Thursday, November 30, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Ugly Things (A Song)

I like the prompt at Poetry Thursday this week, but it simply hasn't been a week where I could put the time and thought into writing something original for it, so I'll hope to revisit it another time. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep this short today (Hey! You in the back - stop laughing!) and just share a poem that speaks to me. Then I'll get back to my To-Do List that somehow magically seems to keep growing longer despite the fact that I AM doing things on the list and crossing them off! Bah! And also Aaarrggghhh! But I digress. On to the poem. I love the ending. Ugly Things (A Song) In an old worn-out basin I planted violets for you and down by the river with an empty seashell I found you a firefly. In a broken bottle I kept a seashell for you and coiled over that rusty fence the coral snake flowered just for you. Cockroach wing carried to the ant hill: that's how I want them to take me to the cemetery when I die. Garbage dump, garbage dump where nobody wants to look but if the moon comes out your tin cans will shine. If you put a bit of love into ugly things you'll see that your sadness will begin to change color. ~~~Teresita Fernandez (translated by Margaret Randall) DAT: "Changing Color" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) To read more Things Poetical, just look for the links here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #33

I'm not sure that post title is quite what it should be, because this one includes a lot of Linky Love, which is kind of like showing you Stuff pulled from Other People's Drawers. (Wow, that just sounded very, very wrong.) My Drawer: Don't forget you have five more days to write a fun little story or two for a chance to win some semi-fabulous prizes! WooHoo!! You even have your choice of two different ways to enter - the HubbaBubba theme of Contest One, or the Have-a-Headache theme of Contest Two. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out This Post. Go ahead, I'll wait. (Lalalalalaaaaaaa) Are you back? Oh good. My Drawer: Y'all! I JUST, as I was typing this post, had my 150,000th blog visitor since I started keeping track of stats! That's so cool! I noticed it was getting close and was keeping an eye on it to see if I could spot when the count tipped over. So to whoever just visited here in the early hours of Wednesday morning (US EST), surfing in from New York state via the SPC site - Hi! Consider yourself showered with virtual confetti and balloons to the sounds of a Cyber Brass Band playing "We Will Rock You." :-) OPD: Do y'all ever visit the Worth 1000 website? I don't go often, but I visit now and then. They post lots of challenges for people to show off their photography and Photoshop skills. A friend sent me a link to one of their recent contests which was called "Pimp My Ren" which was a challenge to "show us today's big bling, hip culture as seen thru the eyes of yesteryear's classic artists." I found the results pretty creative and funny, (if occasionally a bit disturbing). You can check it out Here, if you want to see. OPD: Anyone who spends much time here knows I'm not a TV snob. I freely admit I watch some crappy stuff, but still...Ever wonder just exactly how badly wrong this whole "Reality" TV thing can go? Wonder no more. Just check This out. I'm at a loss for words. You just have to read it for yourself. Go ahead. I'll wait again. (Lalalalalaaaaaaaaaa) Back? Well, what did you think?? I know. I KNOW!! The citizens of Muncie, Indiana, have my condolences. My Drawer: I spent some time in Muncie many years ago. I wonder if they still have that really great used book store. I wonder if the Red Dog Saloon is still there. I wonder if Yorktown Cafe still has mile-high coconut cream pie. And ooooh, there was that fab little Italian restaurant with the wine tasting bar. Hhhmmm... But y'all, I'm not going anywhere near the place to find out. Not anytime soon anyway. My Drawer: Today's Daily Art Thang is a sunset photo I took on my front porch a few days ago. Pretty, yes? We usually have prettier sunsets in the winter here than we do in the summer. "The View from my Front Porch one November Night" (clickable) My Drawer: Come on, everybody, write those stories! Not many entries so far, so your odds are good! If you ever in your life made up an excuse to a parent, teacher, employer, or significant other, you can DO this. :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

