3-5-08 Celebrate Your Name Week

It’s celebrate your name week. March 3-10 which makes a cluster of weird holidays. Monday was Namesake Day, Tuesday was Fun-facts about Names Day. But various calendars disagree about which day is which name holiday.
5 Cheese Doodle Day, Unique Names Day, Stop the Clocks Day
6 Chocolate Cheesecake Day, Learn What Your Name Means Day
7 Crown Roast of Pork Day, NameTag Day
8 Peanut Cluster Day, Middle Name Pride Day, Farmers Day, Be Nasty Day
9 Crabmeat Day, Genealogy Day, Daylight Savings, Get over it Day
10 Blueberry Popover Day, Napping Day (the day after Daylight Savings starts)
11 Oatmeal-Nut Waffle Day, Organize your Home Office Day, Debunking Day
12 Baked Scallops Day, Girl Scout Day (Campfire Girl Day was the 11th)

Most of the news this week is about the weather. We had snow- shoveled to make room so Brian could come visit; then we had more snow, and that nice man with the (I think it’s called) a snow skid who was cleaning up the corner of Holt and Pinnacle Road did the second half of the driveway for us again. Then Tom Hart (who apparently works at a news station and has been reading lots of stories about old houses roofs breaking under the weight of the snow) came by to shovel off the flat (North) part of our roof. Then yesterday it warmed up, and rained and all that snow we’d had to move has been washing away (into cellars? I should check) at a great rate. Today it was cold again, so we had a lot of fog. That’s the thing about March- one day blizzards, a few days later, your daffodils are pushing up through the mud.
Sadly, one of our goats Vanadis, died, and the ground is still too hard to bury her. Darcy is looking for a home for her milker, so we could replace her, but I need to kill off the current kids so we won’t be over populated with goats. I’m also trying to figure out how to get the right number of replacement chickens. It’s so weird to be buying eggs (and they are really not as good).

Willowlady (NOT Willow, someone my age with a pagan list) who usually posts the holiday lists that I find so interesting on one of my lists is sick, and I’ve been posting (mostly the ones I’ve collected from her over the last year or two) about the holidays for her until she gets out of the hospital. Sadly, this takes longer than just copying a block from my record to the list, because I’ve learned that often holidays migrate around the calendar, and I don’t want to post anything that’s a mistake, so I go checking the information, and that takes way too much time, because I keep getting distracted by the cool things I find. I find everything so interesting!

