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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

A Weekend with the Fambly

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.

A Weekend with the Fambly

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So...I spent most of the weekend with my family. It is amazing how much more enjoyable these people become when you don't have to see them every day!

The reason for the weekend was that my Aunt Debbie was having her annual Christmas party...yes, at the end of January. She figured that since everyone is so busy at Christmas that the Christmas party would work better at the end of January. Makes sense to me. The only downside, she found, was that Dawn does not bring homemade Christmas candy to parties at the end of January. I'll have to remember to bring some next year.

My cousin Jamie--having finally graduated--managed to crawl out from beneath a pile of books and attend, which was awesome. Jamie and I used to be best of buds when we were young teenagers; I remember many a letter written on puppy and kitten stationary and sent to "Jamie and Jenny" during the school year when we couldn't see each other every day. And now that Jamie is no longer bound to her books, we can make plans to do things. We were talking about going horseback riding sometime soon and also (tentatively) planning a trip to Puerto Rico. People need to stop wanting to travel with us! We'll never be rid of our college debt!

At one point, we (Bobby, Jamie, Mom, and me) were standing outside and talking about our jobs; Bobby and I were talking about the "criminal look" that some people have, which we know from our respective jobs in Customs and the Warrant Apprehension Unit. Our cousin's wife-to-be came outside just then and asked, "What do you guys do?"

"I'm a teacher," Jamie replied, which kind of made our conversation sound odd, since one hopes that sixth graders don't have a "criminal look!"

I also got to listen in on a fascinating conversation between Carol and Aunt Sue about their QVC (Home Shopping Channel) addictions. Honestly. It is so interesting to listen in to these people, who would probably roll their eyes at my "fantasy writing" and "Silmarillion" yet have run up $8000 in debt (each!) buying jars of face cream, collapsible Christmas trees, and smelly things that sit on the back of one's toilet. I mean, when you have to get a second job to support your QVC habit....

The next day, we got talked into staying at my parents' to go to Basta Pasta for dinner. Bobby and Dad went out to their "man stores": Best Buy, Home Depot, and Tweeter. Apparently, they like to go and "touch things and talk about hooking up wires." Sounds kind of weird, but they spend hours doing this every time they're together, so there must be something to it!

Mom played Internet games while I trudged through Eragon, so now I see where that aspect of my behavior comes from!

I do want to say...I know that I'm way behind on some things. heartofoshun, I will read your full story, hopefully tomorrow! And Ellynn (if you see this) and pandemonium213, I have emails to answer. I'm really behind. Sowwy. :(

It sucks how losing a few piddly files can throw me off for weeks.

Firefox 2.0 spellchecks as you type. And "spellcheck" isn't a word! Whee! That's cool.

Also, listening to the '90s channel makes me realize that I grew up in a decade of awful and effed up music. Also, LJ should allow enough space for "Music" that I can type Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" into the blank properly punctuated. Meh.
  • The home shopping channels are kind of addictive when you're bored... I'd never buy anything from them, but sometimes I just can't help but sit and laugh at the models and the people talking trying their absolute hardest to make a completely hideous and/or useless thing sound like the best thing ever! :D (My dad said he once saw one of the sales people going on and on about this wonderful "horse" thing they were selling... and then way into the segment, he said, "Oh, I'm just being told this is not a horse, it's actually a deer..." bwahaha, oops!)

    Also, listening to the '90s channel makes me realize that I grew up in a decade of awful and effed up music.

    Ah, the joy of a decade where those count down lists on TV say Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit was the #1 song (at least as far as "significance" goes)! But good gravy, has it really been ten years since my friends were going on and on about that freaking Ricky Martin and I was trying to hide from the "Latin Invasion?" O_o

    (Uh-oh, and "trudging" through Eragon?)
    • Yep, I got Eragon for Christmas and am trying to read it with an open mind since I know people who love it and people (you're one of them!) who hate it. But oh, do I have lots of thoughts. I will write a review when I'm finished. We just finished crossing the plains in the thunderstorm where Saphira gets blown around...about 20% through, I guess?

      And that is hilarious about the home shopping channel! I honestly feel less weird around my aunt for my "strange" hobbies...at least Silmfic tends not to run up debt! :^D (Just web-hosting bills....)

