Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Love Harry Potter, Actually Mash-up

I've run across several films recently that feature many of the same British actors in different roles . It's rather fun to match the characters across the different films.

Did you know that Snape and Trelawney got married?

Not a match I would have predicted, and in fact, it didn't turn out so well in Love Actually.

But then he dumped her to marry her sister. In Sense and Sensibility.

The Cad!

Separated At Birth--Evil Twins Edition

It's Christmas season, so the Christmas shows are starting to run in heavy rotation. One of the newer entrants to this tradition is Love, Actually. Which I love, actually. One of the many many charms of this movie is my new boyfriend--Liam Neeson.

He's kind, loving, funny, patient, wise...and still in love with his dead wife, raising his stepson, and cautiously getting ready to love again. Definite boyfriend material.

But Boyfriend has an evil twin.

Ralph Fiennes--definitely NOT boyfriend material.

Can I Take Back The Take Back?

So, I was going to take back the take back, but everything changed. AGAIN. So now I'm just baffled.

First, it was roses blooming in November.

Then it was suddenly 9 degrees and two inches of snow.

Then on Monday, it was 50 degrees. All the snow melted. Completely.

Yesterday it dropped to 10, and snowed again.

I'm just going to wear lots and lots of layers, and just add and subtract clothing until the weather makes up its mind--are we going to be arctic this winter, or shall we all just pretend the Gulf Stream moved to run UP the Mississippi?

Flog the Blog

This is who I want to be when I grow up.

I swear to god, I laughed so hard tears came out of my eyes, and the dog had to come over and check me out to make sure that horrible sound I was making wasn't fatal.

I also want to learn how to play bridge, just so I can score in Aramaic.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Running With The Big Dogs

We were invited to some friends' cabin this weekend, and we went on the spur of the moment. They called as they were driving out of town, and we followed an hour and a half later.

The cabin was lovely, with enormous windows overlooking a lake, with giant timbers forming the support structure of the building. The friends have two girls, the same ages as the Pony and Bunny, so they split up and played.

The puppy made some new friends too--two lovely golden retrivers. Bermondsey weighs 14 pounds, and stands about 10 inches high. The Ladies--Isabelle and Gabrielle--are 90 and 60 pounds respectively. We let them all out together to run in the woods, and Bermondsey was in dog heaven. Gabby is only about 6 months older than Bermondsey, so the two of them chased each other around. Isabelle was the responsible party, and made sure they all came back inside together.

The difference in scale was noticeable to us, if not to Bermondsey. Poor dog was running full out as the Ladies began to trot. However, he used his smaller size to dodge around the bigger dogs, and so the chase games were well matched.

Only when Isabelle stepped gracefully over a rock that Bermondsey had to scrabble up was he even aware of his much smaller size.

And it didn't stop him from stealing their rawhide bones--which were as long as he was.

Increase Your Word Power!

Bunny (age 9) and Pony (age 12) were goofing around one morning:

Bunny: I don't want to be cute! I want to be powerful! Frightening! Incandescent!
Pony: What does that mean?
Bunny: Like an incandescent light bulb. It means to light up.

Later the same morning:

Pony: Ouch! You landed on my elbow!
Bunny: Your oboe? What's an oboe?
Pony: My ELBOW!
Bunny: I do know what a hobo is. Do hoboes play oboes? With their elbows?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

This Morning's Giggle

I know. I understand. I used to have two dogs.

How To Not Sleep--With Cats.

I woke up one sweaty August morning (no airconditioning) with a dog on either side of me. Hairy dogs. Dogs bred to survive in the mountains of Tibet. Plastered to my hips.

I think that's how SlimJeans got invented.

Does anyone remember those? They were a sort of rubberized pants/girdle that inflated, I think. They were supposed to help you sweat off weight while watching TV. Monty Python did a sketch about them. I actually can't find anything on the internet about them.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What's The Question?

Drove past the large bank sign flashing numbers:

What is the answer to Life, the Universe and--what's the temperature?

42. Of course.

Unclear On The Concept--Franchise Mania

There is a video game franchise that is about to issue its latest edition.

