Friday, July 29, 2005

Looking kinda...something.

I was getting ready for work one day this week and I thought I looked mighty cute. I had on a square-necked pink sleeveless top, white capris and my J. Crew flip-flops. So I grabbed the camera and tried taking some full-length pics in the mirror.

I just now got around to uploading them, and sadly, the full-length photos merely informed me in no uncertain terms that while I was slightly cute, it was in a very fat way. So away those pictures go. Be gone, fat pictures. *poof*

However, I thought this one was kinda...something. I look a little glassy-eyed because I was trying to concentrate on holding the camera still. But there's no pictures of me in existence where I look this serious. I
thought it was kinda...something. No, I don't know what I mean by that. I guess it's just an unusual shot of me, and I think the hair and make-up are about as good as they ever get. Now I just need to get me some new glasses...

Cutie pie

Just thought I'd share this chipboard frame I made for the Paper Crafts call that ended Monday. No sale on the frame, but I did get a request for a pet sympathy card today, so that was nice. It will be in next February's issue--so hard to fathom we're making stuff for 2006 already!

The frame is an 8x8" piece of chipboard covered with patterned paper. All the papers are from Junkitz. The photo corners and heart are from Heidi Swapp, and the twill is from Scenic Route. The back has a chipboard prop glued to it so it can stand on a desk. I guess it's more of a free-standing scrapbook page than a frame, but it's loosely based on a similar idea that Me and My Big Ideas was selling a couple years ago.

That's it from me...I have been in a poopy mood for a couple of days and I don't want to inflict it on my adoring public. (Snort.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I've been meaning to post this column by Jacey Eckhart, who writes for the Virginian Pilot, a local paper. It ran on Saturday and I read it while were eating lunch at the PMS Deli in Virginia Beach. I had to go buy a copy of the paper so I'd have it to keep! I thought maybe some of us creative types might like her thoughts on finding empowerment in the things we're good at.

I actually e-mailed Jacey and told her how much I liked what she had to I feel that scrapbooking is often belittled and undervalued, and yet I have been so enriched by the skills I've learned. Doors have opened for me that I never would have thought possible, all because I picked up a scrapbooking kit at Target seven years ago. She e-mailed me back to say that scrapbooking was actually what she had in mind when she wrote the column!

Not much else of interest is happening here. Busy at work, nothing interesting. I've got a million projects I should be leaping into here at home, but I come home and just want to hang out and waste time. And it's hot. Hot. HOT!

Eh, the heck with it. Off to bed and a book.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Morning ramble

This is a great morning...nowhere to go for a while, and I can sit in my chair and answer e-mails and wake up a bit. It already looks hot outside. The temp today is supposed to reach 103, and the heat index is supposed to be near 120. Exact same thing tomorrow, too.

This afternoon, I have an eye doctor appointment that has been a royal pain to schedule and get HMO approval for. My yearly glaucoma check, and also I desperately need new glasses. I'm really hoping I can find some that work this time. The ones I picked out two years ago made me dizzy every time I wore them, and I eventually went back to my old ones, which are the ones I'm wearing now. These are at least four years old, probably older.

Today my cousin Krista turns 30--Happy Birthday, dearie!!! And my SIL Lisa and her husband Tony celebrate...let me see...eight years of married bliss, complete with two precious daughters. Congrats, guys!

This morning I need to type up an August schedule for work, and plot out what I want to do for the latest Stamp It! call. I have to make lots of stuff in order to justify the large sums I spent on stamps and inks this weekend. Selling some of that stuff to the mag would help, too, LOL.

Non sequitur alert...this classic rock station I listen to in the car and at work plays a lot of Led Zeppelin. A LOT. And Led Zeppelin is a band I've never been exposed to much before, even in my previous years of classic radio listening. Born too late and born too square, I guess. The first time I ever heard one of their lyrics was in sixth grade when a guy friend of mine handed me a note that read:

"Hey hey mama, say the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove."

I realize now that was sort of a compliment. LOL. And I've spent a lot of slow days at work deconstructing this line:

" If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now. It's just a spring clean for the May Queen."

I don't know what that means, but every time I hear it, it reverberates through my head for days. So yesterday, I was in the car listening to "Over the Hills and Far Away, " and this line jumped out at me:

"Many dreams come true, and some have silver linings."

