Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poem for November 2011: Solitude

You can read Solitude by clicking on the link below. I can pretty much guarantee you know the first two lines.

I was drawn to this poem because of two passing comments made in books I read this month. In Anne's House of Dreams, at one point Anne says to her friend something to the effect of, "you will have all the joys and sorrows a mother can expect." In Wendall Barry's A Place On Earth several of the characters experience great sorrow, but continue to go about their business, integrating the sorrow into their lives for the time being.

This was interesting to me because I feel as though today we do not accept sorrow as a normal part of life, but rather a misfortune which just happens to find us on occasion. This poem, especially the last lines, seem to refute this notion, saying instead that we all need to pass through sorrows to get to the "halls of pleasure."

I also spent the entire month debating the tone of this poem. Is it one of those nineteenth century instructional poem, basically saying, "unfortunate things happen, but you are better off looking on the bright side?" Or, instead, is it tinged with a bit of bitterness, with the ultimate meaning being, "people will be your friends when you are happy, but once you experience sadness, you are on your own." After a month of reciting, I'm inclined to the latter opinion and I think that the second conclusion is the correct one, and I offer the last six lines as proof:
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

The bit of reading I did about the poem (okay, I just read one Wikipedia entry, it's not like they pay me for this gig) said that Wheeler Wilcox encountered a woman dressed in black crying by herself on a train. She spent the ride comforting her and the poem sprang from that experience.

I take comfort in this poem. It says my sorrows are okay.

As for memorization, it went in pretty easily, but I think it will be hard to retain, simply because the order of the things are easily jumbled. Sometimes when I'm reciting, my mind wanders and I discover I have skipped entirely one pair, usually feast/fast, but sometimes glad/sad. For this reason I will put it on daily rotation for December and January, just to solidify it.

Books read in November 2011

Aside from the book group selection, I only read YA (aka "teen") books this month. For those of you looking to boost your book-reading bragging rights, YA books are good for that. They don't tend to take a lot of time to read, and some are very well written like this month's selection, A Monster Calls.

A Place on Earth
Wendall Berry
Read for Kenton Book Club
Ah! After slogging grumpily through last month's selection, this was a breath of fresh air. It was hard to get into at first as I spent a lot of time thinking, "now who is this character again?" But that eventually resolved itself and the characters became known and the writing was just lovely. I hadn't read Wendall Berry before, but I'll seek him out again.

Anne's House of Dreams
L.M. Montgomery
After the scattershot nature of the previous "Anne" book, this was a welcome relief. This time, there was a narrative structure which vaulted this book in to the category of "my favorite book of the series so far." The cast of characters was varied and interesting and even characters from other books came to visit now and then. There was a very nice narrative arc, unseen in any of the other books. And I greatly enjoyed Anne and Gilbert as young marrieds, though Gilbert at times seems to just fill the "husband" character and not show much of his own character.

Jasper Jones
Craig Silvey
Read for Mock Printz
Of the grim/tense category that all these Mock Printz books seem to be, this falls into "tense." I found the writing for this novel very uneven. For example, the story goes along and I'm populating the pictures in my head based on the book and then suddenly it seems that it's the 1960s. Insert record needle scratching off record. What? Really? Huh. This happened several times: the mother seemed to be a normal book mother and then suddenly she wasn't, the love interest had a too-convenient part to play. Also, this book takes place in Australia, which normally is a fun thing, but this book had a lot of Australian things that it didn't bother to translate into American. And there was A LOT of cricket.

So I never really took to this book. But I did like the following passage:
"I take a small incendiary pull. Of course, it attacks my mouth and burns down the length of my throat. I gag immediately, wiping my lips, trying to keep my lungs at bay. I slant my head and pretend to read a label that isn't there through my clouding eyes. This shit is poison. And I realize I've been betrayed by the two vices that fiction promised me I'd adore. Sal Paradise held up bottles of booze like a housewife in a detergent commercial. Holden Caulfield reached for his cigarettes like an act of faith. Even Huckleberry Finn tapped on his pipe with relief and satisfaction. I can't trust anything. If sex turns out to be this bad, I'm never reading again. At this rate, it will probably burn my dick and I'll end up with lesions."

