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April 2006

Easter Egg Hunt

Well the best thing I found was a ceramic trout. I can't take a picture til this weekend, but I'm excited to show it to you. It is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen! And apparently it used to spout water in some fashion, because it has a little tube sticking to its mouth, making it now look like it is smoking. Which is awful and hilarious and disgusting, really. It totally made my day.

I think it's a trout. It could be a bass, it's been years since I knew the difference when catching something on a line. And in this case I didn't catch it on a line, but a rake. There's this pile of rocks left behind that seem to have been meant to form a nice landscape behind the pool, and I was raking leaves out of them and moving them around to pretty things up, when I found the fish.

This week has been about nothing but Little League baseball. Apparently that takes over my life right now. It's crushing, because Craig Ferguson was doing a book signing in Philadelphia last night and is in New York tonight, both well within reach, but I have boys playing baseball instead!

It's sad but true though, that my favorite places online are the ones I create myself, so I want to reprioritize them and hopefully make something enjoyable for a few other people, as well. It's much better for me to throw a party than attend one, at least right now.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:ChickenGrrl

COMMENT-DATE:3:11 AM

COMMENT-BODY:A ceramic trout sounds awesome. Maybe we can get it together with my gnome, although he already has a fish. But, as you can see, they could churn some butter together if they get bored.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:Kivrillian

COMMENT-DATE:12:10 PM

COMMENT-BODY:Oh!
You meant the FUN kind of yucky!
I'm looking forward to viewing the promised photo.

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Living in Egypt

Yesterday and today, the People (that's what I plan to call them here because being more frank is getting old and doesn't sound quite like I'm being nice,) were out walking all over town, dressed in their Passover finery. Downtown was empty, except for many Mexican day workers lined up and waiting to be picked up, and then a little demonstration at the "town square," with people holding signs telling you how much you will be fined if you hire illegal aliens.

It's always interesting here, I think.

Even though we are only going to be here for a little over two years, I began planting nice things today, to pretty up the front yard. Mostly inexpensive perennials, but there does need to be one nice large natural feature that I'll have to spend some actual dollars on. Maybe as many as 30 of them. Anyway, it's odd being out there listening to the Mets game, wearing long men's swim trunks and a tank top, on my hands and knees in dirt and mulch, while the people are taking their afternoon constitutional in their dresses and suits and hats, rather more shiny than usual. Some of them wave or say hi, while others work very hard to pretend you don't quite really exist.

Tomorrow we're going to clean and rake out the side yard. There seem to be various discarded objects hidden under the leaves, such as a patio umbrella, and some lumber. It will be sort of like an Easter Egg Hunt, perhaps, only yucky.

Would you buy a potentially dangerous recreational vehicle from someone named Stumpy? I just saw a TV commercial for this place, and it struck me as having a spot of irony attached to it.


Very Continental

That picture over there was taken at a place called the Continental, in Philadelphia. I seem to have been wearing the perfect dress for it, though it's unlikely anyone else was aware of that. It's a cool-looking place, and the food was all right. Mostly I just really, really enjoyed matching the upholstery. It would probably be the most fun if you were there for cocktails. You know, cocktails; what people call martinis now, even though no, that's not quite right, is it?

Nor is vodka a "default" for gin.


Why have I been so unfun lately?

After all these weeks of being busy, you'd think I'd have lots to say and share, and you'd be right. But I've felt stuck, without words, really, and I'll tell you why.

Recently, about three weeks ago, something happened that shook me up, maybe more than it should have, I dunno. I'm a sensitive soul, at times. Mostly about me. I try so hard to be transparent, to let people see the honest Friday's Child me, and it completely confounds me when that's misinterpreted. But it was, and in kind of a weird way, and the person misinterpreting me made wild, unfounded accusations about my character. I was hurt and offended.

There was no apology from that person, and from others, only a hopeful pretence that it could all be forgotten with love and sisterhood and lala strummy Gilmore Girls interlude music. Fine for them, I suppose.

Online, people like to move on quickly, and pretend only the fun parts are real, and not the unfun parts. But that unfun thing happened to me, and so for me it was real, very much so, and it's colored everything I've said and done online since that time.

I'm kind of still put off about this.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:Kiv

COMMENT-DATE:5:37 PM

COMMENT-BODY:Being attacked and having yucky Easter egg hunts do tend to suck the fun out.
I hope that the results of said hunt provide a little boost.
I always enjoy what you write, even when I cry about it.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:ChickenGrrl

COMMENT-DATE:2:13 AM

COMMENT-BODY:Well, you know how I feel about the whole thing, and I'm really sorry you're still letting it get to you. But I've stewed over lesser things for far longer, so I sort of understand.
I still love you!

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Full Moon

Here are some stories of the Easter Bunny. The final story is of Japanese origin, and at the bottom of the page is a link to an essay which mentions a couple of the Greek resurrection myths. Here is a more detailed version of the Japanese tale.

