Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post-Turkey Stupid Disorder

I think the turkey broke my brain.  I'm completely serious.  It's as if I went to North Carolina a reasonably intelligent person able to walk and talk and feed herself and have returned with the brain of a sea cucumber.  The winter dark has completely baffled my body clock, and it wants to sleep all the time, except for when I want it to, at night.  So I've had a 4 am night and a 3 am night this week.  The following mornings have been hellish, to say the least.

I am hoping to move up from my current enchinoderm-level to something better fitting of a homo sapien, but it's looking to be a slow process.  So far I have forgotten to eat for so long that I only realized it when I tried to determine why I felt so ill not once, but twice.  Lists to the rescue!

Nine Activities Which Apparently Amuse A Sea Cucumber
1. Watching Iron Man 2 (Twice.  Okay, twice and change--I totally watch the kiss over and over.)
2. Watching movies with Will Arnett in them (unintentionally, both times, but not unhappily)
3. Watching movies featuring ladies wearing aprons and nothing else (this has also happened twice, also unintentionally)
4. Listening to the Tangled soundtrack on repeat.
5. Searching out sweet and sappy videos on youtube.
6. Receiving surprise globes in the mail from awesome folks.
7. Dusting, vacuuming, and mopping at 11 pm.
8. Getting smacked in the face by my dog first thing in the morning (once by her paw, once by her face)
9. Having dreams in which my postman beats people up and then gets a concussion.

Ah, and now it's time to sprinkle some leftover turkey on Vista's dinner and restart the old Tangled soundtrack.  Come on, brain.  Come back to me.

Vista and Gigi

I promised you doggie videos, and never let it be said I don't keep my promises.  This is very obviously not at the beach, and was actually taken the day I left to drive down.  I went to Lewisburg first, where I met up with Long-Lost Cousin Lilly and her dog Gigi.  We drove over to the Greenbrier State Forest, picked a trail, and--after seeing how deserted the whole place was--let our beasties off their leashes.  Gigi's about twice Vista's size (though they're moving so fast you can hardly tell), which means that she can actually match her for speed.  That is a rare, rare thing indeed.  If you can make out my comment at then end, I can assure you that she did sleep all the way to the beach and it was fantastic.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cinema Overdose

I've always been a fan of seeing movies in the theatre, but I never would have called myself an addict.  I dated a cinephile, a card-carrying member of the AFI, and knew that I'd never be anywhere near his level.  That is, before I moved to a town without a cinema and adopted a dog with such severe separation anxiety that driving the hour to the nearest theatre is just too cruel to everyone involved.

So one of my main goals while I was in North Carolina with my family for Thanksgiving was to see as many movies as I could.  I achieved that goal, with aplomb, I think.  By the fourth straight day (Thanksgiving Day, in fact), my mother turned to me and said "Do you think they'll give us little plaques with our names for our seats now?"  I replied that it wouldn't be economical, as we'd sat in four different auditoriums.  And so, without further ado, here is my list of movies.

Four Movies I Dragged My Family To Over Thanksgiving

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
I saw this with my mother, who's read all the books save the one on which the movie was actually based, and my aunt, who's read none of the books save the very first.  Personally, I thought it was everything I could have wanted.  Yes, it follows the plot of the first half of the book very closely (which I had recalled mostly for the "Ron's a stupid git" and "Bellatrix is especially nutso"parts), but also feels like its own entity.  You wish, of course, that you could spend more time with the smaller characters--the Remus/Tonks almost-announcement in the very beginning especially bothered me--but realize, of course, that no matter how literary you make a film, it is still a film, with film constraints.  Overall: very, very satisfied.  Can't wait for Part 2, and can't wait for Cowboys and Aliens, the trailer of which played before the film.

2. Unstoppable
This was the choice of my mom and aunt, and I was unenthusiastic about it.  I ended up going along for the ride, however, and I am so very glad I did.  Unstoppable is a fantastic, gripping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat film and I'd see it again in a second if I wasn't sure my heart would give out under the stress.  The best part about it, I think, wasn't that it was a film about a runaway train.  It was that it was a film about a runaway train that felt real, like you were actually watching it unfold in your daily life.  It doesn't feel over-the-top and Hollywood.  It's just a great film.

3. Megamind
My nine-year-old cousin Skylar was my date for this show, and we both got a kick out of it.  It wasn't one I'd wanted to see initially, but we got it at the end of its run--it was replaced by Tangled the next day--and in 3D, no less!  Funny, sweet, and all-around a solidly enjoyable offering from Dreamworks.  I have to say, though, that although I find Tina Fey hilarious, her voice is just very recognizable as "Tina Fey," which made it impossible to completely suspend my disbelief.  Everytime Roxanne spoke, I remembered that this was a movie, and Tina Fey was an actress, and the whole thing lost some of its sparkle.  Unfortunately.  After the film, Skylar insisted on holding on to her glasses, and then picked up another pair anyway the next day when we came back to see...

