gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (Default)
Oh my God, I knew this would happen if I got cable...today during dinner I found myself watching a program on the top ten dramatic moments on The Hills (which I'd never seen before). It was oddly mesmerizing, even as I could feel my brain cells shriveling up like raisins. Having previously only been familiar with the folks on the show from gossip sites, I have to admit that Heidi is much prettier in motion than in still shots. In fact, everyone on that show is really ridiculously pretty (yes, [livejournal.com profile] jokersama, even Spencer in an odd way, much as it pains me to admit it).

Anyway, I'm back in the I.C. now...after my parents had their third round of car trouble in a week, they drove me up a little later than expected, so we ended up getting in at like 1 a.m. on Friday. We spent Friday taking me out to get some necessities (groceries, moar bookcases) and visited Kalona briefly, and went back to Kalona this morning. And seriously, those Amish make the best food ever, and if I lived in easier range of Kalona's food I would be spherical.

My parents finally headed home early this afternoon, and I've just been reaccustoming myself to my new apartment (which doesn't entirely 100% feel like home yet) and enjoying the solitude. I've also been trying to get a little more unpacking and organizing done, though I haven't yet put together my new bookcases and filled them (that will be a job for tomorrow).

Also my parents let me borrow a new Phil Rickman book (A Crown of Lights) they bought after I turned my mom on to his mysteries, so I'm reading that and am a very happy camper. :D
gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (I think I have to lie down)
I write this from balmy Kansas City (and I write that unironically...it's actually been quite nice most of the time I've been here). I'm here for a week visiting my parents...they drove up to get me last Wednesday night, and we'll be driving me back up Thursday afternoon.

I was expecting this to be a quiet, calm trip home, but various forms of chaos have ensued. When they were in Iowa City visiting me, the coolant system in their car failed while we were downtown and ended up having to go in to the shop (so we left later on Thursday than expected), but that was just standard operating procedure for my parents when visiting Iowa City - it seems like almost every time they come up, they have troubles of some sort or another, frequently automotive.

Then right after we got back, I had my baby brother's birthday party, at which I found out the details of my stepbrother's legal battle with his crazy baby-momma (well, baby-momma-to-be - the baby's due next month). And we've had to run around a lot in the last few days, and I've been trying to get the stuff I officially came down to do - get the last stuff in my bedroom boxed/crated/ready to go up to Iowa City with me, as well as maybe working on some of my comps reading/annotation - but it's been difficult because SHIT JUST KEEPS HAPPENING.

Example: today, when we got up, the car had a flat tire, so we had to call the auto club to change it and then my stepdad drove it up to our mechanic and they took him into work. My mom and I stayed home, only to be interrupted by a call from the vet - over the weekend we noticed our dog Mina had a weird lump on her side, which the vet confirmed was indeed a tumour and was malignant, so we're looking at expensive surgery for her (which we'll have to schedule around my mom's retinal surgeries, of which there's one later this month and one early next, and which I have to go to a preop for tomorrow with my mom because she has trouble reading street signs in unfamiliar places, at least until after her surgery). Then, as we were recovering from the whole tumour thing over lunch and trying to decide what to do about it, my mom got a call from Tia Chucha Press, where she submitted a poetry manuscript like a year and a half ago (maybe two), and it finally got accepted! That one was at least a good thing, but seriously, all this happened before 2 p.m.! And I think my parents' life is ALWAYS LIKE THIS, with some kind of dramatic thing happening at all times, whether for good or ill. I'm kind of looking forward to getting back up to my peaceful life up in Iowa.

But sadly, a result of all the crazy stuff, I haven't gotten into touch with any of my KC peeps, and I don't think I'll have time to get together with anyone before we head back up. (Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] plainjanesdubc!)