I think I might do an art piece on that line. It should be my new life motto. I have felt so slumped in my life for a couple of years now. No dreams, no goals, no fun...nothing to look forward to. When I heard that line, it made me think about some of the dreams in my life that have come true. And then to add on--there are even silver linings to dreams--and that is most definitely true. When you get blessed with something that has more and more unfolding blessings that were more than you could have imagined...even I, in my slump, can point to things in my life that have unfolded that way for me.

So, a life lesson courtesy of Led Zeppelin. I guess stranger things have happened.

Time for breakfast and a little work, then it's off to get my pupils dilated. Fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shopping binge

Q: How do you know you've been on a shopping binge?
A: When you wake up the next morning with a price tag stuck in your hair.

Yep, that's what Todd fished out of my hair this morning. I guess that's the scrapper's equivalent of a hangover.

We went down to Virginia Beach yesterday and stopped at Stamp It! on Laskin Road. I haven't done much stamping in the past four or five months, but there are one or two magazine calls that I want to make some stuff for, so I stocked up on a few stamps, some neat papers, and a few other things. The owner did a mini-demo for me of the Ranger alcohol inks and I went right over to the stand and picked up a bunch. She was telling me about all the new stuff she saw and ordered at CHA, showing me catalogs...the fact that I was throwing things in a basket like a refugee one step ahead of an advancing army may have had something to do with her attentiveness.

Then we went on to Sandbridge beach and stayed there all afternoon. It was great--there was a lovely breeze blowing off the ocean, and we played in the water for hours. And I came to the belated realization that I need to go out and buy like 150 SPF sunblock for my shoulders and chest. I applied sunblock twice to those areas, because they always get burnt to a crisp, but it wasn't enough. I think I need something REALLY strong! I know wearing a bra today is going to be pure agony.

After the beach, we stopped at Scrapbook Creations on Virginia Beach Boulevard, and I dropped another, albeit much smaller, pile of dough. I got a craft tote to carry stuff back and forth to work, some rub-ons, a few sheets of patterned paper because I can't not buy patterned paper. And had a nice chat with the girls who work there about the joys of working in a scrapbook store.

I do like working in a scrapbook store, honest. And I seem to get a much smaller number of loonies than my boss does. 95% of the people who walk through the door are super nice people, and I appreciate that so much.

Work is going to get hectic from here on out...we are going to start implementing a schedule of make-and-takes and classes in August, and I'm going to coordinate it and teach roughly half of it. My friend Cheryl is taking the other half, for which I am endlessly grateful and excited. Her enthusiasm is going to perk me up, I can tell.

So between the magazine work, which is important to me, and the teaching work, which is important to the store, the next few months are going to be really interesting.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Budding artist

This beautiful picture came in the mail yesterday--it was created by my seven-year-old nephew Tanner.

Last month, I sent home a big box of cardstock, stickers, markers, and other doo-dads culled from my own supplies and also from goodie boxes I've gotten from manufacturers. I thought that Tanner and his little sister Kylie might enjoy having a box of craft supplies to while away the summer with.

Well, from all reports, the box was a big hit. I sent along a letter that said, among other things, that they needed to be sure to clean up after they were done creating, and that all the craft supplies needed to go back into the box when they were done. Because I could just see my sister after the umpteenth time of cleaning up paper scraps and leftover stickers--"Thanks so much for sending me more crap to pick up!" LOL.

But my sister reported that the day after the box came, Tanner's little friend came over and was immediately escorted to the goodie box. "Dude, wait till you see what I got!" They sat and made paper airplanes for an hour, and then my sister heard Tanner getting out the broom and dustpan. She told him it was fine, he didn't need to sweep up, but he replied very seriously, "No, Aunt Janelle said we had to clean up when we were done."

Hee hee. Nice to know somebody listens to my directives!

So Tanner made me a few pictures and my sister sent them along with a videotape of T and K and their spring and summer doings. I just love this picture. Doesn't it look Picasso-esque?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Living in a powderkeg, giving off sparks

Yep, I'm still traveling to the past via radio. Today was 1983. An excellent year, it turns out...except for Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney singing "The Girl is Mine." Bleah.

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" was in the top ten, and I had to crank the radio up and belt it out when it came on. It's one of those super-dramatic songs that is just so appealing when you're thirteen years old and dreaming about all the crazy dramatic heart-rending passion that you're sure is in store for you. Then you grow up and find out those nights of wailing along with Bonnie Tyler were about as exciting as you're ever gonna see.

