Tuesday, April 16, 2013

laundry closet project

I can't really call this my laundry "room" because it's just a closet. But if monsters live in closets this closet had one. You need a "before" picture to really appreciate how it looks now (oh, well). I purchased the baskets at the Dollar Tree for a buck each and put in the top shelf you see there and some hooks for hanging. Overall, I'm pretty pleased. Laundry doesn't scare me anymore.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Quotes from 'The Luck of the Bodkins'

These are random quotes taken from P. G. Wodehouse's The Luck of the Bodkins.

Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French. One of the things which Gertrude Butterwick had impressed upon Monty Bodkin when he left for this holiday on the Riviera was that he must be sure to practice his French, and Gertrude's word was law.

He did not like her father, considering him, indeed, a pig-headed old bohunkus, but there are times when it is politic to sink one's personal prejudices.

Ambrose Tennyson, the novelist, was there, asking the bookstall clerk if he had anything by Ambrose Tennyson.

An undertaker, passing at the moment would have looked at this young man sharply, scenting business. So would a buzzard. It would have seemed incredible to them that life still animated this limp frame. The Drones Club had given Reggie Tennyson a farewell party on the previous night, and the effects still lingered.

The place [Hollywood] is simply congested with people trying to break in. Authors especially. They starve in their thousands.They're dying off like flies all the time. This girl said that if you make a noise like a mutton chop anywhere within a radius of ten miles of Hollywood Boulevard, authors come bounding out of every nook and cranny, howling like wolves.

You can say "Oh, Reggie, for goodness' sake!" till you burst your corsets, but you won't get away from the fact that you are a foolish young pipsqueak and are making the floater of a lifetime.

He had earmarked the next hour and a half for silent communion with his tortured soul, and did not relish the prospect of having to talk to even an old friend.

In his heart, he had always hoped that the other's sciatica would not yield to treatment.

"Sounds like something out of a three-volume novel."

"She wouldn't see me. I rang her up on the telephone, and drew nothing but a butler with adenoids."

Mr Llewellyn's physique was such as to make it impossible for him, whatever the provocation, to turn like a flash, but he turned as much like a flash as was in the power of a man whose waistline had disappeared in the year 1912.

'I don't want to talk to you.'
Monty laughed like a squeaking slate pencil.
'Don't you worry. I'll do all the bally talking that's required.'

The stoutest-hearted girl is apt to quail when she finds herself confronted by the authentic cave-man.

He had a round, moon-like face, in which were set, like currents in a suet dumpling, two small brown eyes. And these eyes caused Monty, as he met them, to experience a slight diminution of the effervescing cheerfulness which he had brought with him to the room.

Besides, he felt, for the Bodkins, though amiability itself if you met them half-way, had their pride, what the hell?

He broke off, coughing. In order to give verisimilitude to his story, he had uttered the last nine words in a sardonic falsetto, and this had tried his vocal cords.

...it was her hair that caused the eye of the beholder to swivel in its socket and his breath to come in irregular pants...a vivid and soul-shattering red.

He's as jealous as billy-o. Smear a bit of burnt cork on him, and he could step right onto any stage and play Othello without rehearsal.

That things were looking a trifle glutinous, he could not deny.

Red hair and meekness are two things which seldom go together, and Lottie Blossom specialized in the former.

It beamed up at him with a wide-smiling cheerfulness which in the circumstances he found tasteless and intolerable.

Ambrose's ebullient gaiety was affecting him like some sort of skin complaint, causing him to tingle all over.

Albert Peasemarch had been resting easily against the door with one large red ear in close juxtaposition to the woodwork, absorbed in the drama within.

[On the ship] there was a long line of semi-conscious figures in chairs, swathed in rugs and looking like fish laid out on a slab, and before their glassy gaze the athletes paraded up and down, rejoicing in their virility, shouting to one another 'What a morning!' and pointing out that twice more round would make a mile.

'He's a darned ivory-domed, pig-headed son of an army mule!'

With the air of a female member of the Committee of Public Safety signing during the Reign of Terror, she did so.

She looked at him in a bewildered way, like an awakened somnambulist.

His was not an extensive vocabulary, and he found it impossible to think of anything which would really do justice to his feelings... Shakespeare might have managed it. So might Rabelais. Monty could not.

A look of anxiety came into Gertrude's shining eyes. In the dreams she had dreamed of this lovers' meeting she had not budgeted for a rigid Monty, a smileless Monty, a Monty who looked as though he had been stuffed by some good taxidermist.

