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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

My Little Sister Is an Old Married Lady Now!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

My Little Sister Is an Old Married Lady Now!

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Well, it's official: My little sister Sharon and her girlfriend of two years have tied the knot. *pops the cork on some sparkling cider since Sharon's straight-edge and won't drink champagne* So now she's an old married lady like me with full rights to gripe if Kirsty consistently leaves the kitchen lights on or fails to turn her clothes out before putting them into the laundry.

They're in London on honeymoon and aren't here to see it, but here's some obnoxious marquee spam done in their honor!


Sharon is probably regreting the day that she ever agreed to teach me basic HTML and therefore opened a can of worms for me to discover the marquee tag!

In other news, I'm trying to resist the urge to plunge into my next story--an o-fic for Sharon's birthday at the end of June, incidentally--until I get some stuff done. Namely, the Silmarillion readings for the next two weeks so that Jenni can post them while I'm gone. I've got "Of the Fifth Battle" to do, which shouldn't be bad, as the chapter is not that long...and "Of Turin." "Of Turin" is humongous! It's going to take forever, just like the damned "Beren and Luthien" chapter this past week. Someone should have asked the good professor to at least try for consistent chapter length. Some of the early chapters are, what, two pages? Then the ending chapters are novellas unto themselves.

In baby-bird news, we have another egg! Indis laid another egg sometime over the weekend, and she and Finwe have been busy rebuilding the nest. I'll be checking in often to see if she lays anymore, but it looks like we'll have at least one new baby. We'd planned on taking our plants to my in-laws while we're in Puerto Rico, but it looks like we're going to be trusting ol' Mother Nature to assure that the snapdragon gets watered. Mother Nature and Potter, who might stop by the apartment a couple of times while we're gone. He's free, therefore, to use the Xbox 360...as long as he waters my snapdragon.

Coming to work this morning, a saw a tanker truck slam into the side of a passenger car. The guy in the car was fine...or so I presume, since he immediately jumped out of the car and started screaming at the trucker, running back and forth across the highway, waving his hands and shouting. The trucker never climbed down while I was there, and I do not blame him. I think the guy would have kicked his ass. Really, I don't know what the trucker was thinking. Maybe he wasn't thinking, and that was the problem. He made a left turn right into the side of this guy crossing the intersection.

I told Bobby the other day that--despite the things we enjoy doing that seem like they'd be higher risk than driving a car--I am far more afraid of driving lately than nearly anything else. I still flinch when cars come out of driveways to my right. I have to try very hard not to be a back-seat driver when I'm not behind the wheel and second-guess everything that Bobby or Potter is doing. Three times in the past three weeks, Bobby says, he has nearly been hit by people who act as though our car is invisble. (Our Aerio is bright apple-red; I guarantee you, it is not invisible!) Twice, I have been with him. Once, I was driving. A woman pulled in front of me from stopped traffic while I was driving down the interstate on Friday; if I'd been going 5 mph faster or if Bobby hadn't said, "Watch this idiot," right before she pulled out or if I had stopped five inches closer, I would have hit her.

Those of you who don't drive, you have the right idea. I wish that I could join you.

Is it sad when I ponder the feasibility of riding a bike fourteen miles to work each day? Of course, this still requires me to be on the road with insane drivers.

Our higher-up boss Vernon was nearly killed over Memorial Weekend when he took his brand-new Harley Davidson motorcycle out for the first time, and a guy made a left turn right in front of him. He said that the guy stopped, looked at him, and turned anyway. He broke three ribs and punctured a lung; he only got out of the hospital at the end of last week.

I'm really depressing myself now. But it's hard not to think of these things lately.

