Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Musical Genius

So remember when I told you all about how The Kid was in Advanced Orchestra now?


They just *happen* to have been invited to perform at the CMEA (Colorado Music Educators Association) Conference this Saturday in Colorado Springs. Woohoo!

I'm chaperoning, which means I get to listen to a lot of different music groups while we wait for their turn to go on, and see any exhibits at the conference I choose.

They are playing some amazing stuff too, Vivaldi and Liszt and Mozart (oh my!).

I went to their dress rehearsal Tuesday night and let me tell you...

They are going to kick everyone's ass, and it's not even a competition!

If you didn't know these were 6-8th graders, you'd swear you were listening to a group of seasoned, adult professional musicians.

My favorite piece is definitely Hungarian Rapsody (the Liszt piece)...the kids seem to have a lot of fun playing that one.

It should be a fun day, if tiring... we have to be at the school at 6AM to catch the bus, but at least I don't have to drive!

Also thrilling...

Obama's speech last night. I thought it was great, and I hope the GOP sits up and listens. It's time for them to start doing their jobs and to stop being "The Party of No".

I won't bore you with a long analysis, but suffice it to say that although I never lost hope...

I have more of it now.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WTF Wednesday - Thousand Year Old Tinkle

Okay if you have a rodent thing, turn back now!

But first, tell me this isn't cute...


That, my friends, is a pack rat.

I had never actually seen one before (a good thing, by all accounts), so I made the assumption they were something akin to sewer rats, and not at all like the lovable pet rats you can purchase at pet stores.

I mean look at that little face!

Who could guess that sweet mug could be hiding such a destructive little bugger?

TR was telling me all about them yesterday (having encountered them up in the mountains), and they are really very fascinating creatures.

Apparently they've been around for absolute ever, too. They found a pack rat "midden" (what their dens are called) in New Mexico that was over 1,000 years old! But that's nothing, really.

They found one they were able to date to the Pleistocene Era. That would be 2.5 million to 12,000 years ago.

That's some old pee, but more importantly, think of the science!

According to the Wiki entry:

"The middens may thus be analyzed to reconstruct their original environment, and comparisons between middens allow a record of vegetative and climate change to be built. Examinations and comparisons of pack rat middens have largely supplanted pollen records as a method of study in the regions where they are available."

"The resilience of the middens is due to three factors. The crystallized urine dramatically slows the decay of the materials in the midden. The dry climate of the American Southwest further slows the decay, and middens that are protected from the elements under rock overhangs or in caves survive even longer."

Things you never knew.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: Know Your Meme

I love Internet Memes.

It's amusing proof that most people are, when properly prompted, totally weird.

It gives me hope.

TR reminded me today of an awesome site called Know Your Meme, and although it contains a lot of stupid stuff nobody really needs to ever see again (I'm looking at YOU, Kanye West Imma Let You Finish people), it also has the Playing Dead group.

And the Rollercoaster Chess crowd.

And Pancake Bunny!

Take a look...

But I warn you...

Serious time suck, dead ahead!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Second Breakfast

I had a very Hobbity sort of weekend.

I hadn't really figured out it was Hobbity until I read an awesome post by Mrs. Dandy this morning!

She & her new hubby are on their honeymoon in New Zealand (I know, RIGHT?!), and while I have been enjoying ALL of her posts (and living vicariously through them), this was definitely my favorite.

Because I'm a nerd.

And guess what SHE heard on the tour? The Hobbit is not only being made, they've got set bits coming together and everything. I squeed so hard I nearly cracked a glass.

(See comment about me = nerd.)

I told her I think the release of that film will definitely have to include a trip to San Francisco to meet for real and stuff. It's a good goal. C'mon Peter Jackson, get crackin'!

Dandy & B, being hobbits. They are so cute.

As I mentioned, reading her post made me realize that my weekend was very very Hobbity, and it was just what I needed.

I didn't even get dressed Saturday. I sat around in my PJ pants and a sweatshirt. I read books and watched movies with The Kid. It was blissfully lazy.

Sunday morning was about as relaxed, although I did manage to get dressed and leave the house for a few hours to hang with TR and deliver a gift for a friend's birthday party I can't attend - a Red Sox Mr. Potato Head. It's funny!

Being that it was lunchtime, we headed to a place I hadn't been before (there are so many)...


Those white chairs? Total comfort. They rock a little bit, are padded to within an inch of their lives, and I could sit in them and drink their sweet tea all afternoon. The decor is very 70's high-end comfort - padded stools, lots of brown, but none of it tacky. It's what you wanted your rec room to look like, if you weren't a fashion victim. (Lileks would love it.)

I had their Cubano sandwich, which oh my goodness. Delicious home-made pulled pork, grilled ham, and this limey garlicky sauce (plus pickles, which just kind of make the whole thing) on wonderful bread and extra sauce on the side. There was no way to eat this prettily, so I just kinda dug in.