      As for music, I feel old when watching the '90s channel and realizing that songs that feel like they came out "just the other day" came out ten years ago! Or seeing that Posh Spice is 31, and I remember when everyone was aghast because the oldest Spice Girl, Ginger Spice, was a whole 24 years old! (Which is younger than I am now!)

      Also, Nirvana--in my opinion--was and still is severely overrated.
      • Heh, the thunderstorm scene with Saphira being blown around cracked me up... ah, the joys of physical impossibilities (or at least highly unlikely situations happening). ;) I look forward to your review!

        I know what you mean about 90's music making you feel old--I'm like that when I see movies or TV shows or things. I remember when I saw the first episode of ER last year, and was giggling at the funny hair styles and clothing choices the characters had and thinking how outdated they looked... and then I realized that the episode was "only just" filmed in 1994!

        But what really makes me feel old is when I meet people who are bigger and taller than me and find out they were born in the 90's... I keep thinking, "You were born in 1990? Shouldn't you still be in pre-school or something?!"

        As for Nirvana--agreed! I really like some of their songs, I admit, but I fail to see what's so impressive about them otherwise. (I always roll my eyes at claims like "It's because of Nirvana that we don't have to listen to crappy 80's music and big hair bands all the time anymore!" Because, you know, music trends never change unless one totally "revolutionary" band comes along and forces that change. :P)
        • What's really freaky is getting warrants for people born in the late '80s. When I started on my job, few people for whom we had warrants were born after me. Now I think, "How can someone so young commit a crime, go to jail, be released on parole, and violate their parole?" It's weird. (And juvenile offenses don't count, for the record, so these people have all been tried and charged as adults.)

          I remember when E.R. was the hot new show, back when I was in ninth grade...and Hootie and the Blowfish was the hot new band!

          Next thing you know, we'll be hobbling about on walkers. ;)
  • Huh, that's weird. I hadn't seen my extended family in years, and I had the thought (more than once), "I'm never coming back here again!"
    • That's pretty much my feeling about my dad's side of the family. My mom's side are unpretentious and on the whole quite nice!
  • Thanks for remembering my story--you have been so patient. It has just been sitting since I added a paragraph or two based on a couple of yur suggestions. I did get a confirmation and a correction from Claudio on some name questions (one was form of three names for Macalaurë)--that was exciting (it takes so little to make me happy). I am hooked on these guys (and then there is Macalaurë who appears more often than I had intended in the story) and have started an after-Thangorodrim (don't worry it's moving very slowly) story. I posted it on Hasa to see if I would get feedback there (I usually do on 3rd Age stuff) and am getting page-clicks but deafening silence so far. Anyway, way too many words to tell you I look forward to your comments because I am too close now to see anything more for myself right now.
    • And I still have not forgotten! I've had some RL stresses going on. Meh.

      I probably won't have much to say about the revised version since I found it extremely well done in the first place. And you know that if you need an eye for your current story, I love your work...just send it along! :)

      (I'm also curious to know what you learned from Claudio about Macalaure's names? 8^D <--big hopeful grin from the Elvish-impaired)
    • The only thing I can say about my own Elvish impairment is that at least I am aware of it. Some of the people I know just blithely go along unashamedly inventing the most absurd things. In the unlikely event that you ever have a reason to use three names for Macalaurë, Claudio told me it is: Canafinwë Macalaurë Feanárion. (Isn’t that pretty? I am such a pushover for these names!) I was worried sick about that and I should have been. I was close but wrong. On the story itself, I have been finding little typos and deleting adverbs. Let me know if you want a clean copy. My HASA version should be up-to-date, but can send a new Word document.

      Thanks for the offer! Am writing about these guys right now, when I should be working on the next chapter of my novel.
      • Canafinwë Macalaurë Feanárion is close to what I use; I still use the misguided "Fëanorion," though vana_tuivana once explained quite well on SWG why the proper Quenya version is "Feanárion." I shall have to be careful to use the proper one in the future.

        And I can easily nick your story from HASA (since it's one of the few sites allowed at work), so no worries! :) And you're quite welcome for what I said about your stories as well.
        • Whoops! The version I used was yours--although I actually thought I invented it with a little help from Jael--her Sindarin is better than mine, so, of course...it made sense that we should collaborate on that one. LOL
    • I cannot believe you said you love my work! That is so nice. I am terrible at accepting compliments, especially since I always see all the ways it could/should be better (and feel so lazy)! Anyway, thank you very much.
  • Ha! Remember that Christmas party you and Bobby got out of a few years ago that I had to go to? I spent the better part of the evening listening to Aunt Sue and Co. discuss the "Miracles of QVC". Now, revenge is mine! *Evil laugh*

    Speaking of which, do they know I'm in "Brokeback England" yet? Mom hasn't told me.

