Monthly Archives: September 2007

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Is a Zombie Mama

… or would that be “zombie’s mama”. Not sure.

Anna-Liza here. I got an email from Darlin’ K today saying, “Congratulations. Your oldest son is a Professional Zombie.”

See, Number One Son is a lighting tech. You know, the people who set up, hang, and operate the lights for music acts and other shows. He’s done lights for the Indigo Girls, Earl Scruggs, the B-52s and Ted Nugent, among many others. He gets to hear about odd little gigs, being in the business.

So when Elitch Gardens (our local large amusement park, for those outside the Denverish area) put out a casting call for zombies, he went. They have people wandering around the park during October, leading up to Halloween, dressed and acting like zombies. Apparently, there are even different varieties of zombies, based on different zombie movie parameters.

And they hired him. He says the guy doing the auditions was really impressed by his zombie skillz. He was 99% assured of the job after the first audition. Yes, you read that right. They had to get through two auditions to make the gig. Apparently there are quite a few mediocre zombies out there, and Elitch’s wants only the best.

I’ll do my best to get a picture of him in zombie drag, but I make no promises.

I’m so proud. (sniff)

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Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine wanders the Cosmic Innernetting

Lyda here. This is “Fish Tank Floorshow Night.” No, really.

It’s also “Love Note Day” – apparently, ya’ll should have started on this days ago

I don’t have a fish tank (Wouldn’t Tommy the Sith Apprentice Cat love it though?! When I was a kid, one of my brothers had a big fishtank was popular T.V. for our many many cats. Sometimes the fish would throw themselves out of the tank in a suicidal fit. Later I had a suicidal parakeet. Truly sad, ya’ll. But I digress…)

I also don’t have a lover to write notes to (the less digression on that subject the better)…

So I’ve been wandering around the Cosmic Innernetting…

A friend sent me article: Scientists May Have Discovered Intuition. The research shows what happens in your brain when an error is detected. You get an electrical and negative feedback response. You know, that uneasy feeling that you made a mistake? “Oh crap, did I just pass my exit? Did I just knit when I should have purled?” Hopefully not those two things at the same moment, of course…

This is the brain’s version of “D’OH!”

The brain learns from the errors, and after a while, it can even give you the uneasy feeling BEFORE you make the mistake. Thus, perhaps, intuition. An interesting theory…

Alcohol supresses this brain reaction. So does cocaine. No mention of fibre in the article. The scientists theorize that this may account for the non-physical part of addictions. See, some people have brains that give a lot of this negative feedback, and addicts may use the addiction to tune out the Never-Ending Brain D’ohs. Curious – no mention of yarn addiction…

This “alcohol suppressing the Brain’s D’ohs” effect is why we need a morning-after pill. I’m just sayin’ is all…

It also explains why Drunken Knitting can lead to frogging in the morning…

Not that it explains why the Global Warming Scarf is wider at the end than it was at the beginning, ’cause I swear I was sober when I knit it. No, really!

Trying to put a brave face on it: Hey, lookee! My first increase!

Damn and blast! I’ve been trying to convince myself to just rip it and re-knit… again. Sigh. Or to just forge on and give it to someone young enough not to care… Double sigh.

Apparently watching T.V. suppresses the Brain D’oh too…

Pollyanna finds her own fun

Lyda again. Hey, Happy Ancestor Appreciation Day! And Happy World Tourism Day! Go on a trip, visit your ancestors! Or something…

Sorry, no knitting or quilting news to report. Still need to finish weaving in the ends of the Global Warming Scarf, and then do the fringe. Still need to start the second skein for the Twisted Sister scarf, and then put the fringe on.  Still need to buy crochet hook (for scarf fringe). No quilting news either. Still need to buy batting for the Frog Prince Quilt, and then put it together. Still need to decide on the pattern for the other prince quilt, and get to sewing it together.

These things may happen this weekend. But you would be wise to not hold your breath. The Resident Sith Master just got Halo 3, and I’m guessing our place will be full of teenagers all weekend. In fact, the walls are dripping testosterone each and every night when I come home. That happens since multiple teenage boys hang around our place all afternoon.  Magic! Gnomes! Actually, Halo 3 = Testoterone-dripping walls.

Quick game review: very fun, cool new vehicles & weapons & everything. The graphics are amazing. I still stink but RSM lets me play with him a bit anyway. (He loves his mom, that Sith.) And it turns out that my Gorgeous And Youngest bro actually knows the creator of Halo, who contributes generously to charitable organizations – being a millionaire and not yet 30. Inspiration for my son, the future game designer.