SPC: Glam, Week 4 - Movie Poster

Here we are at the final week of November's Glam Self-Portrait Challenge. All month I've been taking my inspiration from classic Hollywood glamor shots. For this final week I decided to veer a little sideways from that and turn my final self-portrait into a faux movie poster. I got the idea from the lovely Angela, who used this site to turn one of her self-portraits into a magazine cover. When I saw they also offered a movie poster template I thought that was a perfect way to wind up my homage to Hollywood. This is probably my least-favorite of the photos I've posted for this month, but could I resist ending this series with a shot that features red shoes! "Self-Portrait in a Movie Poster" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window, which you really should so you can read the fine print on the poster!) PS...I see that the SPC theme for December is RED! How ironic. Maybe I should post this twice! Edited to add - Because several people have asked about the "film rating" - it's rated R for "Red" and "Ramblings." I'm not that deep, y'all. :-D

Monday, November 27, 2006

Write Something and Win Some Deb aRt (and other possibly-almost-fabulous prizes)!!!

(Contains minor Quilt Content - GASP!) The past couple of days, I've been working on making a few fabric postcards. The quilters who visit here will know exactly what I mean. Non-quilters may or may not. They're little artsy things you send through the mail just like a regular paper postcard, but they're made of fabric and are layered and stitched just like a teeny-tiny quilt. I've been making one for Deborah B who was nice enough to send me a photo of a poster exhibited at the Quilt Festival in Houston, featuring one of my fabric postcards. Check it out: I don't have to tell you which one is mine, do I? Well, in case I do, it's the shoe card in the lower right. BTW, all the postcards pictured are the same size (4" x 6"), so it looks weird to me to see mine shown larger. But I digress.. I'm also making one for my BFF Morven, who hinted that she'd like to see a DebR postcard show up in her stuff from Santa. And I'm making one that will go to my friend Dragonfly once she completes a challenge I set for her earlier this month when she was having trouble getting going on her NaNoWriMo story. And that brings us to the subject line of this post. While I was making these cards, I decided to make two more and extend the aforementioned challenge to RSR readers and turn it into a little contest. It's been a while since I gave something away here and that's fun to do! Actually I'm turning it into TWO contests. The winners will each receive one of my FlipFlop fabric postcards (similar to the one shown in the poster above, only the shoe will be a different color), plus assorted other Stuff still to be determined because I haven't bought any of it yet. Heh. But I'm going shopping later this week and will put together a couple of little goodie boxes that will contain the postcard, plus other stuff I think is neato-coolio. And even if the winners turn out to not like the same stuff I do...hey, it's Free Stuff and you could always re-gift it. ;-) Contest One For this contest you have to meet the exact same challenge I issued to Dragonfly - write a sex scene. Yes, you read that right - a sex scene, dammit! Ill leave it up to you how explicit to get, but let's not make it anything I'd be embarrassed to share with my more modest friends or family members. I'm not going for porn here, more like romance novel stuff or even light romantic comedy. After all, no one said it had to be a GOOD sex scene. :-) (If someone submits something I think crosses that admittedly ambiguous line, I'll send it back to you and tell you why and give you the option to edit and try again if you like.) But wait - there's more! (C'mon, this IS a challenge, after all.) Each of these sex scenes must somehow include the following four elements: a rubber chicken, a pair of pink fur-lined handcuffs, a bird named Trixie, and a DVD of the Happy Days "Jump the Shark" episode. Entry details to follow after I tell you about the next contest. Contest Two What, you say that the thought of writing a sex scene and posting it on the internet makes you feel very uncomfortable? Yeah, me too. I found out a couple of years ago when I was writing my NaNoWriMo story that, while I like to read a well-written sex scene and I certainly enjoy participating in one (ahem), I do NOT like to write them. My story STILL, two years later, has a big blank space in the manuscript where I think a sex scene should be, and in the middle of that big blank space it just says "add sex scene later." Sigh. So for Contest Two, write a an excuse story for me about why you didn't turn in a sex scene. Think "the dog ate my homework" only more outrageous. The catch? Oh come on, I bet you've guessed. Every excuse story must include the following four elements: a rubber chicken, a pair of pink fur-lined handcuffs, a bird named Trixie, and a DVD of the Happy Days "Jump the Shark" episode. How To Enter Please read carefully! This is not rocket science and I'm kind of anal about people following the directions for this stuff. :-) 1. Let's keep these stories brief - say no more than 250 words or so. (I'm not going to count, so if you go over a little that's fine, but let's use some common sense and not send in the blog equivalent of "Gone with the Wind", y'all!) 2. When you've finished story (or stories), email a copy to me at this address: tansy @ - delete the spaces on either side of the "@" to make that address functional. Put either "Contest One" for sex scenes or "Contest Two" for excuse stories in the subject line. Within 24 hours after sending your email, you should receive a confirmation email from me that will simply say "got it." If you don't receive that email, contact me using the email addy found in my sidebar. 3. You may only enter each contest once, but you may enter both contests if you like, for a total of two entries. However, you can only win once. If by some bizarre chance the same person would win both, I'll draw a name from the two runners-up and that person will win one of the prizes. (Drawing of names from a hat will also be how I break ties, if any.) If you enter both contests, send each entry in a separate email, using the appropriate subject line for each. 4. Deadline for getting entries to me is one week from today - Monday, Dec. 4th, at 11:59 PM US Eastern Standard Time. (You're each responsible for figuring out how the heck that translates to your local time! I've got enough to do here organizing this thing. Ha!) 5. A couple of days after the contest closes, I will post all entries here without names (I'll assign each story a number) and the winners will be chosen by reader vote. I'll explain the voting thing in more detail when the time comes. 6. Obviously if you win I must be able to contact you, and you must be willing to email me your real name and your snail mail addy, otherwise I can't send you your goodie box, which would kind of defeat the purpose of entering in the first place. 7. Any questions? Contact me at the same addy I listed for entries and give me at least 24 hours to respond. So come on, y'all! Get writing and sending those things in. Don't make me have gone through thinking up this puppy for nothing! ********************* Here's today's DAT - another view of a bloom on my Christmas cactus. I think this version is very O'Keeffe-ish. "Cactus Flower 2" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Friday Thing on Sunday

