20 December, 2008

Pet abuse?

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

What is the impulse that humans have to do cutesy things to their pets around the holidays? And the things they put on themselves are even worse! lol

We followed the trend this year. I couldn't help it, there was an evil genius at work.

I thought my 13 year old cat would be the grumpiest about this, because she likes NOTHING! Instead, she was very sedate about it and just gave me the long suffering look. :)

My daughter's beast Leon however wasn't pleased, but he was tolerant and actually didn't run away. lol

The dog, Shadow, who is normally long suffering and willing to do just about anything, didn't much like dressing up as Santa. I couldn't keep the coat on him. ;)

And last, and the littlest, Mystique, thoroughly hated every minute of the ordeal and let us know it! We actually bought the suit for her!

Merry Yule from a puzzled goddess

18 December, 2008

Snow is good, right?

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

It's snowing; it's been snowing; it is supposed to keep snowing. Unlike my daughter, I like snow. I just feel so rushed this holiday that I feel like it is cutting into my already short supply of time. It doesn't help that I'm trying to actually SLEEP for, like, 8 or so hours a day, even if it's in snatches.

The pain induced insomnia is a bitch, and it's not like I get anything productive done while I'm waiting to sleep. I'd love to be able to say I'm Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker when my head's exploding, but such is not the case. I'm lucky month to month if I can keep up with the grocery shopping and meal planning, some laundry, helping with some homework and riding the kids to do their chores. We try to go to all the home games at least for all the sports our kids are involved with as well. Whew! I understand why people get so depressed this time of year.

Add debt that's piled up when the oil companies raped us all and necessities I've put off buying for the kids and ourselves and I'm feeling the pinch.

We finally broke down and got new cell phones. Yes, even for our kids. We got the best models that come free with our plan (free, hah!) but I also got the program that t-mobile has that will allow me to give everyone allowances of our plan minutes, and I can change it depending on if they have completed their responsibilities or not. (*evil laugh*) THIS I can get into!

What sucks is that now I have to learn chat speak...ugh!

from a frazzled puzzled goddess

16 December, 2008

I promised a look at how it went...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

For those not interested in Medieval Illumination, ignore this post.

I started this scroll months ago, when I knew we'd have to make some kind of quasi-official request of Three Mountains of their patronage. I asked on Known Worlde Scribal lists about wording, and got no good answer so I proceeded to deal with it myself.

"Unto the Most Noble Alfric and Jill, Baron and Baroness Three Mountains do the peoples on your eastern borders send you greetings on this 13th day of December, Anno Societatus XLIII, being 2008 in the common era.

We seek the boon of your kind patronage as we attempt to strengthen our great kingdom, An Tir, by building a canton on your eastern border in the counties of Hood River and Wasco.

In support of this we do make our marks as the people of the incipient Canton of Haukesgaard, do the heralds deem it meet.

HL Kerryk Wolfram, Rebecca C. Graham, HL Sannan Cairgnorn, Ashayet, Meredith Elizabeth Walter, Juliet duBlunt, Elfwyn, Hayley Graham, Steven Graham, Matt palmer, Cedryk Farskyes, Meg Lethel, Connor Cameron Hawk, Epona of Vanir-Law, Casandra O'Dell, James Douglas O'Dell, Elfwyn

I took inspiration from 3M's website where they were using the Grand Heures of the Duc de Burgundy (if I remember correctly. It's either the grand or the Belle. He commissioned MANY books of hours.) So I knew I wanted to place it somewhere in the Gothic time period. (Well beyond my own personna's time!) So...I looked through my scribal books and came across a discontinued library copy of a facsimilie production of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c. 1440) I won't bore you with the background of how they dated the manuscript, etc. You can read the book or ask me, if I remember beyond yesterday. *grin*I knew that I wanted the elements of a hawk (heraldically an eagle with jesses it seems like), 3 mountains (for the representative barony), a deep valley or gorge and a keep. All of these elements are part of our heraldry for our group, and I wanted to represent the group.

I had the drawing of the winner of the 'best representation of a hawk,' from May Revel last year (yes, we've been working on getting this together for almost 2 years!) and I wanted to use that so that Meredith(Missa) would still feel included in spirit though she's travelled afar from us in body! This also pushed the era beyond mine, into one of more realistic looking miniatures.

So, materials choice. I can't currently afford true vellum, so hot press art paper of 90-120 lbs is considered an appropriate substitute. I think mine was Arches 110lb press. I used a quarter of a sheet to get the scroll to be a good size for matting and framing without special orders.

Gold choice. Gold is a large part of this piece, but I can't afford patent or leaf gold currently to do gilding or shell gold for painting so I had to be satisfied with the use of Sumi Gold Watercolor Ink.
I used Winsor-Newton designer goache paints and one or two colors of M.Graham designer goache.

I first created a cartoon on an 11"X17" piece of graph paper, cut down to 11"X15". I drafted out the margins, the calligraphy and letter blocks, the vine margin area and the central picture area. The margins on the left in the original are larger, since it was meant to be bound into a manuscript, I tried to keep that look. Also, the upper margin was smaller than the bottom, again I tried to keep the look.

I didn't want human figures in the border of this so I replaced the seated monk with some additional acanthus leaves and a bird in the border. My scroll isn't an exact match on purpose, just, "done in the style of."

The picture was sketched in on the cartoon and the text spaced. I did forget to draw in a frame around that actual picture, which I would correct if attempting this style again. I would also allow more spacing in the calligraphy. But this was the first time I'd tried this hand, so the results were acceptable, if not great. ;)

Since we had people showing up at many different times to sign this thing, I had the signatures placed on the scroll before the wording was calligraphied. They were shown the cartoon with the final wording and design so they knew what they were signing.

I also proceded backwards from most in that I did the calligraphy before the illumination, since I was much more comfortable with my illumination skills than with my calligraphy skills on a brand new hand. :)

I had a delay in the middle of this process when I lost the majority of the sight in my left eye due to the liquid separating from the cornea, supposed to get better sometime soon, but I got to the point where I couldn't wait for that. So, this was finished by a one-eyed scribe. :)

I transfered the design from the cartoon to the actual scroll via lightbox. Then I worked the calligraphy. I didn't feel up to the challenge of breaking down the form of gothic used in these hours and coming up with my own ductus, so I went to Marc Grogin's book and used the Gothic Textura from the period involved. My paleography is not quite up to doing it myself yet. :)

I kept my color pallet small and bright and close to the colors in the original. Spectrum Red and Grenadine red highlighting, Pale cadmium yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Burnt Umber, zinc white and titanium white.