Oh, I am in a life slump right now, can you tell? Being thirty-four is hard. Is this all there is? I need a kind pat on the back, somebody.

I've been trying to work on a Paper Crafts idea, but kept ending up staring at it and doing the twirl--you know, that twirl you do in your swivel chair when you have no brain activity of any kind and twirling is all you can do to keep from sinking into a creative coma.

But today Card Creations 3 showed up at my door, and I looked through it and found my four cards (extra exciting, as I only thought there'd be three) and it made me feel much more motivated! I finished the creative coma project, and though I still don't think it's all that, at least I was able to move on in my mind. Then I made another project that I am actually happy with. It's amazing how stimulating it is to see your work in print--it makes you want to see MORE of your work in print. It makes you quite greedy, as a matter of fact!

Now I just need to sustain it...!

Changes come along real soon, make us women and men

One of our local "oldies" radio stations is doing a "20 Years in 20 Days" thing this month--each day they play the top 100 songs from a year. Started with 1965, will finish up with 1985 this week. I've caught a few songs here and there, and was subjected to a couple hours of 1976 at my hairdresser's last week (think Peter Frampton), but that's about it.

Well, today was 1982, and I was in the car for a large part of the day, and my oh my, talk about your trips into the past. I was switching back and forth between my presets and hit the oldies station and they were playing "Trouble," by Lindsey Buckingham, a song I haven't heard since...oh...1982? So I kept listening.

I turned 12 in 1982, and I had developed a mania for pop music the year before...right about the time puberty hit. I had a little notebook I used to keep track of songs I heard on my clunky garage sale radio, which had a plastic "wood" finish and extremely sharp corners. The station of choice was Hot-FM 101, WHOT in Youngstown, Ohio.

Lots of the songs I heard today were listed in that notebook, I just know it. "Private Eyes" and "Physical." "Eye of the Tiger" and "Shake It Up." There were some I had totally forgotten about, and yet could somehow sing along with, like this Olivia Newton-John song called "Make a Move on Me." Lovely.

And UGH--"You Were Always on My Mind"--UGH. I hated that song then and it hasn't gotten any better with time. Even at the age of eleven, I knew it was total BS: "Hey honey, I know I ran around on you and ignored you, but I was really thinking about you the whole time. And hey, let's get back together, okay?" Bite me, Willie.

You know whose music has aged the best, though? The Go-Gos. 1982 was their big year, and I'm telling you, "We Got the Beat" still sounds fresh, especially when you've been listening to some of the other crap that passed as music that year. Neil Diamond's "Saying I Love You," for instance. Barf.

Oh, and Air Supply. Oh, oh, oh. When I came out of Kroger today and turned the radio back on, "Even the Nights are Better" was playing, and I just had to laugh. They were so...bad...and yet so fun to listen to. "Sweet Dreams" came on a little later in the countdown--I guess '82 was a big year for Air Supply as well. I had an "Air Supply's Greatest Hits" LP that I would listen to and belt out the power ballads. (That's it on the left...dreamy, huh?) I think those guys created the power ballad, don't you? All those hair bands that came along a little later owe a debt of gratitude to Air Supply, in my opinion.

Well, it was fun to think back to what a little geek I was then and still am to this day. But I was a geek with taste, darn it--I hated Barbra Streisand then and I still do. And I knew there was something not right about Michael Jackson even way back then.

In other news, I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight. It was quite good. The ending didn't shake me up nearly as badly as the ending of the last nook...killing off Sirius was just plain mean, I thought. What I loved about this installment was seeing Harry really stepping into adulthood. The little boy is growing up, sniff sniff!

Monday, July 18, 2005

TV, DVD, HP and me

I had a hamburger yesterday. God, it was good. Forbidden, but good. We've got this diner down the street called Pop's, and it's the best artery-clogging food ever. Todd was having withdrawals, so we went and indulged just a little: burger for me, burger and hot dog for him. I resisted the fries and the chocolate cake that were calling to me ever so longingly. I figure a burger now and then is good for the soul. It's when you move from "now and then" to "every day" that the problems start.

