Sunday, August 30, 2015

Keith and me as a young couple

AEgina Graham put up a photo of a photo, on facebook, and the comment I put there is below. She couldn't find the real photo again when she went to look in her mom's albums, but this image is enough for me to remember. My kids might like the account. I think the photo is 1979 or early 1980.

We had been a couple for two years. We were four years from getting married. Six years from having Kirby.

That relationship was fully SCA-based at first. We met in a madrigal group. We weren't even living in the same town, so SCA events were our shared space—it's where we lived as a couple.

We sang at campfires. We performed at feasts. We played recorder together in the dark. We had long talks in little cars on dark highways, on the way to or back from Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Dallas.

In the photo, I most like seeing our hands all touching. In square inches of skin on skin, we might have been setting the world record there for hands-only.

I like seeing Keith's beard, too. smile emoticon
We both had waist-length hair. Mine was braided and tied up in the base scarf under the veil. His was down the back, and his hair was blond then.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August went away!

The first week of August, Keith and I went to Chama and rode the train with my sister Irene, and our daughter Holly. Holly stayed with us in a rental home just three blocks from the train station. It was wonderful all kinds of ways, but on the middle day, in the train, the last hour and a half or so, I started being ill. That was Wednesday, August 5.

First it seemed like urinary tract problem, but Holly went and fetched pills and cranberry juice, and I was well very quickly.

At home, I got worse and worse until I went to urgent care on Sunday, August 9.
Later in the week I wasn't much better, so I went back and got more and different pills and a codein cough syrup prescribed and bought.

I'm writing this on August 27. Yesterday was the last day of the meds. I can breathe deeply without coughing, and for two days I don't feel low-lung crud. I tire easily and am not as clever as usual. Kind of slow, and I love to sleep.

Keith has been playing a lot of Dr. Mario with me during that time, because while I'm playing, I don't cough. I've wondered about that, but it's very therapeutic. Something about flow, I figure. Attention, shallow breathing, distraction, posture? Between games, I'd cough up some. But it was the most helpful thing of all.

I didn't have the energy to write much about the train trip (and I didn't write it here) but some of the photos are beautiful. It's quite a photogenic situation.

photo of Irene, by Holly

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Korean dramas continue here

This is from Warrior Baek Dong Soo, thirty episodes long, but I watched it twice.

I'm fascinated by the storytelling, the acting, the cinematography, the sets and settings, props and costumes—the historical shows and the modern ones both.

My notes on what I've seen, and on a couple of particular shows, are here:

My favorites so far were both by the same screenwriter, Song Ji-na. One is called Faith, and one is Healer. (I've written about both of them here before, so those titles are links.)

To make certain those are my legitimate favorites, I watched two dozen other shows, and my third favorite is Warrior Baek Dong Soo.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Goblets from the 1980's

When Keith and I got married in 1986, my Uncle Rex sent four goblets, and I guessed them to have been made in Alaska, where he was living. Years passed.

I put up photos of my dishes, and Deb Lewis said she had four goblets like that one that shows. I have four too. Nice coincidence. She had been in Alaska in those days when my uncle was there, too. (Not that they knew each other, but they had good taste in goblets.)

I kept thinking I had made a page like this to document not only that we each owned four, but that it was discovered, at a distance. I'm making a page for all of this now.
 photo kdk_2815.jpg



One from an episode of The Mentalist (on the desk—same mold, different pattern):

Deb found the pattern names:



When I went to get images, I found that there are dinner plates. (here)
I own a few, from thrift stores. I had never put a goblet next to one. Wow.
I hope I remember to do that at some point!

I had no idea they were related.

Below are some notes on the Japanese manufacturer:
Otagiri Manufacturing Company was an importer of Japanese stoneware and ceramics between 1958 and 1994. ...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The old screwdriver my dad gave me

I just tightened the door to Marty's old bedroom (my current workroom) with a screwdriver my dad gave me. My dad died in the 1970's, but the wooden-handled screwdriver with a flathead and a phillip's has always been in the drawer nearest my sewing machine (wherever and whichever drawer that was, over the years) ever since he gave it to me. It was already old when I got it. I use it all the time.

I've never thought to look for markings on it, but now that I was photographing it, I see that the double-bit part (the interchangeable rod) says FELO. I looked it up. It's from Germany.

I had often admired the reinforcing ring on the wood, but hadn't examined the shaft.

My dad was a motor-pool mechanic, after the war, in Germany. He might have brought it back with him. I'm glad I have it.

The ring has a diamond (wider than high) with a U in it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Luck (but is it good or bad?)—and another Korean Drama review

I will write a review without spoilers. I did it before for Faith, a.k.a. The Great Doctor (which I've now watched three times through, and the good parts more than that).

