Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bragging on Neo some more

It's meant to display on a black background which explains the blocking. It's her hippocampus character again, based on the Peophin from Neopets. Genre loves the sea, loves clubbing and dancing, and has a horrible sense of direction on land.

(To walk on land, Genre has to bind her webbed feet.)

I don't quite know what to do with this kid. She's OBVIOUSLY talented, and I can't think of a way to genuinely support her talents during the school year. Mommy guilt.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Child number 243

For those of you playing along at home, the ballad I couldn't get out of my head is formally known as "Child 243". Helpful, huh?

OK, it's also known as "The House Carpenter" or "Demon Lover"

The Most Popular version and here it is performed by Pentangle. I love Jacqui McShee's voice. Mmmm.

Steeleye Span did my favorite version -- weirdly upbeat on the chorus, which you can hear in a clip on Amazon.

Then there are the lyrics I had stuck in my head. It took my a full part of a day to stick the two together. (From the Oxford Book of Ballads, James Kinsley, ed., 1982 with changes by my aunt to reflect her changes in performance.)

A where have you been, my dearest dear,
These seven long years and more?
O I am come to seek my former vows
That ye promised me before.

Away wi' your former vows, says she,
Or else ye will breed strife
Away wi' your former vows, she says,
For I'm become a wife.

I am married to a ship's carpenter,
A ship-carpenter he's bound
I wouldna he ken'd my mind this night
For twice five hundred pound

I have seven ships upon the sea
Laden with the finest gold
And mariners to wait us upon
All these you may behold

And I have shoes for my love's feet
Beaten of the purest gold
And lined with velvet soft
To keep my love from the cold

She has put foot on ship board
And on shipboard she's game
And the veil that hung over her face
Was overlaid wi' gold.

O how do you love the ship, he said
Or how do you love the sea?
And how do you love the bold mariners
That wait upon thee and me?

O I do love the ship, she said.
And I do love the sea.
But woe be to the dim mariners
That nowhere can I see.

She had not sailed a league
A league, but barely two.
Till she did mind the husband she had left
And to her wee son also

O hold your tongue, my dearest dear.
Let all your follies be.
I'll show you where the white lilies grow
On the banks of Italy

She had not sailed a league
A league but barely three
Till grim, grim grew his countenance
And stormy grew the sea.

O hold you tongue, my dearest dear.
Let all your follies be
I'll show you where the white lilies grow
At the bottom of the sea.

He's tak'n her by her milk- white hand
And he's thrown her into the main
And full five and twenty hundred ships
Perish'd all on the coast of Spain.

Long song, eh?
Odd that in this version he tosses her over the side of the ship, which then causes other ships to go down. Some versions have them both going down in a whirlpool to the bottom of the sea together.

I've wondered if this "lost lover wandering the seas who is dead and who tempts the maiden to come away with him" and who perishes together in a whirlpool inspired that strange whirlpool scene in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Anyway, I've now got the Steeleye Span version, AND the Pentangle version, AND my aunt's version all rumbling through my head. Started over the weekend, and it's still going. I think this means I need to (sigh) break out some Pete Seeger. He's so, um, earnest.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not that this is news or anything

...But my brother is a world class idiot. Just saying.

I watched the Bravo preview for "Flipping Out" featuring house-flipper Jeff Lewis, who has OCD. Except for the fact that Jeff has money and a career and an intense obsession to have all the labels in his refrigerator facing out, he could have been my brother in the interviews.

If my brother had money, he would totally hire a team of "trash guys" and "house boys" to take his cat to he vet and to be available to him for the occasional cathartic screamfest. The thing where he says that he needs a team of people around him to support him. My brother. The thing where he gushes love all over them at dinner saying that he's surrounded by the people he loves. My brother. The thing where he comments that they are so inept that he has to remind them to go to the bathroom. My brother.

I'm alternately obsessed with and repulsed by this show.

I know I'm going to end up watching it. (Project Runway, Top Chef, Top Design, Shear Genius -- they all sucked me in. Even Top Design, which was a disaster, and Shear Genius, which, um, I don't understand because I sorta don't "get" hair styling.)

What Are We Hiding Part Deux

When selling a horse, is this what we REALLY want to put out there? Hmmmm?

[name edited] proudly offers "BANDIT" standing at Stud. Stud fee 2007 $600 Reg $350 Grade LFG Live cover only. 100% Homozygous for Tobiano! Last year's foals are beautiful...2 black and white, 2 tri colours! DVD available...email me! Pictures available. This stallion is beautiful, athletic and agile. Poetry in Motion!

And um, I would want to breed to this horse, um, why exactly? So far all I can tell is that his pasture has lots of grass in it. This is like those car ads which say, "Need a little body work" and when you go visit the car Bondo is flaking off in great sheets.

I'm not saying by any stretch of the imagination that the horse is badly put together, or an eyesore, or hard to train, or any such thing. I'm only saying that since he apparently eats very slowly, the grass is preventing me from *seeing* the horse in the picture. Which is usually the point of the picture. No? Am I confused?

