I have been deep in home-improvement projects of late—mostly painting the interior, although there’s plenty of outdoor work that needs attention as well. The very short days make that difficult to get to, however; by the time I’m done with work, the sun is low enough in the sky that I’d barely get started before it faded enough to make it time to stop.
The big project—and topic of discussion for the three of us—has been how to celebrate the solstice this year. We’ve celebrated it the past couple of years, but this is our first opportunity to go all out. I suggested a Scandinavian pagan theme for the festivities, which was warmly received, so we all have been exploring ideas. It’s been a lot of fun, learning about ancient customs and thinking about which ones to use.
There is another holiday tradition that I sort of fell into; and I would be greatly remiss if I were not to continue it this year.
This isn’t as out there as last year’s holiday song; it’s just a smile-producing, upbeat version of one of my favorite Christmas songs, so I want to share it.
I didn’t mean to be absent from here for so long, but I’ve been busier than usual. Most of you would be quite surprised to learn what’s taken up a large chunk of my time of late.
This is hilarious:
Here it is on YouTube. How can you not listen to Cap’n Mal?
Bet most of y’all never expected me to channel Imelda Marcos. Truth be told, I’m not—this is the first pair of new shoes I’ve bought in at least five years. And they aren’t pretty. Still, I adore them.
But when I saw a cool collection of cards, I knew I’d be posting one of them here today. It was a tough decision, but here’s the winner:
This one, and many others, spotted at FireflyFans.Net.
I could pretend I don’t know how it happened, but I certainly wouldn’t be fooling myself. Our resident Wolf was in Belarus during their election in December, and when I started hearing reports about the protests, I started stressing (even more than the stress I already had from our holiday schedule, ballet and karate schedules, my fiscal woes, and trying to run the household alone). Sure enough, he (and his big camera) were in the thick of the happenings; but fortunately, he left before things turned ugly. I’m hopeful he’ll say more about that himself here, so I won’t continue in that vein.
A girlfriend and I celebrated her birthday and rocked the new year in down in Seattle, spending the day doing touristy stuff and enjoying a Dusty 45s show that night. The tickets came with a generous food and/or liquor credit, which we didn’t know about. Seeing as we’d had (excellent) room service at our hotel, we drank ours. She was recuperating from a throat bug, but I was feeling fine and didn’t want anything to be wasted ... so I drank the remains of her (not as good as it sounded on the menu) ginger vodka martini. Then we shared a second bottle of champagne—I did mention we’d had a bottle in our room, kinda–sorta with dinner, right? She urged some precautionary zinc on me upon our return to the hotel, which I obligingly accepted (this involved no sharing of germs).
Three days later, I awoke to discover that microscopic bricklayers had filled every nook of my sinuses, and had tapped in to my energy stores to accomplish the feat. Bereft of energy, in pain if the hair on my head moved, I quickly took to bed. I was even too tired and brain–fogged to knit, even just plain stockinette stitch (I have three pairs of slippers like these to knit and felt). I lost count of the number of blankets it took to keep me warm. I was confident, however, that I’d bounce back fairly quickly.
The next day, I awoke to pain in my right ear, which spread to my left by the time night fell.
I still haven’t completely bounced back, but I am doing much better. My ears are still mostly under water, but my head no longer hurts. However, I’m also still easily dizzified, so I’m trying to take it easy (no driving, and certainly no karate!). A recent conversation with a different good friend covered a lot of interesting musical ground, though, prompting me to turn on my speakers and try to enjoy some tunes. I’m sure it’ll all sound better when my ears are fully clear, but I wanna share today. Mr. Bill, Uncle Warren, I hope either or both of you are around for an assist or two.
Alternatively titled as Making the World a Better Place, Part the Second. (And if anyone needs/wants a refresher on what “S.E.S.” stands for, here you go.)
This particular S.E.S. is pretty brutal. We’re required to be physically and mentally sharp; and if one of us isn’t, a frequent result is pushups for us all. There’s a lot of protocol one must adhere to as well; and bowing—a lot of bowing. Just in case my comments haven’t given it away to everyone, the S.E.S. of which I speak is karate; and what I’m doing in it can best be summarized as, “Loving it!”.
Snolf the First and I have been; and Snolf the Second is eagerly awaiting her turn.
A friend and I formed a sort of "steering committee" about a month ago to bring a Bountiful Baskets co-op drop site to Newcastle in order to obtain really fresh fruits and vegetables. Some here may remember that lack of same was one of the real problems with living in rural NE Wyoming. Little is produced here, and shipping makes the cost at the grocery stores very high.
Someone on Ravelry posted this vid, and I have to pass it on:
(Direct link to vid on YouTube)
For those of you who watch it here, you may still want to click through, because there are several other Whedonesque vids in the right column ... as well as other interesting–looking stuff. Shiny!
And the next line in the Rush song I’m quoting is, “It hurts my head.” Hoo boy, is that true.
I’ll put this video on in the library since it has some language those of you with sensitive ears might not wish to hear: