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It was a dark and stormy night!

This is so cool! I just learned that A Wrinkle in Time is 50 this year! And Charles Dickens is 200 today!  This is awesome! What an amazingly cool year this is turning out to be! I am rereading A Wrinkle in Time as we speak and it is just as fresh and wonderful and scary as it was this first time I read it! Today is going to be full of !!!!!!!s. I can just feel it. Happy A Wrinkle in Dickens Day!

Andersen: A memory and a mild Rant.

Reading Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales makes one want to write in a very formal and old fashioned manner. So I shall.

My old, stained cloth-bound copy was reprinted in 1972. I probably got it new as our parents loved to buy books at every opportunity, that that meant that I probably read this particular volume with these particular illustration when I was ten.  I may have read the stories earlier, I can't remember. (We have to rebuild or house so when all my children's books are being packed up for The Great Move Across the House I may find an earlier copy.)

I remember the pictures painted by Jiri Trnka. They were very fantastical in both ink and watercolour and made a huge impression on me. When I imagine the Emperor, the nightingale, the tin soldier or the little mermaid, these are the images I see. The stories made a huge impression on me too, although possibly not the way Andersen meant them to. Of course all my toys and books and playing cards could move about and talk and of course they all had lives of their own when the lights went out which is why you must never, Never, NEVER, EVER get rid of anything. (Or for that matter put anything away.) sigghhh.....

I don't. however, remember all of the stories equally, so I imagine I skipped over the ones I wasn't particularly impressed with and just reread my favorites.

Case in Point: The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep.(I suppose I should spoiler alert here for anyone who hasn't read this story and plans to. Warning: I reveal the end!) Anyway, It's a bloody silly story and one whose thinly veiled moral of "stay home where it's safe even if it makes you very unhappy" was not what I wanted to read. They make an ARDUOUS journey up a chimney encouraged by an actual star and once they make it to the very top away from the house and the controlling authority figures, they sit and view the entire freakin' world stretched out before them with all its freedom and opportunities and... they go back! "What! No way! Forget it, I gonna reread The Tinderbox." My 49 and 11/12th year old reaction mirrors my ten year old reaction. 

The Fir-Tree is next and I can't call that one to mind either. I wonder what my reaction to it will be.


Birthday Month Day 5 Update

Eye Spy can be an challenging game at meal time. "I spy w/ my little eye something that is red." "A cat." ..."Something that is brown." "A cat." "Something that is spotty. "A cat."  "Something that is.. oh never mind."

It can be challenging while walking dogs on a dark country road too. "...Something that is yellow." "Pole light." "Something that is grey." Road.' "Something that is white." "Snow." Something that is... again, never mind."

So we stopped playing and sang all the kid show theme songs we could remember. Came home and read Winnie-the -pooh. End of day 4.

On this morning's walk I caught snowflakes on my tongue, no mean feat-there wasn't much falling, and tried to break ice, but the Canadian February ice gave me the finger. I'll try again later. Then came home and began my reread of favorite books.

Started with The Velveteen Rabbit. I have a number of copies of this book because each illustrator brings a new interpretation to an old favorite. Then read another favorite: Never Tease a Weasel. My sister Isabelle and I loved this book as kids. Moved on to Hans Christian Andersen. Read The Tinder Box, The Nightingale and The Snow Queen.  

Lunch was a Happy meal. Ok so there's nothing unusual in this but I made sure to play w/ the Hot Wheels car and put the stickers on it. After work my Goddaughter, her mother and I went to see The Woman in Black where I had a seriously blue slurpie, M&Ms and popcorn.

The icing on the cake was introducing them to The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Not a childhood thing- I was 22 when the original Terminator came out- but there is no celebration so cool that it cannot be made better by the most awesome kick-ass female characters ever fighting giant robots. And one of them's a cyborg.


Birthday Month day 4 Update:

Day 4:
Ate ice cream covered in maple syrup, spoonfuls of dulce delecte right out of the jar and potato chip crumbs. Watched Scooby-doo. Will play Eye Spy during walk with dogs--the almost full moon should offer some small light to  see color by- and will ask the Beloved to read me Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree.  


Live long and eat crap.

I am turning 50 on the 20th. Whatever way you slice it, 50 is a big number. It could be a cool number, I'll have to wait and see, but I'm planning to hit the ground running anyway in a carefree dance down memory lane...

Idea 1: Eat like a child until your stomach turns 50.
On that note I have been happily and guilt-free-ly eating my favorite crap: chocolate, pop, chips, and the always evil pop tarts, gonna carry on for the next 15 days with chef-boy-r-de, cookies, raw dough, candy bars of various kinds, ice cream of various qualities-- in this instance better is not necessarily better--and sara lea cheese cake (also I'm not gonna care how I spell brand names-they know who they are.) This is just a partial list-there will be more as I hunt through the grocery store for things I usually have to avoid. (The 49 year old stomach is no more 8 years old than the 50 year old stomach will be.) This may land me  in a sugar induced coma but I am determined to enjoy myself.

