Monday, December 31, 2007

You-ooo-oooo

We were arguing about whether it's Feliz Navidaaaa or Feliz Navidad. Yes, it's a HOPPING New Year's Eve, but that's because I am not feeling well. My bad.

So anyway I resolved that via google, then I came across this, the most (unintentionallly?) hilarious music video I ever saw: All I want

What is it about this video that makes it SO bad?
Hmm, maybe

  • the go-go dancers in the background, doing the retro dances
  • the shiny choir robes
  • the white boots
  • the fact that she does NOT look into it at all

Adios... drive safely...

More white stuff


Here's one I did correct... but I tried it with the basketball hoop shot and just don't like it as much on that one.

Snow day


Isn't it still supposed to be basketball season?? If it's Monday morning, we got snow, or at least it seems so the last few weeks.
We got at least a foot of wet, sticky snow overnight. I love the way it outlines the trees, but not the way it clings to a shovel...(hah! as IF this girl will touch a shovel today - that's what I have kids for...)


It sure seems like it's going to be a LONG WINTER.

How do you like this shot? Should I have corrected the blue cast? Cropped it differently? I took a few frames of different variations, horizontal /vertical etc., but I think I like this the best. I'm hoping to improve my photo taking skills beyond "point at it and press the button" this year. Most of my pictures are nice but average, and I'll like to dial that up just a little.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday art


Lazy today. I noticed this artist on Blogger Play the other day. Nice, isn't it?

Cristian Iancu - this is his blog; google didn't give me any English results (he is Romanian). So he's a mystery.
But take a stroll through the blog, there are some nice photos. I like Parcul Cismigui.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Big Game



This is for a contest over at http://www.officetally.com/.... go visit if you like The Office

De-funk-ifying

I'm in a crappy mood. Well, I've worked my way up to semi-crappy, with tea and homemade raisin bread. Various reasons for the mood, all of them things I don't want to get into here.

So, today the better eating/ less drinking wine starts again. Enough is enough! No more big piles of cookies, and I'm going to get on the treadmill today at 1:30. (Assuming my garage floor really IS dried out from our recent flood which I won't talk/weep about further, but I will check that floor carefully firszzzzzt.)

Only 154 days until the next Freihofer run. Twenty two weeks. So if I walk for a week, then add 1/7 of a mile of running each week on the days I run, I can do this right? I'm sure that's not a proper training plan but it's kind of funny, isn't it?

We are watching the football game tonight, since we don't have any other plans, and we'll probably have some family over to just to hang out. This will motivate me to clean a few things up (and clean out the fridge, which is scary since everything is completely crammed into it to defend against the mice)

Speaking of mice... we killed four... the traps have been undisturbed for 3 nights. Cross your fingers for me. BLAH.

I need to get back to my cleanup projects. Didn't get very far yet. Still have a few days before the madness of school starts again.

I'm also figuring out some sort of "grid" for the game tonight (like a football pool) that won't involve money but will involve prizes the kids might like (ex: who picks the entertainment we all watch/listen to on the way down to NYC, and back)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lucky girl


look who is apparently taking off Jennifer Aniston's stockings this Christmas.....

Happy New Year indeed!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

This is actually a COLOR photo...


The sky is gray. (Or is it Grey? Nope, no new Grey's again this week. No new Office. Sulk. )
I went through one of my favorite running parks today... you can't see it very well in the photo (which I took on my blackberry) but every branch is slightly outlined on top with a fresh dusting of snow.
My projects for the next couple of days:
  • Enjoy the decorated house, drink wine and eat cookies (this behavior shall end on New Year's day! back to the treadmill!!)
  • Go through my digital photo folders from this year. Upload any that I haven't printed to Snapfish, before their 9 cent sale ends. Move this years photos into an archive folder and back it up
  • Go through my file drawer and pitch the papers I don't need. They're choking the life out of me. My desk always looks horrible, we really don't have enough room for all of the PTA and basketball league papers along with our OWN bills/ etc... I need to get a jump start on this while no little people are demanding attention on their homework.
  • Speaking of PTA, I've been playing tag with one of the other officers... we are sending back and forth a list of things we STILL need to manage this year, adding things as we think of them. This includes fundraisers, family fun things, and so on. It's a long frickin' list!
  • After that, I get to try to sort through the piles of stuff in my scrapbook area. Things are a mess because we take my card table down to put the tree up. There are piles of things all tossed back there and it's killing me because some of the piles contain folders of very old photos.
  • I have new KOTM stamps to play with, along with the distress embossing ink and other stuff I bought recently. Wheee!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Furthermore

Twice in the past week I have found myself brought to tears while contemplating whether a certain relation will still be with us next Christmas. Do I save the cards from them, that were given to my kids? Because these might be the last cards. This is an example of the dark, morbid thoughts running through my mind these days. It's kind of hard to Fa la la la la around that kind of mood.

It's a tightrope on many levels - how much help to offer a fiercely proud individual who is not MY parent, how much to say to that person's children - some of whom are in denial, some of whom are compensating by doing things that I truly believe MEAN well, but are overwhelming and not quite what that individual wants. None of whom are doing things that I really think NEED to be done. (Ramp to the back door. Railings, grab bars - this is where the pride comes into play. Those are things that "Old" people need. I once heard a remark --not directed at me -- something to the effect of "What do you want me to do, sit in my chair and wait to die?") It's so hard to explain risk-avoidance to someone who hears "lost independance".

The party's over

My living room looks like a bomb went off. I haven't quite cleaned up the mess from gifts that we brought home from Brother In Law's. I was slightly disappointed there; it turned into "let's just get these gifts open" and I don't think people got to enjoy the reactions of recipients. So much time shopping and planning and wrapping... whooosh. Over.

Not a lot of surprises for me this Christmas... except for the mice. Four and counting. Everything possible is in tupperware. Dammit, dammit, dammit. In almost 20 years living in this house we have never had them consistently coming up from the crawlspace through to the area under the kitchen sink. Ugh. The worst was the one who got HALF of his little head caught in the trap... the visible eye was bulging and I was SO happy that I was the one who got to pick THAT up. Merry Christmas to me. So much for my faint hope that it was A MOUSE that we had to deal with. It's apparently an entire fucking Rockettes line of mice.

I spent the day barely getting anything done. It shot by... my vacation is over and I don't have anything exciting planned until ... spring. There is laundry to be done and programming to catch up on and a host of PTA-type headaches waiting for my attention.

Bah humbug.

Monday, December 24, 2007

To each his own

Stanley comes from Polish heritage (we occaisionally sing a Polish hymn or two...) and sent me

Zyczem wam wesoly swiat Bozago Narodzenia, i Szczesliwego nowego roku.

which of course I replied to with...

Frohe Weihnachten und glückliches neues Jahr.

Bits-scotti

How to NOT make biscotti... spread the dough out so it's loaf shaped. Logs, dammit, logs.

The "dough" spreads while it bakes. Boy does it spread. And when a foolish baker tries to cut those spread out loaves, even with a great big serrated knife, the slices will break and she will curse.

And then when she tries to turn the slices while she toasts them, a few more will break and that's because she forgot to chop the cherries and so the overall structural integrity is NOT sound, and she will drizzle white chocolate all over more than just the broken biscotti.... oh well. They still taste good.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thoughts

Is the year over yet? I really sucked at the MSN year end current events quiz. Ooops. Moving on...

  • I would have LOVED to have seen this in person - darn. Or even on tv. With all of the billions of CRAP tv shows on (I'm looking at you, Heidi & Spencer) can't we have something better now & then?
  • I recruited a new choir member today. Let's see if she shows up. She seemed really interested. And an alto! Yaaaaaaay.
  • The soprano with the really REALLY LOUD voice (but beautiful, clear and REALLY high range) who blew out my eardrum the other night is a good sport - she presented me & a friend with a 1/2 set of earplugs each (we stand on either side of her). It was awesome.
  • I really love giving little tins full of the cookies I've made, to special people. Stanley & Bette got theirs today at choir. :::checking my watch:::: I think Bette probably ate hers by now.
  • Carly 1, Mice 0 (do we give them points for stealing peanut butter off of two traps? Or just me, for KILLING THEIR LITTLE RODENT ASSES... ? Snap!)
  • I'm into the punch list stage -trying to remember the last minute little things I need to do today and tomorrow. Luckily for me this includes the "what is everyone wearing, no really" drill. My son brought home ONE good shoe for the vacation from school. We checked and the other isn't at school. I sent him to Target to buy one shoe. Think that will work?

