Monday, December 16, 2013

Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine - and More

Hopefully, Blogger will behave itself with the fonts. I write in "Georgia" and it posts in "Arial" - or at least it did yesterday. Like a dart in my little editor's heart!!

Good Vibes...

Fluffy Corgi
Please spare a few good vibes for my boss and hubby. They're having "the talk" about their ailing Corgi - it's a situation so many of us have been in and it's one of the hardest things you do. 

Laddie is a typical Corgi, but he's a "fluffy." And HE thinks he's a cross between a Great Pyr and an Irish Wolfhound. Lots of dog in a little package, you know? Anyway, she's all torn up, just as you'd expect. 

This is not Laddie, but it's a picture in case you wanted to know what a "fluffy" Corgi is. Apparently, it's an anomaly of the coat, where it's a little more puffy than normal.

Hollywood Greats...

Not confusing humans or dogs, but we old movie (or "classic" movie, if you want) fans are mourning the deaths of both Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine. My favorite Peter O'Toole moments? Well, there's the scene in Lawrence of Arabia where he's totally immersed in how he looks and his reflection in the knife. And the classic --- CLASSIC --- scene between him and The Great Kate in The Lion in Winter where ... well, heck. The ENTIRE movie. The chemistry between O'Toole and Hepburn just blows your hair back. I can't pick a favorite scene in that movie. 

I wish I could either remember or find the quote about the cleaners. He was being interviewed and he said he'd like his epitaph to be something along the lines of a note he found in a jacket from his cleaners, when they couldn't get a spot out. I believe the note said something like, "We always hope our work is satisfactory." 

Joan Fontaine -- Honestly, the only 2 movies that stand out for me are Rebecca and Suspicion. Apparently, her director in Rebecca kept her so frazzled that a good portion of the nervousness and anxiety that she so clearly displayed was real. Cruel of the director, though. Of course, that director was Alfred Hitchcock. A right stinker he was! Come to think of it, he probably used the same technique in the other movie, but she was much less "Nervous Nellie" in that movie. 

I always wonder what the script said in Rebecca, since even in the book, you never know the character's name! It's always a nickname, as in "Dear" or "Darling" or in the case of Mrs. Van Hopper, "You" or "My girl." So did the script indicate Fontaine's lines by putting "Second Mrs. DeWinter"?? 

Does this make three, if you're counting Paul Walker? Who - by the way - I'd never heard of. But I prefer older movies to the new stuff, and I wouldn't watch any of the current action films now anyway.

I prefer my movies to have plot and characters. Not special effects, gratuitous sex and violence, and noise. 

The Pope...

So of course, you all know that Rushbag has castigated Pope Francis and has loudly proclaimed that Francis' Evangelii Gaudium is "pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope" and that parts of the document were "dramatically, embarassingly, puzzlingly wrong." 

Because Rush knows a Marxist when he sees one, right? And Rush has  --oh, oh, wait for it -- NEVER graduated from college. Check this out... OK, I know - a college degree isn't the be-all and end-all, but let's get a clue here, folks.

Pope Francis is educated. He holds a master's degree in chemistry as well as degrees in philosophy and theology. Jesuits aren't dummies. And you know what else? They're trained to question. And to argue. Till the cows come home!! 

According to today's Trib, Francis has a pithy answer to his critics: He says he was not speaking "as a technician but according to the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and this does not mean being a Marxist." So besides Rush, he's got the conservative Catholic bloc spewing split pea soup (Exorcist reference, folks). They think he's too "progressive."

He's not. He's still anti-women-priests, anti-birth-control, and against adoption by gay couples. That's still pretty conservative. 

Still. He seems to be making some strides, even if those strides include starting the conversations. I'd still pay to see him take Rush apart, but I know he wouldn't. He is the bigger man here. 


Swatch #2
Swatch #2 is drying. We'll see. I will start back on #2 Pink Sock. I probably should have waited till the yarn un-kinked, because you can see a couple of wonky spots. Hopefully, with a long soak in Eucalan and being pinned to the board, it'll kind of remedy that. 

I think (fingers crossed) that the size 7 needles might do the trick. By the way, I was wrong. They're not Addi bamboo. They're Takumi. I should have known because Addi cables are a pale blue. These have a clear cable. 

So in a day or so, I should be able to cast on. I've read the first part of the pattern. Well, actually, I've read the whole thing. Some of it freaks me out, but that's half the fun of knitting. I have knitting buddies who can help me when I get stuck. 

Speaking of those knitting buddies, I got them some Indigo Wild goat's milk soap - the 3-bar variety. I hope they like them. It's great soap and I think the scents I picked out were nice and fragrant, but won't knock you over. 

Rand Paul... a liar. And stupid. Don't chastise me about calling names. The man doesn't have the sense God gave my canary. 

He's spouting off about "99 weeks of unemployment" and first off, telling everyone who gives him a platform that being on that much unemployment they somehow transform into leeches of the system. 

