lady_branwyn: (solstice)

Wishing a Merry Christmas and Glad Yule to those who celebrate.
lady_branwyn: (solstice)
Large, soft flakes of snow are spiralling slowly to the ground, the Christmas tree is lit, and in the kitchen, Lord Branwyn is baking pizzelles and listening to an audiobook of At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like the Cthulhu mythos.
On Wednesday, I drove to the Pittsburgh IKEA to meet with an old friend. We had lunch in the funky restaurant then wandered around the store, by turns marvelling and laughing at the merchandise. We both went home with snowflake-shaped Christmas lights. It was almost worth buying these lights for the instructions alone--

"Electric lamps are much safer than candles, go electric, no candles on your tree or anywhere near it. You may know they are just for show but someone else during the festivities might think lighting the candles is a great idea. Go electric.
Have you got young people in the house? Have you got a working smoke alarm? Have you tested it? Go-on, do it now, you know it makes sense. Then go and buy a battery, it is so very necessary for a happy Holiday. First the smoke alarm, then the fancy decorations!"

Thank you, Mother IKEA!
lady_branwyn: (Faramir for Steward)
Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lilan14! I hope your day was happy and that the coming year will be even better.

lady_branwyn: (solstice)
Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jay_of_lasgalen for the lovely Christmas card sent from across the sea!
lady_branwyn: (Default)
An elegy for Mike the Cat who guarded the British Museum for many years. The last four lines are widely quoted, but I finally found the entire poem on the amazing Purr-n-Fur.org.uk website.

TO THE MEMORY OF
"MIKE,"
THE MUSEUM CAT.
Died Jan. 15, 1929,
Aged Twenty Years.

All ye that learnèd hours beguile
In the Museum’s dingy pile,
And daily through its portals pass,
And marked the cat upon the grass
That sat — alas, he sits no more! —
Give ear a moment, I implore,
And mourn the fate of poor old Mike!
When shall we ever see his like?
No fate untimely snatched away
This pussy-cat Methuselah;
When Death removed him, he had near
Accomplishèd his twentieth year:
For since we are a learned crew
In the Museum — Michael knew
Of Argus, that famed hound of old
Who lived through hunger, heat and cold;
And when his lord came home at last,
When twenty years were well-nigh past,
Looked up, and wagged his tail, and died:
But Michael, stiff with feline pride,
Vowed, by a dog he’d not be beat,
And set himself to cap that feat.
He’d sit and sun himself sedately,
No Sphinx or Sekhmet looked more stately;
He cared not in the very least
For human being, bird or beast;
He let the pigeons eat their fill,
Nor even one was known to kill;
But scared them if they stayed too nigh
By the sole terror of his eye.
To public, and officials too,
He showed the scorn which was their due:
And if perchance some forward minx
Dared to go up and stroke the Sphinx —
Her hand shot back, all marked with scores
From the offended Michael’s claws.
And he who writes these lines, one day
Ventured a compliment to pay,
And for reply received a bite —
No doubt you’ll answer, "Serve him right!"
So out of all the human crew
He cared for none — save only two:
For these he purred, for these he played,
And let himself be stroked, and laid
Aside his anti-human grudge —
His owner — and Sir Ernest Budge!
A master of Egyptian lore,
No doubt Sir Ernest had a store
Of charms and spells decipherèd
From feline mummies long since dead,
And found a way by magic art
To win that savage feline heart.
Each morn Sir Ernest, without qualms,
Would take up Michael in his arms;
And still remained his staunchest friend,
And comforted his latter end.
Old Mike! Farewell! We all regret you,
Although you would not let us pet you;
Of cats the wisest, oldest, best cat,
This be your motto — Requiescat!

F. C. W. Hiley
lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
This house was built to hold someone's collection of Tolkien tchotchkes. I want to live there.



