Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back soon...

I managed to catch a virus or something and don't feel like dealing with Bloglandia today. I'll post some catch-up daily art stuff when I feel better. In the meantime I plan to spend the day on the couch, napping and taking drugs (legal ones!). Later y'all...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

B is for...

I started the Personal Dictionary Project (my current name for it) last week. If you missed it and want to read more about what I'm doing, you can check out my "A is for..." entry. B is for... Books - as necessary to me as breathing. When I meet someone who tells me they think reading is boring, I find it as baffling (another good word!) as if they had said "I hate oxygen. All that pulling it in, pushing it out...It's so boooo-ring". Um, yeah. Okay. Blogs - I'm finding it such fun to write one myself and have found so many wonderful artists, writers, and all-around interesting people through reading other blogs. I have trouble remembering what life was like pre-blogging. Bee - that's what the name Deborah means. I often draw a fat little bee somewhere on my artwork as a kind of signature-in-code. Buster - the first dog J and I ever adopted together. Bargain - love it when I find one! Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) - 1. one of my all-time-favorite TV shows; 2. one of my favorite fictional characters. Whenever a person is in a jam, it never hurts to ask "WWBD?" (What would Buffy do?). Buick (Park Avenue) - what I currently drive. It's old (12 years!) and scabby and such an OldLadyCar, but it's comfortable and familiar and reliable and I plan to drive it until it becomes undriveable. Blueberries, Blackberries, Bacon, Bread (GOOD bread, not that pre-sliced factory-made crappola) - some of my favorite B-foods. Birthday cake - the breakfast of champions! Barbara (Michaels) - one of my favorite authors; (real name Barbara Mertz; also writes as Elizabeth Peters). Beauty - I look for it everywhere. Believe - I try. I really try. Bliss - always good policy to notice what brings you this. Bubblebaths - aaaahhhh...relaxing!...especially by candlelight. Boots - one of the few good things about winter. Belleville (Ontario) - speaking of winter...where I spent about six months one winter. If you try to tell me that winter doesn't last six months, then I'll tell you that you haven't been to Ontario in September - April. Butterflies - I love the colors, love to watch them fly, and love the theme of transformation they embody. Backgammon - I played like crazy in college, but these days I only play against the computer, which isn't nearly as much fun. Basil - One of my favorite herbs. Beautiful colors and shapes, yummy smell and taste! Birds - J and I both love to watch them so we keep several feeders stocked and put up bluebird boxes and purple martin condos on our place. Beads - Ooooh, shiny! You find anything I like and I bet I'll like it even MORE if you stick some beads on it. Bugger - one of my favorite swear words, partly because I just like the sound of the word and partly because it's not in common use on this side of the pond, so many people in the US don't quite get what it means. I can say "bugger" in front of people who would be mortally offended if I said "fuck" and they hardly blink an eye. I suspect it demonstrates a severe lack of maturity that I enjoy that so much, but whatever....Bugger it! "B is for..." (You can click on it if you want to see it larger in a new window.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Time, Week 4

The 11:11 Self-Portrait Project It's week four of the March Self-Portrait Tuesday theme. If you want to read what I had in mind for this month, check out my entry for Week 1. "11:11, Week 4" (That's Morven with me in two pics on the bottom row.) You can click on it if you want to see the photo group in larger in a new window. And you can click here if you want to see links to dozens more SPT participants.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Wanna Know What Bugs Me?

Well then I'll tell ya. (You DID say "yes", didn't you? Didn't you??) 1. It bugs me when EDKSky, my neurotic cat, chooses a time just before daybreak, when I'm usually getting my best sleep of the night, not to mention having some of my most interesting dreams, to hop down from the bed and stick out one claw and pickPickPICK at the quilt while biting said claw. I don't mean the making biscuits thing that cats do when they're happy (although he does that). I don't mean the way cats stick out all their claws and work them on scratching posts, trees, carpet, and furniture (although he does that too). No. I mean he sticks out ONE claw - what would be his forefinger nail if he had fingers and nails instead of paws and claws - and he hooks it repeatedly into anything nearby - preferably something that a) ends up damaged and b) drives me freakin' NUTS from the sound - and eventually after he's pickPickPICKED his claw into whatever-it-is for a while, he'll start working at said claw with his teeth. That's right. My cat bites his nails. Well, ONE nail anyway. And his favorite-ever time and place to do it is beside my bed at about 5:00 am, a time, BTW, that I really don't believe in. I mean, yes, ok, I believe 5 AM technically exists. I know that if there's a 5 PM, there has to be a 5 AM, what with the clock being a circle and all, but I don't think people are supposed to be conscious then. I think 5 AM is supposed to be dealt with like major surgery - you're supposed to sleep through it. Nevertheless, Sky has recently decided that is THE Time to obsessively bite his stupid toenail right next to me. That bugs me. 2. It bugs me when I want to take a photo or do a drawing or make a fiber art piece about a particular theme and can't get it right. I take photos I like. I do drawings and fiber pieces I like. When I'm lucky, if a challenge or exhibit has a particular theme I'll have something lying around the house that fits the theme, or that I can MAKE fit with some creative writing of the artist's statement. But now and then there's something I'd like to do that has a theme and I can't find anything around here that fits. Inevitably, when that happens and I try to do something to fit the theme, either I have a total mental block or if I DO have an idea, my execution of said idea sucks rocks. Big, fat, craggy boulders, even. That bugs me. 3. It bugs me when I buy something without trying it on, SURE it'll fit, and it doesn't. When I buy new underwear and it's the same brand I usually buy, the same size I usually buy, and the same cut I usually buy, but I decide to try a different fabric, that shouldn't make a really huge difference, right? But I recently did that - bought something that was nearly what I usually buy, but a different material and the first day I wore a pair, I spent the entire day fishing underwear out of my ass. No. Not acceptable. If I wanted butt floss, I'd have bought a thong. So that brand new underwear went straight into the trash when I took them off that night. I might as well have whipped some money out of my wallet and set fire to it. At least the fire would have been pretty. The underwear wasn't. That bugs me. 4. This doesn't bug me. I like how it turned out: "Icy Oak" But I'm glad the ice didn't stick around long! PS...Morv and I are having fun! :-)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Stupid Quiz Sunday

It's Sunday and in a few minutes I'll be leaving for Lexington to pick up my friend Morven at the airport. Yay!! Over the past couple of days she's been making her way from New Zealand, to Los Angeles, to Atlanta, and now she's on here way here to stay until Wednesday. Yay again!! I'll probably have stories to tell and photos to share at the end of the week, but don't be surprised if I'm a little quiet between now and then and slow to respond to comments or emails. I have some blog-posts pretty much ready to go for the next few days, with only a little last-minute tweaking necessary, so you'll still find something here at RSR if you check in but I just won't be spending much time on the 'puter. Today though, I'm falling back on that old Sunday favorite, a Stupid Quiz. This one is "How Happy Are You?" Well of course I don't really need a quiz to tell me that, but whatthehell. I was sorely tempted to check every single box to see if the results would say I was psychotically out of touch with reality, but in the end I answered the questions honestly. Pppfffttt!
You Are 80% Happy
You are a very happy person. Generally, you feel content and that all is right with the world. Occasionally, you have a down day - but you have the ability to pick yourself right back up.
Today's Daily Art Thang photo is a glimpse of the sunset we had here this past Monday. "Solstice Equinox Sunset" (d'oh!) (Click it if you want to see a larger version in a new window) Later, y'all!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Simple Still Life: Month the Seventh, Part the Second

It's time to show our results for March's Simple Still Life project. I messed and messed with my photos from this month, trying Photoshop tricks and sketching, and in the end I came to the conclusion that I like the original photos better than any changes I made to them or sketches I did from them, particularly the one of the three hats on the bench. I'll go ahead and post my favorite of the "messed with" results just to show I tried, but I think the lesson I learned this month is that sometimes you get it right the first time and fussing with it doesn't help! For those who may not remember, here's the photo I started with: "3 Hats" And here's the best of a bad lot from my experiments with the starting photo: "3 Hats Revisited" Real exciting, eh? NOT! Oh well, it's still a learning experience. I also want to say thank you for the comments on yesterday's dream post. I'm glad that some of you find the topic as interesting as I do! I'll email some replies later today.

