Friday, June 30, 2006

This, That, and the Other

This Don't forget, you have the rest of today to suggest possible ideas for next month's self-portraits before I close comments for that post. If you have an idea, post it in the comments section here. There are some GREAT ideas coming in. It's going to be hard to choose. The one thing I will go ahead and say now (in case those who suggested this want to try again) is that I'm not going to do Self-Portrait as a Quilter - not because it isn't a great idea, but because it's such a good idea that I already did it for a different SPC theme! If you want to take a look, click on the archive for November, 2005, and it's the entry for Nov. 1st. (I'll mention too, if you decide to click on the November archives, there's a little audioblog thingie somewhere in that month too for anyone who is sadly delusional enough to think they'd like to hear my voice and hasn't seen/heard that entry yet.) Other than that one suggestion I've already done though, it's still wide open! So go ahead...make some more suggestions and make it even harder for me to choose! That Thank you for all the lovely comments on the poem and photo yesterday. I said I wasn't going to tell which words were Good or Bad, but now that a few of you have guessed, I'll spill. First of all, there weren't any in there that I truly hated. I sort of thought there would be, but the ones I tried just didn't work. (Not because I didn't like them, they just didn't fit. There were several words on the Good list that I thought might work that refused to hang out in that poem too.) That said, I'm not crazy about the word "cocoon." I think saying it aloud sounds like stuttering and also to me the word itself sounds smothering, if that makes sense. That's the word in there that I dislike the most if we're talking about strictly how it sounds rather than what it means. However there were oodles (ha! told you I used that word!) of words in there that I love. I love the sound of: bliss, affability, sinuous, crisp, murmur, tickle, exotic, erotic, esoteric, and trickle! The Other It probably won't be hard to guess from today's Daily Art Thang that my brain is still stuck on the subject of pattern. "Shadow Pattern" I actually got ambitious this week and re-edited some of my favorite past DATs into higher res files and had four of them printed as 8 x 10 prints and framed. Dunno where I'll hang them yet, but I thought it was time to bring some of them out of virtual reality and into my Real World. It may turn out to be a bit addictive!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Favorite and Not-So-Favorite Words

This week for Poetry Thursday, I'm revisiting the prompt from last week, to write a poem based around words we love, or words we detest, or both. I actually started working on something for that prompt last week, but didn't get it finished by Thursday. However, the process got me thinking about how I work when I do anything creative - quilting, writing, collage, digitally altered photos, all sorts of things - and I realized there's a definite pattern to how I approach most creative endeavors and that pattern is a big part of why I tend to not be able to write anything very quickly for these Poetry Thursday prompts. Possibly that should have been a "duh!" moment for me, but it felt like something of a revelation. I thought about talking about that too, but I have a feeling that's a post that will get long so I think I'll save it for another day - maybe this weekend. Stop back if you're interested in hearing more! Meanwhile, on to the poem. It isn't titled yet. Maybe a title will click for me at some point, maybe not. I'll leave it to you to guess which words might have served as my inspiration and whether they were on my good list or my bad list.
"Ignorance is bliss," they tell her, all complacent affability. "Here's a cocoon - a perfect world. No need to struggle or strive or think." If perfection binds and pulls, and pinches - just a bit, Surely the fault must lie in her. Isn't it enough to be warm, and dry, and safe? On a late summer day he glides into view, all sinuous motion, Holding a bitter seed of rebellion wrapped tight in crisp sweet flesh. "Taste it if you dare," he murmurs, a hot tickle against her skin. "Open your eyes to mysteries unimagined and explore worlds exotic, erotic, esoteric." "Ignorance is bliss," they tell her, all paternal concern. "Knowledge is power," she replies as the juice trickles down her chin.
"Knowledge" If you want to read more poems from an assortment of very talented people, go here and follow the links posted in comments. I bet you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

O is for...

Time for another WordPlay Personal Dictionary Entry! If you want to know more about how and why I started doing this series of posts, read my "A is for..." entry. If you want to see a list of more people doing the same thing, check out Laume's WordPlay site. Now here we go... O is for... Ocean - I love to look at it. I love to listen to it. I love to smell it. I love to put my feet in it. I love to ride in boats on it. I used to think I'd like to live by it, but after renting a beach house a time or two I'm not so sure about that anymore. (I'm tellin' ya, you find sand in places you never knew sand could go!) But I still think it would be cool to live within sight of it or at least close enough to drive to it easily. Ohio - The state where I was born and the state that ties with Kentucky for the place I've lived the longest. Oranges, Olives, Oatmeal, Oatmeal cookies, Onion Rings (extra crispy!), Oysters (cooked ones!) - O-foods I like. Orange - A color I like a lot. Oz - I've always liked watching Dorothy's adventures in Oz. And of course it's a nickname for Australia, where I'd love to visit. Olympus - I'm a huge fan of Olympus cameras. I'm currently on my second Olympus digital and my second Olympus film camera (not that I use the film one much anymore). Oak - One of my very favorite types of trees. Odd - A word that has been used to describe me. :-) Also I prefer odd numbers to even numbers. I don't know why. I just do. Optimistic - That would be me! Not only do I think the proverbial glass is half-full, I think I see someone headed this way with a refill pitcher. Obstinate - That would be me also, at least sometimes. Most of the time I'm pretty easy-going and willing to compromise, but now and then when I really have my mind and heart set on something, you might as well try to change the mind of a rock. Occult - A topic that interests me. Oldest (child) - Me again! Overachiever - Some people would say this describes me too, but I think the word "overachiever" is an Oxymoron. If we're taught from earliest childhood to do our best and to be all we can be, and we try to do that, then I think whatever things we achieve are just that - achievements. I don't think it's possible to "over" achieve, unless the lesson we're really trying to teach children is "do your best unless your best is too good and makes other people feel bad, and in that case you should try not to do so well." I think that would be a ridiculous thing to teach! So I'd like to see the word overachiever disappear from common usage. Oodles, Ouch, Oh well - O-stuff I say a lot. Outstanding, Outrageous - O-words I like. "O is for..." (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Suggest a Theme! Win Big Prizes!

(Ok, the prizes wouldn't really be big, but you'd have a shot at winning a small prize. That's still kind of fun, yes?) Here's the deal - I mentioned earlier that the Self-Portrait Challenge theme for July sounded intriguing to me but I haven't decided what I want to do with it. The theme for July is "Self-Portrait as ..." The examples they showed included self portrait as a liar, self portrait as a chair, self portrait as if I were dead (bleah!), self portrait as Cindy Sherman, self portrait as Marlon Brando, self portrait as a sow, self portrait as a wife and mother, self portrait as a shaker, self portrait as a shamen, self portrait as quadruplets, self portrait as subhuman, self portrait as pregnant, self portrait as a yeti, self portrait as Ophelia. In comments, Tish mentioned that she was asking for suggestions on her blog. Never being one to mind stealing borrowing a good idea, I'm doing the same thing here. So if you're sitting there thinking to yourself "Ooooh, I'd love to see Deb do a Self-Portrait as ____ for this challenge" then tell me so in comments. I'm not promising to do everything suggested. I'm not even promising to do anything suggested. (I'm not quite that trusting. Heh.) But I will look over all the suggestions (if any!) and choose up to four to try for this challenge. Remember, no guarantees - if you want a good shot at it, try to think of something you think I'd find fun to do! (I strongly recommend against suggesting barnyard animals or corpses, for example. I'm just sayin'.) If I choose to try a theme you suggest, I'll send you a little prize in the mail (probably a made-by-me fabric postcard or something similar). Obviously to qualify, I have to be able to contact you if you win and get your snail mail addy. Sound fun? Good! Then start throwing those ideas my way! PS...Oh yeah, a deadline...hhhmmm...I'll throw the floor open for suggestions for the next two days and will close comments on this post when I log on Saturday morning. That gives me the weekend to figure out props and things if I need them before the first entry is due. PPS...I just realized that closing this Saturday morning gives you three days intstead of two. Hey, I never said math was my strong suit!

Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art, Week 4

It's time for the final week of June's Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art. For this one, I was trying to transform the original photo into a fairly abstract look and come up with something reminiscent of a psychedelic poster. A poster? Hhhmmm, not sure about that. But it's pretty darn psychedelic! "Psychedelic Heat Wave" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) I've really enjoyed doing the pop art self-portraits this month - enough so that I may throw new ones in as a Daily Art Thang now and then just for fun! I think the SPC theme for July has the potential to be fun and interesting too, although I haven't decided yet quite where I'm going with it. Oh well, it'll be this time next week before the first of those is due, so I'll think about it tomorrow, at Tara. Fiddle-dee-dee!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Just a Little Fib

I think the prompt over at One Deep Breath this week is SO cool! The challenge is to write a Fib - a variation on Haiku where the line and syllable count is based on the first few lines of the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathmatical sequence sometimes found in nature (nautilus shells, for instance) and also frequently used in traditional quilt design (whether the original designer knew it or not!). Susan says: "In essence, there are only 2 rules. The first rule is the sequence of syllables which is 1/1/2/3/5/8. The second rule is that no one-syllable lines can contain an article (the, a, la, le, etc.)" So, make sense? A total of 20 syllables, spread in a specific sequence over 6 lines. Fun! My Fib is inspired by a combination of a photo I took yesterday and that old saying about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Here it is: Tall Green Stem and Broad leaves reach For the sky so the Yellow disk can flatter the sun. "Flattering the Sun" I suddenly have visions of making up Fibs all over the place. Oh dear!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #21

Casa Richardson Purge Update: Between the bedroom closet and the studio/library/'puter room I currently have 8 garbage bags in the back seat of my car, filled with clothing, fabric, and other Stuff that I'm giving away. Plus we've hauled out one bag of stuff to be used as shop rags and 6 bags of trash. Gulp. And I'm not quite finished - nearly so, but there's a handful of Stuff still scattered around the house that I need to make decisions about and either put away, find new homes for, or discard. No wonder it was crowded and messy in here, yes? I'm on fire now. I'm thinking I might tackle the pantry next. Yeah, baby! "Sticks of Hope": I heard about this from my friend Jaye. It's a program to help support the City of Hope Pediatric Cancer Center. If you go to the website and write a message of hope or encouragement or even a little joke on a virtual ice cream stick, Nestle will donate 25 cents for every message written. It doesn't cost you anything and all the children undergoing treatment at the center have access to the messages people leave for them. If it sounds good to you, then pop on over to Sticks of Hope and leave a message for the kids! Photos from a Walk: J and I went for a walk yesterday evening and I saw the tiniest frog I've ever seen in my life. (I am using the words frog and toad interchangeably here. I don't know enough about amphibians to know how to tell the difference and frankly don't much care. Heh.) I'd taken the camera along and we were taking turns trying to get some photos of the butterflies and moths hanging out on a stand of butterfly weeds. J had the camera when I looked down by my feet and saw what I thought at first was a spider (shudder) and then realized was an incredibly tiny frog. J came back over and picked him up so I could get a picture: What? He doesn't look so tiny? Take a look here then: I have no idea where his mama was, but I hope he's still out there and ok! Today's Daily Art Thang is one of the aforementioned butterfly pics. I took this one: "A Moment in Late June" (clickable if you want to see it a bit larger in a new window)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

June Bliss List

It's Bliss List time again! Here are some things that have been making me feel Blissful in June:
  • A new floor and new paint colors in the studio/library/'puter room! Yay!!!
  • Fresh berries - Yum!
  • The scent of honeysuckle in the air
  • "Magnifico Mexico" nail polish on my toe nails
  • Roses in bloom
  • New shoes
  • Ditch lilies (wild orange daylilies) blooming all over the place
  • Putting away jeans, sweaters, and boots in favor of capris, t-shirts, and sandals
  • Coming home from a walk to find a double rainbow above our house
"June Bliss" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) What's making you feel blissful this month?

Friday, June 23, 2006

New and Improved Studio Tour

Despite working hard yesterday, I didn't get everything totally finished in the big re-do, but I said I'd share some photos anyway, so here they are. I hope you enjoy them because I can pretty much guarantee you will never EVER see this room looking this neat again! If you want to see the Before pics, you can click here to see a Virtual Studio Tour I posted a little over a year ago. Take note of the Autumn white (aka pale pink!) walls, the blah wallpaper border, the dirty-uggie carpet, and the clutter. Here are the After pics. All of them are clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window. (File sizes on the larger pics range from around 60 - 100 kb.) Starting at the door, here is the first big bookshelf in the room. It will be more full when I'm done. I have about 3/4 of my fabric sorted and put away, but there's still a bit of it that needs to be brought back in and either discarded (I don't mean thrown away. I've found a group who make quilts for charity and I'm giving the excess fabric to them.) or shelved and what I keep will join what you see here. Then we continue around the room. You can just see the corner of the 'puter desk in the photo above. Here's the desk, along with my Inspiration Board and some of my art collection - some pieces by me, but most of the ones you see here are by friends of mine. Here, obviously, is where you can see the green feature wall meeting the brown walls too. Don't you think the brown color looks like melted chocolate ice cream? I do! Oh, and here's the first glimpse of the new curtains. They're simple cotton duck tab tops in a sort of mattress-ticking stripe in various neutral shades, from creams through tans and browns, through a sort of olive color. In this next photo you can see the whole window we saw the beginning of in the photo above. There's the jewelry armoire that holds my bead collection and my Tarot decks and the old china cabinet that J and I picked up at a yard sale and refinished. It holds some finished quilts, fabric, and other sewing supplies. Eventually there will be some artwork above the bead/Tarot cabinet, but I haven't decided what to put there yet. You can also see my cutting table (there'll be a few more things on the peg board, but I haven't retrieved them from around the house yet!) and this is the pic where you get the best view of the new floor. I LOVE this new floor! Continuing on past the cutting table, here is the final corner of the room. You can just barely see the edge of the door facing in the far right of the photo. That's the door where we started the tour. The right corner of the sewing desk won't be so neat when I'm done because it'll have a pincushion, seam ripper, scissors, and a few other things there. And when I'm working on a quilt, there'll be an ironing board set up in this corner as well as a design cloth hanging over part of the book shelf. But doesn't it look pretty right now? {smile} You can see more of my art collection in this pic too - again both my work and the work of some friends. I hope you enjoyed the tour! Now I have to get back to dragging some more stuff in here and junking it up. Heh. I really hope to pay some blog visits this weekend too. I want to see what all you Poetry Thursday participants did and I had almost no time to look yesterday! I plan to have a nice long blog surfing session this weekend. Hmph. Today's Daily Art Thang is yet another self-portrait, done from the same photo as yesterday's version. I like the one I posted yesterday better, but had to show this one today because of the way it fits into the Green/Brown color scheme of the day. "Self-Portrait: Neon Nature" (also clickable) PS...I know this is another of those SPs where I look kinda mean....Sorry! I wasn't mad, honest, just not laughing!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Advice and Appreciation and a Mini Progress Report

