Sunday, August 31, 2008


Lady Rose's answer to question number 21 on the questionaire I did a few days ago made me reconsider my own answer:

What do you do most often when you are bored? I put read, but I really don't, because when I'm bored, it's because I can't settle down to anything, not even to a book. So what I do is wander around the house and read Shakespeare - Shakespeare is really good for my boredom.

A "real" post - or at least something more than the random short things I've been writing lately will come soon. About interesting things. "What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth." - King Lear.

Friday, August 29, 2008

"Your very first tragedy!"

There's a part in Wicked where Galinda is practically hyperventilating over the fact that Elphaba just attended, "her verrrryyy fiiirrrst partyyyyy.... ever!" to which Elphaba replies, "Do funerals count?" I felt the same way today when a friend on the board of directors of my town's little Mountain Shakespeare Festival was telling us about last night's meeting. This group has only been in existence for a few years, and it's done only comedies so far. So when Holly told us they were thinking of doing King Lear next year, I felt like both of those lines smashed together. Ha ha. :D

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Amusing Algebra

Courtesy of Teaching Textbooks: Algebra 1:

"Dryer #1 ate a few socks, but only a few, and dryer #2, the semi-selfish one, had the nerve to eat 4 more socks than #1. However, it was the last dryer - dryer #3 - that was the virtual sock-eating monster. In its short but turbulent life, it actually consumed 7 more socks than #2 did. If all three dryers ate a total of 51 socks, how many did dryer #1 eat?"

This is my kind of problem. It's weird and random and easy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I found this on Courtney's blog and decided to fill it out.

1. Time: 3:30

2. Name: Delaney

3. Nicknames: Fauny, Faunsy, Faunius - but only by internet friends

4. What is the most recent movie you've seen in the theater: Kit: An American Girl. Yes, I know it's for younger girls, but it's set in the 30's!

5. Eye color: Blue.

6. Place of birth: California... in the San Fernando Valley.

7. Favorite NEW foods: What the heck is a "new" food? Food is food, it's been around since the beginning of time. It played an important role in the first sin! How can any food be "new?" I mean, I know there weren't cheeseburgers when Thomas Aquinas was alive, but how new is "new?"

8. Ever been to Africa: No.

9. Been in a car accident?: Ah... no, not that I recall.

10. Croutons or bacon bits: Croutons

11. Favorite day of the week: Wednesday, I think. One of the days for the Glorious Mysteries in the Rosary. And I like the name of it. (I know a girl named Wednesday)

12. Favorite restaurants: Marie Calendar's. They have the most delicious potato-cheese soup.

13. Favorite Flower: Oh, my. I like simple wildflowers, and daisies, and all kinds of roses. Oh, yes. Lupine! ("Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, riding through the night/Soon every lupine in the land will be in his might hand/He steals them from the rich/And gives them to the poor/Mr. Moore" Here)

14. Favorite sport to watch: Soccer... my sister plays it.

15. Favorite drink? Um... water. Coffee. Hot cocoa. Many kinds of tea. Apple juice and grape juice and pineapple-orange-banana juice, or orange-strawberry-banana juice, or orange-pineapple-mango juice.

16. Favorite ice cream: Chocolate chip, mint chip, strawberry, cookie dough, mocha almond fudge

17. Disney or Warner Brothers: I have no idea...

18. Favorite fast food restaurant: In 'N' Out

19. What color is your bedroom carpet: Dark green, with some blueishness in it.

20. Which store would you choose to Max out your credit card this week? I don't have a credit card, but I guess I'd say Barnes & Noble or Borders.

21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read.

22. Bedtime: ... Lately? Uh.... hehe... 12:30. Or thereabouts. That's all going to change quite soon!

23. Favorite TV shows: The Andy Griffith Show and Monk and some Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched. Sometimes.

24. Person you are going to have dinner with: My family or maybe Hugh & Dickon (which means that if we don't have a sit-down-together meal, I'll read The Hidden Treasure of Glaston while I eat)

25. Favorite Car: I know very little about cars.

26. What are you listening to right now: audio Clips from Monty Python. So weird...

27. What is your favorite color: Greens.

28. How many pets do you have: I don't remember... I think we're down to one dog and one rat. Yeah, that sounds right.

29. What are you doing this weekend? Cleaning, schoolwork, church, reading, and going to town for a little shopping, maybe.