Friday, March 24, 2006

These Dreams

A couple of days ago Andrea at Hula Seventy posted a fascinating blog entry about her dreams and she asked some questions of other dreamers: "do you dream most nights? do you dream in black and white? or color? do you have nightmares? do you have recurring dreams? do you remember your dreams? do you write them down?" I started to comment but my reply was getting so long I decided to talk a little about dreams here instead. If the topic of dreams and dreaming interests you as much as it does me, great...Read on! If not, my daily photo Thang is at the bottom of the post and you're welcome to scroll down and try for another topic tomorrow. So...Do I dream? Hell yeah. I dream every night. I quite often remember my dreams - well at least fragments of them, for a little while, although dreams I remember more completely are more rare. But even when I don't remember the content of my dreams, I remember that I dreamed. (If there's a dream I really want to remember I'll write it down, but otherwise I don't bother. I just let the memories gradually fade.) That makes me the opposite of my husband who claims he "never" dreams. I don't actually believe that (although I believe HE believes it!). I think everyone dreams, but it's true that he almost never remembers dreaming and on the rare occasions when he does, his version of remembering a dream will go something like "I went fishing", while my version of remembering a dream is usually some long, bizarre story told in excruciating detail. I guess that shouldn't surprise me though, considering that we're opposites in nearly everything. So why wouldn't we be opposites in our dream lives too! In her post, Andrea mentioned having a dream that seemed so real that she woke up thinking it had really happened in her waking life and being disappointed to realize it wasn't true. I've done that too! The places I go and things I do when I sleep often seem as real to me as anything that happens when I'm awake. In fact, one of the things that happens to me sometimes (and that J finds utterly baffling) is that I'll be asleep for 7 or 8 hours and wake up completely exhausted because I've been so damn BUSY in my head all night long. Sometimes I have grand adventures. Those dreams are usually just really fun! Sometimes I work through things that are bothering me with stress dreams that get very strange and even scary, although I seldom have what I would call a flat-out nightmare these days. That's what last night was like, as I had a very complex dream involving being chased through a maze, in what started out as a playful game almost like hide-n-seek, but then turned more serious, and eventually I was dreaming about one of those "post-apocalyptic" sort of scenarios where something had gone very, very wrong on the earth and I was part of a small group, holed up in a big old rambling house and literally fighting for survival. And then sometimes in my dreams I do very ordinary things, not so different from what I do when I'm awake. I've frequently had chats with loved ones who have died in what I think of as my "everyday" sort of dreams, and when I do, that's pretty much it...the whole dream...just hanging out someplace ordinary and familiar and talking with someone I've lost. Sometimes even those dreams can take a strange turn, like just after my father-in-law died. On the night before his funeral I dreamed I was in his living room, sitting in a chair by the door. Sonny (my FIL) was in his favorite chair a few feet away, wearing his usual faded blue work pants, white t-shirt, and corduroy house slippers, smoking those stinky roll-your-own cigarettes he loved so much, shedding sparks all over himself and making pinhole burns in that t-shirt. He was talking to me about how annoyed he was at all the "fuss" people were making over his death. As I recall he said gruffly that he thought the whole family should "stop wasting so damn much time and just stick him in the ground". That wasn't the weird part though. That would have been a totally normal conversation for Sonny and me. The weird part was when I was telling that dream to J and a couple of his family members the next day and J's 20-something nephew got pale and freaked-out-looking and said he dreamed exactly the same thing the night before, except that in his version of the dream he (the nephew) was stretched out on the couch while Sonny sat in his favorite chair and smoked and complained. Cue the Twilight Zone music. Or there was the time I had a dream where I was having a passionate discussion with someone and we were speaking Italian. Which would be normal if I spoke Italian, but I don't. In the dream I understood everything, though, until suddenly I realized I was dreaming and thought "hey, wait a minute...I don't speak Italian!". As soon as that thought crossed my mind I didn't understand anything anymore and I woke up. It wasn't until after I'd been awake for a few minutes that I realized the other strange thing - there'd been no visual component to the dream at all. It was all just sounds and smells and feelings. It wasn't even like I could say "everything was black" because while the dream was happening, that dream-self wouldn't have understood the concept of "black". In that dream, I was completely blind and it seemed so normal to me that it didn't even register while I was in it. Pretty weird, huh? Andrea asked about recurring dreams. I had a recurring nightmare for many, MANY years as a child, one that would make me wake up in a cold sweat, afraid to go back to sleep. I was so glad when I finally stopped having that stupid dream! These days I no longer have recurring dreams, although I have some recurring themes within my dreams...a subtle distinction, but a real one. I occasionally, VERY rarely, have lucid dreams, where I realize a dream is a dream and start controlling some of the action. That can be fun! I once taught myself to fly in a lucid dream and ever since I'll occasionally fly in my dreams. And about the color dreams vs. black-and-white, except for the one-time thing I refer to as "the Italian Dream", I always dream in color. I don't even get why someone would dream in B/W unless they had a visual impairment, since real life is full of color, but I've been assured that people sometimes do. The mind is a strange, wonderful, terrifying, fascinating place, yes? What about you? What goes on in your dreams? "Darkness on the edge Shadows where I stand I search for the time On a watch with no hands I want to see you clearly Come closer than this But all I remember Are the dreams in the mist These dreams go on when I close my eyes Every second of the night I live another life These dreams that sleep when it's cold outside Every moment I'm awake the further I'm away" -----"These Dreams" by Heart "Shadows Where I Stand"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #10

1. To everyone who listened to my incessant nagging about entering Blogging 4 Books this month, thank you! There were 40-ish entries, which is amazing. After spending you-won't-believe-how-many hours reading and re-reading and re-re-re-re-re-re-reading entries on Tuesday I have chosen and turned in the list of this month's finalists. Joshilyn said she would post them on her blog today and pass them on to final judge Sarah Smiley to choose the winners. When I checked just a minute ago, they hadn't been posted yet, but if you want to see which entries made the Finalists List, check Joss's blog later today. 2. Yesterday Andrea at Hula Seventy posted an entry on her blog about dreams and I found it fascinating! She asked some questions of her readers and I started to answer in comments, but found my answer becoming so long that it was turning into a post of its own, so I'm going to answer here instead. It'll be tomorrow though. I was going to do it today, but have too many other things I want to tell you, so Friday will be DreamTalkDay on RSR. 3. Thank you for the comments about my "A is for..." post from yesterday! I'm becoming a bit obsessed with this idea and have been scribbling notes to myself frantically every time I think of a "good word" for a certain letter or a cool image to add to a collage. If you want to check back to see more of the list, my plan at this point is to post one letter per week, but I don't have specific day in mind. Maybe I'll stick with Wednesdays....maybe not! We shall see! 4. About my 11:11 self-portrait series from Tuesday, Liz asked how I did the photo arrangement this time. I thought I'd answer here in case anyone else wanted to know. I used Photoshop Elements 3.0. I opened a new document/image and made it larger than I thought I'd need (because you can always crop it later, but making it bigger messes with image quality). I filled it with my background color (black) and I selected the "grid" option from tools so that it would look a bit like a piece of graph paper. That helps with placement and then you simply get rid of the grid before you save the final image. Then I started opening each individual image for each day, one at a time. I cropped, resized, color-corrected, etc. Then I added photo-corners (a filter you can use in PE3) and flattened the layers. Then I selected the finished image and copied it to the blank one, where it became Layer 1. I then used an option called "free rotate layer" to slant it. That option allows you to "grab" a corner of the image with your mouse and twist it around on the background. Lather, rinse, repeat until all the images are where I want them. Then I used my favorite font (Comic Sans Serif) to write "March" and "11:11" and the same rotate tool to slant them. Then I used the pencil tool to scribble the dates and times in my very own atrocious handwriting. Then unselect the grid, flatten the image (IOW, merge all the layers into one), save it and upload it. TaaDaaa! Not hard at all. 5. Speaking of Liz, today is Poetry Thursday. If you want to read some wonderful poems, follow the link to her blog and she has links to many more. It made me think about how I've always admired poets but, unfortunately, have never felt like I was very good at writing poetry myself. At most I will occasionally try my hand at haiku: Words rush from my mind pushing, crowding, piling up. I trip. Ouch! Bad words. ...or a limerick: A poet I know I am not. 'tis a talent that cannot be bought. If I try to write rhyme that will last for all time it's more apt to be used to wipe snot. I'd say I won't quit my day job except that I don't exactly have a day job. Heh. 6. Earlier this week we had what I hope to be winter's last little temper tantrum as we had a small, not-too-terrible ice storm. I just hope the purple martin advance scouts weren't too put off by what they saw when they checked out our yard this week: "A Cold Welcome" The ice is all melted now though, and the sun is trying to shine. I'm content. 7. Added: Blogger's word verification thingy seems to be acting up on my blog and on several others, so I turned it off for now and turned on comment moderation instead. It's very annoying that spammers make either one necessary, but such is human nature. Sorry for any inconvenience that either word verification or comment moderation causes RSR readers! 8. Ok, the word verification thingy seems to be working again, so I've switched that on and moderation back off. They're both a pain and I wish I could do without them, but I rejected several automated spammer comments today, so I'm sticking with the annoying word verification. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A is for...