Imaginary Girls
Nova Ren Suma
Read for Mock Printz
Another of the "tense" YA books for Mock Printz reading. I hope all these adolescents are learning to breathe in yoga classes, or they are going to be incredibly tightly wound. This was nicely written and I spent the book engaged with puzzling through it, trying to figure out just what was up. I think it will inspire lively discussion when we get to discuss it. But I didn't like it. The main character's sister was quite unlikable and she was the book, so I spent a lot of time in puzzling dislike. "What's her deal?" I kept wondering. I'm interested to see what others think.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd
Read for Mock Printz.
Seemingly all ten of our mock Printz books this year are either grim or tense and this one falls into the grim category, what with a thirteen year old's mother very sick with cancer and his father living across the Atlantic with a new family and him not getting along with his grandmother and all. But despite it being grim, it was a fabulous story and my favorite Mock Printz book so far. It's short and there are wonderful illustrations and I highly recommend it for anyone going through a situation that involves loss. Even if loss isn't currently a part of your life, this book is worth reading for its very moving story.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor
Read for Mock Printz
"This book is awesome! I'm totally giving it five stars!" was something I thought repeatedly as I gobbled up this book, right up until the last page when the author actually used the words "to be continued." Invoking the "to be continued" phrase automatically breaks my "series rule" which is as follows: The first book in a series must be a complete story on its own; the second book should be a happy surprise, not a given." Authors that can't be bothered to come to a clear break in their plot are, in my opinion, lazy and should be rewriting a bit more before publishing.

So, the ending was disappointing, but until then I couldn't get enough of this book what with the kick ass female character ("This should be a movie!" I thought several times before I remembered how well Hollywood manages to diminish strong women literary characters) wonderful fantastical elements and a very interesting puzzle to unravel. Highly recommended, even with the disappointing ending.

Harlan Coben
Recommended by my friend Maureen with the caveat that this book breaks the "series rule" (The first book in a series must be a complete story on its own; the second book should be a happy surprise, not a given) I read this in a day. Despite my compulsitivity, this book was awful. The writing was bad (though did not approach Twilight-esqe levels) and I feel like Coben's approach to writing a "teen" book was to read about seven of them and then take every cliche possible and shove it in his book. Let's count them up. We have: 1)The essentially orphaned, and mostly unsupervised main character, 2)The loud, eccentric best friend who might as well be wearing a jester hat, lest you not get that he's supposed to be the comic relief 3)The prickly fat girl who wears a defensive shell a mile thick, but is hiding a heart of gold and has a secret 4)much plot development action involving cell phones and 5)a large population of adults who "just don't get it" 6)Teachers who are all apparently very angry former drill sargents.

You know what else this book set in the present day had? Nazis. Really? Yes really! Because there is no better antagonist than WWII era Germany. But wait, there's more! A Strip Club. Prostitution. Mysterious White Van. Strange Tattoos. Stranger Tattoo Artists. Thinking over all of these elements put together I feel a building rage at the pure stupidity of this book. One or two of these elements in the hands of someone who can write would have resulted in something worth my time. But at this point, all I can do is warn you away. Go ask a librarian for a good YA book and leave Harlan Coben to the airport-novel-reading adults.

Also? Incredibly dumb character name. Mickey Bolitar! He was born in the mid-90s, for god's sake, not the mid-50s. In fact, I just checked Wolfram Alpha and the graph of the Mickey distribution shows a dip down to pretty much zero in the mid-90s when this character would have been born. It's rank is beyond 1000 currently. Mickey Boliter! Stay away! Far away.

Started and did not finish--None

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just one thing: Curtains Up!

As you will no doubtably have read over in this post, I have completed my mission of getting the curtains up. Yay me! I was (again) a day over as I apparently needed the entire week off of work before I could bother to sit down and actually get the curtains prettied up and put on the wall. Yep, I did an hour's worth of work on Tuesday, then nothing until a few hours on Saturday and more hours on Sunday.

Mission for the week of 11/27 to 12/3: get the bathroom shelves in order. What's up with them, anyway? On the plus side, last week I cleaned out under the bathroom sink without it even being a "just one thing." Well done!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Three sentence movie reviews: Hugo 3-D

This was well acted, very pretty to look at, had an interesting plot and was, alas, very slow. This was also the first modern 3-D movie I've seen and I found the 3-D to be a very distracting experience. "More like a Viewmaster, than actual 3-D" the person behind me commented and I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bigger bread

I found a pretty good "no knead" bread recipe, but it gave me two "bricks" or small flat loaves. Not exactly what I'm looking for for sandwiches and the like. Then I remembered my mother mentioning that she never could figure out how my grandmother's biscuits always came out so large until she realized her mother doubled the recipe and cut out the number for one recipe. I combined my two loaves into one and got a big loaf. See it there, on the left, as compared to its earlier friends on the right.

