Friday, February 27, 2009
And tonight, she competed in another meet and we finally brought a camera. She came in first in her heat and took five seconds off her 50 yard freestyle time. She and Rob couldn't hear them announce her the winner of her heat, and from this angle he couldn't even tell who came in first, but Sebi and Joss and I saw that she was way out in front.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
4. Hildegard Knef, THe Murderers are Among Us (Germany 1946). Oh, Yeah. Love in the rubble. No one works a head-scarf like this smoldering and damaged Trummerfrau. And, afgter running around with cute ash-smudges on her nose and saving her man from committing murder, she pulls it together and shows up in the last scene as a proto-1950's bouffant-coiffed domestic goddess. Yow. Besides, the name "Hildegard Knef" just rolls off of the tounge. "Oh, Hildegard Knef! Help me purge the ghosts of the past!"
3. Marianne, Wild Strawberries (Sweden, 1957). Poor old Isak Borg. He has cut off his heart from his loved ones for so long that he has become a lonely old man. And, to add to the grief, Isak's Ho-Ho-Hot Schveedisch daughter-in-law leaves his dink of a son Evald and comes to stay with him. No wonder he dreams of himself in a hearse. Their road trip together involves several other blondes with Ikea names, but none as cold, sassy, and full of that luscious Ice-Queen Mojo as Marianne. As the Swedish Chef would say, Husker Du MORP MORP MORP!
2. Franka Potente, Run Lola Run (Germany 1999). OK, Mary Ann would never dye her hair Elmo Red and have her navel tatooed. But she can outrun me, just like this trashy little Berlin punk who sometimes goes volcanic and breaks glass with her screaming. She hauls Arsch across town in combat boots, all to save her worthless boyfriend Manni. She is, to quote Berlin's new tourist slogan about itself, "Poor but Sexy."
1. Queen Latifah, hatever film She Happens to Be In (USA, ALways). I know. I never have taught a film with the Queen in it. But, I mean, COME. ON. She is the new poster girl for the divine Yiddish term "Zaftig." It literally means "juicy," but it is used in Yiddish to refer to "Women of a Certain Size who Got It Goin' On." She is the Anti-Calista-Flockhart-Kate-Moss-skin-and-bones-bulemia-chick-who-chews-on-the-sleeves-of-her-too-long-sweater. You see Queen Latifah and you immediately drop your helping verbs and your final "g:" She bouncin'. She movin' Whe warmin' it up.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
All of this means that our boys will insist on being scouts to the death. They will probably get the Platinum Platypus award and still be wearing khaki short pants when they're 70.
The weather was absolutely beautiful.
It was green and rainy and made us miss living in California terribly. It has been white and brown here and we're ready for a change.
Grandpa and Fluffy read a book. Among several thing I forgot to pack for the trip were toys for him. He made it through the weekend with two books and a small lion.
Grandma and Joss played a lot. He pulled up on everything and learned to climb their stairs. I wish I had the picture of him sitting on the yoga ball. He was pretty tickled with that. He also loved watching videos with songs.
In our absence, Rob and the boys had a Star Wars weekend. They watched episodes I-III because they hadn't seen them and it was hampering their Lego Star Wars Wii-playing (Sebastian thought that Qui Gon Jinn was a bad dude. When I asked why, Sebi said that it was because he got killed). They also went out, had friends over, went bowling, and had all this Valentine-ness for us when we got home.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
He is in constant motion from the moment he wakes up until he finally drops to sleep. He wants to crawl all over everything, pull up on everything, unplug everything, and stick everything in his mouth. He's particularly fixated on the night lights that change color (which the Professor has always detested -- he's been known to wake from a dead sleep in the middle of the night and stumble cursing out to the hall to rip one out of the socket).
Joss is starting to stand alone for a moment, and he's just beginning to cruise along furniture at the right height. His favorite toy is a set of stacking rings from his wise Aunt Betsy. He loves to dump them off, smack them together, and hit them on the floor.