This is how the final scroll turned out. I won't point out any more of my mistakes, but gee it was a learning experience!

from a puzzled goddess who went medieval all over a scroll :)

15 December, 2008

SCA Events and Wow! What wordy people we all are . ..

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

But then I have friends with such insightful things to say! I am finally caught up on all the blogs I try to follow...I think.

I have to apologize for being out of it for the last few weeks. My eyesight is pretty well shot and my cold is still lingering.

We did manage to get to an SCA event this last weekend. It's been one we've looked forward to, Yule Feast, hosted by the Baronies of Stromgard and 3 Mountains. One more step closer to becoming a real group out here on the Oregon side of the Gorge. We got to petition their excellencies Alfric and Jill to support our efforts. We now look to having our efforts published and proclaimed in the Portland area for a few months, and if people don't object we'll be able to submit our name and device and file our paperwork. Then it will be the turn of Kingdom and Crown to see if we will be real. ("Oh, if only we could be a real group!" lol)

We gave gifts and had fun. I tried my hand at period cookies for their excellencies Stromgard. Her Excellency Reginleif was amazingly sweet for trying the cookies immediately. I doubt she could have been at all hungry considering the excellent feast that was there, but I finally got my chance to make truly period cookies. (For those who are wondering, "Jumbals" and it was either from, "To the King's Taste" or, "To the Queen's Taste." I think the latter based on the time period of the reference, but I'm too lazy to go look it up again right now.) Kerryk gave their Excellencies Three Mountains some of his fine blackberry liquor, and we had handmade glass beads, a beaded necklace, a period game board, some apple brandy(? I think) and more of the cookies. Alfric is a diabetic, as are Kerryk and I, so the food items will probably get passed on, heck it's largess, it will all probably get passed on.

Kerryk DID try to give away Cedryk during the ceremony, over his strenuous objections, but the Baron wasn't taking. :) {I don't think anyone but Francessca noticed me trying to give her away. ;D} I finished the scroll with time to spare and we got to bring it home! Now I get to look at all the things I did wrong until we have a new seneschal for the group and we can pass it on! :) I'll blog later about the scroll and how it turned out.

We had a wonderful time talking to old friends and making new ones. Kerryk and Cedryk were glued to the fighting (I have 60 pictures of one fighter's armor so that I can make a gambeson like his for Cedryk. *grin*) Francesca was helping out and enjoying seeing friends from past events. She even got to sit on St. Nicholas' lap! I, being a creature of habit, painted on charters, ate, talked, and ate. :)

Mom Elfwyn made sure to share the period porn she found with my family LOL and got her grandson to cringe. (Notice the fingers are SPREAD over the eyes though!)

Wirawen danced divinely and it was like poetry. There was live music most of the day and even some dancing. Sven One Eye won the cooking contest. The marzipan was shaped and some spiced and placed on 2 big trays and disappeared! lol Chrodek and his family were there and we got to sit close enough together that we could share conversation. So, all in all, it was a great event.

And for those who let the weather forecast frighten them...since when have the weathermen been accurate? lol We didn't have any bad weather or snow until 3 or 4 hours after we got home! (Though you wouldn't know it by the number of times my big sister called me to check on me. *grin* She's inherited my mom's worrying tendencies, ouch!)

until next time from a very medieval feeling puzzled goddess

I have been flogged back to the keyboard...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

even though the Goddess of Everything is a very nice lady, she is a strict taskmistress. (NO, not in any BD/S&M way! get your minds back up in the gutter with the rest of us...where it's crowded!)

She actually reminded me that it's been almost a month/over a month since I posted. I'm still sick, the kids are still around and Rick hasn't left me yet. All good! LOL

I will say that we had a good visit with an old friend who was home from Iraq for a few days. Have been following his book, it's doing very well. (Thanks for giving the boy advice on his future. He's so intense it's scary sometimes.)
But I blush to say I haven't kept up on the blogs that he and his wife write in the last few weeks. (Sorry guys!) I seem to have been doing my level best to cough a lung up or lose an eye.

My girl is taking a break from sports for herself and has taken a job as the scorekeeper for the basketball team. So she gets to see more of the games than we do!

The boy is playing basketball (or not playing this last week because I don't want his ankle permanently injured!) Currently he's very irritated with mom, cuz mom won't let him play or practice on his sprained ankle...cuz the boy has NO concept of when to quit and give it a rest, and his coach won't make him sit out when the drills are rough on an ankle that has been permanently injured since October Football season. We discovered the kid is a bit flat footed and pronates his foot when he's running. Orthodics correct some of it, but the start and stop drills are hard on ankles that aren't totally used to running in the correct position yet. :) So mom is the bad guy.

I'll just have to deal. I'd rather he and his teammates were irritated with me now, than find out when he's 18 that his ankle isn't up to the career he wants to follow. He's got the typical sports mentality of ice it, tape it, bandage it, if the pain is tolerable keep playing....hmmm wonder where he got that (speaks the woman with a leg scarred from a legiment repair and who spent part of every season in an ankle brace or nursing broken toes or fingers. Playing through pain is one thing, but continuing to injure a joint and keeping it too weak to heal is something else entirely.

This picture is unusual for a game in that he is standing almost still while his teammate is zipping by.

This second one is much more indicative of the shots I normally get. :)

He's lost about 20 lbs between football and basketball...and he has muskcles! He's almost not my baby anymore! (*whine*) I think all the weight is being redistributed in his arms and shoulders!

Sorry, I wasn't going to make this whole post about the boy, but it's what I'm thinking about right now.

from a sneezy puzzled goddess

19 November, 2008

Immune systems are nice...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I wish I had one. I'm about a month into my yearly 3 to 4 months of cold, flu, and general malaise. I really should have gotten those flu and pneumonia shots this year. I think they cut the time I was sick last year by about half.

I run constantly to not even stay afloat. Crap. All of us have so much going on that none of us are getting enough sleep.