This weeks (CATO) prompt for Poetry Thursday (based on an idea I mentioned - Yay!) is to write a poem based on words you love or words you hate or both. Naturally I really like this idea! BUT (c'mon, y'all knew there'd be a "but", right?) I've discovered that no matter how much I like the PT prompts, I need more than the time from Monday to Thursday to complete one. So I've started making notes to myself and working on something, but I can't give you a Love/Hate/(both?) poem today. I'll revisit this prompt another week. Hopefully it'll be a week when I don't have so much going on as I do this week. This room is STILL not truly finished, but I'm continuing to work on it and tomorrow I'll post some pics whether it's done or not. Pppffftt. Yesterday I had to take a break from it to go to town and buy groceries, because no matter how busy we are, J seems to think we still need to eat every single day. Sheesh. Men! And I really think soon I'm going to have to take another break from this room and do a little work on the rest of the house. I've been letting it slide even more than usual (and I am not, under the best of circumstances, exactly a perfect housekeeper!!), and I think the dustbunnies have reached invasion proportions and are starting to hatch a takeover plot. ANYWAY...before I jump back into this seemingly neverending project I'll share a couple of short poems with you. The first one is one I wrote in response to a contest Lizardek ran on her blog a few weeks ago. Her brother was getting married and Liz requested that her readers give him some bits of advice for a long and happy marriage. But the contest was that the advice had to be in the form of a poem and it had to rhyme - no free verse. I came up with a bit of important wisdom and put it into limerick form and submitted it and I won the contest! Yay! (Thanks Liz and Liz Elayne, who was the wise and discerning judge.) This is what I won: (It's an incense burner from Germany.) And this is the advice I wrote: If ever your wife asks of thee "Is that girl hotter than me?" Don't think and don't sigh, Just quickly reply, "She's not and she never could be." And here's a poem I like and that suits my current mood of paring back on Stuff and appreciating what I have. To a Poor Old Woman munching a plum on the street a paper bag of them in her hand They taste good to her They taste good to her. They taste good to her You can see it by the way she gives herself to the one half sucked out in her hand Comforted a solace of ripe plums seeming to fill the air They taste good to her. ~~~William Carlos Williams Today's Daily Art Thang has absolutely nothing to do with either poem (the time thing again!) but is one of my rejected Pop Art self-portraits that I won't be able to use for the SPC challenge because there aren't enough Tuesdays in June. So I'll share it here instead. "Self-Portrait in White(-ish)" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

N is for...

Time for another WordPlay Personal Dictionary Entry! If you want to know more about how and why I started doing this series of posts, read my "A is for..." entry. If you want to see a list of more people doing the same thing, check out Laume's WordPlay site. Now here we go... N is for... Nature - I need to connect with it pretty regularly or I start getting stressed out and mean. Nail Polish - Ooooh, shiny! Pretty colors! I almost never polish my finger nails (not because I don't like the look of polished finger nails, but because I just can't keep it on my hands), but my toe nails are nearly always polished. Nectarines, Nachos - Some N-foods I like. New Zealand - Where my friend Morven lives and someplace I'd really love to visit. Night Owl - That would be me. Left to my own internal clock, with no obligations and no one else to consider, I'd stay up most of the night and sleep away most of the morning. (My compromise, since I DO have other considerations, is to stay up until around 1:00 - 2:00 am most nights and then sleep until 8:00 - 9:00 am or so.) Normal - A myth I keep hearing about, but have never actually seen firsthand. My theory is that there really is no "normal" as most people mean the word. There's only an infinite variety of "quirky" and when you find a flavor of quirk that comes close to matching your own personal quirkiness, it feels normal. Numbers - Evil tricksy things that are supposed to line up and behave in logical predictable ways, but never seem to do so for me. I get along much better with Words than with Numbers. Nine - My Life Path Number, if you're into Numerology. Nuclear - Something that, sadly, I can pronounce much better than the so-called leader of this country. Novels - Love them! I suppose I proved that by moving well over 1000 books in the past few days (twice! once out, once back in!), most of which are novels. Also, I once wrote a bad-ish novel for the NaNoWriMo challenge, just to see if I could. Nice - A bland, annoyingly-overused word for what is really a rather, well, NICE concept. According to Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster, Nice means "pleasing, agreeable, kind." I'd like to hope I am those things as often as I can be without compromising who I am. Naughty - On the other hand, being Naughty can sometimes be more fun. :-) Now! - When I want things. Heh. I sometimes consider options and possibilities for AGES before I make a decision about what I want. But once the decision is made, my patience for delayed gratification is almost Nil. I really should work on that. Ahem. "Never - say Never" is a motto to live by. Sometimes I forget and say I'll "never" do something, but I really try not to say that too often or too seriously because I've found the Universe has a very off-the-wall sense of humor and declaring "Never" too often or too seriously seems to tempt said Universe to reply "Oh really? Well, let's see about that!" North Carolina - J and I lived there briefly and we still have friends there. Also I love to visit the Outer Banks area. "North by Northwest" - I love Cary Grant. I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. Combine the two and it just doesn't get much better. They did several good movies together, but this is one of my favorites. Nap - Honestly, I'm not much of a napper. But every now and then it's just the perfect, comforting, refreshing thing to do. Nicknames - I'm a NicknameNut when it comes to animals. Every pet I've ever had has had at least 2 or 3 names in addition to their real name, sometimes more. Nasty, Numbnuts, "Never Mind" (that last one said in my best Emily Litella voice) - N-stuff I say with some frequency. (Numbnuts is one of my Nicknames for my cat.) Nebulous, Numinous, Naked, Nurturing, Nimbus, Nascent - N-words I like! "N is for..." (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art, Week 3

Time for the third installment of June's Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art. I'm not quite sure where I was going with this one except that it reminded me of both newsprint and graffiti and I liked it. Good enough. (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) Warning: Abrupt Change of Subject (I'm too lazy to bother making it into a separate post!) Progress Report on the Great Redecorating Project of '06 - I found curtains and they are pressed and hung. All the books that are coming back into the room are back and shelved. (And man, was THAT ever a job!) I managed to cull out a few more, although not quite as many as I first thought I might, since it hasn't been all that long since I did my big book purge. The plan for today: Start sorting fabric into keep/lose piles and bring the keepers back in here to be shelved. Start putting some artwork back on the walls. As much as I like the new wall colors, all this wall nakedness is getting on my nerves. I swear I'll have After photos by no later than the weekend, but I don't want to post any until the I have everything back in here. Then I'll post not only pics of the re-do, but a link to some photos I took in here a year or so ago so that you can truly see the Before and After. Oh yeah, and I saw a rainbow yesterday! I took pics. For a little while there was part of a second one, but it was so faint I'm not sure it'll show up in any of the photos. I'll post one or more of those photos soon too.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Haiku: Pathways

I just popped over to see what the prompt is this week at One Deep Breath and found out the theme is "Pathways." Cool! I took a photo just a few days ago that fits that theme and it made me think of a Haiku. So here we go. My shadow rushes ahead, eager to reach the path. A journey starts. "A Journey Starts"

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Borders of Heck are in Sight!

Progress Report: I feel like I'm seeing the borders of Heck on the horizon, y'all! The walls are painted. (Love 'em!) The new floor is down. (Love it LOTS!) All the major heavy-ass pieces of furniture are back in place. (Yay!) What is left to do: Retrieve all the books, papers, tools, gadgets, fabric, notions, art supplies, et-frickin'-cetera from all over the rest of the house and find places for them all in here. Well, for some of them anyway. I decided I'm going to take this opportunity to continue the household purge theme and be a bit selective about what comes back in here. Even though I got rid of bunches of books a few months ago, I'm sure there are more that can go. Ditto for fabric and lots and lots of other stuff. I don't know yet what I'll do with the extras - sell them, give them away, whatever! - but I'll figure it out. I also need to buy new curtains. You'd have thought I'd have realized that when I started planning all this, but nooooooo. I only realized yesterday that the curtains I had in here before would look ghastly with the new wall colors. So now I have one bare window on the north side and the window on the west has some white foam stuff (underlay material for the floor!) temporarily taped over it to filter the harsh western afternoon sun until I can find something. It looks so glam! HA! I think I'll head to town later this morning and see if they have anything, but it may take a trip to Lexington or Cincinnati. Once the STUFF and the curtains are in place, photos will follow, pinkie swear. Before I go, I want to say Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, but especially (of course!) to my own. I love you, Dad! "Happy Father's Day"

