Mischievous Muse

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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Monday, April 30, 2007

5 Reasons Why I Blog

Ancrene Wiseass tagged me for this meme (making me feel like one of the "cool kids" - thank you!) so here goes:

  1. 1. Fun. A little over a year ago, Elfboy told me about his blog, and I thought, "How cool, I have to try that!" After a few floundering posts I realized how freeing it was, saying and posting whatever popped into my head, and I haven't looked back.
  2. 2. Therapeutic properties. Just like keeping a journal, this whole blogging-thing feels therapeutic in a way. It helps me gather my thoughts, helps me share my joys and sorrows and grouches, with the added benefit of having others' input. It really does make a difference even, or perhaps especially, when a near-stranger says, "Cheer up, you'll be okay," or, "Dude, congrats!"
  3. 3. Connection with others. It's been great to make new friends, whom I'd likely never have met, through blogging. Finding kindred spirits and sharing thoughts across the world is exciting. It's also been a great way to "spend virtual time" with friends and family — I've been a lot less lonely in this last year of blogging. I'm extremely sociable, but sometimes I go through periods of hermetical existence, but this way I still feel somewhat connected to the rest of the human race. Did that just sound as weird as I think it does? Oi!
  4. 4. Organization. As shallow as this is, I like having a sort of virtual scrapbook for quizzes and memes and comics. I'm a disastrously disorganized person, who never finds anything. This way, I can just use the little search box on the top left and find whichever tidbit it is I want to reconnect with.
  5. 5. Exercise. Heh. No, I don't mean getting lean, mean, typing-machine fingers (although that is a decided side benefit), I mean exercising writing muscles. I'm still trying to find my own "voice" as a writer, and what better way than by writing? I'd like to write a "Great American Novel" some day, or *GASP* "Chick Lit." Who knows; for now I just scribble whatever my gray matter deems topical and enjoy the process.

Dang that was tough! Okay, so next I have to tag 5 people. Doesn't mean you have to do it, take no stress. Also, anyone not tagged but wishing to do it, please feel free, and drop me a line so I can take a peek.

Heo, Stefanie, SzélsőFa, Emily, and Nike — Tag, you're it!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sonnetsday: The Tudors, Wyatt and Anne Boleyn

As I said, I'm obsessed with Showtime's The Tudors; if you've seen it, you know it's with good reason.

Some of the historical detail The Tudors include is delightful — case in point, Sir Thomas Wyatt's love affair with Anne Boleyn, before King Henry VIII set his mind on having her. In the show, Wyatt is played by the lovely Jamie King. The only portrait we have of Wyatt is as an older man, and it's funny how thinking of Wyatt as a young hottie suffering heartbreak makes me re-evaluate my concept of Wyatt.

Wyatt wrote several poems that are thought to refer to Anne Boleyn, including the one he recites to her on "The Tudors," and "They Flee From Me," which he asks Tallis to set to music, and "I abide and abide; and better abide."

Wyatt is also thought to have witnessed the execution of Anne Boleyn from the window of his cell in the Tower of London and to have written about it in the poem V. Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me inimici mei.

For today's sonnet, I'll post one of Wyatt's most famous sonnets, thought to have been written right after Anne Boleyn forsook him for the King.

WHOSO list to hunt ? I know where is an
        hind !
   But as for me, alas !  I may no more,
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore ;
I am of them that furthest come behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer ; but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow ; I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt
As well as I, may spend his time in vain !
And graven with diamonds in letters plain,
There is written her fair neck round about ;
      ' Noli me tangere ; for Cæsar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.'

Sir Thomas Wyatt.

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Of Mice and Women: The Tail Continues

Most of you probably don't remember my post Of Mice and Women: a Tail with a Happy Ending, so let me do a brief recap of the events so far.

A year and a half ago, I discovered I had a mouse. Turns out, mice. I tried every humane, no-kill trap out there, and nothing worked. Super Mouse eluded me over and over again, until I discovered "The Smart Mouse Trap."

The story had a happy ending in that I caught Master Mouse and his brothers and sisters, released them all in a field a few miles away, and have had no sign of little "meesies."

