Sunday, August 21, 2016

It's Alive!

The blog, I mean. Sort of, anyway. My blogging mojo is missing; it may have simply fainted from the heat, or maybe it needs a fresh focus, or maybe the time has come to retire Bossy Little Dogs. Bossy Little Dog/Large Cat doesn't have the same ring to it. I'm not sure what the future holds for Ye Olde Blogge. I'm toying with ideas for a reboot.

What's happened in Sophie's World in the last couple of weeks? The Asheville family stopped by on their way to Sanibel Island, and the girls got in a couple of hours of crazy fun. One of my daughter-in-law's clients offered them the use of her Sanibel condo for a ridiculously discounted rate, and nobody can pass up a practically free trip to Sanibel!

Willa is a Crazy Dog Lady in the making, and was OBSESSED with Sophie, who wasn't too sure about this small stranger who was determined to kiss her, but after a couple of hours and the sharing of Willa's lunch, a friendship was forged and kisses were exchanged.

The noise level was high. The cat stayed under the bed.

I hadn't seen Willa in nearly a year. She's a walking, talking, feisty little person now. I didn't want to force myself on her too quickly because Florida Grandma is practically a stranger to her, but later in the afternoon I asked her if I could pick her up, and she replied very firmly, "No." So I asked if we could sit down and play blocks together (I'm glad I kept Delaney's old Duplos in the closet) and she nodded and plopped down on the floor with me to play. She's not as wildly chatty as her sister and cousin, but her vocabulary is equally advanced. She told me she was going to "stack" the blocks. Not bad for what, about 19 months?

It was a whirlwind visit, but lots of fun. We need to get these girls together more often.

The Disney summer blockout dates have ended and my daughter of course started stalking fast passes for the new Frozen ride at Epcot. Last Sunday afternoon we made a brief visit, dodging bouts of torrential rain. The worst rain hit as we entered the gate:

But it really wasn't bad at all. We never actually got caught in any of the passing showers, and it kept the temperature down a bit. We met up with one of my daughter's co-workers and her three year old daughter, and the two little girls were instant buddies. They even had matching Minnie Mouse baseball caps. We rode Spaceship Earth and visited Figment in the Imagination pavilion, where the girls spent quite a while playing on the musical floor.

But of course the main purpose of the visit was the new Frozen ride, which really is fantastic! The wait time last Sunday was 105 minutes, so thank God for fast passes. Before the ride the girls got autographs and photos with Anna and Elsa. The meet and greet is held in an absolutely adorable little "summer house" full of charming detail:

True to her character, Anna is very chatty and bubbly, and had a personal little story to share with each child. We listened to several stories while waiting our turn, and I was impressed with how she had a new story for every kid!

Elsa is regal and less chatty, but very sweet:

Then it was on to the ride:

The photos don't do it justice, it really is lovely. However, the end of the ride involves an encounter with the snow monster from the movie, and our little three year old friend was scared to tears! Delaney held her hand (they'd held hands nearly all day) and tried to console her. None of us thought the scene was really "scary," so who knows what was going on in her little mind? But she recovered quickly and enjoyed the rest of her day. We did a few more things, but it was Sunday afternoon and Monday was a work and school day, so we told the girls we had to leave. They proved how much they'd bonded in just a few hours by emitting identical shrill shrieks of protest! We will have to go back soon, because they felt cheated - they wanted to go on the new Soarin' ride and Test Track, and...and...! Yeah, I'd say that Disney has done a good job making Epcot more kid friendly.

Of course this just whets my appetite for the Food and Wine Festival next month, and our weekend at the Port Orleans resort at the end of October. Disney Madness forever!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Comments Overboard!

I discovered entirely by accident that apparently my commenting spam filter has been a bit overzealous. I happened to click on that folder for the first time in quite a while, and found a lot of comments that were lovely and welcome had been scooped into oblivion by the spam filter.

I apologize to all. If you're wondering why your comment was met with ringing silence, that's the reason. Lazy blogger, lazy blog maintenance.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Posts written in head do not appear on screen.

