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May 2007

Three sets of answers

A. Here are some statements that might be true. Or not.

I am related to at least two presidents
I paint at least four pictures each year
I cannot gargle
I can sing the Sailor Moon theme in Japanese
I can recite large passages of Richard III from memory

B.  A quiz from Rosie Lou

1. What's your favourite sitcom?
Well...I no longer watch those. I would if I could see a few of the Brit ones, but even the ones I like of those are sort of old.

Barney Miller
WKRP in Cincinnati
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Mary Tyler Moore

2. What annoys you?

3. What disgusts you?
smoking. And scatological speech.

4. What/who/where is the centre of your universe?
my children

5. Share a really good link.

6. What was the last clever thing you did/said?
I wrote something today I'm sort of proud of

7. What was the last incredibly stupid thing you last did/said?
I don't know...I'll ask around and get back to you on that.

B. This quiz is about magic. Some of it might not seem like it is, but it is. Here is why. Magic is about energy and intent. To me, it is outside the realm of spirituality, relating more to universal energy, which can be religious if you choose, but not if you don't.

Last week was Magic Week on the Late, Late Show, and I got to thinking about that kind of magic and whether it really does differ from the "natural" kind. I decided not really, because both are about manipulating stuff.

Names are a problem. When you name stuff, you make it concrete. Sometimes that's expansive, but it can also be limiting. So people argue over which is which kind, and whether it has to do with God or is outside of God, etc. But really, it's just that we're all made of the same particles of stuff, which moves around to create energy. And some of us are better at realizing that than others, in different ways. Realizing that, you can do a few things with it, but other people understand it better than I do.

When you do things over and over again with focused intent, you're channeling energy into something. When you imbue importance in something you've held onto for a long time, you're giving it energy. And etcetera.

Do you try to conjure specific dreams before sleep? Want to share the subject? Has it ever worked?
I have, and it did work, but mostly only when I was pretty young. It doesn't work much now.

Can you do any magic/conjuring parlor tricks?
No, but it looks like fun.

Which mythology would you rather see come to life, Greek, Chinese, Celtic, or Nordic? Why?
Chinese, I think, because it's so civilized, even the creepiest parts.

Do you ever sneak food into the movie theater? Such as? What do you carry it in?
As often as possible and as strange as possible. I do not recommend sushi, because it's messy. I have a large purse.

If you could commit any one bad habit or illegal offense whenever you liked without repercussions, which would you choose?
Someone answered a way I liked, maybe Alex. But I also think it would be fun to proposition a variety of men and see where that led.

What do you know more about than other people?
How to find stuff out, maybe.

What is magic?
See above

Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character? Which one?
Speed Racer

What is the oldest article of clothing you own? Did you buy it new?
I have some of my baby things. But I also have several dresses I bought from eBay that are older than me.

Share a small portion of the longest passage of literature you have committed to memory.
The Message by Grandmaster Flash comes to mind. "Crazy lady, living in a bag, eating out of garpage pails, used to be a fag hag." And speeches I wrote, though I guess those are not exactly literature. I do not recall all the stuff I once memorized, sadly.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done.

DINAO Wednesday (ginger kid/former child star edition)

It's interesting to me that no matter how sort of very grotesque I think someone is, one or more of you can think of a reason why sleeping with them would actually be entertaining or even good for humanity.

I think that's pretty cool. And it also explains how some people get to procreate when you think, at first knowledge of them, that this might not be possible. 

Two scenarios this week. First, understand that I do actually love red hair. But there are times when it can be abused.

Someone already did the work for me, putting these two side by side:

Carrot Top or Danny Bonaduce?

Second, who would you choose from this list with whom you'd start repopulating post-apocalyptic society, and why? Death is not an option! And gender/sexuality doesn't count, because this is a game. Click here for more information about them.

Dustin Diamond
Gary Coleman
Leif Garrett
Maccauley Culkin
Ashley Olsen
Mary Kate Olsen
Butch Patrick
Danny Pintauro
Kristy MacNichol

Okay, I've replaced Todd Bridges with Gary Coleman, because they were on the same show, but while Bridges has distinguished himself, post-prison term, Coleman just has made a career out of going around being ill-tempered and whiny. If you already picked Todd Bridges, you can still have him, though.

House season finale

I'll try to catch up on the neighborhood asap tomorrow.