Idea 2: Watch as many of my old favorites as my slightly more discerning tastes can handle.
Fortunately I am a simple one to please and my taste in tv and movies have not really changed. Although I like to imagine they might have --not matured exactly-because they really haven't-- but more that, with 50 years of media experience, my tolerance for crappy acting and crappy writing may have shrunk. Which I think it has. My only problem with this idea is I don't own all the old stuff I want to watch, but still...
Gonna watch my favorite Disney Movie: The Jungle Book.
Gonna watch my favorite musical: Oliver
Gonna watch as much retro tv as the satellite dish will provide including Star Trek, Batman,Spiderman, Transformers, and Rocket Robin Hood if I get lucky. Plus lots and lots more. (Hey, maybe I'll get really lucky and The Polkadot Door will be on--no wait  Sheri, Lois and Bram! It was Sheri, wasn't it?  You know, the kid show with the elephant.
Gonna go see The Woman in Black. I think I read somewhere that the new Hammer people were involved somehow and I LOVED Hammer films.
Gonna pull everything I love off our dvd shelves and only watch the bits I like best thus ensuring the Beloved finally has a temper tantrum.

Idea 3: Read and or skim and or hug all my favorite children's books:
Again a partial list off the top of my head will include Winnie the Pooh, Little Men, Big Red, Lassie, Where the Red Fern Grows-although not the end because I don't feel like crying on my birthday month, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Secret Garden and a bunch more. This will only annoy the Beloved if I leave them scattered all over the bed. Children's books should always be read in the bedroom.
I will then move on to my favorite older books: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, and Han Solo at Star's End, plus again whatever else I decide to pull off my shelves.

Idea 4: Find and play with or hug old toys.
Some are on shelves, some will have to be dug out of boxes. Teddy bear, eeyore, yo-yos, hot wheels cars, Star Wars action figures, kinder egg airplanes and Black Bart Draw, Harry Potter card game in magical box (ok, ok, I got that one as an adult.) and whatever ever other treasures I uncover.

Idea 5: Play old games.
Tag-but not anywhere near ice, this is not Experience Aging With Broken Hip month. Catch-See idea 3-ball and glove are somewhere. What Time is it Mister Wolf-I'm sure I can talk the Beloved into playing it with me. I Spy-likewise.

More ideas are pending. It's gonna be a good month. Happy birthday to me (tiddley-pom)........ happy birthday to me.....hum hum hum.......
 Gonna go  have honey and condensed milk on my bread now-but forget the bread... tiddly-pom. 


The Inevitable

It was inevitable and it finally happened.

The boys have been getting a little too cocky around the cats lately and today we went into town and came back about an hour later to find blood on Liam's ruff and in both corners of his right eye. I am assuming he tried to chase a cat that decided not to run and took a swing at him instead.

Part of me is thinking "poor doggie," part of me is thinking, "kinda served you right, buddy," and part of me is wondering if this is gonna learn him.

I doubt it.

Got him cleaned up, there wasn't all that much blood really, just a smear, checked his eye, no nicks in the actual eyeball so it looks like the cat got him in the white thingy in the corner. (white thingy scientific term for whatever it is.)  He's blinking it a bit but it isn't red or swollen or leaking too much-there's a bit of blood and a bit of white-can the white thingy tear? I imagine it can. We'll keep an eye on it but I don't think he'll need to go to the vet. Foolish little beastie, cats have claws. These cats have really big claws.

Checked all the cats, all are ok and none look overly tramatized or overly smug so it's a mystery, could have been any of them but my bet is on A: Sophie our big fat cat who rarely takes any shit from anyone, B: Cammy who runs but bides his time and then attacks from behind and might have got cornered, or C: Hiro who figures he rules the universe and has taken a swing at the dogs in the past. 

Whose your Captain?

I walk doggies around 7am. Okay closer to 7:20 but eaaarrrrllly in the morning. So when I'm either stumbling along the road or standing waiting for them to read the doggie newspaper (or pee-mail as a friend once called it) and provide their editorials (or replies)my brain slowly wakes up and lets go of whatever obscure (and sometimes irritating) song it was humming to get me moving and begins supplying me with the day's first installments of movie and tv quotes and its thoughts on each of them. Yesterday it offered up a Sheldon and Leonard discussion from the Big Bang Theory regarding "Kirk or Picard." 

My answer involving all four Star Trek captains:

Kirk: I have been in Star Fleet since 1967 when I watched it on my parents old black and white tv in their bedroom. Having got me at a very young and impressionable age, I would follow Kirk into Hell's Heart. And there's the problem. He would absolutely lead me there and he would absolutely get me killed. He's a brave and manly explorer but he's also arrogant, narcissistic and reckless, so I cannot give him my Captaincy

Picard: He's competent and brave but too much of an administrator for my sensibility. He would not inspire me to do my best work and I would just coast under his command, reading comic books under my station, so it can't be Picard.

Janeway: It's the hair. If she had short hair I might be safe, but the "up in a bun school marm" look leads me down the holo deck path of torn uniforms, corsets and riding crops, sexist as that may be. She is brave and competent and commanding enough for my sensibility but she is waay too hot in that hair and one day I'd blow up Voyager by mistake because I leaned on the wrong button while thinking about her, so it can't be Janeway either.