30. Favorite book: Currently? Les Miserables.

31. What is your middle name: Joyce

32. Who is your favorite author(s): C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Jane Austen, Regina Doman, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Shannon Hale, Megan Whalen Turner, and I don't know who else.

33. Favorite music to listen to (artists, style, etc.): Relient K, Nichole Nordeman, Alli Rogers, Waterdeep, Katie Herzig, Andy Gullahorn, most classical music... I'd like to say all, but it's not as if I've heard ALL of it, so... Showtunes, lots of showtunes: Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, Wicked, The King and I, Annie, Oliver!, Bye Bye Byrdie, The Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera, (I don't own all of these soundtracks, but these are the musicals my family and I sing music from around the house)


My book review blog "Books and Windows" is going to a better place. Well... erm... if you call cyberspace a better place. I'm going to put some of the reviews from there onto this blog over the next few days, and steal Elenatintil's (very good) idea and link to each review on my sidebar.

So if you ever read and liked one of my reviews on B&W, please tell me if there's any special review you'd like saved on here.

And a review of The Midnight Dancers is coming soon. It's practically finished, the only thing that keeps me from publishing it is the fear that it doesn't do the book justice. ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Palamino - A Rant (Sort of )

First off, let me say that I really have no business reading The Palamino by Katy Pistole. It's a Christian-preteen-horse-story. Christian novels = haven't read too many, but if all of them are as "mushy" (for lack of a better word; I don't mean as in romance) as this one, I'm not too interested. Preteen = Well... I'm not one. Horse-stories = Been there, done that. Not really my thing anymore.

However, I did read the book when I was 12 or 13. Devoured it, really. Then my mum found the second book at the local thrift store: I read about 10 of the 19 chapters aloud to my sister before my throat went hoarse and I agreed to let her finish it on her own. We liked that one, too. Then I reread it when I was 14 and it seemed a little flatter. But it wasn't until my 11-year-old sister read it that I realized something:

It's silly.
In a fun way that I don't mind too much, but nevertheless, it's preteen fiction that's a little over-the-top sometimes.

I was walking by my sister's bedroom, and asked her how she liked the book so far. "It's pretty good," said she, marking her place, "But there sure are a lot of tears running down peoples' faces, aren't there?" I laughed, "Yeah, I guess there are." "It's like, 'Tears ran down Jenny's cheeks, tears ran down Jenny's mother's cheeks, tears ran down Jenny's father's cheeks, tears ran down Kathy's cheeks.' I'm drowning here!" I giggled and told my other sister, who also giggled.

My little sister read the second book and pointed out even more of those very active tears.

I tried to read the third book, but at fifteen... well... you know. I just couldn't bring myself to get past the first page. Maybe someday, to prove that I'm not ashamed to read Christian horse-stories. Because there's nothing really WRONG with the books: they're just... as I said, a little over-the-top.

Camera Happy

Our home altar:

Baby Zoe, trying to wave and hold onto a cookie at the same time:

My shadow, tiptoeing away from me!

There it is, on the rock:

Our five-headed lamp that we found in the Goodwill. When I first saw my mom carrying it over, I said, "It's a Hydra-lamp!" It's not exactly, but that's what I call it.

Our Wicked program, signed by Michael Drolet (Boq), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Erin Mackey (Glinda), Briana Yacavone (Nessarose), Jo Anne Worley (Madame Morrible) and David De Vries (Dr. Dillamond).

Piano music my sister and I enjoy playing:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chesterton Academy

Oh my word!

Chesterton Academy in Minnesota

Check out their curriculum! This high school has got "DREAM SCHOOL" written all over it. The Math, Science, and Language page doesn't interest me too much, but look at that Humanities and the Arts page! AAAAAHHHHH! The Man Who Was Thursday!!! Les Miserables!!! Apologetics, philosophy, Shakespeare, acting, art, music, playwriting,, I want to go there for 11th or 12th grade. ;)

The only problem is that we don't exactly have $5500 dollars to spare.

Oh yeah, one of the best things about this school? They have no gym classes planned.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yes, we saw it! No, we didn't forget our tickets at home, or lose ourselves in the terrifying city of Hollywood, or arrive too late to see the whole show. Our experience went something like this...

We drove the long drive to the San Fernando Valley to have lunch with my grandparents to celebrate my sister's eighth grade graduation. ("Yeah... isn't it lame?" quoth my sister, regarding her "graduation") Then we drove to my father's parents' house to leave him, Noah, and the baby. We visited for a while. I made sure everyone was clear on the "Watch Zoe like a hawk" thing. ;) Not that I don't trust them or anything.