Well, I need to quit procrastinating...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sunday gallery - 3 hours early


I have to chose Raphael this week because I love this... it's Christmas-y, and I know Suzy LOVES cherubs like the ones at the bottom.
I also want to learn more about him... but, I am soooo tired from making cookies, that I can barely read. (The height of lazy is not mustering the energy to read a wikipedia article)
I am done.
Done with shopping wrapping, baking, and I have to string one lighted garland over my patio door and then decorating is done too. Every bit of food possible from the cupboards is in tupperware. Traps are waiting for Mickey. Eff you, vermin.
Oh, and my penitent son cleaned most of the house. Funny - Santa comes around the neighborhood on the fire truck, but didn't stop by our house. I think they KNOW. (He's not home, don't worry. The incident is over, he's done his labor, and Nana's silver tea set hasn't looked so good in years.)
Sunday afternoon I will sit on my fanny and actually enjoy myself - watching a movie, perhaps.
Enjoy your holiday. If for some reason, this holiday sucks for you, hang in there. Next year will be better. Right? Right.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A story in three nearly identical sentences

"Mouse crap?"
"Mouse! Crap!!"
Mouse: "Crap!"

Christmas playlist

This is what I'll be shuffling on Christmas Day

  • Chris Botti - December
  • Josh Groban - Noel
  • Diana Krall - Christmas Songs
  • Manhattan Transfer
  • a little Trans-Siberian Orchestra (just a song or two, like Wizards in Winter)
  • The New York Catholic Chorale (saw them perform, the director has a phenomenal voice)
  • annnnnd.... the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack

You?

D'oh of the day


I watched "The Shot" today while I was eating lunch. If you haven't heard of it, it's Reality TV with photographers, random "judges", etc. I accidentally came across it, and really liked the shot of Joss Stone that "won" the episode.

They mentioned a contest near the end of the show, something about Take Your Shot, and I didn't realize it was a sweepstakes. So this photo popped into my head, and I wasted about 15 minutes finding it, only to realize I can't enter it. So, enjoy it.
I took this picture almost 3 years ago on the first really warm day in March, when I finally got the kids outside to test out the scooters they had received for Christmas. The digital camera was new and I did a bunch of fun stuff that day ( a multi frame of my daughter swinging, that I later collaged onto one scrapbook page, and so on.)
I know it's just the start of winter (brrrr) but think SPRING!


It's 3a.m. I must be lonely

...which would be why my daughter initiated the "go to mom's elbow, pause for brief interim, then run to bathroom to barf" drill

It made for restful sleep from then on, as you can imagine. Who the hell booked them both for 8 am dentist appointments today? Oh, wait.

Yesterday was a vague blur of making projects I should have done weeks ago. A calendar for my mom, with pictures of the lot of us (including my bro & sis whenever possible). A plaque for my son's new cleaning business (gag gift... but he loves the Shark and I have to say it DOES work pretty well... and he will be cleaning all afternoon and tomorrow morning to work off his Santa transgressions this week at school... ) and another gift that involves printing out photos, arranging them on a tray from Michael's, blobbing "ModgePodge" all over, and hoping it really WOULD dry clear.

After that I made cookies (Scotchies, which have pecans, white chips, butterscotch chips, and some scotch whiskey...a family favorite here) and headed to choir. When I got home I had to help wrap presents that had just been purchased within the past couple of hours for friends at school. You can role model all you want, but some people don't take a hint. Sigh.

Today it's wrapping time. I should be done by just after lunch. Then, more cookies, if I feel like it. If not, oh well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Please come home



Please? Thursdays aren't the same without you....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So this is how the Grinch's mama felt

Apparently my dear, sweet, baby child has been talking a lot in school lately.

About how Santa isn't real.

It's FUN to find this out while you are chaperoning the school choir's annual Christmas caroling. While walking for 90 minutes with wet slush enveloping your toes (despite the boots) and no wine in sight, anywhere.

Oy.

I need to go download the song "I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas"...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Handy bag

I don't have the purse gene. I can't stand carrying a big bloated purse that you could count on to help you survive a lengthy expedition. Phone, debit card, maybe a chapstick.

So I was happy to find this this purse by Chloe Dao. (She won Project Runway, season 2) Actually I noticedthe purse in Office Max. I don't GO purse shopping. I don't roam about Macy's, caressing Coach bags. I'm mystified by that.

It has more than one place to tuck my blackberry, and also pockets perfect for the iPod. (I've been meaning to write a "dear john" letter to my iPod...it's been replaced as my favorite techy gadget, and your comments on this blog now are sent right to the 'berry... but when I get off my increasinly large ass and start running again, it'll be Mr. iPod all the way... )

Monday, December 17, 2007

Four dozen socks

...three of his sister's shirts, two Halloween costumes, and one athletic cup in an overcrowded kid's dresser....

yeah...my attempt at a 12 days of christmas spoof sucks but that's what I got for MY gift today. I couldn't take it anymore, I pulled everything out of his dresser and sorted it. He was jamming stuff into it everyday... andI'm tired of seeing him come home from school and put on shorts.


So... Christmas in a week. Ready?? I'm going through my list of "things" - cards, gifts, cookies, what is everyone wearing... I think I'm in good shape.

Bits of fuzz from my brain's lint trap

Thoughts, in no particular order


  • Hell yes... I will see this movie
  • A 2 hour delay means the bus will come two hours after it normally comes. So turn the tv off and get your coat on, dammit. Do not argue with me that "it means school will start at 10." I know that. You still get the bus WAY before that.
  • If you sleep with a snorer you may find yourself musing, (okay, fantasizing) at two a.m. some morning about being in a cartoon. Your spindly Olive Oyl arm will slide out from under the blanket, reach under your side of the bed, and come up with a gigantic rubber mallet which you will swing with a "BAM" effect (bright colored letters, filling the screen). The offending party will either vanish into a smoking cartoon hole in the floor (leaving a jagged edged mattress) or will be a flat, non-snoring object. Either way.
  • On that subject (sleepus interruptus) , who drunk dialed me from Ohio at midnight the other night? All I could hear on the voicemail message you left me was the singing.
  • I have now consumed all of the refridgerated cookie dough which I made 8 days ago. That's not good. I never baked ANY of it. I think at some point I knew I'd passed the middle of the tray, uh, the point of no return. At least it had no eggs in it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Obviously not well thought out

A true story - yesterday I went to my friend's house. They have a new puppy. He's kind of a big dog (lab) so they started working with a trainer who taught them to say "Off" when he is jumping or too excited.

So my friend started yelling at the dog when we came in the house, to try to get him under control.

The problem?

The dog's name is Jack.

Just a quickie post

So here's the stamped cards I made as teacher gifts. My daughter is driving me crazy... but that's another story("What are they?" "Note cards." "But what for? My teacher won't understand" - Senora recently became a citizen and I'm pretty SURE she will get the idea! Geeeeez.)

Two variations on background paper. Gold ink and embossing powder (this went from "ugh" to "hey!" when I heated the powder. ) Stamp by Rubber Soul.


Two variations (ran out of brads) on a piece with stamp by Stampin' up. I love this stamp, sometimes I color it in with markers (after I stamp). This picture's blurry because I rushed.






This one I embossed with white powder (stamp by inkadinkado) and that came out great. The background ones were a watermark ink plus distress powder... even though I heated it, it's slowly filtering off. Whoopsie.





This is my favorite, hands down. Stampin' up teddy bear.






I believe this is a stamin' up stamp... I had a complicated mistake when I first started, where I stamped a bear absolutely upside down on the card (it's not oriented the way the sticker on top is! d'oh!) so I cut up that card and turned the bears the right way and so on. This was a leftover scrap. Oy vey. But it's cute with the background paper and brads.





