Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Edgar Allan Poe and His...Crow?

I belong to several Facebook stitching groups.  People post photos of their stitching, ask questions, seek advice, etc.  Well, yesterday, someone posted a photo of a needlepointed portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, complete with raven on his shoulder.  It was quite interesting, but even more interesting was one of the comments, "Love the crow!"  Crow?  I just shook my head.

She must have been referring to Poe's earlier version of his poem, now lost to posterity, in which "quoth the crow nevermore."

I've gotten two autumn ornaments stitched and actually finished, for the CyberStitchers ornament tree for the EGA Auction at Seminar.

"Gingerbread Quilt" from The Victoria Sampler

"Falling Leaves" by Jennifer Rodriquez, finished onto a miniature horn book
Our latest play was "The Importance of Being Earnest," put on by the University of Iowa Summer Rep.  It was quite fun.  We've always enjoyed going to Summer Rep, but the program has been on hiatus for several years to allow for remodeling following the flood of 2008.  We were glad to see the program back.  Unfortunately, in their remodeling of "infrastructure," they did not redo the seats.  My seat had lost most of its stuffing, and the woman sitting next to me found a big tear in her seat covering.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Security Sandals

There's nothing quite like sharing a home with a young cat.  I have been in the habit of putting my newspapers, when I'm finished with them, and junk mail on the floor beside my living room chair, where I had been letting them pile up for a few days before gathering them up and taking them to the recycling bin in the basement.  Well, Molly decided it was great fun to jump onto the pile and scatter the papers all over the living room.

So, thinking to outsmart my cat, I found a cardboard box the right size, cut off the top flaps and began placing my papers in there.  Well, then Molly decided that box was a great place to curl up and nap. So now I have to make sure Molly is not in the box before I toss my papers in.

And speaking of security.  I've heard of security blankets, but not security sandals.  Molly has adopted a pair of my sandals.  She curls up on them and curls next to them.  I thought perhaps she figured out that I put my shoes on before I left the apartment so that was her way of keeping her eye on me while snoozing. But she doesn't seem to be interested in any other of my shoes.  So I'm not sure what the attraction is.

And got the last of the stitching done on The Victoria Sampler's "Gingerbread Garden Sampler."

What is this about Macbeth and his ham sandwich?

Our Shakespeare class this spring was on "Macbeth."  We read the play, an act at a time; then in class, we discuss any questions about what we've read, and the professor shares video clips of various stagings of scenes.  And then we discuss how various directors and actors interpreted the scene in different ways.  Very very interesting, which is why I keep going back.

When in class, the professor mentioned we would now be watching the ham sandwich scene, we all went - what??  Macbeth didn't make a ham sandwich!

Well, there is a version of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, that is set during World War II and portrays Macbeth as a Stalin-like character.  The three witches are very creepy and quite malevolent - they not only tell the future, they make the future happen the way they want. And the scene in which Macbeth convinces the murderers to kill Banquo is set in the kitchen, with Macbeth making a ham sandwich.  He brandishes a knife, and acts as though killing his best friend is an everyday event just like making lunch.  The DVD of this version happens to be available from the public library, and I ended up watching the entire play (several times in fact).  I've never seen anything quite like it.

You say Sanatorium, I say Sanitarium

I attend a monthly mystery book club at my local public library.  Recently, we read "A Madness So Discreet," by Mindy McGinnis.  It's set at the turn of the 19th/20th century.  The beginning of the book is set in a very miserable insane asylum where the patients are treated very poorly and also mistreated.  The heroine of our book is transferred to a much better and more humane facility from which she does her detective work.  In our discussion, members used the words "sanatorium" and "sanitarium" pretty interchangeably.  That seemed wrong to me so I double-checked when I got home.

When I was growing up, a sanatorium and a sanitarium were two separate types of facilities.  A sanatorium (also spelled sanitorium) was a long-term treatment facility for people with TB.  A sanitarium, on the other hand, was a facility for the treatment of the mentally ill.  Now, apparently not only are the two words interchangeable, but they are considered alternate spellings of one another.

Learn something new every day...

In late April, we saw The Pirates of Penzance.  Quite fun.