Todd says our diet-and-exercise program is based on mutual annoyance: I nag him to eat right, and he nags me to get exercise, and we drive each other nuts. We can take all the money we're saving on eating out and put it toward marriage counseling. Kidding!

But exercise definitely is the difficult part for me, especially when it's 95 degrees outside. I like to walk, play tennis, ride bikes...those are my preferred exercise methods (as opposed to the gym), and I just want to cower inside with a fan about two inches from my face when it's this hot out. Hard to overcome the inertia and get moving and get sweaty.

Todd picked up Harry Potter 6.0 for me today and I cracked it open as soon as I got home. I'm about 75 pages in and pretty well hooked. I'm not, like, a rabid fan of HP, but I do wholeheartedly enjoy the books. I read so much great British children's lit when I was a kid, and HP has all the whimsy and wit of those books I loved. Joan Aiken's style reminds me a bit of J. K. Rowling. The Borrowers series makes me think of HP, too. And C. S. Lewis has that same dry wit that I think adds so much to the HP books as well.

Don't know why I have been so...bookish...lately. Todd's been buying DVDs and trying to get me to sit down and watch, but I can't seem to pay attention to the screen for that long. It feels so long since I really immersed myself in books, and I am lovin' it!

However, we have watched a couple of TV series on DVD (via Netflix) in the past few weeks: Seasons One of Newsradio and Scrubs. Newsradio is a show that I liked but never made time to watch. I adore Dave Foley--he's my favorite Kid in the Hall, so I was very interested in watching his show, but that was around the time I got disenchanted with network TV, so I caught a few episodes here and there but that was it.

Watching series on DVD is totally the way to go: no commercials, "pause" and "rewind" buttons--and you can follow the story arc through several days of watching, rather than eight or nine months of watching. Season One of Newsradio was fun. That was a great ensemble cast, and you can see them feeling their way around and settling in with each other amazingly fast. They settled into a flow that it took the Seinfeld cast several seasons to get right. It was a little sad to watch Phil Hartman, though. And there was one episode where John Ritter guested--when he came strolling onto the set and I actually gasped out loud because it was so unexpected and sad. Very odd to watch those two guys being funny together...they just should never have had to die so young.

Scrubs is a show that Todd watched devotedly when it was on Thursday nights and fit into his Thursday night line-up. Then they moved it to Tuesdays and it fell off his radar. I had just seen bits and pieces walking through the living room here and there. We completely enjoyed watching the first season, and I was amazed at how unique and freaking funny it is. And lo and behold, there came John Ritter into another episode--the guy got around, for sure. I always loved him--was never allowed to watch Three's Company, and when I got old enough to watch it, it was too stupid for my taste--but there was just something so special about John Ritter. A gentleness to his humor that was really appealing.

Anyway, Scrubs was terrific. Now I'm hooked on these TV series and wondering what I should rent next. We tried Season One of 24, and it was...okay, but I'm just not a drama fan. And the end of that first season was so ridiculous. All that nail-biting just to get suckered with a totally implausible plot twist at the end.

It's getting late, I'm going to squeeze in a few more Harry Potter chapters before bed.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Make-up post

I've been blog-pouting ever since Thursday afternoon, when I spent twenty minutes writing a post, hit "publish" and it vanished into thin cyberspace. But I guess I'm over it now. I guess. Sorta.

I was trying to post these pictures of my scraproom, which was not struck by a tornado, even though it looks like it.

It looks much better at the moment, after I got fed up and started throwing clutter into boxes and baskets. It's a surface solution, but hey, I'm okay with that.

I can't look at pictures of perfect scraprooms on Two Peas or wherever...the ones with the gorgeous paint jobs, the coordinating office furniture, the tasteful art on the walls. My walls are filled up with shelves and bulletin boards, although I do have a Georgia O'Keefe flower poster that looks like the top half of a vulva. (However, if one's vulva was indeed blue and purple, one would have some serious gynecological issues to look into.)

Anyway, I can't paint the walls, we live in a rental. The furniture is a mishmash, and so are all my storage systems and containers. But I consider myself pretty lucky to have a room of my own, even if it's bursting at the seams and way too hot in the summer.

I have been reading like a maniac. On my day off Thursday, I stopped by a used bookstore in Newport News that I've been meaning to check out for two years, and I walked out with a big bagful of books. It was a heavenly feeling--I was really scrounging for reading material in the spring, and I'm putting some effort into finding something new instead of re-reading all my oldies over and over.

