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Three sets of answers

A. Here are some statements that might be true. Or not.

I am related to at least two presidents
I paint at least four pictures each year
I cannot gargle
I can sing the Sailor Moon theme in Japanese
I can recite large passages of Richard III from memory

B.  A quiz from Rosie Lou

1. What's your favourite sitcom?
Well...I no longer watch those. I would if I could see a few of the Brit ones, but even the ones I like of those are sort of old.

Barney Miller
WKRP in Cincinnati
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Mary Tyler Moore

2. What annoys you?

3. What disgusts you?
smoking. And scatological speech.

4. What/who/where is the centre of your universe?
my children

5. Share a really good link.

6. What was the last clever thing you did/said?
I wrote something today I'm sort of proud of

7. What was the last incredibly stupid thing you last did/said?
I don't know...I'll ask around and get back to you on that.

B. This quiz is about magic. Some of it might not seem like it is, but it is. Here is why. Magic is about energy and intent. To me, it is outside the realm of spirituality, relating more to universal energy, which can be religious if you choose, but not if you don't.

Last week was Magic Week on the Late, Late Show, and I got to thinking about that kind of magic and whether it really does differ from the "natural" kind. I decided not really, because both are about manipulating stuff.

Names are a problem. When you name stuff, you make it concrete. Sometimes that's expansive, but it can also be limiting. So people argue over which is which kind, and whether it has to do with God or is outside of God, etc. But really, it's just that we're all made of the same particles of stuff, which moves around to create energy. And some of us are better at realizing that than others, in different ways. Realizing that, you can do a few things with it, but other people understand it better than I do.

When you do things over and over again with focused intent, you're channeling energy into something. When you imbue importance in something you've held onto for a long time, you're giving it energy. And etcetera.

Do you try to conjure specific dreams before sleep? Want to share the subject? Has it ever worked?
I have, and it did work, but mostly only when I was pretty young. It doesn't work much now.

Can you do any magic/conjuring parlor tricks?
No, but it looks like fun.

Which mythology would you rather see come to life, Greek, Chinese, Celtic, or Nordic? Why?
Chinese, I think, because it's so civilized, even the creepiest parts.

Do you ever sneak food into the movie theater? Such as? What do you carry it in?
As often as possible and as strange as possible. I do not recommend sushi, because it's messy. I have a large purse.

If you could commit any one bad habit or illegal offense whenever you liked without repercussions, which would you choose?
Someone answered a way I liked, maybe Alex. But I also think it would be fun to proposition a variety of men and see where that led.

What do you know more about than other people?
How to find stuff out, maybe.

What is magic?
See above

Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character? Which one?
Speed Racer

What is the oldest article of clothing you own? Did you buy it new?
I have some of my baby things. But I also have several dresses I bought from eBay that are older than me.

Share a small portion of the longest passage of literature you have committed to memory.
The Message by Grandmaster Flash comes to mind. "Crazy lady, living in a bag, eating out of garpage pails, used to be a fag hag." And speeches I wrote, though I guess those are not exactly literature. I do not recall all the stuff I once memorized, sadly.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done.

DINAO Wednesday (ginger kid/former child star edition)

It's interesting to me that no matter how sort of very grotesque I think someone is, one or more of you can think of a reason why sleeping with them would actually be entertaining or even good for humanity.

I think that's pretty cool. And it also explains how some people get to procreate when you think, at first knowledge of them, that this might not be possible. 

Two scenarios this week. First, understand that I do actually love red hair. But there are times when it can be abused.

Someone already did the work for me, putting these two side by side:

Carrot Top or Danny Bonaduce?

Second, who would you choose from this list with whom you'd start repopulating post-apocalyptic society, and why? Death is not an option! And gender/sexuality doesn't count, because this is a game. Click here for more information about them.

Dustin Diamond
Gary Coleman
Leif Garrett
Maccauley Culkin
Ashley Olsen
Mary Kate Olsen
Butch Patrick
Danny Pintauro
Kristy MacNichol

Okay, I've replaced Todd Bridges with Gary Coleman, because they were on the same show, but while Bridges has distinguished himself, post-prison term, Coleman just has made a career out of going around being ill-tempered and whiny. If you already picked Todd Bridges, you can still have him, though.

House season finale

I'll try to catch up on the neighborhood asap tomorrow.

Okay, you need to know right off that this is a virtually detail-less "recap" of the show. This is for two reasons; I was having TV trouble, and there were a lot of people around me, so I was distracted. What I type won't be in the exact order of how it happened. And it's very bare bones, because my time is not my own tonight. I'll try to edit with more personality and thoughts tomorrow.

