Random thoughts

It’s Jan. 2 and we’re all lounging about, doing not much at all. I got to sleep in until 9:45. It’s a nice  way to start the year.

Bruce and I watched Ascension (the Scyfy mini-series) last night. It was so thought provoking, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. I hope that they bring it back for a full season, because I have questions and theories. Did you watch it?

I just read this article about the problem with reading challenges (like to read a certain number of books in a year) and I agree with it, even though I have reading goals for myself. (Go read it, so you know what I’m agreeing with.)  I want to make clear that I don’t post about the books I’m reading here to boast, but because I love books and I love hearing about books I don’t know about, and figure that you might too. Besides, writing about them helps me sort out my thoughts. I have thought about having a year where I just read really long books. I’d only finish like 20 in the year, but they’d all be massive.

I do have two reading goals this year. The first is that I want to read more books by women. Last year, almost exactly half of the books I read were written by women, but I’ve been thinking about the #readwomen2014 movement, which encouraged people to read more women authors (you can read more about it here ) and about some of the people who chose to read only women authors in 2014. I’m not going to make that complete of a commitment, as I have already pre-ordered at least a couple of books written by men that I’m dying to read, but I am going to aim for 80% of the books I read to be by women. I think that’s completely doable. I even went through all of the books on the Haunted Kindle of Doom (I got a new Kindle Voyage for Christmas!) and put all of the books by women into their own collection, so I can just go in and pick what to read next. There are a lot of books in there. I’ll be covered for quite some time.

This is good, because my second goal is to only buy one book a month. Last year my goal was to buy no new books, and I failed so laughably. I have come to the realization that I function with a scarcity mentality when it comes to books- I’m always looking for the next perfect book, and if I don’t buy books right now then I’ll never have the chance again. This is obviously disproved by the backlog on the H.K.o.D. So my goal is to focus on the collection of books I already have, and to allow for one purchase a month, of a book that I really really want. It doesn’t take into account a couple of books that I have pre-ordered that are all coming out in January, but I won’t buy an additional book in January.  We’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of goals, this is an awesome list of goals that have to do with writing, although they’re pretty awesome goals for anyone. My writing goals for the year involve editing, revising, and hopefully publishing at least one novel (maybe 2).

I’m also trying to step away from sugar. (I’m phrasing it that way so my brain doesn’t freak out.) I went all yesterday with no sugar, and frankly, I’m pretty amazed.

I also have the goal of doing something creative every day. Writing, sewing, painting, doodling, taking a picture, something. Doesn’t have to be good, just has to be something.

make 4I read a post about being embarrassed to still love the musical Rent, (which I think is ridiculous- you can think the bohos are kind of full of it for not wanting to be responsible adults while acknowledging the emotion and struggle as real and valid) and have had songs from it stuck in my head all week.

I love that music so much I can hardly stand it.  I’ve loved it ever since I saw the cast perform on the Tonys in 1996 and the soundtrack wasn’t even out yet, and I waited and waited and waited, and then it finally came out and I listened to it over and over until I’d memorized every word. Look at Idina’s hair!

I have also had The Phantom of the Opera stuck in my head. Apparently my brain wants more musicals. Speaking of which- this looks SO good. I have the soundtrack and it’s amazing.  Her songs go backwards, from the end of their relationship to the beginning, and his songs go from the beginning of their relationship to the end. So you piece the story together as you go. It’s beautiful and so sad. And I’d love to hear Anna Kendrick sing all the songs.

School starts again next week. We’re finishing up units on Monet, John Phillips Sousa, and Twelfth Night.  We start a unit on Duke Ellington in a couple weeks, which I’m really excited about. And we’ll do Hamlet as well, which will include references to both Nightmare Before Christmas and David Tennant, so that will be enjoyable.

If you haven’t watched this version of Hamlet you should, it’s so incredibly good. The portrayal of Ophelia completely changed the way I saw the play. Her genuine madness reveals Hamlet’s for the shadow it is. He’s not crazy, he’s grieving. Ophelia, on the other hand, has lost the plot, as they say.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Got to go start rice for dinner. Why is it always dinnertime?

Random thoughts

I haven’t done a rambly post in a while, and I enjoy rambling, so here we go.

