31 December, 2007


Last night I shoved the last remaining pills down Emma's throat. One was a large tablet which the vet's office told me "she might want to eat it!" because, apparently, it is meat-flavored. Yeah, right. Dogs aren't stupid. And besides, this was a dog who lost 5 pounds because she ate nothing! Not even baby food offered on our fingers. For about 3 weeks I was responsible for giving her 9 pills a day, a combo. of 2 antibiotics + cough tablets + cough tablets with hydrocodone for nightime sleeping. Just stop and think about that. 9 pills a day. She grew very, very suspicious of me. Luckily dogs are, for the most part, very forgiving. So the fact that she is pretty much completely better and I don't have to administer the pills any more is reason enough to pop a cork.

Now, about Sweeney Todd. I liked it. It was time the play had a good updating, and I can't think of anyone better to do it than Tim Burton, unless it would be that guy who directed Pan's Labyrinth. As expected, the design was stunning. I don't know what he uses for blood, but it is beautiful stuff: surreal and so shiny. The next thing I noticed is that the Greek-ish chorus is completely gone! Gone! I kind of missed it, but I can understand why he didn't see how to work it in without it seeming weird. It works on stage, but not so much on film. I still maintain that Johnny Depp is too pretty for the role, but he did a wonderful job with it. His restraint is almost too much, you just want to see him lash out. And then when he does, he is magnificent. This is one of Depp's best roles. When he talks about missing his wife & daughter, you can see the memories in his eyes. I really felt him, emotionally, in a way that hasn't been true before. And I was pleased to see Mrs. Lovett's role is as significant as ever, especially after reading that it had been reduced. However, it took a while to get used to the fact that Helena Bonham Carter CAN'T SING AT ALL. Seriously. Johnny Depp barely sings and he sounds Operatic in comparison. She was very wooden at first. Her first song ( The Worst Pies in London) is so crucial, and she can't nail it because she looks almost embarrassed to be there. You don't even see her eyes, she's just looking down the whole time, not at the camera or at Depp. She's almost cringing. Like she's trying so hard just to avoid sucking, because she knows she can't possibly excel. Ok, all that sounds like I hated her. I didn't hate her, but it took awhile for me to warm to her in the role. By the end, I bought her completely. She's wonderful with Toby, but holds back a bit too much with Sweeney.

Now, on to the only part of the film I did hate: Anthony. I don't know who cast this kid, but he is all wrong. He can sing a little bit, but is an effeminate little fop who is completely NOT believable when he promises to rescue Joanna. Come on! He needs to be young and impressionable, but at least somewhat masculine. The kid ain't it. He's a little girl. Joanna would do well to rescue her ownself.

A word about Perelli: Sacha Baron Cohen was wonderful. He really couldn't have been better. Bravo! The same goes for Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, and the guy who played Beadle Bamford (he was Wormtail in Harry Potter. Oh, sorry! That sounds kinda nasty!) All were excellent in their respective, but decidedly disreputable, roles.

There were some things that were changed or left out, but nothing too important or annoying. Overall, I thought it was good. It was interesting to sit in a theatre listening to people say things like "Are they gonna sing the whole time?" and "OMG, I didn't know there would be so. much. blood!". I saw this film on Friday, then went back to the same theatre in Boulder on Saturday for The Golden Compass. Of the two adaptations, I would have to say that, in my opinion, The Golden Compass was more successful. It isn't perfect, and I do wish that Lyra hadn't done that "Aww, shucks" smile thing even once, much less twice. The incidental music in Compass was pretty bad, and the song played over the closing credits is truly appalling. I witnessed people leaving the theatre just to escape the song! But the film itself is mostly good. Nicole Kidman was flawless, except that I could tell she'd had some weird lip-plumping treatments. And, of course, Daniel was Daniel. Even the kids were good, except for the above-mentioned "Let's all congratulate Lyra!" moments. Both directors had difficult tasks with these projects. But if I had to choose one, I'd go with Compass.

