Monday, December 07, 2015

A warm winter Monday at home

Near my computer:

In the kitchen, sprouts in the window to green up, and bread in the oven for me and Keith.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Firewood delivery today

Two cords, cedar and piñon. Keith and I moved and stacked a lot. Kirby and Destiny came and helped Keith finish it off after work. $550, from A-1 (for the record, in case we wonder when we last got wood.

The wind blew my voice away some, but at one point I said "I should probably work at a wood lot, this is so exciting to me," or some such.

Oh. Meant to add me, on that wood-stacking day.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Kirby and Destiny at the new house

Tonight's the first night of sleep at the new house for Kirby, Destiny and Devyn.

They had this beautiful door installed yesterday. The opening needed to be enlarged, and now they need the doorbell reattached (that's what the wires are).

They've been painting and personalizing for weeks. It has been lots of work for them, but they seem to have had a good time with it! They're creating a very personalized, wonderful space, and the door is like a beautiful lid on a jewelry box. Or like a portal to a world that's specially theirs.

The door has a great peekhole, and here's Keith posing as a visitor. Oh, wait—he WAS visiting, and we DID open it and look at him.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Kirby is engaged, and some other doings

This is an expansion of something I wrote on Facebook. I realized some of this might need to be referenced in future, perhaps.

Today was calm but busy. Marty and I went to register his Jeep for the next two years and it passed inspection perfectly (for the first time). He's had it for eight year, and still loves it. The last two times, he needed a new gas cap, and sometimes there were other things recommended or required. This was an all-clean emissions test. Then we stopped by to see if Keith wanted to go to lunch with us.

Kirby and Destiny are engaged. I told Marty and Keith at lunch that the custom-made ruby engagement ring had arrived, but it was secret and I didn't know when he was going to propose. Marty called me a few hours later, saying that Ashlee came home saying they were engaged. So Marty knew a special secret for a few hours. Kirby proposed to her in the house they're buying, that is newly painted and being customized, that they just started taking furniture to yesterday. They'll move from our house slowly.

Holly is visiting a friend she's known all her life, Caiti Hankins (and Miles, her guy), in Oregon. Prior to this, Holly visited Renee Cabatic and family, and then Diana and Hayden Jenner. She's in Oregon because she helped Kymberlee/Nevé move up there. I asked Marty today if he knows Nevé and he said he did, and Ashlee had given her some pirate garb.

Keith and I played Dr. Mario, and had some adventures with an elecrician and people from the power company, after which the outdoors light fixture that used to hum and click is gone and sealed, and our whole house has electricity (wind+tree broke one of the lines to our house and three neighbors last night, but it's fixed).

I walked to the store in the dark for snacks to eat while I watch "Twenty Again" (a Korean drama), and am peacefully happy at home. It wasn't too peaceful while I was chocking on pork rinds, but I survived and had a nice little Sprite in an aluminum bottle, or a bottle-shaped can, and I love my house and my family.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Devyn's big baking day

Bread (behind her on the counter, in some photos) and cupcakes. Devyn had seen a Youtube video about cupcake decorating, and we went and got what we didn't already have to make them just like those. Hers are much prettier!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

No watercooler

Sometimes I wish all the writing I did in discussions and on facebook came here instead, but life is as it is. I wish all the paper letters I had written to other people could be read and the facts laid out in chronological order for my kids. I wish many unrealistic things, many of a packrattish nature.

Two big things of a personal nature, and two big more public things came together. I had pneumonia for most of August. Keith was bedridden and in pain in varying degrees for most of this month so far. I wrote the foreword for a book by and for unschooling dads, edited by Skyler Collins. I was a presenter at an online conference involving powerpoint or slides, and those two things are done. Both might've been easier without the pneumonia and back injury, and doing those kinds of big-deal projects without witnesses seems odd to me. Keith knew I was doing them, and helped me with power point, but working all alone without others, without co-workers to have lunch with, without anyone ever seeing all that I do, is odd and sometimes lonely.

I just finished formatting and adding to a page that I started and forgot about. It was from 2006, and looked like two lumps of words with one bad link. It's better now:
What Proof is there that Unschooling Works?

Wednesday night, we went to see The Book of Mormon at Popejoy. Keith couldn't sit up long enough to see a show, so Bed Cady took his ticket. It was me, Kirby, Destiny, Devyn; Marty, Ashlee and Ben; Holly and Tyler/Bob.


Outside my house, there are moonflowers blooming. Fall comes soon.

Kirby and Destiny have found a house to buy, only about 1/3 of a mile from ours. They will be transitioning there over the next few months, and plan to be in Dallas with Destiny's sister for Christmas.

Brett Henry married Susan Cady Friday night, in Algodones. Marty was the groomsman (one best man and one groomsman). Kirby and Destiny went, too.

Holly is moving gradually from Chama to Española, to live with Joshua, Kayla, their new baby (still to come) and Irene, at the end of San Pedro. She should be all moved by mid-October, when the trains stop running for the winter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Candid browns

I don't think I have a large copy of this image anymore, but I didn't think I had ANY, and found this:

When I first got an iPad, I was messing with the camera and took a photo of the table in front of me, of chairs in my kitchen, with the brown background of the back of the center-island cabinets.