Every week I check to see what's posted over a the Friday Five site, even though I don't usually participate. But a couple of weeks ago they had one I thought would make a pretty interesting meme so I saved it and today feels like a good day to share it. So here we go... On The Road Again 1. If you had to move 100 miles or more to the north, east, west, or south, which would you choose, where would you end up, and what's so great about there? Well, I think it would have to be "or more" to get me to move. 100 miles in 'most any direction wouldn't put me anyplace that would have any advantage over where I am now, and moving that far in most directions would put me further away from my family, which I would consider a Bad Thing. I'm not sure how many miles I'd have to travel to move someplace that would seem worth the trouble to me, but the direction would pretty much have to be either south or west. If we ever move again I want to go someplace with less winter, not more! 2. Do you have a favorite stretch of highway or byway for driving, touring, or wandering? I like to drive on the stretch of road known as Paris Pike. It runs between Paris, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky, and has been called "one of the most scenic byways in the nation." It's always had very pretty scenery. It's bordered with a lot of horse farms, so there are big old houses set way back from the road, majestic trees scattered across deep lawns, nicely maintained barns and paddocks. There are miles and miles of fences, either rail fences or dry stone, and you can often see Thoroughbred horses in the fields. When I was growing up, it was a rather dangerous stretch of road - two narrow, twisty lanes with no median and little or no shoulders. A few years ago the highway department started renovating it and now it's a four-lane divided road, but it isn't a standard cookie-cutter freeway. The designers worked very carefully to integrate the road into the existing landscape and to maintain as many of the historic features as they could. They maintained most of the existing dry stone fences, had new ones built in some areas, and added a lot of landscaping into the green space between lanes. When it was all finished it turned out to be a road where the scenery is just as beautiful as the one I remember from my childhood, but the road itself is a lot safer and more fun to drive on. It's won several design awards and is often held up as a model for a more modern sort of road design. 3. Are you happier to start a trip or return home? Start. I love the sense of anticipation and adventure - wondering what's ahead. When I come home, I'm always glad to arrive safely, of course, and to get to see my dogs and cat again, but the end of a trip always leaves me feeling a little let down. 4. Plane, train, automobile, bicycle, or foot? Well that depends entirely on how far I need to travel! I love to walk - I go for walks almost every day. When we lived in Wisconsin I used to bicycle a lot, but ended up getting rid of my bike when we moved to Kentucky because the last two areas we've lived in have no safe place to ride. I've never really traveled by train other than just short rides run as tourist attractions, but I've always thought it sounded like it might be a cool way to travel. And I love to fly, although I must admit that crowded planes with small seats, no leg room, and lousy food service are not the optimal way to experience flight. 5. Do you overplan or underplan your travels? (Assume that "no" is not a valid answer.) But...but...but...the answer IS no! I always plan perfectly. (snort!) Ok, ok, if I must choose I have to say I overplan. But only a little bit! If you want to play along, you know the drill - tell me so in comments and you can consider yourself tagged. Here's today's Daily Art Thang: "Cactus Flower" (clickable)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Review of a Movie, a Bond Movie (no spoilers)