On a brighter note, Bobby and I are seeing Spamalot at the National Theatre in Washington tonight. He surprised me with tickets; they'd sold out, but they recently opened more seats, and he grabbed them up as soon as he could. One of his coworkers who went with us to the hockey game on Saturday saw it and loved it. Since Bobby, Potter, and I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail every six months or so, I think we'll love it too.
  • I can totally relate to that driving thing. Since I moved out I hardly every drive by car, since firstly I haven't got an own one anymore, and secondly living in a pretty urban area I can always take my bike or public transport (when the weather's less than fine). I have a motorbiking license (though I hardly ever drive since I can't affort my own bike and it's not really practical in the city anyway) and ever since I did that I'm very, very finely attuned to traffic, because you quickly learn that most people have little respect for vehicles with not more than 2 wheel and so you have to be a hell of careful all the time.

    When I should happen to drive a car I only realize how many people drive like idiots, especially on the highway since we have no speed limits there. While I like driving fast I'll only ever do so, when it's safe but there are many people who act like they're the only ones on the street actually. *eyeroll*

    But going by bike can be rather nerve-racking, too. Especially when there's those folks in the big SUV that literally seem to think "Girl on a bike? Ah well, I have the bigger vehicle... I do not need to be careful to not endanger anyone." Idiots.

    And on a more positive note:

    All my best wishes to your sister and her girl-friend!!! :)
    • I don't think that I could ever truly ride a bike or motorbike in traffic. Not around here. Not with the way that people drive. If I lived in the middle of nowhere, it would be different, but Ellicott City is smack between Baltimore and Washington, and people here have an elevated sense of self-importance, where they're willing to jeopardize your safety to get to a meeting five minutes earlier.

      We do have speed limits on our highways, but they're more regarded as speed minimums. Route 175 that I take to work, for example, is limit 50 mph; I drive 60-65 and get glowers every morning...and my doors blown off.

      Driving is just such a scary endeavor lately. I wish that we had a public transport system around here that's worth it's salt. Everything that we have is either very confined (eg, just Howard County) or expensive (eg, eight bucks for a half-hour Metro trip into DC). And, of course, you have to drive on the big, mean highway to get to the Metro. There's American efficiency for you. ;)
      • Funny thing is, around here I'd consider it almost safer to drive a bike in the city, because most drivers there seem to be at least aware of the fact that there's pretty much going on on the streets. On the contrary, where I originally come from - which is a bit in the back of beyond - you really have to be careful on the public roads; people tend to drive unreasonably fast and fancy themselves almighty with a big vehicle.

        Speed limits get disregarded there pretty much, too. The road I had to drive to school had a limit of what I think equals 60 mph. Because I was always late I drove a bit faster most of the time... and still there were some morons who thought it necessary to overtake me in the dumbest spots (before bends in the road etc.).

        Public transport here is also rather expensive. I only use it as a last resort, but it's nice anyway to know that it's there when you need it. :)
  • Oh, that is so cool that Sharon and Kirsty got married! I send my congratulations along to them as well.

    So Indis laid another egg! Good for her! How many did she have already, two? So who will this chick be?

    Agghh! Some drivers are such maniacs! You know, since I've been at home during the week for almost two years now, I swear I hear sirens every single morning coming from the main street/highway that runs through the centre of this burg from north to south. I always think to myself, "How can there be an accident every single damn morning??? What is wrong with people?" But when you mentioned riding a bicycle to work, I cringed. This is just a personal squick, but I used to work with a girl that I was becoming very good friends with, and she was hit by a truck and killed while riding her bike to work one day. It was just so horrible. It happened twenty years ago but I'm still horrified by it. I'll never forget the awfulness of not having her around anymore. So - please - whatever it's worth - DON'T!!! On a bicycle you have no protection at all - whatsoever - you are a sitting duck. And there are way too many idiotic drivers out there. With cell phones. *shudder*

    Okay, on a brighter note - I hope you enjoy Spamalot - I am sure you will (not that I've seen it or anything, but it looked like a lot of fun when I read about it in Entertainment Weekly - I subscribe to EW). You'll have to post a review tomorrow.
    • Indis had four eggs of her own and one adopted last time. They've since hatched and flown the proverbial coop, making this round 2! So there's just one egg in the nest so far; I don't know if they tend to lay them all at once--meaning that there will be only one--or if it's possible to lay them spaced over several days. If it is just one, I bet she'll be glad to take care of only one baby this time instead of four!