Joss still loves bath time every night with his nighttime wash in the jetted tub, and always has his hooded frog towel ready afterward (from John and Clarissa).
He is staying pat with 6 teeth, though I keep expecting him to pop out with another two on the right side any day now. Several times a day he falls and bonks his head and wails about it, or he opens a drawer, grips it, and then shuts it on his fingers and squeals. Just tonight Will and I were working on a school project and Joss screamed. We both looked up, and he had fallen head first into his toy bucket. There he was with his little behind up in the air, and his feet wiggling, and we ran to get him, but we had to laugh because it was just like a cartoon.
He gets very excited whenever the cat comes by. He eats at least a banana a day if you let him, and he also plows through a pear and lots of Rice Chex cereal in addition to his regular portion of baby food.
He's very quick to smile, and would rather be happy than not. He's very good natured about being picked up and moved around by his siblings, especially when he gets too interested in the electronics. And yes, I realize that the paragraphs are pretty arbitrary, but give me a break. He still wakes up once a night, and I don't always go back to sleep afterward . . .
Friday, February 06, 2009
Jeff and Saydi gave us a cheesemaking kit and I'd tried it twice before. Here, for the benefit of anyone else trying to make 30 min. mozarella, is what we did. You dissolve the rennet in 1/4 cup of water. Separately dissolve 1 1/2 tsp in a cup of water. Pour one gallon of milk (pasteurized but not ultra pasteurized) into a stainless steel pan and stir in the citric acid. Heat to 90 degrees, then take off the heat and stir in the rennet. I let it sit about 8 minutes (instead of 5). Then you have to slice the curds, which is what the girls are doing here. Called something else if you are a schoolage boy.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
He was famous for big pancake breakfasts. They were the most memorable meals on our visits to them in Portland, with Grandpa flipping them on the griddle and scurrying around their kitchen. I remember him making them in Tilden park for our Memorial Day picnics too. Uncle Marshall reported at the funeral that he had mastered this meal and had passed on the family secret to Marshall's branch of the family, so I was tickled that he was willing to share it with Maddie when she asked him. Not least because I make some truly atrocious pancakes. Here's to improvement!
He also made peanut brittle around Christmas time. I remember this both from the tins that they would bring down when they visited, and because he removed the marble from our entry hall washstand to cool the brittle on when he made it at our house.
Grandpa Leo gave us helicopter rides when we were kids. Good to remember that he was vibrant and strong and taller than we were once upon a time. He drove a Chevy Impala when I was young, and I remember meeting the Nelsons at the Nut Tree on the last leg of their trip down to visit us.
He was a mechanic for diesel engines from the time he was 18 until he retired at 68, working for the same company even as it changed hands and names and machinery. I always associate him (along with my dad) as one of those people who could fix anything, and I recall lots of fixing and tinkering and basement time when he was around. Leo was also of the incredibly hardworking variety, usually up at 5:30am in the epoch when I remember him, working first in his garden, then walking or splitting firewood he'd cut down for his wood stove. Even vacations were full of jobs like chopping down the tree in our backyard, and repairing sundry appliances and automobiles.
Leo also loved music and had a lovely tenor voice. We heard John sing one of his standards, "Spirit of God" which was new to me, but I do remember him singing hymns around the piano with us, and more recently, a duet of "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" with Roger the day we blessed Madeline. He had an optimistic outlook, a fun and energetic personality, and was game for a good time. When he met my father and gave his blessing on my parents' wedding, my dad had to return to Provo to work before the engagement ring was finished. Once it was, Grandpa Leo took my mother up to Rocky Butte and serenaded her before giving her the ring for my father in absentia. It strikes me as indicative of a person who knew how to celebrate life's events.
Finally, Grandpa Leo loved my kids. Rob and I couldn't see them without having both Leo and Eunice telling us how proud they are of us, what a good job they think we're doing and how much they think of the kids. I feel extremely fortunate that our children have been able to know him this long, and will have memories of their own from Grandpa's life.