We like Kickstarters!

Yeah, this isn’t writing or fandom related but it’s important!

Over the past couple of years, Hubby and I have backed a number of different Kickstarters. We backed two collected volumes of a favorite webcomic, Girl Genius, ending up with hardcover versions and a number of cool rewards for our support. Hubby has backed several games, most by his favorite game designer, James Earnest. He tries to choose games we’ll play as a family, like Pairs, a new card game. With our shipment on that one, we got three different sets of cards (one with artwork from the Girl Genius artists, Phil and Kaja Foglio) and the extra game, Falling. We’re still waiting on our copies of three different games from the Pack O’ Games line published by Perplext, but otherwise, we have pretty much everything we backed last year.

Even though Hubby swore he wouldn’t back any games this year, two have come up that we both felt we had to have!

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More scintillating dinner conversation!

Part of last night’s conversation was in response to Boy #2’s suggestion that we watch The Scarlet Pimpernel (Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellan, 1982). We finally bought a DVD version of this because our taped-from-my-parents’-TV VHS copy died. Hubby led off the discussion on “fictional gentlemen adventurers with secret identities”, with an eye to finding out if there was one older than Sir Percy Blakeney. I mean, the Baroness D’Orczy wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel back in 1903. There had to be somebody!

Well, we really couldn’t think of one! Zorro, whose pedigree is similar, wasn’t created until 1919 in “The Curse of Capistrano”. The Shadow, another “wealthy man about town” was 1930. Wikipedia suggests Sherlock Holmes to have or be a secret identity, but he was more a master of disguise – then again, so is Sir Percy! But, as Hubby put it, “he’s not going around under an assumed name in a more or less constant fashion”.

Tonight I brought up two old Disney favorites that I thought might be relevant. One was the Swamp Fox, who is a historical figure anyway and not at all fictional. The “old swamp fox” was a sobriquet the British gave him.

The other was the Scarecrow, or the Reverend Doctor Christopher Syn, who was a smuggler and pirate with a “secret identity” of a country vicar. Hubby brought out the fact that the man was not a hero, and a quick look at Wikipedia showed that his first appearance was 1915. Hubby mentioned a character in an operetta, that of an archeologist who had a secret identity of a freedom-fighter in Northern Africa. The operetta was The Desert Song, and was written in 1926. It was inspired both by tales of Lawrence of Arabia and a 1925 uprising in Morocco. The archeologist’s name was Pierre Birabeau and his heroic alter ego was The Red Shadow. (It had a really cool song: The Riffs.)

So, as far as I can tell, ol’ Percy is an original! Do any of my readers or friends have any candidates? (And don’t you just love our table talk?)

A little fangasm!

Within just a day, I’ve had the pleasure of hauling out my Thunderbirds knowledge (with all the attendant books and other paraphernalia) to help a couple of fellow fanfic writers and personal friends. It was certainly fun, especially all the stuff about Alan Tracy’s educational background. Add to this my posting the first chapter of one of my short stories (Burning Muses) at AO3 and uploading a new post to my RP, and I’m full of Thunderbirds at the moment. It’s given me quite a hunger for fic and for writing or editing what I already have up. I edited the first chapter of Burning Muses, making it tighter. In many respects it was like my edit of the little scene I wrote a few days ago. The changes I made brought forth Brains’s voice and made him less … poetic. (Because if Brains is anything, it is NOT poetic.)

Then, there was the chatter at the dinner table. We went from Gosford Park to Downton Abbey (which we have not seen) to Acorn (which streams Downton Abbey), and then to Netflix – where movies are more plenteous in DVD than in streaming. This led to BBC America (and how we could get it on cable), to other premium cable services, to Game of Thrones and whether or not the TV series matched the novels. That particular thought brought out movies that didn’t match their source material – Boy #2 brought up the Percy Jackson movie (The Lightning Thief). This brought the whole shebang back to … Thunderbirds! The Girl’s comment: “I knew there was another kids movie like that! ” Hubby brought up that Frakes had said in an post-film interview that he directed the movie that the producers wanted, even though he knew the fans would be “annoyed by it” (Hubby’s words, not Frakes’s.) I promptly chimed in. “Annoyed? Annoyed?” Which, of course, is far too mild a term to describe the old guard’s intense hatred of the film.