It’s almost Christmas! In that spirit, I give you this:

I post it every year, but it’s one of my very favorite things ever. I don’t think any one else should ever sing this song, Bono just owns it. It must be sung with heartbreaking abandon. I adore Bono so much. I saw U2 in concert once, and he is so magnetic you could feel it across the amphitheater. Plus The Edge’s eyeroll at 1:28 is magnificent.

Watching this, I realized that I think early Bono is the look that little John Taylor whatshisname was going for on The Voice.

It’s not really his fault that he got the “super special little snowflake” treatment this season. He has a good voice, the whole “he has a VISION, people!” thing just got old. He’s too young not to take some advice.

And can I just say that Gwen and Pharrell were adorable together? The complete adoration he has for her just kills me.

Also for your Christmas cheese enjoyment:

Thoughts while watching:

I love this song so much. I know it’s cheesy, but I loved it so much anytime it came on the radio when I was little. This was really the first “activism” of any kind I knew about. This was how you spread information back then, there was no internet, no twitter to get people informed and motivated. But you could influence people through music, and the thought of all these artists getting together to do this still warms my heart. The more recent version, however, is an abomination and should be burned with fire.

Some shallow thoughts:Do you think Sting asked for them to show him during the “bitter sting of tears” lyric?  Boy George has lovely teeth. So does George Michael. I appreciate a good eye tooth. Paul Weller is incredibly lovely. Like, seriously incredibly lovely.

paul weller


I watched the documentary The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden and it was fascinating. It started out slow with two families moving to the Galapagos Islands to find solitude. The islands were mostly uninhabited at that point, and the whole idea of people moving to the middle of an inhospitable nowhere is interesting in and of itself. But all of the sudden it took an Agatha Christie turn with the arrival of a young baroness and her two lovers. What happens is fascinating, but what impressed me most is that it made me appreciate Dame Agatha all the more (and she is my idol, so that’s impressive) because these people were so fully realized (um, because they were real people) but they felt just like her characters, which meant she had such an incredible facility for capturing people’s quirks and the things that make them alive.

Anyway, the documentary is really interesting, and I’m currently reading one of the books it’s based on, also called Satan Came to Eden, by Dore Strauch, one of the women who lived it.

I just fell down a random youtube rabbit hole and came across this. This is one of my favorite David Bowie songs. When I was writing the first novel I ever wrote (during NaNoWriMo 2001?) I picked a bunch of songs to lead what I was writing. There’s a death in that book, and this song, while it’s really about missing someone who moved away, became the touchstone for one of the character’s grief. So now every time I hear it, I think of this character singing it to his friend who is dead and not there anymore.  Plus at the end of this video is his version of Cactus, which is one of my favorite covers of all time.

And of course, Bowie always makes me think of Swinton, because they really are so visually similar. Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive yet? You really should. It’s so beautiful. You have to be in the right mood for it, but dear goodness, I could watch it forever. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hilddleston are vampires who are spending their eternity making music and reading books, and it’s a Jim Jarmusch movie so nothing happens. Either that appeals to you or it doesn’t, but it’s pretty much my ideal movie.

Neil Gaiman recently mentioned Tom Hiddleston in relation to the Morpheus role in the movie version of the Sandman comics, and while I read it as tongue in cheek, I think Tom Hiddleston would be fantastic. I’d prefer Joseph Gordon Levitt, who’s the one that’s been attached to it, but Tom Hiddleston would kill that role.

I have to go bag up some marshmallows (marshmallows were made today). I went outside my comfort zone and made chocolate marshmallows, which turned out pretty well.  So I’ll leave you now.

What’s going on with you?

Random thoughts on a Sunday night

Hi there.

I just went browsing through some of the blogs that I frequent, and none of them had new posts. And that made me kind of sad. And then I thought, maybe someone went past my blog and was sad that there wasn’t a new post. And while I kind of doubt that’s true (except for maybe Brandy, Hi Brandy!), I shall post regardless.

I’m two days into NaNoWriMo. This year I’m writing a sequel, but not to my book, Mystery’s End. A couple years ago during NaNoWriMo I went outside the murder mystery box and decided to not plot anything ahead of time and just write. They say that you should write the book that you want to read, and this ended up being all of the things I love in a book- pulpy madcap adventure in the vein of the Avengers – not these Avengers:


THESE Avengers:

avengers 1

There’s secret societies, mysterious organizations, two secret agents investigating crazy phenomena, and of course, a wise cracking flapper. It’s kind of bananas, and so I put it to the side and didn’t really think about it again, because any time I think about it I think that it probably wouldn’t appeal to anyone other than me. But it was so much fun to write and I like the characters so much that I decided to take them out for another adventure.

