Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Ladylike List

Top 10 Things I Love About Downton Abby, Season One:

10. The horses. So graceful!

9. The shots in the library. Oh, to have a room like that one day!

8. Anna and Mr. Bates. They make me smile.

7. Mrs. Patmore’s flutter of kitchen activity and the food she sends upstairs (10 second rules and all!).

6. The setting. Starting with the sinking of the Titanic is historically brilliant, and the physical estate is breathtaking.

5. Mrs. C. I admire her spunk, fortitude, and kindness.

4. Matthew. He’s been dealt an odd hand, but he is willing to make the most of it.

3. The Dowager Countess. Her dry, biting humour is just what the show needs most of the time.

2. Sybil with her new frocks and radical political ideals. But I love how she is still more mindful of other’s feelings than her own wishes.

1. Those costumes! Those lovely, detailed, vintage, classic costumes. They honestly don’t make clothes of that beauty and quality anymore. Some of the costumes really are 100+ years old!!!!!!

What do you like about Downton?

(No spoilers, please! I’m still in season one!!!)

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A Mad Man In A Box

Gentle Readers,

Looking over the past few years of posts, I’ve noticed a horrifying lack on one subject. A subject near and dear to my heart…s. No, just heart. A subject that is timeless…or is it? A subject…oh, I’m too excited to keep this up.

Today, we are going to talk about Doctor Who!!!!!!!!

For those of you who are still staring at your screen blankly, allow me to explain. Doctor Who started in England 50 years ago as a children’s fun, sci-fi show. It has super humble beginnings – cardboard and tinfoil sets and aliens put together with string and rubber cement. Even with these obvious setbacks, the show became quite the hit. In fact, it is rare to find a British character actor who has not appeared in at least one Doctor Who episode.

One of the things that has kept Doctor Who around for all these years is the great back story to the show. First of all, the main character is not “Doctor Who,” like a name or a title. His title is The Doctor, his name is known only to a select few. You and I are not yet in the select few. When you have a character who is over 900 years old, it takes longer than 50 years to build up enough trust to reveal his name. Oh yes, I said that the Doctor is over 900 years old. See, the Doctor looks like a human, but he’s actually a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. Time Lords are complicated to explain, but basically they control/influence/move limitlessly through time and space.

They do this through Time and Relative Dimension in Space machines, acronym-ed TARDIS. The Doctor’s TARDIS is a blue phonebox from London, but that’s a whole story for another time. However, you should know that she looks like this on the outside:

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(By the by, I found this awesome image here!)

Cute, yeah? Oh, but you have to watch the show…she’s so much bigger on the inside.

So, back to the Doctor himself. When you are 900+, the body can sustain a bit of wear and tear. When you’re constantly throwing yourself into battles with alien forces (usually in an attempt to save the Earth), then you *really* put some mileage on the old body. So, Time Lords have this awesome power: when they die (or come super close to dying), they regenerate. Same person, same mind, same memories, same knowledge, but different bodies. So far the show has tracked 11 regenerations, but only three since the reboot in 2005. (A reboot is when an old show comes back with a fresh start. Doctor Who didn’t air new episodes from the late 1980’s until 2005.) Oh, and Time Lords have two hearts, which comes in handy more than you would imagine. They are also super smart, quick witted, and brave.

The last three actors to play the Doctor were Christopher Eccleston (Nine), David Tennant (Ten), and Matt Smith (Eleven). Since I don’t have nearly enough time to rave about them, they will each get their own post in which we will chat about what I think they bring to the character of the Doctor, and standout episodes from their seasons.

We also need to talk about bad guys, good guys, worlds, companions, Christmas specials, and some all-important story arcs. But no worries, we will take this a step at a time! So, the important things to learn from this post? Here we go:

1. This is a 50 year old British sci-fi show.

2. The main character is called the Doctor, not Doctor Who.

3. The TARDIS is a time machine.

See??? So easy. I can’t wait to share my next Doctor Who post, because it will get us closer to me being able to share why I love this show so.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Children and Cards

Gentle Readers,

Today I made Valentine’s Day cards with the preschool Sunday School class. We had all the fun stuff: pink and red paper, multi sized hearts, flower foam stickers, glue sticks, markers, crayons, and scissors. (For the record, I kept a hold of the scissors.)

They are sweet children. Two girls, two boys, all as different as can be. The sugar rush must have started early this year, because they were WIRED today. So wired. But I digress.

There’s really not much point to this post. Only, as I watched these children put all their scattered attention towards making something sweet for their parents, I found it touching. They are young. They have energy galore. They want to explore everything. Yet, in the midst of all their life discoveries, they were genuinely excited to make something all their own for their Moms and Dads.

This is what love looks like.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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The Cake Is A Lie

It was inevitable. I heard about it for ages. People told me it was great. I listened, I nodded in understanding, I forgot.

What was it again? Tunnel? Hallway? Hatch?

Oh, right. Portal.

Then, I started hearing about Portal 2. This somewhat peaked my interest, but not too much. Fine, fine, another game. Yes, great, one day I’ll get around to playing the first one. One day. Maybe.

I might never have gotten to it, except that Teefury (this amazing site that puts out a new geek-themed shirt every 24 hours, for 24 hours only), released an awesome shirt on the day Portal 2 debuted. Only, I didn’t know yet just how awesome it was. See, it said this:

How cool is that??? But, what did it *mean*?

As it turns out, in Portal there is this cake motif where they promise you cake…but there isn’t really any cake. Kind of a bummer, but it sounded quirky. And yummy. Except, now I want cake. Hang on, I’ll be right back!

*picks up crumbs* As I was saying, the game sounded interesting. So, I texted my friend to get my Steam username again and downloaded the free trial. (For those of you who don’t know what Steam is, the best explanation I have is that it is iTunes for computer games.) I WAS HOOKED.

