Here we go with the first chapter of book 2!
Here we go with the first chapter of book 2!
Last weekend was soooo nice. SB came over on Friday after work, and I made pizza and we watched Mad Men and hung around.
Saturday we just lazed around all day, talked, made soup, went to the Apple store, watched TV — so nice and lazy.
Sunday was sunny and warm-ish and we were up pretty early so we went out to the boardwalk in PB. Had breakfast, walked (slowly) up to the pier, went out and watched the waves, saw a pod of huge dolphins swimming south, watched the surfers. Then we rented a tandem bike and rode 17 miles up and down the boardwalk and around the bay. He pedaled and I rested my feet on the frame and watched the people and the ocean and everything. Gosh it was fun! I didn’t even get much of a sunburn because a) it’s WINTER and b) I remembered to apply sunscreen twice, yay me. (I have this new Badger sunscreen that smells nice and doesn’t burn my throat if I put it on my lips so it’s less of a chore.) I did burn the backs of my hands a bit.
We stopped for lunch at 5 Guys — first time I’d eaten there and now I know why it’s so popular! They make a great grilled veggie sandwich, yum. And we had ice cream at a place that makes ice cream sandwiches with fresh-baked cookies, though that’s too much sweet stuff for me so I had a nice basic coffee ice cream cone :)
It was so lovely to be out in the sun and fresh air for hours, and to see all the happy people enjoying the beach.
There’s this huge pelican statue near the pier. He’s wearing a cravat and waistcoat for some reason. I guess California pelicans are snappy dressers. Lol.
Hey, Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are the last two chapters in Book 1 :)
We saw the LEGO movie on Saturday morning and had such a good time! It was so well made — great cast, well-written, funny but dark, visually perfect (CGI that makes you almost think it’s stop-motion). One of those movies with plenty of entertainment for the little kids and also deep subtle stuff for the big kids. Thought-provoking, even. The happy LEGO people singing about how awesome everything is while the surveillance cameras watch. How important is it to follow the instructions? How do you decide if an idea is dumb? And yes, I got all choked up near the end. Of course.
I don’t think I’ve seen a kids’ movie this good since the Toy Story films.
Can’t get the song out of my head. If you saw it, you know what I mean. At first I thought it was satirical… but the more I hear it the more honest it sounds. Hey, everything is pretty awesome, you know! It all depends on your attitude.
A Nobel prize, a piece of string, you know what’s awesome? Everything!
Also: I don’t remember if I mentioned that I borrowed Chloe’s ukulele around Christmas so I could learn some carols, but then I got sick and did nothing for 2 months. A few weeks ago (it was when I had the “Mad World” obsession) I dug out her uke again, found the chords for Mad World, and learned it. And had fun! I love to sing, and the uke is so simple and quiet that I can plunk along on the chords and sing with my little soft voice and have a fine old time. So I kept playing and learning more songs. Pretty much any song you can think of, you can find the chords online.
I told my lovely Aunt how much I was enjoying my borrowed uke and she sent me a uke of my very own! It arrived yesterday and I played from about 3pm till bedtime. It’s a “Fluke”.
Ukes are lightweight and the nice soft nylon strings don’t cut my fingers up so I can play for hours on end. Which I do. In the afternoon when I’m too tired to do anything I put on the TV and practice my uke. When I first started playing, I wanted to learn “Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (George Harrison-style) but the chords were too difficult. Yesterday I tried again and it wasn’t a struggle at all! Proud of myself.
I saw “American Hustle” last week (great movie); it takes place in the late 70s and the costuming, hair, sets, etc., were perfect. I noticed that one of the main characters wore a few different Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses, which made me lust for one of my own. So I found a free online pattern for a similar wrap dress and went to the awful fabric store for some stretch cotton — scored big with a green and white op-art print!
The free pattern is here:
Hope Wrap Dress
Make sure to print the test square first! Also make sure your printer is printing at 100%. Tape all the pieces together with just a bit of tape at the matching marks; then, when you’re sure it’s all matched up right, add more tape as needed.
The pattern is only one size (34) but it fits me almost perfectly. I had to modify the side seams (3/8″ instead of 5/8″) to give myself a little extra room, and I shortened the sleeves by 4 inches. Next time I’ll buy 3 yards of fabric — 2.5 was really pushing it and I had to piece together the binding and ties.
It’s an easy pattern – only front, back, and sleeves — but if you’re a beginning seamstress you’ll want a knowledgeable friend to guide you.
My awesome fabric:
Pattern taped together and ready to cut:
Finished it today! My head is not actually ENORMOUS. I hope when Henry is around sometime he’ll help me get a better photo:
Now I have to wait until the weather warms up before I can wear it! Maybe by August. Ha.
Henry sent me this link to an amazing short film. It’s an ad for the Sunday Times Culture section, which I now have a nearly uncontrollable urge to read:
So beautiful. And something for everyone — Rodin, Gump, Mad Men, Michelangelo, Reservoir Dogs, Daft Punk. I love the little touches, like the way Draper’s sleeve and collar are lighted, and the perfect hand-makeup for the Michelangelo vignette.
Want to know how it was made? Here ya go. This blows my mind. It’s a glorious ballet.
I watched three really great new-to-me movies over the last few days:
“Cold Fever” (1995), the story of a young Japanese man traveling through Iceland to perform a ritual for his dead parents. This was such a lovely movie. Besides the beautiful visuals, what really struck me was the way the movie portrayed that feeling of total disorientation you get when you travel to another country, and also the terrific jumble of humans that Hirata meets on his travels — most of them helpful and kind, others not so much, and all of them interesting.