Uh-oh. No knitting. No quilting. No pictures… Must distract readers from lack of real content…

Hey, how about some quizzes? Here’s a fun movie quote trivia one… and yes, I got 11 out of 13. Bwahahaha! (I’ve never seen Repo Man. Should I?)

Here’s a grammar quiz for Anna-Liza, in all her grammar-osity. I got 9 out of 10, ’cause I didn’t have the heart to criticize Babs. She’s like butter.

Okay, so I didn’t actually make this fun, I just found it.

But still – Fun! Quizzes!

Right?

wanders off mumbling to herself…

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Humps Along…

Lyda here. Once again, it’s Wednesday. Hump Day.

Today is the Full Moon – at 3:45 p.m. EST if you are feeling precise. This month’s full moon is called the Harvest Moon. Did ya know that each full moon has its own special name? Now you do. Although it feels more like the Oh-Jebus-Help-Me-Make-It-Through-Hump-Day-Without-Running-Amok Moon. I guess that’s just too long to fit on the calendars…

And today is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. So, we’ve got that goin’ for us.

One of my coworkers just turned 30. Glamour once ran an article about what every woman should have and do by 30.

In the spirit of the Full Moon and also women’s health (okay, my own mental health. Trying not to run amok, remember? but I digress…), I present:

LIFE ONLY GETS BETTER IN YOUR FORTIES (or, “STUFF I’M GLAD I STUCK AROUND FOR”)

In my forties:

1) I live less in the past and more in the present.

2) I laugh more often, and about more things.

3) I’m not afraid of crying hard. Now I know there is always an end to tears.

4) I say “I’m sorry” less, and “No, I don’t think so” more.

5) I know that at my core, I’m a writer, an artist, and a teacher. In my forties, I remembered that I have always been.

6) I know I’m not defined by my job, my clothes, my weight – or anyone else’s opinion of any of these.

7) I know that men come and men go. *snort* My standards for male companionship are different than they were in my thirties or twenties. And much higher. And about damn time!

8.) I’m seeing my son more as the man he is becoming and less as my little boy. I couldn’t be prouder of him. And I give myself credit for the things I’ve done right as a parent. 

9) I’m beginning to get a glimpse of the crone I will someday become. And I like her!

and of course, in the place of honor:

10) In my forties, I’m so lucky and grateful to still have my amazing, funny, wise best friend who’s been with me through more than the two decades – and who taught me a lot of this stuff!

When we are 100, we’ll sit on the front porch in our rocking chairs and knit and laugh and laugh. We’ll scandalize our relatives with wild stories of our youth.

And the stories will all be true.

Of course, by 100, we’ll think of our forties as part of our youth.

So let the wild rumpus start!

Pollyanna Celebrates the Weirdness of Human Celebrations

Lyda here. Today is National One-Hit Wonder Day. This morning, the radio station was having people call in with their favorite one-hit wonders.

Ah, the weirdness of humans. We celebrate one-hit wonders, talking like a pirate, and horrible 70s fashion. Seriously, the same radio station was having a 70’s costume dance. How can you not love a species that is so fixated on its own trivia?

So, with fondness, I present today’s Weirdness of Humans: Weird Celebrations of Fall Edition.

1) September 25: National One-Hit Wonders Day

There is a website devoted to One Hit Wonders. Of course. Here you can find your favorites, sorted by decade. They also have a top 100 list, based on the song’s visits on their site. You know you want to look.

The songs range from the annoying (“Macarana” – Los Del Rio) to the stupid (“Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice), from the fad AKA “I’m not admitting I know all the words” (“Convoy” – C.W. McCall), to the sing-along (“Tainted Love” – Soft Cell).

Of course, for Marin, that would be “Tainted Duh.”

VH1 has a “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders” special hosted by William Shatner, which seems extremely appropriate. Remember his musical career? His versions of “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”? Uh. Yeah.

But then, Derek and the Dominoes only had one hit: “Layla.” You may have heard it once or twice. I hear their lead guy is doing okay for himself.

2) According to this website devoted to weird US celebrations (you can print out monthly calendars so you don’t miss any!),  September is:

National Chicken Month.

It is also Pleasure Your Mate Month.

Ponder this juxaposition with your mate, and/or the chicken of your choice.

Do NOT send photos.