That is, until a few nights ago when I stopped cold by my basement door. A mouse. I stared at him, he stared at me. Bungler that I am, I had broken my earlier "Smart Mouse Trap" in an unfortunately clumsy incident.

So, I called Abundant Earth and ordered 2 traps for $18.95. They arrived today and I set them a few hours ago.

Just now I checked, I have caught one. He is adorable, like the little things in "Mrs. Brisby and the Secret of NIMH." I'm going to take him to the field now, and wait to see if he has more family coming to visit. They can all relocate to said field, so we don't have little Fievel separated from his Poppa.

I could kiss the folks at Seabright Labs for creating this trap. It works. The mice are not harmed. They're just trying to eke out an existence, they don't deserve someone a billion times bigger than them being cruel and lethal to them. This way he can have a happy life elsewhere, and I can have a mouse-free house.


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Friday, April 27, 2007

And smale fowles maken melodie...

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rare BLACKADDER: The Cavalier Years

I love YouTube! Here is a rare Blackadder special from 1988, which is not even available on the box set. Catch it while you can, because doubtless the copyright police will yank it sooner or later. Stephen Fry is fabulous as King Charles I. Rowan Atkinson, of course, is always brilliant.

Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, pt. 1
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, pt. 2
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, pt. 3

And, if your thirst for Blackadder has not been yet slaked, here is the Pilot episode (Later 70's/Earl 80's):

Blackadder Pilot

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dreams of Youth


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fowles in the Frith

Wherein Ye Olde Webmistress of said blog is going out of her mind trying to sleep while a hundred thousand birds hold speed-dating sessions outside. And y'all KNOW I love birds, but this is Madness, I tell you, Madness! I'm going to buy some Gorram earplugs today, I'm going mad with the constant noise!

Jan Fyt. Bird Concert. 17th-c.

Fowles in the Frith

Fowles in the frith,
The fisshes in the flood,
And I mon waxe wood
Much sorwe I walke with
For beste of boon and blood.


must go mad

Text and audio at Luminarium

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The Parliament of Fowles

Spring and summer turn their rounds,
My garden fills with birds;
In their cacophony of sounds
I think I spy some words:

Go to bed, Go to bed, Go to bed!
                            We whoo, whoo?
       You, chit-wit! You, chit-wit!
                     Me-ee? Me-ee?
       You, chick-chick! You, chick-chick.
              Nyaah, Nyaah!
       Chicka-chicka, chit-wit!
              Nyaah, Nyaah!
Go to bed, Go to bed, Go to bed!
                     Do-oo-it, Do-oo-it!
              Naah, nah-nah, Naah, naah!
              Hahahaha, hehehe!
                     Do-oo-it, Do-oo-it!
                            We whoo, whoo?
Go to bed, Go to bed, Go to bed!

And if I've missed what they have sung
—This bruit made by them—
That nightingale, the hundred-tongue,
Plays it back at 4 a.m.

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Tudors on Showtime: Sex, Power, Intrigue

I must admit, episode 3 of The Tudors did not wow me much — but episode 4 last night was excellent. While the historical inaccuracies reign rampant still, this show makes for fantastic entertainment.

The costumes are to-die-for, the sets put a tear in the eye of any Renaissance enthusiast, and the actors are near flawless. The amount of money and expertise lavished on this show make my head spin! If I'm not mistaken, for episode 4 they even got the Globe musicians in the background of the jousting scene. Jousting, you say? Yes, jousting in Renaissance armor, lances splintering, blood gushing, jousting.

The plot is like a soap opera in tights. Even setting aside the things that, frankly, didn't happen, we have Henry VIII growing more and more obsessed with a vixeny Anne Boleyn; an unforgivably gorgeous Charles Brandon having hot pirate sex with a princess of England on board a Renaissance galleon; poor Cardinal Wolsey being sent to the Pope for a divorce, and last, but certainly not least, Jeremy Northam turning Sir Thomas More into the most laudable man in Europe.

Add to this some gruesome blood-letting, exquisitely choreographed Renaissance dances and unbeatable Renaissance music, and *BOOM* - that's entertainment!