Okay, you need to know right off that this is a virtually detail-less "recap" of the show. This is for two reasons; I was having TV trouble, and there were a lot of people around me, so I was distracted. What I type won't be in the exact order of how it happened. And it's very bare bones, because my time is not my own tonight. I'll try to edit with more personality and thoughts tomorrow.

A very cute couple is making their way to America to see House, on a raft, and that goes wrong and they're rescued by a helicopter. The husband, Esteban, is trying to save the wife's, don't know her name, life, and he has some foxy, foxy eyes.

He's that "advocate" type of relative, who hangs around asking questions and wanting to know what he's actually signing and stuff, which is a nuisance to the doctors. Foreman is spending his last day screwing stuff up for the wife, certain she has MS, first off, even though the husband insists she does not. Foreman gives Esteban House's home number, which he calls over and over again, but House ignores the phone.

The MS treatment causes her heart to stop, and chaos ensues.

Meanwhile, Chase is just going off all over the place yelling at House about how he really wants Foreman to stay, and he just won't let up so House fires him. No lie. Chase is startled but then he's all, whatever, okay then. House makes him finish running a test first.

Cuddy and Wilson freak out that House fired Chase. Foreman is all, "this is so about me," which is tiresome, but I suppose he's kind of right.

Foreman and Cameron are keeping the woman's heart going while Chase runs the test, and they need to get her on bypass, because they've been at it for three hours, and during this time, Esteban is nagging nurses and people about what's going on, because it was supposed to be brief. During this time, Wilson is in the operating room, and House shows up on the monitor to ask him questions about why the woman's heart would stop.

Then he's on the balcony telling Cuddy's students, who are preparing for a final, that if any of them can figure out why her heart stopped, they'll get an A. They don't get anywhere, so Cuddy insists the woman is just going to be dead, and House will have to tell Esteban.

Cameron finds Chase in a bar eating a tasty looking sandwich (this probably happened earlier in the order of things,) and talks to him about how he's feeling. He looks better than I've ever seen him looked, and is all jolly. She tells him she will miss seeing him around.

Foreman comes to say goodbye to House, with Wilson there, and House tells him he doesn't want him to go. That he needs him. Foreman says yes, but I don't need you. Oh, snap. Anyway, so then House goes off on him about his three week long goodbye, and his general me me behavior, and that doesn't end well. 

Cameron shows up at Chase's door; his apartment door appears to be on the outside, and she says, "It's Tuesday." He corrects her that it's Monday, but she says she missed him. They share a hawt kiss, and she goes inside.

House finds Esteban in the chapel, and says he thought the dude didn't believe in God. He tells House that he promised to do everything to save his wife, and so this is part of that. House tells him it's not working, that they have to take his wife off bypass, and he needs to say goodbye. Esteban hugs House. It's sort of sweet.

They go in, and he asks House if her brain is still working. House says it is (bells go off in my head, oh, she's going to be fine somehow,) but that the heart will not restart. Esteban says a tender Spanish goodbye, and House turns all the machines off. Head on her chest, Esteban asks why he can hear her heart. House says it's residual from the machine. But it keeps going. Her eyes flutter, and she asks if she's in heaven. Angels sing. She is alive.

And House still wants to know why! I'm fuzzy on this part, to be honest, but it's a wild-hare heart defect. Oh, this is actually when Foreman bows out. He says they don't care what's wrong, as long as it's okay. House says they do care, but they don't care about the doctor. And so they part, disagreeing.

Cameron comes in to offer her resignation. House is a little put out, but accepts it easily. Then we see him lighting up a big American cigar and giving it to Esteban. They both smoke cigars and drink shots of something pale while watching the wife, who is sleeping. Esteban asks House if the whole team quit. He says two quit, and he fired one. And Esteban says that must be hard to deal with. House indicates he doesn't feel as bad as he knows he's supposed to. So Esteban asks him what he's going to do, and House says he doesn't know.

House goes home and has a big package in the lobby of his building. This has to do with something that occurred when we were having trouble switching to live TV; I think Wilson told him he needed to make a change for himself or something. When House was in his apartment ignoring the phone call, there were two guitars on the wall and a big set of calipers. Now he has a new acoustic guitar, which he begins to softly play, smiling like the sociopath we're supposed to believe he is now, I guess.

