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Mary Arline
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Mary Arline's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, September 18th, 2016
4:41 pm
Parade of Homes in my backyard
As the house on the lot behind mine[*](or one of the lots, because it turns out there are actually two) has been nearing completion, I've been hoping that it would have an open house or something so I would get the chance to see inside it before it's sold and people move in. Well, turns out I get my wish, because it just so happens that the house is complete enough to be featured in this fall's Parade of Homes.

The Parade of Homes happens twice a year, and it's a chance for the local builders to show off the new-construction housing that they have available for sale. And in this case, it must have been a close shave getting it ready in time, because they only just built the back patio on Friday. [*](I heard one of the other "paradegoers" squeal about, "Oh, a covered patio! How nice!" and I was tempted to mention something about it not existing three days ago--but I didn't).

I was going to walk around the block to get there, but then I thought, "That's silly; I'll just cut across the backyards." So I did.[*](I hesitated to cut across the backyards because we got a tremendous amount of rain on Thursday, and the other house's backyard basically turned into a lake, and I was afraid it would still be muddy. But it wasn't. The ground was still a little soft by the front door, but other than that it was perfectly dry.)

Inside, it's a perfectly nice-looking, perfectly ordinary three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.[*](The basement isn't finished yet, but oftentimes the builders leave that for the new owners to do with as they like.) Nevertheless, it's still amazing to me that there's now a complete and livable house where last year there was nothing but grass and weeds, that in the space of less than six months there can be a house where previously no house stood.

It was also illuminating to look at my house from the back windows and see exactly what my eventual neighbors will see. Very educational.

Current Mood: interested
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016
8:41 am
Try harder
First, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am opposed to doping in sports. To me, it is the rankest form of cheating apart from trying to physically harm or otherwise discredit your competitors.

With that said, American swimmer Lilly King's mean-girl verbal attacks on a Russian competitor smack of poor sportsmanship. It's one thing to speak out for clean competition. It's another thing to bad-mouth your opponents. King has been praised for her "fearlessness" in and out of the pool. To me, "fearlessness" is not necessarily a positive trait and has little to do with genuine courage. But even if I accept "fearlessness" as a positive trait, there's a difference between fearlessness and tactlessness.

As is often the case, Alan Abrahamson expresses it much better than I ever could. You can read his assessment here. However, because this is important and because the article will eventually be taken down from the website when it is time to turn our attention to the Winter Games in 2018, I am reproducing it here for future reference. No copyright infringement intended.


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***

In a nutshell, Lilly King is being praised for bad behavior, while bronze medalist Katie Meili, who may well be the sweet girl that Lilly King--by her own admission--is not, is being largely ignored.

Then they try to excuse King's behavior by saying that she wasn't aware that her antics in the ready room were being filmed and broadcast to the world. I call bullshit; are they asking us to believe that she's never seen a televised sports event before? Doubtful. But even if we give King the benefit of the doubt and assume that she temporarily forgot herself in the ready room--which I will concede is at least a possible scenario--she gave another sarcastic finger-wiggle in the pool following her semifinal heat, and no one can pretend that that was anything other than premediated and unkindly meant.

In any case, she was reportedly chastised by one of the team's officials, who said, "We really are trying to take the high road."

My response: Try harder.

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
9:19 pm
Virtual tour of Sioux Falls
About seven years ago, when I still had a working camera, I took some pictures of some of my favorite places in Sioux Falls. They've been sitting on my hard drive, collecting virtual dust, ever since. I decided I should finally post them. So here, for your enjoyment, is a virtual tour of Sioux Falls. The time is early spring circa 2009.

Falls ParkCollapse )

Terrace ParkCollapse )

McKennan ParkCollapse )

Fawick ParkCollapse )

Old Courthouse Museum and DowntownCollapse )

So there you have it. Thanks for joining me on this trip back through time and letting me share my adopted hometown with you.

Current Mood: mellow
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
4:33 pm
SculptureWalk 2016
I was going to say that it gets harder every year to vote for just one SculptureWalk entry for the People's Choice award, but then I realized that's not really true. The hardest year was last year; there were so many sculptures that I loved, for so many different reasons, that I just couldn't narrow it down to one and didn't vote at all. [*](That said, I am a little surprised that this beat out Lincoln and son. That will teach me to underestimate the power of cutesy-ness.)

Last weekend I went downtown to see the new sculptures that were put up in April. I had driven past earlier and seen one that I liked, and was all ready to vote for that one first thing, but then I decided that I really couldn't vote for one without at least looking at the rest of them.

I was able to narrow it down to three fairly easily, presented here in numerical order:
Big pictures behind cut.Collapse )
Then I got stuck.

Ultimately, it came down to the one that I thought had the most chance of winning. One thing I've noticed about SculptureWalk People's Choice award winners is that they never seem to be very abstract. Some border on magic realism, but other than that, they tend to be pretty representational. Therefore, I decided that, of the three, Francis would be the best choice.

Crankiness behind cutCollapse )

Now, if I were pick which sculpture I think will ACTUALLY win, that choice is a lot easier. My money would be on this one. However, this one would also be a very good bet because (a) the artist(s) have won more People's Choice awards than any other artists, (b) it was inspired by the Little Rascals, so there's the nostalgia factor, and (c) the chimes are just so much fun to try and play.[*](You can't really see it in the picture, but there are mallets provided for the chimes and viewers are encouraged to play them. It's very hard to resist the temptation.) However, for a dark horse candidate, I'd pick this one. It's leaning towards the abstract side of the spectrum, more in the realm of magic realism, but I think it might have a shot. What it lacks in representationalism, it potentially makes up for in inspirationalism.[*](If that's even a word...)

***
Okay, now I'm confused: They said that they're discontinuing online voting, but there's still an online voting form. What? I understand the rationale that they want people to go see the sculptures in person, but in some cases that's not possible. I mean, if it was an issue of not being able to maintain the "one vote per participant" rule via online voting, I would understand that, but I strongly believe everyone who wants to should be able to cast their vote, even if they can't make it downtown in person.

Current Mood: appreciative
Monday, May 16th, 2016
2:37 pm
Just for the record...
...I really don't like billboards in general. There are many billboards, across the whole state of South Dakota, that bother me for various reasons: sometimes rhetorically, sometimes ideologically, sometimes aesthetically...some even bother me for all three reasons.

What I don't understand is, why do we have to plaster advertisements on every available vertical surface? Why can't benches at bus stops just be benches? I remember back when I drove to work, I used to pass a particularly garish "Rent This Space!" sign on a bus stop bench, and I was so tempted to rent it just so I could paint it a nice, soothing color that I actually figured out the cost of how much it would take to rent it for a year.

Current Mood: irritated
7:52 am
Billboards
http://www.kdlt.com/news/local-news/billboards-test-the-faith-of-area-residents/39561622

Without even getting into the issue of what the billboards say, what really annoys me is the fact that there are so many of them. I think they're taking up more than their fair share of billboard space, and I don't think it's fair to the other organizations that want to advertise. I would say the same thing if it were Sanford or First Premier Bank or Avera or Badlands or any of the big advertisers in Sioux Falls using up three billboards within a 50-yard radius--especially when they all say the EXACT SAME THING!

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But then, I am a self-professed Christian, so whatever I say, I'm going to be suspected of having some ulterior motive. What do you think? Am I a narrow-minded believer, or are these people out of line?

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, May 8th, 2016
6:06 pm
I need a hero
You know, I figured it might be hard to find Supergirl-themed wrapping paper, but I didn't think that it would be all but impossible to find wrapping paper with the Superman logo (House of El insignia, if you prefer) on it.

I mean, with as popular as superheroes are now, in all forms of media, you'd think we'd be falling all over the stuff. I found basically everything a person would need to throw a Superman-themed birthday party EXCEPT wrapping paper.

Mind-boggling.

Current Mood: mystified
Sunday, April 17th, 2016
10:53 am
"Explore historical artifacts from South Dakota's National Parks"
Thus my Google homepage greeted me this morning, and I was delighted to comply. Is everyone seeing the same invitation this morning, or is it just because I live in South Dakota?

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Current Mood: spring fever
Monday, April 11th, 2016
11:12 pm
They're going to be sorry.
http://www.ksfy.com/home/headlines/Tri-Valley-school-board-aprroves-Sentinel-Program-375347771.html

Mark my words, they are going to rue this day. I just wonder how many kids are going to be caught in the crossfire before they realize what a horrible, horrible mistake they've made.

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Sleep well, everybody. I know I sure won't.

Current Mood: numb with horror
Monday, February 29th, 2016
4:22 pm
In like a lion
In weather-related news, we're supposed to get 4 inches of snow tonight. Yuck. I knew it was too much to hope that we were completely done with snow for the season, but I'd rather hoped we were past the significant accumulations.

I was talking to one of my neighbors the other day, and she was talking about putting away her snow shovel for the season, and I was like, "Don't jinx it!"

So it's all her fault, haha. ;)

Current Mood: boo
Friday, July 17th, 2015
8:42 pm
This made my day delightful:


Current Mood: defying frozen wicked gravity
Saturday, July 11th, 2015
12:31 am
Outdoor life
Okay, the bad news is it turns out that I do have to mow my own lawn after all. But it's a very small yard, so it shouldn't be too much of an ordeal. I think I'll just get a little manual mower. This is something that I was researching last year when I started getting serious about the house-buying thing; there was a review in which the person who bought it said she lost weight as a result of using a manual mower. Potential bonus there.

The good news is, I got a fantastic deal on a 5-piece patio set. Hy-Vee is having a sale: 50% off. Didn't even have to put it on my credit card. Awesome!

