Archive for the ‘It’s all about me’ Category

Not Feeling Good

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

I normally have two hours of dance classes on Thursdays, but I came home after one hour tonight. I thought it was just my lunch not having settled well, but I had half a dozen people tell me about a “six hour stomach flu” that “is running around” or that they’ve had within the last week.

I figured, why push it? So, I skipped out on the second hour of classes, and it’s starting to look like that was a good decision.

Reminds me of the stupid things I did

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Here we have an individual throwing (and batting around) gasoline-soaked flaming tennis balls.

When I was younger, back in the days when beer and soft drink cans were still made of steel, rather than aluminum, it was possible to cut the tops and bottoms from two or three cans, tape them together to make a tube, and add one more can with several holes in one end and a single hole in the other to act as a combustion chamber. This was known as a “coke can cannon.” Squirt a little lighter fluid into the combustion chamber, shake it around to increase the amount of vapor, drop a tennis ball in the other end, and launch it by holding a match to the hole in the bottom of the combustion chamber.

If you “wet down” the tennis ball with lighter fluid before putting it into the tube, it would come out flaming, which looked cool if done at night.

Of course, you did have to worry about the combustion chamber exploding. I never had that happen, luckily, but I did once put a significant dent in the garage door when recoil caused the cannon to jump from my hand.

As I said, one of the stupid things I did when I was younger.

If dreams have meaning …

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

I’m not certain I want to know what this one means.

It was a strange and disjointed one. What I remember is walking through a city, then being in the dark, industrial-looking basement of a hotel with a couple friends. We wanted to go to the top floor, and I took the first elevator, while they decided to wait for the express elevator.

Since I was not on the express, my elevator car quickly got very crowded. A very short man who looked something like Pharrell Williams batted his eyes at me and tried to convince me that my t-shirt and jeans were actually women’s clothes, so I must therefore be a woman who was open to his advances. As if.

When I got off the elevator, it opened up on a large park. Hula music was coming from some unseen source, and a group of nuns were performing a hula dance. Nearby, a bunch of tourists in Hawaiian shirts were doing something like a Maori haka in time with the music. I moved over to some ruins, where I told a young boy clambering over them that he was about to step on some snakes, which had frilly growths on their heads that put me in mind of the seahorse that evolved to blend in with seaweed.

After that, I somehow acquired a ukulele, and tried to lead another group of tourists in performing Donovan’s song, “Happiness Runs,” as a round.

Then the alarm went off.

Hit a milestone

Friday, April 17th, 2015

… so I’m taking Marion out for sushi tonight. I promised her that I’d do it when I hit my second weight-loss milestone. The first was losing the ten pounds I gained after I broke my ankle a few years ago.

That weight was very hard for me to lose. However, I slowly started losing weight after being sick a few months ago, and got the first ten pounds off about a month ago. Yesterday, I hit the second milestone, which was to weight less than 200 pounds at my morning weigh-in. We couldn’t go out for dinner last night because we had dance classes, so we’re doing it tonight.

The next milestone is to stay under 200 – I expect to be bouncing back and forth across the 200-pound line for a week, roughly, before I stay consistently under it. I think my best weight was 185, but I haven’t weighed that little for thirty years or more.

Best laid plans, and all that

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

I posted yesterday’s thing on Pi Day a few minutes early. Part of that was a simple mistake, but part was because I needed to get out of the house to get to a meeting in the northern part of Boulder.

Unfortunately, when I got to the front door, it wouldn’t open for me. The handle would twist, but the latch wouldn’t withdraw. Eventually, I went out the back door and got a screwdriver from the garage so I could disassemble the doorknob in order to get on with my day – my back door lock can’t be accessed from the outside, so I need my front door working. I ended up putting the doorknob back in place without the latch mechanism, and relying on my deadbolt while I went to the meeting and stopped at a hardware store later for a replacement.

I need to rely on my deadbolt, anyway. The last time I had problems with my front door, I was locked out, and the locksmith who came ended up breaking the jamb by shouldering the door, because he couldn’t drill out the lock properly.

In any case, I have a new doorknob and key, so I’ll need to get some duplicates made. I’ll also have to see if I have the rekeying tool for the deadbolt, which would let me cut down by one the number of keys I have to carry.

On Shaving

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

I recorded the rebroadcast of the first Saturday Night Live show, and got around to watching it last night. SNL has a history of fake commercials, and the first episode had several. One of them was for the first triple-bladed razor. It went into the recent history of shaving tools, from straight razors through doubled-edged safety razors, to injectors, to double-bladed disposables. The tag line was, more-or-less, “The three-bladed razor: because you’ll believe anything.”

I found that amusing because I’d forgotten that three-bladed disposable razors were newer than that. When I started shaving, I used a double-edged safety razor, which is almost certainly what I was using in 1975, when SNL went on the air. I’ve been using triple-bladed disposables for years, though, and I’m aware of one five-bladed razor.

This past Christmas, I decided to go retro and learn to shave with a straight razor. I have more than one, because I read that you’ll damage the edge if you shave with the same razor daily. Two of them are antiques, which seem to have better edges than the new one I picked up. I understand that it takes a month or so to get to where you can get really good shaves with straight razors; I think it’s taking me a bit longer than that. I still get my best shaves with the disposables.