4. Tangled
This is the one I super wanted to see, because I am a girly, girly, girly girl.  And also am sort of in love with Zachary Levi.  So Mom, Skylar, and I headed over to the first show after Thanksgiving dinner.  The theatre was pretty full of kids, but we had a blast anyway.  The story was fun, the music was great, and the animation--as always--was perfect.  I think the Princess and the Frog is still my favourite of Disney's more recent offerings, but this was still a lot of fun!  See it in 3D if you can.


Two Movies I Did Not See Despite Good Intentions

1. Skyline - Alien movies = weakness.  Really did want to catch this, but ran out of momentum and cash.
2. True Grit - Westerns = bigger weakness (now do you see why I'm so excited about Cowboys and Aliens?).  Really, really wanted to catch this.  Intended to go alone on Friday, but then the sky opened up and none of us felt like going anywhere.  Ran Vista on the beach after the rain stopped, but that was as far as I got.  Hopefully it might still be playing when I get home for Christmas.

Whew!  Does that make up for missing a week?  Tune in next time for lots and lots of doggie videos (I mean it--Thanksgiving came with five in addition to Vista)!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Enabling My Hoarding Tendencies

Eleven Things I Collect On Purpose
1. Vintage globes
2. Smooth beach stones
3. Records to play on my broken record player
4. Antique illustrated story books
5. Very small snow globes
6. Snails and whales (duh), but mostly whales
7. Dia de los Muertos art
8. Art in general
9. Photobooth strips
10. Pressed pennies
11. Vintage Pyrex bowls

Six Things I Collect On Accident
1. Festive holiday socks (gifts from my mother--I've come to love them)
2. Paperback novels (I don't mean to collect them, I just buy them and then...never get rid of them)
3. Old, well-loved comforters (the oldest was bought when I was 2)
4. Decorative pillows (people give them to me, I guess?  Anyways, I have them)
5. Gigantic art books (hazard of being an art historian--can be stacked for use as a small table)
6. Striped shirts (can't seem to help myself)

Five Things I Would Collect Were I A Millionaire
1. More art
2. Dogs
3. Pottery
4. Video game consoles
5. Art Nouveau furniture

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In Which I List My Most Favourite Apps

Seven iPod Apps I Use Everyday (Or Thereabouts)

1. Crosswords - It costs $10, but you get multiple new puzzles everyday.  Worth it to a word nerd like me.
2. Unblock Me - This was the first app I ever downloaded, and I still play it.  Classic slider puzzles.
3. Kindle - My mom and I live in separate states, but thanks to this guy, we share a Kindle.  It's actually handier here than the physical Kindle, which uses Sprint to sync wirelessly, and Sprint has no reception in the county's quiet zone.  And yes, I read whole books on that little screen.
4. Weather - I could probably wax poetic about the weather app, but I won't.  It's the first thing I check in the morning.  It's accurate and tells me the weather.  Came with the ipod.
5. Nonograms - These are the only number-based puzzles I enjoy.  I can only do the simplest 5x5 grids, but I play the free version, so that's alright.
6. Scopa Lite - Scopa is a fantastic Italian card game and I love it.  I like that this app applauds when I win a game, though I dislike that it also boos when I lose.  I've got the free version now, but will likely end up buying the pro, as it has more options.
7. Echofon - My preferred Twitter app.  I find it enormously intuitive to use.

I love my iPod Touch, in case you couldn't tell.  :)

Photo is by Renz Costillas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Instances In Which Vista is Very Silly

Told you the first list was short.

1. Please forgive the shaky-cam aspect of this.  She was spinning, I was spinning.  There was a lot of spinning.

2. Telling Vista to "Go run!" usually gets the sort of response seen in the video above.  But not always.

This list is dedicated to Laura, who loves my fuzzy little freak far more than she loves me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lists Forever

These two dudes took over my notebook while at the conference. Kinda like'm.

I apologize for the dearth in posts of late (do you feel there's been a dearth?  I feel like there's been a dearth).  I've been uninspired for some reason, although I've been posting up a storm of awesome things over on my other blog.  Because I am uninspired, and because I love making lists, I have decided I am going to make lists until I feel inspired again.  This is partially inspired by Andrea, who is the queen of lists and never seems to want for inspiration, but is also because a million little lists enter my mind all day, and sometimes I write them down.

It occurs to me in retrospect that I could have made a LIST about why I'm going to make lots of lists, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

I'll start off slow tomorrow and go until I feel super creative or something exciting happens in my life, whichever one comes first.  Or maybe I'll never stop.  Lists can be addictive little things.

ps: The whale is a thing I drew and has nothing to do with anything.  His name is Ted.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Highboy in Progress

One of my projects at Pocahontas Woods has been getting a new website up (notice I'm not linking to our current website here, it's that awful).  Since I personally am not a designer of graphics or for web, that has lately meant waiting on our actual, qualified web designer.

I'm not very good at waiting.

