Monthly Archives: May 2008

Pollyanna Doesn’t Expect the Spanish Inquisition

Hi, Anna-Liza here.

I had to take an unplanned day off to get some emergency dental work done. I managed to break a molar and went in this morning to have my dentist take a look at it. Turned into an impromptu root canal, so now I’m on vicodin (or the generic equivalent thereof) and noticing that it doesn’t work as well as a jawful of novocaine. Then again, it’s nice to be able to taste things and feel my tongue.

You know what? I need to quit doing that mom thing. You know, that thing where we take care of everyone else’s stuff first, and get around to our stuff when we get to it … or it hurts? Yeah, that thing. Because I knew I’d chipped a corner off this molar weeks ago, but I didn’t do anything about it until more bits broke off and it started hurting. It would have been a lot less expensive, for one thing!

I did get a chance to use my Health Savings Account for the first time. Our insurance has it set up so you get a debit card that you can use to pay for things directly out of your HSA. It’s really convenient! I just have to make sure I don’t confuse it with my regular card.

And I have different dental insurance now, with the new job. I had to change dentists, and I’d never met this guy before. Luckily, he’s a good guy and very nice. And when I said something about having put off coming in, he just shrugged and said, “So, you’re saying you’re human.” I really appreciate that–I hate getting scolded by the dentist or hygienist almost as much as I hate getting the novocaine shot.

So instead of getting a temp filling and going in to work for the afternoon, I’m typing this and thinking about taking another pain pill. I’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon reading (probably not knitting, unless it’s something pretty simple). Even so … I’d really rather be at work!

I am taking the opportunity to do part of the Reading in Wonderland challenge. My daughter, the Knitting Sprite, turned me on to Tamora Pierce’s writing a while back. I’m reading the Circle of Magic quartet now, which is set in a different world than most of her books. In this series, she focuses on magic in craft, such as spinning, weaving, metalsmithing, gardening, etc. I’m enjoying it quite a bit! This one would be, I guess, the “read something from a genre you don’t usually read” category. It’s Young Adult, so it doesn’t quite fit the Children’s Picture Book challenge. However, I have to admit I read YA once in a while, because an awful lot of really good books get missed because they’ve been put into that category. Trust me. And go check out the “teen” section at the library sometime soon. 

(ETA: I actually wrote this over a week ago and forgot to post it. But I reread it and decided to post it anyway. Damn drugs! –A)

Pollyanna Tries to Manage Her Flamingo

Lyda here. The other day at the grocery store, I overheard the checker tell a friend that she’s throwing an Alice in Wonderland birthday party for herself. Shiny!

Really, this is just a quick note – no, really! – to let ya’ll know that I’ve created a page for Pollyanna’s Reading in Wonderland Challenge. That way, we can all check the page for the categories and post comments there about the books we’ve read.

Anna-Liza and I will post notes and book reviews on the blog, of course. But this way, ya’ll can check the page for a quick list, instead of searching the blog, and everyone has one place for comments and such.

Not that searching the blog isn’t fun… “How many times can she mention cake and zombies in the same post?”… But I digress…

Just tryin’ to make it easier to manage the flamingo, ya’ll.

Pollyanna and the Drippy, Rainy, Foggy Memorial Day

Hey there, Anna-Liza here. And you knew that, of course, because Sunny Orange County never has a Drippy Rainy Foggy day. Ever.

Oh, just as an update, the Kitteh of Extreme Cuteness finally has a name.      On the short list were Darth Meow, Ninja Kitty, Storm, Fang, and Nuisance. The kids finally agreed on one that Darlin’ K and I can live with, and she will from this day forward be known as “Sparkle”. Moxie and Sparkle. Sounds like a burlesque act. Anyway, back to the main topic …

The weekend itself was pretty nice, but this was the first time in years, maybe even more than a decade, that I didn’t go to the Boulder Creek Festival. It’s fun, the kids like it, and there’s a lot to do and see. Of course, it’s aggravating trying to keep up with small kids in the crowds, but it’s still fun. This year, I totally forgot about it. So did Darlin’ K. Pffffffft! Right out of our little heads.