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Countdown Meme

I'm still in Heck, but J is home again, so at least I have company. I won't go into all the gory details YET, but let's just say we're getting there. I can foresee a time when I may have a lovely and functional workroom again. Yay! I'll get back to the promised hair pic too. I thought it looked so cute Thursday, but when I try to style it myself I think it just pretty much looks like it looked before she cut it! However I don't have time to explore this mystery yet. I'll look into it further when I'm out of Heck. For now, I'm going to do a weekend sort of thing and post a meme. I got this one from Crazy Aunt Purl (aka Laurie) months ago, but then didn't post it because I'd done a meme not long before that I thought was a bit too similar. But recently I was clearing out some old Stuff in my 'puter files and ran across this list and it felt all shiny and new again and I decided to post it this weekend. (Aren't you SO thrilled and excited? Yeah, I thought so.) So let's start the Countdown! TEN random things you might not know about me: 1. I used to have an Aunt Chicken, who wasn't really my aunt and wasn't really named Chicken, but that's what we always called her. 2. I don't now, nor did I ever, have an Uncle Rooster. 3. I used to wish my middle name was Marie. 4. I got over it. 5. I used to be really freaked out by driving across bridges. 6. I got over that too, at least mostly. 7. I didn't do anything to get over it - I just realized one day that it doesn't bother me as much as it used to. 8. As much as I love chocolate candy, I prefer flavors other than chocolate when it comes to nearly any other sort of sweet like cake, pie, cookies, ice cream, etc. 9. You couldn't pay me to go to one of my high school or college reunions. I'm SO over any interest in most of those people. 10. Ok, actually, you could pay me to go. But it would be expensive. NINE places I've visited: 1. Belize City, Belize 2. Niagra Falls, both USA and Canadian sides 3. Maui, Hawaii, USA 4. Cozumel, Mexico 5. Door County, Wisconsin, USA 6. Nassau, Bahamas 7. Mammoth Cave, Glasgow, Kentucky, USA 8. Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA 9. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA EIGHT ways to win my heart: 1. Feed me a home-cooked meal that I had absolutely nothing to do with preparing and that I don't have to clean up after. 2. Include a decadent home-made dessert! 3. Be nice to my dogs. (Bonus points if you're also nice to my evil cat) 4. Let me take photos of you without complaining about how you hate to have your picture taken, or how you don't like your hair, or how those pants make you look fat, or whatever - in other words, don't poop on my photo party, at least not always. 5. Don't be offended or take it personally when I need some quiet time alone. 6. Tell me you like something I've created - anything I've created! (bonus points if you can articulate why you like it; double bonus points if you can articulate why you like it without ever using the word "cute") 7. Laugh and play along with me instead of being embarrassed when I do weird stuff like singing "Let It Snow" in public. In July. While trying without much success to sound like Shirley Temple. 8. Listen when I talk - really, truly LISTEN. SEVEN things I want to do before I die: 1. Go to Europe. 2. Go to New Zealand. 3. Go to Australia. 4. Go to Egypt. 5. Go to Alaska. 6. Go to the Grand Canyon. 7. Go to Yellowstone National Park. (Do we sense a theme here???) SIX things I'm afraid of: 1. Spiders (according to one study, the #2 phobia of all, behind public speaking, but ahead of death! I will speak in public until I die before I want to be in close contact with spiders.) 2. Small, closed-in spaces 3. Deep water 4. Dentists 5. Fanaticism (of any persuasion) 6. The thought of those I love being sick or in pain. FIVE things I don't like: 1. Cruelty 2. Willful stupidity (as opposed to someone who is clueless, but willing to learn) 3. TV news 4. Liver 5. Thongs (the undies, not the shoes) FOUR ways to turn me off: 1. Create drama where there doesn't need to be any. 2. Hurt someone weaker than you, including animals. 3. Ignore personal hygiene for extended periods of time. 4. Try to change me. THREE things I do every day: 1. Read 2. Write 3. Walk TWO things that make me happy: 1. Cuddling with J on the couch at the end of the day 2. Watching my dogs play (and playing along) ONE thing on my mind right now: 1. Getting myself out of Heck, preferably to go away somewhere with J for a couple of days. If drinks with umbrellas in them and/or full body massages are part of the deal, so much the better. Want to play along? Tell me so in comments and you can consider yourself officially tagged. Of course you can also comment without requesting a tag. But I bet you knew that. Here's today's Daily Art Thang. We have hundreds upon hundreds of daisies growing wild in our fields. I had to capture at least a few of them in a photo before they get chopped down when they mow the hay next week. "Daisy June"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Seeking: One Full Moon

This may seem like an odd day to do a TwoFer blog post, considering how loooooong (but I hope entertaining!) my painting post ended up. But I'm going to do the TwoFer anyway because I woke up this morning with a Haiku in my head and I've really gotta get that thing outta there before it crowds out something important. You see, the theme this week over at One Deep Breath is "Moonstruck." The idea was to go out and gaze at the full moon and be inspired to write a poem about how it looked or how it made you feel. But I hadn't done it because a) I tried two nights in a row and couldn't see any moon because of heavy cloud cover, and b) I got busy and forgot to try again. But this morning I had the bones of an idea for a Haiku about not being able to see the moon. I figure that works for the prompt too. So here it is: I seek the gleam of The sun's reflected glory. I find clouds of grey. Click on the link above if you want to read more Moonstruck musings.