So that’s happening.

My parents just went home after being here with us for 10 weeks, and that is sad. We miss them a lot. Luckily we have friends staying for a week to distract us. We’re on vacation from school this coming week, which is also nice.

I’ve been watching The Voice and finally figured out that this guy:

reminds me of Patrick from Coupling.

It had been making me crazy, and I’m glad to have that resolved. I’m also glad that the other guy stayed on over him.

This guy, though, is my favorite. He could believably have a record contract right now.

In church I’m in charge of the classes for the kids that are 18 months to 11 years old. Every year on one Sunday they do a presentation during Sacrament Meeting (the main church meeting) where instead of one or two people giving a sermon, the kids present things that they’ve learned and sing songs and such. It’s a fairly big deal, and we have 51 kids that need to each have a turn to say something and have a place to stand where their parents can see them and a place to sit. We’ve practiced the program over the last two weeks (the actual program will happen next Sunday) and it’s gone really well. I was going to say to someone today that it’s like herding cats, but really pretty well behaved cats. We’ll see how next week goes. And whatever happens, it will be fine. As long as no one sets fire to the building.

I’m about to start Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, but first I have to finish The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. It’s 749 pages, and I’ve been reading it on and off since May 11 of this year. I’m at 96%. It’s so close I can almost taste it.

When we start up school again after next week, we start studying Jackson Pollack for the month. I’ve never felt a deep affinity for Pollack. Perhaps I will develop one over the course of the month. I have the feeling Tiny will enjoy him- she gravitates toward the Abstract Expressionists like Kandinsky.

I was listening to Prince the other day and decided that he has one of the most perfect voices ever. It’s just never ugly, and is often transcendent. I can’t find the song I want to post (The Breakdown, which goes supersonic toward the end), so I’ll post this instead, one of my absolute favorites. He’s seriously magic.

I’d also put Brett Anderson and Chris Cornell on that list. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m fairly certain that Chris Cornell is the god of rock- Neil Gaiman American Gods style. He could be the physical incarnation of the spirit of rock and roll. Seriously. Watch this and tell me that you can’t picture him opening his eyes at some point during it and they’d be glowing and he’d have crazy sharp teeth or something. Why the god of rock would have glowing eyes and sharp teeth, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure he’s hiding them there somewhere.

And as a little extra for your day, I was going to post him singing Redemption Song, but then I found this and had to post it instead. It is truly glorious. When he hits those high notes it just slices right through you. In Mike Allred’s Red Rocket 7(which everyone should read) he talks about a divine chord. Chris Cornell hits notes that sound divine- it’s what makes me think he’s the god of rock- he’s got the notes for it.

That’s all I’ve got for right now. I’m going to go to bed.

More random thoughts

I’m totally tempted to read the book Things We Set On Fire by Deborah Reed simply because I love the title.

I would love to be stuck in an elevator with Sally Field. I think she’d have lots of great stories to tell. If nothing else, I bet she’d be game to re-enact scenes from Soapdish with me while we wait for rescue.

I am legitimately saddened to hear that Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffen are getting divorced.

I am even more saddened to hear about Tracey Morgan being in intensive care after a car accident. I totally let B read it on the internet this morning because I didn’t be the one to share the bad news. He can’t die. He has to go out in some ridiculous manner- like getting eaten by a shark when he’s 97.

I am always (ALWAYS) weirded out by the thought that the song Rosanna is about Rosanna Arquette. She just doesn’t strike me as someone that would induce such throes of passion that they would require a song. Am I wrong? (Although I just read on Wikipedia that it wasn’t actually about her, but that she was coincidentally dating the keyboard player at the time and had the same name. That seems like a big coincidence.) You have to watch the video for it though- I’d never seen it before, and it’s got a crazy Grease vibe.