Maybe if he’d stayed closer to the source material, we’d have had another Thunderbirds movie. After all,  there will be another Percy Jackson film, coming out this year.

Some fandoms get all the luck…

Wahoo!

Just got back from seeing Riders In The Sky. We’ve been fans of theirs for years, ever since the kids were young and we bought Harmony Ranch and the days of their Saturday morning TV show (though Hubby was a fan long before that!). It was a wonderful concert, full of great cowboy songs and comedy. Clean, fun… a lot of families brought young kids dressed up as buckaroos and buckarettes . We sat way, way up in the nosebleed section but we could see really clearly from there. The tickets were reasonable, and a check we’d gotten from our mortgage company (overpayment of legal costs) provided the money – though next time, I’ll buy them at the box office instead of online and keep from paying the "convenience fee"! All of us had a great time!

Last day of school for the Girl; she had one test in the morning and she was through. The boys finished yesterday. So now we have the summer stretching ahead of us. But first, a milestone to celebrate – the Niece is graduating! Her ceremony is tomorrow, early in the morning, at the BiLo Center. It seems that most all the schools are using the BiLo Center and there are several graduation ceremonies per day there. I guess it’s one of the few places big enough to fit both a graduating class and all the friends and relations who show up to see them walk across the stage. Fortunately, Hubby has the day off. Unfortunately – in one way – my folks weren’t able to come down for this. However, that opens up enough tickets for the boys to go. There’ll be a combined birthday/graduation party for the Niece this weekend. I’m making five-cup salad, but we’ll have to wait for Hubby to get off work before we can go down there.

And just as the summer gets off the ground (and I can sleep in late without worrying about the dog) the Girl starts her College Boards. SAT this weekend and ACT the next. Won’t get to sleep in those days because she has to be to the exam sites by 7:45 a.m.! Whew! She’s also talking about getting her beginner’s permit and a job. She’ll need the permit for Driver’s Ed. next year, but it’s still scary stuff!

Walked out with the dog a few moments ago and the night is like a warm wet sponge. Humid, in the mid-eighties – feels like summer has hit us hard the way winter didn’t. To be expected, I suppose.

Surprises under the tree.

Yes, there were a few surprises under the tree for me! First, there were the two metal sign magnets that Hubby gave me. One says, "I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." which is attributed to Dr. Seuss. The other has a 1950s mom on the phone while 2 kids get into the cake batter or icing in the background. She’s saying, "I childproofed my house, but they got in anyway." I put the Dr. Seuss quote on the filing cabinet behind me (with all the TBs magnets) and the other is displayed prominently among the magnets on the fridge.

The two presents I knew my hubby got for me were a NaNoWriMo 2006 t-shirt, and a t-shirt that says, "Watch it or you’ll end up in my novel!". But to that he added a "My life needs an editor" t-shirt, and a sign that says "Goodmousekeeping seal of approval" and "Four paws rating". It’s really quite funny and I have to find someplace to hang it.

He also gave me The Essential Barry Manilow which I’ve already ripped to my WMP for listening later.

The girl gave me a t-shirt that says "5-4-3-2-1, Thunderbirds are go @ IR the next phase" and a black baseball cap with the letters "IR" in red paint on the cap, and the name "Doc" on the brim. She also gave me an IR "badge" made of shape foam. It looks like the logo and has a pin hot-glued to the back. Really cute stuff.

Boy #2 gave me a nicely framed Bible verse, and Boy #1 gave me a lilac scented candle. My SIL made me some thick, crocheted pot holders and a couple of crocheted dish cloths, and she and my Bro gave me a soft throw covered with pictures of kittens.