Later when I couldn't find it, I took a similar one. If I find that I'll bring it here, too.

This was totally unplanned and unposed. The other one, I think I cleared stuff off the table so I could only see the browns, and was probably more conscious of how the chairs overlapped.

Small Joys has the other.

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 Dramabeans has gathered such great images.

ADDITION TO THIS PAGE, October 10, 2015

Because it's difficult to get to one recap post without seeing something you might not want to have seen, I have a list with links to them in order. Healer can be confusing. This can help: Healer—a few notes, and links to recaps in order.

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

David Bowie letter.... read aloud in a performance

Peter Serafinowicz read the letter David Bowie wrote to me aloud, in a sort of concert of letter readings, and it's been more than a year. I never heard of it. I was looking for something I'd written about Kirby and Marty playing with friends when they were very young, and somehow in the google search this came up:

Letters Live, a review, was posted in December 2013. She wrote "Peter Serafinowicz giving life to David Bowie’s adorable letter to Sandra Dodd, his first self-proclaimed US fan who wanted to start a fanclub"

It's awkwardly worded. I had no idea I was his first American fan. He said in the letter that I was!

Really they should call that letter "David Bowie to Sandra Adams," but because it was found on my website and that's what it was first called, it stuck.

I wrote to the editor of the book, when I saw that the owner of the blog Letters of Note was publishing on paper and asked, if he had used my letter, if I could have a copy, but he didn't write back. I don't think it was in the first volume, though. I think that one was notable people to other notable people. Even that blog post, though, links to the letter on my website. Nice!

Because my letter was one of the first ones he published, it was in the top five most popular for a while. Now it's on the most popular ever, where a few dozen out of 900 are listed. "+ My name is David Jones" is the file name there.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Faith / The Great Doctor

Originally posted on facebook, February 10 at 8:25pm but I want to be able to send it and look back at it myself. The facebook link is leading to the photo.

I just watched THE best program I've ever seen in my whole life. I don't say that lightly. Bummer it's not in English. Alex Polikowsky told me about it last May, and I was "ho hum, don't care." Don't be that way, then, people who read this.

ALSO don't read about it. You don't want to know what's going to happen. LOTS of things will happen. It's on Hulu plus, and (Alex says) another place or two. Maybe YouTube, I don't know. [2018 note: You might need to get it through VIKI or DramaFever. It's worth paying to avoid commercials, and for them to save your place.]

I watched the whole thing in two and a half days. Monday was dedicated to just that. I never even went into the kitchen. I didn't make tea. Keith took me for a hamburger in the afternoon, but I was in a hurry to get home.

Oh right. It's called "Faith" and it's a Korean TV series, 24 one-hour episodes. Historical fiction, 1300s, armor, swords, honor, redemption, politics, a bit of magic but that's not the main thing. Swords mostly, but some spear, archery, trickery, gymnastics, household items. Magic flute, steel stabbing finger ring (don't know the name). Hand-to-hand. Some horses, but no fighting on horseback. There's a fair amount of medically-related business, as the time traveller is a doctor. (There is a bit of time travel, but that's not the main thing.) There are aspects of vocabulary and of handwriting that I appreciated even though Chinese characters and Korean writing mean nothing to me—still, as elements of the plot I liked what they were doing.

The subtitles aren't great, but after a while I didn't care. I don't know (don't care, don't WANT to know) if the costumes and armor and weapons are period. REALLY I don't care and if people put stuff in the comments about it being not period, I won't be your facebook friend anymore.

When I looked something up and saw that there were 24 episodes, I was sad to know when the end would come. If you watch it, SERIOUSLY, just try it out and don't read about it first, because the joy of NOT knowing what's going to happen will be wonderful. From episode 18, I started thinking actively about what other movie or tv show I thought was better than this. From episode 20, I started to feel sorrow that I would never, ever again be able to see this program for the first time.

Alex says give it six episodes before you give up on it, but I was hooked by three.

Today I had other things to do, so wasn't able to sit and totally marathon, though I did want to finish it before Kirby and Destiny got here (and I did). Between times, I thought hard about what show might be comparable and honestly could not think of anything. I have loved a lot of movies in my time, and have had some TV series I obsessed about, but this is it for me. I wouldn't mind finding something better someday, but I don't expect to.

I didn't mention what Alex said to me before she even mentioned the series. [Came back to edit this. I still didn't. She raved about the lead actor being handsome.] The male star has a great voice (and many other attractive attributes, so I'll bring a photo of him so people don't accidentally read plot details looking for his picture. :-))

Sets are nice, cinematography is GREAT, direction, script—apparently, even though I couldn't understand them, I could hear when there were parallel phrases or lyrical comments or staccato comments, and those things aren't random, with good writers. Props and sets were fun. There was a wheelbarrow halfway between a European wheelbarrow and a Chinese mountain wheelbarrow, and I'll try to get an image of it for my wheelbarrow collection at some point.

The lead actor's name is Lee Min Ho. The character is great.