Sunday, December 23

Sweeney Todd: perfect for the holidays!

I didn't realize that there wouldn't be a new Project Runway until the new year. Boo.

But I did see Sweeney Todd. It's the perfect holiday movie: singing, romance, bloodshed, unconscious cannibalism ... everything one could possibly desire! I find myself needing to obtain the movie soundtrack very very soon so that I can listen to the dulcet tones of Johnny Depp's and Alan Rickman's duet, Pretty Women. Clips of said song can be seen and heard on YouTube. (Really, after watching that first one, how could you not absolutely melt over both those wonderful actors?)

I thought that the movie was very well done — but then, I love Tim Burton's movies all to pieces anyhow. I loved that they used Sondheim's score, too. Mmm. And now, thanks to Helena Bonham Carter, I have a new life-long dream: to be Mrs. Lovett so's I can sing The Worst Pies in London. (And you know, Angela Lansbury was damn good, too. It's not just Helena.)

Right. I've got some knitting to finish and some work to do. You should see the Knithulhu I finished yesterday! (Photos when I find a camera.)

Wednesday, December 19

Just another manic Wednesday

After this last thing, I promise I'll shut up about my family for a while.

Remember how I told you my brother Brox was going to Maine for the holidays to see his girlfriend? The flight turned into a fiasco. He was supposed to take a plane from Des Moines to Detroit, then fly from Detroit to Bangor. Well, his first flight was delayed over an hour for some wacky reason, causing him to miss his flight from Detroit. No problem, right? We'll just schedule a different flight to Portland and even though it's farther away, no harm done.

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Unfortunately, the person who did the scheduling did not send poor Brox in an easterly fashion. They put him on a plane to Minneapolis; I imagine the next step from there was Portland Oregon. Oops. They caught the error pretty quickly, thankfully. The airport gave Brox a hotel voucher and said, "You're flying to Chicago in the morning at 7 a.m. Then you're going to Bangor."

So it was the six-state tour of the midwest. And his first time flying. I bet he was irritated to no end ...

Otherwise, I've got Project Runway tonight — huzzah! Chris March is back on to take Jack's place! — and Sweeney Todd on Friday. Speaking of sexy Depp Sweeney Todd, you can watch the opening credits here. Oh baby, oh baby.

Monday, December 17

From the hit band Cheltenham comes the new album "The Situation"

I hadn't planned on blogging further today, but I saw this interesting meme over at Bumblefee's blog. It reminds me of the "open iTunes, hit shuffle, this is the soundtrack of your life" meme.

Go to the Wikipedia home page and click random article. That is your band's name. Click random article again; that is your album name. Click random article 15 more times; those are the tracks on your album.

Band name: Cheltenham
Album name: The Situation


1) Malaysian Rail-babbler
2) Harms (policy debate)
3) Thomas Gage (clergyman)
4) Liar (Harisu album)
5) Austrebertha
6) Amerigo (cocktail)
8) Sasha Kajkut
9) List of airports in Clark County, Nevada
10) Sniper (2008)
11) Enfield 8000
12) Red Roses
13) Whitwell
14) Alcidamas
15) Tulpius

Lots of parenthetical remarks, but overall, it is an excellent album. I especially like tracks nine and twelve.

Oui R Still Family

Every time I think about work, this squamous, betentacled beast wakes up inside me. As I am at work right now, this is difficult to avoid. (Work has suddenly turned into a dictatorship — or perhaps vicktatorship would be more appropriate, given the source — and a number of people have been fired. I really wouldn't be surprised if the whole operation went down in flames (and really, I would be ok with that, despite needing to be able to pay the bills).

But anyway, that's not what I wanted to share today. Last week my grandparents sent out a letter talking about what's happened over the year. I'll quote the first paragraph so that you might get a clear picture of my grandmother. All capitalization, punctuation and grammar are intact from the original.

As we near the end of '07. We are another year closer to the return of the real King. It is great to read of the many foreign lands that are turning to Christ, but I'm sure Our Lord is saddened by the rebellion in our own nation. Keep Praying.

I had to read that paragraph a second time to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, but that was, in fact, what my grandmother wrote. (And that sort of thing provokes another squamous beast within, but I'll let that stew by itself. Bleh.)

So I read the rest of the letter. Really, she just wanted an excuse to talk about her kids and grandkids, which would be fine were it not for the fact that she talked a whole lot more about her kids than my grandpa's. (They married about six months after I was born; I don't remember exactly when my mom's mom died. I know it was between my parents' wedding and my birth.) The best part, though, is that six of the seven grandkids' names were mentioned regarding what they've been up to. I must not be interesting enough; I wasn't mentioned at all.

Oui R Family, and it drives me crazier. But my brother Brox is hopping a plane to Maine to spend time with the girlfriend over the holiday.