The basket below is also from stampin' up, and the larger flower is a clear stamp by Rhonna Farrer. I used some distress ink and embossing powder on the background flowers because I wanted them light and somewhat scuffed. I'm not exactly sure the products were idea for a stamp with this much detail. It was fun practicing though.
















I didn't go all out with these... mostly because I had to make a bunch, and wanted to keep it fairly simple. I have five people (two teachers plus consultant teacher, secretary, principal) so I took a random selection for each one.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

White noise is too loud?

So I had a brain flash today, I can make a few stamped notecards as a gift for each teacher. Good excuse to play with my stamps, inks, etc.

Of course my embossing gun is TOO LOUD (think barely a hairdryer...) for the princess, who is now sleeping.

Pictures will be posted when they're done. I basically pulled out a few stamps, I will make 3 or four of each design. Nothing all elaborate and distressed and stuff. A simple embossed image on cardstock, stack that on printed paper, then I'll put it on the card with brads or eyelets.

Stay tuned..

Wasn't I supposed to rush home with my treasures?

Well I got my shopping done today, but not without that precious moment where you want to pick the nearest cash register up, and heave it like a shotput.

Something about waiting in line to purchase something that caught my eye... blah blah store within a store couldn't go to any other register, blah blah blah...waiting an hour...

Anyway, I'm done. Good times.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quithmuth

"I tan't wait till Quithmuth day" is my favorite goofball Christmas song

Suzy likes "There's something stuck up in the Chimney" ( animated )

What's yours?

(No fair mentioning Dominick!)

All I want for Christmas Is One of Everything

I bought a unmounted "Thank You" block of rubberstamps from Green Grass Stamps. It came in the mail yesterday- awesome.

So I had to figure out this and then, looking at all of THIS page made my head explode. Because I want one of each.

Meaning, of course, that when I go to the craft store tonight (a trip which is only to buy DECOUPAGE GLUE, only, mind you...) I need to BRING CASH ONLY. Because I'm in a shopping sort of mood!!!!!

Don't pester me with that silly technicality of how I'm supposed to be buying gifts for OTHER people right now.

PS: My daughter is stuck today on Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" which is okay (an "urban" radio station here played it notstop to do a fund drive for charity - they wouldn't stop , until they reached their $$ goal, heh...) but I would rather have joined in the choir for something like "Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thump

My day more or less started with a thump. As in, I was sitting at a red light (for at least 10 seconds, long enough to put in my NYS mandated hands free device and dial my phone and say hey to a friend) and this crazy chick literally pulled up behind me and bumped right into my car. Because she didn't SEE me there, or something. I was on the phone with my friend and I literally swore and said "Someone just hit me" and hung up... way to freak out your pals. (Sorry!)

I pulled forward a tiny bit, got out and looked at the bumper and she rolled her window down and said "Sorry" in a "please, I know I'm stupid, don't shoot me or anything" sort of voice, so I let it go. Mind you, this was before we got ANY snow.

I was checking the timecard system today to see how much sick/ vacation time I have left. I have 0.10 hours remaining designated as "sick time." Yes, that is six minutes. Thank you. Just about enough time to go to the bathroom, puke, and GET RIGHT BACK TO WORK. I do have four days of vacation, so all is not lost.

The snow started right around the time that I left work. I left because Suzy is sick. She's got bronchitis and some other goo-type stuff going on. I called to check on her and she mentioned she was out of kleenex and blowing her nose on toilet paper, and THAT JUST WILL NOT DO. Not for my baby sister. (I don't care if she IS 35.) Besides if you keep doing that, you run out of TP and that is NOT good.

Off I went to the store. I called her back just to make sure she didn't need any random embarrasing items (I rattled off a few specific ones) and then went on over, to find her wearing a surgical mask so she wouldn't get me sick. Cute. For Christmas, I gave her a shiny new humidfier to call her very own. She has been coughing so much her ribs are basically reduced to shrapnel, so maybe this will help.

Oh, and the snow. We got our asses kicked today. I have at least 8" of snow here. Blah. People don't know things like "brake OR turn, don't try to do both, dipshit..." so they annoy me. I was behind a tractor trailer from California, and I bet HE was even more pissed off than I was.

Good times.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm only saying that

...if Santa were too have a little TOO much hot buttered rum, and point Rudolph in my direction, and if I were to be run over by a reindeer, say, TONIGHT,

...I'm not saying that it would be a bad thing, relative to how the past 32 hours or so have gone.

Volunteering is a great thing. Usually. But sometimes it comes with headaches and leaves one saying "WTF was I thinking? Why did I get myself into this?"

I like to refer to this as "No good deed goes unpunished."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A note

Salmon Run Pinot Noir goes very well with the cookie dough that I mixed the other day and was going to bake Sund, uh, yesterd, um, today...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bend over


Since I don't feel entertaining, due to things like "Oh my god why didn't she do that?" and "Did I really have to sit through that useless class?" (details not truly important...I'm sure you have your own to fill in the blanks....)


go here.... for more of the artist above (LOVE the Halloween candy one, dated September 13 or so...)
I found it when I ordered gelaskins.

By the way, the light switch covers I pondered recently came and they are beautiful. My Christmas shopping is nearly done. I love you, Internets.


Does anyone want to recommend games for my new blackberry? Aside from Texas Hold'em, of course.

For the Moms

In lieu of my Sunday art posting (oops!) I bring you one of my favorite cartoonists.


This is what the holiday rush feels like sometimes... (Close To Home)



Today I will be enjoying the 2 hour school delay (once the kiddos leave, that is) - I'll be sitting on my couch. There are cookies here.
Technically I'm working from home, but I'm very skilled at cookie /work juggling.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Elf you

I couldn't post yesterday, being overcome by the loss of Carotid Artery Guy. Dammit.


Well, actually I was shopping (shudder). I took the afternoon off from work, studiously avoided the two obscenely large malls in my area, and went to Target and a few other places instead. I am within spitting distance of "done" so I am deeee-lighted. I even had time to have a glass of wine. Oh yeah!


This morning I got up early to upload and order a book I'm making for my dad. Here's a screen of some of the pages. These are pictures of his dad, aunts & uncles, etc. By the way, Shops, I love you, you saved me $55 with that coupon.





Today it's (ugh) decorations everywhere in the house (two trees... Two. I don't want or need two trees. But other people in mi casa insist.)



I'll be making cookies while they do all of that decorating (the kids each get to have one friend over) and I'll be trying not to thing about trying on jeans. Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It always sounds like a great idea

... to check your email quick before work, until you see you have 13 new items, mostly school-related, even though you were ALMOST caught up at 11 pm

... to send a post card to A Recovering American Soldier, until you read this

... to clean your oven, except that one blob of food can fry the lower element and you won't have an oven for a month and you will get really sick of hamburger and chicken cooked up in a skillet (no matter what you add to the skillet)

... to have the weather on in the morning, until you actually SEE the temperature outside, then you don't want to leave the house

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stamping

No, not stamping my feet. Check out Tim Holtz and his "12 tags of Christmas" entries.

This could get expensive for me. I don't know if I'm into the whole ephemera idea, mainly because being a mom I have SO many photos to keep up with. But... Distress ink, distress embossing powder (when cooled, some of it flakes off ) . Hmmm. I need to go to Michael's. (The voices on my shoulders are saying "No, it's Christmas time" and "But what about presents for ME?")

I do have a few inkpads (Colorbox, rainbow, and a couple of petal pads). I just ordered the KOTM (SOLD OUT! It's only the 5th of the month. Wives are yelling at husbands today. Mark my words. ) as soon as I saw it because I was up until almost 1 am that night working on the photo book for my dad, and I just loved it and wanted it. (Gimme, gimme. )Anyway I realized that I have a TON of acrylic paint (See, MURAL...) and acrylic paint is apparently OK to use in scrapbooks with foam stamps of that type. Why didn't someone tell me this???

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Well

It's like that old song, "What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours."

