Monday, January 23, 2012

Upon my Impending Eighteenth Birthday

...and as I'm thinking about what I want, what I want to do, what I want to look back on this time of my life ten years from now and see...
You want to know what I'm honestly considering? Honestly? Don't freak out.
Ella, the one with the needle-phobia...
Ella, the one who tries her best to ignore the fact that she has veins...
and skin...
and blood...
(there's probably a name for that, but I don't know what it is)
..............I'm thinking of getting a tattoo.
Yes, you read that right. But go back and read it again if you don't believe me.
A tattoo.
What of? Good question.
Obviously, I would be careful. I'm careful about everything. I wouldn't pick anything I would ever come to regret.
~Either the word love on my left forearm,
~ a half-moon/letter C on my right calf (weird story there: I had a scar in the shape of a perfect C from bumping into the muffler on Dad's mini way back when, I liked the scar, the scar is gone now, a tattoo of a C/half-moon there would, admittedly, be cool),
~or something literary/writerly/ish

You wanna know something funny? It was Mum's idea. I was doodling on myself in Sharpie, and she just, kind of, suggested it. And I think she's actually behind it. Which is weird, 'cause she's always been kinda anti.
And you wanna know what's funnier? Daddy's not thrilled with the idea. Daddy, who's always said he'd get a tattoo if Mom'd let him.

I don't know. I'm gonna think about it, and pray about it, and . . . I don't know. I don't know if I could go through with it.
But I'm kind of in love with the idea.
What do you think?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear My Family,

......and especially the brother and the sister who continue to make fun of me for things I am enthusiastic about,
“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
~John Green

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Which I am Found by a Deerstalker...

(image not mine)
This hat, probably, hopefully, calls up mental images for the average reader. I'm working on the assumption that it does.
You recognize this hat. You've seen this kind of hat before, and connect it, very directly, with one person and one person only. Well, one character, I suppose I should say.
Because of this fact, the fact that you, reader, recognize this hat without being told, I shan't elaborate on it's significance.
Well, I found one today. Or, more appropriately, one found me. I wasn't shopping for one on ebay, I didn't plug "Deerstalker" into Google's shopping search engine, I haven't been combing thrift stores and consignment shops for months in search of this hat.
I walked into Goodwill (I love Goodwill. Don't you love Goodwill?). With my mother, my sister, and my youngest brother. I am in search of a wall-hook, perhaps a VHS copy of Sleeping Beauty, and a lamp. Didn't find the lamp. Didn't find the wall hook. Decided against the movie. Found a small cork-board, which is something I have been wanting but didn't expect to find in a thrift store.
And then, I found the hat. I spotted it across the store, I made my way for it, slowly, like an animal to slaughter, I reached across a very understanding fellow shopper to pull it off its hook. I tied the ear-flaps up. I hid it in my arms, walked slowly over to my mother, tried to look her solemnly in the face (acheiving more of a mixture of masochistic grinning and sheer terror), and showed her the hat.
"My life will not continue without this hat," I said.
Mom rolled her eyes.
"No, it won't, you have to buy it," replied my little sister.
"Buy it. Buy it so I can steal it and wear it," replied my oldest brother, after my texting him half asking if I should get it, half complaining because, "These are the things that happen to me."
I bought the hat. I scolded Mom for ten minutes for letting me buy the hat. I grinned all the way to (and through) Wal-Mart because I owned the hat.
Mom: "What are you going to do with it?"
Me: "I don't know. Hide it? Pretend I don't own it?"
Seeing as how the hat was brand new (still had the tag), I decided to put it on even though it was technically second hand. I put the hat on.
I looked in the mirror. To my absolute dismay, not only did I, a passionate though embarrassed fan of that character whom the deerstalker evokes, just happen to FIND a deerstalker in my little podunk town's thrift store; I can pull it off.
Mom: "You can't hide that. That looks adorable on you. You have to wear it. Wear it to church Wednesday."
We arrived at Grandma's (picking up mail and a forgotten bookcase). I step out of the car wearing the hat. Grandma sees it.
Grandma: "Oh you got one of those new hats!!"
Me: .................................???