I'm playing musical bed with my animals every time I do try to sleep so I've almost reached the point of giving up. My old, grumpy kitty is fine. She lays in my arms now like my kids used to do when they were babies. ;) It is a nice feeling. (Of course, they never had quite that much fur!)

The dear husband's dog on the other hand ( I don't claim him. I won't, he craps on my floors when he's mad and he gets WAY too friendly to the kitten and to visitor's legs! It's embarrassing!) this animal thinks that he needs to sleep ON mom's legs. ALL night! I end up waking up with back spasms and a sciatica and half of my body numb cuz my muscles have just taken too much abuse already to put up with his, admittedly slight, weight added to it.

My sleep doctor says that all animals should be kicked out of the bed. (Try telling that to a 13 year old b@tch cat with claws. I'll stand back while you explain it to her, repeatedly!) I think I'd miss our furry friends, but then I missed cuddling with the kids and "morning snuggles," once they got old enough to be on and about their day when they grew up. I do have to admit that I'm lucky enough to get snuggles and hugs from them when they come home from school and I'm napping. I know they are just trying to put off the evil moment when they have to start homework and their chores, but I delude myself into believing they like the contact. ;D

Enough whiney BS from today. We're all alive, in debt, and dreading the thought of a 15 year old boy with a learner's permit...ouch!

Can I sign up to skip his birthday this year?

Excuse the disjointed ramblings. My posts are not nearly as well thought out as they should be.

from a puzzled goddess watching the time scream by at warp speed

01 November, 2008

Halloween has come and gone...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I don't know whether I feel ecstatic or panicked. The girl was working out a costume at the last minute and wanted me to help her sew something. Yuk! I dislike sewing intensely, but the thought of digging my sewing machine out of the pile of stuff that has accumulated on it since my dear husband decided to rearrange my living room....no and hell no. Just don't have the energy.

So we talked, and she said that a belly dance costume would be okay. hmmm....I have a few of those. Haven't fit me for many years...might as well get some use out of all the work putting them together.

Made me want to cry. She looks MUCH better in them than I ever did, and she is only 13! (Hear the internal mother wailing! My Baby!)

I don't remember EVER looking this good!

from a puzzled goddess who misses her baby...waaaaaah

25 October, 2008

Just catching up...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I'm doing my fall/winter sickness thing again this year. Hmmm...I probably shouldn't have put off going to the doctor and getting that pneumonia and flu shot they recommended, huh? I seem to have been nothing but sick for the last month. Between the physical malaise, the mental kicking myself and the constant pain I have been fairly unproductive.

I did take the opportunity though to come up with an "accomplishments" sheet for myself that I post on the fridge and update throughout the day. This is allowing me to affirm that I'm not a total waste of skin and that I DO accomplish quite a few things during my days and evenings. I've also got a breakdown of the day on it where I record pain levels. I've decided it's time again to try and figure out how I might be able to 'manage' the pain instead of just enduring it. So I'm trying to get some data (how concrete sequential of me, I know!) and then I'll throw some graphs out to see if my pain levels have any kind of pattern. (Silly me, why would I think there was a pattern? lol)

Anyway, I've been madly busy with the kids homecoming week and the wrap up of their sports seasons for football and volleyball and trying to keep them on top of their chores and homework and helping out when I could. :(

I DON'T like playing taxi. I hate it, hate it, hate it. But I like being involved in my kid's lives, so the good with the bad.

For a woman who doesn't know what a tight end IS, beyond the obvious!, I sure am learning a great deal about the manly game of football, and WHY? young men like to play it. Did you know they compare jerseys after a game to see whose has the most blood on it? It's got to be a male thing.

Leaving sports...(can we really, please?)
We've eaten out way too often this month, but we've done it with the kids so that we don't miss that family togetherness time I've become used to at the dinner table. I think it's one of the main reasons that our kids still talk to us. :) But I truly think that some of the reason the hubby suggests going out so often is that when we don't, we both look around and wince at all the things we should be doing. It doesn't have a tendency to make for a very relaxing evening.

Not much more to say. I'm missing out on an event with my husband right now because I really need to try and unwind and get the pain levels under control. So...it's back to meditation, medication, bio-feedback, and bed.

from a puzzled goddess

13 October, 2008

Scary people...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I'm still fighting that cold, but I looked at some of the blogs I follow, and was extremely disturbed by this:

Since when do people running for office in a country that supposedly believes in the separation of church and state hold a prayer that denigrates one of the largest growing religious segments in the country?

Obviously, now.

I am so scared about what is going on in this country. I've become afraid to raise my voice in protest because I'm not sure my country protects my right to protest anymore. Even writing this scares me. I wish I could be as calm as Deborah Blake in her response to Palin.

from a puzzled goddess who is shaking in her broom closet

07 October, 2008

The Catch-22 of health and the mystique of a busy family...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Not that there's anything particularly full of mystique about my family...just the felines. :)

It's been awhile. I've been fighting the dreaded winter cold and have had a REALLY bad week, pain-wise. It's always a Catch-22 when one thing goes south...everything else jumps on board for the ride. I've discovered I'm pretty much night blind so won't be going much of anywhere up and down the freeway here. The oncoming lights totally destroy my vision. I knew it was coming. It's only going to get worse so I need to develop coping strategies now.

Speaking of sight...Aargh! I look around and want to put on blinders. I can't walk to the restroom without being afraid something from my son's room is going to come out and get me.

Sometimes it does...Mystique has decided that he is HER boy! No doubt about it, and she is so cute climbing up and down the ladder on the loft bed. I kid you not; she navigates it like a pro. I keep trying to catch a picture of it, but can't get to the camera in time. She just doesn't like to perform on command. Ya think? How catlike of her. :) But she will pose like Bast.

My boy has inherited his dad's lack of organization....groan. It wouldn't be so bad except I refuse to go around and pick up after people anymore. So my house looks like a war zone. Each of us has our own territory and woe to anyone who encroaches on the territory of another! And each of us swears we know where EVERYTHING is...so don't move it or you'll lose an arm!

Sometimes I feel like the dining room table is Alsace-Lorraine. :)

And the plate just gets fuller(?) more full (?) stuffed! Now, what ever possessed my daughter to run for 9th grade rep? We're counting down to their spirit week for their homecoming dance the weekend after next, and I've spent more time discussing floats and their construction and what will and won't work than I ever thought I would need to. :)

On top of that load, she threw her back out again at practice tonight. I'm afraid she's not going to be playing in the game tomorrow night. Both kids seem to have been plagued by injuries this season. I think some of it is that they both decided this Summer that exercise wasn't a priority...gee...ya think they're paying for it now?

