. I appreciate that Shakespeare is timeless, but what a drag that they never change things around! No wonder so many people fear Shakespeare, because we’ve got generations of school kids who tell each other that Shakespeare sucks (or their teacher sucks) and then his plays are greeted with revulsion and trepidation in the future. There are so many great plays with such wonderful contemporary issues, why stick with these two? I may just have to become a teacher and mix things up a bit with the curriculum developers.
Perhaps when I finish reading the Complete Works of Shakespeare my top five may change. Perhaps not. Who knows. Well, I will when I’m there, but I’m not there yet, because it’s still now. So until then...caveat lector.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
You're Mother Night!
by Kurt Vonnegut
Nobody knows what to believe about you, and you know least of all. You spent most of your time convinced that the ends justify the means, but your means were, well, downright mean! And the end is nigh. Meanwhile all you want is to travel back in time, if not to change, then to just delight in the way it used to be. You are who you pretend to be. Oh yes, you're the great pretender.
Take the book quiz at bluepyramid.org.
(Doesn't that last line just make you want to sing the song by The Platters? "Oh yes, I'm the great pretender, pretending that I'm doing well, My need is such I pretend too much, I’m lonely but no one can tell.")
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
It is also time to start thinking about knitting again. I have been so busy with schoolwork, and with that behind me – at least the paper writing part – I can pick up the two sticks and the ball of "string" that continue to defeat me upon occasion. I have come to the conclusion that the reason I screw up is because I am both easily distracted and just not a great knitter, but I try, and that’s all anyone can ask for. I know that I will never be as good as the Yarn Harlot or Wendy or my own personal knitting goddess, but at least I can dream that someday I’ll complete half the projects they complete. My latest creation is a poncho for daughter number two (DN2) that would look better on her than on me, and would also work better in the fall than in the spring. That’s okay, because I won’t get it done before the fall. Hopefully this fall! Here’s my progress so far:
I am still working on my alien scarf, and as much as I love the little guys, it’s a lot of counting and an 80 row pattern repeat for six faces! Some of you may notice that I switched my colors. The way this happened is I had my yarn and my Stitch and Bitch book. I cast on with green and started stitching before checking the internet and finding out that there is a correction! Too late – I had already started. So instead of green-faced aliens, I have black-faced aliens. Those are my guys, marching to the beat of a different drummer.
I also have another scarf going – the Irish Hiking Scarf. Guess my husband didn’t get this for the winter; perhaps by next winter. I really like this pattern, and I feel cool about cabling (although this hardly qualifies as complicated cabling), but it too has the potential to get boring after a while. I just want it to be done already. Plus I dropped a stitch when I was cabling and I have yet to find my knitting bag with all the little extras things you need, so I just set the scarf down and haven’t picked it up in two or three weeks. I’m almost afraid to move it (although I did move the shelf it is on and the scarf did not come tumbling down, thank goodness).
So perhaps my problem isn’t the aforementioned reasons, but may be because I am just a lazy knitter. That could be it. What could also be my problem is the fact that I’m watching bad 70’s movies, like this: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane and Thank God It's Friday and not knitting enough (I've got to dance to Donna Summer singing Last Dance, of course). And my husband would say I do too much knitting and not enough cleaning. Now can you think why he would say that?
I just can't imagine why....
Saturday, April 15, 2006
The Vampire Novel
|People are addicted to you, as you make such entertaining and sexy reading material. You get people’s imaginations flowing and make for the type of book people want to read more than once. Cults have been inspired by the likes of you.|
It's finally time to get started. But wait, someone is missing.
Here he is.
The birthday boy arrives sporting a new pair of kicks!
Do the colors make you happy???
Hey! Where are you going? We haven't finished cleaning up!!!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
1. Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut
2. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
3. The Stranger, Albert Camus
4. The Odyssey, Homer
5. My Antonia, Willa Cather
6. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
7. The Trial, Franz Kafka
8. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
10. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
1. The patient is always right.
2. The doctor always has priority.
3. You wear a nametag, ergo, people know you work here so you cannot hide on an elevator or in the halls.
4. The doctors/residents in hospitals do not look like the ones on TV.
5. Be alert to infection control and airborne diseases; cover all your food when carrying it from the cafeteria, do not touch the stair railings, the walls in the elevator, and especially do not touch your face after you’ve done any of those things.