I still have 583 things to do but at least I am 99% certain that I'll still be gainfully employed come January 1.

That and a frosty Labatt made a big difference today.

thanks!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Harder to breathe

Today was NOT a good day. Much like a old hard drive, I am so fragmented that I can't seem to accomplish ANY task. And they multiply. They sit on my desk and expand like that foam that you spray in cracks, and it expands and expands and then no air can get through. And I count them and think "shit, there's so many." And the counting, the lists, it's just a way to avoid the doing and the nagging whispers of the other things that are on my mind.

People are bugging me. People in my family, from my work (one client didn't listen to my instructions, then when I did what I said he should do and it worked, he said "I guess all it needed was a woman's touch." Eff you, pal. Really.) From my kid's school, people taking things they aren't entitled to (from a Catholic school, dammit, aren't we supposed to be above this crap? why do you bother sending your child to this school, when you would so willingly steal?) and everything. Everywhere. Everyone.

I don't want to deal with people around me getting laid off and people harrassing me about the pre-holiday plans that *I* choose to make, and who I invite to my home, and who I don't, and what I do with my kids when they have days off. I will not be made to feel like an ungrateful person because I don't accept a "solution" that's horribly inconvenient for me and serves only the purpose of the person offering it.



You drain me dry and make me wonder why I'm even here
This double vision I was seeing is finally clear
You want to stay but you know very well I want you gone
Not fit to fuckin' tread the ground that I'm walking on
When it gets cold outside and you got nobody to love
You'll understand what I mean when I say
There's no way we're gonna give up
And like a little girl cries in the face of a monster that lives in her dreams
Is there anyone out there cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe

Sunday, December 02, 2007

And also

while browsing for my previous post (yes, these weekly art posts are mostly for me, I want to know more about art...less about Brit Brit, the Spice Girls, and so on...)

I found this index of online tours and found that it is accompanied by suggested music. (Latin! Whoo boy.) Actually right now I'm listening to part of Missa Brevis.

Sunday Gallery


Today's artist is Pieter Claesz. I came across Vanitas Still Life in my MOMA book, but when I googled it online for this post I found a slightly different image here (which is the one above, yes, but has other pieces of his work... I found the version in my book here. Confusing. Definitely different. So was this guy bored all winter? Who knows.
At any rate, for a more sophisticated analysis, you can chew on this:
Nearly all Dutch still-lifes include - to a greater or lesser extent - the aspect of vanitas, a lament about the transience of all things. It is often symbolized by objects such as a skull or a clock, as in this painting, where the effect is enhanced by an overturned wine glass and an extinguished candle. Claesz's metaphysical criticism concentrates on book knowledge and its futility in the face of eternity. The claim of the enlightenment that book contains knowledge, experience and thoughts that were permanently valid beyond the life-span of an individual is met with resigned scepticism. With hues of grey, brown and green that tend to add up to a general 'monochrome' impression, Claesz's still-life was painted at a time when European book market was going through a phase of considerable expansion.
- found it here.

An Office

if you are a fan of The Office, check out ...

An Office

the 2nd one is pretty funny

Saturday, December 01, 2007

If I only had a time machine


This picture is my favorite thing in the world today. Going from left to right, I think #4 & 5 are my great grandparents. (My dad's mom's parents, to be specific). #8 is Helen, my other great grandmother on my dad's side. My father's dad's mom..... are you confused yet?
#9 is my dad's mother, and #10 at the far right is her husband, who is Helen's son. I think the others are Helen's other sons, but I'm not sure who the heck #2 is. Probably a wife; I have to compare to other photos but I'm sure it's not my great aunt.
When I was little, we lived in NYC with #9 & 10. He used to say to me, "Don't ever get married." and then he'd wink at me and I'd laugh. Hmmm.

Friday, November 30, 2007

How to tell it's almost Xmas

Everyone's finding my blog when they search for Dominck the Donkey lyrics.

(Oh, dammit: here). This one's better though, you can HEAR IT: Dominick - although why you'd want to ... ?????


It's cold as hell. It snowed tonight. Just a little. But more is coming. Ugh. I ache. Not as much as Suzy, who once got clotheslined while wearing a giant chipmunk head. A story for another day.

I still don't have my car because they thought it was fixed and the alarm started going off again. Haha. Swell.

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2008 is August 1 -3. This may seem far off and so not who I am, that you all are going "Huh? the girl who likes country music is going to Lollapalooza?" No way.

Today is Friday, and it is unfortunately chemo day for my very favorite Lollapalooza fan, and all I can say to offer encouragement is, think Lollapalooza, girl.

So if all my lurkers would think about Lollapalooza (how many times can I use that impossible to spell word in this post? ) today, and if you could send karma or prayers or anything else that now comes to mind when you think of Lollapalooza, I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

seriously?

So today was one of those "the universe is messing with me days." Up down up down.

Things like feeling crummy from dental work, (like I got punched repeatedly in the face, but that's a tad melodramatic?) and then seeing someone I used to work with which was a nice surprise and then having someone be snippy with me about how I'm interrupting their work by oh, asking for information I need to do MY job.

Having to admit in a meeting that "well, you know, I really don't think I'm able to do THIS project alone, because my development skills just aren't this good yet, and they needed this done a long time ago..." and then going out to lunch and laughing and being silly, and then getting a memo that there will be staff cuts soon, because OF COURSE, it's Christmastime, and having someone say "god you look awful, what's wrong?" (dental work...staff cuts... because of course I just put down money for spring break, we never go ANYWHERE, but we're going to go somewhere and for .3 seconds I was excited about the trip....)

And leaving and going out to a loaner car that smells like wet hairy dog and finding a nasty chewed piece of rawhide in the back, and dragging myself through the supermarket because we have no OJ and then to choir even though I'm already way too tired, and being the only alto again, and doing ok until the end when I was just so exhausted I couldn't think straight.

Cracking open a beer and sitting down to watch what happened after That Guy From The Scooby Movie had his carotid burst and

it's a fucking repeat.

Are you kidding me?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Linus and Lucy


Linus and Lucy is that song from A Charlie Brown Christmas that they all dance to. My child #1 performs a hilarious rendition of "that kid in the orange shirt dancing".... capturing the essence of limited animation - just the arms moving a little (bend at elbows), modified twist of the feet, drooped head...

SO yes, I downloaded it from iTunes. Why not? I might actually enjoy this Christmas for once.

Never mind that my repairman failed me* and I won't have an oven for YET another week... or that my new car feels easily alarmed (It went off randomly while my car was sitting in my driveway last night. I called my friend, who sold me the car, and said "is this a feature?" He sighed and said, "Meet me down at the lot. Or, you could just park it way down the street from your house tonight.")

Nevermind that I have too much work to do and I'm falling behind. Or that someone is randomly leaving Shrute Bucks tucked into various parts of my desk at work and it's a TINY BIT CREEEPY. Because they have my picture on them and it's probably the worst picture of me ever, or at least since that mug shot in college that passed for a student ID. I mean, it's funny, to keep finding more, and the picture was from a work activity, but I'm keeping a list of suspects and being all CSI about it, and acting like I just don't care, because they're popping up in drawers and folders, and I think it's Chico's revenge. Or it's probably JV doing this, so he's laughing his ass off right now, but I also suspect Tania, and KH, and Julie, and oh my god, everybody at work is out to get me, and I need to hide under my desk. This is really NOT going to help me catch up.




*that damn oven guy,
he broke my heart,
showed up and said,
have to order that part....

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's final

I traded in the Jeep today. Too much of my money was going into the gas tank. Well, we had some awesome times in it, in the 7...(or was it 8?) months I had it...great memories. Not my best financial move, but what's done is done. So, I got a car with a bunch of extras. Like heated leather seats. I will finally have a hot ass.

(Oh, and P, I left the pink magnet on the Jeep. Sorry, I know you wanted it for your collection. Not!)

My son was watching Dancing with the Stars with me tonight and pointed out that Mel took something off Edyta's rack tonight. Ha! I swear if Marie wins I will eat a tv guide. Ugh. I think they rigged it so she can't (because the top 2 dance again tomorrow, winner decided by judge's votes....) I split my text votes between the other 2. I think Julianna & Helio should win though.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Art


So every Sunday I take the art book* I bought at the MOMA store in Manhattan and I look up an artist whose work appeals to me. Today, Berthe Morisot .