It was a little too big, as evidenced by this ooze. I'll make 2/3 of the recipe next time and see if that makes a difference.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three sentence movie reviews: Heroes Season 1

I had to start knitting again because I needed to somehow feel productive while watching,say, four straight episodes of this series. It also caused me to break my "watch one disk and then back to the library" rule because it was just so damn good. Though I was quite disappointed in the final episode, what came before was amazing in a way I haven't seen on a network series in forever--if ever.*

*I mean, when was the last time you saw subtitles on a network show?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Just one thing: Supply Shop done

Now that we are not a car-free household, the supply shop is much easier to carry off. Back in the day it would take two or three trips because while saran wrap isn't particularly heavy and kitchen sponges are not awkward to carry, laundry detergent IS quite heavy and toilet paper is quite awkward.

Now I just fill out my pre-printed list and let the car do the heavy lifting.

Mission for the week of 11/20 to 11/26: Curtains finished.
I finished the Roman Shades in September and bought curtains for the remaining two windows. I could just hang the curtains, but that would be too easy. I want to sew a border onto the curtains with the material for the shades. That will tie everything together, nicely. I don't have school all this week and so this project is perfect.

Three sentence movie reviews: Singles

Hit with a massive wall of nostalgia from watching Pearl Jam 20, I had an intense craving to watch this movie, which I own. Alas, I own it only on videocassette and our DVD/VCR combo player bit the dust, only to be replaced by a DVD-only player necessitating me ordering this movie on DVD from the library. It's been several years since I have seen it, but I still enjoyed it as this is a movie I can't be objective about--it has changed in my mind from a movie to a "conduit to visit emotional states from many different points over a good decade or so of your life."

Note that this was a pretty basic DVD of the movie including only the trailer and two deleted scenes. Perhaps for the 20 (!) year anniversary next year we could have something that at least gives us a director's commentary?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There are a lot of good things about my job: I get full medical and dental benefits paid for, I get copious amounts of vacation, I get a reduced schedule during the summer and I enjoy the people I work with. But some of the best perks are the random gifts from children. In this case, Leo and Cian decided they wanted to make hot chocolate mix for all the teachers, etc. So they came around with order forms after school one day and we all placed our order. The next day I was greeted with a delightful package of homemade hot chocolate mix.

Complete with instructions and picture.

Here was my order form. "You can get more than one kind," said Cian. So I checked two kinds. I got both kinds in one package. Altogether, salted caramel and peppermint work fairly well when combined.
Thanks Leo and Cian, for making my day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just one thing: Corn stored.

Oh, alas. As I say in my post about the winnowing of the corn, it's very difficult to get started on something I've never done before. Plus, I had a party to prepare for, and that was taking a lot of my energy. So I didn't do this by Saturday, which was my goal, but I did finish it on Sunday which was only one day late. (This may become a theme for "Just one thing")

Mission for the week of 11/13 to 11/19: Supply Shop. Theoretically, every three months, I buy all the basic items for the house: toilet paper, waxed paper, cling wrap, etc. In actuality, I mostly put off doing the supply shop until we are down to one roll of toilet paper. The toilet paper is getting low, so it must be time for a shop.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pub Quiz Questions 16-20, plus the dreaded fill in.

The last of the pub quiz questions. How are you doing? If only you had a team to depend on.

16. The city of Boise, Idaho supposedly came by its name when a French speaking guide, overwhelmed by weeks in the desert-style terrain of what is now called southern Idaho, saw signs of what is now called the Boise river and was overcome, yelling "The Blank! The Blank!" What word, or it's English translation was he shouting?
17. The original trivial pursuit game had the following colors of pie: blue, pink, yellow, brown, green & orange. The original categories were: Art & Literature, Entertainment, Geography, History, Science & Nature, Sports and Leisure. Match at least two colors to their correct categories.

18. The planet Uranus, aside from giving people the opportunity to say "heh" on a regular basis, has 27 moons all named after characters of William Shakespeare and also Alexander Pope. Which of the following list of characters from Shakespeare is not also a moon of Uranus? Anne, Bianca, Cordelia, Desdemona, Margaret, Oberon

Bonus: Match any of the characters listed to their play. Maximum 2 points.

19. Rob Thomas, creator of the television series Veronica Mars, originally wrote a teen detective novel with a male protagonist whose father was a Vice Principal at the high school he attended in Austin, Texas. For the television series he changed the unnamed teenage detective from a male to a named female, Veronica Mars, and the setting to Neptune California. He also changed the father's occupation. In the television series, what was Keith Mars' occupation?

