I am the Empress of Kerma

You may call me "Her Sarcastic Snarkiness."

So this jackass, apparently intent on creating the biggest entitlement complex in the US has claimed Bir Tawil so that his precious, deprived little princess can become an actual princess.

Bir Tawil is this chunk of unclaimed land between Egypt and Sudan. Why is it unclaimed?
It’s unclaimed because Egypt and Sudan are in a perpetual “not it!” contest over it. 
Because no one lives there. Because there is jack shit there. 

Dad says the family:
hopes to turn the area into an agricultural hub.
Hub of what, King No-Nads, Lacker of Parental Spine? Salt-bush? Edible rocks?
There are so many glaring issues of smug, pretentious entitlement, ignorance, and arrogance here it's breathtaking. 

So, following this jackass's reasoning, in order to make Bunny a true pretty, pretty princess:
I’m standing on top of the Defuffa at Kerma and I’m white. I’m the Empress of Kerma!
Oh, oh, and here I am with Tom, Emperor of Kerma!


Accepting Applications

When we first moved in this building, it was the quiet building in the complex. Now, not so much. The people above us seem to regularly bounce bowling balls.  Seriously, our ceiling visible dips at times and the ceiling fan shakes. 
With us on the ground floor are at least two apartments full of people who cannot close a door without slamming it. 
We have random tree puncher dude.
No one but us picks up after our dogs. 
The genius teenager in front of us likes to hang out with his friends in the breezeway under the stairs to smoke pot.  I wouldn't care except smoking ANYTHING in the breezeway is awful. And the kid totally fails at looking innocent. Eventually I will be irritated enough to just tell them. "Look, dude-bro, I can totally tell you're trying and failing to hide a joint over there. I don't care but please go somewhere else. And try to be less of a dipshit."
I want a cabin. With distant neighbors. 
Until then, I am grumpy and wish to smite things ala Narmer. I need a volunteer to carry my sandals though. Thus the title of this post. Please submit your applications in the comments.


Tens of dollars!

Based on my extensive market research (by which I mean sitting here petting the dogs while my fever goes higher) people around here will buy any damn thing if it has a fleur-de-lis on it. It seems to be a combination of the Saints being a halfway decent football team, attempting to link the coast with New Orleans by any means possible, and a desperate attempt to cling to the early French colonial history around here. I don't remember it being so popular and omnipresent in the early 90s but I had other priorities then, most of them related to avoiding bullies and trying not to die of boredom.
In any case: I propose to test this theory by hot gluing a bunch of fleurs-de-lis to doggy diapers. 
Problem: I need a venue to test market.  


One Year Out

As of her vet appointment today, she is heartworm free! Hurray! She finished treatment in July, but the markers of infection take a while to go away.  
It seems almost impossible that it's been a year since we adopted Bunny.  She's fit in so well it seems like she's always been with us.
A year ago she was a terrified little skin and bones, dull-coated little bit.
She is now up to a healthy 15 pounds with a beautiful, silky, glossy coat. She's getting a bit braver. She does cower with new people and sometimes even with us, but she doesn't try to hide behind me so much. 
She's learning how to play and that it's okay to keep her toys.
She bosses Oreo around a bit but they still get along beautifully and are starting to learn to play with each other. Bunny likes to count coup with him, which Oreo finds utterly baffling. He tries to play tug with her, but she assumes he wants the toy and lets go. 
They both RUN to the other's assistance if they suspect trouble. 
She is getting better with snuggling with Tom and she's very happy when he comes home from work.
We have bonded very closely. She rarely leaves my side and is horribly upset if I leave for a while. It's been interesting having such a snuggly kissy-face dog. Oreo is a love and likes to sit or sleep touching one of the "pack" but he's not usually super snuggly or demanding of pets and scritches. 
Bunny gets all up in your face. She messes with my iPad with her paws and nose. And she has for some reason decided some of my mascara smells delicious and tries to lick it off. 


Christmas crafting

I like to make at least a few presents every year and this year I got some pretty cool ideas.

Tom needs a place to put his wallet and phone and keys and other pocket stuff, so I thought I'd make a tray. I decided to imitate a sifting screen we use as archaeologists.
I used a plain unfinished tray from the craft store and sealed it. Then I mixed craft sand with Mod Podge and coated the bottom.  
I put wire screen on top of that. 
Then I added "artifacts": beads, modern produced arrowheads, pennies, rocks, a pop top, some shells and some flagging tape.
Then I poured in clear casting resin. I didn't quite get everything embedded fully, but it all does have a coating at least.
The screen I used was very fine mesh so you can't really see the sand, but I still really like the effect.


Tom is also growing out his beard so I got him a comb and mustache trimmer. I also blended some oils to use on his beard to keep it healthy and soft.

I got lots of lovely tea and a cute teapot. My electric kettle died yesterday (grrr, it was only a few months old" so post-holiday shopping will involve a new one.
And I got jammy pants!
And I'm going to go get some new Vibram FiveFingers, which horrify my mom, but I looooove.

The doggies got presents too. This is Bunny's first Christmas and the tearing wrapping paper scared her.  She's not quite sure how to play with her new toys.  Oreo has a new stuffy to kill.

And in fine family tradition, we made marinara and meatballs.


An Offering for Christmas Eve

This time of year is significant for many people. Some recognize the birth of Christ, others the miracle of the lamp oil, still others the solstice and the return of light.
Light is a common theme - the light of the guiding star, light of hope, light of God, light of the sun. So too, the restful darkness that lets us appreciate the light and renew it within ourselves.    
It is also a time to appreciate the light of knowledge. A time to celebrate our ability to light the dark and keep warm in the cold. A time to marvel at our ancestors observing the skies and knowing the changing seasons.
The finest reminder of the light for me is the Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 in 1968. The crew and their craft represented a coalescing of light - the light of knowledge and ingenuity, the light of bravery and exploration, the light of faith - in God or scientists and engineers.
The account of creation in Genesis, of the creation from darkness was apt-regardless of personal belief - as a major part of the Western canon it influences art even today. And the theme of naming having power and causing things to come into being is a common one in mythology and can be seen in a way in the voyage of Apollo 8 itself.     President Kennedy called for the US to send a man to the surface of the moon and bring him back by the end of the decade. He spoke, millions listened, thousands worked and created and transformed words into actions and things.
So, on Christmas Eve, I wish you all well in the restful dark and the returning light and offer you the reading given by Frank Borman and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders from the depths of space between Earth and Moon on December 24, 1968. 


The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution: Sad News: Barbara Mertz

The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution: Sad News: Barbara Mertz

Barbara Mertz is probably familiar to most of my blog readers (if there are any of you left after so long a span of silence) as Elizabeth Peters, the author of the Amelia Peabody series of Egyptological mystery novels set in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Her book Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs was a big part of why going to the University of Chicago to study at the Oriental Institute was my dream from roughly age 8 onward.

I never had the opportunity to meet her but by all accounts she was a delightful, funny lady.