One thing I have learned is that lathering up with shaving soap and a badger bristle brush works much better than anything else I’ve tried. Even if I eventually decide to give up straight razor shaving, I’ll keep on using the brush and soap – it’s just so much better.

Not that there’s a good time to get sick …

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

… but this weekend was not the best time for it. Friday, I thought it was something I’d eaten, because it was apparently just an upset stomach. When I started coughing on Saturday, I realized that wasn’t it. Unfortunately, as I said, this was not the weekend to be inconvenienced in that manner.

Marion’s cousin was visiting, and I missed a nice Italian dinner Friday, had to pass on using my ticket to the Cartier exhibit, and missed Saturday dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange.

I was feeling better this morning, so Marion and I went up to Breckenridge for the 25th Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships. We got about 6″ or so of snow last night here in Arvada, and with fog and snow on the highway, travel was pretty slow until we got close to Idaho Springs, at which point the highway dried up and the sun came out. It’s not often that we have more snow in the metro area than in the mountains.

The weather in Breckenridge was cold, but the weather was glorious. We looked at all the snow sculptures, and decided that the judges must have different criteria that they’re operating from. Lithuania was awarded 1st place in the competition, and Germany took 2nd. Based on the early voting for public favorite, I’d say the Alaska and Breckenridge teams are the top contenders (the public votes for their favorite by stuffing money into jars – $1/vote, running through this week). I also liked the Chinese entry and one of the two Mongolian entries, but they didn’t seem that popular, and won no judges awards.

It was the first full day of public viewing, which runs until next weekend. We like to get there the first weekend for viewing, because snow sculptures are ephemeral, and sometimes they’re too delicate to last the week. I took photos of all of them, and may post some later.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

It’s been a good Christmas. Right now, snow is falling outside, and Marion and I are staying warm and watching a recording of Victor Borge’s performances. Wonderfully humorous stuff.

Christmas dinner went well, but with some glitches at the start. I thought I remembered saying that I’d have the food ready to go between 12:30 and 1:00pm. My daughter and her guest arrived at 1:00pm, because that’s when she remembered that I’d said dinner started, and Marion remembered that it started at 1:30pm. Luckily, we all managed to get together while the food was still hot.

The menu included a rib roast of beef, roasted root vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding. Dessert was pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. The rib roast came out very nicely, perhaps because it had a little longer to rest than I normally give it. I put a sea salt/grains of paradise crust on it, and had let it dry-age in the refrigerator since the weekend. I also made a double batch of Yorkshire pudding, which was a good thing. There was actually a little left when dinner was over. We had a nice Spanish red wine with our meal.

Dessert had to wait until presents were opened, because we all ate too much.

The Shop in Budapest

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Marion and I saw a local production of “She Loves Me,” a 1963 musical based on “Parfumerie,” a play by Miklós László. Friday night, we watched “The Shop Around The Corner,” the 1940 Jimmy Stewart-Margaret Sullavan movie based on the same play.

We liked the movie much better than the musical. It’s not that the musical was bad, although the female lead had a voice that I felt was too piercing at times. Not that there weren’t things in the movie that I didn’t care for, either. Specifically, I didn’t care for the scene where Jimmy Stewart fired his coworker – it just felt wrong to me.

After seeing the movie, I appreciate the staging of the musical more. It was a compact set that reconfigured quite well for inside versus outside scenes. I thought it was very well done. We both liked the musical, but we felt that the movie was better (not the first time we’ve thought that).

Before we watched the movie, I presumed that the entire film had been shot on a soundstage, but I wondered if they used any stock footage of Budapest for background. Since the movie was made in 1940, I was wondering if they’d show Buda Castle before it was bombed. Unfortunately not – I don’t remember seeing any shots that showed more than a portion of a street. Looking around the web, I found a site complaining that the shop was supposed to be located just off Andrassy, but the street it was supposed to be on didn’t actually meet Andrassy. Pity. We took a circulating tour bus along Andrassy twice before our tour started (a good way to get around town), and walked along it down to Heroes Square the first day of our tour.

Still, even though I didn’t get to see Budapest in the movie, it was a charming and delightful film.

Poetry time

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I wrote this a few months ago, and figured it would be good to get it off the 3×5 cards it’s on and put the verses in order, so here it is:

The Tattoo of Dorian Gray

His friends got him drunk one night last November.
When he woke up, regrets were the plan for the day.
What possessed him to get it, he doesn’t remember –
The tattoo of Dorian Gray.

Each morning, he gets up and looks in the mirror.
When he sees it again, his face turns away.
The horror he’s seeing just couldn’t be clearer –
The tattoo of Dorian Gray.

He knows that without it, his life would be better.
He wishes that he could just wash it away.
It cannot be covered by shirt or by sweater –
The tattoo of Dorian Gray.

His life’s getting worse, and he’s feeling quite tired.
He thinks its appearance grows worse every day.
He’s always regretting the night he acquired
The tattoo of Dorian Gray.