Hopefully Christmas will work a little better for seeing folks, since I'll be here for probably three weeks. I was originally going to cut it short when we thought my older sister would come up from Phoenix for a month during the holidays, but now it turns out - another of the little surprises this week has presented - that she's getting married the Friday after Thanksgiving (presumably she will get a divorce from her husband first so she can marry her live-in boyfriend of 9 years) and then she and said boyfriend are converting to Mormonism the day after. There's a whole bunch of family drama surrounding this, but the upshot is she won't be coming up and so I can stay the full time because I can sleep in my bed.
gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (WOES I AM SO HELPLESS AND EMO)
Dammit, it is so hot...the A/C in my bedroom broke a couple of nights ago, and so now if I want to get any sleep at all I have to sleep in my mom's recliner in the air-conditioned living room because if I try to sleep in my room I will BE ROASTED LIKE CHESTNUTS OVER AN OPEN FIRE. Then when my parents get up in the morning I generally catch a few hours of z's in their air-conditioned room, so I'm doing okay. But still, sleeping in the recliner is making my neck sore. >_<

From IMDb:
Sitcom About Gay Rock Star Won't Air
A planned ABC sitcom produced by Elton John and his longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, about a gay rock star will apparently never see the light of a TV tube. According to Fox News, the show, titled Him & Us, which was to have starred Anthony Head as Max Flash and Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall as his manager Samantha, was not picked up despite initial favorable reaction to the pilot. In an interview with The Stage magazine, Cattrall remarked, "It would have been a great series. Perhaps the subject matter might have been too much for some people."

...they were going to do a series with Anthony Stewart Head (a.k.a. Giles on Buffy) as a campy gay rock star being managed by Samantha from Sex and the City? And now it's cancelled? WOES

Anyway, what interesting stuff has happened this week...well, my parents have been having car trouble again (we took in their car Monday morning and just got it back this afternoon, and their bank account is $900 lighter), so I still haven't been out to get my learner's permit. I hope to do that and maybe go to the bank tomorrow, but God only knows whether that'll happen.

Also, yesterday I hung out most of the day with [livejournal.com profile] rathershady and [livejournal.com profile] courters28; they had never had Jack Stack (oh deprived children! never mind that they're both older than me) so we went and they discovered the awesomeness that is the Fiorella family barbecue sauce. Then we played Vinnie's board game Ticket to Ride, which was pretty fun (and which I won, w00t).

And this evening my stepdad dragged me and my mom to Mike Burstyn at Kehilath Israel. (Here he is on the IMDb.) I knew about him because he's the son of Pesach Burstein and Lillian Lux, two of the big Yiddish stage stars (his father was the subject of the documentary Der Komediant) and he's been on the Yiddish stage himself (and later Broadway) since he was a child. And you can kind of tell he comes from the Yiddish stage, because his patter was quite close to what I've heard of those of the entertainers at the classic Catskills resorts (you may have seen them in movies like Dirty Dancing and Sweet Lorraine). A sample joke:

My father once told me the joke about the tribe of Jewish cannibals they found in Africa. Have you heard it? See, one cannibal says to the other, "I hate my meshugginah [crazy] mother-in-law." "Then just eat the noodles," his friend tells him.

Still, he seemed nice, and the jokes were funny (if groaningly horrible). And his singing was quite good as well, though it seemed like everything he sung was either in Yiddish, from like 1958, or from musicals he'd starred in that I'd never seen, like Barnum (in which Glenn Close was discovered as his costar); the only one I recognized was "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof (since apparently he finally got to play Tevye in a recent Mormon production in Salt Lake City XD). Still it was fun and I'm not sorry I went.

The synagogue where it was being held was pretty interesting in and of itself...I'd only ever been to Reform temples before, and KI is Conservative, so I was slightly taken aback at being presented with a kippah (a.k.a. yarmulke, for you Yiddish speakers) that I had to put on before I could enter the sanctuary. It didn't help that it wouldn't stay on my less-than-obedient hair. XD

I discovered on my way out that apparently there was a place you could get hairpins to hold it on that I just hadn't noticed. D'oh.

