Random thoughts

The girls are in the middle of writing persuasive essays about why they should get a turtle. It’s amazing how much less they argue about having to do writing when it’s on a subject they have a vested interest in.

We got our shipment last week and our house is now full of stuff. It’s not too bad, the living room, upstairs reading area and the girls’ room are pretty much under control. The school room didn’t really get anything added to it (except to the closet, which is now a mess) so it’s still pleasant. I’ve spent the last week doing tons of laundry- all of our clothes and bedding got here smelling moldy and musty. So now I have massive piles of clean laundry in my room, which is an improvement from massive piles of smelly laundry. Hopefully everything will be organized and put away by the end of the week.

Facebook has been seriously depressing lately- so many people arguing about so many things, and so many of them are so angry and (at least to my mind) misguided. I’ve had to unfollow a few people because I was getting frustrated whenever I saw their posts.

I have had this song stuck in my head for weeks now. It just makes me laugh. It’s the “lalalalala grapes” part that gets me.

I’m reading a book called Savage Park by Amy Fusselman and it’s really interesting. It’s all about how we do and do not mindfully inhabit space, and how that, combined with a fear of death, leads us to be overprotective when it comes to kids playing. It’s really thought provoking, but the thing that really gets me is that she describes an amazing park in Tokyo that we never went to and I’m super sad because it sounds amazing. I wish I had a transporter and could just zap myself there for a day. I have some shopping I’d like to do there too. 🙂

We stopped reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban about halfway through. The dementors were freaking the girls out, which I suspected would happen.  Now we’re reading Anyone but Ivy Pocket which is really quite funny. Tiny picked it out at the library, and it was an excellent choice. Lots of sly humor.

We all got new bikes last week. Tiny is learning how to ride without training wheels, which she couldn’t do in Tokyo because of all of the hills. But we’ve got lovely flat roads here. She’s coming along nicely.

I’m seriously obsessed with the soundtrack to the new musical Hamilton. I haven’t been this in love with a whole album for a long time, single songs, sure, but not a whole album. The music is just electric. I don’t know why it surprises me, it’s the music of a revolution, and anyone who knows me knows that’s a major soft spot for me. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are so complex and clever, they make me grin. I remember when I saw In The Heights and I couldn’t breathe at one point  because I couldn’t believe he was doing what he was with the language, the rhymes were just so unexpected and glorious.

And I love beyond words the fact that this is a musical about Alexander freakin’ Hamilton. Who does that? I love that Miranda was obviously fascinated by Hamilton, to the point that he wrote an entire musical about him, and his work makes other people care about Hamilton. I think that’s where the best art comes from- not someone trying to figure out what will sell or what the market wants, but someone creating something because they’re so fascinated by it that they have to.

There aren’t any songs up on youtube yet, but this clip has my favorite song in it. (Although I also LOVE the song Satisfied, it’s so heartbreaking and gorgeous. There’s just SO much in it. It’s such an example of narrative through song.)  I’m thrilled that Miranda was just awarded a McArthur Genius Grant.

We’ve been doing poetry in school, and we just started Ogden Nash. The girls have been writing poems once a week inspired by the poems we read each week. I’m trying to get them to see both that poetry is work, that it’s worth working to get something right, but also that it’s fun and that they shouldn’t freak out over it. Their poems this week were about a squirrel and a rat. Z was more self conscious about whether or not hers was “good”, which makes sense because she’s older, but I’m hoping that we can keep the fun and joy in the creativity as long as we can.

That’s all my thoughts for now. What are you thinking about?

Random thoughts

We are in Texas! We got here four days ago and are making ourselves at home. Our stuff won’t get here for another month at least, so we’ve already made more shopping trips than I would have thought possible. We’re gorgeously placed for “run out and pick up something” shopping, we have a Walmart literally 3 minutes away, and two Targets within 10 minutes. Things are coming together in spaces in the house- the school room may be together before anything else because we’re getting everything for it here, rather than waiting for the shipment. I put one desk together today and will put the other together tomorrow, and the huge whiteboard shows up tomorrow. We haven’t started school yet, we had to wait for a few pieces of curriculum to get here, so we will start on Monday. We are still the Flying Butler Academy, although we have added a “house” system to the school ala Hogwarts. The girls are both in Dragonfist House and will earn and lose points throughout the year in support of their house. Students in Dragonfist are clever, feisty, and like treasure.