I picked up three historical mysteries by P.B. Ryan that are some of the best mysteries I've read in a long time, almost as good as Barbara Hambly's Ben January mysteries. For some reason, the mystery writers I actually care to read have dwindled down to a tiny group. Mysteries were the only fiction I was willing to read for years, and I read just about everybody, but so many of the authors took their characters in weird directions, or just kind of petered out and got boring, so it's been really hard to keep myself supplied.

Anyway, the first book is called Still Life with Murder. I plowed through all three books in less than two days, which was dumb, but I couldn't help myself. The main character is an Irishwoman who becomes a governess for an upper-crust Boston family in the late 1860's. I was afraid these would be "cozy" mysteries, with a prudish governess-type character, but they are much more hard-bitten than I expected, and the character of Nell is quite complex.

Our air conditioner is on the fritz, which makes sense since we are in the hottest, wettest week of the year right now. Fortunately, our bedroom is equipped with a separate AC unit, because the previous owner was a computer tech for the county and had all his computers in there. (I'm having deja view, I think I explained that before.) Anyway, we can blow cold air out of our bedroom to the rest of the upstairs with fans, and downstairs isn't too bad if you sit in the living room right under the ceiling fan. The AC guy will be able to get the necessary part on Monday, so hopefully we can be cool soon.

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to drop by Barnes and Noble on my way to work and see if I can score the new Harry Potter book, and maybe squeeze in a visit to Target and look at all the cool new school stuff I hear is now in the dollar spot. LOVE the dollar spot!

Off to read in my nice cool bed.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

This and that

The "eat right" program is going pretty well so far. I'm not sure how much weight I've lost, because my personal scale is showing me way lower than my doctor's scale. I should have taken a base weight on my own scale at the beginning, but I failed to. I think I might invest in a better scale anyway. But so far so good.

One nice thing about eating right in the summertime is that there is so much more decent-tasting produce in the stores. I got some delicious cherries yesterday, and I also cooked some snap peas that were delish. I think you can get snap peas year-round, but they taste summery to me. I got the recipe from Everyday Food:

Bring 1/4 cup water and 1 Tbsp. butter to a boil in a 12" skillet. Add 16 oz. snap peas; cover and cook at high heat for 2 minutes. Take lid off and continue to cook for 4-6 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint and season with coarse salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Honestly, these taste like candy, they are so good. (And 4 oz. is 1 point.) I used mint from my plant out front.

In other news, I had a couple of hoorahs last week that I forgot to mention: I had a card accepted by Paper Crafts and two cards accepted by CorrespondenceArt. That was gratifying! I still want to break more of my scrapbook pages into print, though. But for tomorrow, I have a few more Paper Crafts projects in mind.

Speaking of scrapbook pages, here are a few of my recent ones from when Todd was out of town and I had time to scrap. (har har)

I've been meaning to do something with these pics for over a year...I printed the large one on gray textured cardstock, so it looks really neat in real life. This scan looks crooked to me, but I think it's from the stitching job. I am so anal about things being crooked, I'd hate to think the real one looks this tippy.
Journaling reads:
After our visit to the World War II memorial, we walked up to the Mall in the pouring rain to visit Mr. Lincoln. This particular weekend marked exactly twenty years since my first visit to Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee when I was 13. We had stopped at the Lincoln Memorial on that trip, and although I've been back to D.C. several times since then, I've never made it back to this particular spot that I can recall. I was so happy to come back, because Abraham Lincoln is one of my heroes, and this shrine, with his words carved into the walls, is one of those places that makes you want to be a better American and a better person.

This is another picture I've had sitting here for months. The page came out completely different than I ever envisioned...I was thinking of something very green, but I think there's enough green in the photo. This is my nephew and my grandmother last summer, and the journaling reads:

Grandma, I want to be like you. Eighty-four years old and you're riding a bike back to the gazebo at Mom and Dad's house. I hope I am blessed with the generally good health and the self-sufficiency you've had all these years...but more than that, I hope I can face life as gracefully and calmly as you do.
And Tanner, I want to be like you, too. Six years old and you're riding along with Grandma to make sure she's okay. And when she was too tired to ride back, you pushed her along the path so carefully and caringly. I hope I can rediscover the openness and eagerness that you have at this age...and more than that, I hope I can pour that energy into taking care of those I love.

And one more...these are also pictures from last summer:

This little niece of mine has the sweetest face ever! Boy, did I slave over that title...way more than was worth it, LOL.

Monday, July 11, 2005

10 Desert Island Discs

This is a 2Peas meme that Neeka posted today, and I liked the topic. So, in no particular order, here are the ten CDs I'd want with me if I were stranded on a desert island:

1. The Wildlife Concert, John Denver. I was so sad when John Denver was killed back in 1997. His voice and face are part of my childhood, but I never owned any of his albums; in fact, I only knew a few of his songs. A couple of months after he died, I picked up this one, thinking it would be a good overview, but it's so much more than that. It is a fantastic concert album, recorded in 1995, and John is in the best voice of his life--so much fuller and more complex than his high-pitched 1970s voice. The musicians playing with him are also wonderful, and the whole album has a joyful feeling that really picks me up.

2. This Side, Nickel Creek. I've never gotten so much pleasure from an album as I have from this one. I used to go to Barnes and Noble every few months and have little listening sprees at the kiosks in their music section. This album was in their feature section a few years ago, and I grabbed it after just a few seconds of music. These three kids, one on mandolin, one on guitar, and one on violin, play some of the most melodious and gorgeous bluegrass music I've ever heard. This is their second album, and in it they move away from their bluegrass roots and branch out into other sounds. Fantastic.

3. Nickel Creek. After I fell in love with their second album, I picked up Nickel Creek's first album...another gem. More traditional, more bluegrassy, but just as wonderful--some people argue it's better than the second album, but I disagree. We saw them in concert at Norfolk's Harborfest two years ago, in a blinding rain, and they played their hearts out for all of us drenched fans. That's a memory that goes along to the desert island with me.

4. Graceland, Paul Simon. I bought this album on an LP in 1986, then upgraded to a CD a few years later. What can you say about it that hasn't been said a hundred times? There were several artists who experimented with African instruments and sounds in the mid-80s, but I think Paul Simon did it the best. I was in the grocery store the other day and "Graceland" came on the Musak, and it just pulled me out of my grocery-stupor and made me feel happy. "The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar..." What a great opening line!

5. Endless Summer, the Beach Boys. I was appalled to discover, on a long road trip with my brother last summer, that he does not like the Beach Boys. This is especially upsetting because I thought I had completely shaped his music tastes in my big sisterly fashion, but nope, I messed up and failed to pass along my Beach Boys adoration. You push play on this CD and it's like adding water to powdered Kool-Aid--instant summer and sunshine. And you gotta sing along. That's essential.

6. Gordon, Barenaked Ladies. I love the Ladies and all they do, but this first album from 13 years ago is still their best. Clever, wistful, snarky, and fun. And exuberant!

7. Revolver, the Beatles. The Beatles pose a problem, because I could fill up my top ten slots just with their work. But that doesn't seem right. And I could put in a compilation album so as to have an overview of their music with me, but I don't really like Beatles compilation albums. It feels wrong to listen to tracks all mixed up from the way they should be. So I'll just pick this one. It's from the perfect moment in their careers, when it was still fun for them, when the drugs made them creative instead of just stupid, when George Martin began to help them see what kind of magic you could make in a studio.

8. The Man and His Music, Sam Cooke. This is another album I bought in an LP version; it was one of those great old double record albums that folded in the middle with a pocket on either side. I replaced it with a CD almost as soon as it was possible, and I'm so glad I did, because it's out of print and harder to find now. Sam Cooke's voice is angelic, there's no other word for it--pure, heartfelt, perfect.

9. Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty. This was the toughest spot to fill, because I knew what I wanted to put in slot #10, but what to put here? Patsy Cline? Fleetwood Mac? Foo Fighters? Emmylou Harris? Bonnie Raitt? Then Todd brought up Tom Petty as we were taking a walk and discussing this topic, and I knew he was right. This is Tom's best: quirky, humorous, laid-back. And some awesome guitar licks.

