Done!

Jul. 22nd, 2013 10:25 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (DeCordova Laura Ford Bird)
I finished up the leaf compost yesterday with another four hours of work.  So now I know it takes about 10 hours total to spread 10 cubic yards of soil.  The final third of it was easier in some ways because the heat was much less intense yesterday, but on the other hand, the pile had compacted a bit and gotten rained on a little, so it was heavier soil on Sunday than it had been on Friday.  I raised the overall level of the yard high enough that I had to shorten the downspouts.  I'm just so, so excited about my terra rasa!

I did end up with sun poisoning by the end of my work on Sunday, with big itchy rashes all over my arms and neck.  I wore sunscreen all weekend; I didn't get burned on Sunday but I guess whatever it is that triggers the rashes isn't stopped by sunscreen.  I'm still bumpy today but it's going down.  I need to look for some long sleeve gardening shirts.

We watched John Carter on Friday night.  I guess the movie was a box office flop, but it wasn't a bad film.  It wasn't a great film, either, but it was a solid piece of mid-summer hot night escapism.  The aesthetics were really perfect.  The set design and costuming looked like real labors of love of the original source material, because Barsoom and its inhabitants looked exactly as one would have wanted them to.  The character of Dejah Thoris was really well done, so much so that it occurred to me as I watched that I wished the story could have been told from her point of view instead of John Carter's.

Saturday we binge-finished The Fall, the police procedural set in Northern Ireland starring Gillian Anderson.  As I think I've noted before (if not here, then certainly in FB), it is very difficult to watch in parts, but it is truly a feminist crime drama, something really pretty unique.  The Prime Suspect series showed feminist thought in its portrayal of the life of Jane Tennyson, but The Fall extends that line of thinking from observations about Stella Gibson's life to the situation of women in society as a whole, with Stella clearly using her own experiences with the power struggles in the police hierarchy to understand what is going on in the killer's mind.  As much as Scully will forever hold an important place in my heart, this is by far the best work Gillian Anderson has done.  The rest of the cast is also very strong.  I was astonished to discover that the evil, bad, bad, bad murdering man is played by the same actor who played the Huntsman on the tv show Once Upon a Time, in which he was so nobly doomed.  It's been renewed for another series, which is great because there is not exactly closure at the end of this one.

I have heard that there is a deer and her fawn hanging out in the Cemetery.  It wouldn't be the first time, but it's unusual.  I'm sure they are hunkered down somewhere for the day, but it would be sweet to see them on my lunch walk...
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
In Jan. 2010 there's an album coming out from the all-star Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, which among other remarkable things will feature a duet by Nick Cave and Debbie Harry. I am quite eager to hear that.

I have concluded that this season's Project Runway was not worth the sleep loss it incurred. I did like several of the looks in the three final collections, but even those three designers weren't living up to that level of quality all season. All the interesting people were booted early on. Even this season's mean girl Irina couldn't hold a candle to "I grew up on a tugboat so I make everything out of rope and if you piss me off I'll throw a cat at you" Kenley in terms of entertainment value. And I miss the NYC setting. LA did let them do some interesting things, but I think it also blanded the show down. And the lack of Michael Kors (whom I always think of as "The Duchess" thanks to Project Rungay) and Nina Garcia through most of the season hurt too. Hopefully the next season will be better.

TGIF. And TG no performances this weekend, just relaxing!
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updates

Jun. 8th, 2009 11:46 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Huge congratulations to David and Gauri!  It is hard to imagine two people better suited to each other :-)  I was deeply honored to be a part of the ceremonial proceedings and to dance at the Garba.  The song I performed to was about two people waiting to meet each other, knowing they are out there and that they will fall madly in love once they meet.  It seemed very appropriate :)

It was a fun weekend of wedding festivities, with some of the best food, best dancing and best dressed people at any wedding ever.  Hooray for bridesmaid outfits one can most certainly wear again!  Gauri looked stunning in each of her outfits and David was the epitome of distinguished.  It really was such a warm, wonderful experience.  Looking at the mehndi on my hand, I feel a happy afterglow.

Ferrets are doing pretty well.  I would like to see them both eating more, but their appetites are steadily improving, so that's progress.  Ianto pounced at me yesterday, the first time I've seen that in a while.  And Sissy stole a sports bra out of the laundry and hid it in the living room, showing that she is back to her enterprising self.  They're still both looking a little fragile to me but I hope they will continue to improve.  I've been asked to dance at a fundraiser for the shelter I adopted them from in July, which makes me very happy (and again glad for the Zipcar membership, since I could just say yes without checking with M first about his availability to go with me).

