CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

honey's sweet, but it ain't nothin' next to baby's treat

A partial list of the emotions I experienced while driving home from Ogden:

1.  angry about the practice and justification of polygamy
2.  crying with maternal sentiment about my children and how one day they will all be gone
3.  nervous and hopeful that when they go on their missions my kids will teach doctrine rather than culture
4.  embarrassed about how cheesy Neil Diamond's lyrics are to "Forever in Blue Jeans"
5.  irritated by the family who refuses to let anyone in the ward visit them, and then complains about how nobody in the ward helps or cares about them
6.  crying about "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" because it reminds me of my grandpa who died two years ago and used to sing it all the time
7.  needing to use the bathroom

I'm just saying that maybe I have menopause.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

so we strapped a cannon to Bootstrap's bootstraps

Last week I was making a double batch of Dutch oven bread and had to call into service a Cuisinart pan that I've only used to make soups and whatnot.  The enamel exploded all over the oven while it was preheating, which was not very cool.  


I finished Frankenstein, and it is a sad book.  Have any of you read it recently?  Do you hate Victor as much as I do?  He is rotten, and it infuriates me that he never acknowledges his own culpability, not just for the monster's person, but also his boundless bitterness and rage.  It sounds so trite to say "He just wants to be loved!", but it's the truth.  It's too bad that Victor was grossed out by his creation, but it was his creation.  He was responsible for the care and feeding of it, morally as well as physically, and he blew it, and he deserved death and ruin so I'm glad he got it.  If he couldn't fulfill his responsibilities to the monster then he should have destroyed it as soon as it came to life.  I feel sorry for the innocents that were destroyed by association with Victor, and their deaths are on his head, a fact that I don't think he really ever accepts.  Ugh, I hate him.  And Walton, the ship's captain, is basically in love with him, partly because he (Walton) is classist and aspirationally elitist.  He's a whole other can of worms to examine on a therapist's couch.  I would love to sit down with Mary Shelley and pick her brain.  What was her intent with Victor Frankenstein?  Was she trying to create a sympathetic hero or a villain?  

We have pressed about thirteen gallons of apple cider in the last week.  It is so amazing and I feel super provident.  We have six more boxes of apples we need to do, but they're all golden delicious, and a single-variety cider is not a good cider.  We need to get our hands on some nice spicy apples that somebody wants off their tree.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the town so nice they named it twice

Today was the last day of school this week, and our fall break has begun, which basically means four nights we can watch movies instead of two.  Double the pleasure, double the fun!  I tell you, I could watch movies and eat treats with my kids until the cows came home and I would count myself among the most fortunate of women.  This is how I know I will have poor health and die early.  'Cuz I just love sittin' 'n eatin'!  But we can't live forever, you know?  So I may as well have fun with what time I have on this miserable rock.  Just kidding, Earth, I love you!  Don't kill me with a supervolcano.

We're not going anywhere exciting for fall break because 1) cannot afford and 2) sick of going places.  Remind me to feed my mom's cat.  I got our bass back from the guitar store.  They were helping it to not buzz because it is a cheap bass and has some high frets.  While there I took a closer look at the dulcimer Ike discovered and has been begging for ever since we dropped off the bass.  I thought about it because who doesn't want a gentle giant of a child who plays the dulcimer?  But it seems like kind of a dumb idea and maybe a little gimmicky and until somebody convinces me that I need it I'm staying out of the ren faire department.  But I did buy a guitar while I was there because I want there to be a guitar at my parents' house and who wants to be the nerdlinger who hauls their guitar everywhere they go, like "Oh hi, here I am with my guitar just in case you want me to perform for everybody and make this gathering all about me like usual."  It's a beaut, too--mahogany!  It makes me think of incense, but in a cool, woodsy way, not a hallucinogenic mushroom and dirty shag carpet way.


Did I tell you that I dyed my canvas trench coat with the same dye I used on my armchairs, and that it worked like a charm?  Well, it did.  Just stirred it around in my roasting pan for a half hour and then washed it.

Our elephant heart plum tree finally produced something this year, and boy, was it worth the wait.  These plums are so big and crisp and sweet and juicy, and so deep red that it looks like blood on my cutting board!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

we pillage and plunder, we rifle and loot

Recently we had a big group of people over at our house, and one of them--first while complimenting the buffet/sideboard in the dining room, then again while admiring the view out my kitchen window--affected a sing-song, lispy voice, the voice that people use when they're making fun of gay men.  I was irritated by this, because it's mean and weird, and also because it implies that to see beauty in a well-made piece of furniture or a country sunset is GAY.  And GAY IS BAD.  So irritating.  And when I think about it, it seems like this happens a lot.  Is it just in my imagination?

Also a few weeks ago someone told a joke that involved gay horses who eat "haaaayyyy" and I was like are you being serious right now.  I told him to be careful what jokes he tells in my house, and he said, "Do you think a gay person would be offended by that?"  I guess I don't know for sure, but it seems like they probably would.  And I think the great rule of comedy to punch up, not down, is in force here.

So is there something about me that makes people think, "She seems like she'd be cool with making fun of gay people," or are they just obtuse?  Because what party isn't made better by the addition of tired stereotypes and dumb, bigoted jokes?