I got Showtime just to see this show, and it is SO worth it. *sigh* I'm on a bit of a Tudor high right now!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

QUIZ: What Philosophy Do You Follow?

via Lydia

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
Created with Quizfarm.com



Sonnetsday 36


FULL many a glorious morning have I seen
      Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
  Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all-triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
      Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
      Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Penis Envy: or, I've Been Gypped

I used to plan on coming back as Cate Blanchett in my next life, but lately I have begun to think that instead, I will come back as a man.

Why would I? Statistically, women live longer, are smarter, don't lose their hair, are better communicators, better nurturers, and of course that bit about them being able to bring forth human life. And, a fact that most of the male population reading this can appreciate, the female body is beautiful, complete with breasts and soft curves.

So why would I come back as a man in my next life? It's not just that I've always secretly envied the ability to pee one's name in the snow, but the crux of the matter is this:

If I were a man, I would have a chance of playing the best roles ever written for actors: Shakespeare's Henry V, Hamlet, and Lear, not to mention Richard III, Iago, and Macbeth. I'm not saying Shakespeare didn't write wonderful characters for women as well, he did. I also know that in this world there exist all-female Shakespeare companies, and directors who aren't terrified of cross-casting.

But I don't WANT to be crosscast. I want to be Henry V, Hamlet, and Lear.


*end of rant*

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Saturday Morning Cartoons


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Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday 5 Meme

I'm several book reviews, a few memes, and other blog entries behind on what I've intended on posting, but I've been submerged in the Wars of the Roses. Don't ask. I might blog on that some other time.

Instead, I saw what Stefanie Says today, and I wanna make a list of:


  1. A New House. This house would be spic-n-span, have a lovely garden, maybe a pool (complete with poolboy), and be somewhere warm. It would have wood floors throughout, and a good old-fashioned Library, à la the one Henry Higgins has in My Fair Lady. [img]
  2. Hire a Housekeeper. He/she wouldn't live with me, 'cause that just wouldn't wash, but this said housekeeper would come daily, straighten up, clean, do the dishes, do the laundry and the groceries. Alternately, I could hire a House Elf, but I don't think House Elves exist on this continent, and to get one to relocate would probably cost an obnoxious sum indeed.
  3. Open a Starbucks in Helsinki. There isn't one yet! This would insure that the riches continued and also that I could get a Starbucks fix when visiting my folks.
  4. Trip Around the World. Katja's always booking these for people, and I'd love to make one. Except since I would be filthy-rich, I could take a year to do this, and stay at the places that I found I liked a longer time.
  5. My Own Theatre. The theatre company would perform nothing but plays that I chose. We would have a Main Stage and a Second Stage, so we could do big Shakespeare productions, as well as intimate contemporary pieces, and everything in between that would happen to appeal to me. I'd also be so rich as to have the best costumers and technical people, and could afford to pay my actors proper living wages!

I don't think I'll ever get any of these things, but they're fun to think about sometimes. On my current budget, their equivalents are:
1) some pansies to plant tomorrow, 2) a trip to the dry cleaners, 3) a cup of Finnish coffee I just brewed, 4) browsing travel sites for trips I'll never take, and 5) browsing auditions on Backstage.com.



Breakfast at the Museum

"See what I mean, how nothing bad could happen to you
in a place like this?"     —Breakfast at Tiffany's

My Holly Golightly place is an art museum, almost any art museum. Everywhere you look, creative beauty and genius overwhelm your senses, wrapping you in the cocoon of a world somehow better than the one outside. My favorite is the Uffizi in Florence; there, I feel strangely... home. The Vatican Museums are a close second, except they let too many people in at once.

I have no point behind this post really, except I was feeling emotionally vulnerable today, so I picked out my three favorite sculptures at the Vatican. When I lived in Rome, I'd go there very early in the morning, to beat the crowds. My scanner isn't great, and no photo ever captures the feeling of standing within touching distance, but maybe a little glimpse of their beauty will translate.