Wednesday, December 12

Oui R Family

Ah. It's amazing how much better one will sleep and how much warmer one will be in a well-made bed compared to a poorly-made one.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was family and how different my mom's side is from my dad's side. All this comes to mind because my dad's sister M came up to Iowa from Louisiana on a rescue mission this past weekend. She and her son Z left their house at 5:30 a.m. Friday. They pulled in shortly after 7:30 that evening.

The reason for the rescue mission was that her daughter D, who had baby T last January*, was up visiting her dad and his family. I enjoy getting to see her (because inevitable we do), but I wish she wouldn't try so hard to get their approval of her and baby T. Her grandmother says she's ruining the poor kid's life. (Really, the only thing I see wrong is she watches Spongebob with him. I automatically think anybody who watches that tripe is a nutter for sure.) D is actually doing a pretty good job, as far as I can see.

At any rate, I think she and baby T end up overstaying their welcome, though the overstay this time around was due to the weather — they missed their flight up in the Cities because they couldn't drive up. She finally convinced them to drive her and baby T to my parents' house, where M was going to meet her to pick them up. M and Z were stranded here until Monday, since there was a whole lot of ice and nasty weather in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. But they made it back and all is well.

I guess I love that side of the family so much because there's plenty of drama. And when M and Z come to visit, I get to catch up on the family gossip.

My aunt L, the second of my dad's three sisters (the other, C, lives in northern Iowa and we see her a lot), is full of drama. The last I had heard about L was that she was doing stuff that's a little "kinky." (Coming from M, I'm not sure I want to know any more than that.) The latest is that she moved in with a guy who spends more time in jail for drugs than out. And she's an hour away from her job (one way) and is all stressed out.

As for M, she has a live-in manfriend K, as well as Z, D and baby T all at her house. M, K and Z are all fervid WoW players. M and K went to GenCon this year. They're hardcore gamers, and I love it. (I think our entire family ought to go to GenCon sometime. It would be excellent.) M even got a DIY Monopoly set and created Cthulhuopoly. (Which is why I spent a while last night making my own version of Cthulhuclaus. I'd like to send it to her for Xmas.)

Now, my mom's side of the family is equally fun, but in a different way.

A transformer near her sister A's house was struck by lightning a few months ago, causing 220 volts to run through their house instead of the standard 110. Thankfully, the wiring held up and the house didn't burn down. In fact, they had to get all new appliances, computers, you name it. Their insurance covered it. A's husband R used to be a park ranger. Ranger Ric. (Or Rico Suavé, depending on whom you ask.)

My uncle E, mom's brother, works for UP in Omaha. He's the director of IT, pretty much the top of the food chain in his area. His wife D has worked as for a local meat packing plant, as a lunch lady and at Goodwill. She also sells Mary Kay. Their son A, who is great at arguing with our grandparents, is studying to be a lawyer. Their daughter A, transferred from UNO after a semester to UNI, spent a year there, and is transferring back to UNO for the spring semester. She no longer wants to be a teacher, but an accountant.

Wow. What a lengthy exposition. I was also going to tell you about a clever Xmas gift I'm planning, but I'll save that for another day.

*Funny thing about that post: I talked about having seen Pan's Labyrinth. I ended up watching that with the visiting family Saturday night.

Tuesday, December 11

Not dead yet!

I live by the red dot. White is snow, pink is ice, green is rain.

It really wasn't bad out this morning. But of course, I didn't have to try to keep tires on a road, so my perspective is a little different. I did, however, have wet insoles by the time I got to work; my shoes are clearly not as water repellent as I once believed.

I've been knitting up a storm lately, having had a number of ideas for xmassy sorts of presents. I've done up a hat for the brother that is going to visit his girlfriend in Maine and not be home during the holidays except for two days at the end. It's a Karma Hat, done up with a fun alternate decrease a la Brooklyn Tweed that keeps the cable pattern. (Jared at BT, by the by, has the most gorgeous photographs of knitting. Have a look-see, even if you're not a knitter.)

Karma Hat
I swear I was awake. I swear.

I'm also doing up a hat for my other brother using the Cameron's Cap pattern. It's the same grey wool (Lamb's Pride Worsted) with few color accents in turquoise and ruby. I don't have a photo of it yet.

I will be starting my first foray into the world of knitting with beads, as I plan to begin Ice Queen from the Winter Knitty soon. It's going to be out of some purple and lime Crystal Palace Kid Merino, which is left over from a short scarf I knit last year. I even picked out some pretty coordinating beads.

And I want to make some ruby slippers from Berroco's Sacha slippers in a sparkly red yarn. (I forget which it is at the moment.)

As for a giftie for dear old dad, maybe I'll make up a pattern for a towel-shaped bookmark — I'm giving him a volume of Douglas Adams.

Anyway, I really have to get working, or I'll be here forever tonight.