TR had something similar, only more unusual... a Cuban Eggs Benedict, which is your regular Eggs Benedict, but with the eggs & hollandaise layered over the pulled pork and ham and a pesto-like sauce (instead of pickles, which was good, because I heart pickles (much to TR's grossout) but they have no business near eggs), all on top of the requisite english muffin. It looked delicious, and they didn't skimp... he couldn't finish it!

We topped that off with gravy fries. Hand-cut fries, some sort of delicious cheese, and some equally awesome creamy gravy. The Poutine we had at Mead St. Station a couple of weeks ago was good, but these knocked that right off the map.

I should really take a page from Mrs. Dandy and start bringing my camera to these places.

This was not a diet meal in any way, but I think I deserve some sort of credit for resisting the Butterscotch pudding with sugar wafers. It took effort!

Well okay, it took assurance that we would return another time. I'm only human.

As we were driving back after lunch, we passed St. John's, a stunning cathedral in the middle of Denver. I had always wanted to see inside it but never had. I feel awkward walking into a church that isn't familiar without a valid reason, but it so happens that this is TR's very own church, which he's attended most of his life**, so he felt totally comfortable going inside.

I love cathedrals. Having grown up Catholic, I find them very comforting with all their woodwork and hidden doors and cool stone and organ pipes and stained glass and amazing quiet - there's something about how the light comes through leaded glass that enchants me, and St. John's has some truly stunning pieces. Also, being a proper cathedral, it's got those flying buttresses that always fascinate me. I wish my neck hadn't been hurting so much (I yoinked something earlier in the week), I would have liked to see a little more of them.

Walking around in the cathedral and the adjoining buildings was like being back in St. Margaret Mary's and St. Scholastica (my grade and high schools for my Catholic school years). There's just something about them...

It's hard to describe.

It was what I was looking for this Christmas when I went to Midnight Mass; I wanted to touch base with my childhood and reconnect with the familiarity and traditions I had been missing, and that my Kid hadn't ever experienced but had heard me talk about. The modernity of the church we found just didn't give me that, although it might sound strange - I need the added sensory connections, I guess. (No offense to them of course, it was still a lovely service.)

(** I didn't know going in that St. John's had been so influential for TR. I knew he'd gone there, that within those walls some really intense moments had occurred, but not that so much of his formative years had been spent there, and happily so. I felt priveledged that he shared a few of those memories with me.)

After our tour we headed back to TR's to play with his awesome cats and talk of model airplanes and such, and then it was back home for me! The Kid required feeding.

Speaking of She, it should be noted that we are in active planning for her FOURTEENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY. I will be up to my ears in teen girls. Thanks goodness for Wii, and wish me luck!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Busy Like A Bee

Well, this week has been chockfulla. It's left me pretty wiped out, in fact.

(I bet you can see the lazy post coming, can't you! You smart thing.)

There's more chockfulla in my future too... Orchestra concerts near and far, more kid birthdays than you can shake a stick at, not to mention all the grownups having birthdays too**, the dreaded Expense System reboot at work and all its associated freaking out...

I think I need a vacation. Or rather I will, in about 3 months.

It may be a vacation on my couch, but I'm going to take a couple of days off for sure, to sleep in and read and... I don't know. Crochet something.

But today? Today is Lazy Post day. I did find some thrilling stuff for you... yay for Vimeo!

** Just a side thought I had, which was too long for parenthesis... As the parent of a not-small child, I find that I prefer the adult birthdays. There's a lot less screaming, almost no cake throwing, and nobody vomits or cries without a reason. Plus, booze! You can't have booze at a kid's party without raising some eyebrows. It just isn't *done*.

They Might Be Giants, "I'm Impressed" from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Very cool and full of fun art. Plus, TMBG! Win-win!

One year in 120 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

Did I already show you this one? I might have. It's very soothing.

Freezelight Magic Forest from FREEZELIGHT.RU on Vimeo.

This was done entirely with light and a camera and mad skillz.

With a Z.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Piercing Silence

Ah, a 3-day weekend. It's a rare but wonderful event, and I thoroughly enjoyed mine!

We don't get many "non-standard" holidays here at the University, but the 2 we do get really float my boat.

CAUTION: EXTENSIVE AND EXHAUSTIVE RUNDOWN ALERT. Grab something to drink before you dive in. I don't want you getting dehydrated.

Friday night was pretty quiet; I picked up The Kid and her buddies from their orchestra rehearsal, as usual, dropped the not-mine kids off at their homes, as usual, and then went home and crashed on the couch by 10PM.

As usual.

I did manage to get a couple of things done before falling asleep, which was good. My New Years Resolution (such as it is) was to finish up any UFO's (Unfinished Objects) I've got before taking on anything new (birthday presents excepted), and so I've been attempting to finish up a couple of the more complicated ones first.

One of the UFO's is a dragon like this one, just in different colors, which I had started probably a year ago with the intention of selling it at the convention I'm not going to anymore, but I figured I can stash it away for later gifting. I got fairly far on it, the toughest part being the head (what with all the hand-stitching...those eyes!). Pictures when I'm done!