How nice to be a wealthy french girl and make painting your life's work!

*Surprisingly enough, it's called The Art Book. Phaidon Press Limited.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Switch it up

This late on a Saturday night, someone should not be vacuuming. That's all I'm saying.

So I'm shopping, and selecting from this page: this page: I'm thinking #8 or 12 for my daughter. Although, the farm animals kill me. (Yes, Johnny, there are outhouse switchplates too!)

There is SERIOUSLY a switchplate for everyone on your gift list. I dare you.

PS: My son told me that he wants the truck because "the ladies" want a real man, not one who drives a "girly car", something like a Corvette. (his words!)

How can I tell him that the first car I ever drove was my college boyfriend's white Stingray?

Mural update


Here's the current status... ads are done. I added my friend's logo; he's a car dealer. My son was trying to negotiate a deal for a huge Ford truck today; something about cleaning his dealership for a year and we'd be even then, right??
My son was strict with me about the bleachers... "NO ONE sits there." They're still wet, which is the weird reflection, but they will be black with grey streaks and no one sitting there.
He kinda had that look in his eye. It was the same look my sister in law had the other day when she said that she makes the green bean casserole different, and her family LIKES it that way, and why don't I just fry up the bacon. As in, don't touch it sister, or someone will get hurt.

Ruh Oh

I knew I recognized Carotid Artery guy... he was in the Scooby movie with Buffy and crew.... he's the good guy bad guy good guy who likes Velma. It drove me crazy the other night. Who is he? When will that thing burst? Why didn't they fix it in the first surgery?

Now that this information is in my brain, something truly useful will have to go. Overcrowding, you know.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

The only shopping I've done all day is pondering which of these to give to Johnny, Shop, and Shamus. I mean, really. Calamities? Maladies? Dunno.

Grey stuff

The entire show, I was waiting for that guy's neck to burst on Grey's Anatomy. Ughhhh. I knew it was going to happen, and I was just hoping not to barf. I hate that they're not posting to the writer's blog because of the strike.

I love the idea that my bank thinks that "pretty" checks will encourage me to take a cash advance on my credit card.

Winter really does seem to be here, it's COLD, and the light sucks. I did some work on mural today, but not much. GIANT headache as a bonus. Will post picture tomorrow after I do more (hopefully??). Still working on the billboards.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jumping the...

Tonight at dinner my son pulled out a slip of paper and told me he saw something really cool on tv today. I was thinking Robots, Xbox, etc.

No.

He wants a Shark VX3. As in, a vacuum. He actually wrote down the name, the 1-800 number, and some features. See? (The spelling, it's not so great. It's quite quiet. Really.)

What is funniest about this is that recently, when I was away for the weekend, while I was settling in to go to sleep I was watching an old Grey's Anatomy re-run. An infomercial for this thing came on, and I was considering buying it. Of course, once I fell asleep I forgot all about it.

So he started telling me about it and once I realized what he was talking about and he realized that I might get it for him we both got so excited to the point that we were giving each other high fives.

I may never have to do housework again.

Good Lourdes


So, here is Madonna's daughter... her name is Lourdes. If you click on this picture for a closer look, don't be frightened. Because, holy cow, the eyebrows. That layout would work for miniature dominos. (Up the nose and... well, you have to defy gravity for that, but admit it, you can picture it in your head, can't you?)
It surprises me that a woman SO image conscious would not take the simple step of preventing her daughter from international mockery by having an aesthetician wax those little 'pillars now & then. Oh, and bleache that upper lip a tad.
I (reluctantly) concede that her daughter is obviously still young, and should be left alone, but ... reality check. When your mom is one of the most famous singers EVER, you're going to be photographed pretty damn often.
Poor Lourdes, she doesn't get to watch TV and she doesn't get Christmas gifts. Whatever on the gifts, but I totally disagree with the "No tv at all" stance. It will only be effective as long as the child is in Madge's presence. As soon as she gets older, she'll rent an apartment, and she's going to put a huge flatscreen up, and spend weeks catching up on things like The Bachelor, I Love NY, and The Girls Next Door. Because they're just effing hilarious.
My actual point is that you can't pretend a huge segment of culture doesn't exist so that it won't influence your child. You need to acknowledge it, allow some access, and modulate the impact by TALKING to your child about what you approve of, or don't, and why. For crying out loud, at least let the kids watch redeeming stuff, like, uh... um... I'll get back to you on that. Wait. Cooking shows. What's so bad about being able to watch a cooking show? Alton is very educational. Sports. The kid can't watch the Olympics?? Nothing???
And geez, it only takes five minutes to wax.

Un-Lost

So I got this junk mail about Lost "Mobisodes". I googled and found out they're three-minute vignettes — collectively known as "Missing Pieces" — kicks off with "The Watch," focusing on Matthew Fox's character. The micro-stories aren't deleted scenes — they're newly-shot material that fits into the larger Lost saga; it's up to the fans to figure out where they belong. A new Webisode will post each Monday.

Apparently they were supposed to be realeased only to Verizon customers. Whatever. They suck. You can see so for yourself here, but other than the fleeting joy of watching Jack throw a rock, you won't get much out of it. Frankly I would think it's a smarmy thing to do during the writer's strike, but I know these were probably filmed before that, since the show won't be back until January at the earliest.

Enjoy your turkey, everyone

Monday, November 19, 2007

If a cookbook falls in the kitchen, does it make dinner?

So lately I've been pulling out cookbooks in the evenings. Perhaps that's because my oven is broken (and will be for another week and a half! If only I'd actually called sooner to schedule a fix....sigh... at least the top still works...) and if I can't COOK, I at least like to look. Much like when I was pregnant, couldn't stand the smell of food, and fell in love with the cooking shows on at the time. (I remember it being Emerill, but that can't be right... can it??)

My kitchen is small, but if you don't count cake decorating books, I've got at least two dozen. I've got plenty of cake books... hardcover, as well as annual Wilton yearbooks going back to at least 1993. Does this vast collection make me a fraud, since I usually make things like spaghetti and chicken caesar salad, and not pumpkin orange tart with orange sabayon creme?

Is it enough that I just get enjoyment from browsing through the books, folding down the corners of recipes I'll probably never try?? It is to me! Certainly "entertainment" is the secret second purpose of these books. (After making money... NO, I mean instructing the buyer.... heh)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Call Me Smudgy


Today was one of those days where I dropped paintbrushes, had paint splatter onto my face, etc.

Oh, and I got paint on my hands more than once, and deposited elsewhere in the mural.

Fun times. Working and reworking. A dab of color, oops, too much, more white.

Left are two local companies, around my Jeep logo. Dunder, then a shoutout to my friends who support the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation (I walkas part of a family team every year). After that will be Sirius, Freihofer Run, Ford and Apple.

When I turn 80.

A Quick trip to the Gallery


This is by Vilhelm Hammershøi . I almost used this artist last week; went with Chase instead.
This artist appeals to me because of my Danish ancestry; you should try some of my Danish Christmas cookies (the recipes all start with "take a pound of butter and add....")
I enjoy the softness of the colors, and I'd like to have that piano in my living room.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

For Sarah (OK Seriously)

Here is the article about John Krasinski.... (how long DOES a URL need to be?????)

White

Blistex "complete moisture" chapstick leaves a taste that has me feeling like I just huffed a can of Lemon Pledge. Icky.

Today on the mural? I painted white. And some more white. And a big red logo, and while I was doing that I kept picking up white on my brush when I wanted to be painting red and the red on the other brush when I was trying to fix the white. A smarter/ more patient person would STOP, and wait for one color to dry, but noooooo, that's not how I roll. Just as annoying as I expected that logo to be. Oh, the irony.

I'm still getting the headache, EVERY time I paint. Joy.

Mural update

Today was another day where I woke up, planned to do 25 things before noon, then had a good laugh about that over lunch. At 1:15. With only 2 things done.

