elirrina: (read!)
My brother's girlfriend won airline tickets at some sort of work function, so they decided to go to Portland for a week. One of their activities today (and probably tomorrow, and possibly the next day at various points) was to go to Powell's City of Books. Which he texted me about.

brother: In the rare book room...
me: Ooh, how rare? What does that mean? And is Portland sushi different? Don't buy pages that have been taken out of manuscripts! That's immoral!
brother: This was a many-star sushi restaurant, so it was great. And I am in this room looking exclusively for individual manuscript pages.
me: Yum yum! Nooo! That is like upper-level super-villany!
brother: I am even buying complete manuscripts and then tearing them up to resell in pieces.
me: Zomg, I may have to disown you.
brother: LOL, you can't; you're not the paterfamilias.
me: That's what you think - older sisters have special powers.
brother: Sorry- I missed this because I was relishing the sound of carefully ripped paper.


Nov. 28th, 2010 11:00 pm
elirrina: (TSH)
I'm coordinating Christmas presents for my parents with my brother and his girlfriend.

phone: Hello, you've reached the mailbox of...
me: Hmmmmm.
text: Ethan! Call meeeee!!! Re: secret Christmas things and plots for world domination.
phone: ring ring!
Ethan: You had me at world domination.

In other news: Advent started today! That means more candles and Christmas carols in church!
elirrina: (Default)
For this to make sense, it would be helpful to remember that my father works with international students, and that he and my mother will be going to various countries in Asia in a few months. He's going to be part of a wedding in Hong Kong for two of his old students, and then they're going to visit lots of other people.

Me: Hi Dad, I'm in Target.
Dad: You called Mom's phone first! Why don't you ever call me first?
Me: I thought Mom would know the answer to my question. I'll call you first next time, how's that?
Dad: I bet that I know the answer to your question!
Me: Okay, look I need a pencil case because I bought a new backpack and I don't like the pencil cases in Target. Where should I go to get one?
Dad: JAPAN! They make the best pencil cases!
Me: ...Actually, I think you're right...
Dad: Did I tell you that Mom's getting a Kindle?
Me: But I'm not in Japan! Where should I go look?
Dad: You should steal one from one of your Japanese friends.
Me: I don't have any!
Me: Because there aren't any in the art history grad student contingent right now! And I'm not working with internationals!
Mom, yelling in the background: You should go to Office Depot! They have school supplies on sale now!
Dad: She says to go to Office Depot.
Me: I heard.
Dad: You can get a temporary pencil case from Office Depot. I'll bring you a REAL one back from Japan! But it'll probably have Hello Kitties on it.
Me: Well I would hope so!
Dad: Mom is really into Hello Kitties right now.
Me: You are such a liar.
Dad: (to my mother) We should get you a case for your Kindle in Japan too! Actually, maybe we should get you a Kindle-type thing there instead of here.
Mom, yelling in the background: No, we wanted to put guidebooks on it, remember?
Me: So, I'm going to hang up and go to Office Depot now, okay?
Dad: Okay, but I'll find you a better pencil case in Japan!
Me: I know.
Dad: Do you want a pencil box, or a soft case?
Me: Well, I was looking for a soft one, but I'll leave it up to you.
Dad: Okay, but that's the only thing I'm bringing back for you.
Me: Whatever. Last week we decided that you were just going to give me things that your students had already given to you and then tell me that you'd gotten them for me. Remember?
Dad: Hahahaha!

And then I related that story to my brother later.

Brother: Actually, I think I agree with him.
Me: I know, right? I'm curious to see what he brings back.
elirrina: (astronomy)
My trip to visit my parents went great, and now I'm back in Florida, where I am supposed to be studying German. I really will study tomorrow. My independent study work is all turned in, and I should be meeting with my adviser to discuss dissertation topics sometime in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I think I need to go to the beach once more before classes start, providing that it's still oil-free. I'll have to look into that.

On to vacation!

My father works with international students at the university. Basically, he does what the University wishes it could do, but hasn't got time or money for, consequently everyone loves him. He organizes conversation partners, English classes and culture classes, and lots of social events for the international students. During the first week of classes he organizes a tour around town: volunteers drive carloads of students along a path that my dad has organized, and tell them about the city. The tour ends on campus where there is a free-garage-sale-furniture-etc-giveaway. People donate all sorts of things that students need, which then get set up in a parking lot on campus, and then given away.