Hubby was very impressed with his gifts, especially the comic book and the books, and he was really surprised by the book his brother from China sent. He’s wearing the black Capt. Kiddeo and Fred shirt right now, and I’m wearing the IR hat.

As far as the kids were concerned, the biggest gift was the PS 2. They’ve been playing with it most of the morning. Only now have they turned it off. The kids are happy with what they got. Boy #1 was happy we got him the game he wanted; Boy #2 immediately started to put the mechanical T-Rex together (and enlisted Daddy’s help). The Girl was impressed by the sketch book I got her and the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

It’s been a good Christmas. We need to call the inlaws and check in with them, and have lunch sometime today. I also have to come up with the time and energy to write; it’s been a couple of days and I feel the pressure from without and within to get some more done.

More blog later if the muse moves.

Fudge, fudge, fudge and more fudge!

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Been making fudge pretty much all week. Delicious stuff, not healthy for me, but we’re nearly swimming in it. Plain, walnut, pecan and mint. Made it for the teachers and neighbors. Made it for Hubby’s all week work party (he didn’t bring any of the fudge back — for which I was happy, happy!!).

He brought home some Harry and David chocolate cherries,gifts from a customer. Never had them before… wow! Delicious! Too easy to eat too many.

Presents are wrapped, and everything’s purchased. Dinner will be on Sunday evening (after the football game) with birthday cake and ice cream for dessert. Can’t believe Boy #2 will be 11! A proto-teenager for sure!

Just finished watching "Wyrd Sisters". Fun stuff, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

Have a story to finish, a sequel to last year’s Resolutions. Have a lot to write on it yet, but I’ll wait until it’s done to post it. First chapter is done; Hobbeth’s not home so I’ll have to do what I can as far as beta is concerned. Asked Lillihafrue to read it through; her husband’s an English teacher and she offered his help as well. She didn’t see anything untoward except for the spelling of "pizzazz" (my crazy spellchecker had "pizazz"). Maybe her hubby will find something.

Enough for now. Things are happening in my brain and I feel like I need to write. The kids are heading off to bed, rather late, but it’s my own fault for letting them watch the film.

More as the muse moves.

Happy Halloween!

We’ve hardly had any trick or treaters come to our door tonight and we bought lots and lots of candy to give out. I’m afraid that the kids will be taking chocolate in their lunches for the next two weeks! For the first time, we let the boys go out trick or treating. Boy #1 went out dressed like a mailman (surprise, surprise!) and Boy #2 went as a cowboy, wearing the hat and guns he got in New Mexico.  Hubby, who had taken the day off, went around with them. They just went around the block, no farther, but still came back with a decent amount of candy.
 
We have four jack o’ lanterns on the porch, one on each step. Boy #2 did a traditional face, Boy #1 did a spider that came out looking cool. The Girl’s sun, moon and star didnt’ come out so well, but Hubby carved his comic strip character, Captain Kiddeo, into his pumpkin. It looks so funny! I thought about doing one; I’ll do one next year, though. I’ll try and take a picture of them during the day; my little camera doesn’t do too well at night.
 
Speaking of chocolate, Hubby bought me quite a bit of sugar-free stuff yesterday, including, to my delight, sugar-free Hershey’s Special Dark. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the whole bag (there were only about 10 little bars in it). It was soooo good.
 
Report cards come home tomorrow and we’ll eventually take a trip to Krispy Kreme for the "Donut for As" program they have. I expect that the boys will have all As (I already know Boy #2 does) but the Girl will be a different story. I expect at least two, probably three As and the rest Bs. That’s okay with us as long as she’s doing her best and keeping up with her work.
 
Chapter 16 of The White Winds, and chapter 11 of Overtures both went up yesterday. NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’ve got my ideas percolating. I’m going to try and give myself a certain amount of time each day for writing; my parents are coming and I just have to get the house in order for them.