With Suzy's help I did finally figure out what to do about the billboard portion of the Yankee stadium mural I'm doing for my son. Rather than be "true" to what is usually on display, we're going a different route. I don't want the NYC radio stations and whatnot that I'm not even familiar with.

(The other day I spent about 10 minutes with a coworker showing her a map I'd picked up when I was down in manhattan... the kind where the landmarks are sketched in, in 3-d of sorts... so the conversation was, "this is where the stadium is in relation to WTC, Rockefeller, Empire state building, etc...." It's funny, we're only a couple of hours away by train and none of us go there all that much. )

So anyway, the mural will have my company logo, Sirius, Ipod/apple, Ford, Jeep... icons that have meaning to us. (I suppose that means y'all will figure out where I work, unless I blur that going forward, right Sgt? I wonder what my COE says about that.) Oh! and I almost forgot... the Dunder-Mifflin logo will DEFINITELY make an appearance. I'm not happy that it's WHITE, on a dark color background, but what-ever.

Time to get to work...

Friday, November 16, 2007

More dental good times

So we have a history of fun and drama at oral surgeons, being that my children don't actually LOSE teeth, like, I don't know, nearly every other child on the globe.

Today went much better. We went to a different dentist, who more or less kindly told my son to tough up, breathe the laughing gas and sit still. No "drink" of stupor inducing sedative. Dare I say, we have turned a corner? I mean, he's still kind of drooling blood on my pillow, but I don't think we'll have hallucinations this time. Rock on.

Rhymes with mocha

Last night I had to serve those "Soy or whatever but not really meat" burgers for dinner.


(The backstory is that I used the self cleaning option on my oven ONCE and it burned out the element AND didn't clean the stupid oven. It's been two weeks. I still haven't had a chance to get it fixed. Ooops. See? Cleaning is inconvenient. It leads to nothing but trouble.)


So, I made those patties. They were hiding in the freezer from when I had a nutritionist come and try to teach me that Durkee fried onion rings are not properly considerd vegetables. (I love this time of year, you go in the market and there's a GIANT PILE of those, on an end shelf.) I have to say, I'm not a fan of the liquid smoke taste of the "burgers", especially since it lingered through a good part of my choir rehearsal, and if I have to load up my pan with olive oil, how is this helping me? What sticks to a nonstick pan???

I didn't let on to my kids that I was cooking a foreign substance, but they're no fools. Just for all of you child-free lucky bastards, here is how the meal went.

Child one: (C1) What's this?
Me: A burger. (technically, not a lie since it is a word in the product name)
C1 frowns, knowing something is up.
C2: It doesn't taste right.
Me: You love McDonald's burgers, which only have a slightly higher percentage of actual beef in the ingredients.
C2 is now frowning as well.
C1: But what IS it?
Me: (sighing) it's a soy burger.
C1: Soy??? What IS that?
Me: Protein, from uh... beans or something.
C1: Why???
Me: Well, uh, some people are vegetarians
C1 & C2: "why???"
Me: because they don't like to eat cows, or pigs, or chickens.
C2: (bursts out, as if shocked by the idea; I KNOW she is familiar with vegetarianism)

But they're GOOD !

Me: shut up and eat your dinner, both of you.

And that, my friends, is parenting. Fatigue, desperation, and ultimatims.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New blog

Frank has apparently made arrangements for someone to post French secrets...

http://postsecretfrance.blogspot.com/

I enjoy this even more because I can only guess at what the secrets are. I want the translations, but I don't.

busy week

In my mailbox yesterday I found Canoe & Kayak , December issue... with 2008 buyer's guide.

Dreams of summer, quiet mornings on a still lake.

No laptop. No "teammates". No homework no bills no cooking no laundry.

Just me & the dragonflies.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sister Clare

Recently I attended an event where the keynote speech was given by Sister Clare Fitzgerald .

This is my attempt to recap some of what I learned; she was clearly a wealth of knowledge, feisty and all of those other cliches that are used for "old" people who don't act old, but hold on to their vitality, their energy, their joy. She was alternately charming (singing, in a Bob Hope- era style) and "a pisser", as my friend put it. If you make this woman mad, you're going to hell on a bicycle. She said so herself.

I found the history fascinating, given that I knew none of it. I was Lutheran as a child. I am that rare bird who converted to BECOME Catholic.

Catholic education finds its century-old roots in parish schools, charged with educating immigrant children; Catholics attempted to establish a school system that would provide a general education of the kind offered in the public schools, while emphasizing religious training. The Baltimore Catechism is a slim booklet which bears no resemblance to the weighty catechism of "today". Oh, and free labor - the religious community staffed these parish schools, of course.

One major challenge facing the Catholic church in America prior to 1940 was political; Catholics were sometimes viewed as almost “anti-American", because of the political power of the Vatican and the Pope.

During the great wars, the Catholics fought for their country and slowly earned the respect of a Protestant nation. From WWII until the mid-1960s, American culture began to "reflect Catholicism” in Bing Crosby movies like Going My Way, Bishop Fulton Sheen’s television show, and the election of John Kennedy.

Catholics began to demand a higher quality education. At the peak of the 60's, there were some six million students in Catholic schools. These students climbed the cultural ladder to become doctors, lawyers, CEO's... attaing positions far beyond the "menial" jobs of their immigrant grandparents.

Today families have fewer children, due to contraception advances. (I'll leave the discussion of Catholics using contraceptives for someone else... I know one family with TEN elementary school-aged children. I am hard pressed to think of any others that I know with more than five. The big families that I *DO* know are filled with joy, but I can't imagine walking that path myself.)

The system as a whole ultilizes fewer religious faculty members today(they now represent only about 5% of the overall staff...) and tuition is a substantial cost compared to a generation ago. I spend more per month to educate my children than to drive a car.

And, of course, schools are closing. But not all Catholic schools. There are aproximately 2.8 million Catholic students today, compared with that 6 million figure of some fourty years ago.

Children are shaped by four major factors - family, school, church, and culture. What do children gain by a Catholic school? A culture of faith. For my children, church isn't a boring hour on Sunday. It's where they spend a good deal of their waking hours, where all of their friends are. The children are prepared to receive the sacraments of our faith. They pray together. They work together to learn and live our religious beliefs. Day in and day out, they are exposed to our holidays, the stories of our church ancestors, the vast mysteries that our faith holds. The uniform they wear signifies that they are a part of something.

The challenge today is to keep going. To find a way to pay the bills and keep the doors open and keep the process going. A modern day "loaves and fishes" problem, if you will. That was the remainder of her message - not to give up.

All in all I found her to be a very captivating speaker. At times shouting, then whispering, she held the attention of 150 people in the room for nearly two hours. And, well, I was in the third row, center, right in her line of sight and I didn't DARE doze off. Hell on a bicycle, you know.

Starting my shopping.

I might be buying this for my son to protect the new toy. And this for my poor older child. (Oh, the angst, to have a 1ST generation Nano when there are so many newer, nicer ones....and she doesn't even have a cellphone...)

Other than that? I have no idea.

Monday, November 12, 2007

200 more days

Time to start thinking about the next Freihofer's run. Well, ok, not really, but perhaps.

Marathon champion Alberto Salazar once said "Standing on the starting line, we are all cowards."

I was unexpectely delighted to read this quote today. You see, my first /last / only 5K, I stood at the very back of the pack waiting for the starting horn and tears trickled out, because I was terrified that everyone around me would run away and I'd be last, and people would be pointing and laughing.

I did finish the race though...and I wasn't even last.

As promised - Humphrey

You may have seen this, but I hadn't come across it.

(Not really safe for work... you need sound for the full effect but in the office you'll definitely want to use headphones...)

Yesterday my brother in law came over to give me a belated birthday gift. He said, "Now close your eyes and trust me." We don't have THAT kind of relationship, but our spouses were in the room, along with our kids, so I knew it couldn't be TOO far out there. Boy, was I wrong.