3) In other “Some of These Things are Not Like the Other” news:

October is “Go Hog Wild – Eat County Ham” Month

and

Vegetarian Month.

4) October 2nd is Phileas Fogg’s   Wager Day. Good day to watch one of the many movie versions of “Around the World in 80 Days” (one of my favorites stars Jackie Chan). Or heck, really go nuts and read the book by Jules Verne.

5) October 30th is Haunted Refrigerator Night. Scary, kids!

6) November is National Impotence Month. There’s even a quiz on this site. Bummer, a whole month. No wonder we all eat too much at Thanksgiving.

7) November also contains National Fig Week (Nov. 1-7). Because you just can’t cram all the figgy goodness into one day, ya’ll. Here’s a kind of funny article about it.

8.) The first Thursday in November is National Men Make Dinner Day. Check out the rules for this important holiday. Also, wondering if this is in any way related to #6… Hmmm….

9) November 4th is National Chicken Lady Day. Yes.

National. Chicken. Lady. Day.

How many Chicken Ladies are there, nationally speaking??

Well, apparently the day is for this Chicken Lady, author and motivational speaker.

Who has no relation to this Chicken Lady from the “Kids in the Hall” and “Saturday Night Live” shows.

Or to this Chicken Lady running for mayor of Key West. Or this Chicken Lady  who used to dress up her chickens for tourists in Rhode Island. Or to this Chicken Lady blogger. Or to this Chicken Lady who rides his bike for charity. Or to these Chicken Lady ceramic sculptures.

Why are so many people known as the Chicken Lady?

The mind boggles.

10) November 19th is “Have a Bad Day” Day. Probably not the day to get married. Your beloved might turn out to be a Chicken Lady. I’m just sayin’, is all.

It was so hard to choose just 10 weird celebrations, I had to limit myself to the next two months. Ya’ll, I could have done a Top Ten Chicken Ladies list, and that is seriously weird.

We will revisit this so that we can enjoy all the important national celebrations in the months to come. Look for the Weird Celebrations to be a recurring seasonal ‘Weirdness of Humans” thing.

Perhaps it will even become a leif motif for the blog.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look for chicken…

No, I’m not going to become a Chicken Lady.

It’s just lunch time, ya’ll.

Hey, it is National Chicken Month!

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Slow Crawl of Monday

Lyda here. Question: Why is it that Saturday and Sunday fly by, and Monday crawls?

Quantum Theory Answer: Because Time is a human construct and expands and contracts according to each human’s whim. Reference: Terry Prachett’s collected works, especially Thief of Time, and the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?” which you should certainly have seen by now, people!

Poet’s Answer: Because Saturday and Sunday are beautiful butterflies, and Monday is a caterpillar just dreaming of flying.

This weekend, I did the following before the days flitted away:

* Saturday night, I had dinner with my Gorgeous and Younger bro and my wonderful bro-in-law, in LA. See, there are some events I’ll drive into LA for! I did decline to have dinner with them on Friday, as this would have necessitated getting on the Freeways of Doom at 5:30, and probably driving through Scary Water Falling From the Sky. But I digress… 

They were in town to visit friends, and see a concert, and me too! We had a wonderful time eating Italian food and catching up and drinking a bottle of wine together and wondering what the waiter’s real career is, this being LA. Bro insisted that he could not be an actor because actors are more experienced waiters, so we decided that he was a newly-arrived screenwriter looking for his big break.  Fabulous!

* Sunday morning, I had a semi-date. With a menz. We have been good friends for such a long time, and it was good to see him and very comfortable just talking. As for romance – I’m thinking, not. Friends is good sometimes, ya know?

* Sunday afternoon, I went to a friend’s in Long Beach (yes, driving on the freeway yet again!) for her annual, first-day-of-fall “Take Back the Beach from the Tourists” party which I actually don’t know if she has annually. Fun, although I declined the free-flowing mimosas and other alcohol as I had to drive home again. Damn!

* Sunday night, during commercials, I completed a massive purge of the “bills and such” drawer of my filing cabinet, and then I filed my backlog of papers. My rule is that if it doesn’t relate to taxes, health, school, my writing or my art, I don’t keep paper files longer than 6 months. No one needs 30 years of electric bills, ya’ll, although when my mother-in-law died, she had them. They lived in that house for thirty-plus years, and yes, I found their first electric bill, along with the envelope it came in and the newsy insert that came with it. Everything stuffed into kitchen drawers and cabinets, each drawer a year frozen in time: every bill, letter, card, and piece of junk mail. Going through all of it was so sad. You can imagine what the closets were like. We had had to do the same thing when my mom died, as Mom used much the same system.

