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Amen to that.  From xkcd, of course.

My dad, referring to some child star: “She sounds like she was raised by adults.”

[insert uncontrollable laughter from my mom, my sister, and me]

Me: “As opposed to us, who were raised by…wolves?”

Oscar night always reminds me of how many movies I meant to see this year, but never got around to.  And then I come home and watch a few episodes of Big Love, and remember why it is that I watch so few movies in theaters.  I’m too busy watching past seasons of TV shows on DVD.  I need to get out to the Laurelhurst more for some $3 movies.   But of course the only time I can go is the weekend, the time reserved for social activities and procrastinated assignments.

My sister and I did make it to the ballet this Saturday, for the first time in years.   One of the things that I always assume people know about me, but they often don’t if I met them past the age of 16, is that I danced for 10 years.  Ten Years.  Crazy.  So this thing happens when I go to the ballet, where I have this phantom muscle memory and I’m thinking in my head, “I could totally still do that.”  HA.  HA.  But I can remember what it feels like, which is a bit eerie.  Also, I still have Bolero stuck in my head.  There were these people sitting behind us who sounded like regular ballet goers but not experts or snobs, and it was totally worth the price of admission to listen to their commentary between pieces – the program was four shorter pieces, with a nice variety of styles and music and moods.  Anyway, the people behind us would gasp with pleasure at the end of some pieces, or discuss the decline in grammar in program notes (and society in general).  One piece had a feel that I can only describe as delightfully kitschy – a pas de deux with old-style costumes, very Coppelia* with the  guy looking like a hunter, complete with tall boots with little tassels, and the girl in a full skirt with a hilarious little hat perched on her head.  The people behind us gasped when she ran onto the stage.  Me, I couldn’t stop chuckling over the boot tassels.

*Spell-check wants to change this to Copperfield or Zeppelin.

Yesterday was really a little too Roman for my tastes.  Plenty of backstabbing, and no quantity of et tu-ing could bring about a little repentance.  It got me, and it got me good.  No looking back on yesterday’s part!

All was going along swimmingly.  The crowds were calling my name and the people loved me, I got caught up on all the end-of-quarter stuff I’d been putting off, I raked out huge quantities of evergreen leaves from around the bushes in front of the abode.  Then the first blow came, they turned against me as I left for work.  And lo, my tire was flat.  But just keep me going, to bolster my spirits and think everything would be just fine, my dear roommate was “working from home” and was able to give me a lift

And then, oh, and then!  Instead of having the usual two coworkers to help me with the fast paced, time sensitive portion of the evening, the part where people keep throwing more things at you to do, and usually it’s fine because there are 3 of us (or at least 2) and we split things up and it all gets done, no stress.  Instead of three…there was just me.

Yeah, that was fun.

It’s called STAFFING.  When someone, or two someones, have the day off, you’re supposed to have one of those floats cover for them.

Then everything was okay.  My dad picked me up from work and we discussed the transportation of goods and the industrial area.  Don’t ask.

And I came home and watched Big Love.  I thought I would die when they started playing that song, you know the one.

Will you miss me when I’m gone…

Except they forgot some of the lyrics.

From Sea of Trolls, the most awesome book I’ve read this week. Okay, that isn’t saying much. But it is awesome, and if you’ve never read any Nancy Farmer, you are in for a treat. I’d only read The Ear, the Eye and the Arm before, but that was more than enough to convince me of her extra-ordinary word powers. Flawed heroes, bad guys that you grow to love, large-scale adventure, a hint of magic, Norse legends, bards, trolls, giant boars…oh, and a caution against pillaging: just say no.

“You’re not to join in the fight,” Olaf said.”

“Don’t worry,” said Jack.

“I know how exciting pillaging is,” the giant said fondly, ruffling Jack’s hair. It felt like a blow. “No matter how much you’re tempted, just say no.”

“Just say no to pillaging. You got it.”

What’s not to love? And how will I manage to write a review without gushing all over the class message boards?

Speaking of suffering, I have WAY too much lentil soup. If anyone wants some, come on over and dig in. It won’t go away, and I don’t like lentil soup that much.

I just got three books in the mail yesterday, and, God help me, I don’t know where to put them. I had an Amazon voucher – you know how it goes – and I think I can squeeze Anno’s Spain (new to me! dear, dear Anno) onto my picture book shelf. But I despair of finding a spot for The King of Attolia (which I want to marry) and Girl in a Tangerine Scarf…Maybe if I buy a new bookshelf?  Or two?  I recently saw a picture of a house where literally every wall was covered in built-in shelves/cubbies.  I want.

Where have I been, and what have I been doing?*

I have no idea.

Reading?  Going to work?  Wearing striped socks to church?  Eating waffles?  Nibbling my way through an afternoon at a Mardi Gras (the Orthodox “get your lamb while you still can” version) party?

Sure, those all sound plausible.

Quick thoughts on what I’ve been reading:

The Thirteenth Tale: I’m moving slowly because I only listen to this as my bedtime story.  Thusly it is not, as the CD cover claims, depositing me “breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of [my] everyday life,” because as soon as I start to drift and think “wait, did I just miss a whole scene or was that a pause in the narration?” I turn it off, make a few rotations in bed, and fall asleep.  What I would love would be an ipod or somesuch that knew when you were losing consciousness and would promptly turn itself off (and remove its earbuds from your ears and place itself on your bedside table) so you were guaranteed not to miss a moment of the story.

(So far it hasn’t really influenced my dreams – last night TnEnLnJ were visiting Bif in the spacious mansion apartment over her wildly successful craft/bookstore (she, strangely for a librarian, turned the book ordering over to a partner and maintained the craft section herself).  It was spectacular, the whole figment, and I have no idea where it came from.)