My pick for the Belmont came in second, digging in pretty unexpectedly for a strong effort.  I can see him really improving as he matures.  If I had known about the owners of the winning horse, he would have been my favorite, given the rest of the weekend (hint:  they are Indian :-).

We have gotten hooked on Primeval, watching season 2 on SciFi on Fridays and season 3 on BBC America on Saturdays.  Slightly confusing, but hey, the show is about time travel anyway, so it doesn't really matter. 

The house was completely empty and quiet yesterday afternoon and so I had my most satisfying yoga practice in a long time.  Focused on my arms and shoulders, which are now complaining today but in a good way.

And that's pretty much that.  Oh, the issue with the Dell laptop is definitely the wireless card--I played it all day with the wireless card disabled and nary a pop.  The Dell tech did some remote stuff on the laptop, changing some of the settings of the wireless card, but to no avail, once the card is enabled the popping begins.  Next step, a tech will replace the wireless card.  Based on what I have read online, that may or may not fix the problem.  But at any rate, the computer will be usable for music stuff again, as long as one doesn't need to be online at the same time.  I am irked that I am the one who diagnosed the problem, not Dell, but will make a point of telling Dell this, so maybe they will add this to the scripts the techs use for sound problems...
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
BSG made me weep.  Feel free to discuss in a spoilery manner in the comments.
 

joss

Feb. 11th, 2009 02:53 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
There's a very nice interview with Joss Whedon about Dollhouse in today's Salon that makes me far more intrigued by the show than anything else I've seen or heard yet.  I hope he and Eliza get to realize their vision.  Though it's kind of bad news that Fox asked for more assassinations and less sex...
 

wow

Jan. 16th, 2009 11:35 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
That was the saddest BSG ever.  I was fine until spoiler )

Some graffiti on a hallway wall in Galactica inspired me to make a t-shirt that should make all the nerds* cry tomorrow at Arisia.  Ha!  First I make them laugh when I dance, then I make them cry just by walking the hallways.

*I use the term in the most loving sense possible, esp. given that *I'm* the one who made the shirt thinking it would be the most awesome thing ever.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I am happy to say that both the increased prednisone dose and the metronidazole have had an immediate effect on Ianto.  His guts are clearly healthier, his appetite is improved and best of all this morning he was bouncing around and playing in his own silly way.  He's also so, so good about taking the metronidazole.  I haven't yet had to scruff him to get him to take it, he'll just gulp it down quickly, give me this "what on earth have you done to me look" and then forget everything when I offer him more ferretone.  Such a sweet guy.  So I'm definitely feeling better about his health than I did yesterday afternoon.  I still don't know that we'll have lots of time, but I feel more confident about being able to give him quality time.  Yesterday I was really mentally back where I was when Ronan was so sick, which was bad because I'm pretty sure in retrospect that he was suffering quite a bit towards the end.  I do think he went when he was ready to go, but I would just hate to see another ferret go through what he did.  Walking into Angell last night also made me really, really miss Seti.  I love our new guys, like I love all my ferrets, but Seti was pretty special.

So I was very sad when I got home last night, but after seeing Ianto a bit perkier I was able to get some dancing in.  I got some solid work done on that drum solo, thanks to getting jumpstarted by Najmat's class on Tuesday.  Before I felt like I was just standing there and shimmying; after last night I feel like I'm doing something more interesting.  Right now to me Mona Al Said's gold bikini drum solo is the most fabulous and perfect drum solo in the world, so obviously I'm holding myself up to impossibly high standards, but I hope I can generate some of that relaxed yet powerful feel.  I'm using a Ramadan Henkish solo from the Pulse of the Sphinx and it's quite fast, so figuring out where to slow down was really the important part.  I did end up writing something out, in a bizarre kind of notation of squiggles and dashes--drum solos are hard to write down!--not a choreography per se, but more of a map to the patterns and sounds, which helped lots.

If a contestant on Top Chef says at the beginning of the episode that s/he really misses her/his partner or family and then in the middle of the episode says that their dish is perfect and cannot go wrong, you can be pretty sure that at the end of the episode, that contestant will be going home.