We got our air shipment (1 pallet of “essentials” that included our school stuff) and I discovered that I’d stuck some quilts in there. A couple were quilts that I’d made in Tokyo, so they’d never been dried in the dryer before. So of course they got thrown in for a wash and came out of the drier all gorgeously crinkly and wrinkly. There are few things better than a crinkly quilt. 🙂

Speaking of washing, we have a washer and dryer! And the dryer actually dries things! In half an hour! And they come out dry! It’s like a little miracle every time. 🙂 It honestly is glorious to be able to do a bunch of laundry in a row though. I hope I never get to the point where I take that for granted.

B went to IKEA the day we got here and picked up some mattresses, so we’re all sleeping on comfy mattresses on the floor. The girls will continue to use theirs when their beds get here, and the one that B and I are using will go into the guest room.

I love that it’s almost Fall and so a bunch of new books are going to come out. There are biographies by Grace Jones, Carrie Brownstein, and Drew Barrymore, and Mindy Kaling’s new book of essays, plus new novels by Kenzaburo Oe, Margaret Atwood, and Salman Rushdie that all look incredible. I need some new blood, I keep finding myself in one of those “I have a million books and nothing to read” moods. Right now I’m reading a book about haunted locations in New Orleans, which makes me happy. I think after that I will finally get around to reading Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead which is a private detective novel set in post-Katrina New Orleans.

I think that the album Disintegration by the Cure could be an album that exists in the goblin kingdom in Labyrinth. Doesn’t it sound like magical music that would back up David Bowie walking dramatically around places?

We met our neighbors on the right today (we already met our left side neighbors, they are an utterly delightful retired couple) and they have a little 4 year old, a 2 month old, and a dog. The mom is super nice and we’re happy to have them next door.

We also found a great cupcake store; the girls are very happy. The cupcakes are a little big- none of us actually finished the whole thing- but the flavors are fun and the cake itself is delicious. The girls have been a bit obsessed with cupcakes after watching a bunch of episodes of Cupcake Wars.

We’re in the middle of reading the second Harry Potter book and the girls are SO sure that they know what’s going on and they totally don’t. It’s super fun. We’re going to watch the 1st movie soon, I’m excited for them to see it. Tiny’s a bit worried about the end when Voldemort’s face is there, but I think it will be ok. We’re going to see how they do with this one before we decide if we keep reading and go on to book 3. I hope so, because it’s my favorite, but if it’s too scary then we’ll wait. No point ruining it.

I’m so behind on So You Think You Can Dance that it’s not even funny. I’ve been keeping track of who has gone home, but I haven’t seen any of the dances for a couple weeks now. The girls don’t know yet that Neptune went home, they’re going to be upset about that. They really really liked him. I did too.

I have dye to dye my hair red, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Maybe tonight…

We watched Pitch Perfect 2 the other night- super cute. I was impressed with how it worked as a sequel but wasn’t just a rehash of the first one. I do wonder though if it freaks Jack Black out how much Adam DeVine acts and sounds like him. It’s slightly weird. Is it coincidence or an act? I don’t know. Maybe they’re secretly related and DeVine took a different last name because he wanted to get jobs on his own, not because of his relation to Jack Black. That could be a movie in itself.

I think that’s all I’ve got. Book post coming sometime soon, and posts with pictures from our travels coming as well.

Random thoughts

Hi!

We’re back in Japan. It’s raining and windy today, which is lovely because it’s been hot for the last few days. I love the rain. It’s not currently raining- we are in a lull- which is good because we had to run down to the bakery and the girls couldn’t whine at me that it was raining because it wasn’t. Apparently they are witches, or at least believe themselves to be, and will melt if rain hits them. Who knew?

I read 5 magazines on the plane flight back to Tokyo, and the most important thing I got out of any of them was that Tommy Hilfiger has a son who is a rapper.  This man.

hilfiger

What could said rapper son look like? HAHAHAHAHAHA, I just looked him up and it’s so much better than anything you could imagine.

hilfiger 2I may die.

Out of the 5 magazines, Oprah was the one I kept because it had articles I wanted to refer back to, and Shape was the most boring. I’ve never read Shape before, but I got it because it had an interview with Her Lady of Perpetual Pain, Jillian Michaels. The interview was interesting. The rest of the magazine wasn’t.

I also watched the 2012 version of Anna Karenina on the plane, and it is my new everything. I love it so much. The sheer choreography of it is stunning.  The costumes and sets are gorgeous, and Anna’s stupid decisions and then her complete trappedness are so believable. Jude Law as Karenin is a revelation.