I hadn't mentioned it before now, what with all the Thanksgiving Stuff going on, but this past Tuesday J and I played hooky from Real Life and went to see the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, especially since I was one of many people who wasn't so thrilled with the idea of BlondeBond when the casting of Daniel Craig in the role was announced. But y'all, he was fabulous! He reminded me of Sean Connery's Bond and I definitely mean that as a compliment. One reason I'm surprised I was so impressed is that, unlike a lot of detractors, I always liked Pierce Brosnan's Bond. Sean Connery was always my favorite, but before now I'd have ranked Mr. Brosnan second in my personal Bond list. I freely admit that's in large part because I'm just a huge fan of that man, and have been since his Remington Steele days. I thought his smooth, urbane humor worked for a certain sort of Bond. He'd be a spy that women would flock to and men wouldn't suspect was tough. Well, if Mr. Brosnan is the smoothest Bond, Mr. Craig is clear on the opposite end of the spectrum. You know I never noticed until I put these photos together just how much Timothy Dalton physically resembles George Lazenby. It may even have been talked about back in the day, but I sort of slept through the Dalton years. Anyway... Daniel Craig is, in fact, so rugged looking that he almost looks odd in a tuxedo, but he pulled it off. And he was utterly believable in the violent action sequences. There's one scene where a baddie is trying none-too-gently to get information from Bond. Those of you who've seen the movie know exactly which scene I mean and those who haven't will recognize what I'm talking about as soon as you see it. When I tried to play that scene in my mind with the lovely Mr. Brosnan in the role, it simply wouldn't work. No one - not even his biggest fan - would have believed Brosnan's Bond would pull off what Craig's Bond went through in that scene. With Craig, I believed it. My only quarrel with the film came in the last 2/3 or so of the movie when things slowed down considerably. Again, I'm betting those of you who've seen it know what I mean, but I won't say so I avoid spoilers. I suspect they were trying to appeal to the female members of the audience, but during that section this female just kept thinking "oh come on, we know what's going to happen here, just get it over with." The film is quite long and I think they could have cut a huge chunk out of the section I'm talking about and brought the movie in closer to 2 hours without missing a thing in terms of telling the story. Other than that one quibble, I thought this was classic Bond, the best in years. If you're a fan of old-school Bond movies - if you're someone who has said for years that Sean Connery is THE Bond and no one else has come close to getting it right - then go see this one. I bet you'll be pleased. I give it an A- and would have given it an A if the director had trimmed some fat from one section of the movie. If you hate all things Bond then, um....never mind. (said in my best Emily Litella voice) Here's today's DAT: "Cactus Bud" (clickable)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thoughts from the Hide-out