Here is my virtual "Breakfast at Musei Vaticani":

Photos ©A. Jokinen.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Live-in Guest

You have taken residence in me
I carry you within me
Through the day's tasks
At night I hold your hand in sleep
I quite like you here
I hope you'll stay

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Memes: VisualDNA

via SzélsőFa

This is really cool—they analyse you by images you choose. If you click on the left side link, you can read me like a book. The tabs on the folder analyze different areas. Wicked fun!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blog Day of Silence

What a bad place this world can be. I'm taking a blog day of silence due to the shootings at Virginia Tech.


Monday, April 16, 2007

MUSIC: Finland Rocks

Last night, SzélsőFa emailed me a song by Nightwish, a Finnish band, and today I read an entry by Nike on nBlog, called "Those frickin' Scandinavians," which talked about music. HIM, Nightwish, Lovex, and Sunrise Avenue are just a few in a long list of current music from Finland—it's not all tango and polka, peeps.

I hope Katja (who is the music half of us and who even knows the lead singer of HIM), will soon do a proper article on current Finnish rock music. When she does, I'll link it here.

Until then, "Guardian Angel" by Lovex, and the gorgeous "Cyberpunk meets BDSM" video.

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Little Known Facts About Me, Con't.

Continuation of the Meme of 100.

LKF #17: I was once barred from a Tex-Mex Restaurant/Night Club, named Cantina West, for picking a fight with a group of bikers. Katja and I were almost barred from the swank Broadway Theatre District restaurant Sardi's. Not for picking a fight, mind you, but because we had had a FABULOUS day in New York, had nothing to eat, and had just seen a musical, and their delicious dessert "Boccatella Dolce" got us sugar-high and giggly. The mobster-looking goodfellas pretending to be Maitre d's didn't help our giggle-fits either. Luckily, we had enough sense to clear out of there before they gave us cement shoes and a peek of prime real estate on the bottom of the Hudson river. The Moral: Can't take me anywhere.

LKF #18: My favorite ice-cream flavors tend to revolve around chocolate. My current favorite is Godiva White Chocolate Raspberry. But in truth, any ice cream will do. No, I mean it, any flavor short of garlic ice cream (YUK!) will surely make my tongue and tummy happy.

LKF #19: I detest the color ORANGE. Not if it's on a tangerine or other citrus fruit, or on Halloween, but otherwise, I don't know why it was created. On my trip to Finland I saw several people with orange scarves, etc., and it seemed to be the "IN" color of the moment. I have to agree with Elle Woods of Legally Blonde who said, "whoever said orange was the new pink, was seriously deluded."

LKF #20: I'm allergic to cats. Sad thing is, I like them, but pretty much the moment I see one the histamines start building up, and within minutes or hours (depending on the cat) my face will have broken out in a bright red rash, making me resemble a walking parchment map with red islands and continents on it. However, in my first apartment in the U.S., a black cat with white socks visited my door at nights, and I would feed her cat food I bought just for the purpose. I named her "Nightie"—a few months later I learned that she wasn't a stray, but belonged to the neighbor across the street, who had been wondering why she ate so little at home. I had allergy tests once, which also told me I'm hugely allergic to cows. Although some day I would still like to realize my childhood dream of being a real cowboy (or cowgirl, to the gender-nazis), it may prove problematic. Allergies suck!

P.S. I just realized all 4 of these included some mention of food. Yes, I admit, I am very food-oriented. Speaking of which, it is, as Winnie-the-Pooh would say, "time for a little something."

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

TAX DAY in the U.S., April 15... or Not.

(via Lasse)
Taxpayers across the nation will have until Tuesday, April 17, 2007, to file their 2006 returns and pay any taxes due. Taxpayers will have extra time to file and pay because April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2007, and the following day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. This means the entire country has an April 17 deadline.

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Sonnetsday 35

Ol' Bill knew a thing or two about insomnia, too.


IS IT thy will thy image should keep open
       My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
   Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
      For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
      From me far off, with others all too near.


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Thought

I want to comfort you
Close you within my wings
Sing to you my heart's song
Softly rock you into a quiet sleep
Love you wordlessly under these thousand stars.

(AJ, 4-11-07)

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Translation Meltdown

I have steam coming out of my brain. I had a deadline 11 minutes ago, and let me tell you, I barely made it. It was quality control for the translated subtitles for a full-length studio motion picture.