From their house, my mom and sisters and I practically flew to Hollywood - there was NO traffic! And Hollywood is a huge, scary, dirty city, but it's got a lot of character.

So... we were standing around waiting for the doors of the theater to open, and people were lining up, milling about, checking to see if they had their tickets, et cetera, and my mother (who had made us dress up a little bit) said, "Well, I'm sorry. I guess people don't dress up to go to the theater anymore." Desirae groaned. She hates wearing skirts. But then inside, mum said, "See? Now that we're inside aren't you glad you dressed up?" Because it was really really gorgeous in there. And then, when you get into the actual theater, well... wow. I mean, it looks like part of a set. "It's so art deco," my mother remarked several times.

As always, it seemed like we were waiting in our seats forever. I began to pity my sister because she was sitting right next to my other sister and her best friend - they're 11 and 12. And you know... at that age, girls are sort of giggly.

And THEN...

The first notes of the musical.

And the dragon above the stage started moving. Those first notes of Wicked always excite me, every time I put the soundtrack on.

But as much as I'd like to go through the whole show scene by scene, song by song, I can't. So I'll just sum it up: It was excellent. Very well done, well performed, and I really enjoyed seeing it with my mom. Now for the finer details, with some nitpicking:

Costumes: My absotively-posolutely FAVORITE part of the show! ... possibly. ;) The Ozzian's costumes were sort of like... Les Miserables meets colorful-fantasy-world (sort of), perfect for this darker depiction of Oz. Glinda's dresses were rather astonishing: glittering all over, full skirts. Even when she was a schoolgirl at Shiz, her dresses were lovely. Elphaba's "Wicked Witch" dress was so subtly magnificent.

Singing and Acting: Erin Mackey, who played Glinda, was my favorite, acting-wise. She had a good voice as well. Although Kristin Chenoweth, Broadway's original Glinda, has a much better and more experienced voice, her performance seems kind of flat after Erin Mackey's totally insane, immature energy. See the video below. Teal Wicks, Elphaba, was pretty great - I loved how you could see all her energy, even when she was just walking across the stage. At first it was a more suppressed energy, but it became more and more apparent throughout the play. Everyone did really well, actually, and I don't really have any complaints... (Sorry, Aly. ;) ) The Dresser from Beauty and the Beast played Madame Morrible. Haha!
The show was REALLY fun, no matter how... skewed, the story is. They threw in some nods at lines from the movie ("What's in the punch?" "Lemons and melons and pears" "Oh my!" (Nessarose and Boq) and an ironic "There's no place like home" from Elphaba). A fan of the book will start rambling at intermission about all the changes, and have a nitpickers' field day when the show is over (I shared quite a few of my complaints with my family, I didn't pick the story completely apart) but a fan of the movie will come out tickled pink. And I consider myself a fan both of the book(s) and the movie (well... I was a fan of it when I was four years old...)

This is Erin Mackey performing Popular.

I'm not even going to try to find a video of Defying Gravity for you. YouTube videos simply do not do it justice. Neither does the song on the soundtrack, come to think of it.

It's added a whole new chunk of quotes to my and my sister's supply, and we didn't get home until 2 that night (which is pretty funny, since the show ended at 9 something... Honestly, how did that happen? I guess we watched the Olympics at my grandparents' house for longer than I thought...)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love Ya, Tomorrow

Went to Mass tonight. I usually lose track of what Father O'Neill is talking about in the homily because of his thick Irish accent (which I love, nonetheless) but today he was talking about the third commandment, "Remember the Lord's Day and keep it holy," and mostly I didn't even need to shake myself into paying attention. It was all very interesting. Driving home we listened to Catholic radio and heard a priest (I'm afraid I've forgotten his name) talking about how at some conference or something, some liberal theologian was preaching heresies and how this priest was sitting near one woman in the audience who was, as the priest on the radio said, "past the age of caring." The theologian said he didn't believe in angels, said they were only a "literary device." The woman muttered, "I wish one of those literary devices would come down and kick his butt." Haha! It reminded me of the guardian angel posters in my religion class - they are TOUGH angels, with their swords and shields. Makes me feel proud to have those guys on my team. :D Then, the theologian sat down and the woman said, "So you don't believe in hell, huh?" And he said no, he didn't. The woman replied, "Well, you'll believe in it when ya get there." Hehe, oh, dear... :D

I've been reading Sherlock Holmes lately. I KNEW I wouldn't regret buying that Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume II book! Especially since it was only six dollars... I like the characters, the stories, the writing, and everything about it more with each story. Today I read one of them aloud to my sister, which we both enjoyed. And luckily she doesn't mind if my tongue gets all tangled when I'm trying to read those long sentences.