Here I am, home again after spending a lovely day at my sister's house yesterday. There were eight people, one dog, a lot of good food and drinks, and a lot of talking and laughter. I took my camera with me and thought maybe I'd share a couple of photos today, but once I got there I never gave the camera another thought. Guess what - It turns out that just physically having a camera in the same building with you doesn't result in photos. Really! You actually have to take the thing out of the case and point it at stuff and press some buttons. Sheesh! Who knew!! Today I plan to hide out in my house because I have no desire whatsoever to be on the road with the hoards of mad shoppers determined to find bargains on Black Friday. Which, BTW, I've always thought was a terrible name for a Day After a Holiday Day. I understand where the name comes from - retail going into the black in their accounting books because of so many sales that day - but it makes me think of the Black Plague, or of funerals or something. I find the name very morbid sounding. I've never liked the name Boxing Day either. Again, I get where it comes from, but when I hear it the first thing I always think of is people hitting each other! Bleah! Anyway... I tend to practice major shopping avoidance between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. The extra traffic and crowds wig me out just a bit and leave me feeling claustrophobic and grumpy. I always try to get some of my gift shopping done before Thanksgiving and will do at least 80% of the rest of it by ordering stuff online and having it delivered to my front door. The UPS man knows my name well. :-) I used to try to get all of it done before Thanksgiving, but found that didn't work out so well for me because the few times I'd be in the stores during that last month between holidays, I'd find things I couldn't resist because they'd be perfect for this person or that one, and I'd end up overspending. So now I do some of my gift buying early, but leave room for those surprise finds toward the end too, when I'm unavoidably fighting my way through the crowds in the coming weeks. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, are you one of those people who has everything bought, organized, and wrapped before December ever arrives, or are you one of the people frantically scurrying around the stores on Christmas eve (or somewhere in between)? Do you do any (or all!) of your shopping online these days or do you have to see and touch what you're buying? Or maybe some of you are ambitious and organized enough to make creative gifts for everyone on your list instead of buying them. (Show offs!) Am I the only one hiding in my house today?? Here's today's Daily Art Thang: "Green Spires" (clickable)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Giving of the Thanks

It's after midnight as I'm posting this, so it's now officially Thanksgiving Day in the US. It may not be original to list things you're thankful for on Thanksgiving, but I still like the idea. After all, what's not to like about a holiday that's about being grateful for the blessings in your life and spending time with people you love! If you don't want to see me get all gooshy and sentimental, you might not want to read this. :-) But if you don't mind a little goosh, then read on. This year I want to say I'm thankful... ...for everyone I love and for everyone who loves me back. ...for my sweet dog friends. Dogs are a living example of how to love freely and without fear. The love of a dog for his or her people is one of the closest things to truly unconditional love this side of God. ...for my fat, obnoxious, somewhat psychotic, and extremely irritating cat. Bless his heart, he drives me nuts, but when he curls up in my lap in the evening and purrs his shriveled little heart out, I remember why I love him. Plus, if dogs are on this earth to show us how to love others, then maybe cats are on this earth to show us how to love ourselves. Even if a cat is stupid, unattractive, or annoying as all get out, that cat still KNOWS he or she deserves love and respect. We should know the same. ...that I have my physical necessities, like a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. ...and also that I have many of my spiritual and emotional necessities, like books, peaceful surroundings, books, art (doing it myself and looking that the work of others), books, music, books, adventure, books, movies, and books. We may not have a lot of money, but I feel rich. ...that my body is still hanging in there and carrying me around with no more than the usual aches and pains of middle age. ...and that blogging has giving me a creative outlet I didn't know I wanted until I found it, and allowed me to discover so many fabulous people I wouldn't otherwise have known. To those of you in the US who are celebrating Thanksgiving along with me today, I hope you're having a wonderful day and finding much to be thankful for. For those of you outside the US, even though today isn't a holiday for you, I hope exactly the same thing for you. Because after all, we shouldn't really need holidays to be grateful for the good things in life, yes? Yes! Peace... "Thankful" (clickable)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Thank Your First Commenter Day"