I did go one year when it rained a lot and Boulder Creek was overflowing its sandbagged banks. That was a bit tedious, squarshing through the mud. The flooding was so bad they couldn’t hold the Rubber Duck Race. Tragic, really.

And then there was the time (hey, I said I’d tell more stories!) that I went with Darlin’ K and I was severely pregnant with Mr. R. Jay, a fire-performing friend, was putting together a dance performance and had asked Darlin’ K if he would be willing to participate. This was the night before the performance, mind, but Jay is known for his improvisational approach to such things, and it sounded fun, and we were planning on going to the Festival the day of the performance anyway, so K said “Sure!”

20 minutes before it was to start, we showed up at the performance tent–K in his basic black firespinning costume and me in my pregnant-lady overall shorts that made me look like a blue pumpkin on sticks. (That year was sunny and hot.) And Jay said, “Oh, I meant for both of you to be in it!” “It” turned out to be a sort of primitive-creation-myth dance with drumming and fire. I wasn’t exactly dressed for the part of generic fertility goddess. I did have extremely long hair (down past my butt), but the rest of what I had on was distinctly modern. So we improvised. I ended up trotting out on the stage in one large scarf (aroung my hips), one medium-sized scarf (covering my boobage), and a little scarf (around my head. But not my face). I was barefoot and carrying before me a small stone egg.

I think the egg was really overkill. My belly was unmistakably that of a very pregnant woman, and there it was, naked, in front of God and everybody. But Jay wanted the egg.

So I danced around holding the egg up in the air and tried not to run into anything on fire. And Darlin’ K, suitably made up as — well, he might have been a fertility god, or maybe a fire god, can’t really remember–anyway, he’s good at what he does and he has very long arms. So he spun fire literally (and I am indeed using that word correctly) around me–he stood behind me (shielding my hair nicely) and spun the fire poi in front of me at one point. Completely missed me, which is a good thing, because I would have been pissed if he’d caught my belly on fire.

The audience loved it. Apparently, I looked like I knew exactly what I was doing and furthermore was doing it on purpose. And fire, even in daytime, tends to draw spectators. It was pretty fun, in the end. If I ever find any pictures, I’ll try to find a way to post them.

Anyway, back to this year’s Memorial Day.

Quite a different proposition. The forecast was highs in the mid-50s and a 70% chance of rain. Once we got to the cabin, at 8,200 feet, we were pretty much inside the clouds. This impressed the kids no end. I don’t think it stopped raining the whole time we were there. The in-laws had gone up the day before, and had seen a bear in the late afternoon. We are thinking (or perhaps hoping) that it’s the same bear everyone else has seen around, and the cabin’s not the center of a large bear population. Anyway, it’s a black bear and it hasn’t given any trouble. Except the time we left some beer and a box of wine (what?) in the pond and the bear drank it all. So far, when it has seen people, it has just gone away. Or staggered, as the case might be.

K’s brother videotaped the bear from the cabin, and there is a part where my in-laws’ little dog ran after the bear, barking its fool head off. Yeah, not bright. But the really remarkable thing was watching my mother-in-law run after the dog, grab it (maybe 30 feet away from the bear), and then turn her back on the bear and walk (quickly) away. The bear was pretty much ignoring the dog, but it did turn and look at MIL with a sort of puzzled look on its face. Okay, maybe I’m imagining the puzzled look. But it did turn and look at her. 

Yeah, I know, people get panicky and she loves her dog. I could see myself doing something similar if it were one of my kids (but not exactly–I’d want to keep my eyes on the bear)–except that I seriously doubt any of my kids would run out and bark at a bear. But still. I think the dog would have run if the bear had come after it, and would have had a decent chance of getting away. Luckily for my mother-in-law (and the bear), the bear just wasn’t interested. Or maybe it was just full.

Still, there were no bears visible on Monday. There weren’t even very many trees visible, the fog was so thick.