B knows me so well. He got back from CA with presents for me- a box of nuts and chews Sees candy, an issue of O magazine, and the Elle with the Angelina Jolie on the cover. US magazines are so expensive here. I always forget and think- oh, they’re about $7, $7 is a lot for a magazine, but I could splurge… and then I get to the bookstore and they’re closer to $15 and I just can’t do it. If you ever want to send me something special from the states, just send me magazines. 🙂 (But not Vanity Fair- I have a iPad subscription to that. It’s my favorite magazine.)

Like I said in my last post, I got released from my calling at church yesterday. I don’t have a new one yet, but Relief Society president and early morning seminary teacher are no longer possibilities. (I’m a little relieved on both of those counts, honestly.)

We watched The Grand Budapest Hotel a couple nights ago, and it was marvelous. It had a titch more swearing in it that I would have liked, but it’s so utterly beautiful. I just want to watch it over and over again, just to see the set pieces. I wonder if there’s a book of pictures from the movie… and there is not. That’s a shame. I loved the moment when M. Gustave suggests the blood pact- it’s such a quintessential Wes Anderson moment. It could be in any single one of his other movies- most likely said by the character played by Owen Wilson (but not always).

Last night we watched the most recent episode of Penny Dreadful. Am I alone in feeling that they’re going to pull the Phantom of the Opera into the mix? I keep getting that vibe from Caliban in the theater. And my goodness if little Billie Piper doesn’t play thrilled and excited more gorgeously than anyone ever. No wonder she was the perfect companion for the reintroduction of the Doctor. I’m hoping her character can hold on for a little while longer, but I forsee a worrisome future for her.

It’s supposed to rain all week, but is not raining at the moment, so I’m rushing to get all of the laundry washed and hung up to dry that I can before it starts. Here’s hoping it all dries in time!

The girls are painting with watercolors, and I’m going to join them in a minute. I’ve been watching classes on Skillshare and feel like experimenting.

Since it’s our first official day of summer vacation we’re going out to the bookstore this afternoon (it doesn’t open until 11) to load up on books for our rainy week. I’m reading Just Kids by Patti Smith and she has, hands down, one of the best writing voices I’ve ever read. I just want to read and read and read.

Time to go paint!



Random thoughts

It’s raining. It’s been constantly for the last two days. The rainy season has begun. I don’t mind it- it’s not raining enough to prevent us from going out if we have to- and it’s been lovely to fall asleep to the sound of rain at night.

School is over! Yesterday was our last day, and we are all excited to have no plans next week. We will play with friends and watch movies and generally lounge about.

Bruce gets home today (in about 1/2 hr!) from a week in CA. We’re all super excited to see him. I’m excited to watch last week’s Penny Dreadful with him.

Hulu Plus has the audition episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (hooray!) and I love this audition piece so much.

For those who don’t know the show, the guy who starts dancing with her in the middle is the winner from last year. I love that he apparently just couldn’t help himself- that he saw a kindred spirit and just had to go. And  they danced together so beautifully. He gave her a huge gift in not only giving her the opportunity to show partnering skills, but also in creating a gorgeous, memorable moment with her that will endear her to the audience.

I watched a lot of TV while B was gone (I need noise in the house at night), including Sing Your Face Off ( a BRILLIANT idea for a competition show, executed hilariously), lots of old episodes of Never Mind the Buzzcocks (I need my Noel Fielding fix), and random movies. One was The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, which is insane and absurd and may be my new favorite movie. I highly, highly recommend, but only if you’re willing to completely suspend disbelief and go on an awesome ride. (A main element of the story is a pterodactyl flying loose through early 1900’s Paris. So, you know.)

I also watched Mr. Nobody, which was really fascinating. It’s not one that I would go out of my way to recommend (I don’t feel badly that I watched it without B, which I do feel about Adele), but parts of it keep popping up in my mind in the days since. It’s a quantum timeline type story; one that shows the results of choices splitting off and the stories that result. It’s visually beautiful- the cinematography and the actors are gorgeous. It has a dream like quality to it, and the knowledge that if something goes wrong different choices can be made for a different outcome takes away a level of stress from watching it. But that doesn’t take away from the emotional impact of some of the stories. The life where Nemo (the main character) is married to a woman who is clinically depressed is utterly heartbreaking- perhaps because you realize that no choices that Nemo can make will help the situation. Anyway, if you find yourself with nothing to watch, either of those movies would be a good use of your time.

