A little bit more about well… me

Standard

This little blogger turtle is writing again.  This time to, rather belatedly  [I have many good qualities.  Punctuality is not one of them], share the second award I was kindly given by Not Supermom– the Tell Me About Yourself Award.  Thank you, doll!

So, The Tell Me About Yourself Award requires the recipient to:

  • Thank the person who gave the award.
  • List 7 things that people may not know about you.
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and notify them. (Um… maybe not 15, ok?  How about seven. Seven sounds like a good number.)
  • Post the badge on your blog.

It’s all rather flattering, really.

Seven things ya’ll may not know.  Hmmm…

Ok,

1. I really like doing old-fashioned, crafty things, like crochet and baking, sewing and gardening.  I get creative and experimental with them, making stuff for people I love.  At these times, my fella hums ‘The Little House on the Prairie’ theme song at me teasingly.  However, I do tend to do these things in spurts, though, and then get wrapped up in work and leave the hobbies for months at a time.  Hence, why the garden occasionally resembles the wild jungle of Borneo.

2. When I was a kid, I used to ride my bicycle over to the Helen B. Hoffman Library [an absolutely brilliant little town library], pack a picnic lunch, and spend the whole of Saturday afternoon there.  I’d check out stacks of books so tall that when I held them I couldn’t see over, pile them into my backpack, and then spend the rest of the week reading until the wee hours of the night.

3. I have an exorbitantly large family, with first cousins numbering more than two dozen (especially since we’re all older now and many are married with kids of their own).   Don’t get to see them very often because we’re spread out all over the US, but it’s nice trying to keep up with scads of cousins.

4. Speaking of numbers, I realized recently that since I’ve taught 9 years this January, and I’ve averaged 140 students a year, that means I’ve been a part (albeit a small one) in the lives of at least 1,260 students!

5.  I’ve recently become a fan of BBC radio show ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.’  It’s been running pretty much forever, but I only recently discovered this bit of audio foolishness via my friends from England (Alan) and Australia (Jeffers).  Thanks, chaps!

6.  Twirling on a tile floor in socks is still brilliant fun, even now that I’m supposed to be a proper grown-up.

7.  My fella Dave is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Completely.  Let me ‘splain.  No, it’s too much.  Let’s let Amy sum up, shall we?  “You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, when you meet them you think, “Not bad. They’re okay.” And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful.”  My Dave’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.

And now for the bloggers…. forgive the repetition, dears, but they are wonderful folks…
1. My sister, over at Life of a Tally Mom

2. Katie, over at Scandalous Kate Strikes Again

3.   The Vores, over at What We Blog About When We Blog About Love

4.  Doctor Thomas, who moderates our The Ark in Space blog

5. Ginger Doodles, over at (where else?) Ginger Doodles

6. Anita Marie, over at Irregular Bones

7. Jeff, over at Jeffrey Scott

repost: review of “Doctor Who and the Pirates” from Big Finish

Standard

Title: Doctor Who and the Pirates

Produced by: Big Finish

Series: Sixth Doctor and Dr. Evelyn Smythe

Summary: Evelyn arrives unexpectedly at the quarters of one of her former students, Sally, and proceeds, with the Doctor’s help, to tell a story of piratical adventure to the protesting Sally.  With each episode, this story takes another unexpected turn.

Unexpected Thing: Since it includes Gilbert and Sullivan music, I was under the impression that the story would be silly and lightweight.  I should have known better, given Big Finish’s other productions.  I can’t blow this for you, but just have some tissues nearby, ok?

Now, this my first Big Finish download, and I’m glad that I started here.  (Don’t worry if the sixth doc wasn’t your cup of tea on tv; he wasn’t mine, either.  He’s good here, and they make fun of his silly coat.)  I’ve been in love with Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas for many years, and the pastiches of their songs are what attacted me to this story in the first place; so, let’s begin with the music…

The compositions here are very, very strong.  Gilbert was a brilliant lyricist, and many writers since have been baffled by trying to update his lyrics.  The production team here did a lovely job within the second and third episodes, with the highlight being Colin Baker’s solo “I am the very model of a Gallafrayian Buccaneer.”  [That one’s getting separated and going with my Chameleon Circuit playlist. :) ]Very clever work, chaps.  The overture (which is actually played at the end) combines the Who theme baseline with several themes and harmonies from a variety of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.  It’s beautiful and worth the price of the download alone.

Another particular bit of loveliness, given my love for words, is the nature of the meta-narrative (these elements are strongest in the first episode, but resonate throughout).  Evelyn is telling the story, but she keeps getting confused and having to go back and change bits.  In addition, we soon learn that she also is hiding something.

If you don’t wish to know any more, go to the Big Finish site and download it now.  http://www.bigfinish.com/43-Doctor-Who-and-The-Pirates

**** Here there be spoilers****

Soon, the story spirls out of control, as Evelyn gets in too far before realising that she can’t escape the story without finishing it, including the parts she doesn’t want to remember.  Only after listening to the entire story does the subtitle (common in G & S works) carry its meaning and impact : The Lass That Lost a Sailor.