Cisco: Benjamin Cisco is quite but commanding, competent, and brave and I'm not hot for him. He calls up my father issues enough to make me want him proud of me but not so much that it would inspire me to do something truly stupid just to impress him. Besides "No one beats the Gem Hadar. Except Cisco. Twice" I like that.

So Cisco is my Captain. He's unlikely to go to Hell's Heart, but if he did, I would go with him, we'd have cool adventures that I could stay focused on, and most importantly, we'd get back in one piece.   

Wow, June huh.

I kinda lost track of 2011. Nuff said.

Doggies, however, did not lose track of 2011. They had a few mishaps involving car puking and chewing up things they shouldn't, but for the most part it was a year of triumphs culminating in marching in the local Santa Claus parade. They walked the entire route in a pair of matching red bandannas, right in front of the main fire engine that kept letting its siren off. (Our parade, like many rural parades I suspect, consists mainly of emergency vehicles, pickup trucks pulling hay wagons, horses, and dogs.) They walked with us very nicely, stopping and sitting on command whenever it looked as if someone in particular might want a better view of them, then running on command to catch up. They nearly sent three teenage girls into hysterics because they were sooo pretty. Afterward we all piled into the back of the pickup truck that was pulling our float for the ride back to the fair grounds. (Parade day, the one time traffic laws are completely ignored.) They zonked out beside a bale of hay and slept the whole way back.

August onwards saw their socialization coming along as we began a major renovation. They've experienced all kinds of comings and goings, compressors, backhoes, trucks, construction guys ,including one carpenter who keeps... talking to them... like they were actual dogs... the nerve! They have taken it all (even the overly familiar guy) in stride and play outside right in front of it all. (They also like to poop right where the guys want to pile construction stuff, but what dog wouldn't?

At the moment they are, once again, zonked out with the second of our ginger cats on the bed in my office.

My boys. I'm so proud.

Donating blood can be a surreal experience at best, donating in in a renovated Bingo Hall filled with perky competent techs dressed in blood red and black (like giving blood to an assassin's guild) more so.  But donating blood while reading Mira Grant's Deadline is a downright freaky experience, especially if you are eyeballs deep in the scene with Sean and Becks in the bowels of the CDC.  The blood tests alone'll send a bit of a shiver down your spine but the flashing green and red lights by the blood bag could very well send you over the edge.

Zombies aside the day ran with its usual silliness.  I couldn't find my blood donor card, I got given pop and cookies at the beginning and was juggling them and my book and all the new paperwork while the nice tech was telling me I shouldn't have food any where near her blood testing equipment.  er-sorry, I never say no to free food.  I stole the pen after the questionnaire and had to break line to give it back under the frown of a hospital auxiliary lady, forgot the name of the meds I'm taking for my stomach and had to call home on a nurse's cell phone, forgot that the arm I clutch with might not be the best arm to use, and got chased away from the coffee by the sternly pointing finger of another ferocious hospital auxiliary lady who made me sit down and wait for her to bring me a coffee.  Fortunately I'm fine with being bossed around by old women (or women of any age for that matter) especially old women bringing me timbits--see free food comment.

The questions are hysterical: in the last six months have I had a job that involves handling moneys and their fluids?  Monkeys?  I suppose that since I'm reading a book that has questions like Have you recently come in contact with the Kellis-Amberlee infected, asking have you had sex for money or drugs in the last six months is pretty tame.  But Monkey fluids?  That's just a bit weird.

Apparently I have excellent hemoglobin. Er cool.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pick up line, but hey, she was a blood tech so maybe...

Finally got seated in my easy chair while the cute tech who was to be mine for the next little while admired my tattoo (done way past the six month cut off time.)  Warned her my arm might involuntarily jump when a piece of metal was stuck in it and warned her that my blood has a built in safety mechanism that makes it move very very slowly when it is being asked to leave the comfort of the body that created it. Then it was sit back, try to read a really thick book with one hand while squeezing a rubber double decker bus with the other and glancing down to watch the lights flash green, red, green, red, green red.  Steady red.  Huh.  guess that means I'm done and not that I'm about to go into spontaneous amplification.  I'm sure they frown on that.  Of course, any zombie that can get past the sternly pointing finger of a ferocious hospital auxiliary lady is one very determined zombie indeed. Post-Rising security has nuthin on these women.

Finally it was sit at a table covered in crayons, colouring books, and oreo cookies, read, drink coffee and fight the urge to sneak out before I was supposed to.  Easy to fightactually since  it was pouring down rain. Then back home to blog, write, and read with two dogs under the amplification weight requirement at my feet. 


MS carnation campaign Day 2

Day 2 done. Home throwing small cow across the room for Teddy. All tiredness is melting before doggie playtime. Ok most of tiredness. Things went in the usual Friday eccentric way, the weathger being particularly weird. Extra kudos for the high school kids who are even now selling during the intermission of Little Shop of Horrors. I tell ya, kids today... are really awesome! 1 more day to go....