My friend Laume started this meme a few days ago and I decided to play too, since you all know I loooooves me some lists! The deal is that you make up your own personal list, however short or long, of people, places, or things that mean something special to you and that start with the chosen letter. I plan (hope? No, plan, dammit!) to eventually work my way through the entire alphabet to make my own personal little DebDictionary. So here we go! A is for... Anita - my much-missed mom Amber - (with a capital A) my beautiful niece amber - (with a little a) the stone (mineral? whatever!); A couple of my favorite pieces of jewelry include an amber ring that used to belong to my Grandma Keeton and a pair of silver and amber earrings that I bought in Mexico Aquamarine - my birthstone Amethyst - not my birthstone, but I really love the stone and wear it a lot Apples, Asparagus, Avocados, Angel-food cake - some of my favorite A-foods Amelia (Peabody) - one of my favorite fictional characters Amelia (Earhart) - one of my favorite historical figures Airplanes - because I so LOVE the experience of taking off and soaring through the air. I just wish I could fly a plane myself instead of being crammed in a flying bus with a bunch of strangers. Or better yet I wish I could just FLY, no plane needed! Absurdity - because the world would be so much more boring without it Aardvark - because isn't that just a fabulous name for an animal?? Azure - a beautiful name for a beautiful color "Amazing Grace" - I have a weird love of hymns for a non-religious person and that's one of my favorites Antiques - I like things that have a sense of history about them Accessories - because they're fun! Abundance - something I hope for in my life and in the lives of those I love Alfred (Hitchcock) - love his films! "ACK!", "Ahem", and "All righty, then" - some of my favorite (probably overused!) blog-words Art - I can't imagine a world without it "A is for..." (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) Please feel free to steal this idea if you want to. I did! :-)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Time, Week 3

The 11:11 Self-Portrait Project It's week three of the March Self-Portrait Tuesday theme. If you want to read what I had in mind for this month, check out my entry for Week 1. I have to say that now, at Week 3, this is starting to feel like one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time, BUT..." sort of projects. I'm already tired of taking my photo twice a day. Can you say "burnout"? Sheesh. I don't know how some of these people who have been doing this sort of thing for years stick with it! But when I started this I made a commitment to myself to make it a month-long project, so I'm going to finish. I just keep reminding myself that there's only one more Tuesday in March after today. Whew! Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying the things I'm seeing for the March theme. I think it's one of the best SPT themes yet. I'm just a little bored with my own personal take on it. You may perhaps be able to detect a hint of said boredom in the last photo of this series. Ahem. Anyway, enough of that. Here it is: "11:11, Week 3" You can click on it if you want to see the photo group in larger in a new window. And you can click here if you want to see links to dozens more SPT participants.

Monday, March 20, 2006

March Bliss List

It's Bliss List time again! Here are some things that have been making me feel Blissful in March:
  • The first flowers of spring
  • Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake
  • Starting a new quilt series
  • "The Lovely Bones" - People have been telling me I should read it for ages but I resisted because I thought it sounded depressing. It isn't. Sad in places, yes, but not depressing. It's hopeful and the use of language is beautiful. It stays with my Keepers.
  • Cards and gifts from lovely, generous friends to let me know they're glad I was born
  • Feeling "Wicked"
  • Breathing room on my bookshelves
  • Acceptance letters from a major quilt exhibit
  • Knowing that in less than a week I'll see my friend Morven's smiling face in person, when she comes from New Zealand to spend a few days in Kentucky
"March Bliss" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) What's making you feel blissful this month?

One Last Reminder

Don't forget, you have until midnight (your time) tonight to enter Blogging 4 Books! I can just hear some of you now whining "but, Deee-eeeeb, that's not enough tiiiiiiiime". Well to that I say "HA!" Last month's winner didn't even have an idea until the very last day and then she sat down and raced the clock to get her entry written and posted before the deadline. She cut it so close that I'm pretty sure she left a glass slipper on a staircase someplace in her race to beat the stroke of midnight. And by gawd, she Won the BOOK! So take a look HERE to find the rules and to see how very broad the topic is. Then either write a blog entry or find one of your old blog entries that fits said topic, then go back HERE and leave a comment with a link to your entry. After all the entry links have been posted, the first round judge (always a blogger, and this month that would be Me!) visits all the entrants' blogs and reads each and every entry and narrows it down to seven finalists. Then those seven have a swimsuit competition...Oh, wait, NO!...wrong contest, sorry. Heh. Then the final round judge (always a published author, and this month that would be Sarah Smiley) reads the entries of those seven finalists and chooses 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. The 1st place winner gets a free autographed copy of Ms. Smiley's book! The other two don't usually win a book, but they get increased blog traffic and the adoration of the masses. Pretty cool, yes? So c'mon, give it a try! Dorothee who asked about B4B, I tried sending you an email but got a weird error message. If you didn't get it and you see this and are still interested, let me know and I'll try again!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Impressions (grooooan)

It's Sunday and I'm still trying to catch up on everything after having been gone a couple of days, so today I'm taking the easy way out and you get a quiz (I kind of liked this one!) and another of my experiments in selective color. Enjoy!
Which Art Movement Are You?
You're Impressionism! Founded in mid 1800's, this revolutionary art movement was one of the first "rebellious" ones which began to defy the traditional mainstream art. Where classical art was all about being as detailed as possible, impressionists began to play with colours and visible brushstrokes in order to give an impression of something more realistic. Impressionists were aware of how vision works and knew how to fool the human eye by spattering mainly primary colours on the sheet making the result look like a complete mess up close and like a wonderful, almost photorealist, from further away. Some (neo-impressionists aka pointilissts) took it a step further and used only tiny spots of red, yellow, and blue to create great masterpieces that could only be viewed from a few steps away from the actual painting. All the magic happened literally in the eye of the beholder. Critics blaimed impressionists for not being able to paint properly, but most artists were only inspired by the new way of portraiting the world. Key words in this art movement were colours, light, movement, and momentaryness. Impressionist paintings were often very light and airy, and they usually portraited pleasant everyday things like walks in a park and light summer days. Famous Impressionists: Claude Monet, Edward Degas Picture by Monet - Monet had a beautiful backgarden which he could have painted endlessly. The vibrant light reflecting from the greenish surface of the waterlily-covered pond was his inexhaustible source of inspiration. Up close, this painting would look like an abstract mess of different shades of all the colours of the rainbow, but viewed from further away the splodges of colour form a gorgous work of art, as realistic as a photograph. That's the beauty of it. Take this quiz!
"A Touch of Red"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Birthday Blow-out Recap