A word about knitwear. It pissed me off that my first glance at Anthony in Sweeney Todd told me they'd used Noro yarn to knit his scarf. That sort of thing completely takes me out of the film in a bad way. It seemed inappropriate for the costumers to use a Japanese silk-blend yarn for him, even though he was a sailor who, perhaps, had just come home from The Orient. I had a somewhat different reaction to the knitwear in Compass. I'm bound and determined to make Lyra's beautiful hat from the second half of the film. I can't explain why Anthony's scarf was an annoying distraction, while Lyra's hat was fascinating. The scarf was very pretty, but it just seemed out of place. Lyra's hat was perfectly odd and charming, and just what was required.

Okay, enough for now. God, Jennifer, don't start me!

Now, I must go shower and dress to (yes, only now! Can you believe it has taken this long? And it is only 3 blocks away from our house!) go to the DMV to obtain a Colorado Driver's License. And then, maybe the Denver Nature Center. I hear they have tons of Dinosaur bones.

30 December, 2007

hidden talents

This dog of ours, who is still a slowly-unfolding mystery, just demonstrated some previously undiscovered tricks. Until just a few days ago, I guess she was still too sick to show us. But now we know. Yes, we already knew she would respond appropriately to "sit" and "down". But we didn't know she would, if commanded, "roll over" and if given the universal symbol for "I'm shooting you!" she would play dead. We have also learned she will jump up to the kitchen counter and fetch butter wrappers to the floor where they will be scrupulously cleaned for us.

Also, today was one of those perfect Colorado days, full of sunshine and mild (for winter) temperatures (in the low 40's) with lots of snow still on the ground. We had a friend visiting for the day, so I took the girls + Liam a few blocks away to Cemetery Hill for some sledding. It was most excellent. Exhausting but so worth it. The girls had received sleds from Santa (the saucer-shaped ones called the Twister, for obvious reasons) and we needed to try them out. The snow had been nicely compacted by those who came before us. It was icy and FAST! The bottom of the gentle slope opens to a wide flat spot so it is very safe, even for the youngest sledders, while still being fun for the 12 year old snowboarders. I was too busy sledding to take any photos. Next time, k?

29 December, 2007

Hey, it worked!

For 2 hours I was completely free from discomfort, except for the usual movie-theatre-seat variety. I agree with Sinda (about the film), who said viewers who haven't read the book may be a bit lost. However, I don't see that as a bad thing. I like that the film serves as a companion to the book, rather than as a replacement for it. I thought it was very well done, and can't wait until the next installment.

Well, I'm off to the movies

Going to see The Golden Compass. I'm hoping Daniel Craig can cure my menstrual cramps. I'm pretty sure he can at least take my mind off them for awhile.

28 December, 2007

we watched Superbad last night

and this line is still making me laugh. Seth is talking to his best friend Evan about a boy who dated a girl they are interested in. They think this boy is a better catch than either one of them. Seth says "He is so sweet! Have you ever looked into his eyes? It's like the first time I heard the Beatles."

26 December, 2007

yes, I managed to finish the stockings at about 10:45pm Christmas Eve

The stockings are made from thrift store sweaters felted (technically"fulled" rather than felted) in my washing machine.

Emma has almost recovered from her (apparent) influenza. Christmas eve morning, I had become convinced that she had Distemper and sent Mr. Man to the Vet's office with her, not expecting her to come home. We had explained the situation to the children, and we were all ready to see her suffering come to an end. Then Mr. Man called and said the Vet thought it looked more like a vicious flu that has been going around, switched her meds. and now she is doing great. I don't know whether it is really the new med. combination or whether the flu has just run its course now. Either way, it finally seems like we are going to have a dog after all.

Here is Junebug modelling her new Mini Boden shirt. She spied it months ago in a catalogue and made a special request for it.

And here is Sugarbear jumping for joy in front of her X-Mas booty.