Sounds like cake at first, but just imagine: every single subtitle box has to be checked by hand for reading length, in addition to correctness of thought, typos, grammar, word choices, subject/verb agreement, formality of language, etc.

I'm going to go open a bottle of wine. Now. Whew! Mommy!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Poetry of Spring

Photo by Bart.

Oberon and Titania must be arguing again, and "thorough this distemperature, we see the seasons alter."  Global warming might at times make it seem that it is not spring yet, but I felt like celebrating Spring after seeing Bart's beautiful spring photographs on his blog. Here are some of my favorite snippets of spring poetry. You can follow the links to the full-length versions.

Whan that Aprille with his showres sote
The droght of Marche had perced to the rote...
And smale fowles maken melodye....
        —Chaucer, General Prologue, Canterbury Tales

Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
          Cuckoo, jug, jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
        —Thomas Nashe, Spring.

May never was the month of love,
    For May is full of flowers;
But rather April, wet by kind,
    For love is full of showers.
        —Robert Southwell, Love's Servile Lot.

How could it be so fair, and you away?
How could the Trees be beauteous, Flowers so gay?...
When e'er then you come hither, that shall be
The time, which this to others is, to Me.
        —Abraham Cowley, Spring.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
        —T. S. Eliot, Waste Land.


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NEWS: Kurt Vonnegut Dies at Age 84

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite authors, has passed away at age 84 — I cannot link to a news article, because the news is too young. I saw the news both on Mark's Hyperliterature and on the CNN "Breaking News." Remember his short story "A Long Walk to Forever"? Vonnegut wrote his own epitaph:

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:


His voice will be missed.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Palm Reading Test: What Does the Future Hold?

You know I'm a sucker for a free test, quiz, meme, etc. Well, the folks at Tickle emailed once again, this time with a free palm reading analysis. Apparently, I gots me some Lurv coming my way. I was kinda hoping for a call from Steven (Spielberg), but hey, love's good!

palm reading test

Take Your Own Palm Reading Test - Tickle.com

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Prom Pictures - A Challenge

On March 21, -R- challenged everyone to post their prom pictures on their blogs, if they dared. Partly because I took a surprise trip to Finland, and partly because I couldn't find the CD with the scanner software (I'm hopeless!), I am very late in finally producing the said prom pictures. The first pic was taken before our winter semi-formal, and I included it just to show you my "high hair" days (Oi!). The second is the official prom picture, where the hairdresser gave me a severe updo with bangs teased out to here. I had seen this dress, which reminded me of Cinderella... and, well, as humiliating as this getup looks now, I felt like a princess, heheheh.

Are you brave enough to take the Prom Challenge? For the non-Americans, who don't have prom, something equivalent and equally humiliating is an acceptable alternative. Unless of course you're a chicken. *nod*


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Personal DNA: I'm a Benevolent Creator

via Lasse

My Personal DNA Report

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William the Conqueror Lives!

As seen on Philobiblon.

This unbelievable video brings to life the Bayeux Tapestry like nobody's ever seen it before! The sights, the sounds, the background music—impeccable work by David Newton. The history nerd in me was so verklempt by the end that I was in tears. As Linda Richmond would say: "It's like 'budder.' Talk amongst yourselves."

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Monday, April 09, 2007

The Tudors - A New Showtime Series

Showtime's new original miniseries, "The Tudors", has begun. The focus is on King Henry VIII of England as a young man. Full of warring and wenching, Henry VIII has visions of himself as the next Henry V, and is obsessed with begetting a male heir. The first episode aired on April 1, 2007, the second tonight. The first two episodes are also available on Comcast OnDemand and on the Showtime website for free.

Written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, 1998) the script presents a compelling tale, well researched, although taking some dramatic liberties. The sets and costumes are sumptuous, and the acting is first rate. Sam Neill is great as Cardinal Wolsey and Jeremy Northam as Sir Thomas More is an inspired casting decision as well.

