2-27-2008 Truth Week

Well, it snowed again last night. I’m sure we have passed the 100″ record, since they said we were a couple inches from it a few weeks ago, and have had several good snowfalls since then, but I can’t track down this year’s accumulation totals. I did find some records of snowfall accumulation- previous years have run between 36″ (2001) and 135″ (1995). 46″ last winter. That’s a huge range; and looks like we were due for another snowy winter and got it.

Here’re our holidays for the week: Check my Live Journal http://tchipakkan.livejournal.com/

for more details, pictures, recipes, and more fun stuff.27 Kahlua Day, International Day, Polar Bear Day
28 Chocolate Souffle and Chili Days, Kalevala Day, Tooth Fairy Day, Inconvenience Yourself Day
29 Surf and Turf Day, Leap Year’s Day, Dark Day, Bachelor’s Day
1 Fruit Compote Day, Pig Day, Book Day, and St Daffy’s Day-Welshmen wear a leek!
2 Banana Cream Pie Day, Old Stuff Day, Everything Acts to Further Day
3 Mulled Wine Day, USA National Anthem Day, I want You to be Happy Day
4 Poundcake Day,Hug a GI Day,This Way to the Egress Day

Sigh. Last weekend we went down to Hafla which was a Quintavian event. Someone posted a reminder that it was happening on LJ and it was only 75 minutes away so we went- better than no chance to sell at all. It was lovely- very like old SCA events. The hall was beautiful, I got to talk to old friends, the dayboard (lunch) was delicious and plentiful, and I got to teach a class (the palmistry one again, it fit with the theme and is always popular). The theme was Middle Eastern (apparently Hafla means “party”) and so was the food and the activities. There was much belly dancing, and thank goodness, the drumming was all integrated into the music not just by itself. We didn’t sell much, but at least made enough to cover expenses, and had a good time. We took some pictures, but most didn’t come out. I wanted to get shots of the guy playing the non-scottish bagpipe, and a very strange instrument which was a round wooden cylinder. It was like a thumb harp (kalimbas) but was about a yard across. (Willow talked to the guy who got it- and he said it was a late night e-bay treasure that afterwards you say “what was I thinking?!” but it was still cool. Life music makes dancing of all types so much better. http://flickr.com/photos/22256634@N08/
Kat and Willow at Hafla

Steve came up on Sunday again. Us too old folks treasure some outside contact- someone else to talk to. It’s real (rather than internet contact which is somewhat less real in my mind). We didn’t watch the Oscars- actually I don’t really care much any more. Yes, they do indicate popularity, but the choices are also biased by who deserves to be acknowledged after several near misses, etc. and it doesn’t necessarily reflect what I’m going to enjoy anyway. Actually we didn’t do much at all. Talked, had dinner. I showed him the recipe Kerensa had given me- cream of cabbage soup. It’s ridiculously simple: You cook the cabbage- boil or steam it maybe with a little butter as you would normally (unless you are one of those who normally over-cooks cabbage until it is soft and sulfurous), cook until it is done but still full of color and not off flavor. For the best color- use red cabbage- it makes a lovely lavender soup. Put the cooked cabbage through the blender and turn it into a puree. Add milk or cream to the puree, and reheat if necessary. I’ve done both cream and milk and prefer the cream, but you can add butter to the milk. You can thicken it with a bit of mashed potato if you want it thicker. Salt it, of course.

Cream of Cabbage Soup

I spent far too much time this week playing on the LJ. Someone suggested making a list of your favorite 15 movies, and giving a quote for each and seeing if people who read it could guess the movies. I had a hard time figuring out if I was picking my favorite movies, or my favorite quotes from movies, but I enjoyed it, and enjoyed guessing the ones other people posted. Then after that Willow came up with a similar meme (quiz)- have your music player (MP3 or in my case the computer) randomly select 30 songs from what you keep stored to listen to, and “no matter how embarrassing”. That gives an idea of what we listen to- and that too was made into a game by posting not the names but the first lines, and seeing if you could figure out what the songs were. It was fun, but I have to admit I spent too much time playing with it. I also notice I got more responses to those two memes than I have to all my other LJ posting since I started put together.

About half past February I realized I had to get the van registered and inspected. So I got an appointment (last Wednesday), and waited for them to get back to me. The starter had been becoming increasingly difficult, and I figured it would need to be replaced, but I couldn’t even get it going to get it down to Stoney’s, and had to have it towed there. They told me that it would require a starter, AND a universal joint and rust repairs to get inspected, and warned me that it would be wiser to wait on the universal joint until the welder pronounced judgement on the rust situation. But it wasn’t going anywhere without the starter, so they figured they could put that in, and they’d call me when that was done. No call Thursday, Friday, on Saturday we went off to Quintavia. Monday I called them; after I picked up the registrations; Willow drove me over to Winkles where they do body work.
I really liked the men there- they seemed honest and capable. And, in fact, they called back today with the news that there isn’t enough solid frame to weld repairs to the poor old van, but they’ll help me look for a replacement that won’t cost too much. As they said, everyone who comes to them wants the best they can get for as little money as possible. They’ll give me something against the old van- they like the engine (and I suppose the new starter- sigh).
When I got off the phone I was sideswiped by the wave of emotion that hit me. One more thing that was part of my life with Ælfwine gone. It called up the grief again… just when I think I’m all past it, something happens again. I guess I’ll have to totally re-make myself before I stop being reminded of what I’ve lost.