Despite Blogger's WEIRDNESS the past few days, I seem to have access to publishing functions at the moment, so I'm going to try to tell you a little about my trip to Cincinnati in the hopes that eventually my blog will be working properly again and those who are interested can see it. Pppfffttt. To sort of start at the end and work my way backward (since Laume is having fits to hear what I thought of the show), I LOVED "Wicked". I loved it soSO much. I can say without reservation that it was my favorite live show I've ever seen and if I could have gone back and seen it again the very next night, I'd have done it in a heartbeat. Someone, at some point, NEEDS to put this on DVD, whether it's a matter of turning the play into a movie (ala "Rent") or of filming a live performance and releasing it on DVD (ala Hugh Jackman's turn in the London stage production of "Oklahoma"). I'd really prefer the latter. If I had a DVD copy of that play, I'd wear it out! I already knew I loved the songs, as I've been wearing out the Broadway cast CD for over a year now. But wow....the stage sets, the costumes, the humor of the spoken dialogue, they all not only met my expectations (which were pretty damn high!), but exceeded them. Also, did I mention I loved it? Well I did. LOVED. IT. If you like Broadway-style musicals at all, "Wicked" is a must see, IMO. Now, what about the rest of the weekend? Well, let's see. The short version: I was spoiled rotten and ate like a pig. If that's enough information, you can probably stop right there, but if you want more details, here's a longer version, with photos. When I got to Cincinnati Wednesday, I met my friend Bev at Macaroni Grill. She had a sandwich and soup. I thought the soup looked so pretty that I had to take a pic before she was allowed to start eating it: I loved the colors and the pattern. I had Veal Marsala, (aka delicious dead baby cow). I am a bit embarrassed to admit to the veal, and I apologize to those who are offended at the thought, but it's something I do now and then and DAMN, it was GOOD. But now I'll go back to being nice to baby animals for a while, I swear. Here's a photo of Bev and me: Notice the gift bag on the table? Besides taking me to lunch, Bev gave me this doorstop: How perfect is that for this birthday?? I didn't even need any sort of souvenir from "Wicked". Ha! After lunch we went by Half Price Books and she helped me carry in my carload of rejects. And BTW, thank you again to all of you who suggested possible ways to get rid of my passalongs. I have more books I'm getting rid of and will do some of the other suggestions with those, but decided to sell this first batch. I was proud of myself that I did NOT buy any more books while I was in there, although honesty compels me to admit I WOULD have if they'd had a couple of specific ones I was looking for, but they didn't, so I didn't. Afterward, I went to a couple of different shoe stores, fully intending to blow some or all of the book sale money on new shoes as a birthday gift from me to me, but I'm sad to report that I didn't see a single thing in either store that wanted to come home with me. Pathetic. Oh well, there will be other days and other stores, and no doubt other shoes that will come home with me whether I need them or not. Later that night, J took me to Red Lobster, where we ran into Tim and Andrae (NOT! Inside joke for Project Runway fans, which will make absolutely no sense to anyone else...sorry!). He had blackened rainbow trout, while I had crab and lobster and a big honkin' margarita. (See, I told you I made a pig of myself!) When we got back to the hotel, I just had to have J take this pic to show something that has made me laugh ever since he's been staying there the past few weeks: That sign is trying hard to convince me the pool is closed, but somehow it lacks conviction when the door is hanging open, yes? The next day, I didn't really have any plans. I'd thought I might go to a movie before time to go to my sister's house, but really there wasn't anything showing in the cinemas that I wanted to see. The one that briefly tempted me was "The Libertine", but most of the reviews I've read seem to indicate a brilliant performance by Johnny Depp stuck into a murky and depressing movie, so I decided to pass. Maybe I'll go see it when it gets to the cheap-o second-run cinemas. I spent most of the morning just fiddlefarting around the hotel room, reading, watching a Woody Guthrie biopic on Showtime, when along about late morning, J came back because he needed to use the hotel's wifi connection to download something for work. Cool! That meant I got to bug him for a little while, AND I got to borrow his laptop for a few minutes to publish my pre-written Thursday blog post! See me bugging J: Doesn't he look thrilled? Heh. (Really, he doesn't mind ME, he just doesn't love that camera at the end of my arm.) Since I was still there, he took me to lunch at Applebee's while his program was downloading. (People were feeding me for two days. It was great!) I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go to my sister's house by watching "Crash" on my portable DVD player. It was SO good! All of you who said I had to see it were right. I'm going to watch it again really soon. I see now why some critics were calling it "contrived" but I don't agree with that at ALL. I think it's saying something very true and real about the connections between people and the ripple effect that can result from even the smallest acts of kindness or cruelty, generosity or fear. It's an amazing movie. After that I went to Sandy's and Andy's house and a total of 8 of us got together and went downtown. We had dinner at (let's see if I can remember the name correctly) Union Station Video Cafe (is that right, Andy??), where I finally, for the first time in two days of pigginess (oink!) had cake! I decided it was time to save room for it, so I had a side salad and split an order of toasted ravioli with Sandy and then had a big ol' piece of Chocolate Decadence Layer Cake. And it was gooooood. Then it was on to the show, which pretty much brings this show back to the point where it started. Here's a photo of Sandy and me at the end of the evening, right after we got back to her house: So...See "Wicked" if you get the chance! See "Crash" if you get the chance! Get people to feed you if you get the chance! Those are all Fun Things. Now I'm going to go catch up on laundry and do some Not Eating. Heh. Oh yeah, and here's today's Art Thang. As you can tell, I'm on a kick where I'm having Too Much Fun playing with the concept of selective color in my photos: "Yield to Time" Here's hoping this thing publishes correctly (fingers crossed).

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hi,Honey, I'm Home!

I had a totally FABULOUS time! The only way I can think of that I could have had any more fun would have been if I could have had even more of the people I love with me. I promise to tell you all about it this weekend, and even share some photos, but for now I just wanted to let everyone know I'm back and to thank you all for the great comments you left while I was gone. I know some of you have been having trouble accessing RSR the past couple of days. I have too, actually. The few times I was near a 'puter in the past two days, more often than not I'd get an error message when I tried to pull up my blog and from what I could determine it was a Blogger Thang. They were doing some maintenance that was only affecting certain blogs and unfortunately mine was one of them, but it seems (knock wood!) to be fixed now, so hopefully you can all see me again now. Can you see me now? Can you see me now? Can you see me now? (Sorry, couldn't resist!) Here's the Photo ju Jour, so that I don't miss a day! "Lion Guards" PS...Don't forget, if you haven't posted a Blogging 4 Books entry yet, you still have until midnight your time on Monday to post something for a chance to win a book! Someone's gotta win...might as well be you! <<< (Blatant Slogan Theft!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Brief and Fragile

I'm actually writing this on Wednesday in the hopes that I'll get a chance to hop on a 'puter for a minute and post it on Thursday. And I did! Yay! It's Thursday morning as I'm typing this and I'm having a great time so far! I'll tell more in a day or two. I can't stay on here long (borrowed 'puter!) but wanted to say thank you for the birthday wishes! We now return you to your regularly scheduled pre-written blog post. I don't know that I'll be a regular participant in Poetry Thursday, although I love reading others' entries, but my friend Jaye gave me a couple of books for my birthday (thank you, Jaye!), including a lovely book called "A Grateful Heart". It's a book of blessings and some of those blessings are poems. I rather loved the one below. It's a celebration of the ephemeral. I can relate. I don't think I would appreciate some of my favorite things nearly as much if they weren't here and gone so quickly, so that I know I MUST take time to enjoy them before they're gone....Things like spring flowers, rainbows, dew on spiderwebs (sans spider, please....shudder), the time when dogs are puppies and children are toddlers. (Yeah, yeah, real original, I know, but What.Ever. I like them and I'm saying so. If you can do better, go for it! Heh.) I love the use of language in this poem too. It sings to me. I hope it sings to you. To the Brief and Fragile
To all that is brief and fragile superficial, unstable, To all that lacks foundation argument or principles; To all that is light, fleeting, changing, finite To smoke spirals, wand roses, To sea foam and mists of oblivion... To all that is light in weight for itinerants on this transient earth Somber, raving with transitory words and vaporous bubbly wines I toast in breakable glasses. ---Maria Eugenia Baz Ferreira
"Brief and Fragile"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's the Ides of March!