Final Fantasy XII

How final can it be?

The Crying Game

Puppy has a little cry/whine he makes when he's attempting to communicate something. I associate it with needing to go outside--hey, it's how I'd sound if I had to go to the bathroom.

Especially since we are transitioning from multiple daily walks to being in the yard on a leash, I'm thinking that maybe he has more business to do.

But he's now just sitting by the back door crying. Frequently. Multiple times. In a row.

He escaped the last time before I got the leash on him, and he went straight to the fence and cried to the dog next door.

Can it be love? Do they have a future? Especially since they are both neutered?

You Make The Call!

Saturday I had a bit of a meltdown. It actually felt like my emotional exoskeleton collapsed and sadness rushed out. There was no one to plug these dikes, and the city got flooded.

I can't even explain why it happened. I've been very good about taking my medicines. I hadn't gotten any bad news. I just suddenly turned cranky, and then tearful.

As a result, I missed out on a fancy night out with Mr. Sweetie--who, true to his name, let me stay home.

This morning, two days later, I got my period.

So......was it depression? or just PMS?

Queer Eye For The Wizarding Guy

Saw Harry Potter 4 this weekend, and can't wait to see it again.

Yes I am addicted to this literary crack--but at least it's legal.

Still, I'm a bit bothered by the transfiguration of Professor Flitwick. He started the series under Chris Columbus looking like this:

But now he looks like this:

Can magic cure baldness? Is it better than a face lift and Botox? Is there a potion like Rogaine?

If so, why can't it cure a bad haircut?

Does magic just make a mid-life crisis worse?

It's Like Having A Toddler Again

The weather continues to get colder, and it is becoming increasingly more important that the puppy learn to potty outside on a leash. He much prefers to go on walkies for that, but as the air temperature heads south of freezing (not even to mention the wind chill!), I am less interested in taking four walks a day.

It's like a classic economics diagram--and the temperature goes down, the demand for backyard potty-ing goes up.

So yesterday, we had success! Not only did he wet all over the catmint (I think that was a dog-dominance thing as well) he pooped! In the yard! While on his leash without me walking along.

So, when was the last time you rejoiced because somebody pooped? It's like having a toddler again!

We'll talk about the putting everything into the mouth, and the pulling off all the toilet paper behaviors another time.

The Queen's English

The Bunny was watching TV yesterday, and someone on the show was freaking out about leeches on her leg.

The Bunny felt she was over-reacting. "Just pull them off. Stomp on them, if you must."

"If you must." Who says that? More to the point, what 9 year old says that?

If you must. Not "if you want to," or "if you just gotta." No, none of that lazy American slang for Our Bunny.

Where did she get it? I know I sometimes use anachronistic language, especially after reading a lot of Victorian novels, but I don't think I've ever used that particular phrase.

Kids. Gotta love 'em.

If you must.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Okay, I Take It Back!

So, last week I made some snarky reference to global warming, as evidenced by roses in my garden in November.

Last week, we got served some winter, and oh the cold.

I woke up to the radio saying "9 degrees." That is not a typo. Nine. Degrees. That's Farenheit.
It's even lower in centigrade. Let's see...subtract 30...divide by 2... It's about 10 below zero! for those of you accustomed to metric measurements.

I was not ready for that much cold. I did manage to send the kids to school with warm coats and winter boots and gloves and hats--it's more that I wasn't ready psychologically for that kind of cold.

But then, is anybody?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Kids Crack Me Up

Today was a Family Fun Day here at Chez Evil, and we all went bowling. However, trying to bowl on a Saturday involves long waits due to the many birthday parties going on. While we waited, we went into the arcade and played some games.

The Bunny played one called "Crazy Taxi." This one is tailor made for the Bunny, as she has loved driving video games since she was about 2, and she still isn't a very good driver. When the game is called "Crazy Taxi" she discovered new heights (or depths) of driving mayhem. She ran over her fares, crashed into cable cars, drove through parks and into stores--traffic and pedestrians went flying either to escape, or because she hit them.