I'm taking a break from the first of the month bill paying, so I better get back to it so I can sleep before dawn.
Here's a picture I had to include for shear silliness.

Blessings to all from a puzzled goddess who hates monthly bills

30 September, 2008

And when do I pamper me?...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Volleyball and football season are almost over...only about another 3 weeks. But now we're heading into cold and flu season. The boy has the sniffles and has passed them on to me. I've slept all day curled up with my kitty. Her temperment hasn't improved in 13 years!

He'll probably be well in a day or two with enough sleep. Me? I'll be sick for the next 3 or 4 months the way my immune system works! I pampered myself with a bubble bath in candlelight with music tonight and my dear husband was a sweetheart and did the dishes I'd promised my daughter I'd do while she was at her game. [I lied!] I did TRY to do them...just not very hard. :)

I still probably will, as well as make lunches for everyone, switch the loads of laundry, fold 3 or 4 or 5 loads of laundry, run the first of the month bills, and then finally get to the stuff I need to have done for later in the week. Jeesh, being disabled is hard work! [and that really is no lie.]

I'm just putting off the inevitable...so I'll say goodbye.

from a puzzled goddess

28 September, 2008

Gee, really? a violation of copyright? No...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Unless you've been in a dark hole and haven't listened to much internet/computer news lately or you aren't addicted to facebook, you've probably heard that Mattel and Hasbro are sueing the makers of Scrabulous.

The Indian courts where they sued weren't so sympathetic to the big toymakers however.

The LA Times reported that the Indian courts didn't think the game was a violation of the Scrabble trademark, just the name. :) It seems an interesting take on it, since the rules are exactly the same as on that moldy game that most of us have buried in a closet somewhere...or in the local Goodwill!

I know that's where I got one of the last Scrabble boards we had; I think this one was actually given to us by a friend. We thought it would help the kid's vocabulary to play. After the first 5 or 6 times that mom and dad wiped the board with them, it wasn't a popular game anymore. Surprise! LOL

But this summer, when a good friend was laid up and recovering from some major surgery, I got hooked on playing the email version of this silly @ss, turn based game that I rarely would even bother to pull out of the games closet. Wow! Hasbro and Mattel missed the boat on this one. All that good will and marketing revenue...gone, in the space of a dumb lawsuit. Much better to co-opt the application and buy out the developers.

The old scrabulous site is now gone. With no warning for those of us who had games going...but I've now found Wordscraper a much improved version of Scrabble on facebook that allows you to set your own game rules. :) Now if they just had an email version of the game.

Ha, I just found out that the scrabulous application is going to be lexulous.com and will have the email games back up in a few days. I tried out their solitaire mode just a bit ago and their Java ap killed my firefox sessions...so maybe I'll give it a day or two. :)

from a puzzled goddess who was enjoying improving her vocabulary, even if I had no idea what half those words meant...

27 September, 2008

Musical peace train time...take 3 and more...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

There's this cool place on the web that will let you play with playlists of songs and create one that people can listen to. Move over social networking, this is just too much fun!

After I wrote the first music blog the other night, I went out on facebook and looked for an ap that would allow me to put music on my profile, like I can on myspace (not that I can run it or hear it since I'm using Firefox! aargh!) But I found this cool little thing to share! :) I f you don't like my music choices, just turn it off, or jump the page.

I just think it was cool that I found so many different types out there!

26 September, 2008

Obi wan and these are not the droids....eh hem...dinosaurs...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Truly, I would only use this power for good. I could see being an @ss kicken Jedi Master who'd screwed up and trained one of the biggest baddies in the universe...yeah that sounds like my Karma...everything's better once you're dead!

One more of those silly quizes I get sucked into because they make me think about aspects of my life I probably don't want to consider. This was my result, (I left their advertising bar on the bottom in case you want to try it yourself.)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)
You are smart and kind. You aren't mean to anyone and always think ahead. You don't like war but you aren't a hippie. You only use violence in defence and only rarely hurt people. You are worried about your friends and you are very honerable and obey your master.
And now make your own Gift App!
Millions of people will use it - its really easy and fun!

Strangely enough, this evaluation isn't that far off. Oh what I wouldn't give for the kick butt abilities of a Xena or Wonderwoman. But since I wasn't raised in Ancient times or with the
Amazons, I guess I'll stick to trying to be honorable. It's not a bad place to be in life. My kids, my husband, my family, our life, what else is there to hold on to and fight for?

Through all the hype and crap and second guessing about the past and the future, that's what it boils down to. So Obi Wan has a geas I can relate to.

I really would enjoy using the, "not the droids you are looking for," power when I'm trying to keep the family out of trouble :) And yes, the big kid gets in almost as much trouble as the children! But that's what I love about him....and I don't even have to be the grownup all the time anymore, to the mortification of my children.

from a superpowered puzzled goddess who wants to ROCK!

Hey, if you ever want to find out what kind of Dinosaur you are, I'm a diplodicus!
A long neck and a long tail means a long life for you. Your footsteps echoe like thunder and your enormous size and company reduces your risk of danger.
And now make your own Gift App!

from the roaring kickin' @ss dinosaur wielding a light saber goddess who is puzzled.

25 September, 2008

Musical peace train time...take 2

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I messed up and posted this before I wanted to...so sorry, will schedule it correctly now. :)

I was just reminded tonight (or a night or two ago!) of how much I loved Cat Stevens' music when I was younger. (Won't say how much younger or how long ago!)

My musical taste must have atrophied many years ago, at least according to my son. :) I REALLY like most of Cat Stevens' music still, and Janis Ian, and Harry Chapin.

I remember my freshman year of college, my roommate and I would call the radio station constantly and request that Harry Chapin's, "Taxi," and then, "Sequel (to Taxi)," be played...over and over. I think my roommate had major patience with me! :) [Thanks to the Goddess of Everything!]

Sequel can be found here.

I recently replaced one of the major Janis Ian albums that I had originally on *blush* 8-track and cassette. At one point I had all her music; I've since discovered that she has more out! Again thanks to the Goddess of Everything for posting one on her MySpace that I didn't recognize!

