Feb 21 2008

And so it goes.

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Life has been rather more distracting than usual the last several months – many, many appointments…we’ve run the gauntlet of neuropsych and genetic testing for Miss Emma. Results from the genetic testing are still outstanding – yet before us is the ever-so-enjoyable Large Battle With School for appropriate services and IEP. Heck, getting them to switch her from SPD to OHI looks to be akin to the invasion at Normandy. Things aren’t looking good, in any case – we’ve been hearing results we’d strongly suspected, certainly, but even so it’s not news any parent wants to hear.

For the discussion of Things Which Keep Me Sane we find ourselves at the studio. Last night was the unloading (of the salt kiln) – and it was a grand ugh moment. Not ugh as in it was really effing cold, although it was can’t-feel-my-fingers cold, but ugh as in ‘why the hell do most of the pieces look like total shite?’

I must say that the weather has been thirteen shades of foul for weeks, so Sunday (in the rain, wading through ice water up past our ankles as we clutched, hunched-over, freshly-wadded pieces to our chests (in an attempt to keep them dry) through the back area to reach the kiln. For hours. Fuck.) we finally, finally loaded for the first time this term – I mention this because although we weren’t arse-deep in blizzard it was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass brassiere Monday when the kiln was lit (with difficulty, mind) and salted. So it was run to cone 9 – but because we’re having burner issues and then the cold..well, it’s clear that the top and area in front of the bricked-in opening reached 9, the rear and center certainly did not because a lot came out looking like under-cooked crap. *siiigh*

I have two pieces that just need to go again, but are otherwise fine, and two bowls that were lined in a glaze that was somehow Tremendously Not Right, and so I need to re-glaze and run them again. I threw some tenmoku in one (the other I have to dremel first, as there is schmutz in the bottom – it appears that there was some exploding wadding, probably the pancakes between the shelves and the support bricks, not under pieces) and popped it back on the cart (given the number of pieces that require re-fire I imagine we’ll be able to re-load very soon…probably not this weekend, but hope ever springeth eternal.) I had used that same glaze a plate, as well, and before I left last night I sprayed the offending surface with some malcolm davis shino – we’ll see what happens.

I have some other pieces to glaze that I just pulled off the bisque shelves, and I glazed (high-fire, not wanting to wait on the salt kiln) a bowl last night for the Empty Bowls project – I have been much better about being on top of things this year, in past years I had issues with getting pieces through the process in time to make the donation (and if I can get a second glazed in the next couple of days I may have two to donate – we’ll see, in theory I should be able to get in this weekend, at least for a little while, as I need to throw a stoneware cassarole for my sister and fuss with trimming pieces I threw last week). Small bowls move really fast – so what I have sitting are bowls too large and non-bowls. One of these days I need to photograph the lot and get my etsy back up and humming – after some bizarre server hiccough made all of my listings go bye-bye I simply haven’t had time to re-list what I have already photographed, much less goof around with the things I’ve been schlepping home from last term.

Other life-bits go on as usual: resident elderly is the same as ever, office follies continue apace (I should note that the Program has been online for a while, and printed Programs are due from the printer any moment so will leave Kalamazoo in batches forthwith. So for godssake don’t call me about not having received yours, yet!), and the superhero in our midst is making fantastic progress with reading, writing, and all other things kindergarten.

Dec 11 2007

They’re coming to take me away, ha ha

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

You know, I had really thought I saw it all – that is, that I’d seen every possible way someone could cruelly abuse the spelling of medieval. When I was teaching, of course, I had some fantastic misspellings cross my desk (my absolute favorite was Charlemange. very contagious, leads to an unsightly desire for external conquest and internal reform. And no, schmartass, it wasn’t a mere typo – it was spelled the same way throughout a 5-page essay in which they actually managed to reference The Two Lives of Charlemagne and spell it correctly. hoo boy). Certainly there is no end to the amusement when teaching undergraduates, but the really amazing sadistic twisting of the poor word comes via the post office.

Letters, postcards, boxes full of books or supplies or whatnot – great or small, very important or nonsense tossed directly into the recycle bin, the address labels give us much in the way of mirth.

Ah but today, today. Today we chortled in our joy – hilarity, I tell you, as we discovered (like Schliemann finding Troy! Ok, maybe not…*snicker*) an amazing new rendition of our favorite ill-treated word!