      Don't worry about me riding my bike to work. It won't happen for a number of reasons:

      1) I'm too scared of other drivers.
      2) I'm too lazy to leave an hour early for work.
      3) There's no way that I'm riding a bike at 7 in the morning on the winter mornings when I wake up at it's only 10F here! Or on the mornings when it's 105F by 4 o'clock! :^D

      Nope, I'll be sticking to my Suzuki Esteem and griping about the other drivers in the meantime!

      I can believe the bit about the accident on the main street every morning. Yesterday, there was an accident outside of my office too. This is like the fifth since I've been here. Our little stretch of road is two lanes and not at all busy, but there's a sort of sharp curve coming into it and the eejits either 1) fly off the road and into the lawn of the elementary school across the street or 2) crash into the pole in front of the office. The latter is the worst 'cause it usually takes our Internet with it. :^P Luckily the schoolkids across the street are confined to playing inside a small fenced area.
  • You're voluntarily going through the bog of self-pity that is the story of Turin? Oh, poor you. If there's one Tolkien hero who deserved every jot and tittle of shit that he got in life, it was Turin. Just because Turin whines like a toddler. All. The. Damn. Time.

    Sometimes, I amaze myself at how much I hate the right-turn-on-red law. I do think it's responsible for a significant portion of arrogant drivers on the road. Yes, I know how much it saves in emissions, and that's great. But, on the other hand, it's caused increasing numbers of drivers to think that the red light means that stopping is optional. Even if there's a "no right turn" sign. Or if, say, a pedestrian is using his/her own right-of-way to cross the street. I cannot count the number of times I've been crossing a street on my own walk light and some asshole who desperately wants to turn right starts edging at me and giving me a dirty look. Because, yannow, why should s/he have to wait the three seconds it takes for me to cross in front of his/her car on my walk light? Why can't s/he turn right NOW? Sometimes this happens more than once at the same intersection.

    And then there are the drivers who think it's funny to come barrelling up to an intersection at forty miles an hour and then jam on the brakes right at the very last minute. Yes. Ha ha. Wotta knee-slapper.

    Mazel tov to Sharon and Kirsty, and may they discover the joys of an entire marriage without once having to remind their spouse to put the toilet seat down.
    • You're voluntarily going through the bog of self-pity that is the story of Turin?

      Well...sort of. I volunteered last year to lead the Silmarillion reading over at the Henneth-Annun Yahoo group. Knowing how these things go, of course, the only people still reading along as far as I know are those who have read the Sil a half-dozen times already. But I still persist, since my summaries are apparently popular in certain contingents.

      But in signing up for the reading at large, of course, I got stuck with Turin too. Also not one of my favorites.

      Sometimes, I amaze myself at how much I hate the right-turn-on-red law.

      I would agree with you. Turning right from our street onto the relatively busy Route 40, I encounter this sort of thing as a driver too. 40 is three lanes on each side there, and people barrel through at unreasonable speeds (and traffic is always heavy), so I will not right-on-red unless there is not a car in sight for a good distance. The way people fly through there and change lanes willly-nilly without a signal and a cell phone in one hand and a latte in the other, it's not a chance worth taking for me.

      There is about a five-second window between when the light on 40 turns red and the traffic on the street opposite gets a green for left turns. But again, I don't try it unless everyone's come to a full stop. Maryland may be the Redlight Camera Capital of the world, but I'm not taking chances that oncoming traffic is going to stop.

      The other day, I happened to glance in my rearview mirror and saw the woman behind me throw up her hands in disgust at my failure to take that five-second opportunity to make a right on red. So I turned and smiled and waved.

      But really. The opposing traffic literally gets a green light for about 30 seconds, sometimes less, as the light has a sensor. And the next light is timed that you get a red no matter if you take that five-second window or wait to go on green.