    Kirsty's parents are also really into the TV shopping, although their particular addiction is this channel called GemsTV. The prices start at astronomical levels (say, GBP400) and reduce until you've paid pennies (GBP29.99) for things you didn't want... with the allure being, of course, that "OMG, what a deal I'm getting!" feeling. Their website is here so you can see for yourself: http://www.gemstv.co.uk/index.jsp

    Now, okay, I'm not really a jewelry person in the first place (aside from the basics: a diamond engagement/wedding/love ring, a heart necklace from our wedding day, a $30 watch, etc) so I'm biased against GemsTV from the get go. But did anybody really want a giant ruby pendant before they turned on the TV? *Cough* Impulse buy *Cough* But hey, it comes with this fabulous Certificate of Authenticity stating that the $40 you just spent is actually appraised at $400!!!111!! Woo-freakin'-hoo!

    But on a "good" note, Kirsty's parents did have their Christmas shopping done by summertime... jewelry for each other, jewelry for the grandparents and jewelry for the kids who were not present in the house to protest at the time. :-P (I'm not even joking) They enjoy it (so good for them) but Kirsty and I always cast furtive looks at each other when we go into the sitting room and GemsTV is on. :-P *Whispers* I also don't tend to think GemsTV stuff is that pretty, but that's a matter of taste I guess.

    • From the look of it, GemTV is a bit too sparkly and overwrought for me too, more the kind of thing that a middle-aged pseudo-riche might wear with intentions of looking snazzy. ;)

      But most of my jewelry is in the ten-dollars-or-less range and is stuff that I can easily repair myself, so I'm also not the best to pass judgment. :^P

      I actually find the QVC conversations interesting. Perhaps because I like so many things that other people regard with disdain--fantasy stories, fanfic, online journals, RPGs--it is interesting to hear about a so-called "normal" hobby. QVC rules their lives a lot more than my hobbies rule mine! I don't need to get a second job, for example, to uphold my fanfic-writing habit. ;)

      Also, it is interesting how when more than one of these people get together, they become almost brazen in proclaiming their obsessions, and what makes me think, "Addicted!" they wear like a badge of honor. "My sister spent $6000 on QVC" comes to mind...this is said to impress people, but I find myself wondering who the hell has such poor taste to spend $6000 on that shit in the space of one month?? It's pretty clear that a significant part of their personal identities is wrapped up in QVC.

      Good for them, but I don't ever want to see any eyes roll when I show up in Elf ears or talk about D&D! Pot and kettle, ya know? ;)

      Anyhoo, it is funny also that I now have record of three family parties in one year...and Aunt Sue talked about QVC at all three: two Christmas parties and the cookout this summer. Ha!

      To answer your question, aside from Aunt Lois and Uncle Jim, I don't know who knows about you and Kirsty. :^/ I'm pretty sure that Aunt Debbie at least knows, but even of that, I'm not certain.
  • It is amazing how much more enjoyable these people become when you don't have to see them every day!

    Yes, yes indeed. And wow, a Christmas party at the end of January? I like the idea and I could sure use one right now. When I was younger, I insisted on keeping the Christmas tree up for as long as possible. Some yeas, it only came down at the end of January, when it was all dried up and falling to pieces.

    You think that the music we've grown up to is effed up? I can't say that I disagree, but heck, it could have been much worse. Much, much worse.
    • Our music could be more effed up...we could have been born in the '70s. Or the '80s. ;)

      I think it's mostly that the '90s channel on our cable TV chooses some of the oddest music from the '90s in the interest of variety. It's like Spice Girls, Meatloaf, Michael Bolton...what the fuck??

      As for the Christmas party, it was so late mostly for convenience since everyone is so busy that it is hard for us all to get together exactly at the holidays. And everyone needs fun in January; January is a crappy month! :^D I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to the boundaries of holidays. The Christmas season begins day-after-Thanksgiving and ends at the Epiphany for me. This is mostly brought on, however, by the fact that some of our stores start stocking Christmas stuff...in July! o.O
  • It is amazing how much more enjoyable these people become when you don't have to see them every day!