A Moroccan dude on Facebook would like me and my astonishing beauty to come visit him in Morocco next summer so he can give me many kisses.  At least that's what my shaky French, which I think is no worse than his French, tells me he wrote.  Thanks but no thanks!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I think the ending of The Shield was satisfying.  If Kafka wrote gritty urban crime, that's the ending he would have written... There was a definite, and humorous, slap to the Sopranos at the very end.  I imagine Vic's past will catch up with him sooner or later one dark night, and I don't imagine the FBI will care in the slightest.  Poor Claudette. At least she got some measure of satisfaction.  Poor Ronnie--granted it was all his own free will, but he learned that lesson about not giving scorpions rides across rivers the hard way.  Poor Dutch, who I think crossed a line somehow but I'm not sure where or what it was.  He'll know he did it, though.  Poor Julian.  Go Tina, though.  And I can't say I feel particularly badly for Shane and his family, or for Corrine and her kids.

Last night when I left work the police were doing random bag searches at Kenmore Square.  The brown woman wearing her scarf pulled over her head right next to me was randomly pulled over, while I was not.  All in all, these bag searches do absolutely zero to make me feel safer walking the streets of my city.  Quite the opposite, really.

Thinking about seeing the Damned at the Paradise on Jan. 4.  Theo (formerly of the Lunachicks) and the Skyscrapers are opening, so there's an extra bonus.  It's $25, I think.  It would mean being out late the night before returning to work after the long holiday break (yay university job!) but the Damned do put on one hell of a show, as did the Lunachicks.

We worked more in Najmat's class last night on a tricky step from last week--it's really just (what I call) an Egyptian walk going backwards, with a little kick in between each step, but somehow reversing the direction makes things so much more complicated.  Not to mention bringing it up on your toes, and the inevitable "Now add a shimmy to it!"  It's a classic Mona Al Said move and I really really want to get it internalized.  I can get it in fits and starts but not reliably.   The key is not thinking about it, but not thinking about it is very hard.  (belly dancer tech talk--to me, the Egyptian walk is the step where you push your L hip back/slightly out as you step forward with your R leg, R knee bent, bring your hips and knees to neutral with a little ab pull inwards as the L leg comes forward, then R hip goes back as L leg steps forward and L knee goes down.  Hadia calls this a samba walk.  I have no idea where I got my name for it.)

I'm very glad this is only a half week.  I've got pies to bake tonight and two meals to eat tomorrow, what with both of our families being local.  It works out well that my family typically eats late while M's typically eats early.  Friday I will exercise until I keel over, and then I'll rest for a bit and get up and do it again.  I foresee a day of drum solos for me!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
The movie Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is very very bad.  Not at all in a good way, either.  I highly recommend screwing your eyes tightly shut, stuffing your fingers in your ears and screaming as loudly as you can if this movie ever appears in your field of vision.  It is so bad that only the silhouettes of two robots and a guy lost in space could make it bearable.

Heroes has been very up and down this season but I will remain a loyal viewer if Sylar's clothes keep getting burnt off him.  Actually even apart from that, his character is mostly what has kept me watching.  He's getting the better writing on the show, and it's obvious that Zachary Quinto loves genre. 

I believe it is my rectus femoris that is currently squawking at me.  Or possibly the vastus lateralis.  Something in that general area.  Ow.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (nyah)
I hear that Project Runway is not doing the big reunion show this year--Project Rungay wrote their own and it is hilarious.  You can totally hear every voice.  Some of it is a little in-jokey to regular readers (the lazy bit, for example, and also their name for Leanne is Judy Noodles) but I think it would be funny even if you don't regularly read Project Rungay, which would be odd of you if you are a fan of the show ;-)
 
It only just occurred to me today that my office would be warmer if I closed the door.  Lo and behold, my fingers are not too frozen to type today!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Wednesday I did something I have never done before:  bought something knowing full well I was going to return it.  My search for boots in Harvard Square turned out to be, to use an entirely appropriate word, bootless, so I resorted to ordering a couple of pairs of boots online from onlineshoes.com, which like Zappos has free return shipping.  I'll keep the pair that fits best and ship the other one back, or ship them both back if neither fits and have them ship me some more.  It seems awfully decadent to have stuff delivered to me just to try on, but I guess that's the modern world we live in.  Another advantage of doing it this way is that I get a cashback bonus for using my Discover card at that vendor, so I'm saving money on top of it being more convenient.  Still seems terribly profligate and wrong somehow though.  Shnells, I'd still be into going shoe shopping sometime though, I want to find cute shoes that don't make my feet hurt and that I can go out Arabic-dancing in, if such shoes exist anywhere in this world.