      My theory for this region is that people are just too damned self-important. Howard County is the seventh richest in the country, and people get delusions of grandeur, living in their "exclusive gated communities" and working for big biotech firms. They assume that world should bow to their whims. If that means that they ride your ass in traffic because you (of course--not the 100 cars in front of you) are making them late for a meeting with the vice-president, then so be it. Or if they weave through highway traffic in their Ford Excursion with a cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks in the other and a backseat full of screaming soccer players...well, at least they won't be late for the game.

      The roadwork doesn't help: We sit in traffic wherever we go, and people get frustrated and take stupid chances. Because my life is worth them being on time.

      It's really frustrating.

      Mazel tov to Sharon and Kirsty, and may they discover the joys of an entire marriage without once having to remind their spouse to put the toilet seat down.

      Bwah! How true! Lucky for me, Bobby is good with this too. Unlucky for me, those examples about the kitchen lights and the clothes not being turned out properly came from somewhere....
  • Congratulations to your sister and Kirsty!

    *g* I think I'll curse Tolkien a lot once I come to those chapters in my copying work. *mental note to not pick too elaborate frame decorations*
    • Thank you! (On behalf of Sharon and Kirsty!) :^D

      Those chapters are not just long but they're really not that interesting to me. I'm looking forward to the "Fifth Battle" chapter if only because I'm starved for Elves, even if they get smashed with hammers and all that. o.O I wish we could get stories in that sort of detail about the goings-on of the House of Feanor, but I guess that's what you get when your "author" is loremaster for Turgon!
      • I guess that's what you get when your "author" is loremaster for Turgon!

        Too true. Too true!

        But then, the lack of canon!details gives the fanfic writers all the more room to run wild. ;)
        • As does the whole idea that the Sil is historically biased...it gives us more freedom to wander into the realm of AU. Or maybe just better armor against skewering by the canatics. ;)

          I love Silmfic for this very reason: More holes than there are not and the possibility to interpret everything like it's a real history text. What fun! :)
          • Exactly! All the possibilities... actually, that's probably one of the things I love most about this fandom.
  • YAY congrats to Sharon and Kirsty! I hope they're enjoying their honeymoon, despite the freaky weather! *Glares at it*

    LOL you named the bird Indis? *Giggles* So cute! I hope the babies keep on doing well!

    ...saw a tanker truck slam into the side of a passenger car.

    *Shudders* Been there. Not fun. According to my sister I was rude to the driver too... I don't remember but I hope I was! Why can people not drive properly?! Argh!
    • YAY congrats to Sharon and Kirsty! I hope they're enjoying their honeymoon, despite the freaky weather! *Glares at it*

      Yes, I really feel for all my UK friends right now. We had that heat wave two weeks ago. Meanwhile, here, it's been unusually cool. Not to rub it in or anything. ;)

      Sharon--being from Bal'more where our saying is "It's not the heat, it's the humidity, hon," is adapting just fine, I'm sure. We'll blame her for bringing Baltimore to the UK!

      LOL you named the bird Indis? *Giggles* So cute! I hope the babies keep on doing well!

      Yep, Indis and Finwe are the parents, and the three babies that were theirs were Fingolfin, Finarfin, and Lalwen. Feanor was the adopted bird who, unfortunately, died of his own obnoxiousness. :(

      But we've had three successfully gone, so I hope this second batch does well too!

      *Shudders* Been there.

      Goodness, you were hit by a tractor trailer?! o.O How awful!
  • Great big hugs and congrats to Sharon and Kirsty!!! May they have the happiest marriage ever!!!

    This is wonderful news and I am so very happy to hear that their wish has finally come true. The deserve all the love and the joy in the world.

    Indis laid another egg sometime over the weekend, and she and Finwe have been busy rebuilding the nest.

    What?! I must have missed the post in which you named the birds. I almost snorted the wine I was drinking when I read "Indis laid another egg" Feany is on the floor, howling with laughter at this one. I'm going to look for your previous post on this one.

