Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Geekiest Book Ever

My Dearest Kendrah,

Wow. You were right. It is yellow! And not a nice spring day sunny kind of yellow either. More of an “evil Yellow Face, it burns us!” kind of yellow. Nothing a little paint can’t solve. The king has offered to try and get some of the folks from Habitat for Hobbits to come by and give you a hand with painting. You’ll need to do all the high parts though…or get lots of ladders…

As mentioned above, I am reading what could possibly be the geekiest book ever written. Geekier than Tom Shippey’s “Road to Middle Earth”. Geekier than “The Tolkien Quiz Book” from 1979. Yes, even geekier than all ten volumes of “The History of Middle Earth”. The title of this jewel: “The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary” written by editors of the OED.

Now, you know how much I love the OED. And you must be aware of the many lunch breaks where I’ve sat in my office eating a tuna salad sandwich and reading the online version. But this may be going too far. A book ABOUT the OED? If that weren’t geeky enough, let’s add a little Tolkien. Throw in a 20-sided die and a bootleg VHS copy of the Star Wars holiday special and I might as well be living in my parents’ basement! (I mean, if I had parents…).

Geekier or not, it’s a fascinating read, if you enjoy that sort of thing. And it would be fascinating even without the Tolkien connection (but I bet it wouldn’t sell as well!). I would never have thought that the history of a dictionary could be so interesting. And I guess merely reading it is not as geeky as writing it? Right?

Well, I need to go and finish my chapter before bedtime. It was good to see you this weekend, even for such a brief time. (By the way, you forgot the tape and trucks!) I hope to talk to you soon.

Your Affectionate Friend,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Yellow Monster

My Dearest Corwynne,

I am glad to hear that the King is still enjoying The Doctor. At least when he isn’t muttering. Leggs continues to mutter as well…and doom has also slipped out from time to time as well. Do you think they know something we don’t? Nah…

Anyway, the yellow monster is pretty much mine. My offer was countered. Their counter was very acceptable and I jumped all over it. The deed is being drawn up and since I am paying cash, I can’t think of a way it can go bad. So I am adjusting to the idea that I will be a homeowner. Not nearly as frightening as it would be if I had a mortgage, but still a wee bit daunting. It’s probably all the yellow.

I have chosen paint colors of which Leggs approves and am ready to begin the process of packing, painting and cleaning. Then I will move on to the joys of roofing. I think in the end it will be quite nice, but for now it will remain the Yellow Monster. I think when you see the enclosed renderings you will understand Leggs’ consern….it is really yellow….

Well, I am off, the ex is coming over to visit with the sons.

Your affectionate friend,

View from the street

Part of the yellow kitchen

The rest of the yellow kitchen

Have I mentioned that everything is yellow....Anyway, I think you get the idea.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Color Codes

My Dearest Kendrah,

Fluorescent yellow, huh? The king and I wish you best of luck with your bid anyway. I few cans of paint and all will be well, right?

I am fascinated by Legolas's skill with color divination. It makes sense that the Eldar would seek guidance from natural omens (red sky at night, sailors’ delight and whatnot), but I’m fascinated by his use of Man-made objects and coloring. I guess there just aren’t that many natural places in our world to seek omens any more and we must take them where we can get them. Let us hope his concern is nothing more than Elvish superstition.

The king has been in a restive mood recently, often muttering about Doom and Fate and the like. Maybe he just spent too much time with the Rohirrim over the Yule season. Eomer and friends can be real downers when not engaged in orc-slaughter or drinking contests.

We spent most of weekend sitting on the couch with Buford wrapped in blankets watching Dr. Who. There was a gas leak outside my house on Friday so no heat or stove. Whatever the issue was, it took forever to fix. The nice neighbor brought me an extra space heater. It was a very kind thing to do. We didn’t get the gas turned back on until 6:30 Saturday night. I was so happy to take a hot shower! Aragorn tells me I’m getting soft and spoiled. “You don’t need a hot shower every day. You don’t even need a shower every day!” Believe me, after 24 hours of cuddling with a Ranger and a beagle, I needed a shower!

When he’s not muttering, the king is very much enjoying the Who-athon. This weekend we watched our first Tom Baker adventure…and there were Daleks! Who could ask for more? (Well, HEAT would have been nice, but I digress). Glad you’re enjoying ACGAS. Thinking of Leggs as vet in Yorkshire makes me giggle…a lot…at inappropriate moments.

