Jul 27, 2009

Harry made me do it.

Well, I should NEVER go to see Harry Potter movies. The problem is that I like them too much. They get me thinking about all the little stories I told myself when I was a kid, and all the little stories I told my daughter when she was a kid. See, I happen to think that we ALL have a little magic in us, especially women. It's just that we often forget about it, what with growing up and boyfriends, and husbands, and kids and responsibilities. In fact, I think we have A LOT of magic in us, if we just slow down enough, often enough, to remember it. I've been playing with my sparkly ladybug magic wand these last two days. I'm not so proficient with it and spend a lot of time sparkling things up. Luckily, Celeste knows when to dodge the magic wand sparkles and when they're just sparkles that are falling out of my spinning batts. She's only had sparkles from one or the other on her a couple of times. Both, I might add, are equally magical!

I remember that huff and fluff that was going on in the various churches some years back, when they decided that Harry Potter stories were DANGEROUS to kids and threats to God and the church. I thought it was ridiculous then and I still do. As I was perusing the Harry Potter books on Amazon.com this afternoon, I noticed that right there, among all that printed magic, was a book that warned about the dangers of Wicca to children. Well, I have to say that Harry Potter has nothing to do with Wiccan beliefs. While listening to the hubbub about it, after my sister got kicked out of her church because her kids revealed in Sunday school that they had indeed read ALL the Harry Potter books (gasp!!!), and when I discovered Lynn V. Andrews's books, I did some in-depth digging into the Wiccan religion and investigated. Just call me "Super Sleuth".

Wiccanism's nothing to do with Harry Potter. I have no judgements to proclaim, except to say that I just can't get into it as a religion. It's not for me. It is very interesting, though, and I think that before condemning it, one should know about it.

But anyway, because Harry was so good for me this week and lifted my spirits so immensely, I ran right over to Amazon.com, as I was saying earlier, and looked for some more fun and magical books. I haven't read all of the Potter series, and intend to do so when I get home in September because, you know, those corrupted children in my sister's house have all the stories, PLUS the Spiderwyck series!!! At this point, I think I need to point out that I corrupted my own daughter at an early age with the Wizard of Oz and later, with Magyck (the Septimus Heap series opener), Phillipa Gregory's book The Wise Woman, and Monica Furlong's Wise Child and Juniper. Even later, I turned her on to Diana Gabaldon's Voyager series and she traveled through time in her dreams.

She didn't tumble headlong into Wicca because of it - but she DID name her dog Juniper.

And when my mom was alive, all the women in our family, from age 7 to seventy, stumbled into a magical store in Olde Town in Fort Collins (just to the right of platform 9 1/2) to get a price on a Nimbus 2000 and wands similar to those used in the movies. Luckily for us, they were priced WAY out of our Christmas shopping budget. If they had been more affordable, we might have spent that Christmas zapping one another. Then the Church would probably have sent us all to hell, post haste. Good thing that fate intervened, isn't it?

Back to the search through Amazon.com for a Harry Potter-like magic fix. It turns out that I only glanced through Magyck in a very cursory way and don't remember much, if any, of the story. So I ordered the first two books in the Septimus Heap series, and then pre-ordered the one that's due out in a couple of months. And then I ordered Abby Franquemont's new spindling book, too, due out in December. Sorry, Abby. I didn't order from your website, even though I'd love to have your autograph. The money I saved by not having you sign the book will go towards the shipping costs. Spindling is a magical process in itself.

There. I said it. I admit it. I blew my fiber budget for next month on frivolous magic and IT'S ALL HARRY'S FAULT.

Jul 26, 2009

Tour d' fleece spinning

Here's my last photo of TdF spindling. Rough Cut Diamonds:

This is about 1 ounce of sock weight singles. Unfortunately, I still have 5 ounces to go.

Rough Cut Diamonds is superwash merino with sparkles, from Enchanted Knoll Farm.

Have a drinky-poo

Everywhere on the west coast of Peru, people use the diminutive when they speak. "Quesito?" (A little cheese?) When I was first learning about this phenomenon, I read that it is used to express endearment or cuteness. An example would be "tengo un perrito" (I have a cute little dog). Okay. I could understand that. But typically, I hear things like this: "Aqui estamos en el mercadito. Gaseosita? Solamente cuesta un solcito. Toma esta bebidita. Y carnecita? Come un poquitito y regresamos en la nochecita, amorcito. Llegamos a la casita en un ratito. Y entonces jugamos con tu perrito. Es presiosito!"