A Little Slice of Hell

Oh, ok...A Little Slice of HECK! (It isn't really THAT bad.) If I've been a little scarce repaying blog visits the last couple of days (and might continue to be for a few more!), I hope you'll bear with me. I hope to catch up soon. I'm not spending much time on the 'puter right now because I'm trapped in Redecorating Hell. Or Heck. Whatever. J just had a couple of days home from work and we moved massive amounts of books and fabric and Stuff, and moved two of the biggest pieces of furniture away from what is destined to be The Green Wall in the Library/Sewing Room/Puter Room. Yesterday morning J went back to work and left me to paint. Before he left, we had a little discussion about the paint I bought. It went something like this: J (looking skeptically at the itty-bitty can of green paint): "Do you think that's enough?" D (laughing in a very "poo-poo you silly boy" sort of manner): "Of COURSE it's enough! I'm only painting one wall green!" J (continuing The Look): "But...." D (putting on the Domestic Goddess Knows Best face and holding up the gallon size can of brown paint while showing off her Mad Math Skillz [Hey! You in the back! Stop with the laughing! Sheesh]): "Jooooohnyyyy, this one says it'll cover enough square footage to do the whole room! If this is enough to do four walls and the little can is 1/4 the size of the big one, then it should be enough to do one wall, right?" J (with The Look): "OoooKaaay. Whatever you say." J puts down itty-bitty can of green paint and backs away slowly. D rolls her eyes and wanders off, confident in her Skillz. Flash forward to later that day. I've been to town. I've had a haircut. Oh! If I can digress a minute (and really, since it's my blog, who's going to stop me?), I have to tell you that I had some layers cut into my hair and I think it turned out really cute! I'll have to take a pic soon. And maybe I'll even smile for the camera and not look like I want to beat someone up. MAYBE. I didn't mean for yesterday's Blue Alien pic to be so scary, but dammit, those flowers were telling me some awful stuff about what people are doing to the planet and I was getting pissed! But ANYWAY, back to Heck. I got home, changed clothes and got ready to paint. I did the trimmy stuff around the edges. Smooooth. I poured the paint into this Handy-Dandy Battery-Powered Paint Roller Dealio. Hhhmmm....that sure doesn't look very full in there. Oh well, I KNOW it's enough to do one wall, so it'll be fine. Twenty minutes later I had 2/3 of one coat on that one wall and a HDBPPRD that was about to burn out if I didn't stop painting because it was running out of paint to suck up into the roller. Dammit!! That means J was right and I was oh so very, VERY wrong. I hate when that happens! Does anyone know a good recipe for crow? Soooo...I had to go back to town for more paint. And I decided I'd better get a gallon this time since that itty-bitty can didn't even finish ONE coat and I'm figuring I'll probably need to do three. And then I look at the can of brown paint, which I haven't started on yet, but which I was SOOOOO totally confident would cover the other three walls. Um, yeah, better buy some more brown too. I looked down at myself. I was dressed in rags. I'm not using a figure of speech here. I was wearing a pair of gym shorts and a big ol' t-shirt that I threw into the rag bag during last week's closet purge because I figured if I wouldn't wear them in public anymore, then they weren't good enough to give away. But then I remembered I would be painting and I went out to the garage and dug them out of the sack I'd stuffed them into because I didn't want to ruin any of the good clothes I kept and I am fundamentally incapable of painting anything at all - from a canvas, to fabric, to trim, to walls - without looking like I've been rolling in paint. So I was wearing clothes that were stretched, faded, pilled, paint-stained, and quite honestly probably hadn't been all that flattering when they were brand new. I also suspect they hadn't been improved by being stuffed into a garbage bag for several days. I knew I should probably change, but it was getting late and I was tired and hungry and cranky and pissed at being proven wrong, and dammit, I just wanted to be DONE. So yes, y'all, I went to town in rag bag clothes. I figured hardly anyone would see me because I'd do some hit-n-run shopping. I'd park by the garden center entrance and scoot in there and dash quickly over to the paint counter, buy what I needed and get out of there. In-out, easy-peasy. Or maybe nottie-wottie. First, no one was working at the paint counter. People kept wandering up and saying they didn't know how to mix paint but they'd page someone else for me. So they would, only no one would come except more people who said they couldn't help. Well, except to page someone else, of course. Eventually I told one little girl that I was thinking maybe I'd just go behind the counter and try to mix it myself. It didn't look THAT hard to do. She looked vaguely alarmed and scurried away and pretty soon someone showed up who could mix paint. Go figure! End of the problems? Oh, you sweet foolish dreamer, you! No, you see, I needed green paint AND brown paint. They both were formulated to be mixed into an accent base. Want to guess how many gallon-cans of flat latex accent base they had in the entire store? If you guessed ONE, you get a shiny gold star by your name. (If you guessed two or more, you haven't been paying attention to how my afternoon was going.) I thought in despair of my half-painted green wall and knew I'd have to go with the green and hope to get some more brown another day. But then, while the girl they'd found to mix the paint was doing her thing I had A Thought. "Hhhhmmm," said I, "You have one of those paint-matchy machines, right?" "Yeeeeah," she said cautiously. "Well," I said, "why couldn't we put the paint chip for the brown paint in the paint-matchy machine and let the Magic Matchy Fairy who lives inside tell us how to mix the color on a different base?" I was very proud of myself. I thought this was a brilliant plan. She, on the other hand, looked a little freaked. I'm not sure if it was the thought of doing something different than "normal" or the mention of the MMF that did it. But either way, I'll give her credit - she tried it and it worked! Yay! Or at least maybe it worked. It's not like I've tried painting with it yet or anything, but I compared it to the other gallon when I got it home and they LOOK the same - like big gallon cans full of melted chocolate ice cream! We'll see how it all goes when it comes time to paint the brown walls. Stay tuned... Speaking of green and brown (am I the Segue Queen or what!), I told Lynn a few days ago that I'd try to take some photos of the goats (some of whom are brown) at the goat farm (the grass of which is green) down the road. Never mind why. If you want to know why, go read Lynn's blog. (You should probably read Lynn's blog even if you don't want to know about the goats. She's a good writer.) First I got this shot, but it seemed a bit difficult to tell that these were actually goats: Then I got this shot, but the goats didn't seem to want to show me their best side: But then, finally, I got this shot: It ain't art, but it's better than sucking rocks. And I thought the one on the left was kind of handsome, for a goat. In fact, I decided to make him the feature of today's Daily Art Thang. "Goat Farm" And that, m'dears, was my Thursday in Heck. How was your day?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Poetry Thursday: "That One's Broken"

Liz Elayne and Lynn have declared this a sort of freestyle and/or catch-up week on Poetry Thursday, encouraging participants to post any poem they want, either as a response to a previous prompt or just something that shouts out "post me!" I love this idea! I hope this becomes a tradition to have a freestyle/catch-up week once every month or two. This week I'm choosing to revisit last week's prompt, the eavesdropping challenge. To refresh your memory, here were the instructions: "we'’re challenging you to go out into the world and listen to what people are saying. Make notes of things you hear, then shape those notes into a poem." And you may recall if you stopped by RSR last week, that I did the eavesdropping part of the challenge, taking notes on things I overheard while shopping one day (although I found I really had to concentrate because my mind often wandered - I discovered I'm not a natural eavesdropper! Who'd have guessed!). However I didn't quite get around to turning my notes into a poem. So that's what I did this week. The other participants interpreted this challenge in a variety of different ways, but I decided I wanted to try to make a poem out of ONLY what I overheard, mixing and matching sentences and phrases in whatever way I wanted and not necessarily using them all, but not adding anything. That turned out to be difficult, but interesting. I re-wrote my notes, with only one sentence or sentence fragment per line and then cut the paper apart and spent a while playing with them, almost like playing with those magnetic poetry things I'm sure you've seen. I tried to look for relationships - for phrases that sounded like they should go together somehow. I wanted to try to arrange them into something that would resemble a conversation. So here is the result, with every phrase (including the title) a direct quote of something I overheard that day, but completely mixed up into a new order. It didn't result in great poetry (Hellooooo, Understatement!!!), but I thought it was a fun exercise. Oh yeah, and given both the prompt and the fact that I had trouble keeping my mind on eavesdropping, I thought the fact that I overheard someone say the sentence that I ended up using as the last line in the poem was rather funny!
"That One's Broken"
Are you finished?
No need to remind me. He passed me up a long time ago.
Tight quarters, isn't it?
Here they are - stunning details. She thinks it's funny.
How soon can you fit me in?
It'll be a while. Your ticket's laying here.
Is that all?
Sure. Fine. People don't listen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For today's Daily Art Thang, I'm sharing something I worked on for the Self-Portrait Challenge, but ended up rejecting because instead of looking like Pop Art I thought it just made me look like a possibly-diseased alien creature. Still, that's kind of interesting, right? RIGHT?? Plus I like my DAT on Thursdays to relate somehow to the poem and in this one I think it looks like the Weird Alien Creature formerly known as Deb is listening to the flowers. So somehow that works for me. "Self-Portrait as a StrangeBlueSpottedAlienCreature"

Proof That Some Parents Hate Their Children:

I just saw an announcement in the local paper informing the world that Mr. and Mrs. Woodie Johnson are about to celebrate their anniversary. Am I the only person who wonders if he has brothers named Dick, Peter, and Willie? I'm just saying...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

M is for...

Time for another WordPlay Personal Dictionary Entry! If you want to know more about how and why I started doing this series of posts, read my "A is for..." entry. If you want to see a list of more people doing the same thing, check out Laume's WordPlay site. Now here we go... M is for... Movies - They transport me to another world for a little while. (At least the good ones do!) Old classics or new favorites; comedies, dramas, musicals, adventures, mysteries...I love just about anything except slasher films and war movies. Mac (Cyrus MacRascal, aka: Little Mac, Mac'n'Cheese, MacaroniDog, MyLeeeetleMacaroon) - One of our current dogs. He's some sort of hound dog mix and he's very sweet and shy. He literally showed up on our front porch one April Fool's Day (don't tell me the Universe doesn't have a sense of humor!), a tiny little puppy barely old enough to be weaned, full of worms, covered in ticks, dirty, hungry, and scared. We tried for weeks to find him a new home, and finally realized he'd already found one. He's been part of the family ever since. Mushrooms, Mangos, Mac'n'Cheese (the noodle dish, not my dog!), Macaroons (ditto!) - M-foods I like. Melons - An M-food I dislike! (I hardly ever put dislikes on my WordPlay lists, but felt like this was notable because I generally love fruit and melons are among the few types of fruit I don't enjoy.) Maui, Mexico - Two M-places I've been and loved and would like to go back to sometime. Mediterranean - The whole Mediterranean region is an M-place I haven't been to yet, but want to, very much! Mascara - My #1 make-up essential. If for some reason I had to give up every bit of make-up except one, mascara is what I'd keep. Margarita (on the rocks, extra salt) - My #1 favorite alcoholic drink. Mermaids - I have a weird fascination with mermaids. It seems to me like most little girls are fascinated with mermaids but they eventually grow out of it. I never did. MaryJanice (Davidson) - A writer I enjoy. Her books are really funny! Moon, Magic, Mystery, Miracles - Marvelous M-words that go together in my Mind. These are all things that draw me and speak to me. Mugs - Necessary for my coffee fix and I have lots of them. My favorites are big, heavy, sturdy mugs that hold a lot and keep whatever they're holding warm a long time and feel nice and solid in my hand. March - The month I was born! Also the month my mom, dad, brother, mother-in-law, one niece, a great-aunt, a cousin, and my former college roommate were born. Museums - Love them! I was taught early in childhood that visiting museums was fun and a privilege and I still have that attitude. Moths - They tend not to be as flashy as their cousins the butterflies so they don't get as much good press, but they embody the exact same Message of transformation and I think they're just as cool. Man!, Maaah-velous - M-words I say a lot. "M is for..." (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art, Week 2