20. This Author was born April 8, 1955 in Annapolis, MD, though she grew up in rural Kentucky. She has published novels such as The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, essays such as High Tide in Tucson, as well as non-fiction books. One of her books was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club book, another became a best-seller about eating locally. What is this author's name?

The dreaded fill in. Or: It could be anything!
"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
Robert Frost

Nature's first _________ is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a ________;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to ______.
So ________ sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to ________.
Nothing gold can stay.

Answers below:

16. Bois! Trees!
All the Boise people know this story like the back of their hand. Although I think in French I learned the word is "boit" meaning "forest." I think.

17. Blue: Geography, Pink: Entertainment, Yellow: History, Brown: Arts & Literature, Green: Science & Nature, Orange: Sports and Leisure
There were apparently a goodly number of Trivial Pursuit players as all teams were able to match two.

18. Anne (Richard III) does not have a moon named after her.
The rest do and they are from:
Bianca, (Taming of the Shrew)
Cordelia (King Lear)
Desdemona (Othello),
Margaret (Much Ado About Nothing)
Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
The bonus question that was easier than the original question. Nearly every team correctly identified two characters in their plays. Nearly all picked Cordelia and Desdemona.

19. Private Investigator, Sheriff.
A question to reward those who love this show.

20. Barbara Kingsolver
This was one of those questions that I think would have had less correct answers with at a real pub quiz. My "pub" was packed with well-read women and I bet nearly every one of them had read at least one book by Kingsolver. My guess is the usual pub quiz crowd would not have that same demographic.

Fill in:
The dreaded fill in.
"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
Robert Frost

Nature's first GREEN is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a FLOWER;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to LEAF.
So EDEN sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to DAY.
Nothing gold can stay.

As with everything, this is so much easier when you know the poem. Most teams got two or three points from this. The best rhyme was from the Wasabi Honey Bears who felt the line was "Then leaf subsides to Omar Sharif"

Scoring: Two points for each right answer on the questions, one or two points for the bonus question, five points for the fill in. Total points possible this page: 17.

Post your scores. And thank you for playing.

pictures from:,_Idaho

Pub Quiz Questions 11-15

More questions from the 10 Years in Portland pub quiz. How are you doing?

11. An Homage to Trivial Pursuit* question: Circa 1984, what was the only NFL team to not have a logo on their helmet?
*My family plays the Trivial Pursuit often. The original box is full of out-of-date questions, referencing the USSR, people who have died, records that have been broken etc. So sometimes we have to preface our questions with "Circa 1984..."
12. In the movie Field of Dreams Kevin Costner met up with James Earl Jones, who played fictional reclusive author Terry Mann. In Shoeless Joe, the novel by W.P. Kinsella, the movie the novel is based on, what real life reclusive author did Ray Kinsella meet up with?

13. This actor was born June 28, 1966 and appeared in the movies Class, Sixteen Candles, The Journey of Natty Gann, Stand By Me, Eight Men Out and Say Anything. What is his name?

Bonus: In the movie Say Anything his character mentions three things he doesn't want to do as a career. What are those three things?

14. Patricia and Matt recently saw the movie "Attack the Block" in which a gang of South London teenagers mugging a woman are interrupted by an alien crashing into a car near them. Soon, many other aliens are crashing to the earth near their housing project. These explosions go unnoticed by everyone else because they blend in with the fireworks that are going off around the city as part of an annual celebration that happens every year in November. What annual November celebration in Great Britain includes a lot of fireworks?

15. Patricia used to live at the corner of SW Jefferson & SW Broadway before her beautiful building was torn down by the First Christian Church to make parking spaces and "luxury apartments." What Portland institution is still across the street from her former residence?

Answers! Coming right up!:

11. Cleveland Browns
Later, after everyone had left, Kevin told us that "Cleveland Brown" was also slang for a woman who was incredibly good looking until you got to her face. Good to know.

12. J. D. Salinger
Most everyone got this. Because how many "reclusive authors" are (or now: were) there, anyway?

13. John Cusak
13 Bonus: Sell anything, buy anything or process anything.
I think this question would have been a bit harder if the bonus question hadn't been there. Everyone got the question, no one got the bonus question.

14. Guy Fawkes Night
Julie, hailing from England, though living here for many years now, was one of the first to reply to my invitation. "Will I know any answers?" was her question. I said that I thought she would, and to sweeten the deal I would write a question that I knew she would know. Surprisingly, nearly every team knew this too. I guess more people are up on British holidays than I originally thought.