I am loving it, quite frankly. I am somewhat troubled, however, by the historical discrepancies in the script. While I concede that a screenplay (or teleplay in this case) does have certain requirements for the purposes of dramatic conflict, some of these "intentional mistakes" are quite egregious. And every time the script makes "time out of joint" leaps, my skin crawls. Why, oh why did they make some of them? The show could have been such near-perfection!

That all said, I can't wait till next Sunday! Anyone else watching this? What do you think?

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

For a real live Easter Beagle, see Mark's Beautiful Beagle Ellie!

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What Dreams May Come

Lately I've come across a lot of people who, either periodically, or constantly, experience vivid movie-like dreams; dreams from which they sometimes wake up exhausted, as if they had been up all night watching movies, instead of sleeping.

In my dream, I had just moved to Hollywood (not Los Angeles in general, Hollywood itself with its 1930s bungalows) with my 5 year-old daughter (!) I didn't know anyone yet, but my daughter had been invited to a birthday party, and I was driving our little car in search of the right house. Fortunately, I was being guided by the ghost (or more like a spirit, not frightening) of a young woman. She lived in our house I think, á la The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

I dropped my daughter off and mingled for a few minutes with other mothers who were having cosmos in cocktail dresses upstairs (and eyeing me curiously, since I had spent little time on my own appearance, getting my daughter ready for the party). My hair, a sandy dark blonde (my own boring color), was a bit greasy and I was wearing a white t-shirt and black pants, and no doubt, to them I looked more like a waitress than a Hollywood "yummy mommy."

I remember one of the women was smoking one of those long slim "woman's cigarettes" in an ultra-light (curious, since Angelenos are notorious smoke haters). They had the TV on, showing a beauty pageant, but this was a beauty pageant for men. I was shaken, when I saw my (ex-?) boyfriend, a model, walk down the runway in a relaxed casual shirt and jeans, one hand brushing his blond locks behind an ear. He came in second, but I didn't stay to watch him get "crowned" or whatever they do in male model pageants. I made something up about running errands and coming back to pick her up in a few hours, and got in my car.

My new spirit-friend steered me towards the beach (Pacific Palisades I think), where a small crowd of policemen was gathering, along with some curious onlookers. In the distance, I could see were two cinnamon-colored Model-T Fords (!). I parked my car hastily and got out to see better. I was on top of a small bluff. I was approaching the crowd, when suddenly I lost my footing a bit, and as I looked down, a small scream escaped me. To the right of my foot was a pit filled with sand or gravel, out of which a man's feet were sticking up towards the sky. He was wearing once-shiny black Italian mafia shoes, a bit pointy. I was feeling very queasy, when one of the policemen came to herd me and a woman reporter away from the scene. My spirit friend smiled an enigmatic, but relieved sigh, and walked away into the distance.

I woke up.

And this was just one of the dreams I had last night. Anyone have a clue what this dream "means" in the language of dreams? I sure don't.

Sometimes I go through a time when I have so much REM for so many nights that I myself feel like a walking ghost at daytime. I've often said to my Dad, whose in the medical field, that one day they will actually diagnose it and call it Excessive REM Syndrome (ERS). No deep sleep, just movie after movie after movie; and more exhausting than a night of movie watching, since you're an active participant. Imagine having a movie like James Bond, except you're the agent who has to fight the bad guys... pretty tiring.

Anyone else ever experience anything like this?


Friday, April 06, 2007

Singing Fun

My brother-in-law Fréd had bought a presie for my sis, which the whole family got to enjoy. We had been invited over for some crêpes, made by our resident French chef. The presie in question was a PS2 program named SingStar, where teams compete over who can sing a song most like the original. Unfortunately, most of the songs were relatively unknown to us, so a lot of tentative howling ensued. But it was so much fun! My sister and I won — we got to "aspiring star" whereas my parents didn't get past "amateur." Fréd shrewdly watched from the sidelines and laughed at us. Here's a pic my dad took of my mom and sister doing a "dueling duet" to Cher, with me in the middle. I miss my family already!

*update* It appears there's a free PC version of this, called UltraStar. Downloading it now. Tehee!

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New Additions to the English Language

Nicked from Bart.

Cashtration (n.):
The act of buying (or building) a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

Ignoranus (n.):
A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Intaxication (n.):
Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.