For the second week of June's Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art I decided to turn my portrait into a cartoon. First I did some research into different cartoon styles and I discovered something interesting. Did you know if you go to Google Image Search and type in "cartoon woman" that most of your results will be porn? Lots and lots and LOTS of porn. Um, yeah, I didn't know that either. Now I do. I still don't know why, mind you, (and don't think I want to know!), but, well...there's your tip for the day. And hey! All of you who arrived at this blog entry from Google because you were looking for porn might as well go elsewhere. Nothing to see here. Move along. On the other hand, those of you who came here looking for a Pop Art portrait can take your pick of two. I first did this one: And then I made it all dotty, like you'd see in a newspaper: For those who like to hear the technical details on this sort of thing, I started with a photo of myself and used the pencil tool (in Photoshop Elements) to draw black outlines along the major features of my face, neck, hair and shirt. I made sure I had a bunch of closed shapes so I could use the fill tool and then started choosing colors and filling in the various shapes. At the end I added the thought bubble and that finished off the first one. Then after saving that, I used the color half-tone feature to make the second version "dotty." I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I figured I'd just share them both! Now I ask you, why couldn't June be one of those months with five Tuesdays? I already have 4 more possible Pop Art self-portraits (all quite different) and only 2 weeks left after today! I think this theme is a blast!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #20

1. Thanks for the comments yesterday, both those of you who let me know your quiz results and those who commented on my B4B entry - the shoe story. For those of you who asked if I got in trouble, I'm sure I did. After all, I blatantly disobeyed my parents to do something I'd been expressly forbidden to do and in the process I destroyed someone else's property. My parents, being decent, responsible sorts, weren't going to just pat me on the head and say "Oh well, shit happens" under those circumstances. [grins] But you have to realize that when I say this was a vivid early memory, I do mean EARLY. I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old at the time. So while I'm sure I was at least scolded, maybe punished somehow, I honestly have no conscious memory of that part. I don't know what happened next. The part that stayed with me all these years was the wonder of thinking the shoe was magic, followed by the horror at realizing I'd destroyed it. And the same for my great-aunt's reaction, OOOLotH. I'm sure it must have upset her - I don't see how it could not. But I have no conscious memory of her reaction and she's been gone for years now so it's not something I can ask now that I'm old enough to wonder. 2. Chaos is reigning in this corner of Casa Richardson. I am in the midst of tearing apart the room I'm sitting in, which functions as computer room, sewing room, art supply storage room, and book storage room. Anyone who reads RSR enough to know me even a little bit and reads the preceding list will not be surprised to hear that I spend more time in this room than in any other room in the house - by far! So why am I tearing it apart? Well, when we bought flooring to re-do the bedroom, we bought some to lay in here too. Also, I'm totally sick of the wall color in here - a wimpy tint called "Autumn White" that's too pink to be white and too white to be pink (I don't even LIKE pink! WTF was I thinking??). And I hate the wimpily pastel botanical border I stuck all around up near the ceiling. (See previous comment!) So at sometime in the near future, we plan to tear out the carpet, rip down the ugly-ass border, re-paint, and lay down a Pergo-ish flooer. That means that sometime this week I need to move several hundred books (maybe even a few thousand?? Gaaahhh...I really don't want to think about it!), hundreds of yards of fabric, several rolls of batting, boxes and bags of thread, yarn, buttons, notions, rulers, scissors, rotary cutters, pencils, etc. Where am I putting all this stuff you might wonder? I have NO FREAKIN' IDEA!!! That's kind of where the problem is. I don't have any one room that is so empty of Stuff that it can easily accomodate all the Stuff I'm pulling from the most crowded room in the house. I suspect it'll end up strewn from one end of the house to the other in any place I can find a bare tabletop or cubby and I'll be tripping over it all and driving myself nuts until we can get this room re-done. This redecorating Thang sucks rocks. But hopefully it'll be nice when we finish. I decided I wanted to paint three walls a color I call "paper bag brown", which is SO normally not one of my colors, but I really like the way quilts and other artwork look hanging against that color and the three walls I plan to paint lt. brown are the ones I'll be looking at when I'm working on quilts. Here's a look at the color I bought: Now that I look at it here I wonder if it's not a little lighter and rosier than I really planned on. Hhhhmmm.... So hard to tell until it's actually on the wall! Maybe I need to open that bucket and dab a little on part of the wall I can reach and see what I think. Then on the fourth wall, the one I'll be looking at when I'm working at the 'puter desk, I'm putting Sour Apple Green: What do you think? Am I nuts to put those two colors in the same room? I hope not, since once we're done I'm NOT moving all these books and fabrics, not to mention several massive pieces of furniture, again anytime soon. So whatever paint goes on these walls is gonna stay there a while. Oh well, whatthehell. I've lived with the Autumn White and the botanical border for nearly 9 years! 3. Yesterday, I was feeling a bit stressed out at the whole prospect of the Massive Redecorating project, so I did one of my favorite stress relief activities. I went shopping. I bought these: Me likey! :-) 4. Today's Daily Art Thang is a photo of a rose bush that grows by my front porch. It was a birthday gift from my friend Morven a few years ago. It's a variety that was hybridized in New Zealand (where Morv lives) but I can never remember the real name of it without looking it up. J and I always just call it the Morven Rose. "Splash of Color" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) 5. Oh yeah, almost forgot! My most recent favorite Bad Spam Subject Line found in my inbox: "Bald Credit Not a Prolblem." Whew! Well, THAT'S a relief!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

B4B: The Magic of Shoes

The theme for this month's Blogging 4 Books contest is "Magic". A few months ago I wrote an essay I called "The Magic" and thought perhaps I'd enter that, but on re-reading it after several months I found I wanted to rework it just a bit. So the entry below is the revised version called... "The Magic of Shoes" When I think back on my childhood, one of my most vivid early memories is the memory of breaking a glass slipper. It sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it? It wasn't of course, but I'll start the story in traditional fairy tale fashion anyway. Once upon a time, when I was very small, my parents and I went to visit my grandparents and my great-aunt, who lived with them. In the middle of her dresser my great-aunt had a small figurine of a beautiful, high-heeled, glass dancing shoe decorated with fat pink glass roses and shiny green glass leaves. That shoe fascinated me. I was certain Aunt Maxine had somehow come to possess Cinderella's famous glass slipper. What else could it be? I had to touch it. No, it was more than that. I had to try it on! I just knew it would fit and I would be magically transformed from an ordinary little girl into a princess. After all, isn't that what magic slippers do? I was forbidden to touch it, but I could no more stay away from that glass shoe than Jack could resist climbing the beanstalk. I waited for my chance. Then one day, when no one was looking, I dragged a footstool over to the dresser. I climbed up and carefully reached for the slipper. Then I oh-so-cautiously climbed down from the stool with it cradled in both hands. I sat down and quickly removed my dirty tennis shoe and sock so I could try on the magic slipper. And I broke it, of course. It was inevitable. I was heartbroken, sure I had ruined the magic. But you know what? The magic is still there. Every time I drive past my favorite shoe store I feel that same moth-to-the-flame pull I felt that day so long ago. I love to wander through the displays of delicate glittery shoes made for dancing, bright fun sandals perfectly suited for a day at the beach, or boots sturdy enough to hike up a mountain. I love to try on the new styles and picture where my feet might take me. And when I find just the right pair to bring home? Magic.

