Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Victorrrrr

Coming in at 22 votes, Justin West is the conqueror in what has become a fierce battle for the scarf. I offer sincere congratulations, and a long scarf will soon be in progress.

Those of you who happen to know me personally are aware of my tendency to say potentially demeaning things, but only in jest. Justin has been a constant casualty of this, which he bears with excellent composure. Because he is likely tired of being beat up, I will use this post as an opportunity to say something nice. Just don’t get a big head, okay kid?

I met Justin at Heidelberg University, where I am an informal member of his piano class. Despite the fact that I am a little high school kid – not to mention geek – he seems to have befriended me. He, along with several other students [including The Critically Acclaimed Defender of Truth, Joe Homan], also teaches me music theory.

Justin is usually semi-dressed-up, and wears a variety of interesting vests. He is studying composition, and is very dedicated to music. He is an intrinsically happy person, and loves riding his bicycle on assorted adventures. He has a great ability to be friendly, and even if he always arrives twenty minutes late, people have to forgive him.

In short, kudos on your victory, Justin. You are uniquely fabulous.
Because I am without a good picture of the aforementioned Justin, I now add a picture stolen from facebook:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guest Blogger, Anyone?

I would like to have a series of guest posts, if possible. Anyone interested?

My Contest Comes to a Fatal End

Needless to say, my contest has become hopelessly cacophonous, what with minions getting involved and et cetera. I really didn't think people would fight it out so fiercly for a simple scarf. In any case, I now end my contest, and will count votes with discretion. Any that I deem likely to be fraudulent will be discounted.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


On the Saturday of Ashley's stay, we visited The Kingwood Center. It includes a massive old mansion, much of which can be toured, and acres of flower gardens and green houses.

A closeup of a flower with raindrops:

Some kind of ornamental cabbage??

Ashley and me in the cactus greenhouse.

Looking toward the entrance:

Cactus in an awesome pot:

A decorative fire hydrant

We happened upon a wedding party, taking pictures. I zoomed in and got one from a discreet distance. :)

A lovely peacock that was roaming the grounds:

A fountain, obviously:

A lily pond:

A delightful daisy:

Stone staircases:

An apple tree growing over a wall:

Teapot and cups growing plants:

A view of part of the mansion, an arch overgrown with ivy:
A stone lion overlooks a fountain:

The jungle-like environment of the greenhouse:

One of my favourite trees:

A rather fun plant:

Ashley's Visit!!

About a year and a half ago, I read a magazine Bonnie was receiving. A girl named Ashley was the editor. The literacy and personality of the publication impressed me, and I asked Bonnie, “Do you suppose she would write to me?” Bonnie replied with an impatient, “I don’t know. Write to her!” And so, I did. She wrote back with a letter I found both lengthy and interesting. So began a relatively consistent correspondence and occasional phone chats. Her personality and random sense of humour came across wonderfully in her letters.

Recently, she began seriously considering a time when she might travel to Ohio and pay us a visit! And so, on July the ninth, we were picking her up at the airport. I recognized her easily – strawberry-blonde hair and pink-striped fashion scarf. :)

We spent the first evening drinking Market Spice tea, talking, playing Trouble, browsing photo albums, and eating at least one too many chocolate chip cookies. The next day, we had a jolly little group of friends.

First there’s Matt, a twitter-obsessed facebook addict who wears his bluetooth “just to feel cool.” He made sure that everyone knew it was John Calvin’s birthday. He owns a couple pairs of Converse All Stars, all of which he cleans periodically using dish soap and an old toothbrush.

Then, there’s Matt’s wife Wendy, a sweet, energetic, and fun-loving lady. She can make a little task like dishes interesting. She is enthusiastic and often hilarious.

And Joe – he’s a piano performance student at Heidelberg who seems quiet, but has a quirky sense of humor. He can recite pi to the hundred-something digit. Like most of us, he has a weakness for ice-cream bars.

Joe’s friend Justin is a student at Heidelberg, member of studio class, and theory-teacher-in-training. And I called him “Joe’s friend” to make him feel small and unimportant. He was excited about his most recent adventure: riding his bicycle to an abandoned railroad. Or perhaps he would wish that I refer to it as a daring feat. Anyway.

We played Balderdash, but since nobody had the actually game with them, we used a dictionary and paper. Innovative. Here are some of the most amusing definitions:

Matt described “Peruke” as “A man’s wig of the 17th and 18th centuries,” while Ashley defined it as “mortification resulting from the inability to locate Peru on a map.”

Justin wrote that “turnsole” was “the boot of a pirate,” while someone else claimed it to be “a shoe making machine that rotates shoes to the sequence of assembly stations in front of workers arranged in a circle.” Hmm. Try to picture that.

Joe put that “soubriquet” was “a clam scam!” but gave himself away by adding, “Bam!”
At one point, Joe said, “if I say ‘tricksy’ in mine, will it be less convincing?” When Matt defined “barracoon” as “a tricksy animal that sings a low tone,” we all assumed it was Joe, who had actually written that it was “a fraudulent bake sale.”

And finally, my personal favourite, courtesy of Ashley:

She defined “fascicle” as “a follower of the ancient Greek philosopher Fascicles.”

Coming today: photos from mentioned visit.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Contest Results!

Here are the contest results. Please keep in mind that I limited this to five, so if you aren’t in here…well, that doesn’t mean your post wasn’t clever enough to be considered.

Here are the five top picks, in no particular order. I have posted a portion of their comments that I found striking. My thoughts are included in brackets.

From Breanalee Angelica:

I also thrive off of adrenaline rushes, and love to try anything new and exciting. from food, to planning things beyond my possible ability.
Another thing that makes me unique is that I love the emergency room.

[The emergency room?]

From Cassie, at Inside my Mind:

I have two chinchillas and two rabbits, I started out with only one (male) chinchilla, but when he gave birth to a baby I had to change his name from Oliver to Olivia. :)


By the end of the year, I will have a sister from China.I love the word "wonky"

[Hah hah “wonky”!]

From Chantel, at Joy in the Journey:

I love to watch ants, I love to wear sandals, I love clotheslines, and I've always liked doing laundry best of all chores.


From Justin:

I am unique because I am the only person who did not answer the prompt generically.

[concise and clever]

From Ashley at unstoppably-ordinary:

I love taking walks in the rain; I never use salt or pepper on my food; I really despise olives; I have a lime green parakeet named Kiwi… I am an easily inspired, usually cheerful, very unique goal-making multi-tasker who is great at planning, great at procrastinating, and dreadful at following through.

[not presumptuous: real and human]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Results Coming

My contest is officially over. My top picks will be posted soon!