In other shoe news, three days in a row of wearing my Earth shoes has made a real difference in the plantar fasciitis in my right heel.  If you've got PF, I highly recommend Earth shoes.  They continually but gently stretch your calves and ankles and hamstrings.  Good for the hips and lower back, too.

Finally had a chance to get in some yoga last night.  It was much needed.  Of course as soon as I reached savasana the neighbor kids started rampaging, and M was twanging away on his guitar (he uses headphones, but the physical strings are still fairly noisy).  I held an image in my head of the earth lying solid and silent and dark underneath all the activity of life on top of it, eternal and never changing despite all the fuss and bother on its surface, and it was surprisingly effective at keeping all the commotion from affecting me.  I really didn't think I had it in me to relax under the circumstances but I'm glad I did.

Started Season 2 of Torchwood last night, with the famed James Marsters-John Barrowman liplock.  Oh those naughty captains.  And poor jealous Ianto.  The show is rather veering into Lex territory but I still like it.  Pretty people being cool and sexy and tossing off one-liners, nothing wrong with that.

Dreamed last night that it was Raks Spooki showtime, and I realized I'd never written up a schedule.  It's too soon for me to be having anxiety dreams about the show!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Heavy Metal in Baghdad:  I cannot say enough in praise of this documentary film, a production of the Canadian company VICE Magazine Publishing.  It is the story of Acrassicauda (part of the Latin name for the desert scorpion), the first heavy metal band to play shows in Iraq, starting under Saddam and then during the US-led occupation.  Regardless of which regime was in charge of the country, the young men who made up the band faced a hard time being able to fulfill their dreams and artistic visions.  I'm not a heavy metal fan by any stretch, but I could empathize with and relate to their passion for their art; it would not be hard to imagine a goth or industrial or punk or really any kind of rock band facing the same kinds of challenges under the same circumstances.  The young men in the band are all highly engaging and likeable people and it's enormously painful to see what they have to endure.  There's an extra on the DVD that provides a more recent update and I highly recommend watching that as well.  Their comments on their country made me cry and so aware of the freedoms that we are able to take for granted--that sounds very cliché, but in this film I saw a glimpse of what it would be like to live without freedom of expression in a way that really hit me hard.  Although some discussion of politics is unavoidable in nearly any treatment of Iraq, the politics are really minimized in favor of the personal experience in the film, which makes it all the more affecting.  A+++

The Stone Raft (La Balsa de piedra):  a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch co-production about the Iberian Peninsula detaching itself at the Pyrenees and heading out to sea, and a small group of individuals who know themselves to be somehow connected to this phenomenon.  Based on a Nobel Prize winning novel by José Saramago.  For the first 30 or 45 minutes, I thought it was one of the best films I'd ever seen, surrealistic in such a Spanish way.  After that it meandered a bit too much; it's quite possible that there were things of importance that I missed due to not knowing much about Iberian and European politics.  But it's still well worth viewing, if only for the beautiful cinematography of the Spanish and Portuguese countryside.  The characters are all individually touching, with their quirks well conveyed in an economic manner.  I couldn't help mentally contrasting it with a French end of the world film I saw in the last year, In the Time of the Wolf.  When the world mysteriously ends in France, the French scream at each other for two hours straight, and turn violently on the immigrants.  When the world mysteriously ends in Spain, the Spanish fall in love and have lots of sex in beautiful places.  I know where I'd like to be when the end arrives!  Many of the user reviews around the Internet are pretty negative, but you have to be the sort of viewer who is willing to drift along for the ride and not require a lot of sense or resolution, just enjoying the things to view and think about.  A-/B+

The Sarah Connor Chronicles:  I'm really enjoying this season.  Tight taut science fiction with what is developing into a strong ensemble cast.

Last night's Heroes season premiere:  decidedly underwhelmed.  Hate what they've done with Mohinder, completely undermining his character's point.  Very disappointed to see certain characters back.  Feel like ground is being retrodden.  And as far as menace goes, The Company has nothing on Skynet.  Meh.
 

