Monday, August 25, 2008


"My Fair Zombie" is not going to happen this year. Two of my zombies can't get their costumes done in time, and the banner was never ordered by the person who was assigned to get it. Sigh. I am very disappointed. :-(

I'm going to try to come up with a clever headdress like I did for Dragon*con last year, but I may not have time. I ordered a solar system mobile from amazon.com, but I didn't order it until today, and so it may not arrive in time, even though I paid a ridiculous expedited shipping price. If it arrives in time, I'm going to attach it to a hat and put a little sign on Pluto that says, "Will orbit for food".

Since I have ended up with so much zombie make-up on hand, I've been rethinking my Halloween costume. I think I'll come to the office Halloween party as a Republican zombie. In fact, I might try to coop some coworkers into doing a group "Zombies for McCain" costume. I'm trying to think up with a clever campaign slogan for a sign. You know, something like "A braaaain in every pot" or "Leave no braaaains behind" or "Building a braaaain to the future".

What? Surely you had figured out that I'm a yellow dog Democrat by now? ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scotland, Part 4

On our last day on Iona, I finally found one of those "thin places" that Matthew kept talking about. I walked up to the North Beach, where the monks of St. Columba's abbey were slaughtered by Viking raiders (not an uncommon occurrence, apparently), and it was the most beautiful place you can imagine. The beach is a combination of white sand, pebbles, and huge striated mounds of granite--red, green, and blue-gray. If the boulders had had a weft, they would have looked plaid. ;-) The water in the bay is crystal clear, so the white sand bottom makes the water look aqua, dotted with dark mounds of granite. Stunning. Just stunning. There was a beautiful multi-tiered tidal pool in one of the granite mounds on the shore, and I climbed up to the top of that mound and just sat for an hour or so, looking out over the surf.

And that's when I found the thin place between the temporal and the spiritual.

I'm glad it happened before I left. I had really been struggling to find the vaunted spirituality for which Iona is famous, and I was afraid that our time on Cumbrae would be the only real spiritual highlight, but this was a good day. Not only did I find the thin place, but, despite my meltdown on the stairs, Staffa turned out to be a wonderful experience. We reaffirmed our baptismal vows on top of the island and sang songs to the rest of the boat's passengers on the way back to Iona (whether they wanted to hear us or not), including the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father Strong to Save", because it started raining, and the sea became a little rough. I thought the lyric was appropriate:

Hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

I did such a good job on my packing (I brought old clothes to throw away) that I was able to pack all my new clothes (except my fleece jacket and boiled wool hat, which I was wearing) and my souvenirs in my two little round vintage American Tourister suitcases and a burlap tote bag that I picked up in Inverary. I am traveler; hear me roar! :-D Which leads me to my only nitpick about this trip...suitcases. I have a theory of traveling. If you can't handle your own suitcase--up hills, on stairs, whatever--then your suitcase is too dang big, and you need to get rid of some stuff and pack a smaller suitcase. Now, for the the elderly, of which we have a few (or Carol, who broke her foot on this trip), I make an exception, but if you're middle-aged or younger and healthy, then you should be able to carry you own suitcase and not expect the men of the group to do it for you. Yes, I'm talking about the women on the trip, who brought giant suitcases full of stuff they really didn't need and expected to have help managing their own luggage.

Other than that, it was an unequivocally marvelous experience. :-) Next year, Canterbury and walking the Pilgrim Pathway!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Because it's only fair to give Team USA equal time...

Opening ceremonies:

Closing ceremonies:

If you didn't know it was Ralph Lauren, you'd still know it was Ralph Lauren. ;-)

Ye gods.

Have you seen Team Canada's Olympic uniforms?

I have no idea what the Canadian Olympic Committe was smoking when they chose those uniforms, but I'll bet they have a twelve-step program for it somewhere.

Now I kinda wish I wasn't boycotting the Olympics, so I could see what other fashion atrocities are being committed in the Opening Ceremony. ;-)

What Min Is Reading on a Rainy Day

  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, Alan Bradley
  • A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny

Min's Current Conditions

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Nashville, TN, United States
If it was a perfect world, I'd be out of a job.