I’m in the middle of reading The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler which I’ve been reading for weeks because I was distracted in CA. I’m excited to sink into it and binge read to the end now. Speaking of reading for weeks, I was telling my sister about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and how it took me 6 months to read it and I stopped 3 different times, and that I thought she would really enjoy it, and her response was, “You want me to read a book that took YOU 6 months to read?” It made me laugh. But it is a great book. We just finished watching the BBC version of it last night, and I thought they did an incredible job. The book really does bog down a couple of times and they kept those sections light enough to keep things moving. The humor of the footnotes was missing, in that they didn’t cover the footnotes at all, but that makes sense. I thought the casting was exquisite and the sets were gorgeous.

Over our vacation the girls and I read The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker. It’s a truly lovely book, I really highly recommend it. It’s about a little girl who experiences tragedy and loss (skimmed over) and then finds new courage and family and magic when she uncovers a hotel that has been buried in the sand for 100 years. It’s such a great story. The girls loved it. Now we’re reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and even though the girls say it makes no sense, they also say that they love it. I’m not sure when the first time is that I heard the book (we used to listen to it on audio tape driving to Utah during the summer), but I know it made very little sense to me either, and that I loved it anyway. So the girls will get what they get from it. They’re laughing at all the right spots, so at least the humor is coming through.

I have had Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars stuck in my head for the last 3 days. I wouldn’t mind except that the line ” your sex takes me to paradise” grates on my last nerve. Number one, it’s too obvious. I love Bruno Mars, but there are times his lyrics are the equivalent of Steve Carrell’s character in The 40 Year Old Virgin describing breasts as feeling like “bags of sand”.  Number two, the “cks” sounds in “sex” and “takes” back to back just bugs. He could have gone with “your love takes me to paradise” and solved both of those problems. I don’t know why he didn’t consult me first. But there are moments in that song that are sublime, so I’ll listen to it anyway. I’m sure he’s relieved.

I am currently cooking hashbrowns to eat for lunch. Don’t judge.

We had a weird experience over our vacation that inadvertently gave me the murder I was looking for for a location I had in my mind for a book. The location was perfect, but I had no idea who died there or how. And now I at least kind of know. Once we move, one of my main goals for the rest of the year is to sit down and write. And write some more. And some more. Not s’more. Though eating those is also a goal.

I hate the phrase “baby bump”. Who came up with that?

The more I see about Scream Queens, the more interested I am. Change that, I wasn’t interested at all until I saw these videos today. Now I’m totally in. I love the Heathers vibe. Although it would probably be better for everyone if Ariana Grande didn’t speak. She really does not come off well in her video at all.

Time to read!

Random thoughts

It’s 11:28 am. It’s sunny and lovely outside, but not hot. The birds, who have been noising off like a Hitchcock movie all morning, have quieted down. A crow was being quite diligent about trying to get into our trash, and we have a nest of little birds inside the space for our storm shutters (luckily we never open that window- it could have been grossly tragic), so there’s been lots of noise.

The girls are playing in the tea room while listening to the Beatles. Yesterday they kept going in and out and then knocking and pretending to be a different Beatle- it was highly entertaining.

We are in the last week of school, and we’re all ready to be done. I think I’m going to create a summer math challenge- if the girls can master their addition/subtraction/multiplication/division facts cold then they’ll earn something. I have to figure out exactly how to run it.

I’m listening to Achtung Baby, which has one of my favorite runs of songs ever. I don’t actually care for the first three songs, but once Until the End of the World starts all the songs through Ultra Violet just transition perfectly into each other, and they’re all so tonally perfect.  Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses and So Cruel are two of my favorite songs of all time.

Going back to the Beatles for a moment- I’ve realized through our unit on them that John’s voice really is my favorite. That thing he does when he kind of sings at the back of his throat (like during “You’re gonna say you love me too, oh” on “too” and “oh”) kills me.

We caught up on Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones last night. I’m fascinated by the Arya/ Multi Faced God storyline on GoT- I’m so interested to see if she can let go of her want for revenge, because that’s what’s going to be required of her. She turned to the Multi Faced God because she thought it would give her what she wanted, but I think she’s going to come out of it with a completely different understanding of death than she thought she was going to. The whole approach to religion on the show is so nuanced and interesting with all the different factions.