The same awesome friend gifted me an extra copy of the full version he had lying around on his computer, and I’ve almost beaten the game. It’s getting to the intense part, so I’m only playing it a few minutes at a time (lasers make me nervous, okay???).

It’s not your typical computer game, either. You have to use logic and math and physics and stuff to advance through the game. I got stuck on one level for hours because I couldn’t figure out the right angle approach to a certain jump that would give me the required velocity to breach the wall. See, just playing the game makes you sound smarter. Or, at least it makes you think you sound smarter.

So, I shall end my fangirling with a link to the song from Portal. It is quite sarcastic and amusing. If you get the chance, definitely try the game out! You might even get cake.

Still Alive

 

 

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Enough

Today my paycheck got stuck in New Jersey, labour was cut to bare bones, customers were uber thoughtless, and the shift ended with my barista being called a horrible name.

I’m ready for this day to end. Food Network, here I come.

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BLTired

Gentle Readers,

Seeing as how pure exhaustion has set in, tonight will have to be brief and about food. One of my favourite sandwiches is a Smoked Salmon BLT, which incidently was what I had for lunch!

Not only does this beauty have the obligatory bacon (smoked applewood, of course), lettuce, and tomato, it also has honey smoked salmon, red onion, cucumber, and spread with boursin cheese.

Absolutely amazing!

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Collection of Thoughts

Gentle Readers,

* Teaching Tinturn Abby ito my class went much better than teaching Songs of Innocence and Experience. I will admit, this is a first in my teaching experience.

* I think Farm Fresh employees hate their lives. I can’t blame them at all.

* They found Richard III’s bones while building a car park. There might be irony enough in that for a whole blog post, we will see.

* Though I never would have ordered it on my own, pepperoni and pineapple pizza with cheese stuffed crust is quite yummy.

* When “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do” comes on, you have to sing along with it. That’s a rule.

* If you are going to preach about pitching tents, make sure to say pitching tents. Still laughing about that, D!

* Midsomer must be an awful place to live. So many murders…thanks, Mystery!.

* Josh Groban’s new album came out today, All That Echoes. Go. Buy. Listen. Repeat.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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GGGG

Gentle Readers,

I’m excited. A few weeks ago I noticed that my phone showed a 4G connection at school. Then at a local mall. Sunday I saw it at church. And tonight, tonight I found it in my neighbourhood.

For those of you not tech savvy, 4G refers to how your phone or other mobile device connects to the internet, phone services, messaging, pretty much everything. I usually explain 4G as the equivalent of broadband versus dial-up. It isn’t a perfect or complete metaphor, but it works.

So, why does this matter to me? Mostly because I live on my phone. Blog posts? Written on my phone. Tweets? Phone. Netflix? Phone. Games? Phone. Note taking? Phone. Emails? I think you get the picture. I’m very excited to have excellent, fast service no matter where I go.

For those of you wondering, I have an HTC EVO 4G LTE. I loooove it to death. HTC puts out some quality phones, and the EVO line is my favourite so far. The Samsung Galaxy SIII is a lovely phone too, in case you’re in the market to buy a new phone.

It should also go without saying that I’m Team Andriod. Apple is pretty, but Droids have my heart.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Superbrawl Sunday

Gentle Readers,

The thought crossed my mind tonight that we, as a people in general, are very myoptic. Take today, for example: Superbowl Sunday. The day that brings strangers together, divides families into factions, causes pastors to cut short their sermons, and makes watching commercials worthwhile. Bottle-making companies raise a glass. Buffalos hide their wings. Chips prepare to be dipped.

It all sounds like fun.

But there’s another side to all of this. When the beer has all been consumed, people then get behind the wheel. Chicken bones lodge in throats. Dips sit out too long and breed bacteria. (Sounds lovely, I know. Hang in there, I do have a point.) Feuds surface. Fights break out.

People get hurt.

For police, fire, EMS, and hospitals, days like today aren’t fun and games. They are busy nights, crazy nights, nights where people do stupid things and they have to fix it. They deserve a round of applause and thanks for giving up their fun times to be ready and alert to fix whatever aftermath might occur from everyone else’s fun times.

So, next Superbowl/4th of July/Halloween/random holiday, think before you act. Remember that your actions have consequences, and your consequences could affect other people around you.

In simplest terms: don’t be stupid. I’m sure your local ER will thank you!

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Accentuate the Positive

Gentle Readers,

People and situations have been a wee bit…shall we say “trying” of late. It’s only to be expected; anytime you interact with others, tensions are bound to occasionally run high.

At Starbucks, we’ve been talking a lot about “assuming positive intent” when it comes to customer service. This idea has also arisen in other articles and conversations, but Starbucks expresses it best. It is easy to apply this principle at work. One only has to be nice for a few hours before the shift is over or it is time for a break. We can do just about anything, cope with just about anything, if we know it will eventually end soon.

But how does this look in day to day life? I think it means that we shouldn’t take things so personally. For example, maybe a friend is shoving their achievement in your face for the umpteenth million time. You can be completely human and see it as a malicious attempt to make you feel inferiour. Or, you can choose to see it as your friend being so genuinely excited about something good that they need constant affirmation to believe it is real.

Of course, chances lean in the favour of this person being thoughtless and selfish, but what good is dwelling on that mindset going to do you? By assuming positive intent, you empower yourself to smile, encourage, walk away, and forget the whole interaction. What’s the point of letting something eat you up? It doesn’t harm the other person, it just drives you crazy.

That’s today’s challange. Assume positive intent…how does that look in your life? Feel free to share!

Until tomorrow,
Miss W

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