I liked it. I didn't love it. I have to think about it, when I have some time to think my own thoughts. I mean, it's clear these actors aren't leaving the show. So I can't feel terrible bad about the no team thing. However, I don't like big changes in TV shows, so I don't know if I'm going to fully appreciate what happens with them next, at least at first.

Hugh Laurie has some rockin good biceps.

Batsto Village

I'm not going to write much about it, because I want to write about something else later. Here are some photos. The first set is of the outside of the mansion; the inside was closed because of the holiday. And, while it's no Pemberley, it is a real mansion, so it would be hard to get it all in one shot. It needs a lot of care and attention, both structurally and with landscaping. It's over 200 years old, but in the late 19th century was extensively renovated and given an Italianate facade.

There are some river shots. The river bed is still filled with bog iron, which produces the unusual color you can see in the "falls" pictures. Then there are a couple of photos of the typical thing you see when visiting an historical village. Later on, perhaps, I'll add individual descriptions.


the latest in quizzes.

Though, some of it seemed a bit recycled, so I skipped some questions. See handtalker or Alex for the rest.

1. Were you named after anyone?
Yes. I was named for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and also for Jesus, whom some called Christ. This was due to the story you can read in my profile. I would rather have been named Lena, after my mother's mother.

2. When was the last time you cried?
Possibly a couple of weeks ago. There's something I've been sad about and now and then it gets to me.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes. I worked hard to get it this way.

4. What is your favorite lunchmeat?  
Chopped ham on an Italian hard roll, with nothing else on it. Ooh, or Genoa salami, same way.

5. Do you have kids?   
J'ai six enfants, mais naturellement vous avez déjà su cela.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?  

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?   
It never ceases.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

9. Would you bungee jump?  
No. I would throw up on you.

10. What is your favorite cereal?   
Grape-Nuts. Or Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch, but I never buy it.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?   
Of course.

12. Do you think you are strong?

13. What is your favorite ice cream?    
Espresso Chip, Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip. The Chip family of flavors.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?  
I have no idea. When, where, gender, level of attention are all factors.

15. Red or pink?  
This is too confining a question for me.

16. What do you like least about yourself?  
My teeth.

17. Who do you miss the most?   
My mother

19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?  
I am wearing neither.

20. What was the last thing you ate?    
A strawberry.

21.  What are you listening to?  
My son is watching Cartoon Network.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Pine Green

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?  

26. Favorite sport to watch?   
Baseball. and the Tour de France. Those are all I watch, except some of the Olympics.

27. Hair color?     

30. Favorite food?  
One? Okay, smashed Sicilian olives mixed with celery, chopped garlic, and oregano, and allowed to marinate for two weeks.

31. Scary movies or happy endings?   
Happy endings.

32. Last movie you watched?   
Mrs. Henderson Presents

33. What color shirt are you wearing?

34. Summer or winter?  

35. Hugs or kisses?   

36. Favorite dessert?  
One? Tiramisu, but only if it's made really well. Or just about anything from Andre's in Kansas City.

41. What did you watch on T.V. last night?  
Monk marathon

42. Favorite sound?  

43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?  
The Beatles

45. Do you have a special talent?   
I am good at seeming like I know how to do everything.

49.What is your favorite flower?   
One? I like irises, lilies, and lavender.

50.What is your favorite soap opera?
One? Well, I only watch Passions.

51.What are your favorite night-time shows?
House, Bones, CSI: NY, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: SVU, CSI, Boston Legal, Monk, Psych, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson

52. Anything special you'd like to share with others?
I don't know. 

NJ Forest

We went to Batsto Village today, which is in Wharton State Forest. I'll get to writing about that, and have lots of pictures to share, for now, here are just a few. I have a couple of friends who don't quite believe that cactus grow in New Jersey. We were in a whole field of them today; here is one.

and some details:

As usual, you can click twice to see them full-size.

this stuff I write

An ottava rima is an epic poem written in eight line stanzas, but I wrote only one today. Stanza, I mean. I have always meant to get around to doing a really long one, however, I get off track on some new form to try, and don't stick with it long enough. In short, I get bored. But here's a really long one written by someone you may have heard of a time or two.

The original ottava rima was written in hendecasyllables; 11 syllable lines with emphasis on 4th, 7th, and 10th, if I remember correctly. I gave up on hendecasyllables, because they limit my already poor range. Maybe it worked better en italiano, back in the day. We sometimes roll our eyes at iambic pentameter, but there's a reason it's used so often; it comes naturally to us and works well in phrasing.