My other project was a quickie, a birthday gift for a friend... a guitar strap!

I bought a semi-cheap nylon adjustable strap (there was the super-cheap one, and the upgrade with the leather tabs, and the leather just looks so much better), then deconstructed it, covered the strap itself with fabric and put it back together.

I had considered just doing a plain fabric strap and ditching the nylon, but I figured for sturdiness (and to guard against the fabric stretching) it was best to use it as the guts of the thing. It made it a little thicker and a little harder to adjust, but it can still be done with a little utching.

Is that how you'd spell that, do you think? Utching? You know, when you utch something along, bit by bit?


UPDATE: New Photo Below! (The old one was a camera-phone picture, and awful.)

Saturday The Kid and I just kind of lazed about before heading down to Denver to meet TR and have a hot dog and do some quick shopping for said friend's birthday; The Kid hadn't yet experienced Twist & Shout and she totally loved it, because she's awesome like that. Some of their toys are a little R-rated, but I successfully steered her away from them with my amazing mom radar. She wanted this and that, but I assured her I'd bring her back another day, all while making mental notes for her upcoming 14th (!!!!) birthday.


Hopefully they'll still have the cute little lunchbox/MP3 player speaker combo she was gunning for; if not there are about 20 other things she was pretty jazzed about.

The hot dogs were from Steve's Snappin' Dogs, which were pretty good although TR's smashburger was covered in what appeared to be small grey eels. I didn't point this particular comparison out at the time, since he gamely scraped them off in order to be able to actually eat his meal and I didn't want to gross him out, but that's pretty much what they looked like. I think they were supposed to be grilled onions, but if that's what they were aiming for, they missed.

A lot.

After our excursion we headed to the party for the guitar strap recipient, which was a great success (he was super surprised). The Kid was a good sport about being there (I brought her with since the birthday boy's 8 year old stepson was going to be in attendance, and there's a Wii, so I figured they'd be able to find some common ground), and we got to see a video of some underwater work (I'm not entirely sure what they were doing, other than "science") done by some other friends of TR's who work in and around the Alvin sub, which is famous for, among other things, being one of the subs that found and explored the Titanic wreckage.

There was one part of the video that showed super-heated water that makes these solid-looking masses (which would evaporate in the air), and I couldn't stop gawking. Totally amazing stuff.

We also watched the video I'm tacking on the end of this post, which had me absolutely mesmerized.

Sunday morning, after stopping by The Kid's Colorado Grampa's house, we head to the mall...

And she got her ears pierced.

This might not seem like an event, but over the years many have tried and failed to convince her to get it done, but as with most things in her life, she wasn't going to do it until she was ready. (I didn't really care whether she ever did or not, to be honest.) It almost didn't happen due to a set of circumstances that will only bore you, my dear readers, but suffice it to say that she did it! And no tears!

Sunday afternoon I ferried The Kid to a birthday sleepover and went home to snooze awhile (ah, lazy weekends). TR came by later in the evening and took me out for a steak, some helpful items at the Less Than Safeway, and some adventuresome donuts.

We headed back home with our spoils and watched more Rick Steves.

Well, he watched more of it than I did, to be honest. Remember I mentioned about lack of light + arm around the shoulders = Mimi's out cold? Add a blanket and it's a guaranteed knockout.

The Kid was headed to the Denver Aquarium (which has tigers and a seafood restaurant - wrap your noggin around THAT one) Monday, and even then not until noon, so I was able to really maximize my sleeping in. Lovely! After lunch at Lucille's, TR headed home just as The Kid was getting in, and she & I spent the afternoon hangin' on the couch.

I attempted to make pizza for dinner, but it failed miserably. Oh well.

I hope you had a lovely, lovely weekend... enjoy the video, we'll consider it the Totally Random Tuesday post, shall we? (I'm not giving up on Tome Tuesdays, but I'm not going to make it to the 52-book level, which is okay.)

The Third & The Seventh

Do yourself a favor and full-screen this. It's stunning.

Friday, January 15, 2010

F-Word Friday: Help For Others... Whether Rush Likes It Or Not

I'm really stretching this whole "F-Word" concept. I've decided it counts if I work any word starting with "F" into the title.

So there.

First and foremost (hey! TWO f-words!), before I tell you all about how Rush Limbaugh is missing something vital in his psychological makeup (like a conscience), I'd like to post some info, in case you haven't seen it, about ways you can help Haiti. Every little bit helps.

The following organizations are accepting SMS donations in the US only:
  • SMS text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts
  • SMS text “YELE” to 501501 to Donate $5 to Yele Haiti’s Earthquake Relief efforts
  • SMS text "GIVE10" to 20222 to donate $10 to Direct Relief
Also accepting cash and in-kind donations are the following sites:

Something of note... the rumor that UPS is giving free shipping to anyone sending goods to Haiti is not true (but they did donate $1M).

I'm sure they would and all, but where exactly would you send it, and how would they deliver? Better to just give goods (mainly money) to the organizations that do these sorts of things best.

(Thank you, Internet.)