Has happened before.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What number Child is this?

I had part of a song stuck in my head for most of the morning. (I don't know what's going on this week, but some part of my subconscious is desperate to either make me crazy or break out in song and dance numbers.)

I had the third verse stuck in my head and was inept at working my way either forwards or backwards to figure out the name of the song. It's a folk song, that's all I knew.
And I have shoes for my love's feet
Beaten of the purest gold,
And lined with the velvet soft
To keep my love from cold.
And then I know that later on there's a verse which goes:
Oh I do love the ship, she said.
And I do love the sea.
But woe betide the dim mariners
That nowhere do I see.
I can hear my aunt singing those two verses -- she ALWAYS sang every verse, even if the song had thirty or more. The tune is INCREDIBLY familiar and it stuck firmly in my head for hours today. I hummed those verses over and over again, unable to get a hero, a heroine, or a plot to make themselves known in my head.

Then, all at once the entire song popped fully formed into my head. (But in an interesting twist, it was not THIS version of the song. The one that dropped in to say hello while I was sipping coffee was one of the *145* versions which is the most popular. Bob Dylan sang this version. Pentangle* sang an amazing but different version of this song as well with a oddly upbeat chorus.)

*Edit: Actually it was Steeleye Span who had the upbeat version
Answers on Monday.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


On the radio this morning they were riffing on Rick Springfield. At least seven times I heard parts of:

Jesse's Girl
I wish that I had Jesse's Girl!
Why can't I find a woman like that?
(Ba da da da da da.)

That was about three hours ago.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Found em

Found the glasses at 6 pm last night, about ten hours after they first went missing.

The Brain? She is still wandering around somewhere looking for a more responsible owner.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I've lost something important. Maybe my mind?

Yes, indeedy.

There are a few things which are critical to getting through the day without yelling at the dog, or at yourself out of sheer frustration. Today, sometime this morning, I lost my glasses.

{ insert scream of frustration right here }

Yesterday I worked in the yard raking up dead grass and (ew) dog poop. Yeah. Not my favorite thing. During that time, my clothes washer broke. WITH all of my son's sheets and blankets in it. Called Sears for a repair call. (Sometime today between 1 and 5. What ever happened to the three hour window?)

So after the yard work, I took a shower. I remember taking the glasses OFF to get in the shower. So they're not lost in the yard or in the trash barrels. Then I had to schlep the clothes to the laundromat (wet blankets are HEAVY). I had to make three trips by car. (Had to bring home the groceries I bought when the loads when into the washers to spin down. Then had to go back to switch them. Then had to go back to pick them up.) Remember squinting at the sun and moving my head to get the glare into the frame of the glasses on the last trip down. So I must have had them on last night after the shower? (Or maybe I didn't, and that's why the glare was bothering me? Can't remember. I need a shrink.)

Last night I set up the clothes and the lunch boxes for my son and youngest daughter to go to camp this morning. This morning I woke up early and went to the kids bathroom to braid my hair. Then I got my son up, got him dressed and breakfast made. We're on time to leave, and I cannot find the glasses.

OK, so I wasn't wearing the glasses when I braided my hair. Did I ever have them this morning? I don't remember putting them back on again after the hair braid -- there's a fiddling exercise where the earpieces cannot get stuck under the braid that I don't remember going through.

Did I take them off downstairs at night and never wear them upstairs to go to bed? Why are they not at my bedside table? Are they under the couch? Under the bed? Next to my sink? In the kids bathroom? Why no. They are not.

Dear Butcher took my son to camp. I still couldn't find them in time to get my daughter to camp. (I drove her anyway. I wouldn't like to be on the highway without them, but I can manage around town.)

Clearly the prescription isn't THAT strong or I'd be bumping into things. But JEEZ, this is frustrating.

Because of the clutter I have to clear a path for the washer repair guy before 1 pm. It's 11:00 now.


pant. pant. pant.

I'm off to take apart the area around my side of the bed to see if they fell off the table and have slid somewhere. I already took apart the couch to see if I took them off while watching TV last night. I don't think they're there.

Irony alert: I stayed downstairs last night to watch a TV show on compulsive hoarders on The Learning Channel.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here it comes. November



Here we go.

I'm in mid-July, looking at a bunch of fundraising events, political events, town halls, invitations for endorsement interviews, and I realize that, eh, yeah. I need to get going.

When I ran for my political seat in 2003 I announced on the first day that I could. In June. By July 4 I was already feeling that I hadn't done enough, that I was never going to raise enough money and that there was no way I could get enough yard signs out. On July 5 I remember my Treasurer calling me up to check in on me and my bursting into tears.

"What am I doing? I'll never get this going. I should have done something in the parade. I should already have the yard signs. I haven't even designed them yet. I'm never going to get people to notice me or to vote for me. Why should they vote for me?"

"Here. Wait. It's July. No one's paying attention to a November election. People aren't even in town. Stop. You're making yourself nuts."

"But I have to get ready. I'm not ready."

"You have to stop crying. Here. You need some wine. Right? White wine? I'll be right over."