A scan of YouTube has reminded me of how many of these ballad singers I loved in the past. It is actually music that is still pleasant for me to listen to, even when the head is pounding, which is absolutely amazing considering I normally wince at any music played because it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. Kind of like my son's taste in Speedmetal....NOT mom's taste, which he is heartily glad about! LOL

I listened to a new band, the one that's on his profile at myspace...the band's called Five Finger Death Punch...he likes their song, "The Way of the Fist."

I don't care for it, but I did listen to their song, "The Bleeding," and actually liked the melody of it...I could have done without the screaming in the chorus, but it was a good song.

The song by 5FDP that I think the lyrics really would have resounded with me as a teenager is, "Never Enough," I SO could relate to the feeling expressed in the song, and sometimes, I wonder if our son doesn't feel that way too when we push him so hard to live up to his potential. He's such a good kid.

And on the distaff teenage music front, my daughter recently was checking out Pink. I've got to say I was guilty of judging an artist by their looks...I LOVE the video, "Stupid Girls." My daughter thought the lyrics and the video were hilarious.

She actually had a Seether song played at her Step up ceremony last year. Shock of shocks, I like Seether and discovered them about the same time my kids did! LOL She's such a smart and responsible kid that it was kind of a shocker for her to choose, "Six Gun Quota." But then, I like the song too! :)

Anyway, I've now posted enough links that if you actually follow them, they'll keep you busy for an hour. :)

love and music from a puzzled goddess

24 September, 2008

Ceasar raps...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I'm so far off being a fan of rap that I pretty much hate any of it that was done after about 1985! If not earlier. But there is one movie out there that has the greatest rap song EVER in it! I'm kidding, but I found it amusing. It's amazing what you can find on YouTube. :)

My dear hubby brought home the flick from the video store for me years ago. If I remember rightly, the movie was called, "Free Enterprise," and it pretty much sucked...had a few funny bits, but I really was surprised at this rap scene. Some hate it, but oh well, I find it interesting and kind of amusing. Definitely a different take on Shakespeare and William Shatner!

from a puzzled goddess who is wondering ..."what light through yonder window breaks..." oh, it's sunrise!

23 September, 2008

Puzzled addiction...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...
I've become a puzzle addict. Don't get me wrong. I've always liked puzzles. 3D castles being a favorite. But just about any shot of a castle would do. Or those ones with the strange edges.

The only problem with puzzling has been having the room to lay out the pieces. When we lost the house and moved into so much smaller quarters, I lost the puzzle habit. I got it back for a bit at the Beaverton Apartment, but the puzzles were boxed up in the move and now sit languishing in the games closet with all those other things we don't really do anymore. :)

I tried the internet puzzle thing, a LONG while ago and it was pretty lame, so I thought I needed to continue puzzling in the big blue room.

WRONG! I got hooked into setting up on facebook (my kids call it the geriatric myspace! but I've got a myspace too even though Tom is still one of my friends...yes, I'm pathetic.) So anyway, I have been slowly adding an application or two to have fun on facebook and meet new people, etc.

(I got tired of my husband and one of my writing friends beating my @ss at pathwords and word twist all the time!) So puzzlebee came about! Yay! I can even use my own pictures and play with Adobe 8BF filters in Irfanview. (I'm cheap...with my budget I'm all about the FREE stuff!) Xero graphics has some very cool freeware filters.

This is fun! This ap lets you turn the pieces and reorient them. I'm not the fastest puzzler in the world, but I'm having fun doing them.

Here's one of the pictures I've taken in the Gorge that I didn't like...so I messed with it until I did! LOL


Create your own puzzles at PuzzleBee.com!

so bye for now from a puzzle(d) goddess :)

22 September, 2008

Charting into medieval waters ...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I'm procrastinating, badly. I realize it, and I'm trying to stop. I've had a place in my neck that's been out pretty badly for the past 3 months, and it makes it pretty easy to have an excuse to procrastinate. I have many charters from Kingdom and Summits that need to be painted. Luckily, my mom-in-law isn't as much of a procrastinator as I am. :)

I used to think I could maybe develop some kind of artistic capability. Not at expert level mind you, just enough so I didn't embarrass myself or my family in a public venue.

I'm not so sure about that any more. I've spent the last 10 or 11 months very religiously studying medieval manuscripts, illumination and calligraphy and still know that I've only just touched the surface, but I thought I'd got some of the basics of painting down. I've been practicing and reading books, cuz I never took an art class until that one drawing class with my hubby about 10 years ago.

I recently was told that my stuff was too dark, and that I didn't have the skills to do the designs in a clean and medieval manner. I was a bit disheartened. The feedback is nice. I like to know what I'm doing wrong. I just don't think now that I can do anything right. I really would like to be told how to correct individual things, not blanket statements. But I guess that any feedback that's not 'gee how pretty' in a volunteer organization is getting you somewhere. Maybe?

I just have a hard time having any confidence in this, since it's not something I've done before, but I so enjoy painting. I guess I'm hoping that if they hate them bad enough they'll tell me not to paint so that I can stop wasting my time? :?

Here are the charters that were particularly dark, too dark for kids anyway :)
Have to remember to use something besides Prussian Blue and Black for a base color in the picture elements, huh?

I think the charter from this bunch that I was proudest of was this one on the right....I REALLY wasn't sure what that building was I was painting, or how it should be shaded. I was impressed that it actually came out looking like a building! :)

The other one I outdid myself on in my opinion, is the one at the head of this post...my sister was the scribe of the Summits and gave me two of these to paint in a Trompe l'oeil effect...needless to say, I had NO clue what that was until it was explained to me. :) The green as a background worked out fairly well, better than the gold I tried on the first one I did!

So, now I have talked myself into doing some more painting...maybe.

from a puzzled goddess

21 September, 2008

So what's with a perfect life...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Weird quizes people put up on the internet. I got suckered into another one. The title just got to me...How perfect is your life? It made me wonder. I think my life is pretty damn good! I love my family and my friends and do what I can.

According to these people, my life is

Your results...

Your Life Is 55% Perfect

You have a pretty good life, but you could undoubtedly be happier with it in certain areas.