I've been looking forward to getting to post about the projects in the woodshop on the new website, but since I can't at the moment, I'm going to post here.  Also, I'm a little bored.  With the waiting.
Our college student, Jerrill Vance (previously glimpsed here), has been putting his heart and soul into this, his final project.  It's a highboy cum secretary desk.  A high secretary.  And it's lovely.
 Clearly, it's currently in two parts, but you can get an idea of what the end result will look like.  The wood is curly cherry with walnut accents.
The best part, in my opinion, is that the desk locks.  There's not nearly enough locking furniture on the market these days, if you ask me.
Here it is with the drop-front open.  Actually, I lied when I said the best part was the locking.  The locking is pretty awesome, but the real best part is that it's going to have a secret compartment.  That's right, this piece of furniture is already cooler than every other piece of furniture you've ever owned and it's still in two pieces.  And guess what?  I know where the compartment's going to be.

And I'm not telling.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Little Hell Beast

Hello, internet.  Have you been longing for a list?  I bet you have!

My little dude and I spend most of our time together, but while I was traveling, I was away from Vista for over a week!  Insanity!  She kept busy at my parents' house, though, mostly by eating.  Here is a list of things she ate (that we know about anyways):

1 lb of Halloween candy
1 loaf of zucchini bread
1 chicken breast
1 bag of yogurt-covered raisins
1 dried apricot (abandoned the rest, presumably not to her taste)
1 stick of butter
1 package of graham crackers (taken out of the ceramic, lidded cookie jar)
Untold amount of dog treats (also removed from a closed jar)

From this we learned that height is no object (she leaped on and walked all over the kitchen counters and a large desk), and neither are things with lids.  She has yet to figure out cabinets, however, or any other kind of door.  You haven't beaten me yet, dog!

For those who are concerned, I am well aware of the types of foods which are poisonous to dogs, when to call poison control, and even what to do should I need to make whatever she ate, erm, reappear.  She's got a cast iron stomach though, I think.  Only the candy put her off her food, and nothing made her sick.

After I returned from Denver, my father confided in me that my mom was concerned that, having finally rid themselves of my brother's dog, they'd end up with mine.  Haha!  I wouldn't do that to you, Mom.  I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween at Home

After two days of driving, and half a day of flying, by the time I got back to DC Sunday night, I was not feeling great.  That's an understatement, actually.  I was feeling like some sort of un-Kelly, less than me and not quite human.  And there was no way I was climbing into another car, no sir.  So, with my boss's ok, I stayed in VA through Halloween.  I had doctors to visit, kittens to cuddle, and cookies to bake.
Everything in my mom's house gets decorated.  Even the peoples.
By the actual night, everyone had abandoned ship, leaving only Vista, the cat, and I to distribute Halloween candy.  Since Vista herself had consumed all of the candy my mom had bought, I restocked, emptying the bags into a gigantic orange basket.  Halloween at my parents' is notorious inconsistant.  Sometime we get mobbed and run out of candy in minutes, and other years we see nary a trick-or-treater, leaving us with tons of leftover candy.  So I was worried.
But I guess I did well--here's all that was left!

But now Vista and I are back in town.  We may have missed Halloween, but we're ready for the Day of the Dead!

In Which I Am Alive

So, we did it.  We drove from DC to Denver, crossing nine states, in two days.  To simplify things, we camped in Illinois, sleeping a few hours, and then getting up and chugging back along.  On Sunday, the day after we arrived in Denver, I had a flight back, so we spent the day poking around nearby Boulder.  Here's what Denver and back in 3 days looks like:
Our most important cargo.  She held up well, despite being bored out of her mind 99% of the trip.
We hit Wheeling, WV around lunch time on the first day, and having sampled some of the wares while at the conference, I encouraged Casey to stop so we could get crepes at Later Alligator.  We both had savory crepes, and Casey also had a cup of unbelievably fantastic cheddar and beer soup.  I am not a soup person, but this stuff was incredible.
Here is Indianapolis, taken with Casey's iPhone.
Watching the sun set on the first day.  This was, um, Illinois, probably.
Saturday morning was gray and dreary.  The sun didn't really peek through until around nine, so it felt like we drove through the night, even though we'd slept.
Kansas City from Casey's iPhone.  Wish I could have snapped the Royal's stadium, but I missed it.  It's impressive.
After KC, Kansas was pretty uninteresting.  It was a tie beween Kansas and Ohio for Least Interesting State to See from Interstate 70.
Kansas did have wind farms, though.  I'd never seen one before, but was driving, so Casey snapped these.  I love the little old windmill in the foreground--such a contrast!
Those black dots are cows.  For scale.  They are HUGE!
The point at which I understood why they call it "Big Sky Country."  The clouds go on, and on, and on.
We made it to Denver!  Sadly, there are no photos until we made it to this bookshop that night.  I think I had largely ceased to be human at that point.  The Tattered Cover is HUGE, by the way, and carried new and used books.  I grabbed a couple to read on the plane.
Casey and Lani on a pretty chilly summit in Boulder.
And there we all are.  There was a rescue climber training thing setting up to our right, which is what Lani was so interested in.

There you have it!  To Denver and back, and still alive.  Casey made his way the rest of the way to Jackson Hole the next day, where he was promptly caught in a blizzard.  Fortunately Lani loves the snow, so she's pretty happy.