AKA Deb's Birthday...Who wants to Party??? Yep, today is the 15th anniversary of my 29th birthday! I'm meeting my friend Bev for lunch in a few hours. J is taking me out to dinner tonight. And the celebration will continue tomorrow when I meet my sister, BIL, and several other people to go see "Wicked". Can you tell I'm excited?? I wish you could all be here too and we could make it a big ol' party! With all that, I doubt you'll be surprised if I'm scarce for the next couple of days. I may even skip a day or two of blogging (gasp!), although I might not...hard to say. If I DO skip though, I'll make up the Daily Art Thang, as I'm still committed to posting one-a-day for a year, whether it's a photo, drawing, collage, fiber piece, whatever. And I'm sure I'll have lots to report by the weekend. But before I get ready to go be spoiled rotten, I have to show you a couple of things. Oh...wait...the things I'm about to show you mean I've already been spoiled rotten. All righty then, so be it...Behold my spoiledededness: (I supposed you've figured out that in this pic the stuff from Morv is wrapped. The shoe thing on the left is a card from Morven. Also, Jaye sent two books, but one was in a different room and I'm a lazy cow, so it isn't in the pic.) Once I removed the shoe-and-purse wrapping paper from the stuff from Morv, this is some of what was inside. Do we notice a theme?? The little square magnet says "When in doubt, wear red". But of course! These were in that pile too: Yum!! People who live in New Zealand or Australia or some other places where these candies are common probably will be puzzled about why I'm excited about them, but I love Jaffas and Bursting Bees and you can't get them in the US (at least not anywhere near me). How can you not love something that says it has "oozey liquid centers"?? [giggle] Ok, I'm off for a day or two of fun. Before I go, I want to briefly, remind you that you still have 5 days to enter this month's Blogging 4 Books contest and make me proud! Finally, here's the Photo du Jour: "Ivy Shadows" Later, y'all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Time, Week 2

It's time for the second installment of the March Self-Portrait Tuesday theme of "Time". If you want a more complete explanation of the month-long project I'm doing for this SPT theme, you can find it here. This is the series of photos I captured for Week 2. I changed the arrangement of the photos a bit from what I did last week, but otherwise it's a continuation of the same idea. "11:11, Week 2" You'll find links to lots more Self-Portrait Tuesday posts here.

Monday, March 13, 2006


*Want to Win a Book? (for those picky souls who insist on correct spelling and so on) Of course you do! Who wouldn't want to win a book?? Here's how you can do it: Joshilyn has just posted the theme for the March Blogging 4 Books contest on her blog. What, you might ask, is Blogging 4 Books? It's a monthly contest where the host (Joshilyn) sets a theme and anyone who wants to participate has one week to write a blog entry that somehow relates to that theme. Or - Bonus! - if you've already written The Perfect Entry on that theme at any point in your blogging past, you can enter an old post. Or - BonusBonus!! - if you don't have a blog, you can still write something because Edgy Mama has agreed to provide blog space for those poor blogless souls who would like to play. All you have to do is email Anne (Edgy Mama) and include your entry in the body of the email (not as an attachment) and ask her nicely if you can crash on her blog for a while. (Or something like that) See how easy Joshilyn has made it for everyone to enter! Once you've written your SuperFantastic blog entry, you go back to Joshilyn's blog (very important! Joss's blog, not HERE!) and post the link in the comments section of her B4B post. And then you sit back and wait to see if you've won! After the entry deadline, a Special! Guest!! Blogger!!! reads each and every entry with great care and narrows the field down to seven finalists. Why, you might ask (since you seem to be in a question-asking sort of mood), am I so excited about that? Because this month, I am the Special! Guest!! Blogger!!! who will be choosing the finalists. Yay! After I choose the finalists, da judge for this month, Sarah Smiley, author of "Going Overboard" will read the seven finalists' entries and will choose her top three favorite entries and the first place winner receives an autographed copy of her book. Pretty cool, yes?? Second and third place winners don't get a book, but they get some extra blog traffic and some "oooohs" and "aaaahhhs", which is still pretty dern cool. This is what Joshilyn has to say about this month's topic:
"Write about the military. HOW BROAD IS THAT? SO broad. You can talk about anything from your own experiences in the military, or your own experiences as a pacifist, or how hot Jake Gillenhaal looked in Jarhead, or how Michael Kors could NOT see the military influence in Daniel V's collection for Project Runway, and how when Daniel pointed out the BIG HUGE OBVIOUS MILITARY boob-epaulette on the front of an evening dress Michael Kors said, "Oh, THAT thing. I can't tell you how bad I want to RIP IT OFF that otherwise pretty dress," or how the Trojans were SO dern dumb for buying that whole "hollow horse" ruse, and how the fact that the horse was used to SNEAK AN ARMY INSIDE THE CITY makes Trojan such a BAD name for a condom.

Heck, I'll take anything with the word SOLDIER in it.


So yes, please, Go, my Creative Friends!!...Write!...Post your link on Joss's blog so I can go read it. I want lots and LOTS of entries to choose from this month. I want to weep from joy at how hard it is to narrow down so many wonderful entries, not weep in despair at how little there is to choose from!

Let's break records for B4B entries this month, y'all. Come on...make me proud! Huzzah!

In Which I Cause People to Question My Mental Health

Hi. I'm Deb and I have a Book Addiction. (Hi, Deb!) I know y'all have heard me mention this before, but today you're going to see the ugly truth about just how obsessed I really am. What prompted this urge to confess, you may ask? Well, I'll tell ya. After I finished the bodice ripper thing I blogged about a couple of days ago, I was trying to decide what to read next. A lot of people would say they looked at their To Be Read pile, but I don't HAVE a TBR pile-in-the-singular. At least I didn't until this past weekend. What I had was a slew of TBR pileS of various sizes lurking at all sorts of locations around the house. This made it all too easy to not realize how many unread books I had accumulated. But somehow it all finally reached critical mass in my brain a couple of days ago. My bookshelves were so crammed full that I couldn't find any place to shelve the last few books I'd read, so they were in yet another teetering pile...or two...ok, maybe THREE. I knew for a fact there were books on the shelves that I would probably never want to read again and that I should find new homes for them. And I was having trouble figuring out what I had in the house that I hadn't read yet. So Saturday afternoon I started pulling books off the shelves and rearranging. I started making piles of books that I wanted to get rid of. I started gathering up all my unread books and putting them in one place. And finally, I started rearranging the previously-read-keepers on the shelves. Here's the Good News - my bookshelves look neater than they've looked in months...maybe even years! And they not only look nice, they are reasonably well-ordered so that I should (knock wood) be able to find things when I want them. For instance I now know exactly where my copy of "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" is, although I no longer remember what I wanted to read in it when I was tearing the shelves apart looking for it to no avail a few weeks ago. (It's a tiny volume and had fallen behind something on the shelf.) Here's the Neutral News (Bad in that I had all this stuff taking up space, but Good in that I have a plan to get it out of the house, therefore Neutral!) - I have 2 medium-size boxes and 12 plastic grocery sacks full of books that I'm getting rid of. I'm taking them to Cincinnati with me in a couple of days and will turn them in to Half Price Books for as many as they'll buy. Anything they won't take is going to be dropped off at Goodwill. They are currently in my car trunk and they NOT coming back in the house. Before I boxed and bagged them up, here's what those piles looked like: and (bad lighting, sorry!) I even discovered I had TWO copies of this book: (Y'know, anyone who can't appreciate the irony of owning two copies of "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" is probably reading the wrong blog. Heh.) Helpful Hint For Monday: It turns out that buying books about clearing your clutter doesn't actually clear any clutter! In fact, it could be argued that buying books about clearing your clutter makes MORE clutter unless you, oh...I don't know...READ them and do some of the stuff they suggest. Who knew?! Now are you ready for the Bad News? (Gulp) Once I finished combining all my various TBR piles into one area, this is what it looked like: Should I have warned you to sit down first? I haven't counted them, but I can estimate. So, ok...If I count the first pile of hardcovers and multiply that by the number of hardcover piles, and then count a pile of softcovers and multiply that by the number of softcover piles, and then add those two numbers together, let's see, carry the one and...I estimate the total to be somewhere between embarrassing and deranged. If I keep up my typical pace of reading a book or two a week and don't re-read any old favorites (haha) or buy any new ones (says the woman who is expecting a box from Amazon any day now....Hey! I ordered before the Book Purge started AND they were running a buy 3, get 1 free special!!), I figure I can work my way through this pile in what....2 years or so? Um, yeah. I haven't figured out where to put these quite yet. I'm still clearing away some old magazines, so I'm hoping by the time I'm done I'll have my own TBR section on the bookshelves. I'm also hoping by embarrassing myself like this that I can make myself stick to my new Book Management Plan so that it never gets quite so overwhelming again. The Book Management Plan isn't original or complicated, but it should work if I stick with it. My new self-imposed Book Management Rules: 1. When I buy a book, there has to be room to put it on a bookshelf. 2. If there isn't room to put it on a bookshelf, I have to get rid of something else to MAKE room. 3. As soon as I read a new book, it is designated "keeper" or "passalong". Keepers are to be shelved (see rules 1 and 2 above) while Passalongs go in a bag designated for that purpose. 4. When the Passalong bag is full, those books leave the house, one way or another. I can sell them, give them away, whatever, but they're outta here. Sounds reasonable, yes? Now we'll see if I can stick with it. (whimper) Daily Art Thang: "Gothic Barn" I was in the mood for something a bit gloomy today. Heh.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Quiz, a Card, and an Interesting Mistake