I’m getting released from my calling at church tomorrow. (In our church, we are asked to fulfill different assignments. I have been serving as a counselor to the president of the women’s organization, and I’ve been in charge of planning activities for the women in our congregation.)  The president is moving, so the whole presidency is getting released, and I have no idea where they’re going to put me next. A couple of the options are pretty intimidating, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Time to go meet B at the station! Woohoo!

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.

Utterly random thoughts

Ok, not so random, as the first couple of them were brought on by reading gofugyourself.com today. But they will seem random here.

I’m super excited for Gwen Stefani to be on The Voice. I love her unabashedly. She is gorgeous (THAT FACE!) and would choose her as my spirit animal if my spirit animal could be a person. How about fairy godmother? I’d choose her as my fairy godmother. This video (and song) is one of my favorite things ever.

I think The Voice an excellent venue for the judges, because they actually get to show off their personalities. I enjoyed Maroon 5 before watching the show, but never really had an opinion about Adam Levine. But he’s utterly adorable on the show and I totally like him now. Same with Shakira. So I’m excited to see Gwen Stefani show her stuff.

I don’t understand Pitbull at all. His music bugs me, and his face always surprises me. I don’t know what I think he should look like, but it’s not this:


Speaking of gofugyourself.com (which, if you recall, I was), their write up of this weeks Royals News is awesome. I love their writing in general, but this whole post made me smile. A sample:

Also, you know William is like, “I cannot believe I am this jetlagged still and now I have to keep Harry from getting naked and streaking Graceland with a bunch of bridesmaids. I AM BUT ONE MAN,” 

I finished the book Greatby Sarah Benincasa yesterday, and while I will post about it in this week’s book post, I will just say now that I have thoughts. So many thoughts.

Have you ever thought about what your catchphrase would be if you were a mentor on some show like Project Runway or something? You know, something you say often, like St. Tim Gunn says, “Make it work” or “That’s a lot of look”? Mine would be “I have thoughts” and “I have a crazy idea”. I feel like I say or write those two things all the time. And I would love to be a mentor on a reality show about people trying to accomplish goals. I love encouraging people to dream big and try crazy things.

Speaking of crazy ideas, I’ve had one percolating over the last couple of days that involves chemistry and candy. I don’t know if I know enough about chemistry or candy to pull it off, but that has never stopped me before.

If you haven’t seen the movie About Time, you should check it out. It’s utterly lovely. It’s done by the Love Actually guy, and knowing that, I thought it was going to kind of be sappy, but it isn’t at all. The premise is that a young man turns 21 and his dad (played by the incredible Bill Nighy) tells him that the males in their family can travel backward in time. They can only go within their lifespans, and Tim (the young man) uses this ability to find love. The scope of the movie is so much bigger than that, though, and it is really just so very good. There is some swearing in it, but it’s not ridiculous. Just go with it, it’s so worth it. You will probably cry. Just saying.

I’m figuring out school for next year and it’s hurting my brain. But it’s exciting. I think it’s starting to come together, and I love it when I can start to see the outlines of the vision.

I’ve been seeking out new music lately, and I ran across White Sea, who is coming out with an album later this month. I love her voice, and I’ve been listening to this song over and over.

I’m really excited that So You Think You Can Dance is starting soon. I miss it when it’s away. Truly.

I watched Center Stage a couple nights ago for the first time in a long time. My viewing choice came down to Dirty Dancing and Center Stage, but apparently a completely impossible costume/hair/stage background change beat out Baby. I’d forgotten not only how pretty everyone in the movie is, but just how incredible some of the dancing is. Did you know that Ethan Stiefel, the guy who plays Cooper Neilsen, was the Dean of the University of North Carolina’s School of Dance? Or that he is (was?) the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet? It’s true.

I’d also forgotten how atrocious some of the writing/acting is, which is why it’s such a blessing that the dancing is so incredible. Both of these guys are just so good.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m going to go dive back into The Thin Man, which is just lovely. I love gorgeous dialogue.

What’s your catchphrase? On what kind of reality show would you want to be a mentor?

