Monday, February 23, 2009

I don't normally like to link to other blogs. However, this person in particular has an awful lot of good, important stuff to say to those who aren't so connected to his world. (Idem pour Sisu, Solomonia, Jo.)

Please take a look; ils ajoutent beaucoup au discours. (Don't know how to translate - I kind of hang on their words, maybe?)
Only got to see bits of this on the last plane trip to France. Kind of dark, kind of CGI'd, but it's still Bond. Would like to see it in full (as well as a Piece of Peace.)

The theme song's been unshakable, though. Has been running through the head for something like three or four days straight, now (hate when that happens; would like something else):

Based on what I've seen, I don't think my mother's doing well. I don't like her, but I can't not love her given that she comprises 1/2 my DNA makeup. Have this horrible feeling that she's not going to survive 2009. Hate this feeling.
The good thing of this all was that I got to spend time with my favorite cousin* and her babies. Paula's always been someone I looked up to: took up the flute because she played it. Would go out hiking in the woods and chase snakes around because she did. Dyed my (curly, blonde) hair black because hers is. Heck, even got into "blood sport" because it was a thing for her, too. My nickname for her is Artemis or Diana, by the way.

Paula reading about her forebearers

I'm an Avar-Viking hybrid; Paula's an Avar-Tatar melange. Here, she's reading a Dutch mercenary's account of the exploits of her probable ancestor Stenka Razin's insurgance against the Tsar. Apparently, this sort of upstart stuff runs in the family. I can't confirm it, but have it on fairly decent authority that an Austrian prince left his noble wife for one of our ancestors - a lowly maid. Paula's looking into this.

Odie II

Though, of course, she loves all animals, my Diana only has hunting dogs around her. This is Odie (short for Odin). He's a pitbull/English Bulldog hybrid. Though he's just a puppy (or a poopie, depending on your regionality), he's pretty hefty. Still, he thinks he's a kitten. And look at that pink nose-nose. (eee!) Of course I'm afraid of him, but he's still pretty loveable.

Tobias I

Toby, I'm sure, is 1/2 Shepherd, 1/2 timberwolf. He's a good foot or so taller than me if he jumps. Can't jump much, though, as he's 14, has serious arthritis and, interestingly enough, Marfan's disease. Still, and I saw it with my own eyes, he's happy. Though he's not long for this world, it isn't his time yet.


*Yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn't play favorites.
Here's Aunt Suzie's obituary. Dad summed things up pretty nicely. The Zees are a very fractious family - heck, we make the Borgias look like poster children for Family Values. For the most part, though, people behaved, thank heavens (Stuff could have been much, much worse).
Crème Brûlée and Cattails.


Katia's Irish Tweed, something that just came out in the fall. Am loving working with this tasty melange of wool, silk and nylon; is both a pleasure to look at and to touch. I'm working 32 stitches on my airplane needles - size 6-7 circulars - in what I can only describe as a fake brioche stitch. (All rows: Sl 1 *K2 P1* K1) Great airplane knitting; interesting pattern that works well with the flecks and slubs of color in the yarn.

Picked this up at the stall in the market at Versailles that sells notions and not-too-expensive but actually quite nice wools. Was a skein short, so sent the Frenchie out to get another - he was kind of amazed that the woman at the stall not only remembered him, but remembered our conversation about yarn requirements, etc. (Course she would remember! It's her job. Aside from that, I'm a fair rarity there in that I'm a stranger who doesn't rest cloistered behind the gates of the palace. My accent and chew-yer-ear-offedness tend to mark me, as a result.) Will finish this scarf hopefully on the plane ride over.

Worked a bit on it on the Buffalo flights, but really couldn't put my heart into it. It wasn't the sadness, but rather a book that I got caught up in.

Was a bit early for a date with a girlfriend from the ex job a couple weeks ago, so decided to browse around Rodney's in Central Square. Anyway, happened on another volume in Euell Gibbons's series on foraging that I'd never heard of. I believe that the Beachcomber's Handbook may have been one of the last that he wrote. It certainly was the most literary. In any event, I devoured it, digested it well, and was rewarded with sweet dreams.

Actually, I'd never seen the pinecone commercial. I remember the cattails, however, from childhood. Was fascinated by the idea of eating what seemed to grow like weeds around my aunt and uncle's house.

If I didn't have so much darn other stuff to be reading (am a bit behind in my classes), I'd bring another of his field guides along for airplane reading. Maybe I still will. We'll see.
Got back from Buffalo on Saturday night and nearly immediately started preparations for tomorrow's flight out. Really, I'm not the jet setting type. Things just kind of worked out this way.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

(Just a little tune I remember loving when I was younger. Is kind of comforting in an odd way.)
More sad news.

Though not unexpected. My mom's sister passed away today; just got the call a little while ago. Of course, the cousins are in shock. Life's been a nightmare for all of them for quite a while now, due to their own serious domestic upheavals, the awfulness that's been our collective family life, and their mom's illness.

On one hand, I can feel the already broken heart being rent further. I want to cry like crazy, but am holding it back. On the other hand, she had been in so much pain for the past as far as I can remember.

(Please think good thoughts for her, her husband, her daughters. They really need them now.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bird Log.

8:30 am - Saturday.

+30 sparrows
1 Chickadee (they used to be so common - now a rarity. Wonder why?)

Chickadee dee dee

Our brave little friend in the yew tree by the kitchen window.

4 House Finches (recent new visitor - started coming 'round at about Darwin's Birthday. Poetic justice, that.) - 2 males, 2 females

1 Gold Finch (I'm thinking that it might be a he, given the particularly strong markings on the wings and tail.

And four little nestlings yet to be identified:

Baisers Volants II

(Happy Valentine's Day!)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tired. Very long day. Am glad it's over.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit calmer.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Doesn't surprise me that they'd be concerned. After all, they're most likely the ones who supplied a good bit of the equipment necessary for these projects.
Important lesson learned.

Do not substitute cake for good, wholesome, normal food for two meals; the crash will be spectacular if you do.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What goes better with a fake fur hat than a fake astrakhan scarf?

Fur, Astrakhan II

Monoprix Astrakan Brilliant - two balls for a short scarf that looks pretty sharp when wrapped around the neck twice and buttoned. Just cast 15 or so stitches onto some large-ish needles (I think I used 11s for this.) and knit till you're out of yarn.

I'm not much of a fan of novelty yarns, as I find the knitting dull and the pattern selection kind of limited. (Who would want a whole sweater of the above?) Fell under the spell of Monoprix's notions section (Good stuff! Relatively cheap, too! Not an easy thing to find in Euroland), though, and just had to have this along with a few other 'samples.' Interestingly enough, the attached button cost more than the yarn.

Ended up giving this to Raphaella for Christmas. Kept the hat, though.
This year was a two-caker. My two favorites, too*. Based on that, I'd say that it was a pretty good birthday. Heaven knows it could've been worse.


* Cheese Cake and a carrot cake.

Monsieur Scoot brought the cheese cake ("If you're going to make this, get the real Philadelaphia cheese. Don't buy the off brand." was his stern admonishment). It's a long time since I had my favorite - Grandma Z's Eagle Brand no bake one - but Scoot's was a great substitute.

The carrot cake came from my current boss. She shaped it like a heart and put a big "one" candle on it, as, though I'm not yet Jack Benny's age, I'm certainly not far off. Wish I had my camera with me, it was so cute. There was plenty left to share, too.