Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall break is almost here

I work in an elementary school as a teacher aide in Special Education Kindergarten. I love it! I get to work with kids and not have to plan lessons or have the heavy responsibility that the teachers have. It's still hectic and stressful though. We do our full 8 hours, and stop for very few of those minutes.  It's go-go-go all day. That's a why I'm looking forward to the four-day fall break we get this weekend!

When tomorrow at 3:15 hits, I am out the door. I plan to cuddle up this weekend with some fresh baked apple crisp, tea, and my new book on giant, rogue waves. I'm going to write a lot and relax. I'll listen to music and turn on the heat as the temperatures fall a bit and stay warm knowing I don't have to go anywhere for four days (except church, which I enjoy and will be a part of the relaxing and nice festivities.)

Here is a fall photo from yesterday, haying in the field next door. The first guy with the circular blades rides around in a grid pattern and fluffs up the hay. The second guy comes after, in a tractor type thing that scoops up the fluffed up hay and apparently it is molded into a round bale inside the tractor. When the receptacle is full, the lid slowly opens and for all the world it looks like a dinosaur poops out an egg.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jaguar blanket weather

The weather finally cooled off. It is cool enough at night to need a touch of heat, and a blanket. This is the story of my blanket.

I love my blanket. I look forward all year to getting it out from the closet, and sleeping under it, and admiring it. It is a special blanket.

I bought it in a Native textile market in Otavalo, Ecuador. Otavalo is world renowned for its textiles, hand woven colorful blankets, sweaters, and tapestries. Here is a wikipedia photo of the market.

The tapestry of the three Otavalenos looks exactly like the tapestry I bought my mother. I bought a blanket. it is allegedly of alpaca wool, the finest, softest, most pliable and warmest wool, like, ever. Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca, which is an animal similar to a llama. It is light or heavy in weight, depending on how it is spun. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. It is similar to sheep’s wool, but a lot warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Perfect for a blanket!

My blanket has a tiger motif but I call it a jaguar simply because I like saying jaguar blanket. I changed the sheets and got the prized blanket from its box in the closet where it had been stored since last March.

Here is a close-up of the fibers

Here is my itty bitty jaguar protecting his domain from the large jaguar entering his territory!
Not really. Bert loves his bed and he is simply yawning. He jumps up there the minute I begin changing the sheets. I have to boot him off a billion times just to get the bed made.

So it's jaguar blanket weather, and every year I put the blanket on the bed, not only do I enjoy this wonderful natural fiber, but I think about that long-ago time when I walked the aisles of a South American Indian market under the shadow of a volcano.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Of pumpkin jack-o-lantern art and MST3K/Twitter

The pumpkins my neighbor bought are turning into real works of art! I've never seen one this good!

Two weeks ago, lacking my regular tv show to watch due to having stopped for the season, (The Closer) I fell into watching the new sci fi show Terra Nova. It is about people from 2146 traveling back in time to the dinosaur period to start a colony of humans 'to do it right this time'. If they survive the huge comet that supposedly wiped out all the dinosaurs and all the mammals down to rodent size, that is.

It's a bad show but the allure of time travel plus dinos plus not anything better being on TV at that time by default gives me, the couch potato, the impetus to watch it. But there is something eminently better than Terra Nova to watch while I'm watching Terra Nova. Let me explain.

In the dim, dark ages of 1988, before cable really got going, there was a man named Joel Hodgson who created a subversive sci-fi series called Mystery Science Theater 2000 (later changed to 3000 to sound more futuristic). It ran for 11 seasons until 1999, and won a Peabody Award. The series features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies, often (but not limited to) science fiction B-movies. To keep sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking (or "riffing") their way through each reel in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery, says Wikipedia.

Their comments were hilarious and elevated a bad movie to superstardom simply by the number of guffaws emitted by me. Enter twitter hashtag #TerraNova.

By listing the television show you're watching, hopefully a bad one, by its hashtag, the comments twitter-ers make are often just as hilarious as the old MST3K guys. Reading them plus watching a bad tv show at the same time is just as entertaining as if the show was good to begin with. Twitter streams dedicated to a particular show are the new Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Terra Nova is on tonight at 8pm on Fox. Twitter hashtag #TerraNova. Be there or be square.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

File this under 'totally obvious'

I had a great week, though a tiring one. I have sinusitis that has turned to bronchitis, the usual, blah blah blah, cough cough cough. But the weather has turned sterling, and this was a four day week with the kids, today being a teacher work day. So that was good.

One of the things I did today was to sharpen pencils and refresh the kids' pencil boxes with 8 standard crayons. It sounds silly but it's satisfying to make sure the kids have the tools they need to do their work. The teachers, of course, were busy preparing report cards and working with their data in advance of parent conferences, but I like doing the simple tasks in the background that help both the teachers and the kids.

The County Fair came to town last week. I didn't go. I feel that I left the fair last year on the pinnacle: having finally experienced the vaunted "funnel cake". There is nowhere else to do but down after that. LOL.

Leaving church this week I got caught at the tracks with a train going by. With nothing to do for a few minutes, I took out my camera and casually snapped. When I got home and saw the juxtaposition of the word train on the train car against the train lights, I laughed.