    LOL! That is something my hubby would have said ;)

    People need to stop wanting to travel with us! We'll never be rid of our college debt!

    Oooo, but when are you going to see Jenni??? That should be up soon too right?

    I always avoid Home Shopping channels, they are mostly on here (we don't have a special channel for that) in the mrining or after twelve or so (of course a great diversity is offered by sex adds eugh). But I always wondered what the appeal of that was. Got any ideas?

    Also, listening to the '90s channel makes me realize that I grew up in a decade of awful and effed up music.

    I have that with the 80's. I now see that I was in a kinda music genre, because sometimes on VH1 here, you have the 80's special hours and such and most of them really make me itchy. Hubby loves them so I am always looking for a way *not* to hear it. For example ska-music really gets on my nerves: any thing fake sounding, hypermusic makes me want to run away. Still of course it brought us U2, Simple Minds, OMD ect ect. Oh and Wham, for the rest I like the seventies or sixties more.

    Also, LJ should allow enough space for "Music" that I can type Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" into the blank properly punctuated. Meh.

    LOL And that's the word.

    Btw, I am contemplating which wip to finish first, but I think the first one will be Requiem. Just fyi ;)

    • Oooo, but when are you going to see Jenni??? That should be up soon too right?

      In May! :) It was supposed to be mid-January, but then Bobby found out that he'd be in a hockey tournament in Toronto in May, and it didn't make sense to take the same trip twice. So we went to the lake for our mid-January and will see Jenni in May.

      I can't wait! :^D

      I have that with the 80's. I now see that I was in a kinda music genre, because sometimes on VH1 here, you have the 80's special hours and such and most of them really make me itchy.

      I like a lot of '90s music...but the pop stuff makes me wonder, "WTF??" And I remember that I used to love this stuff when I was a teenager; I thought it was so good!

      Bobby is a serious '80s fan. Again, I like some of the stuff but not all of it. My tastes in music have gotten really picky to where I realize that I really only love songs where I can get a visual image to go along with the song: sometimes I make up stories to go with a song (part of "Clocks" is a scene in the AMC prequel! :^P) or skating routines. So I listen to all kinds of music from all eras but truly love very little of it.

      Btw, I am contemplating which wip to finish first, but I think the first one will be Requiem. Just fyi ;)

      Yay! I'm so interested to see where you go with things in that story. Any story that tackles the afterlife gets thumbs-up from me! :^D
  • No worries, mate! There's some, uh, stuff lurking at The Bad Clam Incident, and I plan on going to a tattoo artist to have "Kick Me!" inked between my shoulder blades. Maybe I should have it written in Tengwar script.

    What is this, this...QVC...of which you speak? OK, I've seen it in passing when I surf the mid-range cable waves (usually I'm in the narrow bandwidth between Comedy Central and the SciFi Channel) , but QVC is, like, so alien. I shouldn't point fingers since my own shopping behavior is sort of bizarre in a binary sense: : Bloomingdales or Lands End. Eeesh.

    Sounds like a good visit with the fam, and yes, yes you will pay off your college debts. :^)

    • Tengwar! Yes, Tengwar! I know Tengwar if you want to see what "Kick Me" would look like. Would it be Quenya or Sindarin structure?

      8^B <--übergeek

      QVC is...strange. Like you, I am not too familiar with it; so far as I can tell (from listening to obsessed family members go on and on and on...), they sell mostly jewelry and "solutions" (pimple cream, stain remover et al) that rarely work or knick-knacky-type things. I also know that they used to have a NASCAR driven by Geoff Bodine, not because I am a NASCAR fan but because my sister-in-law--who was just a kid at the time--used to pronounce his name "Jee-off Bio-dine."

      My shopping lately has been Kohl's and the various eclectic hippie stores native to my hometown, so maybe I'm not a good one to comment on QVC-bought crap. ;)
      • Would it be Quenya or Sindarin structure?

        Oh, I'd think Quenya would do. It'd drive a tattoo artist nuts, and allow me the "pleasure" of thousands of irritated neurons firing sub-cutaneously.

        Jee-off Bio-dine

        Heh. I keep forgetting that Mary-Land has tinge of grits and red-eye gravy. ;^) I was kinda surprised by the accent around the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. They don't sound much like "The Sopranos."
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