Utterly random thoughts

I think the inclusion of Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey in the The Great Gatsby movie was one of the best choices Baz Luhrmann made on the whole film. The song itself is haunting and gorgeous, but as it functions as Daisy’s theme, it highlights a story point that I think is specific to the film over the book. In the book you get the sense that Daisy is flattered by Gatsby’s attention, and her affair with him is a little bit revenge for Tom’s philandering, a little bit boredom, a little bit “no one is the boss of me”. When she ultimately decides to stay with Tom, it’s because she’s done with the summer diversion and isn’t going to mess up her life for it. But with the inclusion of this song as her theme, the whole tone of her choice changes. The lyrics are “will you still love me, when I’m no longer young and beautiful? Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but my aching soul? I know that you will, I know that you will, I know that you will. Will you still love me when I’m not beautiful?”, and it’s my opinion that in the world of the film, Daisy doesn’t choose Gatsby because despite the lyrics of the song, she knows that the answer to that question is no. Gatsby makes it clear that he wants to go back in time, that he wants the Daisy of five years before, the Daisy who never loved anyone else. He is allowed to have done things in those five years, but she is not; in fact he wants to go back to her parents’ house and get married there, “like they should have”. In order for her to fit into his dream of her, she has to deny everything that she has been for the previous five years- wife, love-er, mother. And what will happen as she gets older- less young, less beautiful, less like his dream of her? He won’t still love her when she’s no longer young and beautiful, because he already doesn’t love her for who she is, just who she was. Tom, for all his philandering, can at least give her that.

The party scene in the movie is one of my favorite things ever. That was the part of the book that grabbed me and didn’t let go when I first read it in high school, and seeing it come to life just makes me grin idiotically.

I’ve been having dreams about earthquakes for the last couple nights, and Tori Amos’ song Little Earthquakes has been stuck in my head.

We’re watching True Detective and it’s SO good. It’s incredibly creepy and unsettling for a show where hardly anything happens. It’s got a very Lovecraft-y, nihilistic feel to it, which is very calculated. On hearing that I liked the show, someone recommended The Killing, which I get the sense also has a nihilistic, life is bleak feel to it, but without the Lovecrafty part, which makes me not interested. I want someone potentially going mad due to forbidden knowledge with my nihilism, thank you very much.

I’ve been blowing through my to-do list today. I crossed things off of it that have been there for MONTHS. None of those things were editing the novel, which is something that has to move further up the list.

I blew my no buying books resolution today, there wasn’t even a loophole to excuse it. But how could I resist this description:

In The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen—a moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature—a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past. Ten months after dropping out of all-girl Tarble College, Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year, a time marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that caused her to question her sanity. When a mysterious suitcase arrives bearing Ruby’s name and address, she tries to return it to its rightful owner, Beth—a dorm-mate at Tarble—only to learn that Beth disappeared two days earlier. With clues found in the luggage, including a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, which Ruby believes instigated her madness, she sets out to uncover the truth.”

Seriously. And it was only $1.99. (If you’re interested, it’s here: The Butterfly Sister, but move quick, it’s only on sale today.)

Also, did you know that there’s a whole series of steampunk romance novels? With names like Moonlight and Machinery, Ashes and Alchemy,  and Kilts and Kraken? I’m aaaaaaaalmost tempted by Kilts and Kraken, because, hello, kraken in a romance novel? But I will not. It can’t possibly live up to my expectations.

I need to watch Labyrinth. (“I’m exhausted by living up to your expectations of me.”) And I need to watch Noises Off. (“Bag! Bag BAG bag! First here, now gone!”) It’s amazing how much of that movie I can quote and I haven’t seen it in years and years. We almost did that play in high school, and I’m really sad that we didn’t.

I am currently eating Pringles. I love Pringles.

It’s my opinion that the reason that they haven’t had more superhero guest appearances on Agents of SHIELD is that Marvel is pretty invested in cannonizing their film/TV versions of characters right now. So they don’t want to risk having someone play a role on the show and then wanting to use that character later but wanting to cast someone else. Whereas I don’t think DC cares so much, so they’ll throw anyone at Arrow (or Smallville before it) and just move on later if they want to use the character again with different casting. Speaking of which, Arrow is a dang fine show. And so is SHIELD. Highly entertaining, both of them.

Have you seen these? They made me laugh so much. They still do. I’m laughing right now.



I warned you this was going to be utterly random.

Did you know that tomorrow an asteroid is going to pass within 1 million miles of Earth? It’s true.