(I should dig out my thoughts on how I learned why working with strict forms is good for the heart and mind; suffice it to say for now, it encourages clarity of expression and vision.)

Apropos Memoriam

Parades of youth have long since passed aside
Now few are left with memories of those days
When young men marched and fought and won and died
And those returning met their country's praise
Though men and women still war for our side
Inside our hearts and minds these questions raise
How can more weapons warrant peace pursued?
When will the wars to end all wars conclude?

fun and silly quiz

Ottava rima? Me? That can't be right!
   Too frivolous? But tut, there's no such thing!
Let others ponder thoughts of wrong and right,
   Or sit and think how much they love the spring;
I'd rather spend my time in gleeful spite,
   Or maybe laugh, or maybe sit and sing.
Besides, it might be fun to be inspiring -
But surely it would get so very tiring.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Haven't written an ottava rima in a while. I will do one tomorrow. :-)

apropos of little

latest 20 songs shuffled on iPod:

Blue Shadows in the Street--Dave Brubeck
A Night in Tunisia--The Latin Jazz Sextet
Under Pressure--Queen
French Poodle--Sam Butera
Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite--The Beatles
Rubberband Man--The Spinners
Too Marvelous For Words--Frank Sinatra
A Forest (Tree Mix)--The Cure
Everlasting Love--Carl Carlton
Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)--Depeche Mode
Caravan--The John Buzon Trio
The Girl From Ipanema--Stan Getz
Bertie--Kate Bush
Oh Jungleland--Simple Minds
Shining Star--Earth, Wind and Fire
Ticket To Ride--The Beatles
Creepin Up the Backstairs--The Fratellis
Open Book--The Rakes
Banana Split For My Baby--Louis Prima & Keely Smith

I had more to say but I've forgotten what it was.

QotD: Weekend Plans

What are your plans for the weekend?

flu, day three:

people woke me up around 8 by being up and around. I switched on the pool filter, and whined until someone came out to vacuum and skim. then I sat on a deck chair and made sure my tomato and pepper plants got watered. I mean, really. they want to eat them? they can help care for them a little. the fever has mostly passed, and the headache and nausea, and I'm left with lethargy and a creepiness running through my veins.

because I was wandering around all faint and wan, pulling some weeds, the ol' LP got out a big container of weedkiller, and there was no way I could go in the house knowing he might make it go near where I grow things to eat. so I hung around to be bossy about that as well.

wait, you wanted to know what we're *going* to do? usually there'd be a trip to the woods or something, but I'm not recovered; they likely won't go without me, and maybe I'll be fine by Monday. I mean, they can go without me, I'm fine with that, but they are going to want to hit the pool most of the time, anyway.

I went to DD for a hot cinnamon latte and brought it home and Livvy poured it over two glasses of ice. so we got two iced lattes for less than the price of one, because they charge more for the iced ones, like, whatever.

and I had Aaron bring all the grilling stuff out onto the deck. we have some chicken and fish, and a pork roast, so we might do two cookouts this weekend, along with whatever fresh produce someone brings home from the store.

Livvy and I are watching a recording of What Not To Wear right now, with the most hopeless case they've ever done. she's a complete mess and I want to poke her with something sharp. on the other hand, I've never found Clinton remotely attractive, but I find myself wondering what he'd look like with his shirt off...just to look at you know, not to touch or anything.

this chick is like Ugly Betty but with no charm or personality or pleasant aspects of any kind. She's also victimy and passive-aggressive. how does she even have friends who nominated her? the description says "A 26 year-old film archivist expresses an outgoing and eccentric personality through a dramatic wardrobe." someone was laughing *hard* as they wrote that and submitted it. what she is is an obnoxious little self-involved--what is the female equivalent of a wanker? there's no American word suitable, that I can think of.

We have two movies to watch this weekend, Mrs. Henderson Presents and Stranger Than Fiction. Livvy, Kat, LP and I all wanted to see both these movies at the theater but never got to it.

If I have more energy later, I might make cookies.

WNTW update. They either gave this chick a brain transplant, or sent a producer in with brass knuckles to tell her to cut the crap or go home with nothing. Because she looks? Amazing. it's the most radical transformation ever. I'm sure I'd still hate her, though. 

pool inauguration, neighborhood only

this is silly, but I wanted to share. and then tell you a story then have a nap.