Well, I must sign off for now. I want to finish this last chapter of Mircea Eliade’s “Myth of the Eternal Return” Nothing like a little comparative mythology to get your evening started right! Then I’m off to do a talk on traditional rites and rituals of St. Brigid. I should probably get some coffee too…

Hope all is well with you.
Your Affectionate Friend,

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yellow Portents of Evil

My Dearest Corwynne,

Something strange is going on with Leggs. I took him to see the house I am putting in an offer on yesterday and he was in the strangest mood. It is usually the King who mutters when in an odd mood, but yesterday it was Leggs. The house is painted fluorescent yellow, inside and out, including the ceiling. I could hear Leggs talking behind me. I didn't catch everything he said. But I did hear him saying that yellow is the color of cowards and is a portent of evil. On the way home he was in a lather, exclaiming that the first thing to be done was painting. That he could not allow me to live in a house of that color. I thought it disheartening that he thought I could live in a house with a bright yellow ceiling, but whatever...
He was much calmer by the time we came home and were watching his favorite show, "All Creatures Great and Small"

I am enjoying the show as well, but I don't think the title is right. I am certain that the original title must have been "All Creatures Great and Small, I am sorry but there is nothing I can do. We should put it to sleep. Don't you think that would be for the Best?" But that must have been too long to fit in the TVGuide of the 1970's. Anyway, Leggs is a big fan of the countryside the good doctor works in and thinks that if he was mortal and not independently wealthy, being a vet would be an ideal job for him. It makes me snicker to think of Leggs performing the internal exams that Mr. Harriot seems so fond of, but I try to keep it to myself so that I don't upset the delicate balance between pleasant mood and confused rantings that have been the way of things with him the past few days.

I hope that you and the King are still enjoying your Who-athon. I plan to have one of those myself, but it is still a way off. I don't think that Leggs will be a fan so I will need to find something to keep him occupied before I start.

Anyway, that is all the news that is fit to print.
Take Care,
Your affectionate friend,

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Now we know

My Dearest Kendrah,

You are right. Now we know. I understand Gimli's dismay at being beaten by Gandalf, but to be honest, movie Gandalf kicked a lot more butt than book Gandalf, so it stands to reason that game Gandalf would be even better at butt-kicking. Apparently his butt-kicking capabilites increase with sophistication of the media in which he is presented. We should probably keep an eye on that.

It was kind of Leggs to at least try and participate in your holiday festivities. I know disconcerting large groups of humans at revel can be to him. I'm not sorry that he spent some of his time keeping an eye on Eowyn and the goings on in the White City. It is comforting to know that my concerns about the Steward's Wife are shared by others and not merely my personal paranoid flights of fancy. As long as Aragorn remains oblivious, all will be well.

All in all, I think the holiday festivities were successful on both sides of reality. Saturday night was my very last holiday event of the 2006-2007 season-Kathryn and Andrew's Epiphany Party. Unfortunately, drinking of the Church Brew Works "Sleigh Wrecker Ale" and the spirited singing of Christmas carols (all the verses...loudly)on top of the headcold I was just gettting over made me lose my voice for several days. I'm mostly better now, just a lingering cough and stuffiness. Robitussin is my friend. Aragorn discovered the convenience of Lipton soup packets and has been keeping my spirits up by preparing bowls of high sodium chicken soup.

The king has been hanging around a lot recently "to nurse me back to health." Personally, I think he's gotten hooked on Doctor Who and doesn't want to miss any of the Who-athon. We STILL haven't gotten to the Tom Baker years! There are quite a few Jon Pertwee's to go (and one Patrick Troughton that somehow got out of order on my queue)BTW...Pertwee's first adventure..."Spearhead from Space"...DOLLS! That's all I will say on the matter...DOLLS. I think the Doctor is scarier than we remembered!

Well, I must be off. I should try to get some work done today. The workstudies have gone on an adventure to buy stamps and make gift certificates. Let's hope there journey is successful!

Your Affectionate Friend,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Long Awaited Results

My Dearest Corwynne,

It has been many years since I first wondered who won the killing contest between Leggs and Gimli. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the fact that I have no life, the results are in.
I got the computer game “The Battle for Middle Earth” for Christmas and I have been enjoying playing it ever since. I just completed my first campaign and the program actually keeps track of your kills for each character. (Leggs hates it when I call him a character.)

Drumroll please…..Legolas is the clear winner with 3,530 kills. This information does not surprise me. What does surprise me is the second place winner….Gandalf with 3,200. Gimli is a distant third with 1,423. Needless to say, Gimli is not amused. He is not terribly upset by losing to Leggs, I think he kind of expected that, but to lose to the wizard who he has heard me complain about so often (remember the days of my "I want a better wizard.” Chant?) has him clamoring for a rematch.

My plan is to play the campaign again on the next difficulty level. I will also try and put Gimli into the fray a bit more. I think the programers don’t know him the way I do and would allow him to stand by when others fight, which is not the Gimli I know.

In other computer LOTR news, I was playing the other day while on the phone with He Who is Hated By Elves aka Rook. He was very amused by my attempts to get Merry and Theoden to level ten prior to their arrival at the Black Gate. He suggested that I let them reach the level when they got there. In the end I tried that with Theoden, but Merry had to be at level 10 ahead of time because I had a feeling the things were going to go badly for the hobbits at the Black Gate. I was right. In the end I had to hide Merry and Pippin (the hobbit not the dog) in a corner and hope that the Oliphonts didn’t trample them. They seemed ok with that. They just stood there saying “I never should have come here.” (Merry) and asking “Can I have some bacon?” (Pippin)

In the end, Middle Earth was saved and all the hero survived...including Boromir and Theoden. Sadly, Theoden never reached level ten. When he finally goes to the Halls of His Fathers, I am sure they will pick on him for it.

So it seems that I have successfully brought the fantasy people into reality with me and tormenting them in both realms….

Your affectionate friend,