He started fumbling with my ankle, and then I felt him put something on my leg. All of a sudden it started MOVING, and I heard this terrible sound. My eyes shot open, and this is what I saw:







...by the end of the "performance" I was laughing so hard I could barely stand up and there were tears rolling down my cheeks. The last scream at the end more or less killed me.

If you want your own, you might be able to get it here... but R had it backordered for a while.

Say Thanks


Celebrate Veteran's Day - kiss a soldier today.

I've got the day off, I can do WHATEVER I want... whatever your opinions on current foreign affairs, I'm sure you'll agree, we should all stop and remember the Veterans who served so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.

This is my children's great-grandfather, by the way. Thank you, George.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mural progress



worked on the fence today....gray lines, various shades. Two hours of tiny gray grey lines. I figure I have 30 hours left. Ugh! Since B pointed out it's only SIX WEEKS UNTIL XMAS, I am discouraged about my prospects of getting it done this year.

Tonight my brother in law gave me a gag gift for my birthday that can only be properly blogged via video. Stay tuned.

Gallery, 11/11


Today's artist is William Merritt Chase. I love the clothing from this time period. I enjoyed this page from the National Gallery of Art because it describes the wheres and the whys of some of what you see in the picture, and you can also click on the picture to get to another web page with detail images.
Detail is one problem I'm having with the Yankees mural. I know there's a white wall, on the far side of the stadium, but had to hunt down the specifics of what that wall looks like, and the ads underneath it. Lucky for me, a friend had sent me the right photo. It was in my inbox the whole time.
Now I can't decide whether to do ads from that set of photos, or make up ads for things like our favorite restaurants and so on. I'll have to decide that in the very near future. But first, the wall. A white wall can't be too hard, right? Hahahaha. It's white and gray and tiny lines and streaks and ugh.
This afternoon I'm hoping to do some work on it. it's much easier in the daylight. Gotta go!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's all about the money

If everyone out there in corporate america wasn't trying to screw over everyone else, over "our stock price", things like this wouldn't be happening.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2007/11/i-was-until-rec.html

Excerpts from an e-mail from Dale Alexander, a key grip on NBC's "The Office":
"Our show was shut down and we were all laid off this week. I've been watching the news since the WGA strike was announced and I have yet to see any coverage dedicated to the effect that this strike will have on the below the line employees.
"I respect the WGA's position. They probably do deserve a larger percentage of profit participation, but a lengthy strike will affect more than just the writers and studios. On my show we had 14 writers. There were also 2 cameramen, 2 camera assistants, 4 hair stylists, 4 makeup artists, 7 wardrobe people, 4 grips, 4 electricians, 2 craft service, 4 props people, 6 construction, 1 medic, 3 art department, 5 set dressers, 3 sound men, 3 stand-ins, 2 set PAs, 4 assistant directors, 1 DGA trainee, 1 unit manager, 6 production office personnel, 3 casting people, 4 writers assistants, 1 script supervisor, 2 editors, 2 editors assistants, 3 post production personnel, 1 facilities manager, 8 drivers, 2 location managers, 3 accountants, 4 caterers and a producer who's not a writer. All 102 of us are now out of work.


Share the money, people. Give me back my favorite show.

It's a plan

I have about 20 - 25 Christmas cd's. Most of them, I did not purchase.

I am thinking of taking everything off of my iPod right after Thanskgiving. No, this is not heading where you'd expect. I'm soooo not going to load that sucker full of jingle bells.

I have a large library of NON xmas music given to me over the years by Johnny and Shamus and Shops and other friends who don't have the time to blog or twitter. Wait. Only Johnny still blogs. Anyway, I'm going to fill my iPod with all of the songs they've given me that I've listened to once, or less than, and completely try to forget the schmaltz that is the holiday season. Groups I've faintly heard of... their music will be my respite from holiday madness.

No, I'm not being humbuggy, I just don't like seeing decorations up in Target already; it makes me wheeze because I have so much to do in the next few weeks and can't even begin to formulate a plan for it all quite just yet. And I have a mural to finish.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Highlights of the day


At teacher conferences I read a hilarious story that my son wrote, but it's still at school so I can't share it with you yet. Killer spiders. That's all I'm saying.

You actually CAN buy Scooby Doo episodes to put on your brand new iPod. It's wrong in more ways than I can count, but it can be done. So yes, he got his iPod today and it comes out of the box almost fully charged which is nice when you have no patience.

I had a good massage today except for some adhesions she broke up that were over my shoulder blades. Owwwwww.


I bought another Rachel Ray cookbook with the money my mother gave me; (no Shamus, she is not wearing a low-cut top on the cover) I did not NEED another cookbook, but I enjoy browsing through cookbooks. Saying yeah, I'd make that, if I just had these ingredients.... and did you hear that Giada is pregnant, Johnny? A chicklet head, a toothbrush body, with a baby bump. That will be a sight to see, won't it?

Thanks for all of the birthday greetings! It was just about this time that I was born and then all of the lights in NYC went dark. Ooopsie.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Backspace

Last night I was watching Dinner Impossible, and the challenge this week was for (Chef) Robert Irvine to cook a meal for several hundred Pixar employees. It dusted off a few memories for me.


In my senior year of college (I was studying math with a minor in computer science); I was interested in going to RPI for an additional degree computer graphics. One problem: I was also broke. Really, really, really, broke. I also entertained a job offer in Boston in a trainee/ programming position that would have started me at $19,000 for the first year. Living in Boston, on 19k a year. Hahahah. Again, my financial status made that move pretty much impossible to me.


Every now and then I see what Pixar is doing lately and think "Damn. I would have loved to be a part of that." Or I wonder what it would have been like to explore Boston, marry a rabid Red Sox fan, etc.


It occurred to me, mulling all of that over last night, that some people worry about decisions they've made in the past, and some people worry about what the future will bring.


I've never been someone to write with paper & ink when a computer is nearby. It's slightly easier for me to type, backspace, type; it's a struggle to organize my thoughts without the ability to cut & paste. This tends to give me the impulse to constantly edit, tweak, and adjust everything around me. Well, to never quite be satisfied. To wonder, what if I could have changed this?


I sometimes find myself questioning decisions I made 20 years ago, and I see that it's crazy. I really do. I just can't help but wonder once in a while, "was I meant to be...?" and last night was one of those nights. I was completely green with envy watching that show thinking that I could have been working RIGHT THERE in that building, on those movies. (Do you enjoy the leap in logic that if only I'd gone for that degree, I would be at the top of the field by now? Mmm hmm.)


On the flip side, I see a couple of my older relatives worrying on a daily basis about the future. Not spending money on things that I think they NEED, like a car that run well consistently, because someday I'll be older and I'll have medical bills and if I don't scrimp and scrape now I won't be able to pay them. I can't even bring myself to contemplate where I'll be in 10 or 20 years. I haven't crossed over that line yet. Will it all be worth it in the end? Will I regret doing this, or not doing that?


I'm not sure whether everyone falls in to one category or the other(worrying about yesterday, or tomorrow); obviously I don't think either one is any better than the other. It's very hard to just live for today, in this moment, doing what you need to do. Or is that just me?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Today's Homework

For your edification; and yes, I was asked to review it (test corrections) at 9:36 pm.

A totem pole and a potlatch are both signs of wealth. The totem pole is a symbol of ancestors. A potlatch is party where people get gifts.

The Kwakiutl used animal hides and cedar bark to make clothing that is waterproof. They used all of the resources around them wisely.


Footnotes:
1. Said child should be in bed by 9:30 and answered "no" when asked 3+times this afternoon if there was any outstanding homework.
2. Original draft had missing words and mispellings and no real content of any sort.
3. I don't know if these answers are right. Days like today, I don't even care. I'm tired!

Flowerpot




Today's guest artist is none other than my sister AKA Suzy. She sculpted this figure completely (no molds at all for the limbs, face, clothing etc - all made by hand). She spent the better part of two full days on this project, so Yes, she will make you one, but yes, it will be quite expensive.