I'm not going to take it again and figure out how to get a 100% life...they make you invite other people on facebook to see your results in order for you to see your own, which is a crock. But I was curious. :)

I'd assume their definition of perfect has to do with satisfaction and health and positive relationships and money and success.

Thinking about it, I'm probably not the success I wanted to be, but I wouldn't trade my family for anything.

from a puzzled goddess who thinks her life is closer to 75% (at least today!)

15 September, 2008

No photo finish, or even photos...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

It's been a few days. My dh said it best for me...whew! We've been running since school started, and since they haven't been great weeks for me pain-wise I've been haunting social networking sites. :) I know it's lame, but keeping company with other insomniacs playing pathwords, scrabbulous or doing puzzles is mindless enough to occupy the brain while I wait for meds to kick in enough for me to sleep and it doesn't let me WHINE! Which I truly do hate, but which I seem to do constantly here. Sorry.

My darling didn't tell you that the JV Volleyball WON! This was an especially big thing because the first match was won by 2 points, the second lost by 2 points and the third won by 2 points! Close games! The football game had ended by their second game and they had quite a few fans come in from outside to see out the finish. What a rush for them to have people yelling and stomping in enthusiasm!

The football game wasn't bad. I know little about football so I just jumped and shouted when my boy was in. :) I got my exercise walking between the two activities. There is a huge-@ss hill between the gym and the football field. I must have hiked that route 6 times up and down before my hubby got through traffic and got to the game. Gosh, I didn't know I could do it that many times, still! LOL The boys were down over 40 points at the half, but in the second half their defense held the other team scoreless! Made the son feel good since he plays starting defense!

He was playing a different position that he's never played I guess during this game. Normally he's the noseguard (?) but they had a guy who was about 6'5" and weighed about 260lbs that they put my pore 5'10" 180lb stripling up against! Ouch! But my boy is one of the bigger guys on our team. It's mostly freshman and juniors.

The boy wasn't happy with the guy opposite him. The first time he came down on the son, when the son pushed him off, he kicked him! The refs caught it though and penalized the kid. He did something else to the son that drew a penalty [thank gods, the refs were vigilant! Or else they knew who to watch!] But once my boy figured out how to bring the behemoth down, being a boy, he couldn't keep from the smacktalk! Aargh! Just HAS to get that smart mouth he inherited from his dad going! We warned him though that smack talk when you have the adrenalin that high is likely to lead to fists flying either during or after the game.

But it was a good time. We went to pizza. I can't share pictures because I was dumb enough to REFORMAT THE FRICKEN PHOTO CARD at the pizza place when I was reviewing the 200 pictures I took of all my kids wonderful moments! AARGH!

So, maybe next time I'll get some photos...
from a exhausted puzzled goddess.

11 September, 2008

Byzantine thoughts...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I've recently been helping a friend do some 6th century Byzantine costume research...to the best of my non-existent research abilities....but that's what the internet is for, right? [No, honey, it's for MORE than porn!]

I actually had more books with Byzantine examples in them than I thought, but I love having libraries and museums at my fingertips! And I can spend whole days happily searching looking at manuscripts and weird historical facts and all kinds of things.

But Byzantium, that was a place I only knew a very small bit about [still don't know much more *grin*]

I mean we've all heard about, "byzantine plots," and most SCA people have heard about crusaders traveling through Byzantium on their way to the Holy Land, but history books from my early time didn't much cover this area. I don't even remember learning about it in my AP History class...hmmm, maybe a COLLEGE history class would have gone over it, huh? Of course, there is always history in the form of Monty Python and his mention of Holy Hand grenades of Antioch and such...I blush to say I didn't know where Antioch WAS until recently.

So this has been fun! There is a standard mosaic of the Empress Theodora that has become pretty synonymous with Byzantium. You can see it here, as well as enjoy a commentary about Justinian and Theodora and their reign. It's has the beautiful mosaics that are in the cathedral at Ravenna.

Then, I stumbled across this diptych on the web with a search for "6th century" Constantinople Theodora.

There was a bit on Byzantine dress here.

One of the coolest things though, is there's a free online self-study costuming course that covers this area of interest!

And there was a whole page of Byzantine links here put together by the same people...hmmm somebody's already done that research huh? :)

But there was an absolute hit of serrendipity today when one of the blogs I follow on and off mentioned that the Royal Academy in London will be hosting an exhibit that will cover about 1000 years of Byzantium history starting next month. And their exhibit catalog is available on the museum site for those of us who can't fly to London on the spur of the moment. :( Since this isn't a particular family interest we won't be ordering the catalog (it's a bit pricey), but it was neat that it is available. [Don't miss her links to the other stories in the article it was interesting.]

I actually own 2 or 3 museum catalogs of various things that I've purchased in used book stores and have found them quite helpful for information and pictures you may not be able to get elsewhere.

that's all from a puzzled goddess for today

10 September, 2008

Punch drunk in the past...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Feelin' a bit whoosy tonight, probably left over meds and fatigue. But got some good bonding time with the family tonight. The kids went to practice and brought home another freshman from their class who needed some homework help.

He's a good kid. He's made some wrong choices in the last few years...like getting to 17 with 2.5 credits toward high school graduation. [It wasn't important, Obviously no one had ever explained how much it was, and gotten it through to him!] He is in most of the kids classes and seems to pick it up well. He's not stellar, but I've seen MUCH worse. And he hates feeling stupid so he's gone back to school so he doesn't have to feel that way. Probably smartest decision the kid ever made.

If he keeps up with it, the whole family has told him he's more than welcome to come over and study with the kids. We sometimes still talk about assignments and I learn stuff. :) Did you know how much science has changed in 25 years? I'm finding out!

The boy's got some of the concerns with having groupies/followers/stalkers/puppydogs whatever you want to call them, that the girl has been dealing with for quite a few years in various degrees. She's gotten much more compassionate to people who are outsiders though, she's had to deal with being a bullied outsider since we moved to this little school with many strangely raised children. She's a freak, but a freak with followers now and so finds some acceptance. Plus, she's discovered the wonderful feeling of being the BEST at something. SHE is the BEST in her school at scholastics. Not the quickest learner, but the one who listens and follows through and is responsible and thinking.