Last week I read Arsenic and Old Lace, the play. I think I like the movie better, though I KNOW I'd like Arsenic better onstage. Some quotes:

Abby Brewster: I do hope they don't make us use that imitation flour again. I mean with this war trouble. It may not be very charitable of me, but I've almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn't a Christian.

Teddy: (running up the stairs) CHARGE! Charge the blockhouse!
Reverend Harper: The blockhouse?
Abby Brewster: The stairs are always San Juan hill.
Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh no!
Martha Brewster: He's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby: Once, a long time ago - remember, Martha? We thought if he would be George Washington it might be a change for him...
Martha: But he stayed under his bed for days and just wouldn't be anybody.

Mortimer: Aunt Martha, men don't just jump in window seats and die.
Abby: No, he died first.
Mortimer: Well, how?
Abby: Oh, Mortimer, don't be so inquisitive! The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.
Mortimer: How did the poison GET in the wine?
Martha: Well, we put it in wine because it's less noticeable - when it's in tea it has a distinct odor.
Mortimer: You put it in the wine?
Abby: Yes! And I put Mr. Hoskins in the window seat because Dr. Harper was coming.
Mortimer: So you knew what you'd done and you didn't want Dr. Harper to see the body!
Abby: Well, not at tea - that wouldn't have been very nice!

Tomorrow we're going to see Wicked. My sisters and I keep randomly squealing and saying, "Tomorrow!" Which, of course, started me on the song.

Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya, tomorrow
You're always a day away

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Just Talked To A COMPUTER

It was a call from my baby sister's health plan thingummy. "Is this the child's parent or guardian?" I was silent... "I'm sorry," the computer said, "I'm just a computer. Did you say "yes?"

"No," I said firmly.
"Is there anyone available to take this call?"
"No," I said again, wishing there were.
"Would you be willing to take a message?"
Long silence. I didn't really want to, and this was a computer talking, so I could have said no if I wanted to. "Y-ees," I said rather uncertainly. And took the message.

But it was very weird.

Speaking of phone calls, we've been getting a lot of wrong number calls lately...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Excerpt of... Something, and Other Insignificant Somethings

This is part of something I wrote one day when I was bored, without any idea of a plot, or answers to any of the questions. I just know one thing: these two characters do NOT fall in love, just in case you're wondering, and just in case you think that's where it's headed. It's not. ;)

The girl weighed the pendant in the palm of her hand, “It’s a good imitation,” she began.
“Imitation? Of what?”
“I’d say it’s worth about $50 dollars,” the girl continued, as if the shopkeeper hadn’t interrupted. “If you’ll take that much for it, I’ll buy it.” She looked at him questioningly, yet confidently.
“I’m really confused,” the shopkeeper whined after a pause. “What the heck is going on? What’s this an imitation of, and how do you know whether it’s a good imitation or not? Why do you want it?”
The girl gave him a look that didn’t seem to mean anything, but it also seemed to mean everything he didn’t know about. It didn’t answer any of his questions. It only created more questions, although he wasn't sure what they were and why he wanted the answers.
“What’s your name?” he asked quietly, but inwardly he felt irritated. Why do I even care? She’s just some weirdo-girl that dropped into this shop like a… he searched for a simile, but couldn’t think of anything befitting of the strange girl in ripped jeans and sneakers who could tell a “good imitation” from an elusive original that he hadn’t known existed till now. Just get her out of here, he commanded himself sternly. She is going to get me in so much trouble. He knew this with amazing certainty. He wasn’t sure how, but he knew that she was trouble. “Trouble.” It would be written all over the necklace where she had left her fingerprints, and it would be written in her footprints when she walked out of the store. She had said, “After today you’ll never see me again,” but the shopkeeper had a terrifying feeling that she was wrong.

It's dramatic and freaky and confusing, I know. But for some reason, I like this cowardly shopkeeper with a bad attitude, and this weird girl in ripped jeans. I like them enough to find out more about their story. Someday. Maybe.