10. Sibling Rivalry: the Best of the Smothers Brothers. It's not too much of a stretch to say that Todd and I fell in love over the Smothers Brothers. Hey, I never claimed to be cool. I had picked up one of their record albums at a garage sale or somewhere, and we listened to it and laughed and laughed and laughed during the summer after we graduated from hgh school. It was then that I saw how appealing it is when a guy has the same sense of humor you do. It's a good basis for a marriage, too. Anyway, we tracked down a few more of their records at flea markets over the next few years, but since we've been without a record player for more than ten years, this is our only source of Smothers Brothers humor--none of their LPs have been released on CD, which is a travesty!

Looking at this list, I realize that I have one foot, and maybe part of the other, in the past, but these are some of the albums that have stood the test of time for me. If I had to listen to them for 20 years on a desert island, they'd still satisfy.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Weekend ramblings

I'm a moron--I keep checking my blog like I think someone may have updated it it for me while I sit here without a thought in my head.

It's just been a busy week. Lots of work, lots of COOKING--I've spent more time in the kitchen in the past five days than in the past five months, I swear. Stupid diet, making me cook. And Todd came home from Ohio on Tuesday night and he wants to spend all this TIME with me. I guess he missed me or something.

We went to see War of the Worlds last night, and I enjoyed it. I am a big fan of 1950s sci-fi movies, the good ones as well as the cheesy ones, and I love the 1953 WOTW--awesome effects for a movie of that era, check it out if you've never seen it. This one was also good...I have never really liked most Spielberg movies; the way he tells a story usually leaves me feeling cold and manipulated, but I liked this one.

The parts I thought were the most effective were the beginning scenes of the lightning, the people of the neighborhood pouring out into the streets, and then the alien walker-thingies coming up out of the street. Very intense...the awe turning to panic felt very real.

I also thought Tom Cruise did an excellent job. He's an actor that I just have never felt interested in, and I've seen very few of his movies, but he was really good, and, I thought, believable. The confusion his character feels as he tries to comprehend what's happening and also tries to do the right thing by these kids that he's found himself responsible for--really well-played. It was like he suddenly realized he had to be the grown-up and he wasn't quite sure how to do that.

From the point where the family gets split up and Tom and Dakota end up in the cellar with nutty Tim Robbins--that was where I started to feel my belief slipping away. Seemed more confused and contrived from that point on to the very unbelievable ending.

I was also disturbed by the really overt September 11 references throughout the movie...I'm just not sure how I feel about Spielberg using that shorthand (the human ashes and dust on Tom's face, the clothing drifting down, the posters of missing loved ones, to name a few) to create a mood in a movie.

Todd's home and we need to get lunch--back to the kitchen for me. Oy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Farewell to all that

Well, tomorrow (today actually, it's 12:30 am) is the first day of my new diet/exercise program. Todd comes back from Ohio today and he and I are going to be living a new life, although I need it worse than he does.

July always seems to be the time when I attempt this. Maybe because wearing shorts and t-shirts really shows off the fat, I dunno. Four years ago I started on Weight Watchers right after Fourth of July weekend. Between July and November, I lost 30 pounds. Then in November, some very stressful and sad things started happening, and over the next two years I put it all back on. I tried again last July, but only made it through two or three weeks. I think a month of travel was what disrupted me that time.

In the past six months or so, my eating habits, which are never great, have really deteriorated. We eat out a TON, especially since I started working in March. And fuggedabout exercise--I have become a lump. So I have added another ten pounds to my all-time high of four years ago.

It is time to get things in hand NOW. I keep worrying about diabetes since my dad was diagnosed with it last year. None of my clothes fit...I am really reluctant to have my picture taken, and that never used to bother me, even though it's been a lot of years since I was svelte. And I do not feel even remotely sexy any more, which is depressing. I'm still young but I don't feel young.

I'm not going to post how much I weigh, because people who know me in real life read this blog, and I don't need anybody having that information about me! And I am going to try not to obsess here about the process. The less I think about it, the better, honestly...I can adapt to changes so much better when I just perform the necessary tasks without thinking about them.

This past weekend I've been eating the things I'll have to last pizza. My last Twinkie. My last Coke. LOL! And you know, I don't feel too sad about it. I am looking forward to having the energy and the happiness I had when I did this and stuck to it before.

Here we go.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

In a Tizzy

Originally uploaded by JScrappy.
This double-page spread commemorates the last day of business at the stamp store where I used to teach. I loved the ladies there, and wanted to remember the fun we had. I tried to go real girly with this--at least, it's real girly by my standards.