Speaking of Young Jem, Doctor Who as a program is rather known for its high body counts, especially of nameless soldiers, guards, and townsfolk.  Just look at Resurrection of the Daleks, for heaven’s sake!  After a while, as viewers, we come to regard these deaths of nameless guys as blasé.  In this story, though, the author writes a very powerful argument against our callous attitude towards the death of extras and minor characters.  The name games that Evelyn plays with the sailors first establish them as fairly interchangable, but this comes to an unexpected fruition in the deaths as the story continues.  Each murder builds in power, until Jem’s death becomes unbearable.  We don’t even hear/ see it, but Jem’s murder forms the crux of the story and lends it heart-breaking strength.  In fact, the tone change as we approach it provides such glaring contrast to earlier episodes that it reveals them to be Evelyn’s attempts to whistle in the dark.  It also gives us a glimpse, perhaps, why the Doctor gallavants with such jocularity around the universe, even though he carries with him the weight of constant death and evil.

Following up on the lessons we and Sally learn as we hear the story, the Doctor’s final scene alone with Sally provides a capstone to the adventure.  It could very easily have descended to preachiness, but it rather neatly side-steps this.  Instead, it just reinforces what we are all thinking, as we muse with Sally.

Overall– a strong story that unexpectedly stayed with me.  I’d definately recommend it for anyone who likes radio drama, G & S, or the Doctor.

Rather wonderful, in every way

Standard

So, um, my dear friend Michelle, who swooshes her cape over at Adventures of Not Supermom [Go and read her. She is brilliant!], has done the sweetest thing for my Dave and I. I blush just thinking of it.

http://www.adventuresofnotsupermom.com/2011/09/dave-and-elizabeths-happy-ever-after.html

Here’s the direct link to our Chip-In.  And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Dave and Eliz’s Happy Ever After

blushes

Standard

Quite to my delight and surprise, I was given blogging awards by two lovely ladies last month.  Now, compared to these funny, fantastic women, I’m a little turtle of an inconsistent blogger, so being picked is quite special.  Thank you.

As I hear that the beginning is a very good place to start, Ginger LaRue over at Ginger Doodles honored me with the Liebster Award.  She’s a firecracker, is our Ginger, with sweet caramel at her heart.  Right now, she’s blogging her way through December with beautiful music.  I’m proud to call her my friend.  How to describe Ginger?… Well, let’s put it this way, if this were the 1940’s, any pilot, including Lord Flashheart!, would be proud to name his plane after her.

She thinks I’m a Disney character come to life, bless her.  I may dance about the house barefoot and gather flowers from the garden, but Disney princess?  I mean,  teach the woodland creatures to waltz just that one time…

So, the  Liebster Award (German for Friend, doncha know) highlights up-and-coming blogs, those with less than 200 followers. I don’t know about the less than 200 of some on my list, but as that’s math, I’m just going to ignore it anyway.

The Rules:

Upon receiving the Liebster Award, you must do the following:
1.  Show your thanks to the blogger(s) who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.
5. And best of all – have fun!

My 5 Bloggers of Brilliance are:

1. http://www.adventuresofnotsupermom.com/  Because she kicks it up to levels unknown to blogger-kind! Seriously.

2. http://lifeofatallymom.com/ Because she is my sister and I love her.  Also she is a frugal-living genius and a great mom.

3. http://jefflaneaudiobooks.com/ Because he’s a fantastic up-and-coming writer who shares his novels as free weekly podcasts; I had the chance to interview him about his first novel for the podcast

4. http://scandalous-kate.blogspot.com/ Because she is Scandalous!  and she makes people snort beverages. On purpose.

5. http://www.talulahmankiller.com/ Because she’s brilliant, she’s back to writing, and her cats do not obey the laws of this universe

Also, a very special mention to http://thearkinspace.wordpress.com/ where the rather wonderful Doctor Thomas posts the Special Features to our podcast.  Check it out– it’s great fun!

Passing on the love.

 

Addendum: Yon Ginger above sent me a pretty awesome Christmas present!  Her delicious snickerdoodles and a mug from The Bloggess!

cookies and a sassy mug

 

oh dear

Standard

So, as it turns out, I was absolutely rubbish at blogging on vacation– far too wrapped up in just enjoying the experiences moment by moment, wandering around London in absolute awe or curling up on the couch with an blanket and a Target novel on a chilly afternoon or wandering down the boardwalk in Brighton, hand in hand with my fella.

I do still want to share some of my marvelous experiences, though, so I’ll write them up a few at a time– with some pictures that Dave took (as my camera battery died almost immediately upon arrival and my adaptor went caput. Ah well, he’s a better photographer than I am anyway.) 

 So, stay tuned, folks.