Frankenstein is certainly a product of its times, is it not?  There are so many groany lines when he's talking about his cousin/surrogate sister/wife-to-be Elizabeth, like how she was most attractive when she was "continually endeavoring to contribute to the happiness of others, entirely forgetful of herself."  Frank, you had me up until "entirely forgetful of herself."  Let's remember, shall we, that Elizabeth is just coming off a bout of scarlet fever--which Mother Frankenstein caught and died from--so maybe it would be cool with y'all if Elizabeth did a little self-care for a minute?  And he is so snobbish and myopic that I wonder if Mary Shelley was even trying to create a sympathetic character?  The people he interacts with sure seem to think a lot about him (as reported by him), and he certainly has many nice things to say about himself, but I'm not on board.  Also he describes himself as an object too much for my tastes, someone whose life just happens to him, and I don't like that.  Stop sandbagging your culpability, Frank!  I think by the end of this book I'm going to think that the monster has got a pretty good idea of what we're really dealing with.

Okay, serious question:  Wolverine vs. Freddy Krueger?  I think the first thing to figure out is does Wolverine have his powers in the dream world?  If not, then the situation is very grim for him.  I'm not entirely conversant in the cosmology of the Nightmare on Elm Street world, since I've only seen the third one at a slumber party when I was little and I was pretty upset about it for a long time.  But I bet Wolverine could take Freddy, if just because good always triumphs over evil, except in the real world where good people get cancer and bad people just keep on doing their thing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

is your figure less than greek

Things are going badly in the basement. I can't get any heating vent technician-type people to return my calls, and it's almost like they want me to go away. I will not. It's such a silly little thing to replace the air ducts and I know they could do it because that's what they do anytime they put a new furnace in. They're just being obstinate and lazy. Since I was being held hostage by the heating people and the missing Ikea shelf hardware I painted the dresser the boys used to stack their clothes on and near. Now it is mustard-yellow with gray handles. I haven't decided what I'll do with it yet, but it's too nice a dresser to give away--all the drawers are dovetailed and it is rock solid. One of the ladies from ward choir came in and saw it and exclaimed, "Oh, I LOVE your CHEST!" Old ladies are great.

 Have you ever read Frankenstein?  I read a very abridged graphic novelization of it when I was a child.  It was pretty cool I guess.  I am going to read the real thing now, and see how I like it.  Seems like the right thing to do at this time of year.  We've broken open the Halloween playlists on Spotify and Pandora, and it's been rainy and gray the past few days and I am digging it.  I was so mad about how long it was taking to get to boot season--it was in the high 80s last week!  Barf, not what I want from fall.

In the end, none of the children were willing to sing with John and me at the recital.  But they did sing for my parents, which is a step forward.  Even Emmett and Ike, who normally are huge stinkers about it.  They're all such show-offy attention hogs, I don't understand why they won't add singing to their list of things they're willing to do in public.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

it's a long way to tipperary

It started out as just buying shelves for the boys to put their clothes on, since they are apparently incapable of PULLING OUT A DRAWER and PLACING THEIR CLOTHES INSIDE. That is a very difficult task. I went to Ikea and wandered through the showroom and then spent at least half an hour propelling myself around on one of those flat cart things while I waited for John to call me back and give me his opinion of Ivar vs. Gorm (we went with Ivar). And I figured, as long as I'm turning that room upside down, why not finally patch the walls and paint it at the same time? And why not paint the dresser the boys refuse to use and turn it into a visually striking, weird piece of functional storage furniture? And what about that window molding that we never put on? Let's do that too. And now I'm thinking I'll call a HVAC guy and see if there's anything that can be done about the stupid heating pipes all over the ceiling. One thing always leads to another in an old house. Stupid house. Last week I made grape juice and realized what everyone else has realized before me, namely that grape juice is only worth it if you get your grapes for free. I dried some nectarines, which are gone now. I made eighteen pints of salsa. I made some sad sourdough bread from my start that hasn't quite recovered from being neglected in storage this summer. I spent so much money on produce and wore myself ragged pretending to be provident. But it all tastes good and I guess we will be thankful this winter. I have a guitar recital on Saturday, and my family is going to sing with me (for "family" read "John and Willa, because everyone else is a jerkface"). I am excited, because I love singing with my family. Last Friday we played along to that Killers song I talked about in my last post, Grant on bass, me on guitar, Emmett on drums (snare and pillow), and it was AWESOME. My family band is coming true!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

we used to laugh now we only fight

I don't know if it's because so much time has elapsed since the last time I tried them, or because I was eating them at ten o'clock at night, or because my palate is slowly maturing, but these Chocolate Lucky Charms I just ate were disgusting.  That sucks.  They had such an ethereal glow about them in my memory, and now they're just another Twinkie.  Serves me right for eating them I guess.

Here is the song I'm listening to this week:

Dianna Agron's lip-syncing is fully the worst; most of the time she looks like she's just mouthing the words instead of actually saying them, and that peeves me.  I have listened to this song probably about a hundred times since yesterday, much like any given toddler with patient and indulgent parents.  I think it creeps my family out.  SHUT UP FAMILY YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT'S LIKE BETWEEN ME AND MY MUSE.