On the way home, we were treated to the following monologue:

"Welcome to the Bunny Driving School, where our motto is 'Aaaaaaaah, eeeeeeeeeee, oh-dee-oh oh-dee-oh, aaaaahhhhhh, look out over there, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!' The first step in learning to drive is to memorize this motto, as you may be required to use it frequently during our course.
Let us all practice this motto, with correct pronunciation and enthusiasm."

This was followed by the same thing, done with a broad Australian Crocodile Hunter accent, and finally as a "snotty English butler."

This cracked me up for the entire trip home.

I Hate To Admit This, But...

...Mr. Sweetie is right.

Just bask in that a little, okay? He was right, and I was wrong.

Yes, it's hard to say, but I was wrong. He was right.

I've moved beyond nearsighted these days, and am now into bifocals. It's really unfair that I've needed glasses since 5th grade, and now I'm not even nearsighted anymore. I need bifocals, or reading glasses with contacts. It's a hassle.

So, when I first got the prescription for bifocals, I went ahead and got all the bells and whistles on my lenses--anti-glare coating, no-line progressive bifocal lenses, and Transitions (TM). Transitions is the deal that makes the glasses go dark in the sun, but lighten indoors.

Except they don't work. Sure, they darken in the sun, but not as dark as $15 sunglasses from Target, and not at all if I'm driving. Then, indoors, they never quite lighten up to clear, so I look like I'm trying to hide my stoned eyes. Which would be okay if I was stoned, but I'm not, so I don't like it.

Finally, the puppy, who puts everything in his mouth, also got my glasses, and now there are little chips in the lenses from his teeth. So, I'm thinking it's time for new glasses.

So, I'm looking around at people who wear glasses, and there are the cutest frames these days: dark, a little funky shaped, face jewelry kind of things. And I just love them. So, I go to the expensive designer glasses store, and I try on expensive designer glasses. After all, I am going to have to wear these pretty nearly constantly. And suddenly I find them: the cool glasses that have just enough uptilt to the frames that they are not cats-eyes, but they give me the illusion of real cheekbones. They are dark, like my eyes, and they have mod multicolored earpieces, so they will go with everything.

My girlfriend who went with me loved them. The store sales person loved them. I went in with Mr. Sweetie and ran into a trunk show, and the eyeglass fashionistas loved them.

Mr. Sweetie didn't. He felt that they hid my face, and called attention to themselves, not to me.

I didn't get them, but continued to think about them.

Then, I had to get my glasses adjusted, so I went into a different store, and tried on more frames. I started with the cool dark ones, and found some that were similar (though not quite so designer-y) and were about half the price. Just for kicks, I put on some rimless ones as well.

The contrast was amazing. The dark frames actually made my face look concave, compared to the rimless clear ones. I was literally obscured by the glasses, and when I put on the clear ones, my face just totally resolved into a "look" that featured me and my eyes, and not my glasses.

So, I was wrong.

Guess I'll just have to do my funky glasses experimentation with the $15 reading glasses I still need.

Although, something came in the mail, saying "Glasses are the new shoes--you need more than one pair." Maybe I can get them both....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sad But True

Jack-o-lanterns are scarier after Halloween, after the squirrels have EATEN THEIR FACES!!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Global Politics

Driving home this morning after dropping the kidlets at school--public radio is discussing the St. Paul mayoral election--incumbent lost by 38 points.

The temperature on the bank sign I was passing at the moment?


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Creationism: A First Person Account

It must be the rise of the "new" "theories" of "intelligent" "design" that have lead to so many great minds revisiting Genesis.

Raising the question: If the Bible really is the Word of God, why is it written in third person?

These made me smile:

1. A pantheistic creation story, from the New Yorker.

2. God's Creation Blog.

Fun With Homophones

I have this idea for a crossword puzzle. Not that I'll ever actually construct one, but it's fun to think about.

It would be a themed puzzle--you know, where a bunch of the clues are related somehow. And, being who I am, it would be a series of really bad puns. Hence, the title of this entry: Fun With Homophones.*

17 Across: Child Carl, psychologist
Answer: Young Jung

23 Across: Spoiled Foie Gras
Answer: Awful Offal

47 Across and 32 Down: Canadian Colin's comedies
Answer: Mochrie's mockeries

Isn't higher education fun?