Really? When my kid was laid off for almost 2 years, he brought home just about $250-$275 per week. And he lived in my basement because he couldn't afford anything else. Oh yeah, he was just rolling in the dough, Rand. 

And second, once again --- let's talk about "research." According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, only THREE states allow people to be on unemployment over 70 weeks. Illinois, Rhode Island and Nevada. And that's because their unemployment rates are somewhere around 9% as opposed to anything lower in the other states. 

And those other states? The number of weeks you're allowed to be on unemployment varies. But nowhere in the entire United States are you going to be on unemployment 99 weeks. 

Sooooooooo - Rand. If you just let your fingers do the Google, you would find this nifty little chart here. That chart outlines those FACTS that I pointed out above. You know facts. Those things you like to either ignore or just plain lie about. 

Like the fact that, for every ONE job opening, there are roughly 3 unemployed people applying for it. In Big Numbers, it looks like this: in early December, there were about 10.9 MILLION people unemployed. At the end of October, there were only 3.9 million job openings. Math, people. There's a gap of about 7 million people, assuming that each of those 3.9 million jobs gets filled by a qualified person. 

So, according to Rand, those 10.9 million people aren't going to climb walls or cross croc-infested waters to get a shot at those jobs. Which, by the way, they would. If they had a snowball's chance in an Illinois August. And according to Rand, even if those 3.9 million jobs were filled, in his view those extra 7 million people would just sit and collect those big fat unemployment checks. 

Heck, according to Rand, he probably thinks that those of us who are working are just DYING to go on unemployment and slurp from the government trough. 

Like I said. An idiot. And lazy, to boot... Didn't bother doing any research. Just got the talking points memo and went with it. 

The End of the Baking...

Here's the before and after of my Granny's rugelach-like cookie. Yes, I ate some. And yes, I probably would've eaten more, but I'm trying to be good. 

I'm the only one who makes these. My kids know how to do it, but they haven't yet. 

Kid #2 has done about 50% of the baking. Technically, I could do a set of Snow on the Mountain cookies, but I'm not sure we need them. I have a couple of "tossed-in" recipes I made that I didn't have on The List. Those include cream cheese mints and a pan of Cranberry Biscotti. 

We should have enough. I always say that, and then I bake twice as much as we need...

This is a rolled sweet dough with a dab of pineapple preserve in it. I've had rugelach, and they've had apple filling. These are yummy. And delicious.

And a major pain in the butt to make. You have to make the dough and let it sit overnight. Then roll it out on sugar, cinnamon and ground nuts. And then cut it, dab it, roll it and bake it.

And the fun doesn't stop there!! It's so sugary that the stuff often melts, creating a hotter-than-boiling caramel which will trash the cookies if you don't get them off the pan immediately. I use parchment paper. And parchment also on the cooling rack so that they don't stick to the rack. 

And I look forward to them every Christmas.

Tomorrow is The Day of Potica with Kid #1. The kitchen table is cleaned off (I don't have enough counter space to roll on the counter, and I'm too short to do that well anyway!). My recipe is at hand, and I've looked at the inventory. I have everything I need (except, perhaps, enough freezer space...) and I think we're ready to go. 

I've washed my hands about a dozen times this morning. Time to go find some high-powered hand lotion. That may put the skids on the knitting for now, but I have to do something with these hands before I pick up my guitar again - otherwise my fingers will split. 

My mom is making Rosettes this year. This is totally off the wall. The rosettes are something we did a lot as kids. Well, of course, that was in the days before fried food was a "no-no." Here's a recipe, and to say this is out of our cultural comfort zone is to put it mildly. I don't have irons anymore. Mom's got her original set. Which means that in a few years, I'll have them. We take a dab of strawberry preserves and dot it in the center of the flower or snowflake. Oh, first comes the powdered sugar. 

Nobody should wear black on Christmas, I guess! 

Random Picture...

Mixed Greens Wreath
This is what the wreath looks like at 5 a.m. It snowed again last night, and I was outside cleaning up. It wasn't a ton of snow, but I didn't feel like hauling the garbage cans through snow...

The wreath is real - mixed, about 4 different kinds of greens, which I like. I had the bow. And Hubby bought the small LED lights. It's very pretty. 

So far, no more snow, but I'm hopeful. There's a Special Weather Statement that says we could be in for a "quick burst" of snow this afternoon and early evening. "Moderate to briefly heavy" snow! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Sorry. Ahem. Anyway, it may start in the next hour or so, and should still only be about 1/2" or so.

But it'll occur right about at rush hour. Which makes me wonder whether or not I'll have any students tonight for yoga. I didn't last week, but we had a pretty nasty cold snap. If this keeps up, I'm going to be bummed. 

Is it stalking if I e-mail my students  and ask them what's up? Problem is, lots of times, yoga goes away over the holidays and possibly will come back after the New Year for all those folks setting resolutions. But the studio's rent doesn't stop. And that worries me. I love teaching 5 minutes from my house. 

Well, if they don't show up, I guess I have extra time to start working on that thesis for my teacher training. I'm trying to pace myself. 

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