As for the other insignificant somethings, I bought the Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol. II for only $6 at Barnes & Noble on Saturday. I was rather pleased.

And apparently my blog's readability level is Junior High:

blog readability test

I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know it doesn't mean that the people who read my blog have junior-high-school minds - it just means that junior-high-school-minds could read my blog and not be left scratching their heads in confusion. Well, some confusion, perhaps (my fault, not theirs) but not utter confusion. ;)

And my Books And Windows blog is a high school reading level. Hrm... must be because of the "A Word A Day" posts I've done.

And speaking of words, my sister and I spent a few hours last night on FreeRice. Marvelous website. I started keeping track of all the best words, and filled up two pages, front and back, and half of another one. Some of the words I came across that I liked best (these are the meanings given by FreeRice. The actual dictionary definitions are most likely better):

lachrymal: tearful (Yes, I do like those moody words like "morose" and "animosity" and "melancholy" etc.)
embrangle: confuse
waggery: jesting (sounds Shakespearean. There were actually several words we came across that caused me to spout off a Comedy of Errors quote. "Abject" and "upbraid" were among them. ["Thou sayest his meals were sauced with thy upbraidings..."])
munificent: generous (you can just TELL that this word means generous. Seriously.)
ineluctable: unavoidable (This is a totally unfamiliar word, but it's cool...)
dolor: grief (I only knew this because my grandparents live on a "Dolorosa" street, which means "way of sorrows," I believe)
pertinacious: Stubborn
shellback: worldly sailor (Whoah! I love this one!)
blithesome: cheery (happy word)
spindrift: sea spray

At one point Desirae and I had gotten several words right only because of The Roman Mysteries, and the Latin names and phrases in those books. And there was one word that we knew the meaning of because of Arsenic and Old Lace or the Andy Griffith Show. And some ("transubstantiate" and "genuflect") because we're Catholic. It's sort of ...homeschoolery.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Of Guitars

Guitars here are a part of the family. My dad and his family have a huge guitar collection: all kinds of guitars, from rare to cheap, from very old to somewhat old (the collection has stopped growing now), electric and acoustic. "The Collection" as my dad calls it, was also a pretty good moneymaker, and apparently rather popular in Hollywood. I don't know how many movies "our" guitars have appeared in, but I know for sure that a few of them are in The Color Purple.

Most of the guitars in The Collection are in my grandpa's garage, but we have a few at our house, and a few others. So let me introduce you to the guitars in our home:

First, here is my own left-handed guitar, an Ibanez:

I love it because it's mine to play, and name, and tune and bang up and carry around with me. It doesn't have a name yet, though. Needless to say, this guitar is NOT in the Collection. ;)

This is my dad's Alvarez, signed inside by the maker, Kazuo Yairi.

This is the Martin. This small kind of guitar is known as a "parlor guitar." It's very old - over 130 years - and in these pictures, it looks every day of its age! It's got cracks in the body, and broken strings, but four years ago it was in better shape, and was the guitar I started learning on. Clasical guitars can be restrung left-handed or right-handed because the bridge is level.

This guitar, "the Taylor" is another one that's not in the collection, but it has a kind of fun story. My dad was told about some drawing that his work, or a business associated with his, was having. The prizes were two Taylor acoustic/electric guitars (if you hook them up to an amp they magically sound like electric guitars). My dad entered, and won. He never told us he had entered, so we were pretty surprised when he came home carrying an unfamiliar, cloth guitar case.

This is "the Musser". It hasn't been played in a while, because it's got a buzz in a few of the strings, but I really really love this guitar. It's got such a beautiful color:

It looks so plain at first, until you see the decoration around the sound-hole (mother-of-pearl, perhaps, or mock-mother-of-pearl):

And then this... this is the Gibson. The Gibson "Southern Jumbo."

Out of all the guitars we have in our home, this is my favorite. I love the dark, rich colors, and the full, beautiful sound it makes, even with its old strings. I love how it looks like it was my dad's favorite, too. It's all beat up around the pickguard from hard playing:

I grew up around these guitars, and I'm only now learning to appreciate each one. So don't worry if you look at these pictures and think, "Mmm... pretty... but what's the big deal?" There is no big deal. I just like guitars. My dad likes them. His brother, when he was alive, liked them (he did most of the collecting and business). I guess it runs in the family.