I translate this in the most literal way, because that's mostly the way my mind works, and because it makes me laugh. Then later, I go back and think about what the person really was saying. So at first, the Spanish comes into my mind like this:

Here we are in the cute little market. An itty bitty soda pop? It only costs one cute little sol. Have a little drinky-poo. And a little bit of meat? Eat a little bitty bit and we'll go back at nighty-poo, my cute little lovey dovey. We arrive at the housey-poo in a little minute-winute. And then we'll play with your little doggy-poo. It's so cutie-wootie!

Yeah. Makes me laugh and then makes me gag a little bitito. Too much sugar makes me ill.


Well, this is the last day of the Tour d' Fleece, and I've definitely bitten off more than I could chew. I managed to complete the Cabaret yarn, and filed a spindle with Rough Cut Diamonds, but only one, and I've got a private English lesson coming at 11, and a correspondence course on the puter that I've got to work on. Wah. I need to learn to stop over-committing and pace myself. I'm a non-finisher. But at least I've got 900 yards of really pretty sparkly yarn for a shawl and matching socks, probably...and the Rough Cut Diamonds is going to be nice, too. I should probably do some housework and laundry, too, before the lessons show up in a couple of hours. This apartment smells like STINKY DOG FEET.

And, I've been reading the Yarn Harlot's blog. She has a troll. Terrible. You may remember that I had a troll of my own a while back. I have sympathy for her, but Steph is lucky in that her troll doesn't personally know her, so cannot personalize her nastiness to the extent that mine did. I think, though, that she will be able to get past the ugliness by not responding to it. Delte all the ugly comments without posting a one, and not responding in any way to the comments or e-mails. I wonder what moves people to be so ugly on line. I wonder why they always feel so justified in their written attacks on others. I've had a lot of time to think about it, and I know that it has to be some kind of mental imbalance. After doing some research, I have learned a lot about Borderline Personality Disorder, and I feel like this fits my previous troll to a T. If you Google this, you will find a wealth of information on it. I can't think about this anymore - it still bothers me - so I'm moving on to another topic.

I went to see Harry Potter and The Half-blood Prince last yesterday afternoon. I loved it! I went kind of apprehensive, because all those child actors are growing up and I wondered how good it might be. I hoped the movie would still have all the charm that the first couple did. And it did. The ending is left open for the continuation, so I imagine that another one will be on the way in the next year or two. No spoilers here. I'll just say thank goodness there was no extended quiddich game. Just a short, quick match to prove the power of the mind.

Jul 18, 2009


So, I'm on my lunch break at work now. I've been thinking about my students a lot lately. Some of their parents are sending them to study here because they want them to travel to the US and have a better life than they could have in Peru. I think they must have always wanted that, because of some of the names they give their kids. I think (and I could be completely wrong about this) that they want them to have good American or English names, so they do their best. For example....

I have a student in Basic 9 this month whose name is Buby (pronounced "Booby"). The poor guy insists that he be called "Moises" (the Spanish version of "Moses"), which is his middle name. I gladly oblige him. I can't imagine waking up with a name like "Booby" every day, either.

I have another student named Rut. I believe it is meant to be Ruth. And there's Grake...Grace? Butsy...Bootie or maybe Betsy? Parents, parents...please check your spelling!

I found out that there was a period of time, about 1960, when in Peru it was illegal to name your child anything except a Biblical name. If it wasn't found in the Spanish version of the bible, it was illegal, and the application for a name would be rejected by the governmental agency for vital statistics. Goodness...talk about control freaks. No wonder there are so many women named Maria and so many men named Jose and Jesus!

Jul 17, 2009

spindling Cabaret

300 yards of Cabaret; superwash merino fingering weight yarn. Only about 1.5 ounces to go.

Jul 12, 2009

Tour d' Fleece, spindling and some excuses

You may have noticed that my posts have been woefully devoid of photos this winter (summer for you up there in the northern hemisphere). Yup. I've been neglecting the camera in favor of spindling. I'm participating in the Tour d' Fleece, spinning my little fingers down to the nubs, but so far I'm just managing to complete the plying on one skein of Cabaret fiber. Wah. My 6-days-a-week job gets in the way of spinning, and what a danged inconvenience it is. I think I'm in a fail situation. I may have to concede that I have set my goals too high. I hope not. I still have another 10 days to go, so it's possible that I could still pull this off.

Even if I don't reach my goals, I'll still come away with some nice yarns, and a bit of space cleared on the shelf for more fiber stash. I'll be able to do some vacation knitting and spinning in September, when I go home to the farm for a month. Hopefully, the pair of laceweight spindles that I ordered will be waiting for me, but I'll take one with me, just in case.