This means that there is a lot of furniture-moving going on in the weeks beforehand. Which is what I got to do frequently over my break, including the morning of my first day home. Also, one of my dad's interns moved, so we helped out with that too.

My father also likes to make grandiose proclamations about how my brother and I will be inheriting. Who inherits depends on his mood: sometimes it's me, because I am the eldest, sometimes it's my brother, because he's the son. Currently it's me, at least as of last week. A few years ago my brother and I pointed out to our dad that there really isn't that much to inherit. He was momentarily fazed, but got over it.

So I informed my brother that I'm inheriting again, and then my parents actually decided that they need to update their will. I guess my brother and I are still being left to our maternal grandparents, who are dead, and we're too old for guardians now anyway.

This decision was precipitated by the fact that my parents are going to Asia this fall to visit some of my dad's old students. I believe the plan is to visit China (Beijing and Shanghai, and possibly other cities), Hong Kong, Taiwan, (South) Korea, and possibly Japan. I'm envious. My father is apprehensive.

He doesn't really like to travel, neither does my brother, but my mother and I love it. Dad had to be bullied into visiting Italy with me, but ended up really loving Florence. While at home this time, my mother came across a scarf that I'd brought with me - I usually wear it or something like it into church because services are always soooo cold during the summer, with all the air-conditioning.

Mom: This is pretty! Where's it from?
me: Florence - we got it from the same place where we bought your scarf.
Dad: Yes! WE'VE been to ITALY.
Mom: I KNOW. When are you taking me?
Dad: But! I'm taking you to Asia!
Mom: HM.

In random news, my dad, who, by the way, is ordained as a pastor, and is an elder at church, sporadically likes to talk about his past lives. (Not that he actually believes in reincarnation...) This time around he saw an advert for Shark Week and decided that he'd been a shark in one of his previous lives. His usual favorite past life is when he was the Mother Superior from Sound of Music, and sang "Climb Every Mountain." He also asked me to be on the lookout for his past lives from the Middle Ages as I look through medieval manuscripts and literature.

I learned that my mother is against mixing battery brands. Dad apparently wanted to just put two random batteries into a light that he'd bought for one of his interns, but my mother said he couldn't.

Dad: But they're both batteries! Same voltage!
Mom: I don't care! It doesn't work! I don't like it! Just use two from that new package you bought!

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a serious tea collection. It's getting a bit out of hand. I had to re-organize that part of the pantry when I got home. But my parents have an even larger tea collection, because my dad's students like to bring him tea from their provinces and so on. Also: really pretty teacups and teapots.

One of them, a yellow teapot, gets used a lot. My dad had a bunch of students over for a breakfast-and-lunch-planning session; I sat in for the meal parts, during which the yellow teapot was being used. It has four circles on the sides, with Chinese characters in them, and I wanted to know what they meant, and realized that this would be a perfect time to find out. According to one of the girls, the characters mean "10,000," "life," "happiness," and "none," which translates to a message along the lines of wishing you eternal life, and is one of the standard phrases used when addressing the emperor or your elders. (Something like "May you have life and happiness without end").

On the way back to Florida, I called my parents when I'd stop to take breaks. At one point my mother told me about the latest gift that they'd recieved:
Mom: Guess what we were given? More tea! We didn't have enough already!
She didn't say what type it was. Hopefully more jasmine; that's one of my favorites.
elirrina: (bear)
When I taught high school history, I tried to make sure that my students were absolutely clear on one topic (amongst many): trying to take over the world is a really bad idea, especially if it involves invading Russia in the process.

Apparently my brother disagrees. (Although he probably agrees with me about Russia).

brother: I have reached the four-minion level! So... much... power!!1!
me: Haha, next up... THE WORLD!! (cue evil laugh).
brother: MmmmWAHAhahahaha, HAHAhahahaaaaa
me: You know, if you turned evil I would feel really conflicted because I would feel duty-bound to oppose. But... It's you, so yeah...
brother: Heh, well the world can hope that I don't acquire super powers, since we know which way I would go.
me: Aw MAN... You make my sisterly job and attempt at being a force for good in the world so hard!!! Also, it may be a good thing that you didn't go through with the poli-sci major...
brother: Yes. I would not have broken the law, but I would have bent it so far that you'd need to check its dental records.
me: SIGH.

