Friday, August 29, 2008

Of Mice and Men

So Loki (short for Locutus, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular feline), Brent's cat, drives me crazy most of the time. Maybe once a week for two minutes he will be adorable, but the rest of the time he is just ANNOYING.

That being said, he is also the most interesting cat I've ever known, and I like him better than any cat I've ever known. I suppose I'm being educated in the ways of cats and I shouldn't be so irked by their elitest attitudes, being rather stuck-up myself ;).

We live next to a rather large empty lot that is overgrown with weeds and whatnot and has become a haven for mice. I'm not sure how many mice live out there, but they are plentiful enough that Loki has no trouble capturing them and bringing them indoors.

Whenever he does this, I feel the urge to curse, and sometimes do. He acts all proud of himself, like he's bestowing a great honor upon me by bringing these things into my house. I get mad at him, and lock him up so I can deal with the mouse without his interference.

Sometimes Loki has played with the mouse enough that it is rather limp and you can tell it's suffering. I feel bad for the poor little thing, but at least that makes it easier to catch. Usually, however, the mice are more than lively and either Loki is very stupid or mice are smarter than we give them credit for, because they usually evade him and me for quite some time.

I'll spare you all the details of my many mouse-catching escapades, but today was the final straw. Today's mouse was quick, but injured, as he left bloody smears all over my kitchen floor, baseboards, and spots of it all over my living room carpet. I spent my morning catching the injured mouse, removing him from my house, then searching all over for bloodstains to wipe up and scrub out of my carpet.

Today I lay down the law! No more open-door policy for the cat! If he goes out, he stays out, until he meows to be let in and can prove to me he's not carrying something wriggly in his mouth! Yuck, yuck, yuck. I'm still slightly wretching at the memory of this morning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Poor Baby - Hee Hee

I was busy getting dressed when I heard a wail come from the bathroom.

I ran in and saw Baby Jenny perched on the open seat of the toilet. She had put a rubber duck in the bowl and decided she wanted to get it out of the bowl, but of course she couldn't reach far enough. So she climbed up.

Her climbing has just recently taken off, and I'm always amazed at her latest feat.

So there she was, feet on one side of the toilet seat, hands on the other, crouched over what to her must feel like a bottomless pit of water. And, oh, the bewildered expression on her face of "How in the world did I get into this horrible predicament? I don't know what to do! Help! Help!" was priceless.

I busted up laughing, which made her cry harder. Guess it's naptime.

Oh man, I wish I had had my camera handy.

The Sounds of My Life

I saw this on Emma's blog and decided to play along.


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the "next" button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool!

Opening Credits: Fallen Angel - Alphaville

Waking Up: Video Killed the Radio Store - The Buggles

First Day At School: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band - The Beatles

Falling In Love: I Need Your Love - U2

Fight Song: Sommertage - Composed by Berg, Performed by Anne Sofie Von Otter (Nothing like German Lieder to get your fired up!)

Breaking Up: Staring at the Sun - U2 (That's kind of what it feels like, huh?)

Prom: Muhammad My Friend - Tori Amos (Perhaps this is to symbolically indicate that religion can be as controversial as dress codes at prom.)

Life's OK: Maxwell's Silver Hammer - The Beatles

Mental Breakdown: His Yoke is Easy from The Messiah - Composed by Handel, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra

Driving: Kiss the Rain - Billy Myers (TOTALLY good road trip song)

Flashback: Ships are Sailing - Eileen Ivers

Getting Back Together: Dancing Through Life - Wicked the Musical ("Life's less painless for the brainless"? Yeah, that seems like good ground to build a relationship on.)

Wedding: Least Complicated - Indigo Girls

Birth of Child: Gesu Bambino - performed by Liberace (I swear I didn't cheat on this one. Maybe this is prophetic and someday I'll have a baby on Christmas.)

Final Battle: Fire and Rain - James Taylor

Death Scene: New Year's Day - U2

Funeral Song: Soul Song - David Wilcox

End Credits: Rain King - Counting Crows

There you go. I'm not sure the movie will be any good, but at least the music is.

Tag, you're it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Jenny Signing Time

Here are a few clips of Jenny signing the other day. She's added lots of words to her vocabulary, and it is so rewarding being able to communicate with her.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What Have You Read?

Aimee had this on her blog and challenged everyone to reply. I'd like to continue the challenge.

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. How did you do?

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Ties for favourite book of all time)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (Ties for favourite book of all time)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible - (I didn't love the WHOLE Bible, as the who begat whom got a little tedious)

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (How can I not have read this one?)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I'd like to read more Shakespeare, but definitely not the COMPLETE works, yikes!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (I can't believe I haven't read this yet)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne - love it.
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How about you?

Musical Opinions

Most of you probably already know that I've been released as choir director and have been called as Primary Chorister. The new choir director is scared to death and is way out of her comfort zone. I think she's going to be great, however (Go Jenn!!) once she gets comfortable with it. She has asked me to pick a song to sing as a solo for the Christmas program in a few months, and I want to know what y'all think.

What's your favourite Christmas carol that you never get to hear?

I was thinking I'd like to do the Wexford Carol, but the only arrangement of it I have has a funky accompaniment that I don't care much for. Anyone got an arrangement of it they like?