This we add to our hallowed list of misspellings, to wit:

mid-evil (my favorite of the bunch! we’re not a little evil, we’re not very evil, we’re only middlin‘ evil!)
midiful (I must admit, I can abide nothing full of midi!)
mideville (distant cousin of Cruella, I’m sure)
middevil (it’s just so Faust)
med-evil (as opposed to small or large, I suspect)

Now, now I can die a happy Lisa. Fulfilled…

Dec 06 2007

Confutatis maledictis, Sweeney, flammis acribus addictis.

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Alas, it appears from the soundtrack listing for Sweeney Todd that Johanna (Mea Culpa) (see it at the end, after Pirelli) has been cut out of the movie.

I think it’s one of the most powerful pieces in the musical, but seems often to be left out by productions…a shame, because the parallel of Turpin’s full-on decent into dementia to Todd’s with his Epiphany is masterful Sondheim. Dark, disturbing, demented…delightful. Judex ergo cum sedebit, quidquid latet apparebit: nil inultum remanebit.

(And I have to admit that I’ve rather wondered how Burton would handle the judge scourging himself to orgasm, since he wouldn’t have to stick to the staging as shown in the above clip and in the Barcelona performance, as well. O curiosity!)

Dec 05 2007

newest addition to the list I have for Santa

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Yay Yay Yay! I’ve been waiting for the unveiling of this book since forever (forever is years ago when Ray and I sat in on a Newberry Library seminar on medieval magic and chatted about it- I admit I unabashedly pimp the work of people I know and respect), so I am ecstatic for them!

Nov 30 2007

Squeeing, swooning, Sondheim

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

Long time no post, not even news links. S’sorry. Server up and downs (and downs, and downs), office madness, needing to care for my Mother pre-and-post surgery…things have been rather full lately and will remain so – much Emma things afoot, including psych/neuro testing, genetic testing, and the ever-lovin’ fun of the IEP looming. Yegods.

I am, however, looking forward to the holidays – but not because of the shopping (I despise going to ‘the maul’ on a good day, to be frank – thank goodness for Amazon.com and deep impulses to give children books, even the brand-new niece!), nor the tinny piped-in caterwauling that vaguely resembles The Twelve Days of Christmas that accompanies me even through grocery-getting (iPod + swing = sanity. Squirrel Nut Zippers FTW!), and it certainly isn’t the stress and the press.

Besides the university closure, which in no small part fuels my giddiness I admit, this year I selfishly cling to something that isn’t about making the kids or my grandmothers happy, just me. Me, me, me.

Sweeney Todd. *squeeee!*

Seriously. I am thirteen shades of ecstatic and have been watching this unfold with glee. I have desperately loved this show for over 25 years (I saw it during the 1980 [Angela Lansbury and George Hearn] national tour), and from the first announcement have gleaned each dark little nugget of information about this film production with enthusiasm. Add to it the little detail of my thoroughgoing esteem of Alan Rickman’s work for nearly 20 years and the result is, well, obviously one of One Seriously Crazy Lisa. Just short of frightening, I expect. It’s a good thing my friends love and understand me, or they might have banded together to have me committed before now.

So, that being said, I have, of course, been watching each new trailer, clip, and interview that appears on the web…and, being a generous soul, sharing with others who have nervously admitted sharing my madness. I won’t post all of everything here, but… Musicaltalk did an interview with Sondheim. (listen to the box to the right, clicky) Also includes Bonham-Carter, Rickman, Depp, Burton.

Your mission, should you dare to accept it: go to the Sweeney Todd movie site. Click ‘enter the site’, you can hear snippets of the songs (if you click on ‘audio’ at the upper right corner you can arrow through them, pause, etc..).

Pretty Women … is wonderful. It was one of my favorite songs from the production when I saw it lo those many (many, many – have I mentioned I’m old?) years ago, and hearing it again makes me smile. You know, I wondered how Rickman’s voice would hold up, as someone with..er, rather high Turpin expectations..and he really has a delightfully resonant singing voice and I readily admit ecstatic and relieved surprise! Sweeney…well, Depp does a fine job, honestly, but Hearn is, I must admit, my heart’s One True Sweeney. Still, the duet is marvelous.