She's a good friend. Our friendship has only just barely survived my four years in office, but we held onto it by the skin of our teeth. There was this survey that...well...it's a stupid story that is best forgotten. Thing is, we both got over it, and I've been able to get her on some committees that she was genuinely interested in serving on.

I spoke to her today on the phone. "Hmmm. Look at that," I thought to myself while she complained about her brother. "July 12. Twelve. Wow. That's mid-July and I haven't done squat about this election thing. Huh." It occurred to me that I might want to ask if she'd be my campaign manager, but I don't really want to do that to us again.

My other connections in town, the ones who would normally be the most enthusiastic about working a campaign, are already committed to a mayoral election. OK, I guess that's important. I think. Feel sorta left out or forgotten, but that's my fault too.

Thing is, School Board elections are supposed to be less important that City Council or Mayoral elections. That's when you know all is right with the world, when people ignore the least important elections and focus on the important ones.

I need to get my oooomph up. I need to figure out a platform. I need to get SOME people to volunteer for my campaign. I need to print a flyer at least.

Oh look at that. The mail's here. The local unions want to interview me for an endorsement. Huh. Well, they oughta endorse me; I helped put a union trades educational program into the high school vocational arc. Look. I even met with the very guy who signed the letter asking me to come be interviewed. When do they want...? The twenty-third? Wait. Of July?

Shit. I have to be ready to be interviewed by a trade union representative and participate in a public forum by the 23rd? And today's the 12th? What's my message? Who's endorsed me? What's my war chest look like? They're going to want to know all of that.

This does not bode well.

I have a great list of supporters in an excel file. I should send them out a beg letter. Get endorsements. Find a volunteer coordinator. File papers. Write a candidate's statement for the ballot. Call the newspapers. Purchase stakes for my yard signs from the last election. Hire someone to paint big signs. Get my picture taken. Design a flyer. Designate a Treasurer. Set up a bank account. Purchase enhanced voter lists. Set up walking routes. Print flyers and walking instructions. Schedule a tea. Schedule a town hall. Maybe mow the lawn too. Talk to the teacher's union. Or not.

I wonder who else is running.

I'm not going to win if I don't get enthusiastic. I'm happy and eager to serve some more, but the campaigning. Ugh. Too much paperwork. Too many sound bites. Too much jockeying.

Anyone out there interested in working as my campaign manager? Because I'm not so sure I'm up for the task. Candidate? Sure. Tell me where to go and at what time, and I'll blow your socks off with my professional performance. Campaign manager? Not so much.

Where's Toby, Sam and Josh? I could really use them right about now. Because right now my campaign sorta looks like this:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Because this is right up my alley

A friend sent me a link to this blog: Fugly Horse of the Day.

(Already the blogger is getting "You So Mean" comments from that every so popular person, Anonymous. Idjut.) Some of her (his?) commentary about "over at the knee" or "back at the knee" may go over my average non-horsie reader's head, but some of her other posts are priceless.

My Favorite three posts (as a sample):

From Fugly Horses Jumping Badly, "When the horse has his eyes shut because he can't bear to watch, you know you are in trouble. That is all I am going to say."

From Whoever Bred This Horse: You Need A New Hobby, "Where do I even begin? It's easier to list the parts of him that are ok."

And, my favorite of all:

From a post on why spotted horses are not automatically wonderful beasts: "Wow. Get a load of that head. That is one heck of a honking roman nose/pig eye combo, even for this kind of horse.....

This girl appears to be a barrel race rider and the overall effect is that of a guy named Possum who has hotwired someone's Porsche, painted it camouflage and installed a horn that plays the theme from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

OK, so that last part was mean. I think the girl with the bright pink border doesn't realize the image she is projecting, she just loves her pony. And she should.

The point is though that someone made the decision to Create these odd looking things. Perhaps they shouldn't have? Perhaps not all horses, not all mustangs, not all PMU foals , not every backyard pony needs to procreate? Especially when we have outlawed slaughter houses.

(Note: If you want a PMU foal, a byproduct of the Premarin manufacturing industry, then go ahead. I think that's fine. But for the love of all that's holy, Don't Breed The Thing. Even if it has spots.)

(Second note: A PMU rescue is about $800 in adoption fees. At auction, selling at meat market prices a draft-cross yearling is about, what, about $300? I forget how much a yearlingish draft-cross weighs, but I think I remember hearing that meat prices were 50 to 60 cents per pound? Fuzzy on the details, but jeez, we've got horses clogging the system already before you throw on the PMUs And Their Own Offspring. "Rescue." Yeah.)

Funny how the snark crosses boundaries of interest. This one's got a more technical component, I guess, but it's not as if this commentary hasn't been floating around the horse industry for generations.

In other news, I'm heading to NYC for a week with my son. Neo's in Boston having a great time, so that leaves Dear Butcher home with the youngest to take care of camp, the business, the pets, the house, and, eh, everything else. Wish him luck.

7/3/07 Edited to add:

Why did Blogger scramble this post while autosaving? A sentence over here...a clause over there...thanks. That was fun.