But first I want to go back and talk about my resistance and acceptance of some other types of art.

Seven years or so back, I wanted to watch some anime, so I asked Joyce Fetteroll for a recommendation. She suggested Fruits Basket (Don't read that if you want to watch it without knowing the plot.) I loved it! When I tried other series, they were just okay, not as sparkly, not as engaging. But I was happy with what I learned and experienced with Fruits Basket.

For a couple of years, Pam Sorooshian recommended to me. Finally I subscribed, in June 2009. The first book I got was The Help, unabridged, by Kathryn Stockett, narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell. I listened and loved it. I've never heard another book there that was nearly as good, which has made audible a "downhill since then" situation. The candidates for second best come in about 75% as good as that reading. Mostly, I avoid fiction and use it for autobiographies read by their authors, and non-fiction, and I'm quite happy with it, but every book is "not as good as The Help" in my mind. Poor things.

So when I decided to finally pay attention to Alex Polikowsky's near-constant buzz about Korean dramas, I watched Faith and it was STUNNING. I wrote (in the review linked above) that it was the best thing I had ever seen. A month has passed and I still feel that way.

It was good luck (or taking the advice of people I had reason to trust), that gained me these too-big-to-top starting places, and that makes it bad luck for the other examples. Bad luck for me, to try to find something so wonderful. But had I started with something lame, I would not have made it to Fruits Basket, The Help, and Faith/The Great Doctor.

To see whether it was just me and my enjoyment of feudal/medieval stories, I figured I should watch something modern, and some more historical. I've done that. I've finished six series and dabbled in a few more. I don't know everything, but I know something.

The other historical things I've seen are not as good as Faith is. So I thought maybe it was the music that did that, and I watched The King's Face, which has the same composer. No. The music is wonderful, and is well utilized in Faith, but it was more than the music. [CORRECTION: I mixed up two series. The same composer didn't score The King's Face, but Master's Sun, so I'll think about the music if I watch that series.]

I thought maybe I should try something by the same screenwriter, so I watched Healer. BINGO! Even though it's set in cutting-age fantasy current days (James-Bond style gadgetry and backup), the story is similarly intricate while still being easy to follow, and the characters are revealed in similar (and maybe better) ways—better because of photographs, in part. One certain photograph is central to the story.

Within eight minutes we've met three main characters and we know something about their attitudes, skills and personalities, in eight minutes, because the writer, Song Ji-na, is really good. The plot, characters, dialog, the clues shown visually (in objects the people have around them, in what they're doing when they're alone, when they're with others) is something I can't remember seeing so clearly elsewhere. Maybe an occasional token view of a bedroom or a work desk, or clues in costume or mannerism, but not like this show.

One aspect of Korean drama by what I've experienced directly and been told is that some characters start off more irritating than they'll be later. Some shows need three or five episodes before they can hook you. And I have dropped a few I tried to start. But both Faith and Healer grabbed me right up, and so I'm a fan of Song Ji-na.

Halfway through this second pass, I wrote "I'm watching Healer the second time, and there are many things I missed the first time, or didn't have a hook to hang it on yet. I fully endorse watching it twice! SO intricate and sweet and spooky and well-constructed."

At the end... "I just finished Healer for the second time, and I love it even more than the first time. The first time I was trying to follow mysteries and relationships and figure out who's who and what's what. This time I could think about philosophical issues and that's the best part of it."

Having let this settle for a week, I think that objectively, Healer is better than Faith/The Great Doctor. Faith gets big points for having armor, swords, feudal politics and Lee Min Ho. But assuming that someone didn't have a balance-tipping preference for those things, Healer is smoother, tighter, funnier, sweeter and has clearer morals and a more satisfying end.

In Faith, Choi Young is constant, steadfast, unchanging. That's good, for that show.

Healer is about someone trying on different ways of being, disguises and transformations. Seeing Ji Chang Wook switch from one guise and stance to another is wonderful every time.

All but the second of these photos are all from the photobucket account associated with Drama Beans which has GREAT recaps and commentaries on every episode of Healer and Faith. Here's Healer, Episode 1. VERY nice blog, and I'm glad javabeans has gathered such great images.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bruno Mars or Healer?

The first bit of this video, especially the blinky eyes at 1:20 is a great match for Bruno Mars playing Devyn the Intern at Pandora here. While they're similar in stills, they're just about identical in motion and posture. It's a fun comparison. And if you haven't seen that SNL sketch with Bruno Mars, please do before it's gone again.

All the images are links.

Here's what these guys look like without being disguised as dweebs:


Bruno Mars (hard to find a photo without hat or shades) and Ji Chang Wook