Neil, over at Citizen of the Month, started a tradition last year called "Thank Your First Commenter Day." It's all tied into giving thanks and showing your appreciation for that first kind soul who made a stumbling newbie blogger feel welcome in Blogsylvania. Neil explains it all very logically with a history lesson about savvy Native Americans, and clueless uptight Pilgrims, and canned cranberry sauce, so you might want to pop over there and read about it because he explains it better than I ever could. Anyway... I didn't participate last year because I'd never heard of Neil at this time last year, so I was ignorant about this important new occasion. But this year I'm in! The very first person to ever leave a comment on Red Shoe Ramblings was the delightful Dara, who I must admit I knew before I started blogging, since we co-own a formerly hoppin' but now sadly neglected email list. She is, in fact, one of the main people who talked me into trying blogging in the first place, so I'm sure that first comment - and many that came after it - were a way of encouraging me to keep at it. Dara is a Buddhist nun with a wicked sense of humor (I know, sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it, but it's true!) who lives and works in Sedona, AZ. Her blog is called Daramusing. It hasn't been updated for a couple of months, but if anyone wants to stop by and say hi and maybe leave a comment, I bet she'd like to hear from you. Dara, thank you for being the first person to give me a little bloggy comment love! I miss your voice, sweetie. Wish you'd write something! :::smooch::: Oh, and if anyone wants to read the first post (don't expect much...SO dull!) and Dara's first comment, you can click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. Sorry I can't link directly to just the one post, but for some reason that's the one and only post I don't have archived individually. I must've monkeyed around with my settings on Day 2! Here's today's Daily Art Thang, a photo I snapped from our front porch a few mornings ago. It looks like the way I usually feel in the morning before I've gotten that first jolt of caffeine in my system. "Morning Fog" (clickable) PS...While I'm thanking my first-ever commenter, I'll also send a shout out to my latest commenter, because I like the idea of honoring the present as well as the past. The last person to leave a comment here just before I hit publish on this new post was the lovely Darlene of A Walk in My Shoes. So glad you stopped by, Darlene. I always love to hear from you! :::smooch::: to you too. :-)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SPC: Glam, Week 3 - the Boudoir Portrait

It's week 3 of November's Glam Self-Portrait Challenge. I have to say I'm enjoying this one. People are being very creative! Plus I love the fantasy element of these photos. The ones I've been doing are like a grown-up version of playing dress-up and pretending to be a princess. :-) As I continue to take my inspiration from classic Hollywood glamor shots, this week I focused on a type of publicity photo that has been around as long as there have been movies and people who wanted to be stars - the boudoir photo. Not that any of those photos were actually taken in anyone's bedroom or dressing room, of course. They were carefully staged studio portraits, but that was the feeling they were meant to evoke - the sense that you'd caught a glimpse of the glamorous movie star in an intimate moment. The studios wanted you to want their stars. They wanted you to fantasize about them and want to be them. I had trouble narrowing my choices in this series down to just one photo, so I'm posting my two favorites. The first one was based on photos like these examples featuring Veronica Lake and Clara Bow: The examples I'm sharing are all B/W, but I decided to do mine in color. Here's my version: "Self-Portrait - Boudoir Portrait" I didn't quite end up with the same angle to the head, but it still has a similar feel I think, especially to the Clara Bow photo. The second pose is based on photos like these pics of Lana Turner and Barbara Stanwyck: And here's my take on it (a bit more Lana than Barbara): "Self-Portrait - Boudoir Portrait: Take 2" (both photos are clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window) Only one more week to go! Wonder what the theme will be next month...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Balance Thing