The boy isn't that geared to wanting to put a label on himself. He's a natural student (unfortunately it comes too easy to him), a natural athlete (though he does have to work to be a starter at his age) and he's a natural leader, being a boy with a strong sense of right and wrong and a genuine hero complex. He's been having to deal with 'followers' for years, and while it drives him nuts, he's been as pleasant as he could. And in some cases, he's even been the one following.

He's got a friend currently who is far from social adept (I'd have to say total social gamer geek.) This guy wants to be joined at the hip from the time they get to school until the boy goes to football practice. The kid isn't sports oriented, it's all video games...which is the trap we are working to get our son out of. We want him playing and moving in the real world.

It's taken this kid 2 years, but he's almost totally run my son's patience away. We keep counselling to redirect the conversations you don't want to participate in toward another subject. Be polite and don't cut him down, and may like hey, c-o-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e and tell him that he's increasing your stress by constantly bringing gamer talk to school when you want to socialize with other people and learn different things about the world.

For instance, he's LOVING football. A sport he's never been exposed to and is barely on for 5 seconds as we flip through channels at our house! But he's loving it and wants to spend some time getting immersed in it with his teammates.

It's a really grown up, and could be an emotionally hurtful situation to have to deal with to get him the reduction in anxiety and space the boy feels he desparately needs right now.

Their reactions as children of this modern age are so much better and kinder than mine were at the same age. I would have wanted to be kind, but I'm not sure I could have looked far enough beyond myself to do so. I wasn't nearly as responsible as the ones we've raised. [Hmmm. guess video games and TV might be good for something after all, and discussion of honor, chivalry and reading to them all about the Lord of the Rings and the Knights of the Round table....who'd a thunk it? *grin*]

from a puzzled goddess who can't do much more than advise.

07 September, 2008

My heart's joy...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Sorry to people who are actually reading this that I've been missing days. Disability and pain are calling heavily this week. For some reason the more I need to be a mommy and DO stuff, the less disability wants to let me go. :( Go figure.

I've got to say that I'm enjoying some proud mommy and wife moments this week as well.
My so very dear husband is getting his feet under him and running with enthusiasm at his fairly new job. Which is so cool for me to see since he's intelligent enough that most jobs bore him to tears after about 2 months...we're almost a year now and he's still learning and pushing to expand his knowledge. Of course, computers always let you do that, for some reason they don't stay the same from month to month. :)

And the kids! Wow! They're mine, and I'm still impressed by them!

The boy is playing football for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER! (we don't watch it or really even understand all the rules in this house *grin*) and he is doing GREAT! He's starting! As a freshman! Yes, the team is small, only a few guys more than they need to field for defense and offense. But he played most of the game. He's the noseguard position I guess it's called. The one who stands opposite the center in the line and tries to tackle him. He also played a bit as running back, which he really likes because he's faster than a lot of kids his age.

I have to say that having him on the line was one of the reasons that I really didn't want him to play football. For a freshman, he's pretty big. Facing the seniors in this league, he's pretty small. The guy that was the center on the Jewel team they played friday was a behemoth! The boy said he was almost as tall as a door frame and just about as wide. Eek! And my poor 5"10" 200lb stripling is up against this! Ouch!

The coach told him that he had speed on the guy but not mass. My son's comment was, "Yah, think?" LOL The team lost, but they did better than last year's team so they were pretty happy. The boy is happy. He gets to actually HIT somebody, and it's LEGAL! So he's having a ball! He was kinda disappointed that he only came in 3rd on the team for the amount of blood on his jersey after the game though. :? It must be a guy thing...

And on the scholastic front, the boy actually did his MATH homework the night it was assigned! Not the night before it was due! Yay! [But then he lost it in the black hole he calls a room! Boo!] The teacher let him turn it in a few hours late, but I was happy that the kid is taking scholarship seriously this year! He's always had enough of a brain to pretty much skate, but I've wanted him to actually use it!

My daughter is also making us SO proud! We had to talk her into rejoining the Volleyball team this year because she had gotten so frustrated in her middle school years. She barely got to play and wasn't treated great by her teammates last year because she'd skipped a grade. The coach wouldn't let any of them forget it either as well as having some sportmanship problems that were just WRONG in a coach.

But we talked her into giving it a try anyway. She will need the extracurricular activities on her resume for college and this town only has volleyball and basketball. With her dislike of running, basketball isn't really an option. :)

She just LOVES her volleyball coach. She's been a positive role model, has given my daughter massive encouragement and has helped her bloom! The girl is the JV team CAPTAIN, as a freshman! Wow! She's also being trained to be their setter and to play defense. For those who don't play volleyball, it doesn't mean alot, but to be complimented like that on her control at her age (as a freshman who is a year younger or more than all the girls on the JV) this is incredible.

Remember, this is the girl who was barely allowed to play last year or the year before. And to top it off, she has now been named to the Taxi squad! Which means that she subs in for the VARSITY team as well! Yes, they have two freshman on the Varsity, but this is just fantastic! It is so nice that she feels positive and encouraged about something physical.

As for her academics, she continues to be responsible and proactive about her classwork. I don't know who she got it from, but gee I appreciate it. :)

from a puzzled goddess who is soaking in the reflected glory

05 September, 2008

Garden Cities in the historic Amazon

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Did you know that scientists are discovering that cities once existed in the Amazon rain forest. And that these cities were as large as their European counterparts. At least up until 1500-500 years ago. Yes, they suspect that the owners were killed off by European disease. But what is amazing is that areas we think of as 'virgin' forest were in fact heavily planted and groomed by the people in these cities. It's also theorized that they used much better urban growth planning than we do. :) [like that's hard!]

Here's the link. To the article in the Telegraph.co.uk

There's another article in the Guardian about the same study.

There is also a feed on the Now Public site that has a small video clip of some indigenous people, interesting music.

I found it interesting that so little real attention has been paid to these sites. Maybe because they weren't European based?

from a puzzled goddess

04 September, 2008

Whale speak...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

No it's not Dora...This is an article in the Telegraph.co.uk paper about scientists at Kamogawa Sea World aquarium in Chiba Prefecture, Japan who have taught a Beluga whale to use three identifiable 'words' for a bucket, diving fins and goggles.

It's not that this is a minor accomplishment. Obviously to be reported in the world press it was something unusual and interesting. But I really was hoping that there would be more of a breakthrough in communicating with other species at this point.