And, since I can’t seem to do without over-doing by my very nature, for your viewing/listening pleasure, more Pretty Women – And for those unfamiliar with the musical, this way you can hear the whole piece, see the whole scene in the first clip, and see different Turpins in action; Sweeney in concert in 2001; And this is an interesting version – Hearn as Turpin, this time. Love George Hearn, what a fantastic voice!

So this this clip of behind-the-scenes footage bits of this very scene, combined with another clip newly out of Turpin, sent me into paroxysms because Rickman really nails Turpin as a deeply foul, nasty piece of work, and displays a wonderfully arrogant, seriously sinister, and powerful presence; and ETA 12/12: another, new, Turpin clip out!

Oh, and Musicaltalk did an interview with Sondheim. (listen to the box to the right, clicky) Also includes Bonham-Carter, Rickman, Depp, Burton.

Sep 28 2007


Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

I just stumbled into something surprising and wonderful – it appears that one can watch the entirety of Closet Land (which is not easy to find, and not available on Netflix) on YouTube.

It’s a very powerful film (I had nightmares for a week thereafter, and I normally don’t get the eebies from films) and if you are really uncool with psychological torture do not watch – but I recommend it, the performances of the two actors are intense and amazing (and, as I think I’ve mentioned before, this is what cemented Alan Rickman in the #1 spot of my mental list “Actors of Amazing Talent – Seek Out All They Do”…I had been watching for more from him since 1988’s Die Hard, but this performance floored me).


Sep 21 2007

oh, bother!

Posted by Lisa in Uncategorized

You know it’s amazing how little it can take to drag me out of desperately stressed and foul mood-fueled disgruntlement…yesterday I was having One Of Those Afternoons, and one of the grad students brought me chocolate (and better than that – he brought me dark chocolate, and is utterly and completely Full Of Win for it, too!)…granted this is a student who always makes me smile, anyway, but it totally saved the afternoon. I especially appreciate those students who always manage to make me smile, or laugh (or chuckle evilly, I’m very thankful for those!)…they contribute significantly to my sanity, moreso than they realize.
(My full-time minion goaded him into it, I suspect – but I think he’s the bees knees anyway…an extremely nice, potential-full, and uncynical young man. Since my memory of myself as either young or uncynical is rather hazy, I observe my favorite students with glee and cheer them on from the sidelines. Gratuitous, mayhaps, but I am a mere clerical schlub, after all.)

Other bits:

My (and Shana’s) blogging session for Congress is looking very interesting and I’m dutifully putting together my organizer paperwork. I have managed to dodge the panel bullet for the second year in a row, but I’ll be presiding this time. I expect to see y’all there!

Projects in progress at the studio right now include tossed-slab platters and faceted bowls (thrown and modified, in other words). And I have glazing to do – three pieces that were bisqued during the late-summer studio break at the art institute, one of which is a very rough and organic (even for me) slab-built fairly tall vase-form. It’s destined for the salt kiln.

And it’s Colin’s 5th birthday. Am I feelin’ my age? Hellsyeah. I’ll be feelin’ the headache not long after we arrive at the dreaded Chuck E Cheese tonight. I think I need to bring a book..and ibuprofen.

Jul 26 2007


Posted by in Uncategorized

Ordered, received, watched the fucking hilarious Binder indie The Search for John Gissing.

Excellent reviews from important critic-types all agreeing that it is, indeed, fucking hilarious. In addition to people that matter, I can tell you I have not laughed that hard nor much in a long while (certainly not since the last time someone at the Institute started a sentence with ‘If you have time, could you…’) — as in had to stop drinking beverage for fear of…well, you know. Snerk. SRSLY.

Otherwise…I am (cue scary movie soundtrack) taking a few days of annual leave. If the earth stops spinning, please don’t call me! I mean it!. Not that it’s keeping me from having to go in tomorrow to enter payroll (mmmm…payyyyrollll. DOH!) Other good news: have not yet been talked into giving a paper again this Congress, I’m holding firm. Not. This. Year. I need to begin stalking participants for my session on blogging, however. Oh, and post links and respond to all of the blogs I’ve been following but not commenting in, and everything else a dewy-eyed independent whazzit should be doing. Er, yeah. Hey! This kiln load (as we were loading Tuesday and I still taste the wadding. ugh) we are using soda instead of salt – nod and smile, I promise to stop talking pottery now.