For example, today is “8 Hour Day”- which is apparently Australia’s Labor Day. While trying to figure out what day 8 Hour Day really is, and also what it’s about I found out a lot about how people fought to get an 8 hour workday. Of course, this reminds me of two things. One is the sad fact that somehow we’ve gotten to a place where many (most?) people have to work two jobs to make ends meet, which isn’t much of an improvement. Used to be if a man and woman worked hard, they could support their family at a level which probably reflected their starting place. I’m thinking that a lot of our difficulties arise from our ideas of what’s an acceptable life style, as well as the world we are starting with.
The other thing thinking about 8 hour days made me think about is a story from our town history. In the early years of the 20th century, some women went to the Lyndeboro Selectmen and demanded a rule that guaranteed 10 hour work days for the women of the town, because so many of the girls were moving to the cities to work in the mills where they’d only have 10 hour workdays. They wanted the same guarantee to stop the loss of the labor pool. The Selectmen responded that farm women shouldn’t have it any better than their men, and that any farmer who could get all his work done in only 10 hours a day was either a genius, or a madman, and either way, he bore watching. With that, they sent the women back to their kitchens and gardens (to work without their daughters help). That’s my favorite story from our town history.
As Brian said: “Google Earth is evil. It sucks away my time.” Being able to type in an address and get a satellite image of wherever you can think of- then zoom in is so much fun! (some of them even have pictures of the houses). I could show the kids the arial of Farmington where I grew up, and Dad lives now, and zoom out to show the lake. You can see the orchards and the massive tree coverage around us here (125 Pinnacle Road, Lyndeboro NH so you can see if you want- I still can’t figure out how to share the image), and I got to see the cool patterns around Mystery Hill- which is right where Ekke used to live. It’s fun. (just type in Maps Google)
While I’ve pretty much given up checking my e-lists, I got sucked into more Live Journal activity. I think this is just the way I maintain at least an illusion of being in touch with my friends.
This seems odd as we had more visits than usual this week. Brian came over- he’d done a repair on our Anglo-Saxon lute; he has one and is on a list about them. He’s showed me a way to tune it so I can actually play it which apparently has a reasonable scholarly justification. Now I have to figure out something to play at events. After all, most SCAers would be thoroughly bored with a performance in Old English. It should be something fairly universally amusing. Something justifiably historical. Something I can actually perform. And it would be cool if we could work out something we could do together with our two lyres. He also poked at my new machine that’s supposed to transfer VHS to DVDs, but he couldn’t get it to work either. It seems to turn itself off about 40 minutes into the movie, which ruins the disc, and doesn’t result in a movie in the modern format. Frustrating. But we did have a lovely visit and dinner together. Brian tends not to cook for himself and is gratifyingly appreciative of home cooking. He was able to come over as his new store hasn’t opened yet. In theory it’s a great idea. It’s a computer store called Just Works for non-nerd/geeks. For the vast majority of us who don’t want all the bells and whistles, just a machine that will get us to the internet and do a couple of basic things. Sounds like just the kind of place I’d want to find, of course, will all the potential customers out there find him? If so, it’ll be a winner.
Then on Sunday, Tommy came over and dumped the snow off the back of the house. He didn’t stay long because he was by himself, and he was being transported by his parents, but Janet came in and chatted for a while. She’s got new puppies (or rather, her Chihuahua does). I’d never known that there were brown Chihuahua’s before- apparently they look something like Pappillions.