We stayed in the cabin and talked and knit by the wood stove. Luckily, I took my secret gift project with me–the knitting at this point is just stockinette and garter, and I don’t even have to count. It was too dim to work on Pomatomus. The kids played. The guys went out and took pictures and measurements for a summer project (repairing some roof leaks). The Kitteh of Extreme Tubbiness had woken me up at 4:30 a.m., so after lunch (burgers grilled in the rain) I went to take a nap. You know that state when you’re awake enough to hear what’s going on around you, but you’re not entirely awake yet? After a while, I came to that state and could hear the in-laws playing Uno with the kids. They were in teams, Mr. B with MIL and Mr. R with FIL, and my brother-in-law and K’s grandmother playing on their own. The game ended with Mr. R and FIL winning, and Mr. B (age 4) said very distinctly, “Oh, damn it!”

I’d never heard him come out with that particular phrase before, although he would be familiar with it both from me and his dad. And we did have problems with a little F-word epidemic at his preschool a few months ago. But this was new, and of course he had to come out with it in front of his grandparents and his great-grandmother! I was pretty thankful that they just laughed and MIL said “I don’t think you’re allowed to say that. Say ‘Oh, shoot!’ instead.” He liked “Oh, shoot” better than “damn it”, apparently, and they proceeded to play another game.

But I decided I wasn’t quite ready to wake up yet. Whatever else one may say about a Drippy, Rainy, Foggy day, it’s excellent sleeping weather.

Pollyanna Has ‘Em in Stitches

Lyda here.

All week, I’ve been quilting away at the Mystery Projects. I’m nearing completion on them, and it has been a lot of fun. Instead of doing one thing at a time, I of course did my usual overachievement thing, and worked on six things at once.

Because I’m insane.

I’ll hopefully finish one up tonight, and the others during this week. Five of them will be heading out as gifts, and I’d like to get them done by Sunday.

I’ll post about the one that’s for me, and maybe write a tutorial on it – once it’s done. We shall see.

Mystery, suspense, excitement – it’s like the holidays all over again, isn’t it?!

Pollyanna Has Nothing to Say … at Length

Hi, Anna-Liza here.

You know, one reason for starting this blog was to get in the habit of writing at least a few times a week, if not every single day. Of course, with a two-headed blog like this, if we both wrote every single day it would get … cluttered. Confusing. Wordy. All of those. But still, I think I’m taking the restraint thing a bit too far when it comes to blogging.

You have probably noticed that Lyda writes far more frequently than I do. Might could be she’s the more disciplined and practiced writer of the two of us. Might could be she has more ideas. Might could be she just has a lot more time on her hands. (For whatever reason, the Texasism “might could be” has been in my head all day, so I’m hoping this will exorcise it. Might could be.)

Anyway, that’s not to say that I don’t have lots of ideas, I just keep on not writing about them. “Oh, no one wants to hear about that. That’s too boring/offensive/in-jokish. Whatever.”

I have no problem telling stories in person. In fact, the problem in that case might be that I enjoy telling stories a little bit too much. Might could be.

So screw it. I’ll start telling more stories. A friend of mine, who is a Burner, a yoga teacher, and a mom, thinks there’s some kind of problem with my throat chakra. Me, I know there’s a problem with my throat chakra, I’ve known it for years, but I’ve never known what to do about it. It’s not that I don’t talk, believe me. Just ask Lyda, or Marin, or Ms. English Hotcar (who has not graced this blog page for many moons, but I’m sure she’ll come up again sometime). Writing, having my words out there where they can be read, reread, and substantially criticized, might free something up. Or maybe shut something down.

One thing I am planning on doing (still not finalized) is taking a series of evening workshops with a shaman named Aumrak. She lives in Guatamala, is nothing at all like what most people picture when they hear the word “shaman”, and is entirely a delightful person. I had a very powerful moment with her in conversation last year, and feel very strongly pulled to do some kind of work with her. She’ll be here in mid-June, and will lead the Solstice ritual at SolFest. (Darlin’ K and I plan to go to SolFest, too.)