Above is a shot taken with my new macro lens.

Now just the eye, cropped from the above photo. Cool, huh?

All is well here, our visitors have left and more come tomorrow. Until then we have lots of leftover ham to eat. Cheers, all!

25 December, 2007

we have survived

Even Emma, who we all thought headed for the grave just yesterday morning. I promise a full report soon, but for now I just wanted to say Happy Christmas, peace, love, etc.

21 December, 2007


I just now sliced open my right index finger on a can of dog food. The resulting band-aid will make hand-sewing the stockings either:

a. more difficult
b. easier because the band-aid will be like an extra thimble! an extra, throbbing thimble.

And now I will take your leave to attempt to wash my hair with my left hand.

what a day.

Yesterday started off well enough tho' Junebug did complain of a sore throat upon awakening. No biggie, we've all been passing around a cold and the air is kinda dry. Got her off to school and spent the morning nursing Emma and doing some things around the house (like vacuuming up a few weeks accumulation of granola bar crumbs from the floor of the car. The air had become unbreathable due to funky fumes no cute car deodorizer could match) before heading out to return books to the library and go to Costco (12.3 miles from home). Stayed 10 minutes too long there, so mad dash to Sugarbear's school in Boulder (23.5 miles) and managed to be 20 minutes late. That really cuts into my 1+1/2 hours free time between dropping off the youngest and picking up the eldest. Manage to buy a few more gifts at Geppetto's, go home to drop off Costco stuff and hide toys, then race to school to pick up Junebug. When I see her, I notice she is flushed. Her teacher says she complained of not feeling well. I feel her too-warm forehead. No time to dilly-dally, as we must now drive back to Boulder to pick up youngest. Good thing I filled the tank with gas at Costco. When we get there, I order Junebug to keep her possibly-contagious self in the car while I collect the bear. That done, we head back home to Longmont and to the Urgent Care center to get a strep test for Junebug, since she looks a little Scarlet Fever-y to me. We still don't have a pediatrician here because, since we moved here, we haven't needed one. The rapid test was negative but they started the other test a-culturing or whatever to double check, and faxed a scrip to the walgreens where I have a scrip for Emma already waiting. By the time we get there it is pitch black outside and 5:30pm. The walgreens people are super nice and fast. We get home at about 6 and unpack the car which was stuffed with coats, hats, mittens, lunchboxes, end of school-semester craft projects, etc. I proceed to the bathroom to let Emma out of confinement (since 2:30 when I popped in to give her another dose of antibiotics, which, p.s. must be given while wearing gloves because THEY! ARE! POTENTIALLY! TOXIC! but only if you need bone marrow to survive.) and what did I find? DIARRHEA! AND MORE DIARRHEA! and partially shredded tissue box & toilet paper roll, and happy, feeling-better-to-be-out-of-that-room! dog.

SO. Emma is put outside ("I know it is cold! Don't look at me like that! You, Missy, are covered in yuck and must be outside!") while I put on my Hazmat suit. Then I bring dog in, wipe feet with damp washcloth and take her to the other bathroom and leave her there. I get the other bathroom scrubbed and the dog bed cover and towels into the washing machine, wash my hands really, really well, and feed the kids + myself. I administer the meds to Junebug. It is 7pm and no word from Mr. Man. Apparently he has been delayed. I tell the kids to get ready for bed while I give the dog a bath. Yesterday, Emma had lived with us for 13 days and this would be the third bath I have given her.

By 8p.m. the kids are in bed, Emma has been fed and is sleeping. Mr. Man comes in at, I don't know, 9-something. We watch a rerun of The Office and then go to bed.

A word about Emma. 2 days ago I thought she was a goner. We have even ordered blood work to test for Distemper because she was so very ill. One steroid shot and some sub-cutaneous fluids later, she is acting like a dog again. Eating, drinking, teasing the dog next door. Hopefully this will soon be over and we will get to know the real Emma, instead of just that mopey, shivering, coughing sad case of a dog.