Hey, Baby, What's Your Dosha?

I wanted to keep my Blogging 4 Books entry separate from the other stuff, so here's a whole different entry for my Sunday quiz and the Daily Art Thang. A Twofer Sunday! Yeah, baby! I don't remember where I ran across the link to this quiz, but I thought it was interesting because I know nothing about Doshas. I didn't even know the word. I had to look it up. And if anyone had told me I'd end up with test results that had something to do with the fire element, I'd have thought they were crazy. (Remember the "Z" entry on yesterday's meme? According to Western astrology, I'm all about water and air.) And yet, when I read the results, I nodded my head and thought yep, yep, yep, that too. If you decide to take the quiz too, tell me what you got, ok?
Your Dosha is Pitta
You have a quick mind, a gift for persuasion, and a sharp sense of humor. You have both the drive and people skills to be a very successful leader. Argumentative and a bit stubborn, you have been known to be a little too set in your ways. But while you may be biased toward your own point of view, you are always honest, fair, and ethical. With friends: You are outgoing and open to anyone who might want to talk to you In love: You are picky but passionate To achieve more balance: Be less judgmental of those around you, and take cool walks in the moonlight.
The quiz also inspired today's D.A.T., a slightly "messed with" photo of a fire. "Firepit" Hope you've all been having a great weekend!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The ABCs of Me

"The ABCs of Me" (This is today's D.A.T. I decided to put it on top of the post instead of on the bottom. I don't know why. I just did. I'm wacky that way.) I've seen this meme on lots and lots of different blogs, and am finally getting around to doing it. I ended up copying the list courtesy of acumamakiki. Thanks, K! Accent - A linguist would probably say my accent is US Midwestern with a touch of Dixie. Strangely, I've had more than one person tell me I pronounce certain words in a somewhat British way, although I have no idea why, since I've never been to the UK. But basically, I believe in the "home team" theory of accents. If you come to visit me, then you're the one with the accent and the way I talk is normal. If I go visit you, I have whatever accent you say I do and the way you talk is normal. If we meet on neutral ground, well...we'll work that out when the time comes. Booze - I like wine (especially white); margaritas (on the rocks, lots of salt); frou-frou rum or vodka drinks, and most other fruity or sweet mixed drinks or liqueurs (if it tastes like dessert, I'll probably drink it); I don't like beer, gin, or whiskey. Yeah, yeah, I realize I just outed myself as a totally wimpy girly-girl boozer. Whatevah! Chore I hate - Mopping. Or washing dishes by hand. That sucks rocks too. Dog/cat - 3 nice dogs, 1 evil cat Essential electronics - Computer, digital camera, DVD player, cell phone (just because I feel safer having it...I'm not a phone talker!) Favorite perfume - Freshly-washed bare skin. Perfume chokes me (literally! - allergies, dammit). Gold/silver - Either. Both! Often at the same time! Given the chance, I'll throw some copper on too, whatthehell! Hometown - A little town in southwestern Ohio, not far from Cincinnati Insomnia - Sometimes, yes, especially around the full moon. Job title - Goddess of Gobbler Knob Kid(s)- "No thanks. I love kids, but I can't eat a whole one." (cue rim shot! Smartass quote courtesy of WC Fields.) Or in other words, none. I get my kid-fix through friends' kids or our 19 nieces and nephews. (Of course some of them aren't kids anymore, but the ones who aren't are now creating little great-nieces and great-nephews for us, so it still works out.) Living arrangements - A white cottage with a red roof, red doors, and red shutters, waaaay out in the country. Most admirable trait - I floss. Geeze, I don't know! How about optimism - that's admirable I suppose. Or annoying, depending on your point of view. Number of countries visited - Six, so far (counting the US). I hope to make it many more. (The original meme said "number of sex partners" for this one, but please...pleeeease! I don't discuss exact numbers - mine OR his - with my husband ferpetessake! I'm certainly not going to discuss it here! So I changed the question. My blog, my rules.) Overnight hospital stays - None, other than maybe when I was first born. (They kept new moms and infants a couple of nights back in the stone age y'know!) Phobias - Spiders, small closed-in places, deep water, closed-minded people Quote - "Reality is fine in small doses, but as a lifestyle it's much too confining." (Lily Tomlin) Religion - Pass. God I can deal with, organized religion I can't. Pretty much had that burned out of me in my childhood. Siblings - One brother, one sister, both younger. Time you usually wake - 8:00-ish AM Unusual talent - Uuuhh...I'm good at saying tongue twisters - is that unusual? Vegetable I refuse to eat - Cabbage, in any form. Bleah! Stinky! Worst habit - Too much time spent on this machine!!! X-rays - Sure a few. I don't know a number or anything. Yummy foods I make - Hey, if I cook it, it's yummy! Or at least you'd better SAY it's yummy if you want to be asked back to dinner again. Heh. Zodiac - Pisces Sun, Cancer Moon, Aquarius Ascendant; My whole chart is overloaded with water and air signs. There are a few touches of fire; almost no earth. By now most of you know my policy on tagging for memes - it's self-serve, baby! If you want to be tagged, say so in comments and run with it. If you don't want to be tagged, you could always leave a comment just to make me smile! ;-)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #19

1. I finished Dean Koontz's latest book, "The Husband." I liked it! He does some books that have a sort of paranormal twist and some that are straightforward suspense novels. This was one of the latter. I don't want to say much, since this is a Spoiler-free Zone, but I thought it was very good. Not his all-time best, but worth a read. I'd give it a B+. 2. I lead such a glamorous life, y'all. Want to know how I spent my Thursday? Closet Purge! WooHooo! Pretty exciting, yes? Ok, no. But it sure felt good when I finished. I should've taken before and after photos. I noticed when I was putting laundry away on Wednesday that the amount of Stuff in our bedroom closet was reaching critical mass. So yesterday I dragged all the Stuff from my part of the closet out and tossed it onto the bed and then spent the afternoon sorting, trying on, checking for rips or stains and sorting into piles. I now have a big Pile o' Stuff waiting to be bagged up to go to Good Will and I have another big Pile o' Stuff waiting to be torn into cleaning rags. I'm even getting rid of a few pairs of shoes (gasp!). The remaining Pile o' Stuff was put back on hangers and back into the closet in a fairly organized fashion, where it now has a bit more breathing room and maybe won't get so wrinkled. Now if I can just get J to do the same thing to his side of the closet. Heh. 3. There's a new blog dedicated to Haiku if you want to check it out: One Deep Breath Anyone who stops by RSR regularly knows I loooves me some Haiku, so Yay! I may not participate every week, but I'll have to try it now and then, including today. Each week Susan and Jennifer plan to list a prompt. This was the prompt for this week: "Walking In Nature" - Go for a nature walk, take your camera along (if you like) and a notebook. Find some inspiration, write a haiku, take a photograph... So I did and this is my result (and the photo is also my Daily Art Thang). Tarnished silver skin. Break through the sunlit surface Then dive out of sight. "Haiku Fish"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Poetry Thursday: E and E in Heaven