Rush Limbaugh.

Rush said, to sum up, that President Obama is only helping to look better to the black communities of the world, and that we shouldn't send Haiti any money because we've sent them tax dollars before.

No, really. And he *defended* it!

But you know what, we can forgive him. As my 2nd Favorite Scotsman said last night, we'll totally forget the whole thing. All he has to do is send a million dollars of his very own money, and all will be forgiven.

Oh, and Pat Robertson said it's divine retribution for Haitians making a deal with the Devil to free them from the French back in the day.


TR thinks they must have both used some kind of instant Soul Remover. I think he's on to something.

It's okay to be jealous of my Power Point skills. I don't mind.

It only hurts for a minute, and that burning sensation means it's working!

I can only hope that Rush loses some sponsors (he can go cry in his beer with that creepy Glenn Beck), and that Pat Robertson manages to exorcise his demon soon.

Because dayum.

Have a great weekend... I'll be finishing up a guitar strap (we'll see if it actually works) and a dragon.

And reading. I swear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Bueller?

Last night was Freshman Registration Night for The Kid, and we are both pretty excited about the whole thing!

She had been pretty intimidated by the "new school/where the hell am I" aspect of it all, but was reassured that the Freshman all get to start a day early so they can figure out where everything is, get an idea of how long it will take them to get from one class to the next, etc.

They also further explained the choices for classes... it's really amazing the input the kids get to have in their educational choices! I don't know about you, but I was instructed that I would be taking this, this and this... I didn't get much of an option.

Now it's like a college catalog!

There are 2 Math tracks - you choose depending on your learning style. We've decided (after a brief interview between The Kid and an extremely amusing Math professor who I fervently hope she gets) that she will do the IMP track, which is Integrated Math. They learn all different types of Math, and work them all together in problem solving. Fabulous!

Then there' s the Language Arts and History departments. You can do your traditional classes, but then there's an Integrated World Studies course track, wherein the Language Arts classes and History classes are taught simultaneously, with each class learning from and playing off of the other.

Their example was what they're doing right now. They're learning about WWI and territorial warfare in the History side, and reading Romeo & Juliet in the Language Arts side. The assessment for both classes, done as one big project, will be performing Romeo & Juliet in the context of WWI.

Doesn't that sound completely awesome?!

Then there's the Science group. There's really only one option for Freshmen unless they're really proficient in 8th grade Science (The Kid is not, though she does ok), which is Earth Systems, but it's the best class possible. They don't just learn about the different systems in play on our planet, they do it using real-world examples, including current events. They find out *why* things happen the way they do. That makes all the difference... the teacher called it "science literacy", which I think fits really well.

The Kid's school district really pushes the electives as well as core subjects; they are dedicated to the kids having a really well-rounded education.

They require at least one semester of PE per year, which is great, and the choices are extremely varied, like Net and Target, and Iron Works (The Kid's choice - she likes lifting weights). I think there was one called Search & Destroy, but I'm pretty sure that's only what I *wish* it was called... it's all about Capture-The-Flag type games.

She'll do Orchestra all year, of course, but we're trying to decide between regular Orchestra and the String Orchestra, which plays all around the community and at special events.

Decisions, decisions.

And you should see all the options for the other music groups! The Choral/Choir groups regularly go to competitions all over the country, and the Band made it all the way to Ireland to march in Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade one year.

She's also taking French. She'll probably take it all 4 years, in fact; they have everything up to and including AP French, with an opportunity for an exchange program. I tried to convince her she should take Spanish, but it *is* an elective... it's her choice, really.

She may or may not end up with a 2D Art course (the prerequisite for any other art course there) - it depends whether or not she gets into the Leadership Academy they've started at this school just this year. It's pretty cool, but it's an application-based course and not everyone can make it in (they had 100 applicants this year but could only take 50). They learn about and participate in community issues, do job shadowing, learn about leadership roles and problem solving... all really important stuff.

Seriously, how good would being a part of that for 4 years look on her college resume?!

Last but not least, we got a peek at what kind of extra-curricular activities there are...

And there are LOTS.

There's the usual sports options, most of which require too much time for our schedule and her academic style. Basketball and Volleyball, what she would normally pursue, take up most of the evening of the season they're in... it would be one thing if she'd been doing them since 1st grade, was doing private league play, etc., but it was only for fun in Middle School. So we'll pass.

However, having said that, there is a Spring Girls Golf team. The Child about fell over - she wants in.

Then there are all the clubs! Robotics, MESA (Science), Ping Pong and Anime are a few that she was really excited about trying.

Now we just have to see if she gets IN to this school... we had to open-enroll, and while I'm not too worried, I'll feel better with the paper in hand.

Go Raptors!
High School.


I don't know if it's really Thrilling or more along the lines of Pants Wettingly Terrifying, but either way...

Here we come!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time Waster Wednesday - Multiple Viewings Necessary

I unexpectedly went to the movies last night.

Isn't that cool?

I love when stuff like that happens.