Did you know that on Jupiter, a quarter would weigh 2 tons? That’s not true.

I decided earlier last year (before my nephews’ birthdays) that I was going to give my nieces and nephews that are old enough for such things book series for their birthdays. I have two birthdays coming up and am trying to figure out which series to go with. I’m thinking of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles for my dragon obsessed niece, and I’m still trying to decide on one for the nephew. I found The Gryphon Chronicles today, but I need to read them first and make sure they’re age and reading level appropriate. If you have suggestions for 8, 10, or 12 year olds, please let me know in the comments.

One of my most common problems recently is trying to figure out if the clothes I have hung out to dry all day are still wet, or just really cold.

Z’s imagination has started running away with her. She doesn’t want to walk to the end of the hallway to go to the bathroom if it’s dark, because something might be behind the bathroom door (which is where the light is). She doesn’t like being upstairs or downstairs by herself. And I totally get it. I was the same way when I was little- I was constantly convinced something was going to get me. When I was falling asleep at night, I was sure someone was going to stab me in the back (where I got this from I have NO idea). So I couldn’t lay on my stomach, because, hello, that’s just handing over my back, I couldn’t lay ON my back because I was on the top bunk, so someone could stab me through the mattress, (I never thought it was going to be my sister who slept down there, it was always some random assailant), I couldn’t lay on my right side, because again, I’m just presenting my back for stabbing. I ended up sleeping on my left side because, get this, it was the least likely that the mystery assailant would stab me through the wall. Still possible, mind you, but less likely. And all of this made perfect sense. However, none of this life experience makes me less annoyed when Z does it. I think because I know first hand how limiting it can be, so it frustrates me.

But anyway.

Bruce just got home, so I’m going to go talk True Detective with him.

Tell me something random.



At this moment

It’s 10:36 am. It’s sunny outside, but 37 degrees. It snowed yesterday, and the girls were beyond thrilled.


I was beyond thrilled that it didn’t snow a lot. 🙂 This is what our yard looked like: IMG_4567


IMG_4570The snow melted during the night (most of it, anyway, there was a little left on some rooftops this morning). I’m catching up on laundry this morning, since it was too cold and wet yesterday to hang anything to dry.

The girls are playing spies this morning. Tiny is in disguise.





She makes me laugh.

We’re taking it easy today, there’s a lot of sickness going around, and there have been hints of us being under the weather, so I’m not pushing anything. I don’t want to deal with illness, let alone the fierce flu going around.

I have some sewing to do today after we do school (after lunch), and then I’m toying with diving into some editing. I’m investigating possibilities for publishing a novel, but more editing has to happen first. If you happen to have any insights on publishing a novel, please let me know. I have the problem that I’m not in the least bit ambitious when it comes to this, I just want to have a book out there in the world. So while I know I should send it out to publishers and agents and things, I just don’t want to bother. Do I just need to change my attitude? Probably.  I just have been feeling like I need to get back into writing, so I probably should.

Other random things:

It bugs me when people  say that they choose to only read non-fiction because they want to improve their lives and minds, and fiction is just an escape. If that is the case, then you are reading the wrong fiction books, or you are reading the right fiction books incorrectly. It’s true, there is plenty of pure escapist fiction out there, but there is also TONS that will open your eyes to different experiences and different ways of life and thought processes, and do it in a way that non-fiction can’t.

I was going to go off about some other things, but I think I’ll keep those opinions to myself for the time being.

I will, however, put the opinion out there that the new trend of gowns with long diagonals of nakedness are mystifying to me. How do you sit down?  Here is an example, should you not know what I’m talking about. There’s been a bunch of them over this last bit of awards season, and I just don’t get them.

It’s time to make lunch, so I will end abruptly. 🙂



Random thoughts

I’ve written 3 different drafts of posts over the last couple weeks and then abandoned them because they didn’t seem interesting to me. So today I shall collect some of those random thoughts into one, probably disjointed, post. You have been warned. 🙂

This song has been stuck in my head for weeks now. It may be the death of me. I’m almost desperate enough to bust out some Outkast or Beyonce.

