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Archive for February 2014

The Two Towers, Book 2, Ch 1 The Taming of Smeagol

February 28th, 2014 — 3:04pm

Here we go with the first chapter of book 2!

Two Towers Bk 2: 01 The Taming of Smeagol

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last weekend

February 26th, 2014 — 3:28pm

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.

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The Two Towers, Bk 1, Ch 10 & 11

February 16th, 2014 — 5:59pm

Hey, Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are the last two chapters in Book 1 :)

Two Towers Bk 1: 10 The Voice of Saruman
Two Towers Bk 1: 11 The Palantir

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LEGO and Uke

February 12th, 2014 — 9:55am

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.

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Hope Wrap Dress

February 6th, 2014 — 3:13pm

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.

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The Two Towers, Bk 1, Ch 9: Flotsam and Jetsam

February 5th, 2014 — 10:51am

Another chapter!

Two Towers Bk 1: 09 Flotsam and Jetsam

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February 5th, 2014 — 10:19am

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.

Stunning, no?

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three movies

February 2nd, 2014 — 9:01pm

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.

“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. :)

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