I just heard that last night, Livvy and Ben got our lazy dog to run all the way around the block by holding a piece of pizza in front of him. And then...they didn't give it to him! He got a Milkbone instead. It's sort of awful, but I had to laugh. He is an American Foxhound. They run, and run hard, when they need to. Otherwise, they're those dogs you see sleeping under porches in movies about odd Southern people.

Time for Passions and a nap. Who gets the flu in May, anyway?

QotD: Favorite Finale

What was your favorite TV season finale this year? 
Submitted by Kristine.

I choose CSI: NY. That was so exciting, it was like watching a movie. It was long enough, but could have been longer and still have been good. Original Flavor CSI finale was also quite good; I felt it was a worthy conclusion to the miniature killer story.

Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: CI had decent finales, but they were not outstanding like the two above. Same with Bones; I enjoyed it very much, but it didn't stay with me for a long time after.

I have not yet watched the finales for Medium, Gilmore Girls or Grey's Anatomy. The Medium one will probably be good, but I'm not expecting much from the other two. I also recorded the 24 finale; though I lost track of it this year, it'll probably turn out in an interesting way.

That just leaves House, which concludes for the season next week, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which is ending its run in a few weeks. I am sure they'll both be good, though both were uneven this year, and Studio 60 is not returning. Oh! I left out Boston Legal, which I just started watching regularly this season. I have no doubt that will be a good finale.


Those are all the regular primetime shows I watch regularly, though I will often check in with Without A Trace and Law & Order. Of those 11 shows, I'll be watching 7 next season (8 if Shonda Rimes shows up at my door to personally guarantee she won't foist any more Izzy on me.) In the meantime, there's Monk, Psych, and hopefully Eureka to look forward to this summer, plus a new USA Network show called Burn Notice that looks good--I've never seen an original USA series that wasn't good; it's my favorite network for original and recycled programming. I also hope there will be more Dresden Files before next winter.

QotD: If I Never Hear That Again...

What is the one saying that your parents said to you that you absolutely hate? 
Submitted by victoriassecret.

I don't remember anything like that, maybe because I've been a parent for over 20 years myself. I'd give a lot to have my mother not die when I was 24, around here telling me things I found tiresome, or to live close enough to my dad for him to tell me some.

That's exactly the kind of thing parents say, isn't it? But I haven't been someone's child in a long time, so that's how it is for me.

virgin birth?

Mary Cheney had a baby yesterday. Here's a small report, with a picture of grandparents and grandbaby.


I'm glad to see the vice-president standing by his daughter. And you know, sometimes ex-politicians end up being kind of cool. It could happen.

Tag sale

Got tagged by  robbbiedobbbie, through Rosie Lou who isn't on my neighbor list but should be. If I tag you at the end and you've had too many lately, well, it's a bit hard to keep up sometimes!

8 facts or habits about moi.

Please don't fear me after reading this!

Habits? I *kind of* don't have those. It's this whole thing, stemming from some childhood issues and fear of addiction and all, which leads me to not even be able to form healthy habits, like, you know how they say a habit is formed in 21 days? Yeah? What happens on Day 22? Hey, I've seen a boat. It went by not too long ago. It went... this way.


1) I keep a Dell puzzle book in my purse

2) I drop into strange accents at irregular intervals

3) I pull weeds that are sticking out of otherwise nicely landscaped areas not belonging to me.

4) You know how if you get certain kinds of fast food or deli food, they'll put condiment packets, packages of sporks and napkins, and little salt and pepper shakers in the bag? I keep those even though I don't use them. I just feel so bad about throwing them away. Fortunately, I rarely eat fast food.

5) I have, in my new car, a cd player, a jack for my 30gb iPod, and XM radio with over 170 channels and a remote control. About 75% of the time I just listen to stand-up comedy on Laugh USA, channel 151.

6) I collect grocery lists that people leave behind in their carts, and paste them into a little Moleskine journal.

7) I'm sort of obsessed with Mormons, Scientologists, and whatever other whackadoo (sorry!) religions believe that you get to rule your own planet when you die.

8) I've been working to learn all the international versions of the DuckTales theme song, but it's not going very well so far.

Go go Bill, ChickenGrrl, Laura, Princesskasren, SnuggleMuffin, Cap'n Crook, kitty, and coolasschick