15. The Oregonian or Higgins.
I thought this might be a difficult one, but most teams consisted of people who knew me when I lived there. Joshin asked if I would have accepted "Gifford's Flowers" as an answer. It's the flower shop in the basement of the building. I said I would have. So if you answered Gifford's Flowers, give yourself points.

Scoring: Two points for each question, one point for bonus. Total points possible this round: 11.

pictures from:

Pub Quiz Questions 6-10

Questions 6-10 for the 10 Years in Portland Pub Quiz. Play along at home.

6. Oregon celebrated its centennial beginning February 14, 1959. Who was governor of the state at that time?

7. Cameron Crowe's 1992 movie Singles captures the early 90s zeitgeist of a certain US city. Name the city.

Bonus: Which of the following people did NOT appear in the movie: Kyra Sedgewick, Matt Dillon, Kate Hudson, Eddie Vedder.

8. The alphabet district is named after prominent (male) Portlanders of the 19th century. Name five streets in the alphabet district. (Note that in the early 2000s it was officially decided that one of the alphabet streets would be named after the slave in the Lewis & Clark Expedition, although that was already the name of the street)

9. Abigail Scott Duniway came to Oregon in 1852 and spent the majority of her life working for women's suffrage. In what year did she finally get to vote in an Oregon election? 1892, 1901, 1912, 1922

Bonus: Which prominent (male) Oregonian is she related to?

10. Patricia has lived in four states: Idaho, Missouri, Massachusetts & Oregon. Oregon is known as the Beaver State. What are the other states known as? Name two.

Bonus: Name all three

Answers be below!

6. Mark O. Hatfield
I thought that a number of people would get this because Hatfield died recently and there was a lot of coverage of his legacy. But only one group did.

7. Seattle
7 Bonus: Kate Hudson
This may have been the only question that every team got both the main question and the bonus question correct.

8. Ankeny, Burnside, Couch, Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan, Hoyt, Irving, Johnson, Kearney, Lovejoy, Marshall, Northrup, Overton, Pettygrove, Quimby, Raleigh, Savier, Thurman, Upshur, Vaugh, Wilson, York.
Every team could come up with at least five.

9. 1912 (Oregon became the seventh state to pass a women's suffrage amendment.)
9 Bonus: Harvey Scott, editor of the Oregonian.
There were a lot of 1922 guesses. Since national women's suffrage passed in 1920 with the 19th amendment, that would be be a bad guess. But that implies you know when the 19th Amendment passed. Which would probably mean that you were a history major.

Also, two teams wrote the answer to the bonus as "Scott" which was very clever on their part. I gave both of them the opportunity to tell me the rest of the Scott name and they could have the point. They both were abel to.

10. The Gem State, The Show Me State, The Bay State.
The genesis of this question? Here was my though process. "Oh! State names. Excellent. I can build it off of states I have lived in. Oregon, that one we will just tell people as they probably already know. Idaho. Tricky for people who haven't lived in Idaho. Missouri, easy as it's fairly unique. Then Massachusetts. The--. Huh. What the heck is Massachusetts?"

So not even the quiz master knew all the answers right off. After I looked it up, it was a duh moment. "Bay Staters" is a term used in Massachusetts like "Oregonian" is used in Oregon.

Score: Two points for each question answered correctly, one point for each bonus question answered correctly. Total points possible: 12. Post your scores below.

photos from:,r:1,s:0&biw=1024&bih=600,%2525201891.jpg&w=890&h=645&ei=EivNTsiGMOeniQL-y_jqCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=280&vpy=274&dur=340&hovh=107&hovw=154&tx=153&ty=105&sig=116650250524927252797&page=3&tbnh=107&tbnw=154&start=32&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:13,s:32&biw=1024&bih=600

Pub Quiz Questions 1-5

Pictures from the pub quiz are here, but below are the actual questions asked.

These are the first five questions (of twenty) from the Pub Quiz I hosted to celebrate 10 Years in Portland. How well would have you done? Would you have been an asset to your team? Answers below.
1. Bon Jovi's album New Jersey produced five Billboard "top 10" singles, which is the most top 10 hits for a rock album to date. Name one of those singles.

Bonus: Name the New Jersey City John Bon Jovi called home. (Probably useless hint: the song "Raise your hands" from the album "Slippery When Wet" ends with the name of this city.) New York, Detroit, Vancouver, London, (insert name here)

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie Series of books chronicles the journey of the Ingalls family across frontier America. Laura, one of the characters in the books, as well as the author, had three sisters. Name all four Ingalls girls.