TR came up (we were going to go get my passport done, but alas I lack the proper paperwork... so it'll have to wait!) and we had a late lunch/early dinner before picking up The Kid and heading to Fabulous Twin Peaks Mall to see...

(Yes, Mom, that would be the movie I insisted I didn't want to see.)

Go see it!

The plot is nothing all that exceptional (well done, but nothing you won't see coming), but the EFFECTS!

I can't see 3D (a lamentable fact), which is just as well since the mall doesn't have one of those screens, but I didn't need to.

It was absolutely stunning. It's a world you've never seen... a rare feat in Sci Fi.

The experience reminded me a lot of when I first saw Finding Nemo in the theatre; I just kept wanting the film to *stop*, just so I could look at it some more.


If you get the chance, see it in the theatre!

And now for your time waster... courtesy of Ms. Pretzels.

I couldn't do it... can you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Through The Magic Baby Door

I had an awesome weekend. I hope you did too!

Friday night, after picking up The Child and her buddy from orchestra practice, we headed home and the girls played Wii awhile while I worked on finishing that huge book about which I promised you a book report, due tomorrow.

Am I done with it, you ask?

*Shakes Magic 8-Ball*

Answer Unclear. Ask Again Later.

Inquire within

Saturday morning The Child's grampa came and collected her, and I headed to Denver.

TR & I had a late lunch at Mead St. Station, including something called Poutine.

The online menu claims this features melted fontina cheese, but NO IT DOESN'T... it's Havarti, which is one of my top 3 favorite cheeses.

It comes in right behind Cojack, but only because I like saying Cojack.

Well I do!


After our lovely meal, we picked up some Happy Cakes (of course - it was 2 blocks up, what were we going to skip it?), then relaxed awhile before heading out to meet a few lovely people for dinner (Cafe Colore, which was wonderful), and then...


CRAIG FERGUSON! Live on stage and 20 feet from yours truly.

(Please tell me you know who Craig Ferguson is, you cheeky monkey you... if not, there will be an entire OOH LA LA post about him because he's my 2nd favorite Scotsman.)

Pic is from The Big Tease, a movie he was in awhile back

The venue was pretty meh. As TR put it, the entire staff seemed to have quit right before they seated us, causing the management to panic and hand clip boards and t-shirts and a hearty "good luck" to 5 random people outside. The seats were really cramped, which would have been okay but they wouldn't seat all 7 of our party in the same row despite us being the second group in. Plus, no bathrooms after the show - just shoved back out into the cold, cruel world.

Oh well, at least they didn't make us keep to the 2-drink minimum, because holy crap $8 mojitos.

The MC, Hippie Man, was very very silly and had everyone going, but the opening act, a guy whose name I don't even remember, was a turd.

He was sort of funny, which sucked (go with me on this), because he had me laughing at some stuff, and then he'd throw something horrible out there and it was too late, I was already laughing, and you know how that goes... your funny bone gets tickled and there's no stopping for at least a minute.

He made fat jokes, which is bad enough, but he made them directly at a guy whose seat was on stage. That's just really not cool, and it wasn't funny... just bullying. I hate comics whose funny is all about making someone else feel less-than.

Craig seemed to have noticed though, or at least that's what I saw... he seems to improvise a lot around his notes, and he made a point to look at the guy in question (and his girlfriend) when talking about how he likes some meat on the bones, plus gave the guy a hearty handshake on the way off the stage, AND made fun of "young comedians" who run around grabbing their junk for laughs on stage, which was the other half of the jerk's act.

If they're touring together, I'd like to think he gave him an earful for that one. One can only hope.

Anyway, Craig had me laughing so hard I really thought I was going to start crying... I can't recount the whole thing of course, but there were bits about the Scottish way of life, Andy Rooney being America's Grampa, playing clarinet in a heavy metal band (Staaaaaag!), and so on and so forth. He has a knack for just rambling about, but making his way back to the point eventually.

I don't know why I identify with that.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Anyway, he was great, although I would have enjoyed the last 15 minutes or so a lot more if I hadn't had to pee so bad.

(You know I'm all about the TMI, don't act all shocked.)

After being kicked out onto the street after the show was done (no t-shirts or anything!) we headed back to TR's brother's where I got to see my new favorite Wii game...

Lego Indiana Jones! It's awesome, although I would have appreciated it more if I wasn't on hour 20 of being awake. I hope they didn't think I was being rude, nodding off in the massage chair...

Back at the ranch, I fell asleep almost immediately and slept in on Sunday... hunger won out over sleep, however, and we headed out to Toast, a new place that just opened in the location of what was formerly a Village Inn. The funny thing was, they haven't changed the decor AT ALL, just the name on the door and the insert in the lighted sign.

I have a theory that they did this on purpose... you walk in, and expect Village Inn food (not bad, but your basic morning fare)... and then they BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF by giving you a plate full of unexpected joy.

I had some eggs and home-made potatoes... you can tell when potatoes have been frozen, and these were fresh-chopped quarters of red potatoes, baked with onions and a little olive oil and salt and pepper.