I’ve been calling and checking the internet for new vans. I may have to get another loan- although I’m also thinking about refinancing the one I got last year since rates are down. I hate this, it is not the kind of thing I’m good at. Willow and I went over and cleared out the van- we still have to take the other seat over there- although they don’t really want it, they are willing to take it and we have no use for it. I’m hoping to get it before we need it for LunaCon (not this weekend, but next).
We hadn’t managed to get in when it first opened, but Willow saw that one of the vendors had dropped out and there were two tables available and we managed to get them. LunaCon is a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention, and Willow went last year and the socks went really well. They are into costume stuff. I wish we could take the jewels, they’d probably love those.
Arranging (researching, reserving, etc.) what shows to go to is more time consuming than I could imagine, and while Willow is good at sales (including buying stuff to resell), she doesn’t like this part of prep either.
As it’s a new month I downloaded a book from Wowio called Help! I don’t even know what I need to know about starting a business- The Entrepreneur’s Companion. I hope it helps. I need all the help I can get.
This week mostly I’ve been reading about Vedic palmistry which I’m enjoying. It works well with the western palmistry I already know. I also read one by someone with a new system aimed at simplifying the art to make it more accessible. Most of it was pretty good, but rather than simply referring to the index, middle, ring and pinkie finger, he called them the mirror, wall, peacock and antenna fingers. If you are going to use symbolic terms, you might as well stick to the traditional ones of the planets, so at least the new palmists would be able to speak to other palmists. I’m still reading more on fairy tales, (finally getting to Bettlesheim as well as re-reading Grimm) and looking at a few books on religion and history. Who knows what direction I will hare off in next.
Actually, I did pick up a couple of books at the library- fiction again, if you’ll believe it. This week I watched the first episodes of a TV show that only lasted one season The Dresden Files. It’s about a detective who uses magick- not much different from vampire detectives, or other detective shows, but it was fun so I’m going to keep watching them until I’ve seen them all. (The many channels available now mean that there is more variety to pick from, but it’s hard for even a good show to pick up enough viewers to be financially viable. Think about Firefly!) The show was good enough that I want to read the books that inspired it, and I was hoping the library would protect me from the urge to buy the books in order to read them. Of course, buying makes it easier to loan and re-read, or go back and check to see if the author has screwed up his continuity, but even though a paperback is designed as a fat magazine (ie. disposable), I think it would be better to borrow them- and luckily the library had 4 of the 10 Butcher’s written. I was also amused by the “Rules of Magic” I found on the internet. I love the way things are so codified these days. How “lawful” everyone is becoming- or maybe people are naturally like that- look how long the Roman Empire lasted.
(Oh, and Mark wrote me yesterday. Gary Gygax, who generated the original Dungeons and Dragons game has died. Apparently they used to game together and occasionally I’d get an e-mail where mark was forwarding something to both of us. It made me feel important at one remove. I guess I’ll have to give up that small conceit. I do think Gygax was important. It’s not like people didn’t do Role-Playing Games before that. I would say that it originated in the romantic love of fantasy that was burgeoning in the Baby Boomer generation which you can see in the beginning of the SCA and the great Science Fiction Convention movement crossed with the war-games military men have used since they had to plan their battles and talk about them with each other. That’s pretty much what D&D is- more than a game, it’s a language to try to understand and describe the world. When you know the vocabulary, as with any other symbol set or jargon, it makes it easy to communicate a great deal in a few words. For example “Intelligence 18, Wisdom 4”, is completely understandable to people who understand that a character’s intelligence and or wisdom might be randomly generated by throwing three six sided die, which means that the lowest intelligence where you could still manage to feed yourself would be 3, and 18 would be the equally unlikely super-genius. It also takes into account that intelligence- the ability to learn facts is different than wisdom which is needed to combine and utilize them. It’s similar to the way that the Sims computer game illustrates how your various needs- for rest, food, cleanliness, social interaction, etc. are all important and interdependent. My, haven’t our games gotten narcissistic? I suppose it’s because people see someone else’s representation of how life works, see a flaw in it, and create their own way of looking at it. It’s good that we think about how we work.

We also watched a lighthearted romantic comedy with Seth Green as an unrepentant scoundrel working to get his friend together with the woman he loved through a series of nasty tricks called Unhitched. Mostly I noticed that the hero passed various landmarks, including Parliament, as he headed up the Thames to reach the wedding in time. Kat sells portraits of people’s self designed characters on line and got 4 orders last week, so she’s been really plugging away at it. One of them wanted the houses of parliament in the background and Kat agreed, little realizing how complex a background that was. It came out well though; I liked the way she showed the reflection.
You can see it at http://kittywitchthesecond.deviantart.com She’s really gotten good at doing pictures in the old Betti Page pinup style.
Final Cut, starring Robin Williams, illustrates the question of whether truth or our cherished illusions are more important. I hadn’t realized that it was a science fiction movie. All I’d heard was that Williams played a man who knew about everyone’s flaws because he saw all their lives on film. I figured it was about someone who developed photos. I can well imagine that if there was someone who could indeed review everything you’d seen (done) in your life, there would have to be a pretty strong code of silence for them- right up there with the seal of the confessional.
I’d hoped that Empire of the Wolves was going to be about werewolves, but it wasn’t. It was simply a very excellent mystery with international terrorists, cops, and the usual intrigue. It starred Jean Reno, who’s an actor I really love, but it was frustrating for me because it was a French film, and while I have a reasonable grasp of French, I can’t quite catch all the plot points in it without the subtitles- and more importantly- I can’t “watch” the way I usually do, but doing something else while the movie’s on and only occasionally glancing up to catch the visuals. Yes, it did have a dubbed version, but they used a voice actor who was doing a kind of hard-bitten, Mike Hammer type of accent and voice instead of the incredibly velvety growl which makes such a great part of Reno’s appeal. Yes, he was playing the old, no-holds-barred, streetwise detective, but I really like Reno. (I may even be willing to watch the Pink Panther although I generally avoid slapstick, just to watch him.)
My current handwork project is a new quilted skirt which should be done just in time to put it away until next winter. It’s pre-quilted black and red, and in order to sew pieces together it’s necessary to sew first one side, then trim away the batting, then hand stitch the second side in the other color- with re-pinning at almost every stage. Last time I made a skirt with pre-quilted fabric I just flat felled the seams and ran trim over the seams to cover them, but I decided to “do it right” this time. I had no problem only occasionally glancing up for the sex farce Orgazmo that Star had taken out, but had to look up a lot to see the visuals in Joe’s Apartment which is a weird fantasy world with talking cockroaches that I think Bear suggested to me while we were doing the movie memes last week. At the same time I found the skirt pieces I also found already cut out pieces of flannel to make three new slips in red, purple and patterned wine and black. Sadly there seems to be one section missing from the red flannel slip. I have to look around some more, but I may need to piece it with another color. Darn! I love flannel slips, and I was thinking to trim this one with black lace. No once sees slips, but they are fun.