This year, the vernal equinox and Easter are about as far apart in time as they can be, and the earth/pagan traditions that are incorporated into the resurrection celebration were celebrated by some groups nearly a month ago, even though the public religious holiday that combines it all into one package is this weekend. Some people cheerfully justify celebrating Jesus with Christmas trees and chocolate bunnies by saying he was simply the culmination or revelation of all the cultural myths that preceded him.

Forgot to mention; some stories have it that Eostre turned a wounded bird into a rabbit to save it from winter's doom, but allowed it to retain the ability to lay eggs. But I kind of think that is a fairly "modern" retelling of the story in order to fit someone's view of the thing, kind of like when people add what they believe are "logical" details to an urban legend. It's a neat idea, to be sure.


All Turns from Right Lane

I am now going to share with you some thoughts and ideas and puzzlements of the past two days.

Last night I was driving toward Philadelphia, and listening to an old tape copy of The Beatles 21. It occurred to me, as it has probably occurred to others, that there is a Beatles song for every situation in life, pretty much. And as I thought to share that with you while driving across a rickety old bridge into Pennsylvania, what song began playing? Paperback Writer. That amused me. It's a sort of sad irony, I think.

While fussing with my window which won't always go up after I roll it down to pay a toll, I missed my exit into Philadelphia. I only really know how to go downtown so far, and last night my destination was in the other direction. So by the time I discovered this, I was much farther into the state than I'd ever like to be at this point, and did you know that once you exit the PA Turnpike, they don't want you to have any sort of immediate success at getting back on it again? I drove 30 extra miles, always knowing which direction I needed to go, but seemingly unable to make that happen. It was fairly unpleasant, as apparently the rest of the state is still under construction and doesn't quite exist yet outside of strip malls and some colleges.

I gained a new appreciation for my adopted state of New Jersey. In NJ, no matter where you are, wherever you wish to be is just right over there. And while it's true that there's rarely a convenient way to get from there to there, most (though not all) of the roads do go on toward somewhere, instead of just suddenly stopping short and going no further.

In other news, I'm finally going to figure out how to play Canasta with the kids. We got a neat deck for it at Christmas time, but just haven't gotten around to learning it yet. I'm on a program to rectify my childhood game-playing black hole, where the family would be all into some game, and then when I came along, they got bored and moved on. After Canasta comes Pinochle, and then maybe I'll be willing to try Monopoly again. The family never let me live it down that I supposedly ate the one dollar bills that came with their original game. I never believed them. But finally, when I was about 11, I got a new set of it, and was all ready and eager to play with the rest of them, only they never wanted to anymore.

Finally, in honor of the Venus probe success, someone posted this recipe in a forum, and it reminded me of one I'd recently come up with myself.

Venus on the Rocks:

1 oz Amaretto
2 oz Peach Schnapps
3 oz club soda
Pour into an old-fashioned glass with five ice cubes. Garnish with a twist of lime.

Aunt Billie's Ice Tea

1 oz Amaretto
2 oz Southern Comfort
3 oz club soda

Pour into an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

I think I'd like to know about why the specifically 5 ice cubes in that top recipe. Possibly because it's the next prime number after 1, 2, and 3.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:Kiv

COMMENT-DATE:9:22 AM

COMMENT-BODY:Your odyssey through the wilds of Pennsylvania sounds chilling. I can never listen to Paperback Writer, myself. I'm completely thrown offcourse by the words "based on a novel by a man named Lear" - I get lost wondering if Lear ever wrote a novel, and what it might be like if he did. Then I see the man and his clinging wife go to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat, and I'm lucky if I don't wind up singing "Pobble-toe biter" to the refrain.
AS for games, your family size sounds just perfect for Risk! Teach the little ones to take over the world and have greater appreciation for Vicini's speech about classic blunders, simultaneously.
A prime number of ice cubes is always good, but I'll guess further that the important point was the cubes. The recipe writer feared that the drink might be turned into a slushy or snow cone by the used of crushed or shaved ice.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:bibliosylph

COMMENT-DATE:9:48 PM

COMMENT-BODY:Yikes! Crushed ice!
I have wondered about the man named Lear, but just hoped it wasn't Edward. There could be some other Lear he meant, because I really need it to make sense.
One of my daughters got Fellowship of the Rings Risk for Christmas. I am afraid of it at this point.
I'm glad you've stuck with me. I'm starting over, hopefully with the fun. I need to have some of that.

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COMMENT-AUTHOR:ChickenGrrl

COMMENT-DATE:2:03 AM

COMMENT-BODY:Pennsylvania sounds like Chicago. I once missed an exit for the airport there, and thought I would never get back to it. Dallas traffic may be annoying, and we may have the longest lights in the solar system, but at least (except for a couple of complicated interchanges) if you miss an exit it's pretty easy to get back there.
I don't know about prime numbers for ice cubes, but I usually prefer odd numbers, or multiples of three. I think this might make me slightly obsessive, compulsive, or both.
Sigh. I miss cocktails.

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