They do have some items on their menu that seem to have been created while having a serious case of the munchies, most notably the Maple Long John Stuffed French Toast (bavarian cream-filled long johns, dipped in french toast custard and cooked to order, although I'm not quite sure what that means - I'm pretty sure I'd want them cooked "all the way through", but that's just me) and Gravy Cakes (sausage pancakes covered in sausage gravy - we tried some on the side, being unable to resist, and the *side dish* portion of this would have fed a small army).

After heading back north later in the day, and dinner with The Kid's grampa & his fiance (I love that she loves dinner company), it was home and to bed.

It was a wonderful weekend. (Thanks TR, for all of it.)

Wish me luck this week... Freshman Registration night for The Child this Wednesday!


Ooh la la!

Friday, January 8, 2010

F-Word Friday: Frakkin' Lazy

I have been so very productive this week. (No seriously.)

This means, of course, that my posts are LAME once again, but I hope you'll forgive me.

Today, the laziest of the lazy...

Links to OTHER, far superior and way funnier blogs and such.

Trust me, you'll be glad I did it... you didn't really want to hear about the new expense system, did you!

Happy Friday... enjoy!

Clown penises (peni?) are disturbing. More so than you'd think, even.

If you come to my house, I will make these for you.

I may come to *your* house to make them for you, in fact, because I need to make these, and if I make them (and I will) and there are no other adults to help me consume them, I will eat all of them.

You don't want me to get fat(er) do you?

Please, do it for my thighs.

Finny makes me laugh, all the time. I enjoy that she likes to swear and does dumb things like burn her hand on a pan that had recently emerged from a 400 degree oven.

I mean, I'm not glad she burned her hand, but I'm glad I'm not alone in the world.

Also, she's a slut for grammar. I love her for that.

Mrs. Dandy is on her honeymoon bacachun in New Zealand.

She is doing a ridiculous amount of cool shit and taking pictures of everything so we can live vicariously.

My jealousy knows no bounds.

Today's photo journey... take a lazy river tube ride and stick it in a natural New Zealand setting, and you have what she did this week, amongst many many other things.

The only thing that keeps me from pouting more than I already am is that:
  • my ass would probably not fit in one of those tubes, and
  • underground caves trigger my claustrophobia, so I'd have my hands over my face anyway and miss everything. So, you know, just as well.

The most tolerant cat in the whole world.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WTF Wednesday - All I Wanted Was My Two Front Teeth!

So, um...

I remembered the cord.

Wow I had a lot in that camera!

(PS...So as to not blow up your computer, I have shrunk (shrank? shrinked?) the following into more bite-size versions, but if there are any you'd like to see up close go ahead and click em'.)

Okay we're going to start off with a pride-fest. I made a LOT of gifts this year. Not as many as I would have liked to but still a fair amount. I have photos of all but one (the cape I made for KJ... I'll work on that), and I'd like to share them with you.

Because I'm needy and require approval, that's why.

This is what my house looked like a week before Christmas...


Okay, Christmas morning.

I still had time!

Aren't they cute? They were really easy to make. And I made a LOT of them. They went to various friends and family; I thought I was going to have enough to give away but they all found homes.

If you'd like to make some yourself, here's the pattern! I added the buttons because I didn't like how the join looked. My OCD was fully in control.

Actually, I had so much fun making them that if you'd like me to make one FOR you, you need only say the word.

You're welcome!

These are a few the Chrismyth patterns I found a million years ago; there was a sixth but it got sent to a swap partner! There are several more patterns, but I think I'll let this group go... I started that dragon in the middle there about 9 years ago. I don't think I'll ever finish this feat.

Small cross-stitch takes FOREVER. I'd much rather sew something.

This would be what I made my mom. You can find the pattern here! It is SO soft, and she loved the color.

I would like to tell you that I finished this before Christmas, but I didn't. I finished it the morning of the day she arrived in town... on the 28th.

The Dr. Who scarf! This is the authentic pattern, I'll have you know. It's not quite as long as the original (14 feet!) but it got close enough.

It is with no small amount of pride that I point out the following:

1. TR wears this thing everywhere.
2. See the little green bit there in the middle of the picture? The bitty painting with the green and blue and red? I made that, too.

I just really love it when hand-made stuff doesn't get stashed in a closet somewhere (yes I realize there's a closet there, but you know what I mean). It's deeply nerve-wracking to give someone something you've made - we're all our own worst critics. So when it's not only appreciated but out there for everyone to see...


Also please note the really lovely photo of a cross next to the scarf. It's gorgeous and I wish I had a better shot of it.

Fug Bunny!

In a desperate attempt not to show up empty handed, I found a last-minute pattern online for a toddler-friendly item (read: can't rip it limb from limb - well not easily - and nothing to pull off and swallow), and I found this.

I had this old shirt that I loved for the fabric only (horizontal stripes + stretchy jersey = NO), and I used it to make little Fug up there.

I gave it that unfortunate name in advance of giving it to little Karma up there (isn't she cute?)... had I known how much she would love it I probably would have given it a better name.