In cute news, there's a tiny little baby bunny living under my front steps. I don't know if it's actually a baby or just a smaller variety than most of the other bunnies around here, but in either case, it's tiny and cute. Once I knew it was there and approached slowly, it let me get relatively close it before it scurried back under the steps.

And a firefly update: before I was watching them from the patio, which wasn't very conducive because they usually stay close to the grass. Tonight I was watching them from the lawn, and it was much more satisfying. I was burning a citronella candle and I didn't know if it would affect fireflies the way it's supposed to affect mosquitoes, but it didn't seem to bother them.

I really should be paying more attention to packing and cleaning and purging the apartment, but buying things for the house is just so much more fun! Gotta sort out priorities. But I really do need to get on that lawnmowing thing before it gets too shabby.

Current Mood: content
Friday, June 26th, 2015
1:16 pm
More advice to first-time homebuyers
Don't close on a Monday.

Or if you have to close on a Monday, make it the afternoon rather than the morning.

Because if, for some reason, everything isn't in order by end of business on Friday, then you would still have some time on Monday morning to get things in order.

ALSO:

If you're asking for a problem to be fixed as a condition for buying, insist that it be performed by a professional.

This is why:Collapse )

Long story short, you have to look out for your own interests. A good realtor will help you figure out what's in your best interest and be your advocate, but even a good realtor isn't perfect. It's nice to want to help the sellers out and meet them halfway, but if you're not careful, you can screw yourself over by trying to accommodate the sellers, which is what almost happened to me. And ultimately, it's going to inconvenience the sellers too because they're going to have to rearrange their work schedules on Monday to accommodate the new closing time. So even though it sounds selfish and horrible to say, you're not doing ANYONE any favors by not putting your own interests first.

Current Mood: nervous
Thursday, June 25th, 2015
12:12 pm
Advice to first-time homebuyers
[*](Specifically American homebuyers; I imagine the process varies somewhat country by country.)

I like to watch those home-buying shows on HGTV, and on those shows they always ask the participants for advice for first-time homebuyers (or sellers, depending on which show it is). Most of which is pretty generic and interchangeable.

Now, no one asked me for my advice, but if I were to give advice to other first-time homebuyers, it would be this: first thing you do, before you get preapproved or talk to a realtor or anything else, buy a fax machine if you don't already have one (or buy a scanner and set up fax capabilities through your computer). This is especially important if you're getting an FHA loan, as they insist on real signatures on certain documents rather than electronic signatures. Trust me, even if doesn't pay for itself in money,[*](Although it probably will; faxing service is REALLY expensive.) it will pay for itself in the number and severity of headaches that it will save you.

Current Mood: wise from experience
Saturday, June 20th, 2015
9:31 pm
Waving update
As a follow-up to this post, I had an experience today that made me laugh. While was driving around town, I got a big wave from another driver for no other reason that I could ascertain than that he was driving the same make and model of vehicle as my own.

Current Mood: amused
10:21 am
Sunflowers


I like the way they just assume that all South Dakotans snack on sunflower seeds. It is prevalent, but not universal.

Don't get me wrong; sunflower seeds are one of the tastiest snacks you can find. But they're also decidedly inconvenient.

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Current Mood: hungry
Friday, June 19th, 2015
4:22 pm
Landscapes of South Dakota: Mammoth Site


I just realized it's been over 30 years since I first visited the Mammoth Site. Which makes me feel old. Then I look at all those ancient mammoth bones and I feel a bit better.

Now, I'm not saying it wasn't impressive the first time I went there, because it was. However, it's more impressive now because in the 30-some intervening years they have (a) built the big, beautiful visitor's center, and (b) done a lot more excavation and discovered a lot more mammoth bones. A LOT more.

Current Mood: impressed
Thursday, June 18th, 2015
4:14 pm
South Dakota rocks:

See? I speak the truth.

Points of interest within the video:
00:32--These are the eponymous falls of the Big Sioux River from which the city of Sioux Falls gets its name. They are located in the aptly named Falls Park.

00:50--The building in the background is the Old Courthouse Museum in downtown Sioux Falls.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
4:12 pm
Landscapes of South Dakota: Time Zones


This will give you some idea of what I'm talking about the next time you hear me talk about West River versus East River South Dakota. I was born and raised West River but have lived most of my adult life East River. They each have good things about them and I'm proud to say that I'm an equal-opportunity South Dakotan who has lived in and loves both sides.

Current Mood: proud
Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
7:03 pm
The Landscapes of South Dakota: Richard Termes


They also did a longer segment on him on a recent episode of Dakota Life. See it here.[*](Pay particular attention to this sphere, featured about halfway through the segment. It's a painting of the Globe Theatre. Get it?)

If you want more Termespheres, Dick Termes also has his own YouTube Channel. Check it out.

If you're ever visiting the Black Hills and want to do something a bit off the beaten path, the Termesphere Gallery is well worth a visit. However, it's a good idea to call ahead first.

Current Mood: well-rounded
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