Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Prima designed the pumpkin on the bottom- no idea where she got the idea.  Isn't she amazing?  The top one belongs to ghosty boy; he gets one every year.

I think it's rather sad that Halloween is not really celebrated in Switzerland.
Unlike the winter holidays, when people tended to retreat to their immediate or extended families, I remember Halloween being a time when everybody went out and rang doorbells, and lots of lonely people in my neighbourhood seemed to really look forward to it.  Shy people could interact and be part of the community in a non-committal, non-threatening, peripheral kind of way.  I used to wonder why the old ladies on my street seemed so thrilled when we rang the doorbell.  As a kid I couldn't see what was in it for them.  We came and took their candy away!  I remember thinking, "What crazy old ladies!  They can buy a whole bag of mini-Mars Bars, and then they give them away!  They should just not answer the door, and eat all the goodies!"  I like to think I've changed a bit...

Happy Halloween, everybody.  It's the day we all give our ghosties an extra hug.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We All Appreciate a Nice Rejection

I just thought I'd pass this story along. It's called "Amid the Words of War," and was written by Cat Rambo, who sent me my favourite rejection. I'm not being cheeky here, I'm dead serious. I realise that editors can't accept everything, and one that can say NO in a way that doesn't leave you demoralized and suicidal is an asset to the writing world.
All that and she can write too.
So have a look if you have some free time.

Also; tune in on November 1st. We're going to play a little game :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fluffy Things are Afoot

You may remember posts about our cat, who went out in June and didn't come back. We hope she has simply wandered off with some smooth-talking tomcat to live the high life. Be that as it may, we miss her fuzzitude enormously, feline fuzzitude in general, really, so we thought we'd give it one more go. If these two wander off, that'll be all folks, because we can stand only so much heartbreak. But one last try.

So the orange one on the top there has clearly mastered the art of being cute, and will probably be named 'Manderinli,' which means 'little manderine orange.' The dark one is a bit trickier. We have a long and glorious tradition of naming our cats after edible things but all we've come up with so far is 'Treacle,' 'Molasses,' 'Sorghum'... you get the idea. Someone suggested 'Burnt Toast,' and we could call her 'Burnie,' but that got dropped fairly quickly. Jaffa Cake's been done, of course. Any ideas?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, Monday.

Hi Bloglodytes.
Time for that holiday debriefing I promised you, along with some whining about the weather.

Taking my holiday goals point by point:

1. This one was complicated. Did I
-recharge my writing bats
-sit in caf├ęs
-check books out of libraries
-oil my grey cells with donuts
all in English? Yes and no. Three weeks sounded like such a long time, but family and friends soaked up so much of it (in a good way) that I did not get any time alone to speak of. See number ten. I also hardly had anytime to read- I didn't even finish the one book I brought with me for the flight over. I did however, get donuts.
2. Did I check out my sis-in-law's belly? Yes! This is a fantastic belly, and, rumour has it, crammed with Girl Power, and bigbro took us to the clinic where he works to show us an ultrasound. Even grey and pixalated, she's a cutie.
3. My old college buddy, The Ped, is still totally silly. Husband show's signs of being unworthy (doesn't think Monty Python is funny) but is otherwise a nice guy. Not my call.
4. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Old Man With Beard fucking shaved! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Other than that, we had fun, but isn't it strong, this desire to have your childhood fixtures not change? Grow it back! Grow it back!
5. Shop. Did that. Should have taken a picture of it all, but didn't think to. What did I buy? Why, what any normal person would buy; 112 mechanical pencils, Halloweeny stuff since it's so hard to get over here, lots of word games in English, Candy Corn, fancy schmancy M&Ms (another thing I can't get over here,) another box of Wilton's food coloring so I can make more cakes like this, and some other bits and bobs, such as a liquid soap dispenser in the shape of the Toy Story aliens, T-shirts for the kids...
6. Yes, I ate donuts and cakes. For about one week I was royally sick of them but now I miss them already. Also, on another, totally unrelated note, some wiseass has let air out of the giant inflatable ball I use as a chair in my office while I was away. I know this because I am much lower to the ground.
7. Ethnic food, ordered in English: Mexican, Vietnamese (cooked by my friend, yummy!) Indian, Asian Fusion, Middle Eastern, and lots of faves (Clausen chilled dills, anyone?) from the supermarket.
8. Hiking. Well. Since Old Man With Beard Who Messed With My Head And Shaved (see number 4) came along, we were limited. We did go to the swamp, though.

9. Oh, bugger. Totally forgot to teach my nephews how to burp. Taught them a few curse words, apparently, which didn't go over too well, although apparently unlimited violence is OK, as long as we're all clear on who the 'bad' guy is. Go figure.
10. Hide when it's time to come home. I didn't do this. As mentioned in number three, I had very little time to myself. Even though I tend to be an early riser, since we were usually either staying in a house full of people or sharing (all five of us) a hotel room, I was kind of happy to get back to my little office (see the view here (top photo)) and an unshared computer. Yes, I'm a spoiled brat. You love me anyway?

It was a fun trip. The weather was mostly very agreeable. Listen to me; I'm using words like agreeable. I'm feeling a bit flat. I think it is just simply the case, that when you share holiday time with friends and family, you have to find activities that suit everyone, so you can't cut loose as much. Perhaps that's it. Anyway, though I had fun, I have the feeling now that I did not manage to sink my teeth into this holiday the way I had planned. Is that it? Hmmm... I have to let this feeling percolate a bit more... Anyway, I'm writing again, so that's got to be good.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


More to come, Bloglodytes, I promise, but I have failed utterly to get a decent night's sleep since I got back, plus I have a Koala (totally justified, I add) up my butt, so this is all you get for now.  Even so, these donuts are pretty righteous, aren't they?  Go on! Help yourselves!