(Hahaha! He's a graphic designer).

mood: Photobucket mild consternation, Photobucket bordering on dispproval
elirrina: (luna)
My parents sent me a cookbook that deals with food allergies in a package along with birthday presents. Yesterday I made Shrimp Creole, which was delicious, so I called my parents to tell them that.

Dad: Have you made Basil Rathbone Chicken yet?
me: Oh...
Mom: He means the Rosemary Basil Chicken recipe.
me: Yeah, I remember that. No, I haven't.
Dad: You need to go get your cookbook and cross out "Rosemary Basil" and write in "Basil Rathbone!"

Then I related that conversation to my brother.

Ethan: What. Our father, who art ridiculous.
me: Haha, yes.
Ethan: Pater noster, qui ridiculus est. Sorry, just had to figure that one out. I like that he wants you to deface your cookbook.
me: Me too. I probably will, on principle.

In less happy news, I've had to drop out of the International Medieval Congress in Leeds because departmental funding has been shaken up quite a bit. I still have funding for coursework next year, though, and that is the main thing for now. So no trip to England, but I'll probably be able to visit my parents for a longer period of time before classes start up again.
elirrina: (kaylee)
1. my friends
2. water, and being in it
3. being alive in general
4. cake

Today I had my second annual birthday pool party (a bit early, my birthday is Monday and I will have survived 29 years, yesssss!) -- my apartment complex has a pool and I had such a good response last year that I decided it needed to happen again this year. I was a bit concerned that I didn't have enough food, but when my friends showed up, at least half of them brought food and/or drinks, so now I have more left over than I did to start with, including some really amazing cupcakes! It was an extremely good evening.

5. dancing

I went contra dancing last night, which is always fun, and next Friday there should be swing dancing on campus, so I'm definitely going to that!

6. my brother!

And then my brother called right when I got home!

mood: Photobucket <--one of my friends brought me balloons!
elirrina: (Default)
My brother and I frequently use instant messenger to make ridiculous lists. This one was originally meant to address the fifteenth century, but we seem to have wandered into the sixteenth as well.

Ethan: I want to make an Everything I Know I Learned from 15th c. Monarchical Courts [list].
Don't hire anyone you like as a wine-taster, Eyebrows are optional. )


May. 29th, 2010 05:35 pm
elirrina: (bear)
Apparently today is a day for several short, random posts.

But! In case anyone who reads this likes to knit (or crochet, etc.), I suggest that you join ravelry! I've been on for a while (I'm colorwheel there, in case you wanted to find me), and they have lots of great FREE patterns along with those for sale by designers. I got a (free!) pattern for the hat for my brother that I just finished there, along with many others. This hat is meant to look like one of those chompy monsters from the Super Mario games has gotten loose and chomped onto your head. It makes me laugh!

Of course, I wanted to make a colorful hat, but my brother said, "NO, I WANT ANOTHER BLACK HAT. IN FACT, WILL YOU MAKE ME ANOTHER HAT WITH SKULLS ON IT? I WEAR THIS ONE ALL THE TIME. IT MAY EVENTUALLY WEAR OUT!" To which I replied, "NO. No more skulls until that one actually falls apart. Then I'll make a new one. What about this chomp one instead?" Hopefully he'll send a picture and then I'll post it. According to the pattern, you were supposed to make a chain to connect at the top of the hat. (Of course, I rarely follow patterns exactly. Actually, the only thing I took from this pattern was the basic idea). We couldn't decide if that was good or not, so I had a brainwave and used a snap to make a detachable chain.
me: The chain dangling reminds me of a medieval liripipe. Sort of. Vaguely. It just does.
Ethan: hahaha
me: probably this is not the usual response.
Ethan: it WOULD remind you of something medieval.

Thank goodness for instant messenger programs. It makes cross-continental heckling of my brother so much easier.