I'd had something else in mind to tell you about today but didn't quite get myself together in time so that'll wait until tomorrow. Instead, since today is Sunday and blog traffic seems to drop drastically on the weekends anyway, I'll keep it short today and show you the results of the latest quiz Thang I did:
You Are Teal Green
You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you. Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible. While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks. Your warm personality nicely counteracts any strange habits you may have.
Teal Green huh? I'm not sure how exactly they matched colors and descriptions, but I like the description of a Teal Green-ish person, so I guess it's all good. And speaking of Teal Green, is Mary psychic?? I got this: "The Ides of March" by Mary Manahan (6" x 8") ...quilted fiber card in the mail from her yesterday. Not only Teal-y, but SO gorgeous. I doubt the photo does justice to the stitching and beadwork on this piece but I hope it shows a hint of it. I love it!!! Thank you, Mary! And finally, for my own Artsy Thang for today, I'm sharing an interesting mistake! A couple of days ago, I was trying to take a close-up photo of a snowdrop. (I only have one lonely, rather pathetic snowdrop blooming this year. Not sure what happened to the rest of them!) Anyway, the photo thing wasn't going too well. Because of where it is, I was having trouble getting the camera close to it at a decent angle. Finally, I decided to get creative and take some "blind" shots, putting the camera in places where I couldn't see the screen or viewfinder and hoping for the best. Well, in terms of getting a macro shot of the bloom, that experiment was a complete failure. I didn't get anything that came close to what I was after. BUT...I got the photo below, which is pretty much a picture of nothing, but I thought the lines and shadows made a rather interesting abstract composition. "Shadowlines" Ok, I'm now going back to my Obsession duJour, which I will probably be telling you about tomorrow. (Don't get too excited! Heh.)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #9

I know, I know....Two Junk Drawer posts in one week. But I'm tellin' ya, it's just a Junk Drawer kind of week. 1. I noticed last night that Bloglines (which is the primary way I keep track of who has posted something new on various blogs I read) was acting a little screwy. There were more blogs listed with feed errors than not. Same thing this morning. Just as I was wondering what was up I remembered - Mercury went retrograde a few days ago and will stay that way for another couple of weeks. Sigh. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!** 1b. **I know the real quote is "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!", but people almost always misquote it as "ride" and I think "ride" sounds better in this context so, I'm going with it. Hmph! 2. The weather cooperated last night and I watched "Walk the Line". I really liked it! I can see why it has been nominated for so many awards from various groups and has won a few of them. I know basically nothing about the facts of the lives of Johnny Cash or anyone connected with him, so I have no idea how accurate the movie is and how much of it is pure Hollywood. Someone who is enough of a Cash fan to know more about him might have another opinion, but I thought it seemed to handle the story pretty fairly. No one was shown as perfect and no one was shown as a total "bad guy". It was the story of a bunch of flawed, complex humans. Plus the music was fun. I'm glad I saw it! 3. Ooooh, I see a fork on Segue Street! I could slide straight from "Walk the Line" into several other things I want to talk about. Which shall it be? How about The Weather? (It is so a segue from the previous topic. Look at the first line of #2 if you don't believe me!) Our weather is still weirdly warm at the moment, but our long-range forecast is mentioning the possibility of the "S" word for Tuesday and beyond. You know the one, the WORST 4-letter word ever: S-N-O-W. Ok, wait a minute here. Wednesday is my birthday and Thursday is when I have a ticket to see "Wicked". Y'all should expect to get thoroughly sick of hearing about that in the next few days, BTW. I might as well just post entries that say "5 more days til Wicked!"...."4 more days til Wicked"...etc. And also, FYI, I have discovered that 99% of the time when I try to type "Wicked", I type it "Wicket" the first time. Heh. But I digress. A lot. Where the hell was I?? Oh yeah, the "S" word. SO...Anyway, I want it to be known to all that I STRONGLY object to the "S" word and even more so to what it represents and would appreciate it if y'all send warm steamy thoughts toward Kentucky to counteract this possible "S"-vasion, because if I don't get my birthday dinner out and get to see "WickeDDDD", I'm going to be Cranky with a capital CRANK, and it is SOOOO not going to be pretty around here for a while. Ggggrrrr... Warm thoughts, warm thoughts, warm thoughts~~~~~ 4. I'm bummed that the ladies at Go Fug Yourself have their comments disabled these days because I want to tell them that I can't believe when they were snarking about this photo that they didn't mention the way the poster of Michael Keaton in the background seems to be staring at Bebe Neuwirth in complete disbelief. I think it's the funniest part of the picture! 5. I caught a repeat of the premier episode of "Top Chef" last night and it was kind of fun. I may have to keep watching it. 5b. During commercials I went ahead and finished the book I blogged about yesterday. Even though I was pretty much over it by that point I hated to not go ahead and read the last 50 pages. Oh, not to find out how it ends mind you, because come on....It's a "historical" romance novel! We all KNOW how it's going to end! But before I move on to serial killers or plagues or something I found myself mildly curious to know: a) HOW, exactly, our lovebirds would defeat the villain who wanted to claim the heroine's now-nonexistent virtue and therefore get their HEA b) How many times and ways the author would manage to write more orgasms into the last 50 pages (I didn't count but it was several, including once at a crowded party given in the hero's honor), and... c) How many strange and semi-scary hits I'm going to get from Google searches on the past couple of days blog entries. Ahem. 6. I finally, FINALLY got around to finishing the postcards I promised as prizes, not only in last weekend's "name that quilt series" contest, but in the PREVIOUS weekend's "name that movie earworm" contest! Yay! I'll get these in the mail early next week, so the three winners of those contests should be on the lookout for their fabric postcards by late next week. Hope you like them, ladies! Here (as my Daily Art Thang) is a photo of the finished postcards: "Spiral Dance Postcards" (4" x 6" each; clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window) 6b. And here is a slightly larger card (5" x 7") that I'll be donating to Ami Simms for her next Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative fundraiser auction. "Spiral Dance 3: Recital"