Bozone (n.):
The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Foreploy (n.):
Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

Sarchasm (n.):
The gulf between an author with a sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v.):
To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Beelzebug (n.):
Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

For more words to add to your vocab, visit Daze of our lives...


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Home Sweet Home

I got home safe and sound yesterday. As you all know, crossing the pond is exhausting work, so as soon as I said hello to two deliriously happy doggies, I pretty much conked out for the night. Today on the itinerary: grocery store, suitcase-emptying, laundry, and so forth. I'm glad to be home but, silly me, I already miss my family. I want teleportation technology to be perfected—would be so cool to beam back and forth at will :P


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Mamma's going home today!!
The docs figure she's good!

Thank you, everyone.
I've no doubt all your well-wishes
helped bring this conclusion about.

I told my grandma that people
around the world, most of whom
neither of us had ever met, had
wished her a speedy recovery.
That meant a lot to her and to me.

To quote George M. Cohan:
    " My mother thanks you,
      My father thanks you,
      My sister thanks you,
      And most of all, I thank you."
              —Yankee Doodle Dandy.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Top Tuesday

My grandma had her test today, but the results will not be known for a few days. Mamma said it was quite a nasty procedure, but she was brave, and now they're giving her proper meals again (for the past two days, to prepare her for the test, they fed her nothing but soup and juices). She was very cheerful, and "all there" each time I talked with her today. She said as soon as they let her out, she's coming to help me garden. It's quite unlikely she would be strong enough to travel the distance, what with the long flights, but it IS a lovely dream, and one we both like to think about. She's one tough cookie; who knows, she might help me plant some more roses yet.

Today my mom and I went shopping and stopped for a coffee and some ice cream. We shopped until our feet ached, and my mom bought me so many clothes. I was going to buy them, but she brushed me away at the cash register, and insisted she would pay. It was so sweet, and now every time I wear any of those shirts, I'll think of her. She also found a great pair of jeans for herself, at 50% off—they were still expensive, but you can't put a price on a great-looking butt. All you girls know exactly what I mean.

One more day in Finland. I leave at the crack of dawn Thursday for Frankfurt, and will arrive at home Thursday evening Philadelphia time. Will be nice to see my pookies again and to sleep in my own bed. And at the same time, it's always sad to leave my whole family behind, for who knows how long.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Haiku on a Spring Day

I think of you while the spring
Sun gilds this park bench
And birds sing in the distance;
Countries removed, yet
How close you are in my heart.


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Happy Happy Day

Went to Turku again yesterday, grandma's doing great! Tomorrow she's having a test done to try to determine the cause of her initial crisis. She's optimistic and energetic, which bodes well.

Dunno what happened with that pic, but somehow when I resized it, I turned out looking deformed. Grandma looks her beautiful, much improved self.

Today I had a great day in Helsinki. First, I had a facial—where they deep cleanse your skin, moisturize and massage your face, and generally make you look 5 yrs younger in an hour, and trust me, I was in sore need of a bit of rejuvenation. Then, I got my hair cut by a wonderful hairdresser named Anita, and I'm really pleased with the haircut.

The crowning glory of the day was meeting my best friend Katja after her work. We went out to eat and chatted and had fun. We also spent a criminal amount of time in the Academic Bookstore, and I came home laden with delish reads. Katja had brought me back a pink yukata robe from Japan, and for the last three hours I've been floating around my mom's, pretending to be a geisha. I tried singing some Madame Butterfly but my mom reminded me to be considerate of the neighbors, heheheheh.

So all in all, a happy happy day! Wheee!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fools!

LKF 16:
Believe it or not, I have lived this. My mom has a cruel sense of humor sometimes, much like Lucy. When I was 8 yrs old, she told me on April Fools' Day, that a boy I had crushed on since I was 6, was outside our apartment building, calling my name. I remember brushing my hair, and just as I was rushing out the door, my mom yelled "April Fools!"   I've never played an April Fools' joke on anyone, and the day has left me slightly traumatized. I usually hide until it's over. Today, however, I'm off to the hospital to see my grandma again.

Happy Palm Sunday and April 1st, everyone!

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