Bridge to Terabithia: sobfest!  It’s one of those books that feels larger in your imagination.  I’d go back to reread a particularly poignant section and discover that the words on the page were really quite slight and simple, but what they created took up the whole room.  Will I see the movie?  I’m torn.  I’m pretty 110% sure that it could never feel as large, but that might be an inherent prejudice against unnecessary special effects.

Forever in Blue: okay, it’s crap.  But it’s addicting crap.  No matter how irritating certain elements were, I had to listen to the whole thing.

The Higher Power of Lucky: OFFICIAL JESSMONSTER STAMP OF APPROVAL

The Ghost Map: I can’t stop thinking about diseases (they seem to be coming up in conversation a lot lately) and how people live in cities.  Good stuff if effing repetitive narrative style.

An Abundance of Katherines: I’m about to review it for my YA class and it stood the test of a second read within four months admirably.  It’s also very difficult to decide which tasty tidbits to cover in the review.

Miss Pym Disposes:  I ate it up with a spoon.

Notes From the Midnight Driver: hilarious.  I’m pretty sure my dear roommate was mocking me for the way I chuckled over it, but I was too busy reading to take notice.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City: I enjoyed it.  But not nearly as much as other people seem to have.  Fun, but I never really cared.

Up next:

  • Surrender
  • Story of a Girl
  • Peace Like a River (still)
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  • The Golden Compass
  • Reading Like a Writer
  • and all of those other things I already had on my bookshelf

*I seem to be having an Emily of New Moon day.

Listening to Forever in Blue (yes, the traveling pants) instead of lectures for class.  It’s my fluff listening.  It’s addicting.  Don’t judge me (too harshly).

Thanks to Hank & Co., both my dear roommate and I went to bed last night with “Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone…From Your Pants” stuck in our heads.  It’s catchy.  It led to me getting up this morning, after the sleep of the dead in which dream-version-of-roommate asked if the griddle cakes* were ready yet, and thinking, ‘what shall I read next?’  This led to ‘well, Annie recommended Peace Like a River…In Your Pants.’  And the consequent singing to self while making oatmeal:

I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river in my pants.

I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river in my pants.

And, well, when you put the other verses to the test?  Love like an ocean?  Joy like a fountain?  Perish the thought.

*Miss Pym Disposes features griddle cakes.  I now want a griddle cake.  As it turns out, a griddle cake is not like a pancake, but rather soda bread that is flattened and cooked in a skillet.  Apparently, there is a Society for the Preservation of Soda Bread.  Just in case your felt like joining the good fight.


Jess & Toni, with ice cream and hippies, at the Power to the Peaceful concert in Golden Gate Park. Posted by Picasa

Ah, the lighter side of Orthodoxy. Have you ever laughed uncontrollably in church? Maybe you’re going to the wrong one. Let me take this chance to tell you a little about the Orthodox Church, and why, if you’re a person who is easily amused, you should consider attending one.

1. We sing in awkwardly translated metaphors. Hungry? Try the ‘corn of foregiveness.’ Want to return to a more agrarian life? Try a threshing/winnowing/chaff metaphor. Feeling at loose ends? Try ‘lock me up in your storehouse and save me.’ And that was all tonight!

2. Feel like church is too serious? Are all those vestments making you feel like it’s a bit stuffy? Invite a visiting priest who looks like Mr. Magoo!

3. As it is unexpectedly announced that Fr. Magoo will be giving a talk, beat a hasty retreat to the door, speed-crossing yourself in an attempt to get out before friends’ dad/regular priest sees you. Increase speed as he calls out ‘no sneaking out the back, girls!’ Realize that one of Tyka’s brothers (who is in our charge tonight) is stuck as an acolyte and can’t make it out in time! Hide in basement, listening to Fr. Magoo drone over speakers, while brother #2 capers.

Rest assured that this blog will continue to feature the lighter side of the troparia as we set sail on the sea of the great fast. Coming attractions: the holy and mercenary healers! Doubting Thomas’ inquisitive right hand! Mystically clapping hands! Stay tuned!

Just moments ago I tried to comment, in a friendly and generous fashion, on someone else’s blog. I received this error message: ‘Your comment was denied for questionable content.’ I searched my comment for any possible innuendo, but I’m at a loss folks. Maybe my comment just wasn’t exciting enough.

It’s a known fact that I laugh a lot. Sometimes too much. But mostly I laugh when no one else is laughing. People ask ‘what’s so funny?’ But if you didn’t already see it, you won’t think it’s funny when I tell you. Sorry. I also like to take things out of context to make them funnier. Yeah, true, it messes with my ‘serious, reserved and quiet’ image, but really I’m thinking of ditching that. Where has it gotten me? Elected to the Women’s Group executive committee at church. By ‘elected,’ I mean there were 5 people who volunteered, and 5 positions to fill. I felt really honored when those ballots came in.

Another fact is that I get a kick out of shocking people, which is probably why I’ve kept the ‘serious, reserved and quiet’ image around. Because what’s more fun than shattering people’s perceptions? They see: Women’s Group, Sunday School teacher, responsible worker. They don’t see: me and roomie with wine in hand, Saturday night, bemoaning the fact that we don’t have lesson plans for the next day’s Sunday school. Okay, that’s not really shocking. I can do better…the cult thing. I like to drop that into conversations. Or swearing unexpectedly – that still works on tyka.

Wow, I’m not really all that shocking, come to think of it. I’ve just shattered my own perceptions of myself. A big day and it’s not even 10 o’clock yet. But really, I swear, I do laugh at all the wrong times! That’s still true!

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