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> (Furry)
A meme from [livejournal.com profile] bemysty:
~> Go to Google.com
~> Click on Maps.
~> Click on "get Directions".
~> From New York to Paris
~> And read line # 23.

If you laugh, repost this.


I laughed my ass off. Oh, Google, how I love you.

Also, the English grad students on the flist should enjoy "I wandered lonely as a cloud," the rap version. I figured I'd post this for all of you who are fellow lit freaks, but even if you don't particularly like Wordsworth or know him that well, this version is worth checking out. (THE SQUIRREL, OH WHUT.) Did Wordsworth really need to be "updated for the YouTube generation"? I don't know, but the result is HIGH-LARIOUS.

...That last link was sent to me by my mom, which was kind of odd. I know she's hanging out a lot with the Latino Writers Collective, who are really nice people, but now my mom seems to be trying to be "urban" and "hip." The e-mail telling me of this (that also went to her LWC friends) opened with "yo, my peeps!" _O_

Those of you who know my mom, this will probably make you go "buh?" the same way it did me.
gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (...whatever)
Well, the incomplete was OK'ed - my professor just wants it by the first day of classes next semester, which I'm perfectly happy to concur with (I want it done by then too!). So break will be less restful than I would have liked, but y'know, whatever.

On the plus side, my grading is DONE and turned in. I survived my first semester teaching, w00t! I will admit I was helped along by this story about Darth Maul teaching freshman comp. XD

However, two of my students attached...odd things to their papers. For some reason, one included a photocopy of his insurance card at the end of his final paper (why? I DON'T KNOW); the other included the entire five-page syllabus for another, completely unrelated, geography class (...) at the end of his. WEIRD.

Anyway, tomorrow I leave for three weeks of family holiday togetherness at home. Here's hoping all goes well. I'm not looking forward to the drama I'm afraid will ensue, and to top things off I found out from my mom the other day that apparently she has to have several biopsies done for a suspicious something that showed up during her pap smear. She's got two more doctor's visits for it after I get home, and of course I'll go with her for support. So much for any hope of a restful break, though. D:

An amusing IRC convo from today that will be of special interest to both pornmongers and bakers! )

And for all y'all, the best Christmas special EVAR (from [livejournal.com profile] eslington). DUN-NUH-NUH-NUH DUN-NUH-NUH-NUH BAT-SANTA!
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> (Help. Please.)
Well, my parents are in town for my stepdad's job interview, and yesterday and today things went pretty swimmingly. His interviews yesterday and today sound like they went pretty well, my mom and I had fun catching up over several meals out (the Airliner's pizza is as good as whoever suggested it said - I think it was [livejournal.com profile] eikitty?), my mom looked around at realtors and stuff, I showed my parents some of Iowa City that I've discovered in the last month, and all that jazz.

This evening after supper (which was at Micky's Irish Pub, and was quite good) my parents took me out to Hy-Vee to do some shopping. (Since I don't have a car, it's hard for me to do a "big" shopping run on my own.) I got the groceries, we came back to drop them by my apartment, and on the way down the back steps to my apartment building's back entrance, my mom (who has lupus and fibromyalgia, and hence a limited range of mobility) fell and took a spill. My stepdad's taking her to the emergency room right now, but her knee is looking kind of bad (like, maybe broken bad). She also scraped up her arms and legs and banged her head. I would have gone with them, but they were both all, "Don't worry about it, you have class in the morning, you need your sleep." But I'm worried at the moment, and don't think I'll probably be ABLE to go to sleep until they get finished at the ER and call to fill me in. :(

Edit: My mom called me about 1 a.m., and while I was a bit muzzy-headed from having been woken up I'm fairly certain that there turned out to be no serious injuries, though they did prescribe some Percoset for her. So, yay?

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gogmagog: The Fourth Doctor from <i>Doctor Who</i> (Default)
Eldrad must live

December 2012

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