I do love that soundtrack though. But I love this soundtrack more.

greatIt’s brilliant. Which I find amusing seeing as I’ve never seen this movie, as there are few books I dislike so much as Great Expectations.It’s only slightly Dickens’ fault; I had a college professor who pretty much killed the book dead for me. But my entire relationship with Dickens has struggled since then. I do whole heartedly love some of his books, but Great Expectations casts a shadow over them all.  On a different note- how much does Gwennie capture Estella’s cold haughtiness in this picture?

Speaking of books, I have managed to put 10 books on my wish list rather than just impulsively buy them. (If you’re curious to see what they are, you can see them here.)   I have bought 2 new Kindle books since the new year, but they’re parenting books dealing with specific things, so I’m not counting them against my resolution. Nor am I counting the gorgeous slipcovered two volume book I got at the bookstore (A True Novel by Minae Mizumura) or the paperback of  Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo by Miyuke Miyabe, because sometimes you just need a good, gorgeous book.

I’m about a 1/4 of the way through A True Novel, and I’ve just gotten to the beginning of the “Wuthering Heights” part. So far it’s fascinating, for a number of reasons that I’ll get into when I review it when I’m finished. But that may be a while- it’s a long one. I considered the readolution of concentrating on reading longer books this year but decided against it- but with this and The Accursed I’ll have done two 800+ books in a month.

We’re having a book exchange tonight at our church book club, and in trying to find a book to put in the pot, I realized that apparently a lot of the books I read/like have swear words in them. Or possibly have swear words in them, but I don’t remember well enough to feel completely secure in recommending them to people who don’t prefer swearing in their books. I don’t swear, but apparently I just don’t really notice it when I’m reading. Anyway, I found a book that should work, and hopefully it doesn’t have anything in it. 🙂

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been making it a practice to unsubscribe from email lists rather than just delete unused email everyday. It’s seriously shocking how much less email I get. It’s pretty awesome.

We showed the girls the Bugs Bunny episode “What’s Opera Doc” last night, and they are currently singing opera in their room with their My Little Ponies.

I have 4 sewing projects going right now, and none of them are cooperating. The girls are getting anxious, because the project they are waiting for is a set of stuffies of characters from Odd and the Frost Giants. The pieces are all cut out for Odd, Loki, Loki as a fox, Thor, Thor as a bear, Odin, Odin as a raven, Freya, Sif, and a frost giant. The frost giant isn’t going to be accurate to Norse mythology, but I don’t really care. 🙂  I have to embroider all of the faces, and that’s where I’m stalling out on that project. But I should get them done soon, before the girls move on to another obsession. (I’m also thinking through the logistics of making a long boat out of felt- but we’ll see if that happens.) So if you have any extra sewing mojo, send it my way.

And while we’re on the subject of Norse myths, can I just say that when attempting to read Norwegian words I usually feel like someone is playing a joke on me? For example, Skithblathnir, the magic boat that can go over any sea and that you can fold up and put in your pocket. There are just too aren’t enough vowels in that word. It’s like Hawaiian got extra vowels and so Norwegian didn’t get its full allotment.

Totally changing the subject, I have no plans to see 12 Years a Slave, but Lupita Nyong’o is my new style obsession. Seriously, she has not made a single misstep this whole awards season. The dress she wore to the SAGs is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen. And she is just devastatingly beautiful.

Now the girls are playing trip to California Adventure. And part of that playing is that the lines are long. At least there is an element of realism in their play.

My washing machine got fixed, and it is seriously like we got a whole new machine. It actually spins! It can handle a load that is bigger than 3 shirts and a pair of jeans! It actually dries the clothes and doesn’t leave them slightly damp! It’s seriously a thing of beauty.

Do you have conflicted feelings about Woody Allen? (I told you this post was going to be disjointed.) I really do. I think some of the things he’s done in his life are pretty problematic, especially things that have come out in more recent accusations, which are appalling. But his movies are fantastic, and I really want to see Blue Jasmine. At what point do you separate the artist from his work? Can you? At what point is supporting the work condoning the person? These are the things I think about, and I haven’t come to an answer. If anyone knows anything horrible about Wes Anderson or Baz Luhrmann, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

I should go do my cleaning for the day, but it’s really warm in the window I’m sitting in, and the rest of my house is cold.  I would not fare well in a really, truly cold place.

But, the cleaning must be done, and I’m out of things to say. Tell me something random about your day!