This other article talks about whale songs themselves and their complexity.
"Humpback songs are not like human language, but elements of language are seen in their songs," said Ryuji Suzuki, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) predoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and first author of the paper.

There is even a sample of whale song on the site. For some reason, I find whalesong particularly soothing. :) Move over Spock and Capt. Kirk we still have whales here.

from a puzzled goddess

03 September, 2008

Better moms need tranquilizers...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I think I'd be a better mom if they put me back on tranquilizers. I'm sure the kids would like me better, and that glowing fog sure would mute these depressive spirals.

I wasn't going to post because I'm so exhausted, but the kids have managed to start their first day of high school without any major problem. One more milestone passed.

Pain visited again on Monday and wasn't a polite guest, so I didn't sleep that night but stayed up to wake the kids and see them to their first day. Sometimes I don't know why I bother to push. I pushed on through the day and into the afternoon, just thinking I'd stay up long enough to find out about the first day of school and then collapse. I'd had Rick stay home to help me because I felt so awful.

I should have known better than to push that hard, but I so wanted to be there for the kids. I was in bad enough shape that the boy and I ended up having words because of the way he treats his sister and the way he was treating me when I was trying to find out what kind of haircut he wanted. [Note to self, let dad deal with teenagers when I'm in this much pain.]

I always bring on pissy attitudes and the sulks. I probably was impatient and snapped at him about the short timing and the effort it takes to drive 20 miles to get anything done. This haircut came out of the blue because his adductor muscle is still strained and he was going to have to sit out of practice. So, for him, it was a logical jump to have mom drive him into Hood River for a haircut when he wouldn't miss practice and would be ready, and able to see, by the game on Friday.

For me, it was an impossibility that made me depressed because I couldn't do it and was disappointed in myself, as I didn't have half my vision field clear...it was throwing spots like a psychedelic movie and it was becoming increasingly difficult to think through the pain. I was glad that Rick was there, and I could ask him to cover it.

But I was hurt that there was no concept that dad had stayed home because MOM was sick and MOM was too sick to drive him anywhere so he was being a demanding, self-involved teenage boy. (Do they ever get better? They must, his father is one of the most loving and patient men I know. There's more than one reason I married him. Though he'd tell you it was just the great sex. *grin*)

I know I jumped him about his chores and his laundry that has somehow piled up on his floor again in less than 24 hours. :| I got impatient when he couldn't pick out a hairstyle on line that would actually cut off enough of the extra growth to clear his vision, and I made the mistake of smacking his arm when he rudely popped off to his sister to shut up.

I hate that tone of voice, and I hate the way it makes his sister shrink inside; hel, I shrink inside when he uses it on me. I shouldn't have smacked the arm, that just escalated his behavior, but it was such a reflex when he used that nasty tone that I've been on him about for weeks.

We've ALL been trying to be better and more loving to each other. It's hard when you all have stresses and physical demands that seem to grow by the minute and are all intelligent enough to want to be treated like rational PEOPLE, whether you are acting like one at the current moment or not. :?

As a goddess of pain, I suck as a mom. I know that I finally retired from the field and left it all to dad because I was crying and depressed and at the point of wondering why I even put out the effort to exhaust myself when it's just taken for granted that I can do more when I'm already so overloaded I O.D'd on the pain meds just to get through their first day.

I'm wishing I felt more of the triumph and accomplishment I was feeling as I watched them walk into the school this morning, but the depression is bad enough that it's hard to see beyond it. I know that the girl tried to cuddle up next to me last night and help me to feel better, but when you feel like a failure it's hard to see accomplishment in being comforted by a 13 year old.

I should though. We're obviously doing something right, the compassion and caring were being expressed, and her very loving presence helps me to feel a bit better thinking about it now. And I know her brother feels them too; even if he demonstrates it at the weirdest moments. :)

It's hard to deal with a mom who's chronically depressed and in pain most of the time. I think they do better than I have any right to expect.

Enough of my five minutes of whining. I'm sure the kids will do something sterling today that will inevitably make this mom's new day SHINY.

I just have to look at the sky and try to remember optimism and the power of positive thinking, right? [Did whoever said that have teenagers?]

from a whiny puzzled goddess trying to make herself a better mom

01 September, 2008

Black never left the building...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Okay...so all the clothes and supplies got purchased, and I'm a little emo'd out. Why do my kids insist on emo stuff? They're not really depressed. Maybe it's because black, white and grey look good on them :)

At that age, I'd have worn black daily if my mom had let me get away with it. But I always got, "Black's too old a color for you." That was back in the days when some widows still wore 'weeds' and people actually wore black to funerals and it was considered VERY poor manners to wear black to a wedding because you were implying that you were in mourning for the bride or groom depending on your sex. (Nowadays, I think you're just showing you're in mourning for both of them...they're getting MARRIED. SUCH a popular institution.)

I can't believe we were silly enough to go to Clackamas Town Center. I knew better. It was like going on the last weekend before Christmas, except EVERY kids' shop in the mall was mobbed. Zumiez was actually smart enough, and big enough, to have a couch in the back corner of the shop for the worn out parents to sit on. Plus it kept our very uncool presence in the back of the store. :) It was embarrassing that I had a low sugar episode and almost passed out after I got up from that couch. But the chocolate shop across the mall forcourt soon put that right again, along with some sprite. (ugh, sugared pop is NOT something I care for! Give me chocolate any time though!)

I had a kick walking around the food court with the kids though. They both looked so cool. But the girl was hugging on mommy's arm and so probably looked a bit dorky walking around with this old woman.

The son on the other hand was walking 3 steps behind, not out of respect, but to disassociate with the very uncool women in front of him. His mom and sister. So I had a great time dropping back to grab him around the neck or hug his shoulders and watch him squirm. I don't think he was specifically trying to impress anyone...just the general teenage feeling of wishing you could sink through the floor rather than acknowledge that you're at the mall with your, gasp, parents!

Most of the time when we go out we don't go places so firmly entrenched in the teens-only mentality so it's okay if mom hugs on him or messes up his perfectly groomed hair occassionally.

By the time they were done scoping out the really expensive black clothes I was more than ready to get out of there, and I was appreciating that couch even more after my hubby got to take the hike out to where he'd found parking for the car. It was far enough out that I never saw it parked. :)

from the puzzled goddess of teenage fashion :)