Poor Kat has been having a lot of trouble with her largest organ this week. First her fingers look awful- she thinks it’s dehydration the knuckles are all red and apparently the skin is peeling off, and on top of it, she’s all scraped up from Zymbalta biting and clawing. Willow has also been savaged by the kitten who is still being trained not to bite, and claw and disembowel” our wrists. Dan’s so much smarter to have gotten two kittens at once so they can have someone to play with. Of the older cats, Grendle will sometimes be willing to play with Zymbalta, but Greymalkin and Freya beat the euphemism out of her every time they come within a foot or two. Then poor Kat shows me her toes- which were all grey and looked frostbitten. Soaking them helped some, but I have no idea why toes would go that color if something isn’t wrong. She thinks it may have been her favorite boots were pinching, so she stopped wearing them. But I’m not sure why a foot soak and scrub would help that.
While digging around under the sink in the bathroom looking for epsom salts, I bumped the S pipe, and knocked it off. Apparently it had simply been wedged in place, and it doesn’t really fit well. Now I either have to figure out how to fix it or pay for the plumber to do it. Feh! I don’t think I appreciated Ælfwine enough when he was around.
Over the weekend I rearranged the living room with the couch at an angle across one corner to avoid it getting pushed up against the wall where it can block the heat from the registers. I also vacuumed up what I hope are the last of the needles from the tree- but then, I thought I’d done that before. I was worried about the vacuum which didn’t seem to be sucking properly, but we picked up the sewing machine from the shop this week, and Don tells me that evergreen needles clog vacuums worse than almost anything else.
I also did a stroll down memory lane the other night. Somehow the wonderful 30 second animated short of the cat wanting its can of food from Sesame Street came up, and the kids called it up on You Tube for me. I must have spent four or five hours watching old bits from Sesame Street from Monster in the Mirror to Put down the Duckie! I remember dancing around the kitchen with Ælfwine when that special was first aired!
Another thing we picked up was folders to put pennies in. I am a collector (also known as a pack rat). There’s something fascinating to me about having something that you know was around a long time ago- even (or maybe better) if it was such a common thing as a penny. There you go- save me old pennies you may trip over and you’ve got a wonderful gift to give me. OF course, you’ve got to go back to the early fifties to find one I haven’t got. Cookie cutters are so much harder these days because I have so many and don’t use them as much these days. Kat did make some spice cookies on Sunday, but she didn’t like them. (I did.) I was hoping to have a cookie painting party for my artistic friends this February, but I guess winter has passed and so has the opportunity. Maybe next year.

My goodness, it’s already dark! Must make dinner.
Until next week…

Tchipakkan

“Fearful as reality is, it is less fearful than evasions of reality … Look steadfastly into the slit, pinpointed malignant eyes of reality as an old-hand trainer dominates his wild beasts.” Caitlin Thomas

Remember my pictures are on flickr:
http://flickr.com/photos/22256634@N08/

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