I think this week's (c.a.t.o.) prompt for Poetry Thursday is really cool. I even did it - or at least I started to do it. I tried to listen to people talking around me and take notes, although it turns out I'm not really very good at eavesdropping. I have so much stuff going on in my head that when someone isn't speaking directly to me, I tend to sort of zone out and drift off into DebLandia and not hear what's going on around me. So this was good practice for me - an exercise in paying attention to my surroundings! So, I have my notes on stuff I heard. What I ran out of was time to turn those notes into a poem. So I'm going to put this week's prompt on hold and revisit it another week (hopefully soon) and today I'll just share a poem I really like. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted a poem about an imaginary meeting between Eve and Medusa. This is a similar sort of idea, but it's about two other people you might not immediately think of hanging out together. I hope you like it as much as I do. "Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven" They call each other E. Elvis picks wildflowers near the river and brings them to Emily. She explains half-rhymes to him. In heaven Emily wears her hair long, sports Levis and western blouses with rhinestones. Elvis is lean again, wears baggy trousers and T-shirts, a letterman's jacket from Tupelo High. They take long walks and often hold hands. She prefers they remain just friends. Forever. Emily's poems now contain naugahyde, Cadillacs, Electricity, jets, TV, Little Richard and Richard Nixon. The rock-a-billy rhythm makes her smile. Elvis likes himself with style. This afternoon he will play guitar and sing "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" to the tune of "Love Me Tender." Emily will clap and harmonize. Alone in their cabins later, they'll listen to the river and nap. They will not think of Amherst or Las Vegas. They know why God made them roommates. It's because America was their hometown. It's because God is a thing without feathers. It's because God wears blue suede shoes. ~~~Hans Ostrom "E and E in Heaven" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) Added: gkgirl asked where I found the poem. It's from a poetry anthology called "Kiss Off: Poems to Set You Free." And while I imagine a lot of you have seen the photo of Emily D in its original state (there aren't that many photos of her in existence and this is probably the most commonly seen one), for anyone who hasn't and is curious, here's what I started with: chiefbiscuit, I'd be curious what some other people would look like modernized too! It could be an interesting project. And Andrea, I still think there's a lot about the poem that's funny. I love how off-the-wall odd it is to visualize a friendship between the reclusive poet and the fame-seeking rock star. But I think what really made this poem a "must share" for me was the fourth section, where the poet imagines what Emily's poems might be like if she was friends with Elvis. That really fired my imagination!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

L is for...

Time for another WordPlay Personal Dictionary Entry! If you want to know more about how and why I started doing this series of posts, read my "A is for..." entry. If you want to see a list of more people doing the same thing, check out Laume's WordPlay site. Now here we go... L is for... Love, Life, Laughter - Must-have L-stuff! Lilacs, Lilies, Lavender - Some of my favorite L-flowers. Lobster, Limes, Lemons, Latte, Lemon aid - L-foods I Like. Lagniappe - Love the word, love the concept! (In case someone reading this doesn't know the word, it's a Cajun [Creole??...I think Cajun!] word meaning a little something extra. It originally meant specifically something a merchant would add to a purchase at no extra cost, but now it just means any sort of little "just because" bonus given beyond what is owed.) Limericks - Well... I think limerick-writing is fun. I seldom can stop at just one. They truly delight me. You don't like 'em? Bite Me! But after you bite, better run! Lists - I Looove me some Lists! Also, if I didn't make lists, I'm afraid I'd forget to do important things like buy groceries, or wear underwear, or breathe. Libra - Not my sign, but I have to include it because there are so many great Libra people in my life, including my husband and several close friends. I usually get along great with Libra people! Logic puzzles - You know...those obnoxious things where they tell you that the guy with the green car lives next to the dentist and two doors down from the man in the yellow house and the lawyer who drinks martinis lives at the end of the street next to the man with the red car, but not next to the man who drinks beer, etc. - and then you're supposed to figure out who lives where, has what job, drives what color car, and drinks what booze? I LOVE those! I'm pretty good at them too. (BTW, don't try to figure out the one I wrote above because it isn't a real puzzle. Heh.) Light - I crave it. Too many gray days in a row will depress the hell out of me. Lightnin' bugs - Such fun to watch on a summer night. So magical! Looking out over a field of them is like looking at stars on the ground. Leather - I like the smell of leather. (Is that weird?) "Leisure Suit Larry" - The very first thing I ever remember doing on a computer is trying to play that stupid game about a gazillion years ago. Libraries - My personal library is one of my favorite things in my house. I love going to public libraries too. This is the first place I've ever lived where I don't use the library much, because our local one is rather sad and pathetic, but I hope to see that change in the next year or so. They just broke ground for a new building and I hope to see improvements when they move. Yay! L'Oreal - Bless 'em for making Feria #74 Deep Copper! Lame-o, Lalalaaa, Lovely (or Loverly), Loony, Lucky - L-words I say a Lot. Luscious, Luxurious, Lusty, Lilting, Luminous - L-words I Love. "L is for..." (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Couple of Quick Non-SPC Thangs I Want to Share

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the first week of SPC's Pop Art theme! And thank you to everyone who sent me wishes for my back to get better. It's still bothering me today, but I'm trying to take it easy and I'm sure it'll feel better eventually. Despite the stupid back thing, I had a great time this past weekend! I got to spend time with J and then with my sister, brother, niece, nephew, dad, stepmom, and then with J again. Also, I bought shoes. Anytime I buy shoes is a bright spot. Check 'em out: Oooooh, Shiny! I love flip-flop season, when the shoes are toe-baring, sparkly, and cheap. I've realized that for me there are four seasons in Kentucky: Pretty Leaf Season, Gloomy Cold Depressing Season, Pretty Flower Season, and Flip-Flop Season. And speaking of Things I Like, Blogging4Books is up and running for June, and the theme is "Magic." Great theme with lots and lots of possibilities! Was your first kiss magical? Have you lit candles and chanted in the moonlight? Have you studied magic at Hogwarts? Did you get up on stage as Marvelo the Magnificent and pull a rabbit out of a hat in a talent show? Do you believe in magic (in a young girl's heart)? Have to believe we are magic! He's a magic man, Mama! (Sorry, got lost in the '70s for a minute there.) So if you want to write a blog entry about magic and try to win a book (Free Book = Good Thing!), just follow the link above and post a link to your entry. And remember, you don't even have to write a brand new blog entry for this. If you have an archived entry that fits the theme, you can enter that (all you Sunday Scribblers take note!). Now I need to think of ideas for this myself. Hhhmmm...

Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art, Week 1

This is Week One of June's Self-Portrait Challenge: Pop Art. I think this could turn out to be a very fun month! It remains to be seen if I'm right or delusional. Wikipedia says Pop Art was "Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from mass culture, such as advertising and comic books..." I decided that this week I'd deliberately take that definition all-too-literally and place myself directly into some mass advertising. I owe my much-beloved hair color to the folks at L'Oreal, so here's my portrait on the box. I don't know if it's art, but I think it's fun! "Me: Because I'm Worth It"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Hit 'n' Run Blogging

I've just spent the weekend in Cincinnati and ended up staying a day longer than I originally planned. Plus I somehow managed to hurt my back while I was there. (Oh joy) So I'm running waaaay behind on everything at home right now, including ye olde blogge - new post, replies to comments, replies to emails, etc. So I hope you'll be patient with me on replies and return visits for now. I'll catch up as soon as I can! In the meantime, I'm just going to share a few photos and call it a wrap for today. This is a very odd (but interesting, IMO) photo I took when I was doing all those "lay the camera on the ground and use the timer and see what I get" photos a few weeks ago: "Stark" And this is the same photo, altered. I thought it made it almost look like an Asian ink painting or something: And a third version, turned a bit psychedelic: More tomorrow, y'all! I've got to go get some Real Life stuff done around here!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Question, Quiz, and Quercus

Here's a question for you. Why does my cat hate the rug I bought for J's side of the bed? (After we installed that lovely new floor, he - J, not the cat - complained of cold tootsies when he couldn't find his slippers right away. Pppffftt!) It's a simple rag rug, but it's nice enough, see: Yet I turn my back and when I look at it again it looks like this: I straighten it up and move on to other things and in a little while I see this: I straighten it AGAIN and a little while later I see: AHAAA! Caught in the act! I still don't understand why he thinks he needs to kill it. Anyway, moving on... Hey, kids! If it's Sunday, it must be Quiz Time! WooHooo! I discovered I'm a: True English Nerd You scored 78 erudition! Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you. My test tracked 1 variable: How you compared to other people your age and gender: You scored higher than 99% on erudition. Take the Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid For today's Daily Art Thang, I took the scan of the sketch I posted on Friday and messed with it in Photoshop. Here's the result: "Oak Leaf and Shadow, Revisited"