SYTYCD

Jun. 27th, 2008 11:28 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
last night's results show )

I did something to my knee while dancing or doing yoga last night.  Or really, an area next to my knee; I think it's the bottom end of the IT band.  Ice and ibuprofen for me today!  I want very much to go out to the Melt CD release show with Dreamchild and Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys but if I am too much of a broken toy myself, that might not happen.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (shinymaia)
I have many responses to this episode of Wife Swap (this week featuring Jehan Hanna, NYC belly dancer, and a woman who runs a pig farm in Nevada) but my biggest responses so far are 1) huge props to Hanna Hanna for my subject line and 2) Serena Hanna rocks.
 
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Best moment in last night's Lost:  Read more... )

I am sick.  Great way to start the weekend.  It's beautiful out and I just want to go home and go to bed.  I blame all that smoke in the T on Tuesday.  Must take care of myself so that I will be all better to go see little weasels on Sunday!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Today I would like to eat everything, thank you.

My foot is more sore than I would like it to be after my second shot on Tuesday.  I think I expected the same dramatic improvement with each shot.  Then again, I did stand for roughly 2.5 hours getting home on Tuesday night and then I carried heavy groceries home last night, so it hasn't had much chance to recover from the trauma of being poked with a big needle.  Sigh.  I don't know.

I like [livejournal.com profile] dirtyknees 's suggestion in the comments of my past post of making a sage infusion and then using that to mix with--I think that will be a more effective way of extracting the flavor from the sage leaves.  Plus it will be something I've never done before, so that will be fun.  If anybody wants any sage, btw, I have roughly a bushel or so to spare.  (and it's only May!)  Maybe I'll do a lavender infusion also.  Though I like to leave the lavender flowers on the plant for the bees, since it seems like bees need all the help they can get these days.

Shirley Manson (yes, that Shirley Manson) was just signed to the second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I think has solidified the show's position as program that became really cool in spite of itself.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Nobody else is in the office yet today, and I have that "I didn't come to work on a Saturday by accident, did I?" feeling.

Last night I started watching the series The Flame Trees of Thika; I saw it on Masterpiece Theatre years ago when I was a child and loved it.   I was so infatuated that I even worked out how to play the theme music on my violin.  I spotted it on Netflix and thought I'd see if it lived up to my memories.  After one episode, I think in many ways it does.  The BBC production is based on the memoirs of Elspeth Huxley (of the famous Huxleys; my parents told me at the time that I was nearly named Elspeth and so I identified very much with our intrepid heroine), whose parents went off to Kenya to start a coffee plantation, essentially duped into buying some pretty worthless land and penniless by the time they got there, but determined to make a go of it despite every factor pointing towards the futility of it all.  I am still struck by all the things that I was as a child--the sense of adventure, the beautiful scenery, envy of the life of a girl who sees lions and zebras all the time, the realization of a child that parents can be flawed human beings who don't know everything--but I see more now, the economic condition of the British Empire in the years immediately leading up to WWI, the role of women in colonialism, and most particularly the cross-cultural interactions among the various sorts of Europeans who ended up in Kenya, the Jikuyu tribespeople and the more educated Africans who look down on the tribespeople.  Even as a child I was attuned to the injustice of treating people badly just because they wore body paint and happened to live in the bush*, but there's added depth watching it now.  In a way I feel a bit like Elspeth herself must have, experiencing these things as a child and then thinking about them later as an adult.  I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it. 

*There's a great scene where Elspeth and her mother are having lunch by the side of the road with their (educated, non-tribal) African escort.  A small band of tribespeople wander by, and the African escort scornfully says they are stupid and most likely cannibals.  Elspeth says to her mother, "Do you think they are really cannibals?"  Her mother answers, "No, I'm sure they are perfectly nice people."  To which Elspeth thoughtfully responds, "They might be perfectly nice and still be cannibals, though.  They'd just eat people instead of animals."

I received two compliments on my dancing that mean a lot to me, one through the grapevine from someone I know and deeply respect and one completely random out on the internets from a dancer who held up one of my YouTube videos as an example of a good interpretation of a particular song.  It's nice to hear these things as I am gradually starting to feel physically strong once again.  My physical and mental confidence are returning.
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
I was just talking to a co-worker about Battlestar Galactica, and something interesting occurred to me.  in which I get philosophical about toasters.  Contains spoilers if you haven't seen the most recent episode. )

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