Like Mimi Sewed My Arms In Backward And Stuffed Me Oddly But I'm Still Cute Bunny.

Nah, too long. Fug Bunny it is.

It was a year for geek crafts, apparently.

This was a special request by my favorite Kid. The Jayne Hat.

Have I told you about how much I love Firely? I might have mentioned it.

Okay! Now on to the presents! I didn't take pictures of everything, that would have been embarrassing, but I just need to tell you that I was extremely grateful to everyone who thought of us this year.

Christmas isn't about presents, but it sure makes it fun!

This is a really cool camera. The Kid loved it, and her grampa Craig bought her a 4G card for it, plus a camera case that is going to really work for her trip to Washington DC & New York... which is coming up soon!

Also, I want one for myself now. GREEDY.

I'm going to have to get a Webshots account just for her, I think. She's already had tons of fun with it!

I bought her a book of music for her Viola. Fiddling music.

My head hurt just looking at this, but she was humming along with the notes... impressive, no?

This was my present. It was filled with little wrapped things, and was very sweet and smelled good.

I love Yankee Candle.

Please ignore the Craft Crazy in the background there. I already admitted to you that I was totally behind, NO NEED TO RUB IT IN.

My mom brought some stuff with her for us. I mentioned the other day that she gave me the amazing shawl she'd spent so much time on...

Really you have to see it in person. There are about 5 million little beads worked into it.

I think you should click this picture, because you need to see the hat and bag closer.

My mother is amazing.

Here's my sad little tree... actually it was pretty cute. I liked having a small tree this year - not only did I only use the ornaments that meant the most to me (versus putting everything I can find on there), the tree also didn't take up the whole house.

Next year, I'm going to get a real tree, but I'm going to stick with the small-but-cute theme.

Nova got me these. I have no idea what I'll use them for, but I will FIND SOMETHING. I mean come on! Look at that!

This house is 2 miles from me. I can see it from my roof.

Now! On to the sledding!

All hats and scarves made by me and my mom. Nice!

The hat my mom is wearing is the one she made The Kid *last* year, and then of course there's the Skull Cap from this year, which is just totally adorable.

The Kid had a LOT of fun.

So did I. Despite the bruises.

When we got tired, we sat on the log fence that was at the top of the hill.

This was our view...

And it made all the bruising totally worth it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: Cliff Divers and Processed Cheese

So yeah, it's Tuesday... and you might notice the lack of "Tome Tuesday" up there in the title.

Am I giving up? No, but...


I'm 5 weeks behind. I'm a fast reader but come ON.

So I'm going to start up again (next week - Under The Dome by Stephen King), and call it good.

Today, however, I have to tell you the following:

1) I brought my camera today. Know what I didn't bring?

The USB cord.

I'll give you a minute to stop laughing.

2) Last night, I went and had an awesome dinner with The Kid, TR & several of TR's friends.

Where, you ask?

Casa Bonita, The Disneyland of Mexican restaurants.

Isn't it pretty?

The inside is way better.

Now I'd been there once before, but it was with a whole bunch of Girl Scouts, so I didn't really get to experience it fully. (I was busy trying to dry the tears of terrified 8 year olds who had just braved Black Bart's Cave.)

There's an excellent guide to surviving Casa Bonita here, and it's pretty spot on. The key seems to be to think of the food as an admission fee, but I'll admit...

I sort of liked the food. I know it's wrong.

Apparently South Park did an episode that featured this icon of childhood joy, but YouTube keeps shutting stuff down.

But thanks to the internet, I found it! With Polish subtitles!

I took the link off, because as I found out quite by accident there is a LOT of porn on that site, but if you really want to see it, ya know...

Google it! :)

To make it up though, I found this, just for you.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Extra: We Are Not Alone

I just wanted to share this with you.

It's important that you understand that grammar is important...

And we, the Grammar Freaks of the world, are not alone.

Click it to read it!

Go read Girls With Slingshots. It's funny!

Weekend Catchup: Long Ass Weekend

Well hi there!

Miss me?

(Oh you did not, you big liar!)

I hope you had a lovely holiday... I did, even though it was way too frickin' fast for my taste.

That's the problem with anticipation - it makes the buildup take FOREVER, which is totally fun, but then blammo, it's over.

Two things about today's post:

1. You might notice a lack of photos. This is because I was way more preoccupied with not wanting to go back to work than I was with remembering my camera. This shall be rectified, I swear.

2. You might notice that my writing sucks today. I apologize in advance for this... brain-dump posts are never my best.

What I Did On My Winter Vacation, by Mimi Rickets

When last we spoke, I was enjoying some Christmas Day relaxing at my friend Nova's, and lo it was good. We ended up staying the night Friday (it was cold and windy and gross out, plus yay Strongbow), but headed out fairly early Saturday morning, as there was a lot to prepare and clean, what with all the family making their way to us!