One day last week I was visiting Suzie's blog and she'd posted the results of a test she'd taken that was supposed to give some insight into the state of a person's chakras. Ok, if I may take off on an immediate tangent here, I have to confess that a part of me wanted to cringe a teensy bit just then, when I typed "the state of a person's chakras." I was raised with a very conservative and traditional-for-this-region religious background, including many years of parochial school, and it's left me with the remnant of a Baptist preacher's voice living in my head. ACK! My current spiritual beliefs are miles away from the beliefs of the church in which I was raised, and that Inner Preacher is not my favorite part of my personality, to say the least. I've worked for YEARS to shove him out of there, but there he is, still hanging around and sneering at me at the oddest moments. Pardon me for a moment, while I stuff a sock in his mouth. NOW, as I was saying.... I read about this test on Suzie's blog and went to take it and found it interesting. Here's what it said: And here's a link to brief explanations of the results - too brief, in my opinion and I'm not sure I agree with all of it, but I agree to an extent. For instance, take a look at the two chakras it says are out of balance with me - under-active Root and over-active Third Eye. It says that someone with an under-active Root chakra will "tend to be fearful or nervous" and would "easily feel unwelcome." I don't think I'm particularly fearful or nervous at all, but I tend to agree about the part about easily feeling unwelcome. I know that's a big part of why I'm almost phobic about making phone calls is because I'm always 99% certain (with no logical reason for that certainty whatsoever!) that whoever I'm calling will consider it an annoying intrusion rather than being happy to hear from me. It goes on to say that when someone has an over-active Third Eye chakra they "may live in a world of fantasy too much. In excessive cases hallucinations are possible." Again, I'll go along with half of that. I DO tend to live inside my head too much and that's a fantasy world if there ever was one. (snort!) But hallucinations? Um...not so much. I also wish they gave a little more information about balancing those chakras that are out of whack, but on the other hand I'm sure that information is out there in other places. I can see enough truth in these test results that I think it may be worth checking out a book and reading more. Maybe this one that I've been hearing about on a few blogs. Balance is a Good Thing, yes? Then this past weekend I saw that Melba had taken the same test and posted her results and she's also added a word exercise. I'd fully intended to do that one too, but this has already gotten SO long that I think I'm going to save that for another day. (Sheesh, am I completely incapable of writing a short blog post???? It would appear so!) Anyway, on to the Daily Art Thang, which is a self-portrait today. It seems sort of silly to post a self-portrait on a Monday when I'm going to do a Glam SPC post tomorrow, but I took this photo a couple of weeks ago after buying a new hat and I liked how it turned out. Now I'm thinking about using it as a new blog profile pic because I'm already sick of looking at the one I've been using the past couple of months. Heh. So here it is, an UnGlam self-portrait, with no make-up except some lipstick, but a cute hat! :-) "Self-Portrait in a Hat" (clickable) PS...If the perspective looks a little odd, it's because I was lying down on the back deck railing when I took the photo. Sometimes I get the balance thing right. :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's a Colorful Life