Friday, March 10, 2006

BingePurge in Bookville

Last night I had intended to watch "Walk the Line" on DVD, but Ma Nature had other plans. About the time "Survivor" ended we had some violent thunderstorms roll through our area and the electricity went out, then back on, then OUT, then back on, then...well you get the idea. It was being flukey to say the least, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to watch a movie. So I took my current book and went to bed, figuring even if the electricity went off and stayed off, I could either use my IttyBittyBookLight to read a little more or try to go to sleep earlier than usual. Now here is where I have a small confession to make. It would be nice to tell you all that I was reading something original and challenging and so on, but, You see, I have a small addiction to romance novels. You know the ones - the bodice rippers with the embarrassing ManTitty covers. They are a binge thing for me. I get in a mood to read that genre and off I go, reading one after another after another, like someone gorging on a box of chocolates, until at some point I realize I feel a teensy bit queasy and it's time to push the box away and ignore them until the next time the craving hits. I think I reached that point last night. This was an ok book as these things go. I mean, yes... it had the typical romance heroine, the Rufus Papilla Cornus Cauda Ferveo Virgo (Red-breasted Horny-tailed Orgasmic Virgin), a rare species in most parts of the world but as thick on the ground as dew in their indigenous land of Romancylvania, where they can be found braiding one another's shining tresses and sewing silk roses to their white undergarments with tiny stitches; except for the subspecies Rufus Papilla Cornus Cauda Ferveo Virgo Dissimulo (Red-breasted Horny-tailed Orgasmic Virgin in Disguise) who can be found wearing her brother's clothing, (which luckily perfectly hides the fact that she has a 36D bustline), and practicing fencing. Naturally the heroine soon met a Validus Firmus Adulescens Vir Tantus (a Strong, Firm Young Man of Heroic Proportions), also indigenous to the region, and they proceeded to alternately argue with each other and have instantly pain-free, multi-orgasmic sex while eluding the Crudelis Monstrum (Cruel Monster) who wanted our heroine for himself. All that is pretty typical for this genre, really. I'm not sure what finally made me go "gaaaah" and toss the book aside to go to sleep. It might have been the circa 1840 shower sex scene, or it could have been the fact that the Validus Firmus Adulescens Vir Tantus turned out to be the subspecies Clam Patricius (Secret Nobleman), but whatever the cause I found myself suddenly wanting a nice normal serial killer murder mystery or an epic about a bio-engineered plague or something to cleanse my palate. Let's see, where did I put that last Kathy Reichs book? That should do the trick. Oh yeah, and here's another photo from the same series as the one I posted yesterday: "Walking Through"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #8

1. Only one more week until I go see "Wicked" on stage! YAY!! I'm so excited, and I'm feeling so thrilled and lucky that we got the seats we did. I read in this past Sunday's paper that every seat for every performance was sold out within 8 hours of the tickets going on sale to the general public. Yowza! 2. I'm still thinking now and then about the Oscars and what won, what didn't. Those of you who have seen "Crash", what did you think of it? And what did you think of having it win for Best Picture? "Crash is one I haven't seen yet, but plan to at some point, and I'm intrigued by the extremely disparate reviews I've seen about it online, with some people raving about it being original and insightful, and others ranting about it being confusing or contrived. Opinions anyone? 3. Last night, while waiting for the Project Runway finale show, I watched "Bride & Prejudice", a Bollywood musical based on "Pride and Prejudice" but based in modern-day India. I liked it. I can't say I loved it, but it was entertaining and the bones of the story were faithful to the original, while a lot of the details were (obviously!) changed. "Mr. Bingley" (not his name in this, but I'll be damned if I'm going to try to remember all the changed names of the characters after seeing it just one time) was played by the yummy Naveen Andrews, (Sayid on "Lost") who gets my vote for One of the Few Men on the Planet Hot Enough to Still Look Good with Such SkeezyGreazy-Looking Hair. And the character of "Mr. Collins" is comic relief in this version and the man who played the part did a great job. He's hilarious! 4. Today is my li'l brother's birthday! Happy Birthday, Mark!! I hope you have a wonderful day. 5. Daily Art Effort: "Looking Through"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Project Runway: The Finale

Chloe won! Shock!!! Seriously, that's my reaction, total shock. From the spoiler photos I'd seen before the broadcast, Chloe was the one I least expected to win. It's interesting though to see the difference in how all three collections looked moving along the runway compared to the still photos seen around the 'net earlier. I liked Chloe's better on the runway than I did in the stills. I also liked Daniel's better on the runway. Santino's, which (much to my amazement) was my favorite in the stills...well, I still liked it, but not quite as much once I saw it on the runway, for exactly the same reason the judges mentioned - the fit. Once the models were in motion I could see some serious fit problems that didn't show up in a single frame, especially some terminal cases of Boobage Gaposis. I still Looooove that red dress with the leather bust though. HubbaHubba! I really think we'll be seeing more of both Daniel and Santino in the future. Sooooo...Congrats to Chloe! I may have had my doubts about her runway collection, but I thought she did a super job throughout the season (she had one of my top three favorite looks for the majority of the challenges) and I'm very happy for her. And congrats to Grace who I'm sure will look superfantastic in Elle magazine. On to Season 3!

D'you Want Fries With That?

I had a less-than-stellar sleep experience last night which means that not only did I sleep later than usual this morning, but now that I AM up (more or less), I feel groggy and slow-witted. I'm afraid I don't yet have nearly enough functional brain cells to string together a bunch of semi-coherent sentences. Therefore this morning on your visit to RSR, you get (drum roll please!) Drive-Thru McBlogging, (aka a Daily Art Thang photo and a stupid quiz). Enjoy! Heh. "Lines and Circle" How Openminded?
You Are 72% Open Minded
You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded. Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints. But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line. You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.
I can live with that description. I'll try for something more interesting tomorrow y'all. Later!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Time, Week 1

The 11:11 Self-Portrait Project The Self-Portrait Tuesday theme for March is "Time". Kath says: For one month I would like you to document time - in order to ... - document and observe physical changes in yourself - create a discourse on identity - keep a visual diary of moods - tell stories She goes on to list several different examples and ideas, but I decided to keep my effort deceptively simple by choosing a time and trying to remember to take a photo of myself at that time every day. I say "deceptively" simple because it turns out it isn't always simple or convenient to not only remember the project at the correct time, but to then interrupt what I'm doing, even if only for a few seconds, to take the photo. I've done pretty well this past week though, consistently getting two photos a day and most of them have been right on time. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the month goes. The time I chose for my daily photos is 11:11, both morning and night. I know a lot of people are attracted to the number 11:11. It's considered in some circles to be a sort of gateway number with a lot of spiritual significance. I'm not going to go into all that here. If you want to know more, google "11:11" and you'll find LOADS of info about it. For me, the attraction is more personal. It's a number that I - and several of my family members - associate with my Mom. I was originally going to go into some of the reasons we associate that number with her, but this is getting so long already that I don't think I will, at least not today. I don't know that the reasons are really all that important to anyone but me and some of my family anyway. But suffice it to say that I really NOTICE the number 11:11 these days, something I don't remember noticing when Mom was alive, and whenever I glance at a clock and see that the time is 11:11, I always feel like Mom is close and I whisper hello. This monthly series will be intended to try to capture an image of that moment twice a day, every day. Here is the first week (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window): "11:11, Week 1"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Comments on Comments and the Required Oscar Dish