*When did these stop being "homonyms?" All those years when we were taught they were "homonyms," even though they clearly weren't the same name, since they were spelled differently. So, what are antonyms called now?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Creative Listening

National Public Radio broadcast part of a program called "Voices of Arab People" or something like it. It was a series of snippets of monologues by people in the Middle East talking about things that mattered to them.

Several of the speakers were making the distinction between hating a country and hating the people of that country. Often it was America they were addressing, but one Palestinian woman was outraged at the image of her people.

"We have no problem with the Israelis!" she said. "We want to live in peace with them. We hate the government, and we hate the soldiers, and we hate the tourists!"

Wow, I thought. Tourists in Palestine must be even worse than other places.

It was only later that I realized she was saying "terrorist."

Then I entertained myself by listening to all the rest of the news that day substituting "tourist" for "terrorist." Try it at home! It's fun!

I Meet All The Best People my dreams.

I had quite an elaborate dream last night, in which I was a graduate student in something scientific--possibly astrophysics. Something I am really completely unqualified for.

And you 'll never believe who I run into. Dooce! Yup. In my dream, both she and John had moved out of Utah and gotten an apartment right next to the campus. They were having a birthday party for Leta, and they had a new baby--a boy. He was really cute, but they wouldn't tell me his name.

I wonder what it all means?

Friday, November 04, 2005


Peter Jackson's King Kong is on the cover of Wired that we just got. Actually, King Kong isn't there--it's Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrian Brody.

Inside, we are told that Jack Black plays--well, he plays Jack Black, just with a different name. Adrian Brody plays the heartthrob scientists.

Yes. Adrian Brody. Heartthrob. I don't know. They just don't go together.

I mean, Adrian Brody is a fine actor, and I certainly don't cringe or hide my eyes when he is on screen. But that's a far distance from "heartthrob."

On the plus side, I guess we can be pleased that Hollywood is willing to step away from gender based roles. Adrian Brody--isn't he a lesbian?

Book Review--Say When

I just finished a bok by Elizabeth Berg called Say When. Berg is the author of Open House, which was apparently an Oprah pick. I had read that one, and was willing to read another by her.

The story starts out fairly grimly--the first sentence is "Griffin knew his wife was having an affair" [as I recall it]. Within pages, his wife asks for a divorce, and Griffin is forced to admit that this was not something that would just blow over.

Ellen and Griffin have an eight year old daughter--Griffin has an office job, and Ellen is a stay at home mother. She assumes that Griffin will move out, in order to keep a stable environment for their daughter. Uncharacteristically, Griffin refuses to go. He does not want a divorce, and is unwilling to do anything to make it easy for Ellen to exit the marriage.

Interestingly, the book stays with Griffin and his processing of his marriage and the threat of divorce. Ellen does move out, although she comes back to the home regularly to care for their daughter. The narrative, however, stays firmly with Griffin.

At first, the book draws the reader into the vertiginous uncertainty of divorce--the way all one's assumptions about what is solid is changed. Griffin can no longer count on Ellen to do any of the things she ordinarily does, and he finds himself disappointed when he realizes that she will not be there at the end of his day, or next to him when he wakes in the morning. Each time he sees something he would like to share with her, he realizes what he is losing in divorce.

Soon, however, this book starts to cover much of the same territory as Anne Tyler's Accidental Tourist. The silent, reserved man is drawn out of his internal life by family crisis. There is a quirky job--Tyler's dog walker becomes Berg's shopping mall Santa. The affair falls apart, Griffin's attempt to date fails because he is still in love with his wife.

Berg has written a book of close observation of the rhythms of a disrupted life. However, I never felt the characters were given convincing histories--the book stays stubbornly lodged in the present, which limited my empathy with the characters.