What? What's that you say?? Why, YES! I've bought my plane tickets for vacation! Yeay! O is a little bummed out, because he STILL has not applied for his visa, so he gets to stay home again this year and play with Celeste and do his own laundry. Tut tut. It's his own fault. The Embassy will not give you a visa if you do not ask for one. I tut when I think about it.

And, honestly, I must confess that my camera batteries are dead again. Grrr. Must rectify that when I get groceries sometime this week.

I hope that Peru is about done mourning Michael Jackson. I'm totally over seeing the funeral and the 1980's music videos played over and over every day. You do know that there were only two music videos that Michael Jackson made, don't you? They were Thriller and Billie Jean. At least that's the way it seems here. Nothing else is shown on TV, and on the radio? The Man in the Mirror. Over and over and over. The world was fascinated with Michael Jackson, but I'm ready to let him rest in peace. How about some Nickelback or Everlast, just for a change of pace?

Jul 8, 2009

Birthday weekend

Last week I had a birthday. I celebrate my birthday in a much different style than most people here in Peru. For my birthday, I prefer to forget about parties and have a quiet day. This year, both O and I were working, so there was no party planning on any one's part. O knows I don't go for parties, but his friends are pretty determined to take advantage of any excuse to have a fling. This year, thanks to my job, there was none of that. There was, however, a birthday lunch at some one's house.

Rosa and Flover live in Rimac, which is a very nice part of town, except for the smallish area where they live. Their neighborhood is SCARY. They have no car, and they live a little too far away from the market or the grocery store to walk, so we often give them rides to wherever they need to go. They repay the favors by making lunch occasionally, inviting us to barbecues, parties, and other events. I rarely go, but now it's understood that I just prefer a quieter lifestyle.

Anyway, Rosa insisted on a birthday lunch on the 2nd. Rosa is from the highlands and her taste in food is a little different than mine. My special lunch was actually Rosa's favorite: chanfainita, a typical highland dish.

How does it look? Tasty, right? Chanfainita is stew, made from chopped potatoes and cow's lungs. Now, I know she went to a LOT of effort to prepare this delicacy, but there are just some things that I don't want to eat. Lung tissue is one of those things that I choose not to eat. I think Celeste would enjoy this stew immensely.

Luckily for me, there was plenty of picante sauce and a good bottle of dry red wine. If not for those, I couldn't have managed to eat any of it. Rosa would have been offended and I would have been embarrassed to pieces. So I poured on enough hot sauce to set the house on fire added handfuls of chopped mint, and washed it all down with judicious sips of wine. Everything ended quite well. I didn't ask for seconds, but Rosa felt well pleased.

On Sunday, O and I went to dinner at Club Sullana, where we had a fantastic steak cooked with annato oil and fried yuca and banana slices. Then we went to see "Ice Age 3" and went home.

Jul 6, 2009

Complicated lives

While the US and the rest of the world is mourning the passing of Michael Jackson, Peru is feeling the pain of losing one of their own musical stars, Alicia Delgado. Alicia died last week, murdered at the hands of (supposedly) her chauffeur. It's a complicated tale, which gets more and more complex and twisted as the police dig further into her life.

From what I can gather, Alicia was known as the "Princesa de Folclor" (Princess of Folklore) and was a very popular singer of huayno (Peru's brand of country music.) The story is that she was married and later divorced from her husband, then hooked up with another female huayno singer, Abencia Meza, who later became Alicia's closet lover. After a time of performing together, they decided to come out of the closet. This was complicated by the fact that Alicia also had a male lover, a fact which really torqued Abencia's jaw.

Sooo...last week, Alicia was found, killed by a bullet to the brain. Several people have been arrested, and as the investigation continues, more and more people appear to be implicated, right down to Alicia's own mother, who made it known that if anything were to happen to Alicia, her mother would be able to sell Alicia's apartment for quite a pretty penny. Alicia's chauffeur claims that Abencia paid him to kill Alicia, so it's not his fault and he isn't guilty. Hmmm. That's as far as the things went last night. Maybe the news tonight will reveal still more twists in this confusing story.

Celeste is so confused by this sordid tale that she felt the need to leave a trail of dog food pieces from her bowl to the living room...you know, just in case she can't find her way to bed tonight. Hopefully there are no crows to come behind her and eat her crumbs. She might end up missing her bed and wind up in the witch's cottage deep in the forest, with Hansel and Gretel!

Okay, now I'm the one who's confused. Anyway, here's a Youtube flick of Alicia, and one of Abencia. Don't you just love a good "Whodunit"?