Comments on Comments I want to thank everyone again who commented with ideas for names for my latest quilt series. I'm not going to reply to each one individually, so please accept my big group hug, along with air kisses and exclamations of "you're pretty!". Also, thank you for the comments about my adventures in Lexington and for the congrats you sent on my quilts being accepted into the AQS exhibit in Paducah. :::beam::: I thought I'd respond here to a couple of things people said or asked. About yesterday's Simple Still Life post, Gerrie asked: "Love the bench setting. Are they all your hats?" Two are mine - the straw one with the black band and the solid black one, which is a vintage hat from around 1940. The black cowboy hat with the gold band is Johnny's. Regarding Paducah and the quilts that got in, Amy asked: "Do you eat your grilled cheese with tomato soup? I thought my grandparents were the only ones who did that!" I know LOADS of people who love that combo, so your grandparents aren't alone! Truth be told, I prefer my grilled cheese with chili or with veggie soup, but tomato soup is good too and that's what the colors in the quilt reminded me of. (Everyone please be careful not to trip on that dangling participle, ok? Thanks!) And Caity said: "OMG Deb, you have TWO quilts going to Paducah? And you're even THINKING about not going? YOU HAVETA GO, girl!!" Mmm, well, yes, not to sound obnoxiously BLASE about it or anything, but I've had several quilts in Paducah in previous years. So, yes, I'm EXCITED, truly I am, but I'm not feeling like I'll just melt into a puddle and die if I don't go see them hanging. Here's the thing - a group of people I know from online are getting together in June and I reallyReally want to go see them (although I'm still trying to work out the details). In purely practical terms of time and money, I can probably work it out to take that trip in June, OR I could probably work it out to go to Paducah next month, but I probably CAN'T do both. So. Hhhmmm. Still thinking about that one. And I know all-too-well that the hotel situation in Paducah is always a nightmare during quilt show week. If I DO go this year, I can pretty much guarantee I will be staying miles and MILES from town. Bleah. Oscars Snark and Snaps Well, didja watch? Didja, DIDJA? I did, although I muted huge chunks of it and read parts of a book during those sections. I refuse to watch the commercials or listen to the acceptance speeches (although I heard a couple of those were good this year). I also don't have a lot to say about what did or didn't win because I haven't seen most of the movies that were nominated in the major categories, at least not yet. But I can comment on the clothes! Heh. Joshilyn had come good remarks on her blog this morning if you want to pop over and take a look. Here's some of what I replied to her there, as well as some stuff I forgot to say that I'll add here: 1. In response to Joss's comment about so many women wearing flesh-colored dresses, I said: You're SO RIGHT about the sea of ivory/cream/beige/gold/white dresses! And the women who weren't in those shades mostly had on black, or colors so dark they read as black in all but the brightest light - dark green (Charlize), plum (Meryl), burgundy (Kiera). I complained that the Project Runway designers seemed to have a color-phobia this year...Apparently it extends to professional designers and Hollywood stylists as well! 2. I thought Salma Hayak in her electric blue gown looked HOT. It was like seeing a bird of paradise blooming in a field of daisies. Ok, sparkly daisies, but still...I'm just sayin'. 3. I loved J Lo's mossy green vintage gown too. It looked fabulous on her (and I don't even LIKE J Lo.) 4. In response to Joss's comment about some of the actresses looking too thin and saying they'd look even more beautiful if they'd gain 5 lbs. or so, I said: I'm pretty sure Charlize Theron beat you to the idea that Hollywood women are too thin and had some cookies stuffed into that bag she had slung over her shoulder. That way she could munch down a few carbs when the cameras weren't on her. How clever of her stylist to make the feed bag match her dress, yes? That way I bet most people assumed that was just a big-ass ugly bow! 5. I think Larry McMurtry (sp?) should have been sent home to change his pants before being allowed on stage. They weren't even NICE jeans, ferpetessake! It was like his top half was at the Oscars while his bottom half was mucking out a stable! 6. What a shame that Naomi Watts didn't have time to get a new dress and had to wear the one with the trim that was shredded by a cat. Poor thing. 7. I soSO wish Nicole Kidman would go back to red hair. I think she looks sickly and washed-out as a blonde, especially since she's one of the women who was nominated (by me! heh) in both the "sea of ivory" and "needs to eat a sandwich now and then" categories that were so popular last night. 8. Did I mention that Salma Hayak looked incredible? 9. I also thought Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and Jessica Alba looked fabulous, despite all three of them participating in the Lack Of Color Parade. 10. Opening skit - surprisingly funny! 11. Also funny - Ben Stiller's green bodysuit silliness, Will Farrell and Steve Carrell in their unique make-up, Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep doing their Robert Altman tribute bit, George Clooney's comment on receiving the supporting Oscar actor that he must not have won for director (not only funny, but insightful!), and Jennifer Garner's recovery and comment about doing her own stunts after tripping on the hem of her gown. So what caught YOUR eye at the Oscars last night? What were you happy about? What, if anything, made you groan, or mute the sound, or want to throw something at the screen? If you didn't watch and want to see photos of some of the clothes I talked about, you can see red carpet photos here. Just click on the link that says "Red Carpet Gallery". Daily Art Thang I'm rebelling at the lack of color last night and doing a tribute to color this morning. Here's a digital photo collage I call: "Celebration of Green"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Name That Quilt Series! Contest Winners (yes, that's right, plural)

Hi honey, I'm home! I know, I know...Y'all are saying "you were gone??". Yep, I was. My hubby had to work out of town this weekend but he was close enough for me to drive up and see him, so I left yesterday morning for a date and got back this afternoon. The people across the hall from us in the hotel were having a VERY good time last night and I hardly got any sleep, so I'm going to go take what my friend Morven calls a NanaNap in a minute, but before I do I wanted to update you on the Name That Quilt Series! contest. First I have to say that you're all SuperFantastic for coming up with so many ideas, ranging from fun and funny to elegant and evocative. Before we get to my final decision, there were a few that didn't win that I have to mention as Honorable Mentions because I loved them so much. kristen's suggestion of "Boris and Natasha" is Too Funny. I'm not going to use that as the series name, but I might use that idea to name an individual quilt or quilts within the series. I don't feel too bad that you didn't win though, kristen, because you won the "which movie did this song come from?" contest last weekend and your prize is going to be one of this same series of postcards. So that's not so bad, right? (I'll get your postcard in the mail later this week.) I also loved Morven's suggestion of "Efflorescence" and Laume's suggestion of "Capriccio", both of which fell into the elegant and evocative category. But I know my own lazy ass too well and had visions of becoming very frustrated over time as I a) had to keep looking up how to spell those words and b) had to explain to everyone and his cousin what they meant. So I regretfully decided to pass. And since I Loooooves me a good pun (Hey!..."good pun" is NOT an oxymoron! Sheesh!), I laughed out loud at Lilymane's suggestion of "Summer Moose (Some Ain't)". But again I ran into the mental wall of "if I do things with this series long-term, do I want to constantly explain the series title to people who don't get why I think it's hilarious?". And again, my answer was a regretful no. I found I kept coming back time and again to the various titles that either a) incorporated the word spiral or b) incorporated the idea of dancing - dance, tango, samba, etc. Those were the ones that felt the most right to me, but none of the titles submitted combined the two ideas, so I did that myself. The name of the series is going to be "Spiral Dance". Hope y'all like it, but I like it and since I'll be the one living with it, I suppose that's what counts, yes? So as promised, I gave everyone who participated a chance to win for each suggestion submitted. And since there were so many, I decided to draw two names instead of just one. I drew one name from among all the entries and I drew a second name from among only those entries that incorporated the words "spiral" (or "spira"), "dance", "tango", or "samba". The first name I drew is Laume and the second is Henna! Congrats you two! I hope you enjoy your postcards! I now need snail mail addies for both of you so I can send your cards. One leeeeetle bitty potential problem though - Henna, you have your profile set to anonymous and you didn't provide an email address in comments as I'd requested, so I'm hoping you'll check back here and see this! I'll wait a couple of days, but if I haven't heard from you by Tuesday, 11:59 PM US Eastern Standard Time, I'll draw another name (you can find my email address on my sidebar or my profile page). Laume, I have your email addy, so I'll contact you privately for your snail mail addy. Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to comment!! Y'all are the BEST!

Simple Still Life: Month the Seventh, Part the First

Our assignment this month: Three Alike but Different. I photographed three different hats. Here are my two favorite shots. I have no clue yet what I'll do with either photograph by the end of the month, but these are my starting point for the March Simple Still Life challenge. "3 Hats" "3 Hats Redux" I'll be back with another post this afternoon to announce the winner of the Name That Quilt Series! contest, so stay tuned.