This is why I purge so often, ya’ll. I don’t want anyone to have to plow through layers of crud when I’m gone. Morbid, but true. Plus, this way I have one filing cabinet instead of eleventy-twelve.

But I digress… yet again…

* Saturday morning, with all the upcoming swanky activities (Dinner with two of my favorite men! Beach party! Semi-date!)  I actually used the pedicure gift certificate I received for Christmas. Yes, last Christmas. Yes, the gift certificate had been in my purse for 9 months. What?  I went crazy and got a manicure too, my first since… high school?

The pedicure was a weird experience, sitting in a wonderful massage chair with lovely jacuzzi for my feet, having a woman who seemed barely old enough to drive sitting on a tiny stool hunched over my toes. Many of the workers in this place seemed to not speak English, and I felt as if I was exploiting them all in some ill-defined way, as if I had stumbled into a nail sweatshop. Plus, she used some evil stuff to get rid of my calluses, and my feet are still tender. Cute but tender.

I don’t think I’ll be doing this again; it made me feel like an Evil Oppressor of the Downtrodden Working Class. I almost jumped on a table to shout “Union!” but the Norma Rae moment passed. And the polish is already less than perfect on the edges, and it’s too weird to keep seeing color on my fingers – although my toes are cute this way.

* On Saturday, after Exploiting the Nail Workers, I accomplished a Big Project.

I went to Big Lots (which I don’t like as much as I did when it was PicNSav; it’s cleaner and more organized now, but it lost that “if I poke around, I’ll find treasure” atmosphere. Oh, digression again…) and got a package of bamboo rugs – three different-sized rugs all bundled together. I had seen them a couple of weeks ago, but had hesitated over the price, so I was very pleased to see the last package on sale, half-price. Score!

I used the biggest rug for my latest “ReOrganize and Insanely Clean my Home” project – or, RICH (yes, I played with the phrase until the initials spelled something; this is me, ya’ll).

Of course, RICH was originally the August of Deep Cleaning Zen-osity inspired by Laurie’s / Crazy Aunt Purl’s “Month of Making a House a Home” and her post on deep cleaning and also my own sick cleaning addiction. And it, ugh, was supposed to be completed in August. But I got the flu. The sun was in my eyes. There was a hole in my tennis racket.

Wait, digressing again…

Ya’ll, the bathroom floor in my little rented house is disgusting. The tile started out three kinds of ugly and badly installed, and now it is old, stained, and scratched. Seven kinds of ugly! Plus, the grout around the edges has cracked and is permanently stained mildew-colored. Plus, no matter how I clean the floor, it always looks nasty.

Which makes it ten kinds of ugly, and no one should have to face ten kinds of ugly at six a.m. on a Monday morning. Not even an evil Exploiter of Nail Workers like me.

Yes, I could have bought a sheet of linoleum and put it in and re-grouted, but I rent, and anyway, cheap linoleum pretty much equals ugly. Have you priced attractive linoleum or tile lately? Not a fun way to spend money that could go for yarn and books. Or rent.

So, I decided to cover it up.

First, I cleaned the bathroom, moving the litter box and everything else so I could see what I was up against.

Then I took some big pieces of paper (which came wrapped around the rugs in the package) and made a pattern of the floor. Just put the paper down, taped it together, and cut around the fixtures. I learned how to do this watching Tommy Silva on “Ask This Old House.” Hurray, PBS!

I went back into the living room and taped my paper pattern on the bamboo rug, which was a bit bigger than the bathroom floor.

Ya’ll, I didn’t even have to use my razor-blade cutting tool. I just used regular scissors, and cut through the thin strips of bamboo as needed, to make the rug fit the pattern.

Then I put the bamboo rug on the bathroom floor. It fit well, and I used a few scraps to cover behind the toilet. I had left the extra length of the rug, and just rolled up the excess against the tub – thus covering the grout problem completely.

Now my bathroom has this nice bamboo floor, which I can sweep and also wipe clean as needed. Plus, I have two extra rugs, which I will use on the patio once I’m sure the Deadly Rains have gone. As a bonus, the bamboo matches the color of my brown towels, and the blue thread and blue edge go nicely with my blue towels, and even with the blue litter box. My bathroom is all coordinated and spiffy.

Unlike me, on this slow-crawling Monday. Thank gods for the lunch hour!