When Lord Branwyn and I went out to dinner this evening, we were given a restaurant pager that sounded just like the Horn of Gondor from the movie (or the "car horn of Gondor" as my friend Jean called it). Blat, blat, blat, blat. It was a struggle not to break out laughing.
lady_branwyn: (catnip)
Borrowed from George Takei's Facebook page--

lady_branwyn: (Kimba)
This eveing, I made the mistake of leaving the laptop turned on and unattended. When I returned, Kimba was perched on it listening to Finnish epic metal. She had discovered that it makes a toasty-warm cat bed and squawked angrily when I evicted her. She had managed to
--disconnect the Internet
--turn on an audio CD
--hit the capslock
--send a command to an Excel worksheet
Not bad for someone without opposable thumbs.
lady_branwyn: (shittin' me)


Hell, yeah! Gimme that old time religion. It's good enough for me.
lady_branwyn: (typewriter; picowrimo)
My mother's speech was riddled with colloquialisms, and they still bubble up from my subconscious like methane in a swamp. I can't look at a pair of Uggs without thinking reflexively I wouldn't wear those to a dogfight.


[Poll #1765413]

Edit: That's annoying--you can post only one response.

Marmite

Jun. 23rd, 2011 07:29 pm
lady_branwyn: (Kimba)
Giant Eagle is not my favorite grocery story, but I do like their selection of "ethnic foods" and stop by once in awhile to stock up. Yesterday, I discovered that the foreign section spills over into another aisle--Britain and Germany are hiding across from the ice cream coolers. There were shelves of sweets that I want to try including some rude chocolate bar that is "not for girls!" British readers, feel free to explain what that is all about. But it was the squat, little yellow jars with the old-fashioned label that really caught my eye. I've read about the love/hate relationship between Britons and their Marmite and wanted to discover how bad it actually was.
I wasn't going to inflict this stuff on Lord Branwyn (who doesn't have my taste for weird pungent stuff), so tonight was a good night to experiment since he is out playing cards and won't be home for supper. I made some toast then opened the jar and stared in wonder at the gleaming black sludge within. It looked like something scraped up after an oil spill. According to the jar, a serving is only one 1/2 teaspoon, but you would have to spread it microscopically thin, so I used about a teaspoon per piece of toast. Because I didn't want to throw out two perfectly good pieces of bread, I increased the chances of edibility by sprinkling grated cheddar cheese on top and heating it in the microwave.
The taste was predominently salty and reminded me a little of soy sauce. At least when it was filtered through cheese, it tasted pretty good. What a surprise, lol...
lady_branwyn: (candles)
Best wishes to [livejournal.com profile] avon7 on her birthday!


lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
This year has been a bad one for many people, so I was happy to hear some good news yesterday. While walking along the Cuyahoga River (the infamous burning river) where it runs through my old home town, an acquaintance saw a baby otter! After a century-long absence, the river otters are back. The water used to be funneled through an old stone dam in the center of town, but several years ago it was dismantled to improve the habitat for fish. And now there are enough fish to interest a family of otters.
lady_branwyn: (Lake Erie Monsters)
Yay Monsters! Another win, despite the worst efforts of the referees.
lady_branwyn: (Kimba)
One of the students brought her young daughter to t'ai chi class tonight. The little girl picked up the movements with amazing ease.
T'ai chi: it's too simple for adults.
lady_branwyn: (Kimba)
Playing chords would be much easier if I had a few additional fingers or fingers the width of a pencil. More guitar babbling... )
lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
I won't see the televised series for a while, but I decided to read the book so I can intelligently follow the wild fangurl squeeing. Provisioned with two freshly-baked coconut cupcakes and a big cup of coffee, I retreated to my comfy chair with Lord Branwyn's copy of A Game of Thrones.

Cut for spoilers )
lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
My heart was all aflutter when I heard that Bret McKenzie (AKA "Figwit") would be appearing in the upcoming Hobbit movie(s). We now have more details. According to Variety, McKenzie is slated to play Lindir the elf, a character who has a brief conversation with Bilbo in the FOTR.

Tartan Week

Apr. 4th, 2011 08:20 pm
lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
Celebrate Tartan Week--because why should the Irish have all the fun?
Sadly, there don't seem to be any events planned around here.
Edit: No, there's a brunch at a somewhat local restaurant, with dancers and piping! Woot!
lady_branwyn: (Niphredil)
Happy St. Patrick's Day to those who celebrate.

From the local news:
The city boasts one of the oldest St. Patrick's Day parades in the nation. The first parade took place in 1867. There were no parades downtown between 1913 and 1935 because of the Depression. Huh? *head desk*

I had a lovely visit with my house guest. Among other things, we visited the art musuem and took in an exhibit of illuminated manuscripts. We both had headaches afterwards from squinting! I am fighting the urge to pull out my stash of little tubes of gouache and make bad art. :D
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