So, yeah. I own a deerstalker. But it's Not My Fault!!! I didn't go looking for it, I didn't want to find it. It found me! I couldn't've walked out of that store without buying it, I never would've forgiven myself. And then I would've gone back and it would've been gone and I would've been Depressed.
So now I have to sit here and stare at it. What in the world do you do with a deerstalker?

Alright, fine. I'll say it. SHERLOCK HOLMES!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mmoooooviiiiing Daaayyyy

I'm pretty sure the last of the not-so-small army of moving-help just left (except for the pastor's wife and boys, who are helping with laying tile in the mudroom). All of the rest of our furniture is here, the couch is waiting to be put together, my trunk came, and everything is starting to look more, well, lived-in.
We were hugely blessed by the help we received from our church family throughout this whole ordeal, and it's so good to know how much people really care about my family, how much they were willing to help with anything we need. I, we, are really, truly grateful.
What I'm having a harder time being grateful for is this cold. I'm dizzy and sleepy and my throat is killing me and my nose is driving me nutty and I kind of want to curl up and die. I'm relatively certain the bug is courtesy of Corinne, someone remind me to thank her for it later. Woohoo.
Tomorrow should be quite a party. I'm not being sarcastic, actually. It'll be a party. After church we're headed to town to sort of, well, celebrate. Our Didn't-Break-the-Stupid-Vase party. See, the whole time we lived at Grandmas, there was this stupid glass vase full of strawberry candies sitting in this little corner. A very poorly-chosen corner. It's an absolute miracle we lasted more than a day without kicking it over, but we lasted two entire years. And Mom and Dad promised, at the start, to take us out for dinner if we managed to make it until moving day without shattering the blessed thing. And we didn't shatter it. So lunch in town, picking up a proper coffee pot (No more grainy, too-strong stuff from Dad's French press coffee pot!!), looking for rugs for the kids bedrooms and fabric to make chair-covers.

And because I'm still not good at the whole avoid-fangirl-stuff thin:I had a miniature spazz attack yesterday going through my boxes upon boxes of books. While I was fully expecting the paperback copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles, I was not anticipating the tiny-print, Bible-style double column printed little paperback of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, and His Last Bow. Yeah, mini-spazz-attack, complete with shrieking and happy-dancing. Okay, maybe not so mini. But anyway. The joys of moving, you find stuff you didn't even know you had. I guess I didn't care about Mr. Holmes when I packed my books up. Actually, I think I actively disliked him. Not so now, so it was quite a treasure.
And does anybody else have a bad habit of buying the same books over and over? As we've been weeding through box after box of books, I've noticed that I have duplicates of rather a lot of books. Apparently, I am incapable of walking by a copy of Julie of the Wolves or The Trumpet of the Swan or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland without buying it. Note to self: learn to break this habit. There is no point in owning more than one copy of Julie of the Wolves. I don't even really like that book!! *Sigh* I just might have a problem.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Not a long post tonight, because frankly, I have other things to be doing. Like reading. Or writing. Watching Star trek. Or maybe eating some ice cream (mom got MY favorite kind this time!). But, I guess when it comes to things I do when I'm at HOME, blogging is one of them. So I decided to blog.
Tonight is to be our first night sleeping at the new house. We're not totally moved in yet. The television stand and the couch and my trunk and several other things have yet to come over. A small army from church is coming to help with that Saturday. But beds are here (mostly, I think Mom and Dad are on an air mattress), and everything else that is necessary to life. And as I'm sitting here in the living room (albeit in a temporarily placed dining room chair) with half my brain following the plotline of Star Trek:Deep Space Nine (okay, about a quarter on the plot, the other quarter is devoted entirely to how grand Doctor Julian Bashir is), all I can think is that this is home. Home is where you can take a deep breath, home is where you can feel safe and it's okay to be vulnerable. Home isn't diplomacy and dancing tip-toe around the way you feel.
I didn't know, before today, how different it would feel. We've been up here almost every day for two weeks, and it hasn't felt like this. But. Today, tonight is different, it really is. I don't know if it's because Mama cooked dinner here, or because there are sheets on my bed, or because Star Trek is here, or because there's a curtain on the shower, but somehow, it's different. This is home.
And in closing. Something I should've said a long time ago. Through this entire thing, these last two years at Grandma's, the whole "We're moving....we're not moving...we're moving!!!...we're not moving..." game we've played over and over again, I've been sitting here as a relatively-passive observer, watching God. Waiting to see what He was going to do. Every time I've thought He was going to get us out, I started to praise Him for it. Every time He took it away, I begged and shook my fists. And even though I KNOW that my God is good, regardless of my circumstances, it was still that same cycle. And I guess, being human, that's to be expected. We praise when good happens, and there's nothing wrong with that, as long as we continue to praise during the bad.
And reader? This one is good. This is sooo good. So right now I'm praising. I've been putting it off, waiting for Him to take it away again. But He's not. This one's for real. So I'm praising. And I think the most apt words came from a favorite singer/songwriter of mine, Ms. Bethany Dillon. In her song Exodus, she sang, "Lead, Lord, with unfailing love those that You have ransomed, and we will sing out as we go on, our God is faithful!"
My God is faithful. My God is faithful.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Collected Thoughts of a Long Day