6. Wash your hands – A Lot.
7. Expect to get sick anyway.
8. Different color scrubs = different kinds of jobs.
9. There is a severe shortage of nurses.
10. Some people are very passionate about helping others.
Monday, April 10, 2006
It was a time when I wore Indian shirts and buffalo sandals, you know the kind that you had to soak in water and then wear wet until they dried so you could get them sized properly, and they cost about $3 in the head shop in town. It was also a time of buying Dr. Scholl’s sandals for $10 - $12 – not the $45 they became a few years ago during their resurgence in popularity. And you bought them at the drugstore, or the supermarket (if you shopped at Wegman’s), and not in a department store. I know that my personal preference for make-up application comes courtesy of ads featuring Bonne Bell lip gloss and lip smackers, Aziza (which I found at the Dollar Tree a few years ago), and Pat Benatar photos; the heavy eyeliner, the blue shadow, and the bold streaks of blush across the cheeks (although this is leaning a bit towards the early 80’s).
But it was also a time when many of us thought “Disco Sucks!” only to find that now we reminisce and dance along to an Andrea True Connection song anytime it comes on the radio. So I think sometimes I, like the area in which I live, am stuck in the 70’s. And I don’t think I want to leave.
We have an ongoing game we play in my family; we are making a continuous list of “perfect albums.” Of course we have rules for establishing what we consider to be a perfect album. First, the album has to have all great songs, and this means an entire album that you listen to without skipping any song; an album that is great from start to finish. Second, it cannot be a classical album, and this is because there are too many compilations and different conductors create different variations of the same music. Third, it cannot be a greatest hits album (because it stands to reason that then it should be a perfect album). When you listen to this album you cannot ever, ever skip a song – you have to believe that it is perfect for “both sides”, so to speak (because you know we’re talking CDs here and not record albums). As an aside, I went to an estate sale on Saturday with daughters one and two, and they had an old “stereo” system for sale. Daughter number one asked why there was a penny taped to the arm of the turntable, so I had to explain how it was used. How dated is that?!?! And also for the record, and as a serious aside, I still have my old blue plastic record player (from Grants) upon which I used to listen to Bobby Sherman (oh yeah), my Monkees records and the cardboard cut-outs of 45s from the back of cereal boxes. We have been adding to this perfect album list for six months, at least, and of course I have my own contributions. Now can you guess which decade most of my music comes from? The 70’s, of course. My children have chosen more contemporary pieces, as have I, and my husband has contributed too (although mostly in agreement with some of my choices). I’ll give you a sampling from our list and you see if you can chose which ones I’ve added:
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Bruce Hornsby – The Way It Is
Yes – Fragile
Incubus – Morning View
Damien Rice – O
Blood Brothers – Burn Piano Island, Burn
Lara Fabian – Lara Fabian
The Cars – The Cars
Finch – Say Hello to Sunshine
He is Legend – I am Hollywood
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
Underoath – They’re Only Chasing Safety
Anita Baker – Rapture
Poison the Well – You Come Before You
Panic at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat
The Agony Scene – The Darkest Red
Foreigner – Double Vision
Christopher O’Riley – True Love Waits*
The Used – The Used
On Broken Wings – Some of Us Will Never See the World
Public Enemy – Welcome to the Terror Dome
Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
Michelle Branch – The Spirit Room
Pearl Jam - Ten
*Christopher O’Riley is almost breaking the rules because he is actually covering Radiohead songs; but the crucial difference here is that it is his interpretation of their songs (and if you read the amazon.com reviews they kind of ding him for this). Therefore he can slide onto the list. I stand by my ruling.
**Please note, too, that Tori Amos is not on my list, although she does deserve a place of honor. Unfortunately sometimes she and I just do not agree creatively so wherever we disagree it is a reason to leave her off the list. She is a goddess, though, we all agree on that.
***You may notice there are no country albums here. This does not mean that none of us like country. On the contrary, we do, but this is a work in progress, so albums may be added at any time.
Have you considered what you would choose as a perfect album?
Er, excuse me, CD.
1. “My name is Howard W. Campbell, Jr.”
2. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”
3. “Mama died today.”
4. “Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide
after he had sacked the famous town of Troy.”
5. “I first heard of Antonia on what seemed to me an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America.”
6. “Marley was dead; to begin with.”
7. “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.”
8. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”
9. “On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.”
10. “And then there was the bad weather.”
So many books, so little time.
Friday, April 07, 2006
"For centuries, Scottish witches were believed to convene annually on the first Friday in April. Friday was undoubtedly chosen because in pagan Nordic cultures the ancient fertility goddess Frigga was, with the advent of Christianity, branded a witch and removed from local pantheons. In revenge, she conjured up bad luck for mortals on her namesake Friday."
What I was thinking was about Macbeth, specifically of the Macbeth characterized in Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Did he, by any chance, run into the three weird sisters (and the play says sisters, not witches, although it is understood that they are witches), on the first Friday in April? Would that explain their presence there? I’ve seen “Macbeth” on stage and on DVD, plus I’ve read it several times, and every time you get a different presentation of the setting on the heath when Macbeth runs into the sisters. So I know everyone has a different visualization of these characters – and what I wouldn’t give to play one (are you with me Bean?). Their impact upon the play is so powerful – and it also leads me to wonder if Macbeth had ignored these women and not listened to them, would the entire play have turned out differently? Or would he have come up with his own ideas without any predictions about the future? But don’t blame the sisters; they were just minding their own business when Macbeth rode along. I recently read an Agatha Christie book (Nemesis) and in it Miss Marple speculated that perhaps the best casting for the three weird sisters would have been three women who, rather than being overtly dressed as witches, were instead just normal women who cast sly looks at one another and their witchiness would be more implicit than explicit. I think that would be an interesting characterization, and I know I have considered many different ways of portraying them. This doesn’t answer my original thought, however, of whether or not the sisters were meeting on the first Friday in April. But I do know that even though it is the wrong season, perhaps it is time to put some holly over the doors, windows and on the mantel (for protection from the Dark) and maybe put on Roman Polanski’s version of “Macbeth” and consider how his future might have been different had he continued on his way instead of stopping.
"Touch not a catt bot a targe."
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I think their sportsmanship is worth noting, and so too does the Westside News which has reported this story about the Spencerport High School basketball team.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Yes dear, he was.
I wonder what John Howard Griffin would think.
The spots on the pictures are snowflakes.
I know there’s no such thing as a warm snow shower, but this picture does not even begin to tell you how cold it was outside.
What I am attempting to show you here, which didn’t work out too well because my hands were shaking from the cold (and because I also continue to mistake the on/off button for the picture-taking switch), are my beautiful crocuses that were soaking up the 70 degree weather on Saturday only to be beaten down by snow three days later.
This morning I had to yank on my car handle to open the door. And because I’m lazy (and usually late), I left without scraping the ice off my windshield. Fortunately it had defrosted by the time I got to work – which I knew it would. See, sometimes it pays to be late and lazy, but not always.
April is the cruelest month indeed.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. USMC (for 20 years)
2. Executive Assistant at Marine Corps Reserve Association (for 2 years)
3. Executive Assistant at Rochester General Hospital (for 4 months)
4. Mother (for the rest of my life)
Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (for laughs – “You tell ‘em, Luther!”)
2. "Horatio Hornblower" (for lust, action, and scintillating dialogue such as, “You have fought your duel. That is well. Never fight another.”)
3. "You Can’t Take it With You" (Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur)
4. any Cary Grant movie, but especially "Holiday" (with Katherine Hepburn)
Four places you have lived (might as well change this to four places you have been stationed):
1. Honolulu Hawaii
2. Okinawa Japan
3. London England
4. Stuttgart Germany
Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. "The White Shadow" (no one said these shows have to be current)
2. "French and Saunders" (ditto to number one)
3. "Last of the Summer Wine" (sets the standard for shows about nothing)
4. "EastEnders" (but I need my fix - I haven't seen it in six months - and Grant is back!)
Four of your favorite books (I’m adding this one–why do we have to always share what we watch? Caveat Lector!!!):
1. Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
2. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. The Fall, Albert Camus
4. The Odyssey, Homer
Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Etain, France
2. Williamsburg, Virginia
3. Walt Disney World
4. Tokyo, Japan
Four websites I visit daily:
4. yarnagogo.com (Congrats to Rach and Lala!)
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Cadbury mini-eggs (study food, right Beanie?)
3. Krony’s Pizza
Four places I would rather be right now (with unlimited funds, of course):
1. island in Greece
2. flat in London
3. pied a terre in Paris