And guess what? I still haven't finished sewing the bloody x-mas stockings! But I figure I have until the wee hours of x-mas eve to do that. No rush, right?

15 December, 2007

the bizarre link

between Chez Barlyru & Casa Teetering continues. Yesterday was a very exciting day here because, when Junebug walked out of her school toward me, she looked different somehow. Her smile was missing something.

Luckily the Tooth Fairy had a couple of quarters handy, so "she" didn't have to resort to using folding money or rare collectible coins. Or make a frigid, late-night dash to the corner store for change. Also, I love how public elementary schools are prepared for these occurrences and supply children with tooth goodies which are perfect for transporting this precious cargo. After all, we don't want the teeth to actually get lost!

The teeny, tiny keychain tooth also opens for tooth-carrying purposes.

09 December, 2007

we still like it.

The snow, that is. This snowfall is only the second or third one (of any significance) that we've had since moving here, so it is still new enough to be fascinating. The only caveat is that we don't want to be out driving in it. Yesterday I took Emma to the vet for a bad case of kennel cough, then stopped at the Safeway to lay in some supplies. Driving was horrible. The snow was really blowing and, even with all-wheel drive and very cautious driving, I still slid around alot. This weekend we've gotten the most so far: about 8 inches. Here is the bench on our deck yesterday morning, next to the dead rosemary plant.

Here is what it looked like at 10pm last night.

Kris, you asked about our lovely patio furniture. Here it is. Have a seat!

And here is the bench this morning.

When I sent Emma out to pee this morning, the snow was up to her bum. The snow was so beautiful, so sparkly. If you click on the photo below, you can see some fine Coloradoan flake.

08 December, 2007

chance of snow & freezing fog??

Snow I can understand, and there's no "chance" about it. It has been coming down steadily all day. But freezing fog? That's a new one. We haven't seen any yet. It sounds kinda Stephen King-y.

Last night I suddenly remembered how Molly (my old Border Collie) loved to try to bite little kids. Then I thought, "Oh Noes! WTF have I done?" but luckily Emma has no problem at all with the kids. She doesn't adore them the way Mabel did, instead she alternates between ignoring them and being submissive to them. She would love to herd Bono but he isn't a cat to run away. So the two of them have massive staring contests, because of the way Border Collies use their eyes to work animals combined with Bono's refusal to submit. And sometimes Bono goes into attack mode. Emma kindly backs off but not too far because she Must. Keep. Staring. Funny!

06 December, 2007

more photos of Emma

if all goes well...

we could, maybe tomorrow afternoon, bring home this sweet girl.

She currently resides at the local Humane Society. She is a 4 year old Border Collie named Emma, but maybe I should change her name to SinKrispyfer Ruth. What do you think?

05 December, 2007

Flight of the Conchords Ep 10 'Prince of Parties'

It's only too bad they cut this off before Bret is in the bathroom with the pulsating walls.

04 December, 2007

Who Have I Become?

We decorated the Festivus Tree on Saturday. December 1. This is proof that I live far away from my friends and all the things I love to do instead of the stuff I should be doing instead. Weird. Yet here is the proof.

I have also, rather stupidly, committed to making GD stocking for the fam. This is complicated by the fact that I am inept with a sewing machine. I have misplaced the owner's manual for the machine and can't figure out how to get the front-loading bobbin back in there. Fuck!

So I'm getting out the embroidery thread and brushing up on my blanket stitch.

Meanwhile we continue to have these amazing sunsets and sunrises, which still leave me in awe.

03 December, 2007

Guiness Ad - Tipping Point

I'm sure some of you have already seen this. But for those of you who haven't, this is one of those "shouldn't be missed" ads. Enjoy.

01 December, 2007

cue the Theremin

Apparently I'm controlling Sinda with my mind. And our kids have some kind of weird psychic connection, too. We have entered Bizarro World. I have no idea what the currency is here.