A very cute couple is making their way to America to see House, on a raft, and that goes wrong and they're rescued by a helicopter. The husband, Esteban, is trying to save the wife's, don't know her name, life, and he has some foxy, foxy eyes.

He's that "advocate" type of relative, who hangs around asking questions and wanting to know what he's actually signing and stuff, which is a nuisance to the doctors. Foreman is spending his last day screwing stuff up for the wife, certain she has MS, first off, even though the husband insists she does not. Foreman gives Esteban House's home number, which he calls over and over again, but House ignores the phone.

The MS treatment causes her heart to stop, and chaos ensues.

Meanwhile, Chase is just going off all over the place yelling at House about how he really wants Foreman to stay, and he just won't let up so House fires him. No lie. Chase is startled but then he's all, whatever, okay then. House makes him finish running a test first.

Cuddy and Wilson freak out that House fired Chase. Foreman is all, "this is so about me," which is tiresome, but I suppose he's kind of right.

Foreman and Cameron are keeping the woman's heart going while Chase runs the test, and they need to get her on bypass, because they've been at it for three hours, and during this time, Esteban is nagging nurses and people about what's going on, because it was supposed to be brief. During this time, Wilson is in the operating room, and House shows up on the monitor to ask him questions about why the woman's heart would stop.

Then he's on the balcony telling Cuddy's students, who are preparing for a final, that if any of them can figure out why her heart stopped, they'll get an A. They don't get anywhere, so Cuddy insists the woman is just going to be dead, and House will have to tell Esteban.

Cameron finds Chase in a bar eating a tasty looking sandwich (this probably happened earlier in the order of things,) and talks to him about how he's feeling. He looks better than I've ever seen him looked, and is all jolly. She tells him she will miss seeing him around.

Foreman comes to say goodbye to House, with Wilson there, and House tells him he doesn't want him to go. That he needs him. Foreman says yes, but I don't need you. Oh, snap. Anyway, so then House goes off on him about his three week long goodbye, and his general me me behavior, and that doesn't end well. 

Cameron shows up at Chase's door; his apartment door appears to be on the outside, and she says, "It's Tuesday." He corrects her that it's Monday, but she says she missed him. They share a hawt kiss, and she goes inside.

House finds Esteban in the chapel, and says he thought the dude didn't believe in God. He tells House that he promised to do everything to save his wife, and so this is part of that. House tells him it's not working, that they have to take his wife off bypass, and he needs to say goodbye. Esteban hugs House. It's sort of sweet.

They go in, and he asks House if her brain is still working. House says it is (bells go off in my head, oh, she's going to be fine somehow,) but that the heart will not restart. Esteban says a tender Spanish goodbye, and House turns all the machines off. Head on her chest, Esteban asks why he can hear her heart. House says it's residual from the machine. But it keeps going. Her eyes flutter, and she asks if she's in heaven. Angels sing. She is alive.

And House still wants to know why! I'm fuzzy on this part, to be honest, but it's a wild-hare heart defect. Oh, this is actually when Foreman bows out. He says they don't care what's wrong, as long as it's okay. House says they do care, but they don't care about the doctor. And so they part, disagreeing.

Cameron comes in to offer her resignation. House is a little put out, but accepts it easily. Then we see him lighting up a big American cigar and giving it to Esteban. They both smoke cigars and drink shots of something pale while watching the wife, who is sleeping. Esteban asks House if the whole team quit. He says two quit, and he fired one. And Esteban says that must be hard to deal with. House indicates he doesn't feel as bad as he knows he's supposed to. So Esteban asks him what he's going to do, and House says he doesn't know.

House goes home and has a big package in the lobby of his building. This has to do with something that occurred when we were having trouble switching to live TV; I think Wilson told him he needed to make a change for himself or something. When House was in his apartment ignoring the phone call, there were two guitars on the wall and a big set of calipers. Now he has a new acoustic guitar, which he begins to softly play, smiling like the sociopath we're supposed to believe he is now, I guess.

I liked it. I didn't love it. I have to think about it, when I have some time to think my own thoughts. I mean, it's clear these actors aren't leaving the show. So I can't feel terrible bad about the no team thing. However, I don't like big changes in TV shows, so I don't know if I'm going to fully appreciate what happens with them next, at least at first.

Hugh Laurie has some rockin good biceps.