Before running the van over there, I borrowed Willow’s car to go to Peterboro and read a couple of palms. One of the ladies who attended the palmistry workshop at the Mensa Regional Gathering had taken my card and she and her mother wanted readings. Apparently what impressed her was my willingness to say that I don’t know everything. I’ve always preferred honesty, and this time someone agreed. The original Toadstool in Peterboro (there are others in Keene, and in Milford- where I usually go), now has a coffee shop inside it, where I thought we could sit for the readings. The ladies were coming from Keene, so meeting in the middle seemed easier on both of us. When we got there, it turns out that the coffee shop was closed for the week, so we had to make do with the chairs they have scattered around the bookstore. It is a MOST excellent book store- it also includes a used bookstore, and a music shop. This allowed the one not being read something to do while the other was being read. That was a useful addition to our income as well.

Then I had another sad bit of news- Star came in from milking to say that Vanadis, one of our milkers, had died. I’ll admit that I’m procrastinating going out to do an autopsy on her. It’s one of the less pleasant parts of keeping farm animals. When I’d gotten up I was thinking that I really SHOULD get to killing off the new kids and eating them. Now I’ve got a large goat to deal with. I hope I can salvage some of the meat. I don’t think I will bother trying to save the hide. It’s cold and I’m lazy.

I have finished reading the two books on fairy tales I mentioned last week, and am now reading the last one on the same topic, The Uses of Enchantment: the Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. I’ve heard it described as being far too Freudian in orientation. It can be SO annoying when someone uses a fairly extreme filter to interpret anything, but so far he hasn’t been too bad. Maybe it helps that these days I do read introductions and prologues, and Bettelheim, the author, admitted that there are many ways of looking at Fairy Tales, but that he’s exploring this one in this book. I think that that’s valid.

We didn’t watch the Oscars- actually I don’t really care much any more. Yes, they do indicate popularity, but the choices are also biased by who deserves to be acknowledged after several near misses, etc. and it doesn’t necessarily reflect what I’m going to enjoy anyway.

On videos, we watched an American Haunting, which was well acted, and fairly convincing, but they worked to hard to keep it ambiguous so the audience wouldn’t figure out what was going on until the movie was ready to tell them what was going on.
I sent for the Gormenghast miniseries this week; annoyingly they sent the second disc Friday, but the first one didn’t arrive until Monday. (similarly, I’m waiting for the mini-series War and Peace, but the first one is going to be a “long wait” whereas there is no wait for the second through fifth disks. Frustrating!) Gormenghast was visually gorgeous, but I was reminded how ambivalent I felt about the book when I read it back in college. None of the characters is really appealing. The ones that aren’t really mad or stupid are morally repugnant. It’s hard to decide whether to root for Steerpike, who is so very amoral, or the assorted Groans who are just mad. I suppose the young Titus isn’t- at least so far, but then again, he’s a kid, and who knows how he’ll develop.
We also saw Doctor Strange- which is an animated movie from the Marvel Comic. Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, was one of my most favorite characters when I was reading comics, and I figure that with modern special effects they have the capability of doing it with live action, but this was simple modern American animation. I’ve seen so much good animation (in the category of high levels of decorative art) merely adequate animation just doesn’t seem worth watching. Given the opportunity to do striking visuals, that they didn’t bother was inexcusable. We also watched a documentary Jesus Camp, at least Kat and I did. It shows the way some of the Charismatic Evangelical Christians expose their kids to the full experience of their god from an early age (or you could describe it as brainwashing). I would say that there’s a lot to argue for on both sides. In truth they are bringing the kids up to be very intolerant and not even exposing them to other possible options. Of course we all attempt not to expose our kids to things we don’t think will be good for them like sex or violence at too early an age, so I can’t really fault them for it. However unless they stick closely to others who feel the same way, as soon as the kids grow up and get into the rest of the world enough to discover that there are other options, those teens and young adults are going to be poorly equipped to deal with the choices they’ll have to make, and may resent their parents for it. They showed them teaching the kids to “speak in tongues” and to feel energy which they describe as the Holy Spirit running through them. When pagans teach their kids such things we are generally careful to teach them what can go wrong with such unrestrained openness to outside energies. I expect that in a church most of what comes through was attracted by the adults- so they trust it. Of course, I’ve always liked the biblical saying: “by your fruits you shall know them”, and we know that these adults are really nasty to all those they don’t like whether gays, or liberated women, or people of other religions, and sometimes other races. That does indicate that the single-minded choice of one thing to the exclusion of all other possibilities has led them to a bad place. I’m not sorry I watched it, but I fear it disturbed Kat more than I would have expected.

Kat has been watching movies while she fights with her card-weaving. I finished the short piece I’d done to remind myself how to do it. It is remarkably ugly, and I’m not as good at keeping it even as I wish I were. I think I’m going to have to try again. Kat planned to make a black and white belt to wear with her black and white gown. She had black and white thread from the White Wolf and Phoenix at Pennsic last year, and cards when she took a class on card weaving. Sadly, the inexpensive cards she got there are very lightweight, and so is the thread. (It’s labled 5/2, but I don’t know what that means.) I used pearl cotton, and had a lot less tangling issues. Her cards went out of order once and had to be reordered totally already, and look to be continuing to attempt it as often as possible. Zymbalta gleefully aids it this effort at every opportunity. (She also has discovered some pieces of bubble wrap which are apparently endlessly fascinating, and don’t seem dangerous to her, so I let her keep them.) We are thinking of transferring Kat’s cardweaving to the big loom and see if that helps.

Well, I’ve put off slaughtering and shoveling long enough I think.
That’s it for this week.
Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

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