~I hate mini-blinds. Pure, simple, unadulterated hatred. I hate dusting them, I hate that they exist, I hate them.

~I found a forty-some-song-long Athlete playlist on Youtube. Which made the cleaning of the mini-blinds slightly more bearable.

~The oldoldold Star Trek (Think: Captain Kirk) is Severely Sexist. Like, enough to bug even me, which is hard. I'm no die-hard feminist by any means.

~This. Ageanalyzer, you plug in a blog URL and it tells you the "age" of the blogger. Apparently, I blog like a 36-50 year-old woman. Woohoo.

~And lastly, even though I seriously try to avoid fannish-things here (I know, I fail pretty often) because nobody really cares, it's January sixth. Twelfth night. Which, according to some, is Sherlock Holmes' "birthday." So, the attempt to resist the temptation has failed, here you go:

Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die:
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.
But still the game’s afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:
England is England yet, for all our fears–
Only those things the heart believes are true.
A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.
– Vincent Starrett

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Something Unexpected (But Beautiful)

Shortly before Christmas, I sort of got lassoed into baking several recipes of cookies. Old European recipes for different sorts of traditional Christmas cookies. Grandma remembered my fetish with foreign cookies earlier this year and asked me to bake a few recipes of different things for her various holiday parties and visits.
So a couple of days before Christmas, I spent the whole day in the kitchen making Danish pebbernodder and Dutch Jan Hagels and Irish lace cookies. My emotions were a little mixed: a whole day of Christmas baking with Christmas smells and Christmas music is just my idea of fun, trying out three new recipes for different sorts of foreign cookies on somebody else's money is really kind of perfect, but I was doing it all by someone else's request, not my own desire, so I was slightly lacking in motivation.
Then this morning, I learned something.
Mom, Grandma, and I were going through tins and bins of leftover Christmas cookies and deciding what to do with them all. Grandma was talking about how much she'd enjoyed the pebbernodder, Mom was scraping broken window cookies into the garbage can, and I decided to ask Grandma which type of cooking (for my own future reference) had been the most popular at her parties.
And she says, "Oh, I would say the lace cookies,"
She goes on to tell me how one guest, an elderly distant cousin, had taken one bite out of the cookie, and her whole face had lit up.
"Oh, I remember these," she said, "My grandmother used to make these!"

And for me, that sums up why I bake, why I like finding old foreign recipes. Why baking is important to me, why I hate the frozen vats of cheap chocolate chip cookie dough and little refrigerator cut-outs with seasonal pictures on them. Even why I, as much as I personally enjoy them, would rather not make normal cookies. Why I get bored of chocolate chip and peanut-butter and oatmeal-raisin. Everybody makes those. But these recipes that have history, you never know they're gonna mean something to somebody.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Frustrations of living in a world of seven billion people --- the friends of my little siblings. This one in particular. And if the boy child makes it out of here alive, it just might be a miracle.
Very few of my little brother's friends make me feel homicidal, but this one comes close. He's arrogant and loud and obnoxious and he's got a bad attitude and a cruel laugh. And whenever I tell him to do something, he laughs at me.
It's possible that he only bugs me so bad because he reminds me of somebody from a past life. Somebody who, if someone had decided to give him a nice hard smack upside the head when he was the age my brother's friend is now, he might've turned out a better human being.
And now they're watching Mars Needs Moms. Sounds like my idea of a party. Please note my entirely deadpan face. Bah Humbug.
But Anyway.