I'm also making a hat for his girlfriend for her birthday. I refused to make it black. It's going to be gray, with pandas. I adapted the World Wildlife Fund logo. (They need to wear more color! I think the pandas will be colorful pandas).
elirrina: (luna)
I've been using a non-gluten baking mix while I was doing this allergy diet thing, and my mother sent me a recipe for making a non-gluten flour mix. I'd made chocolate chip cookies with the bought mix, and figured that the one I made would work just as well. How wrong I was. My brother called up while I was mixing the cookie batter, but before I'd put any in the oven. When I took out the first batch, I found out that they'd pretty much melted all over the pan. So I mushed the baked dough into roughly cookie-shaped lumps, and figured I'd see how they turned out. Mostly, they looked like super-deformed lumps over chocolate, but they still taste good. However, I have now discovered that I need to add xanthan gum as a binding agent.

And then this conversation happened with my brother.

me: hello there
I think you somehow jinxed my cookies
they turned out funny
me: the first batch melted!
you and your Mildly Malevolent Plans!
Ethan: I have Infernal Cookie Destroying powers
I sold someone ELSE'S soul for infernal powers, so I got the discount line.
me: working up to greater evils, I see
but WHOSE soul?
Ethan: whose soul INDEED
someone who wasn't using it anyway
me: ahhhh
Ethan: like Dr. Faustus
me: that is pretty bad, selling someone else's soul
Ethan: after he got it back at the end of the book
cheap on craigslist
couldn't pass it up
me: oh man, craigslist has everything
Ethan: seriously
me: also I was making spaghetti sauce, but I didn't have tomato sauce, so I had to wing it with the can of diced tomatoes and chilis I had saved in the cupboard.
luckily I had everything else
you probably had something to do with that too
Ethan: yes
me: I knew it
Ethan: that falls under Mysterious De-Apparition of Produce
me: drat!
well, it turned out tastily despite your efforts
Ethan: drat.
me: I even offered to make you cookies!
if you were in town
Ethan: yes
but I became enraged when I realized that I would not be able to get to FL in 30 min
me: I thought it must have turned into one of those "if I can't have it, no one else can" things
Ethan: especially since I only got One-One-Hundredth League Boots out of the soul deal.
me: oh man!
you need better boots
Ethan: need to find a better soul
me: hmmm
elirrina: (balloons)
Happy Easter!

I went to the 11am service this morning instead of the 5pm one, and now I will smell like incense for the rest of the day! This year I got my act together and got there early enough to get a seat in the nave (but just barely), not the choir loft like the past two years. (So many more people show up!) I sat next to this sweet old lady and her family and busy grandchildren. Very cute. The baby boy who was trying to eat his waistcoat was pretty hilarious. Then I went to the college-and-young-adult lunch at Fr. Wallace's house, also very nice and super delicious! The weather is absolutely gorgeous, which is great since we ate outside on their lawn.

Now I'm back at home and putting off finishing my presentation for medieval tomorrow. I'm nearly done with it. Therefore, I'm uploading-

that's collected over the last few months.

Two calligraphic works:

My brother's Christmas present.
I made that one during my palaeography course last year. It's not a standard script, I just made it up. The support is vellum! Dr. T was excited that I actually do calligraphy, so she gave me an extra sheet! I couldn't decide which text to work with, so I asked Ethan since he's wanted some of my calligraphy for a while. He asked for this poem by Yeats.

A wedding gift for my cousin.
He's in the Navy, and this is his favorite hymn.

And one illustration
My brother's birthday card this year.
So... This one may not make any sense because it's a joke from a conversation. I work with medieval manuscripts, and my MA thesis professor specialized in Apocalypses. He showed us several Apocalypses during a seminar, and one of our favorites was an image showing the Fourth Horseman, Death, riding along followed by a little hellmouth on feet.

Dr. F: "That thing has feet! Like bear claws!"
Dr. E: "Well how else is Hell supposed to follow Death around?"

I may have posted this one before
But in case I didn't, there are two versions on my website.
It's based on St. Basil's in Moscow.
elirrina: (poor John Connor)
My brother sent me a link to this article with this commentary:
The Aussies are making new robo-soldiers!!! Fleeeeeeeeeee--* akka-akka-akka-akka-BOOM *


This is an actual quote from the article:
The government wants to develop an "intelligent and fully autonomous system" capable of carrying out dangerous surveillance missions.

So... I already pretty much objected to A.I. (I'm half-convinced that my computer at work is already trying to make my life harder, I don't need ones that can actually decide to do that actively).

In this case I must ask the question: do these people not watch/read science fiction? This is going to end badly!

mood: Photobucket adding "learn how to survive a nuclear holocaust" to my "to do" list.


elirrina: (Default)

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