For some twenty minutes he sat thus, then suddenly he shot up like a young, Hindu fakir with a sensitive skin making acquaintance with his first bed of spikes.

Had he been a Cro-Magnon Man, he would have been confined to expressing himself by means of painting paleolithic bisons on the wall of a cave, and everybody knows how unsatisfactory that is. Living in the twentieth century, he had pencils, envelopes and paper at his disposal, and he intended to make use of them.

There was a still longer interval this time, but eventually a sound of puffing heralded Albert Peasemarch's return.

Nobody who had studied the works of the poet Scott at school could fail to be aware that in such circumstances a woman's duty was clear.

His spine had begun to crawl about under his dinner-jacket like a snake.

'Step out of the frame, Mona Lisa,' said Reggie briskly. 'I want a couple of words with you.'

Mr Llewellyn left his chair and begun to strut up and down the room, satisfaction in every ripple of his chins.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Samurai Jack

"They call me Jack."

If you've followed this blog at all, you've probably picked up on the fact that I am suspect of all things modern, especially those that are directed at children. Keep this in mind when I tell you that the cartoon Samurai Jack is one of the greatest cartoons of all time.

Yes, you heard me correctly, something that appeared on Cartoon Network is actually worth watching. Samurai Jack only ran 4 seasons (52 episodes), so there's not so much that it will take too terribly long to get caught up. This cartoon will most likely be enjoyed by all who can really go in for an old fashioned hero with a magic sword.

Jack fights Aku.
Jack is sent to the future by the evil shape shifter, Aku. Jack is continually trying to "get back to the past to undo the future which is Aku." (Aku is evil, but not super scary.) On Jack's quest to restore "truth and righteousness" he meets some interesting characters, including talking dogs, a red-headed Scotsman (with a machine gun peg leg, bagpipes, and a sword with ancient runes), and Aku himself (in the shape of someone else- beware of trickery!).

When Aku destroyed his village when he was just a boy, making his parents slaves, Jack is left with nothing: no home, no parents or friends. Throughout, Jack is the picture of nobility and honor, caring more about those who are cast down or oppressed by Aku, than his greatest personal desire: getting back to the past. In one episode, he is mere moments away from the time portal that will fulfill his wish of traveling back to the past to undo the evil, but those who have helped him thus far are fighting to the death with the drones of Aku. They tell him go ahead, he has time to make it! But, of course, he doesn't. He saves their bacon, and in the process, gives up his chance.
Young Jack with his father.

One of my favorite episodes is a flashback to Jack's boyhood. The scene is some bullies, they take his ball, he's sad, and his father tells him,
Dry your tears my son, for nothing worth having is easily attained. Sometimes you must fight for what is yours and for what you believe in.
Jack is non-confrontational and is able to get the ball back using his cleverness, but his father's words ring true in every episode.

Samurai Jack and the Scotsman.

This cartoon was my eldest daughter's favorite when she was younger, and she actually dressed up as "a Lady Samurai Jack" for a fall costume party when all the other girls came as Disney princesses. I couldn't have been prouder! My son was also obsessed for a while, brandishing a sword and wearing flip-flops whenever he could. I guess it's time to introduce my youngest daughter to this quiet, dark haired man.

Jack tells one adversary,
[You have] trained to use the darkness of the shadow. I know your art as well, but I have been trained to use the light.

Unlike most cartoons, this one inspires heroism and the desire to do good to others. Is this an exaggeration?  I'd say not.

You may also like:
Robin of Sherwood
Sticks in my craw... (Boss)
The little prince and the fox

Friday, April 12, 2013

dark eyes

Over at Classical Quest she mentions having a Friday Quote. Sounds fun to me! Here's a favorite (one she had too!).
Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed [Elizabeth] to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticize. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; -- to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.
~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

library art

On a quest to find the perfect artwork for my children's school library (small classical school and tiny library), I came across several zingers. This one is probably my favorite because despite my best efforts I still have a crush on Shakespeare.

And isn't this just so incredibly fun?! And I think, "I could make that!...but not right now."

I can't amen this enough!
That John Keats was a true genius. I tell ya.

The next one brings my high school history teacher to mind because he always said it, and all that knew him knew he felt this way in his heart of hearts.

The next one is so true. Some of my very favorite people are dead. Wait...was that socially awkward?

Wish I could beat this into the young school children's heads.

But this is the one I ended up going with because it's just so fun, it's not just a quote but a colorful illustration too, it sort of reminds me of our house, and I found it for sale at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I had to take the latter into consideration.
Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. 
~ Arnold Lobel

My thoughts exactly, Mr Lobel... well, except for the bit about the beard.