Jul 22 2007


Posted by in Uncategorized

Finally! left B&N at 1:30 a.m. yesterday (after an 8:00 p.m. arrival, I’m not crazy!) with book and child.

Child looked adorable (I made her a butterbeer-cork necklace to go with her Quibbler prop) and very Luna-like. The girls were giggly and giddy and goofy. There were lines to stand in (and stand in, and how long have we been standing in this @#*&%! line?), lame (really lame) games for them to play, and once we were wrist-banded and numbered we (the girls and I and the other Mom and her Sis) cut it across the parking lot for Bilbo’s bread sticks and mixed drinks (and Sprite, obviously). And laptop showing Prisoner of Azkaban (we started in the B&N Starbucks, but it was crowded, loud, and neither girl reads well enough to watch the movie with subtitles alone). Around 11:00 p.m. we wandered back to the store, which was even more, unbelievably, packed than it had been when we left. Herded like cattle (moo), and ended up settling the girls under a display table to wait for midnight…they weren’t underfoot, could peer out at some of the costumes (some were really well done, others not so much. lots of muggles, of course…) and as we waited and waited some more for our number to come up (so we could stand in another line!) they lay their heads down and chilled out.

I waited to start reading (being old and needing sleep), and had many parenting-type interruptions (the kids wanted to be fed at regular intervals – can you believe it?!?), but managed to finish all 759 pages last night anyway. With a slight headache from eyestrain. LOL

No spoilers here. I’ve started commenting a bit on my lj because it has a cut feature, and have left them public entries, so if you’re looking for somewhere to chat about things (or if you’ve not read it but are desperate for spoilers for some nutty reason) you’re welcome to come visit.

[nerd] Yes, I did dress up – sort of. I went lazy and wore my MA graduation robes (with those ridiculous sleeves!) over jeans and a t-shirt I made for the occasion. Ink jet iron-on transfer paper and Photoshop are my friends. The design came from offhand online conversations with friends about our age and the presence of a lot of youth at the release parties (that eventually devolved into wicked comments I’ll not share here). So I pulled images from the web and made graphics of many of the adult characters for aforementioned friends, turning one into my Potterwear for the evening: a really fantastic photo of Rickman as Snape in a dark dungeon (very Diego Velazquez) over which I disclosed, in bright green print, that I am ‘Old enough to date Severus Snape’. Bwahahahaha. Lots of amused comments about it at the bookstore from other older-and-female Potter readers. [/nerd]

Jul 20 2007

Well, I’ve done it now..

Posted by briancarnell in Uncategorized

Did take Emma to OoTp. I won’t go all review on you, but WTF was up with the editing? Actors very good (given the strength of the adults alone, especially those playing the Hogwarts staffers, they could reenact an episode of Romper Room and get standing ovations, yea?), effects as much eye-candy as ever…but the editing was odd – choppy, seemed almost haphazard. Meh.

Emma’s best buddy is moving down to hurricane and ‘gator country in a few days.
Tonight is the last release party for the HP series. You know where I’m going with this.
So, yes, I will be taking two giggly girls to the bookstore tonight. Yes, I am certifiable, but I think that’s been demonstrated quite clearly before now.

This is last-minute. Again, lacking with the surprises, that is.
And it means….costumes. Do I seem like the dress-up type to you? No? Well, then, you’re paying attention.

Emma…I think I can pull off a quick Luna for her. Artsy, mismatched clothing? Check. Some bizarre jewelry choices? I can manage something. Quibbler? I have located a pdf online of a ‘cover’ and will be printing it to affix to a mag for some fancy prop action. Long blonde hair? Yep (although it would have been even better had I not gotten her a trim recently, as it was rather unkempt-looking). Vacant look? Already present, at least most of the time. *sigh* The wand tucked behind the ear, tho…have to think on that one. Gah.

Me? See the comment above about not playing dress-up. I can, grudgingly, probably come up with enough bohemian schlock to manage Trelawney, complete with divination class props. Or maybe I’ll just pull out graduation robes and go path-of-least-resistance since I think I’ll get The Look from our little group should I go 100% muggle. The things I get myself into…but hey, it’s not as bad as agreeing to giving yet another paper during a year I know very flipping well I haven’t the time to do that and produce all necessary miracles for the Congress!

Speaking of Congress – I need to slip the Dj some Primus, Kalamazoo has gotta make an appearance. Seriously.