    About driving... I'm one of those lucky ones who don't drive and don't feel like it, either. I'd rather walk anytime. I'm getting my driver's license only when I can afford the biggest and most secure 4x4 out there, so I don't get killed by some random idiot, on the road.
    • Thank you, on behalf of my sister and sister-in-law! :^D How cool to finally be able to say that! *SQUEE!* I am also so pleased that modern times and British law have allowed them to realize their dream.

      I almost snorted the wine I was drinking when I read "Indis laid another egg" Feany is on the floor, howling with laughter at this one.

      He might not howl with laughter when he learns that he was the baby bird who died.... :^/

      I think that I may have named them in a comment to my sister: Indis and Finwe are mom and dad, respectively, and the babies were Feanor, Fingolfin, Finarfin, and Lalwen. Feanor was naturally the loud adopted bird.

      I'm one of those lucky ones who don't drive and don't feel like it, either. I'd rather walk anytime.

      Me too, but it's really not possible where I live. It's fourteen miles to my job, and that's considered a close commute around here!

      Also, our public transportation sucks. Really, really sucks. I wish that we had public transport and we could give up a car. Cars are too freakin' expensive, aside from everything else.
  • YAY!!!I'm so happy for them:) I'll have to send them a gift as soon as I'm able to get their address(won't she be surprised.....nah, your sister loves me as much as you do-we're all family:)

    I still love to drive, depite all the nut cases out on the road....I watch myself and the people around me. I have a paranoia, for the babie's sake, but I really don't stress it out on the road-in fact, I must be off.Gotta go get my WIC stuff and Joey needs eyeliner, my 3rd time today going out...
    • I really like your icon! :)

      Thanks on behalf of Sharon and Kirsty! I know that your support as a Christian woman has given her lots of hope that religion and tolerance can coexist. (It's given me lots of hope too, so thank you!)

      Yes, I worry about you and the little ones on the road--not because of you but because of the other drivers--but unfortunately, driving is a necessary evil around here. I know you're careful, though, and I would never regret helping you to get your license, but alas, I am neurotic, and I worry.... ;)

      Btw, I think it's so cute that you're going out to get Joey eyeliner! I hope he knows how lucky he is. :)
  • *squees* Congratulations Sharon and Kirsty!

    *waves from 50 miles up the M11 and sends love and good vibes and much bouncing*
    • Thank you on behalf of them! :^D And yay too for British law being more tolerant than American (and Kirsty being British! ;^D)
  • Congrats Sharon & Kirsty!

    The Turin chapter?? I'm sorry. Yuck. I skip that chapter.

    Yeah, people are major idiots on the road. Everytime I'm in the right hand left turn lane, I think "watch some moron try to cross over into my lane" and lo! Some moron doesn't know that it's possible for there to be two left turn lanes.
    • I think that I've only ever read the Turin chapter once, aside from looking up specific sections for research purposes. And it's so loooong. Good thing is that there's lots of artwork for it, so that part will be easy.

      I've decided to divide it into two days, since I finished "Of the Fifth Battle" yesterday, like the good little summary wench that I am. ;)

      If people got their brains out of their asses and their hands off of their phones, coffees, cheeseburgers, and *radio edit*, they'd be much better drivers. And you can quote me on that. ;)
  • Congratulations to your sister!
  • Congratulations to your sister and Kirsty!

    Indis laid another egg sometime over the weekend, and she and Finwe have been busy rebuilding the nest.

    Isn't it amazing the amount of poop those little buggers can put out. We unfortunately raised 5 on our front door wreath last spring. When they started their second nest, I gave them the boot. Enough is enough. My front door was streaked in white slime.

    Makes you wonder what a Lothlorien talan looked like in the spring. Could be slippery too....
    • Goodness, yes! The middle of our flowerpot is filled with it! Luckily for us, they built the nest dead-center, so we don't get any on the surrounding balcony. (Especially since we eat outside during the summer; that would be really yucky!)

      Makes you wonder what a Lothlorien talan looked like in the spring. Could be slippery too....

      Hehe...these are the questions Prof. Tolkien never bothered to answer! :^D

      (And thanks on behalf of my sister and Kirsty, who are currently (hopefully) enjoying a honeymoon in London!)
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