In other news, The Move is going well. Cleaning at the house is moving along nicely. Actually, it's quite finished. Mom and Dad got the kitchen clean, I scrubbed the (absolutely nasty) window sills and such and cleaned every square inch of my bedroom, the kids cleaned the baseboards and mopped the floor and mom cleaned the miniblinds.
Today we stayed at out current place of residence for the packing and the organizing and the weeding-out. Finally went through all my rubbish college mail, I may or may not be doing a somewhat amusing post about how many pieces of mail I got from each school. Got my bedroom totally ready to go, down to the bare minimums. Tomorrow, after various doctor's appointments and trying to get Anne and Andrew's orthodontist to believe that I'm their nanny (no particular reason, just trying to sell the cover story, for the fun of it), we'll go up to the house for . . . more doing stuff.
All that's left is painting in various places, shampooing the carpets, and a few minor repairs. *cue happy-dancing*

And, umm, let's see. What else is going on? Well, there's attempting to read two-hundred pages of John LeCarre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by tomorrow afternoon. It's due back to the library. I don't usually freak out over due-dates (our library doesn't do the whole fine-thing), but last week when I went to renew it, I couldn't. Somebody else had reserved it. Which means somebody else wants to read this delightful book. Which means I want to get it to them as soon as possible. If they're like me, they want to read the book in time to see the movie. Or possibly, they saw the movie and now want to read the book. Either way, I can definitely identify. So I'd like to get them their book as soon as possible. Actually, I'd like to talk to them about the book, that would be nice. But let's settle for the one that's actually possible.

And, then there was last night's new episode of Sherlock. The one whined about in the post preceding this one. Well, I wasn't whining about the episode, I was whining about the forces of the internet combining to keep me from watching it.
So yeah, finally got it to load when the traffic on the website went down a bit, and it was, well, amazing. More than awesome, but I don't want to go into too much detail (spoilers!!). Let's just say... that only Steven Moffat could take the thing I had been dreading most about the episode, my absolute biggest fear, take ninety minutes, and turn it into the one thing I wanted most in the world by the end of the episode. It was emotionally trying in the utmost. I started the episode sitting on my bed with my laptop on my lap...and ended it on my side, curled up in a ball, with the laptop in front of me.
Of course, it wasn't perfect. I have my quibbles with the way they handled it. It wasn't quite canon, and there was a sizable bit of . . . yuck added in. Unnecessary yuck, but isn't that standard with everything these days? The ending was emotionally satisfying, but (can I say it?) a bit rubbish. Too easy. That's a pretty popular opinion, from what I can gather, and yet, I have to say, that I loved it completely even though I knew even as I watched it that it wasn't exactly a genius bit of writing.
All-in-all, it was so absolutely worth the ages-long wait, probably thirty or forty times over. Irene Adler was, for the first time in my experience, thoroughly likable, Ben Cumberbatch's Sherlock is as spectacular as ever, and the way they played Watson's reaction to the whole Sherlock/Adler thing was brilliant. And, wonder of wonders, Molly Hooper even redeemed herself. Really, bit of a confession here, I adore her to pieces. I have to admit I can identify more with her than any of the other characters.

...........And now that I'm done completely geeking out, I think that's about it for the moment. G'night, everybody. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh, this is SO just my luck......
Yesterday I was so proud of myself because I got the little FireFox plug-in to disguise my IP address so that BBC iPlayer would think that my computer is, in fact, a UK computer, thereby letting me watch BBC things when they come out on BBC.
It was working! I tested it! Actually, it's still working, on everything but what I want it to be working on.
Which is Sherlock! Which officially started half-an-hour ago. But nooo. I've been sitting here, trying to get it to work, for half an hour.
And I keep getting the same. error. message. "This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later."
Because everybody on the planet is doing the exact same thing I'm doing. Attempting to watch the long awaited first episode of the second season of an absolutely brilliant show.
......................................lovely. So now I get to wait until traffic on the site goes down a bit. So, back to the packing-cleaning-organizing game for me. Woohoo.

Oh yeah. And Happy New Year!!! :)