All in all, a decent book, but my time would have been better spent rereading The Accidental Tourist.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cuter Than Jessica's Dog

 Posted by Picasa

The Infinite Regress

Just for fun--here's a sample of how my mind works:

I was reading a blog (Tomato Nation) which mentioned going to a wine bar and eating cheese. And I immediately remembered going to a wine bar with my friend Sarah, right after seeing Anne LaMott give a talk, and we were drinking Pinot Grigio and eating cheese, and it was really really good except that they ran out of the Pinot Grigio, and the wine they offered instead wasn't nearly as good. Of course I drank it anyway--but I didn't enjoy it! It was a dirty job, and somebody had to do it.

So, that was more a wine memory than a cheese memory, so I decided to try to remember the best cheese I have ever eaten. Easy. It was a triple cream brie at Domaine Chandon, where Mr. Sweetie and I were tasting champagne on a romantic getaway/business trip to Napa Valley.

Domain Chandon, where Nick and Jessica spent some time on their show Newlyweds, which I totally never watch, except this one time because I was flipping around the tv and saw it was on and I had seen somewhere that Jessica had this really cute puppy, and I wanted to see if they would say what kind it was because I was looking to get a dog, and I wanted to find out if that was the kind of dog I wanted.

Except that they never even said the dog's name, much less its breed, and it hardly got any screen time at all, which was too bad, because it was way cuter than Jessica--who behaved very badly at a gourmet lunch where she refused to eat any of the incredible food that was set in front of her.

So, I ended up looking it up on the internet--the dog breed that is-- and found out that it was a malti-poo--which is a cross between a maltese and a poodle, which isn't what I wanted. But that doesn't matter, because now we have Bermondsey who is much cuter than Jessica's dog anyway.

So, anyway--I like Anne LaMott and Pinot Grigio and triple cream brie and Bermondsey. What were we talking about again?

Why I Can't Get Any Work Done

Notice how he is in the way of both the keyboard and the mouse. Posted by Picasa

How To Face Winter

Garrison Keillor writes today in Salon about his strategy for living through winter in Minnesota.

On New Year's Day, I plan to take a flight to Oslo, Norway, and then fly
north to the city of Tromso, 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, in hopes
of seeing the northern lights and dog-sledding across a glacier but really it's
to get some trouble into my life, which has become too placid. There is no
sunrise or sunset in Tromso in January, just darkness. When I return, I will not
ever feel bad about winter again, and in Minnesota, that means six months of
happiness. One cannot ask for more.

I guess it's true--when you are in a funk, just find somebody who is worse off than you are. It can only help.

Kidlet Film Fest

We took the digital video camera with us to England, and managed not to do the entire trip though the lens. However, we did let the Bunny have a chance with it. This is what we got:

Ext. St. James Park. A grassy berm, with a handful of pigeons idly searching for grass seed. *

Narrator: A short film about pigeons.

Narrator: The end.

Post-modern film-making at its best.

*This is actually across the path from where the pigeons were. You cannot see any pigeons in this picture, so don't try.
Posted by Picasa

This Is Why I Love Guys

Here is an interview of a band I've never heard of, but would totally go out of my way to see. And invite back to the house for the bestest slumber party ever. I think we'd have to get some of those Doodle Bears and sign autographs for each other.

Seriously. These guys made me laugh out loud, and I don't do that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

We're Off To See The Doctor

Depression is: drinking half a diet Coke with an antidepressant for breakfast, and knowing that it isn't even a therapeutic dose.

Well medicated is: a "wellness cocktail" every morning, composed of grapefruit juice and pills from several different containers.

Bartender! Polypharmacology all around!

Because I've increased the dosage of one medication by 50%, and it's making a difference. I'm still finding it difficult to do the administration stuff I need to do around here, but at least I'm out of bed, taking nourishment, and smiling at people. Making life better with chemistry; it's not just a slogan around here.

These are the fancy kidlets, dolled up for Halloween. The black rope around Ra-punk-zel is her 26 foot braid. Cleopatra is going somewhat informally--there was more jewelry that actually went out. Posted by Picasa

This is my goth princess--Ra-punk-zel. Doesn't she look disaffected and alienated? She chose this costume because she likes to dress up as something she is not. Posted by Picasa

This is Cleopatra, dressed warmly, because late fall in the Midwest is NOTHING like Egypt. Posted by Picasa