Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sakura time for anime hair (and nails)

Linda and I have been working hard the last two weeks getting ready for Sakura-con. Huzzah….slump! With appointments every few days, it tends toward exhausting.

But spring is here...some days. The other days it is windy, freezing or like yesterday, hailing. But today it looked like this: Sakura celebration.

Good news, I raised the money needed for food and housing! And after a few failures in communication (Me: “How about we do this?”; They: “That will take four hours and cost $250+, and I’m not going to do that anyway because you don’t really want that.” Me: “Well yes I do, and can you explain how a $75 hair cut turns into four hours.” – repeat for a full Saturday, Tuesday), Linda found a great place.

Kate did my hair. She has the same ‘extra electrical node’ as I do in our hearts, and can feel it skip the beat. She says it feels like someone is grabbing her collar bone while for me it fels like time stopping for an instant, before giving you the whammy (your heart skips extra beat before it overbeats – I had this diagnosed during fencing). I asked for red, red hair, and purple tips. She delivered the anime red (and one day, if it isn’t windy, I will let my hair down and show you with style). All I need are some giant purple or green eyes to match. Or to have Ehlers-Danlos, a disease which give you a) extra large eyes and b) a small pixie-like face - it really does: perfect for elf, anime or other costumes. It also gives you hyper mobility of joints, spine and skin: massive dislocations of bones out of joints including hip bones, spine bones, and fingers. Sometimes the price of beauty IS too much (to wish for that).

With another trip I was to get nails done in deep purple. Except I couldn't find the purple I wanted so I got what I thought was a brown which was almost black. It is instead a deep-deep burgundy with purple flecks in the sunshine, but does look like black indoors.

Anime hair – check
Place to Sleep – check
Packing – er..not yet
Day plan – er…not yet
Recovered enough to take the Ferry – er…soon I hope (we leave late Wednesday).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Foggy one morning...

We looked out the window at 7 a.m. a few mornings ago and a blanket of fog had surrounded us. It was very ‘Victorian London’ without the black lung.

By 8:30 a.m. much of the fog had worn off, but enough was still around, obscuring the world to make a nice cathedral shot.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Herons, squirrels and flowers in Beacon Hill; We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Here are two herons, likely male and female. 

The male heron would sit atop this 14 story tree top keeping watch while the female fed below. After 20 minutes they would fly back to the nest, then repeat. Perhaps there are young being fed?

We went to Beacon Hill park 12 days ago to take pictures of the new flowers coming up through the moss and grass.

Now the sakura cherry blossoms are out but I can’t find a sunny day to take the picture. Today was cold wind and blustery.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the apartment smells of mulligan stew and beer marinated beef. Linda bought me the most beautiful cupcake I’ve eaten from the dark chocolate cloverleaf and real cream green icing to the light batter cake below. It was admired, it was kept close and then it was eaten.

If you are the creative sort, or wish to be so, March 19th is the festival of Minerva. She is the goddess of medicine, music, poety, weaving, crafts, wisdom and magic. Her sacred animal is the owl. And the 19th is a day free of toil and dedicated to arts, be it poetry or knitting, in honor of her. The trick is convincing your boss that you deserve a paid holiday due to a 2,400 year old festival. Minerva certainly part of US custom, and is on the official California symbol as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award given in the US.

Back to the Beacon Hill Visit, we met and fed a new squirrel which I named ‘Fussy.’ The name was due to his checking here and there, and then over there as well before deciding what to do with the peanut.

When he did decide to eat one, he managed to climb up to a branch directly over Linda so as to drop peanut shells pieces onto her head.

Still it was heartening to see the leaping bounce, bounce, bounce across the grass before standing up on hind legs to try and see where we were. Then it was leaping bounces onward. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fun with Doodles

I dislocated my jaw. That hurt. I forced it back into the socket, but it makes chewing painful so eating is in the ‘not so much’ category.

Yesterday was Douglas Adam’s birthday so Google did an interactive doodle, which I couldn’t get to work. I found that for recent doodles I had to use Google Chrome (why oh why do ‘search engines’ need to be upgraded?). Searching around I found a link to the old Google interactive doodle screens as well as interactive screens for other countries. I recommend Star Trek, Nemo, Valentine’s Day 2013 and Halloween 2012 (plus Jim Henson's and Art Clokey's Birthday). The bonus of the page is seeing the interactive Google Doodles for other countries, like the 2013 Chinese New Year game, Havoc in Heaven plus the USA only six channel TV of Lucille Ball (click interactive version).

Plus watch this Japan seen only doodle for Hisashige Tanaka’s 213th birthday (good for either Google versions), which shows one of his invented mechanical dolls from 1825-40, which could pour tea, do calligraphy or shoot a bow and arrow. If you liked the film Hugo, you will like this animation (like the mechanical mouse in the film, he made a sake carrying tortose). Here is the original mechanical which does it with a wooden, not steel, gear ring system. Hisashige Tanaka was the 'Edison of Japan' and founded what became Toshiba Corporation.

And finishing with this USA only tribute to the Drive In Movie.

Back tomorrow.

P.S. For those doing Jim Henson's birthday you need to use Chrome: there is no sound and the bonus animations are a) second 'red head' move mouse back and forth under head a few time to make specs fly, 2) fourth 'purple head' put cursor in bottom right corner and do long then couple short mouse clicks for a sneeze effect and 3) sixth 'red monster' click mouse while moving cursor from bottom to left corner then up the left side to trigger 'monster attack'

Friday, March 01, 2013

Happy St. David's Day & Welsh Cross-dressing Riots

Happy Saint David’s day! I hope you had Welsh Cakes while wearing your leek or daffodil. St. David is the Patron Saint of Wales and March 1st is the annual celebration of Welsh culture (protected and isolated from the invasions and change in England over the centuries by Offa’s Dyke (which may be atop the Wall of Severus from 4th century Roman Britian).

Let’s not forget Merched Beca, Rebecca’s Daughters, a four year campaign in 1840’s by the farmers and land workers of protests and riots in full drag. ‘Rebecca’ targeted and destroyed toll gates, seeking a way for farmers and working families to grow food and sell it without taxation or profit by those already rich. Interesting that leaving social and civil law also meant cross dressing. I can only think of so many farm wives saying, ‘tsk, but you’ve stretched it all to pieces!’

Boo to Tony Blair who in 2007 ignored the 87% of Wales that wanted March 1st a bank holiday and rejected the petition. Though St. David’s day has a long history of bringing out patriotism as Samuel Pepys wrote how ‘Welsh celebrations in London for Saint David's Day would spark wider countercelebrations amongst their English neighbours: life-sized effigies of Welshmen were symbolically lynched.’

Welsh have historically been considered ignorant, poor and the Welsh people are associated with stealing and cheating, hence ‘Welshing on a deal.’ Plus how oft the thief or cheat was welsh in boys’ tales and girls’ tales of Victorian and Edwardian period it is good to remember: the future King of Britain is first the Prince of Wales.