This little fairy will ultimately stay in Suzy's collection, and climb out of a flower pot. Her wings glow in the dark. I'll post another photo of her actually climbing out of a flowerpot, when I get it.

iListen

My son has been working hard and handing over his money to me. He wants an iPod, and darned if he doesn't already have enough to buy it, from doing things like raking leaves for his grandparents. Suzy recommended I make him really work and wait for it. I am not made of money, and he's too forgetful to get one just handed to him. So this Friday we'll go buy it (part of his savings is aTarget gift card), and then he'll have a nicer one than me. Hmmmph.

Here's a sample of what I've put on my iPod in the last week, trying to break out of the COUNTRY ONLY rut. Let's see how far we've come (lame joke, that one too, Matchbox 20):

  • Apologize - One Republic. Or Timbaland, depending on whether you're listening on Sirius or buying on iTunes.
  • Seven Days of Loney - I Nine
  • Rainy Monday - Shiny Toy Guns
  • (A Spice Girls song I won't mention, and the new JLo song might have slipped in. Ugh. I was doing so well too. Um, those are for my daughter. Yeah.)
  • Surrender & Dream Police - Cheap Trick (you have to understand, my highschool boyfriends, they liked Cheap Trick and Journey and Rush and AC/DC and REO and all of that... I remember when Ozzy bit the bat's head off and who would have ever thought he'd be on tv shouting Sharon's name and muttering incoherently??)
  • April Wine - Just Between you & Me (keeping the retro thing going)
  • Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer (a song I bought only because I was looking at his songs based on something else he does and I liked the name...)
  • First time - Lifehouse
  • I just love you - Five for Fighting
  • Still Fighting it - Ben Folds (an iTunes version, but they didn't have one of The Luckiest which is a great song too)
  • Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
  • I'm with the band - Little Big Town (ok, I know, this is DEFINITELY country; this song reminds me of "I'll know when I get there" by Keith Anderson which is SO different from what you'd expect him to sing, if all you know is XXL.) Also "To know love" by LBT.


My daughter got Reba's Duets but... most of those songs are REALLY depressing. I literally can't listen to "Every other weekend" and not practically sob. Since that's not my idea of a good time, those songs aren't going to be on my iPod any time soon.

I'm mildly annoyed that I can't seem to find the Eagles (How Long). Sometimes I hear a song on Sirius before I can buy it. Oh, poor me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm not crazy

I'm just a little unwell...



Strep throat. Just what I wanted for my birthday. Yay.... yeah, so this post is a blatant plea for sympathy. So?? I'll share some of my crazy.

  • Today I found myself singing "Who left the door open" to my children, complete with barking noises.
  • Yesterday I ate the SOUP in our cafeteria at work. (PS, everyone knows that the second soup on Monday was the first soup on Friday). I was too sick to go out to get REAL soup, and I have no friends.
  • On the way home from the doctor's I stopped by the convenience store to get coffee cake, bread, and so on. The lady in front of me bought cigarettes and about $20 worth of scratchoff lottery tickets. At one point she made a joke about Beginner's Luck. I had all I could do not to laugh in her face.
  • On days when I am sick my couch becomes the Island of Wellness... phone, remote, tray with hot tea, cookies, etc all nearby. I can't be the only one who copes this way. But I am perhaps the only one who has home made maple walnut fudge (it's supposed to be a birthday present; I am already eating it. Yummy.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Progress?



well, the skyline is done. (Perhaps.... maybe. I tend to go back and add more paint here & there. For example, the biggest tan building near the right, I added some highlights because it looked too dark and muddy before. )

I managed to work on the wall yesterday afternoon for about an hour and a half. I started to paint the white arches but don't really know what they look like; so it was a good excuse to stop. (Good thing I didn't notice the garbage can he has that was 5 feet from me....)

Tired and allergies are raging. What fun. Every fall I go through this, feeling like I've swallowed a handful of ground glass, then my sinuses fill up, then I get a sinus infection. Good times.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Gallery



Today's artist is Rene' Magritte. The caption on the painting above reads, "This is not a pipe", which, of course is true... it is the IMAGE of a pipe.


I think Suzy would enjoy some of his paintings, especially The_Human_Condition. (Go on, go look. I'm tired, allergies are killing me, and I don't have much else to say. Adios!)

By the way...




since Johnny Virgil is now bored with pumpkin porn, all I have to offer is what I carved this year. (The one I was slow-cooking with a Yankee Candle.)
Yeah, I know. Boring.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Say what?


My little niece took one look at my "haunted hotel" and said "That's evil."


She's two.


It took us about five minutes to figure out that she wasn't saying Elmo, or something like that. Finally I said "Evil?" and she nodded vigorously. "It's my toy house," I said. Nope, she repeated... "It's evil."

I guess I shouldn't have shown her the way the ghosts fly around the top, or turned on the sound (of screaming...)



Alrighty then.

We tried to distract her with "I come back fire", but she was keeping her eye on those floating ghosts.
Ooops.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Before ordering a cocktail, even

Yesterday I went to lunch with two co-workers; we were meeeting a larger group, celebrating the retiree.

We walked in to the restaurant in mid-conversation and I turned to the woman standing just inside the doorway, dressed all in black. I told her we were meeting a large group and asked if she could tell me where they were gathered.

She stared blankly at me and said, "I'm meeting a friend here for lunch."

Then the REAL hostess approached me. My co-workers could barely contain their glee although one admitted she would have mistaken Blank for the hostess too.

I think I may make a game of this. In every restaurant I enter from now on, I shall ask a random person to show me to my table.

It's a miracle I've made it to the ripe old age of ...uh... 39.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Geronimo


Friday a co-worker of mine retires after about 30+ years of employment with our company.

Hey, I've got 20 years; despite the jokes we ALL make, it's not that bad. (Actually, at one point I worked for "S", but I have had 5 bosses in the last few years. Not my fault! We keep getting reassigned, as a team. But do YOU have five weeks of paid vacation every year? Didn't think so.)

What I like most about S is the joy with which she goes about everything. It is from her that I learned that is really is ok to day a day off from work and go for a walk in one of our beautiful parks. Just because it's a warm sunny day and the view is amazing, and you have to make time for yourself, Carly. (Which was her parting advice to me, make sure you make time for yourself.)

Upstate NY has an endless array of scenery, always changing, quite often dazzling, especially this morning when a huge long dark cloud seemed to be resting solidly on the Catskills, from one side of the horizon to the other. The top of the cloud didn't look like wisps of cotton; it looked more like white paint that had splashed. When you're in the middle of the hardest part of raising little kids, you don't always notice things like that.

It was actually S who put me up to the whole Donkey & Chico prank (start at the bottom of the May page, and read up...) In the end Jack had no idea it was me. He kind of figured S was involved, but could never prove it.

I really hope that when I'm 60 I'm planning an amazing cruise with someone I adore, and laughing so loudly all day long that I distract the people around me from the stupid trivial things they're doing.

I think it's going to be pretty quiet in my office Monday.


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece, but to slide across the finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and shouting GERONIMO...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Highlights of my evening so far

  • cooking dinner for my children who were to flippo to eat any because their friends were coming over soon - bad
  • the kids who grab into the bowl... this is my cheap candy, dammit, get your hands out of it - very bad
  • calling a kid "you little smartass" because I said "please don't trample my flower" (a giant mum) and said kid mimicked me... so I'll see eggs later I'm sure - not so good
  • the little 3 year old dragon - good
  • the 15 year old scratchoff lottery ticket (it was numbered balls.... I just had to laugh.. think about it... ) - good
  • being told my pumpkin was cool - good (it's a ghost, not like Johnny V's pumpkin porn, which I am hoping he does again this year....)

Well

I lasted until 7:10 before turning to Mr. Carly and saying those three little words*.


*"Get me wine."

Another job for C24SA*

*Carly's 24-hour Safety Advisors

My son is already smarter than me.

"Uh, mom?"

::::typing stops::::

"Huh?"

"I think I saw on tv that you shouldn't put a lighted candle inside of a pumpkin"

::::cursing:::: (me, not him)

"But it's a Yankee candle...." (Autumn Woods, which is really awesome, by the way...)

Damned if it wasn't already scorching the inside of the pumpkin, after only 20 minutes. What the hell is wrong with me?