Saturday & Sunday

The idea Saturday night had been to have a PJ party at The Kid's grampa's house with all of his various nearly-daughters-in-law, but we were seriously wiped out and went home early. LAME... but productive, since I ended up getting all my cleaning done really early Sunday morning, before heading back to his house for their family Christmas party.

It was lots of fun and full of yummy food like prime rib (oh so good) and merriment and Wii.

Always the Wii.


Monday morning I managed to sleep in a little (nothing like a day off work) but then it was up to finish the last-minute fringe on my mom's Christmas gift, and then out to first have breakfast with my aunt and uncle and then head to the airport to pick up said parental unit!

The Kid ended up staying with my aunt for awhile instead of joining me on my DIA run. It was good for them to have some time together, and it also meant a little time for me and my mom by ourselves, which was great!

It had been decided that since my cousins (the sons of my aunt, who drove in from Chicago) were flying in later in the day, rather than my aunt and uncle shlepping all the way to the airport, my mom and I would just hang down that way and pick them up instead, which worked well... we met TR for lunch (a lovely time), and then went to the enormous Dillards near the restaurant to shop a little.

I should note that I got properly measured for a bra while we were there, and I discovered that I am not the semi-normal cup size I thought I was, but rather that I have ENORMOBOOBS.

It's cool, but it was slightly shocking!

Monday night was fairly nice, except for the counselling session I got roped into. The good news is I managed to get that out of the way first thing, and was able to get through the rest of the week without a repeat.

Teenagers. (Not mine, though, no worries!)

We did our final Christmas gift exchange Monday night as well, what with my mom and the Aunt Family (AF from here on in) being all in one place.

Remember that shawl my mom made?

Yeah, it was for me. It is so much more gorgeous in person, I have to tell you, and MINE MINE MINE!

There were many other lovely gifts, really it was too much... but lots of fun.


We didn't really have much planned for Tuesday, so we slept in and then went shopping. Can you think of a better plan?

Yeah, me neither.

The Kid got to use her gift certificate for Borders, my mom picked up some 75%-off ornaments at Anthropologie and a very cute but very expensive pair of Levi's, and I had a headache.

I was so much fun I'm amazed they could even stand to be around me!

I felt better once we were back at home and I could snooze awhile.


A really cool thing about where I live is that I'm half an hour from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Know what they have there?


And that's what we did... oh wait til you see the pictures. I didn't photograph the enormous bruises on my legs (totally worth it), and I missed getting photos of my mother going ass-over-teakettle the first time down, but I did get some awesome shots!

Wednesday night's dinner is totally worth mentioning too, as it involved my mom's spaghetti sauce, the spicing of which she will not reveal to me, despite my desperate pleas.

Okay, I just asked once. Maybe if I beg a little, she'll relent!


Ah, New Year's Eve. I don't generally do anything with this day other than fall asleep by 10 PM, but this year I actually had PLANS! A party to go to and everything!

I hung with my mom and The Kid and the AF until about 7 (my uncle made home made pizza that was just killer), and then I headed to Denver to TR's brother's house for an actual party.

Things of note...

* Makers Mark & Coke is my new favorite drink.
* Too much of this makes me sing show tunes with strangers.
* TR knows a lot of really cool people that I'm glad to have met.
* I look a lot like TR's brother's girlfriend, which was amusing to everyone, but especially Herself and Myself.
* Wearing your fella's cozy wool coat while standing on a porch at Midnight on New Year's Eve watching fireworks go off in a sky that features a blue moon is an excellent portent to a great New Year. Take my advice on this one.

We managed to get to sleep at about 4AM... and I had to be up and out by 9:30AM.

I'm still not sure how I pulled that one off!


Did I mention that we got in late?

After managing to haul my butt home in time to change clothes and make myself presentable, The Kid's grampa picked us up and we all headed to The Stanley Hotel for a lovely brunch.

It's always lovely to have a meal at the Stanley; the location is gorgeous, the food is always excellent, and if you don't have to drive and can enjoy the scenery as you meander up the mountain to get there, it just makes it that much more awesome.

Thanks go out to my uncle, who sprung for the whole thing... it was very sweet of him and totally unnecessary, but appreciated!

Friday night was just me, The Kid, and my mom, home and eating pot roast that had been simmering all day. We had a nice time relaxing and spending a last bit of time together.


Well, we knew it was coming, but it still kinda sucked...

After a lovely breakfast, we took my mom to the airport so she could make her way back to lovely Tucson, AZ.

It's never long enough, but it's always nice to have her here!

The Kid & I did take a little time to mope, however. We're entitled.


You know, some people enjoy going back to work after vacation. I used to be one of those people.



Let's just say I think my New Year's Resolution is to start playing the lottery.

Work is for suckers!


Guess what I got for Christmas from TR, besides Wii Sports Resort and some Happy Cakes?

A passport.

Well, not an actual passport, obviously, there is paperwork to be done after all, but he's springing for it.

I just had to share.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday... thank you for being patient with my lame post today, and I promise pictures...

Well, I was going to say "I promise pictures tomorrow", but you know how it is.

So I'll just say SOON.

Happy Monday!