Random thoughts

It really bugs me when a sewing pattern tells you to add a seam allowance when you cut the fabric. I understand having to enlarge the pattern, perhaps, from what’s in the book, because of page size issues, but not including the seam allowance in the pattern itself is lazy. Or maybe I’m lazy for just wanting to be able to cut along the edge of the pattern. Either way, someone is lazy, and people making patterns should just include the seam allowance when they make the darn pattern. There are pattern books that I haven’t bought because of this very issue. And I’m sure their creators are so sad about that. I’m sad about it, because the finished products are really cute. But I have principles (lazy, lazy principles) and I stand by them.

We stayed home from church yesterday because Z had a fever on Saturday and Tiny had a re-occurrence of the cold sores that take over her face. I should have expected it, they break out every time her immunity is low, and she had the fever earlier in the week. Z also has a bruise on her cheek from hitting herself with the handlebar of her scooter (I don’t know) and between the two of them they look quite rough. But the fever is gone, and only headaches remain. I think those are allergy based. And it looks like the cold sores have stopped spreading, which is a blessing, as one is close to her eye. Oh health issues.

My girls are currently being drawn deeper into the sticky web that is Pokemon. It was inevitable, I suppose. They’re both on the couch right now poring over Pokemon guides that detail every character, and I just keep hearing, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWW”s and “it’s so cuuuuuuute!”s.

I’m in the middle of planning out school for next year, and I’m adding in more music and art, because we all need something more fun in our day. As I was plotting out our music schedule (which is based on a curriculum I found that focuses on composers) I realized that if we spent 4 weeks on each composer in the curriculum then we’d be 4 weeks short for the school year. The curriculum is based on a series of books, and when I saw that there was one about the Beatles I had my solution. 4 weeks on the Beatles at the end of the year! I love homeschooling. 🙂 We’re starting our last history unit on the Renaissance this week, and as I’m looking at the stuff about Shakespeare, I’m realizing that I might want to do a whole year long study with the girls next year. And we can do that if we want to, which is awesome.

Speaking of Shakespeare, I’m reading Christopher Moore’s The Serpent of Veniceand it is so irreverent and hilarious. Moore knows his Shakespeare, and it’s a joy to slip into his version of things.  There’s an abundance of swearing, but it’s really inventive graceful swearing, which I really think Shakespeare would have approved of.

I’m tired. We did school this morning then went out to Shinjuku to go to the art supply store and the bookstore.  Now I want to take a nap. The girls have their Japanese lesson in a couple hours, so I probably shouldn’t.  I should start figuring out if a yearlong Shakespeare study would work, and how to do it. I seriously love Shakespeare, and I want the girls to love him too. I feel like I’m swimming when I read his plays, just floating in the words. I realize that probably sounds crazy to some people who struggle with understanding him, but I’ve never had trouble with it. Can you have a talent for understanding Shakespeare?

That reminds me- I watched the documentary 20 Feet to Stardom the other day, and it is so incredibly good. It’s about backup singers, and it’s fascinating. There’s a whole tangle of wanting to be a solo artist vs. wanting to have a viable career vs. being true to your art and being part of the community of music vs. having the confidence to break out vs. seeing the reality of show business. These women are insanely talented, and there’s an underlying racial component, as all of them are African American and the people saying “Oh, some people are just happy to be in the background” are all successful white males, but at the same time, that’s not all there is to it. It’s just fascinating. But one of the things that jumped out at me was that one of the women told of the moment she realized that not everyone could sing, that it’s a gift. And seeing her and the others talk about the joy they get from singing makes me want to sing more.  It’s just such a good documentary. When I was in high school and had my heart set on moving to New York to make it on Broadway, my mom showed me A Chorus Line to give me a bit of a reality check. It didn’t work, I still maintained that even being in the chorus line would be bliss, but I think this movie would serve a similar purpose (a reality check) to those sure that a music career is just around the corner.

I’ve been watching episodes of The Voice, and I kind of think it would be fun if So You Think You Could Dance did something similar. It’s already to the point where the judges pretty much control everything until the Top few anyway, so why not have 4 judges (Nigel, because we can’t avoid it, Mary, because ballroom, Mia for contemporary, and Lil C for hip hop, say) and each of them get to pick however many people for their team. They can either focus on their own genre for who they pick or go outside of it. Then each week they have to pick which of their own people go home. Everyone still dances a mix of stuff, but only the judge who picked you can send you home or save you – although I would also take the stealing option from The Voice, where each judge gets a steal if someone they like is getting sent home from someone else’s team.  Then when it gets whittled down, America gets to vote with no saves from the judges. No All Stars (though that part of the idea does make me sad), just people dance battling it out.

On the topic of The Voice, though, I totally love Josh Kaufman- he’s little and cute like Elvis Costello. I don’t know that I’d buy his albums though. Sisaundra Lewis, on the other hand, I’d listen to her all day long. Her voice is insane.

I think Delvin Choice and Kat Perkins are the most commercially viable though.

Can we just talk about Shakira for a minute? You don’t mind, do you? I just tumbled through a youtube rabbit hole, and saw this video of her performing on The Voice (let’s add that to the SYTYCD plan too, shall we? The judges dancing too, not Shakira singing.)  Watch it, then let’s talk.

You know what I’m going to say. I have so many thoughts.  First, what are those things on her legs? Those are not pants. I’m so tired of the nearly naked thing under lace. We know you have legs. If you want to wear leotard bottoms, claim it and run with it. I can’t believe I’m endorsing anything Miley Cyrus has ever done, but bare legs are better than the lace. Set all the lace on fire. Not while someone’s wearing it.

I love that thing she does with her voice where she kind of swallows the sound back into her throat (like at :19).

I remember on one episode of one of those acapella shows (the one with Ben Folds) where they had a fire blast effect and one of the judges commented that it’s risky to use a fire blast because you have to earn it with your vocal or it’s embarrassing. I don’t know that the vocal really lived up to it here.  (I found it, it was during Vocal Rush doing My Songs Know What you Did in the Dark on the Sing Off. And watching it, can I just say, Ben Folds might be the best judge on any competition show. His critiques are always so specific and solid.)

“The stars make love to the universe”. Never change, Shakira. Never change.

Ok, time to go. I’ll just leave this here for you. She is perfection.

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