I was also not expecting folks to just be wandering around and chatting to each other during the event itself; I guess Conservative synagogues are laxer about that kind of thing, but it just seemed rude. Also, when I used the bathroom I counted no less than three old men who were talking on their cellphones as they used the urinal. Seriously, folks, if you can't detach the cell phone from your ear long enough to take a piss, you have a serious problem. >_<

Let's see, what else...Oh yeah! I also watched Ladies in Lavender with my parents earlier in the week. Our thoughts )

Let's Positive Linking!
- Hapsburgs retake Dracula Castle. It sounds like an alternate history plotline, but it's true. Those wacky Hapsburgs.
- Army refusing to put wiccan symbol on soldier's tombstone. Seriously, what the fuck. Just slap the frickin' pentacle on the tombstone instead of stonewalling, army!
- Running backwards apparently the new hot exercise. Freaky.
- And for any of y'all in the Chicago area who are interested in cake (and who haven't seen this already, which limits it to probably none of you), [livejournal.com profile] jantalaimon has opened her Janaderia for business (metaphorically speaking, there is no actual building, just the opportunity to commission tasty tasty cakes).

...dammit, and I didn't even get around to my rants about the victim competition that takes place in postcolonial/feminist/race/gender theory, or about the Southern myth that everyone was either white gentry or black slave (and smear campaigns against folks like the author of God's Little Acre that actually wrote about poor white people and the downside of their circumstances) or the failure of feminist literary scholars to do anything with women authors like Pearl Buck (who I'm fairly certain was the first female to win a Nobel Prize for Literature, and certainly the first American woman to do so; but it took Oprah to even bring her books back into print). I guess those will have to wait for another day!
gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (Love and peace)
Hope y'all had a happy Thanksgiving, with lots of turkey (or tofurkey, if that's more your speed) and pie of some sort.

The bus ride down to KC was a little less traumatic than my last one (of course, I'm like 7 years older than I was then so that's probably not surprising). It did run long, though, so while I was supposed to get in at 11:15 I actually got in at 11:45, which made things kinda rough on my poor parents.

Being back at home feels kinda weird - I'm no longer used to it, so everything seems different and smaller and more cluttered and it all smells kinda like cat pee (the unfortunate result of having so many cats), but overall I'm still pretty happy to be home. On Sunday my parents took me to a lot of the places I'd been missing during my time in Iowa (finally, a store with a decent manga selection again!); I spent Monday and Tuesday with my mom, hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] rathershady and [livejournal.com profile] courters28 in the evenings, which was really nice (though Courtney, I think I picked up whatever you were sick with); Wednesday I went over to visit my stepmom and stepbrother and baby brother (I know I say this every time I see him, but Lance really is the cutest kid EVAR); yesterday my parents and I went down to Topeka for Thanksgiving with my aunt and cousins, which was fun (though slightly marred by the first signs of my illness); and today I'm full-blown sick, working on my Chaucer draft in a Sudafed PE-induced haze. But there's leftover French Silk pie, so it's all good.

However, since our car is having some coolant trouble, and it's been certified for in-city and even to Topeka but the mechanic couldn't guarantee no problems en route to Iowa and back, my stepdad's gonna drive me up in my truck. Which kinda sucks, because I think my mom would like to come back up to Iowa City, but she's probably not up to the drive anyway (she's just finished recovering from the nasty fall she took on her LAST visit to IC) and this means we can take up some bigger stuff, like bookcases and an endtable and boxes of books and clothes and stuff, which is DEFINITELY good.

Also, I'm looking at going to see Pride and Prejudice with the 'rents this evening, so hopefully impressions of that will follow soon.

Edit: Also, because it's now seasonally appropriate, have some horrific Grinch/Max pr0nfic courtesy of aff.net. Dr. Seuss was never so disturbing! :D

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Eldrad must live

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