Batsto Village

I'm not going to write much about it, because I want to write about something else later. Here are some photos. The first set is of the outside of the mansion; the inside was closed because of the holiday. And, while it's no Pemberley, it is a real mansion, so it would be hard to get it all in one shot. It needs a lot of care and attention, both structurally and with landscaping. It's over 200 years old, but in the late 19th century was extensively renovated and given an Italianate facade.

There are some river shots. The river bed is still filled with bog iron, which produces the unusual color you can see in the "falls" pictures. Then there are a couple of photos of the typical thing you see when visiting an historical village. Later on, perhaps, I'll add individual descriptions.


the latest in quizzes.

Though, some of it seemed a bit recycled, so I skipped some questions. See handtalker or Alex for the rest.

1. Were you named after anyone?
Yes. I was named for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and also for Jesus, whom some called Christ. This was due to the story you can read in my profile. I would rather have been named Lena, after my mother's mother.

2. When was the last time you cried?
Possibly a couple of weeks ago. There's something I've been sad about and now and then it gets to me.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes. I worked hard to get it this way.

4. What is your favorite lunchmeat?  
Chopped ham on an Italian hard roll, with nothing else on it. Ooh, or Genoa salami, same way.

5. Do you have kids?   
J'ai six enfants, mais naturellement vous avez déjà su cela.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?  

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?   
It never ceases.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

9. Would you bungee jump?  
No. I would throw up on you.

10. What is your favorite cereal?   
Grape-Nuts. Or Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch, but I never buy it.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?   
Of course.

12. Do you think you are strong?

13. What is your favorite ice cream?    
Espresso Chip, Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip. The Chip family of flavors.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?  
I have no idea. When, where, gender, level of attention are all factors.

15. Red or pink?  
This is too confining a question for me.

16. What do you like least about yourself?  
My teeth.

17. Who do you miss the most?   
My mother

19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?  
I am wearing neither.

20. What was the last thing you ate?    
A strawberry.

21.  What are you listening to?  
My son is watching Cartoon Network.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Pine Green

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?  

26. Favorite sport to watch?   
Baseball. and the Tour de France. Those are all I watch, except some of the Olympics.

27. Hair color?     

30. Favorite food?  
One? Okay, smashed Sicilian olives mixed with celery, chopped garlic, and oregano, and allowed to marinate for two weeks.

31. Scary movies or happy endings?   
Happy endings.

32. Last movie you watched?   
Mrs. Henderson Presents

33. What color shirt are you wearing?

34. Summer or winter?  

35. Hugs or kisses?   

36. Favorite dessert?  
One? Tiramisu, but only if it's made really well. Or just about anything from Andre's in Kansas City.

41. What did you watch on T.V. last night?  
Monk marathon

42. Favorite sound?  

43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?  
The Beatles

45. Do you have a special talent?   
I am good at seeming like I know how to do everything.

49.What is your favorite flower?   
One? I like irises, lilies, and lavender.

50.What is your favorite soap opera?
One? Well, I only watch Passions.

51.What are your favorite night-time shows?
House, Bones, CSI: NY, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: SVU, CSI, Boston Legal, Monk, Psych, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson

52. Anything special you'd like to share with others?
I don't know. 

NJ Forest

We went to Batsto Village today, which is in Wharton State Forest. I'll get to writing about that, and have lots of pictures to share, for now, here are just a few. I have a couple of friends who don't quite believe that cactus grow in New Jersey. We were in a whole field of them today; here is one.

and some details:

As usual, you can click twice to see them full-size.

this stuff I write

An ottava rima is an epic poem written in eight line stanzas, but I wrote only one today. Stanza, I mean. I have always meant to get around to doing a really long one, however, I get off track on some new form to try, and don't stick with it long enough. In short, I get bored. But here's a really long one written by someone you may have heard of a time or two.

The original ottava rima was written in hendecasyllables; 11 syllable lines with emphasis on 4th, 7th, and 10th, if I remember correctly. I gave up on hendecasyllables, because they limit my already poor range. Maybe it worked better en italiano, back in the day. We sometimes roll our eyes at iambic pentameter, but there's a reason it's used so often; it comes naturally to us and works well in phrasing.

(I should dig out my thoughts on how I learned why working with strict forms is good for the heart and mind; suffice it to say for now, it encourages clarity of expression and vision.)

Apropos Memoriam

Parades of youth have long since passed aside
Now few are left with memories of those days
When young men marched and fought and won and died
And those returning met their country's praise
Though men and women still war for our side
Inside our hearts and minds these questions raise
How can more weapons warrant peace pursued?
When will the wars to end all wars conclude?