Bonus: Name the books in which the sisters first appear.

3. In 1946, 1967, 1975, & 1986 this American League Team lost the World Series. Name the Team.

4. In 1804, the Lewis & Clark expedition set off to map the Louisiana Territory. On their journey, they established relationships with two dozen indigenous tribes as well as wintering at what we now call the Oregon Coast. They brought with them mapping equipment, scientific materials, journals as well as a Newfoundland dog and a slave. Along the way they "hired" an Indian interpreter who gave birth along the journey. Name at least two of the following: the dog, the slave, the Indian interpreter, her baby. (Identify who was who: Robert the dog, Mary the slave etc.)

Bonus: Name all of them.

5. Currently, only one person has ever won an Academy Award for both writing and acting. Who was this person, who won for adapted screenplay in 1995 (from a book by Jane Austin) and won an acting award in 1993 in a movie based on an E.M. Forester novel.

Are you ready for answers?

Question 1: Bad Medicine, I'll be there for you (both hit #1,) Born to be my Baby, Lay your Hands on Me, Living in Sin

Question 1 Bonus: Sayerville, New Jersey
Notes from the evening: Only one team (of five teams!) could correctly name ONE song from the New Jersey album. This astounding lack of knowledge about Bon Jovi has ensured that there will ALWAYS be a Bon Jovi question on every single pub quiz I write.

Question 2: Mary, Laura, Carrie, Grace
Notes from the evening: Every team could cough up Mary, Laura and Carrie, but only one team remembered Grace. Poor Grace. I'm guessing she wasn't in the TV show?

Question 2 Bonus: Mary, Laura. Little House in the Big Woods. Carrie, Little House on the Prairie. Grace. By the Shores of Silver Lake.
(Note that there was a general hue and cry that Carrie was in the Little House in the Big Woods. I did a skimming of the book before the quiz to check my work and did not find her there, but if someone tells me a page number, I will retract this statement.)

Question 3: Boston Red Sox
An easy question for anyone who has spent any time in Boston, even if they are not a baseball fan.

Question 4: Seaman the dog, York the slave, Sacajawea the Indian Interpreter, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau a.k.a. Little Pomp, or Pompy, her baby.
There were enough "born in Idaho, Oregon or Washington" people to ensure that many teams got all of these.

Question 5: Emma Thompson. (Acting: Howards End, Writing: Sense & Sensibility)
Interesting guesses (all men) and one team got it right!

Score two points for each question and one point for each bonus question. Total points possible this page: 12.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big ship

Man, what a gorgeous autumn day. I hope I appreciated it.

Often I see these big ships tied up (parked?) and wondered how they work. In town, near the bridges and the silos, they seem huge, but I bet on the ocean they seem very small. I wonder what it's like to be on one, how many people work on them and what their work is like. I also see the comparatively tiny lifeboats on the side and can't imagine ever needing to get into one. How does one find out what life on these ships is like?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Requiem: Workout Pants

The black blob to the left of the pants is Antares, who did not wish to be photographed for this picture, but also did not wish to move.

I can recall a time in early college, when I realized I had owned a skirt for five whole years! That was the beginning of the realization that clothing could last a very long time and these pants here are an example. I've had them for nearly ten. I can remember when I bought them, as they were on sale at Meier and Frank (now officially Macy's) and were such a good deal I bought two pair. I was very excited and they went with me on many walks, jogs, bike rides and through a lot of work around the house. They were made from some sort of "wears like iron" polyester blend that just kept going and going. And going. In fact, for the last two years, I've hated these workout pants and wished I had others. This hatred was not enough for me to find new workout pants as the intersection of "in the mood to shop" "pants that fit" and price I feel is appropriate" (sixty dollars? For workout pants? You have to be kidding!) is an intersection I don't happen across overly often.
However, a Goodwill trip recently was fruitful and I am now the owner of two new pairs of workout pants (that cost $12.00 combined) and so I bid these pants a farewell (not, alas, fond as I let them overstay their welcome) thank them, and wish them a good journey.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three sentence movie reviews: Margin Call

I hadn't heard of this populated-with-excellent-actors-who-acted-excellently movie. Aside from the somewhat frequent use of the f-word, it was a bit old-fashioned in the contemplative way and I enjoyed going along for the ride. This is not a movie to begin watching late at night, for you will surely fall asleep, but on a rainy afternoon, immerse yourself in this.*