“Kicking and Screaming” (1995): newly-graduated college students trying to figure out life. Sweet and funny, with appealing characters, and the dialogue was soooooo well written. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113537/
“Kicking and Screaming” was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, who also wrote and directed
“Frances Ha” (2012) — about a young woman in NYC trying to figure out life. :) Awesome dialogue and interesting characters, and I fell in love with Frances. It’s refreshing to see a movie with a female protagonist whose life isn’t defined by finding a man! Also Adam Driver was in it! (Adam from “Girls”) He’s always so much fun to watch.
Yup, three quiet, gentle, well-crafted movies about people interacting with each other. My favorite kind. :)
He’s gone. I knew it would happen soon after he lost his wife a few months ago. But it’s still hard to believe he’s actually gone, the man who’s been singing to me since before I can remember. Oh Pete. I feel like a member of my family has died.
“The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”
A handful of favorites:
The Hobo’s Lullaby:
Little Birdie (Live!)
The Ballad of Aimee McPherson
Henry my Son
What did you Learn in School?
Poor Little Turtledove
The Eerie Canal
Another really beautiful chapter. I love the bond that the members of the Fellowship have formed.
I’ve been wanting to re-watch Next Gen, since i haven’t seen it since it originally aired, pretty much, and I have memories of it being pretty good (some of the time).
I started with Season 1 a while back and found it next to unwatchable. So I asked around on the internet and among friends and relations: when does Next Gen get GOOD? The consensus seems to be “season three”.
So I watched the first ep of season 3 a couple months ago, and Henry and I watched the second ep last night. Hmm. Stiff, clunky, poorly-written to an almost unbelievable extent, boring camera work, and I think that instead of auditioning actors for supporting roles, they just grabbed random people off the street and handed them a script.
It was “Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” bad. Hilarious.
So then we watched an ep of TOS and, by comparison, it was a Shakespeare play performed by fine actors and filmed by a genius. Episode: “The Galileo Seven”. The cinematography was interesting! The story was compelling! The actors ACTED! The sets, though simple, were attractive. Even the music was appealing. Sure, the “Spock is a Vulcan and has no emotions — but wait! When the chips are down, he’s as human as anyone!” angle was perhaps overplayed… but you’ve got to remember that when it originally aired that was a new story and not yet part of our cultural language.
I’ll keep slogging through Next Gen. I KNOW there are some good episodes in there somewhere. But thank goodness I’ll always have TOS to fall back on when I need that “Star Trek” feeling in my soul.
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli meet up with someone in Fangorn Forest. I loved recording this chapter. I think it’s extra-beautiful, and I especially like the bit about being “dangerous”!
Pippin and Merry among the Ents. In two parts, ’cause it’s a long one.
Yes, Quickbeam’s song about the rowan trees got me all choked up.
“O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimirië!”
Who’s the best guy at making up names ever? Tolkien, that’s who.
There are so many things to love about this song. The percussion. The bass. The fantastic lyrics. The vocal harmonies. The layering at the end. I LOVE it. There doesn’t seem to be an official video, but you can just listen here:
In a seedy karaoke bar by the banks of the mighty Bosphorus
is a Japanese man in a business suit singing “smoke gets in your eyes”
and the muscular cyborg German dudes dance with sexy French-Canadians
while the overweight Americans wear their patriotic jumpsuits
HOW GREAT IS THAT????
Boy, there have sure been a lot of good movies recently. In the past few weeks I’ve seen “Nebraska”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Her”, and “La Grande Bellezza”, all of which were REALLY good. It’s hard to pick a favorite among those four, but “Her” probably touched me the most. All were well-crafted stories about humans (and one OS) interacting with each other, pretty much. My favorite kind of movie. Action, adventure, comedy, or thriller movies can be great, but the movies I like the most are always the ones about all the wonderfully varied ways that people behave and interact.
I still want to see “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “American Hustle” before they disappear!
Beautiful cover of a beautiful song, with a beautiful video.
I’ve only listened to it 37,288 times today…
Pippin and Merry are in the hands of the fightin’ Uruk-Hai! Oh no!
A few weeks ago my brother tweeted something about some Lord of the Rings lectures online. I hit the link, naturally, and discovered Dr. Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor (@tolkienprof on twitter). I downloaded and listened to his lectures on The Hobbit and was hooked after only a few minutes. He knows his stuff, and obviously loves and understands Tolkien, and puts things so clearly. His lectures are a joy. I wish Dad could have heard them.
Henry and I are both enrolled in his new course on Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales, which neither of us has read before.
Dr. Olsen’s lectures are downloadable from several different places. They’re all on iTunes U, but the iTunes interface ranges from annoying to difficult, so I thought I’d put EZ links to all of his Tolkien lectures here:
Lord of The Rings I: The Fellowship of the Ring
(Yeah, that’s an iTunes link. Sorry. The Fellowship lectures don’t seem to be posted anywhere else.)
If you’re willing to fight with iTunes, type “corey olsen” into the iTunes store search box. Scroll down until you see this:
Woohoo! I got started on The Two Towers this morning, and read the first two chapters! One is short (20 minutes) and once is very long (over an hour).
I haven’t read The Two Towers since probably the early 2000s, when I read it to Henry! So, though I remember what happens generally, it’s lovely to get all the details again.
Please buy a copy of your own :)