Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween plans

I'm still not back in the swing of things. My blogging is still terribly irregular. Beorn is strangely interested in attending some sort of Halloween party. Too bad we don't have time to get together costumes or figure out where to go that we won't stand out as super old and square. I want him to dress as Hagrid, because he's perfect for it. One year I made him a Wizard of Oz themed costume, the gate guard for the Emerald City. He wants to dress as Hagar the Horrible.

I have also had an idea for a Halloween movie fest. One of my college roommates had us all watch two movies about the summer in Switzerland that inspired Mary Shelly's Frankenstein: Haunted Summer and Gothic. Apparently since then there has been another version made, "Rowing with the Wind," starring Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley. I hate Hugh Grant, so it's probably delightfully terrible.


Look, I was tagged! Only my brain is mushy these days, so we'll see if I'm doing it right...

First, the rules:
There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".
Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:
* You can leave them exactly as is.
* You can delete any one question.
* You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question.
For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is..." to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is...", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is...", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is...".
* You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".
* You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions. Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.
So, without further ado:
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Primate Diaries.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Thus Spake Zuska.
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is a k8, a cat, a mission.
My great-great-great-grandparent is Monkeygirl.
My great-great-grandparent is DancingFish.
My great-grandparent is "No One".
My grandparent is Field Notes.
My parent is Trillwing.

The best children's novel in SF/Fantasy is: Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
The best recent comedy movie is: Stardust
The best uplifting song in country music is: Johnny Cash's "Man in Black"
The best cult novel in classic fiction is: A Room with a View (Maybe it isn't the best, but I did enjoy it.)
The best high-fat food in Mexican cooking is: Quesadillas
The best dissertation-related words I ever received from a scholar are: "It doesn't have to be earth-shattering"

I'm tagging anyone who hasn't already been tagged and specifically:
Moyen Age


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Ok, so my previous blog post was interrupted by a knock on the door. Ignacio, who is apprently a neighbor, came to offer a gallon of milk for the cats. Earlier we let the cats out for the first time at the new place and BOC (Big Orange Cat) immediately disappeared. He is very skittish when it comes to new places, so we were concerned. Beorn started cursing himself and the cat alternately since he still hasn't recovered from the loss of his favorite cat, almost two years ago.

So when BOC disappeared I spent a 1/2 hour wandering around the neighborhood yelling "BOC, here kitty kitty!" and similar things. When that didn't work I drove to the hardware store to get a maglite. I figured he was hiding and if I got a really powerful flashlight, I would be able to find him by his eye-shine. (I used to have a job that involved night hikes with large noisy groups of elementary school students. It's pretty cool if you can ID and animal just based on the size and color of their reflective eyes.)

By the time I got back home BOC had made it back inside, but apparently our entire neighborhood had heard me calling for him. Ignacio's gallon of milk expired yesterday, so he didn't feel it was fit for human consumption. It was very nice of him to bring it by, especially since I would have just drunk it, if I wasn't lactose intolerant. I almost told him that, but I think it would have been rude, so I thanked him and took the milk. The cats just looked at it confusedly. It's skim and they prefer pure butter.


Back to Life, Back to Reality

Everyone survived the move. We now have our very own tiny house. I'm starting to feel more normal, although the last week and a half has not been without drama.

Did you know that the average square footage of American homes has been creeping upwards for many years? In 1950 our little 600 sq ft cottage would have been above average in terms of sq ft per person. Now it seems embarrassingly tiny, although in most other way adequate. If it wasn't for the need for two computer desks, a giant color printer, a 40 gallon fish tank, and an obscene amount of books, there would be plenty of room for a couch.

Grandma sort of woke up last week just enough to accuse us of absconding with her TV. For the record, when we moved in there were two TVs in grandma's living room. The old one was having some sort of tube problem, which made the picture go wobbly. My uncle, the rich restaurateur, bought her a new flat screen, but no one could figure out how to hook it up to the satellite dish. Beorn hooked it up and we moved the old TV out, along with a bunch of trash from that attic.

On the positive side, Beorn and I sat with grandma Friday night while my dad and his wife had dinner out. Since grandma was temporarily lucid she talked to me for over an hour about her life growing up as a farm girl on the great plains during the depression. It was fascinating. Also, she commented repeatedly on what a good life she had then. I probably should have written it all down as soon as I got home.

Here's one funny story. My grandma had three brothers. Apparently, once her father had bought a newer vehicle, her brothers still occasionally drove the 1928 Ford. In the winter, when their drinking water reservoir froze over they took the Ford out for a sort of car skating adventure, drinking it across the reservoir and purposely creating spins.

Similarly, my grandfather, at 14 drove his father's pickup truck to work on the cattle ranch.