It’s weird, I have had a damned interesting life so far, and I’m not entirely sure why I think it won’t continue to be interesting, but I keep saying stuff like “I’m not very interesting myself, but I know a lot of interesting people.” I’ve been through earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and blizzards, and never had any serious injuries or losses as a result of them. (I even have cousins who live near Mt. Pinatubo and were there when it erupted. I don’t feel any need to have the “erupting volcano in my backyard” experience myself, though.) I have given birth and attended to dying friends, had just about every kind of sex I’ve ever wanted to have, been onstage and backstage and in the audience.

And there are still things I haven’t done that I want to do. And I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I just know that, whatever it turns out to be (or they turn out to be) I want to be as purely me as I can manage, moment by moment. And that throat chakra thing is just possibly the next thing I need to clear out of my way. Might could be. Yup.

Pollyanna Treks On

Lyda here. Way past time for a Random Weirdness post. This one is more random than most.

The Random Weirdness of Humans – Purely Random Edition

1. Star Trek Weirdness: Ya’ll have to check this out. Listen to the audio, but – and I cannot emphasize this enoughNOT at work. Or with little ears around.

Now ya’ll can’t wait, right?

And hey, how could I miss a chance to link to Darth Mojo?

But I digress…

2. Real-life Zombie Weirdness: Watch this report. Freaky. This is the reason they used to put bells on graves, ya’ll.

3. Pig-Licking Weirdness: Pigs aid police. Can I resist the “pigs helping pigs” reference?

Apparently not.

4. Turkey Justice Weirdness: Even turkeys want their day in courtI told ya’ll about turkeys before.

5. Great Granny Weirdness: This 96-year-old can’t ride sixty-five. Having your kids buy you an Indy 500 ride? Priceless. Go Granny go!

Sorry, ya’ll, that’s all the weirdness I have time for right now. Time to head off for some weirdness of my own.

Pollyanna says “I see zombies”

Lyda here. Like ya’ll didn’t know that from the use of the word “zombie.”

Now Ravelry can be an inspiration for your zombie attack preparation. See? In case you don’t have access to Ravelry, and the lurching hordes have already made off with your copy of The Zombie Survival Guide, I shall summarize.

Your plan might look like this:

1 – Stock up on vital supplies of food, water, and of course, yarn.

Don’t forget a Zombie Survival Kit like this; The AntiCrafter’s got it covered.

Note flying pig on that second link! Check out the weird pig stuff and lots of other pig fun in issue #11: “Unclean (the bacon issue).” Where else would you learn to make your own Bacon of Hate?  This issue is at least a week’s worth of pig licking.

Also, I so need the book!

But I digress…

2 – Do your research. There are lots of training films out there, many of which I’ve reviewed. Just scroll down to “search” and type in “zombie”.  And a lot more films out there.

Gather trusty people to watch your back. You might want to include a few people you don’t like, so you have someone to throw to the zombies while the rest of you run away.

And keep an eye on them. Anyone can be turned.

3 – Arm yourselves. Guns don’t have to be designer versions – spend your money on extra ammo instead. Crossbows are good because you can recover the bolts and reuse them. Eww.  Axes, bats and shovels are good for close work. DPNs would require a lot of precision but might be useful as a last line of defense.

4 – Barricade yourself somewhere safe. You might be there for some time. Thus the need for yarn.

You might consider hiding out in your LYS.

Or a pub, which worked for Shaun. Kinda. BBQ joints are not recommended.

5 – Be ready to flee for your lives. Preferably in one of these. Head into the mountains and wait for the cold to kill the zombies. Finally, a reason to head to Colorado!

6 – Be ready to pretend to blend in. Like this.

7 – Watch out for animals. They can become zombies too. Scary fiber, kids!

Which reminds me:

“Oh my God!”
“The feng shui in this room is terrible.”

But I digress again…

7 – Aim for the head.

And finally…

8 – If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

We all have days when we want to eat our coworkers’ brains, anyway. Right?