It's been a busy couple of weeks; nothing bad, I just haven't been feeling the urge to sit at another keyboard when I get home from work. I've been watching the endless train wreck that is the Republican candidate for president (insert your own nickname here, I've been going with the now classic "Rolling Trumpster Fire") with a mixture of horror and amusement, but mostly horror. I listen to some very good political podcasts and have heard a lot of analysis - he doesn't really want to be president (that seems obvious) he's actually suffering from some sort of mental illness, etc. But someone, I wish I could remember who, said something yesterday that really hit me: thanks to Fox News and the right wing bullshit machine, we have two generations of voters raised on a steady stream of lies about the evils of Hillary Clinton. The fact that she is polling so well gives me hope that most people see through the bullshit, but then someone I know posts some "OMG we have two terrible choices this year!" meme, and I get very nervous all over again. Those of us who were politically aware in the 90s know better, but a lot of younger people have heard so much crap all their lives that they are saying things like, "I can't stand her but I guess I have to vote for her." And this makes me sad, because she is a good woman and a tireless, hardworking policy wonk who knows how the world works, and certainly doesn't deserve to be viewed as "the lesser of two evils", or be compared in any way to the fascist sociopath running on the other side. I have to remember every day that a lot of people don't pay attention to politics or read past the headlines or read more than one news source, and that is a very, very scary thought.

I'm a language (not grammar or punctuation) wonk as well as a history nerd. Note which news outlets call Secretary Clinton "Mrs. Clinton," whenever they mention her name. She's routinely divested of the office title which follows the SoS forever. Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Former SoS Henry Kissinger. That is how the media officially describes a former Secretary of State. But she's just MRS. Clinton on certain media outlets. When she wants to be informal and run as "Hillary!" that's totally cool, that's her campaign's choice, but when a news outlet refers to her, the opening paragraph/line of the story really should use her title. That's how it's done. She's just Mrs. Clinton. He has his name on buildings (cough, cough) and his daughter sells clothes, and his latest wife peddles skin care or some such. To a politically uninformed voting base, that's name recognition.

The other day a group of colleagues, all college educated, were talking about something I can't remember and were struggling to make an analogy. None of them could remember the story about the tea in the harbor, and who did what. I shit you not. (Non-US readers: insert whatever iconic story of your country's history you learned in third grade here.) The Boston Tea Party is one of the core stories taught in early elementary school as part of an intro to the country's history. Four educated adults couldn't remember the plot. The freak who reads American history for fun (me) had to fill them in a bit.

And I don't fault them. History education is abysmal in this country - so dry, so "memorize dates and events and puke them onto a test paper and forget them forever," at least when most of that foursome was in school. I shrugged off their amazement and said that I read history for fun, books by authors like David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin, and that the books honestly do read like novels and you'd enjoy them, really! And one of the participants in the conversation looked interested, but the rest were like "The nerd is speaking about boring things." But that little moment, unrelated to any political discussion, struck me as a snippet of what we're up against. A bright 30something who thinks Ivanka Trump is really smart and she loves her clothing line, and also thinks Hillary is a bitch, but she can't really say why. There are a lot of voters like that, not really paying attention to the issues but with positive feelings about the Trump brand because Ivanka has really cute dresses at Nordstrom, and were raised with a vague distrust of the Clinton name. And when I think about THAT too much, it scares the living shit out of me.

I'm very encouraged by how many Republicans are jumping the burning S.S. Trumpster Fire and endorsing Clinton. Come into the light, children. We have great food, all the best music and craft beers, and we will not say we told you so. Okay, some of us might, just a little, but we'll also buy you a beer.

In other news, I'm knitting and plotting the course of the rest of the year. I promise it won't be so much about politics. I don't have the energy for that shit.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ellie's One Month Anniversary.

We are awaiting the delivery of her one month anniversary present. (No, she's not going to get a two month anniversary present; I'm not nuts.) She needed a scratching post so she'll quit using my cheap microfiber spare side chair in the dining room, and she likes to stand up on her hind legs to scratch, so the horizontal scratcher meant nothing to her. I bought her a post with a sling bed on top and I'll put it in front of the kitchen window so she can view her world in comfort, and hopefully scratch on that thing now and then.

Other than the occasional molesting of my not new and not expensive furniture, this has been the best month of new cat in my LIFE. She's so mellow, so friendly, so relaxed.

That is how she looks when I leave for work, and how she looks when I get home. Yeah, relaxed. This has been a really amazingly cosmically good fit.