As for Penny Dreadful, I will simply report our two statements at the end of the episode.

Me: “Wow, there was really a lot of ill advised sex happening.”

B: “Yeah, when the possessed woman and the wolf man are the only two showing restraint, that says something.”

TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 7). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

TV STILL — DO NOT PURGE — Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME

It was a fantastic episode; I’m interested to see how the Dorian/Angelique storyline intersects with any of the others. I’m afraid I know where it might be going, and that would be sad. (Let’s just say that Dorian has been a bit too good for too long.) I did love the mirroring of John Clare’s story to Lily about how she stood up for him and Dorian’s doing the same for Angelique. The casting on that show is just so exquisite.

I’m eating hashbrowns for lunch. Don’t judge me, they’re delicious.

So You Think You Can Dance starts today! I can’t watch it for a while, because Hulu has to get the episodes up.  I’m interested to see how the changes to the format work out.

I’m reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf, and even though I kept falling asleep through four pages of it yesterday, it really is quite good. I love Virginia Woolf. I want to see the film version with Tilda Swinton.

That’s all I’ve got for now, and apparently the girls need something to do.

Random thoughts

It is 9:20 pm. The girls are asleep. B is on his way home from aikido practice. I am in the living room. It is cold outside, and only slightly less cold inside.

I have this song stuck in my head, on constant repeat.

The dance is gorgeous. Seriously stunning. I’m getting a little sick of the song being stuck in my head.

As a birthday resolution I resolved to drink the recommended amount of water I’m supposed to drink every day. For me that’s about 120 oz. Some thoughts.

1. 120 oz is a heck of a lot of water.

2. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life drunk the recommended amount on a regular basis. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

3. I usually don’t drink anywhere close to the recommended amount. Again, a wonder I’m alive.

D. How do people do this on a regular basis? Yesterday I literally felt like I was going to throw up, I was so full of water.

5. I have to pee constantly. It’s ridiculous. Is this whole drink lots of water thing really a toilet paper manufacturer conspiracy?

I’m currently reading a biography of Josephine Baker. It’s fascinating, but I feel like I’ve been reading it forever. I realize that I really only say that about biographies. Is it just that they encompass a whole life that it makes it seem like a lifetime that it takes to read one? I need to finish it because I have a book I have to read for book club next week. It’s All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Have you read it? I’ve heard really good things.

My parents are coming to visit in 2 weeks and I’m super excited. It’s the girls’ friends’ spring break this next week, and I’m totally being mean and making the girls do school so that we can take spring break when my parents are here. I’ve stored up two weeks of break that I had scheduled to take earlier and we’ll use them to go explore around with my parents. Not that we won’t explore on school days, but we can leave earlier in the day on vacation days. We have things to see in Tokyo, and then we’re going to explore Yokohama a bit, since we have been neglectful of that area and it’s really pretty cool.

I’ve been thinking about original art over the last couple of weeks, and I posed the question on facebook- what’s the most you would spend for original art. The answers were interesting, but one stood out- he said that if a high quality reproduction is available then he definitely wouldn’t spend the money on an original. It stands out because I’m completely opposite- if the original is available then I want that, not a copy. The exceptions are of course when the originals are $$$Texas, like David Mack collages. I want one of his so badly, but they are SO expensive. And rightly so. But still.

Mack.jpg

 

I do have an original David Mack page from Kabuki: Circle of Blood, and it’s one of my prized possessions. I can’t wait until we’re in our own house and I can frame and put up all my art. It makes me happy to think about. I just realized that I’ve been collecting original art for almost 20 years. That’s a little insane.

Spring is beginning to make itself known around here, even though it’s still cold. Trees that were bare yesterday are sprouting leaves, and bright bursts of flowers are popping up in unexpected places. Once it’s full fledged spring, the colors will be everywhere, but now they’re just nice little surprises. We have lovely little daffodils in our back yard. We’re hoping that the cherry blossoms hold off just a skotch so they’re here when my parents are here.

I’m surprisingly delighted by the rumor that Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx are dating. Surprisingly because I didn’t realize I really cared about either of them. I think of the two I care about him more.

www.gofugyourself.com, one of my favorite sites, is currently in the midst of Fug Madness- their version of March Madness- pitting the craziest/worst dressed/most sartorially challenged celebrities against each other in a battle to determine the Fug Champion. It is highly entertaining.

That’s all I’ve got. What’s going on with you?