This is a wonderfully colorful meme I stole from Bee, who snagged it from Susannah, who borrowed it from Vesper, who...oh, never mind. You can follow the trail yourself if you like. 1. Closest red thing to you? My hair? Or is my hair more orange than red? If so, then it would be the baby-sized pair of red velvet shoes hanging on my bulletin board. They were a gift from my friend Laume. 2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? I think so, but I never had proof. The person in question said that "nothing happened" with the slutbag other woman until after we broke up, but I have good reason to believe otherwise. Oh well, it was a long time ago. (I must stress here that I am talking about an old boyfriend, not my husband) 3. Last thing to make you angry? A dangerously incompetent driver on a narrow, curvy, hilly road. Yep, road rage, baby! 4. Are you a fan of romance? Ummm, yeah, sometimes (Deb says somewhat hesitantly). It kind of depends on what we're calling "romance" and how the person involved pulls it off. I'm a bit too cynical to throw myself into it no questions asked, but under some circumstances I'm open to being swept off my feet with gestures grand or small. :-) 5. Have you ever been in love? Yep. Have been and am. 6. Do you have a temper? I think everyone has a temper, the question is what kind. I'm generally pretty even-tempered and don't get much more than just a little snarky or irritable over most things. I try to choose my battles. But on the rare occasions when I really DO lose my temper, it's LOST. Gone. We're talking nuclear blast and all that's left is to clear the rubble. (I'm glad it doesn't happen often.) 1. Closest green thing to you? A lime green wall. 2. Do you care about the environment? Yes (Does anyone ever say no to this question? Because sheeeeeeesh! If they do, they should be immediately relocated to live in the middle of a land fill or something. I'm just sayin'...) 3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? No. A lot of people use the words "jealousy" and "envy" interchangeably, but they aren't the same thing. I'm very rarely jealous, but I have a tendency to sometimes be envious of others and I really don't want to be. It's something I work to try to change. (And I think I have improved in that area over the years.) 4. Are you a lucky person? Yes 5. Do you always want what you can't have? Sometimes (see above re: envy!) but not always. 6. Are you Irish? I'm American. But some of my ancestors were Irish. :-) 1. Closest purple thing to you? MurpleMaid, the zaftig purple-clothed mermaid that was a gift from my friend Morven. 2. Like being treated to expensive things? Sometimes....maybe. This is kind of like the romance question - it depends on who's doing the treating and how expensive we're talking and why I think they're doing it. 3. Do you like mysterious things? I like mystery novels and I like puzzles, that sort of thing. I'm fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe and all we don't yet understand. I don't, however, like being around people who are extremely secretive and create mystery around themselves where there doesn't need to be any. I figure if someone is TRULY mysterious, their casual acquaintances should never suspect a thing. If someone feels the need to go around wearing mystery like a black cloak, I figure they're a poser. 4. Favourite type of chocolate? Almost anything not too sweet, which generally means dark, but sometimes milk is good too. 5. Ever met any royalty? Nope. Not unless they were in disguise or something! 6. Are you creative? Yes. I wish I was more original, but I'll go as far as saying I believe I'm reasonably creative. 7. Are you lonely? Sometimes. I find it hard to imagine that there's anyone in the world who isn't lonely now and then. A person can be lonely in a crowd. 1. Closest blue thing to you? Most of what I'm wearing - my shirt, my jeans, my socks, the stones in my earrings and in the ring on my right hand. Also my eyes. 2. Are you good at calming people down? Yes, I think so. 3. Do you like the ocean? LOVE it! Love the way it looks, the way it sounds, the way it smells. 4. What was the last thing that made you cry? Oh, I shed tears here and there over anything - songs, TV shows, blog posts. But the last time I cried - REALLY cried, not just got a little teary-eyed - was last weekend when I was feeling down about how much I still miss my mom. 5. Are you a logical thinker? I can be. I'm really good at those logic puzzles where it gives you little dibs and dabs of information and you have to sort it all out and figure out who lives in what house and drives what sort of car and works at what job and so on. But in my daily life I rely more on intuition than logic. My heart thinks faster than my head. 6. Can you sleep easily? No. I'm not a very good sleeper at all. 7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods? I can't choose. I just can't. They both feed my soul. I want a place where woods run down almost to the beach. :-) 1. Closest yellow thing to you? A bright yellow picture frame. 2. The happiest time(s) of your life? I don't know. I never know what to say when that question comes up. I've had lots of happy times, but don't want to single one out as THE happiest. 3. Favourite holiday? Does this mean holiday like Christmas, Easter, etc? (That's how Vesper answered it) Or holiday like trip? (That's how Susannah and Bee answered it.) If it means the former, I'd probably say Christmas, although I'm not quite the Christmas nut I was when I was younger. If it means the latter, then probably the trip we took to Hawaii in 2002. 4. Are you a coward? I don't think so. Not that I can claim I've never done anything cowardly, because of course I have. But I don't think I'm a coward overall. 5. Do you burn or tan? Burn. Sigh. (Although I try not to do either anymore!!) 6. Do you want children? No. Although I love spoiling the kids of family and friends! 7. What makes you happy? Being with people I love, reading a wonderful story, creating something I'm proud of, singing, looking at beautiful scenery, having adventures. 1. Closest pink thing to you? A little cloth box created by Diane D. 2. Do you like sweet things? Oh yeah. Way, WAY more than I wish I did. 3. Like play-fighting? Not so much. I have a low pain threshold and bruise easily and what other people think is "playing" often truly hurts me, and I'm not into pain. 4. Are you sensitive? Oh yeah. Again, way, WAY more than I should be. That's another of those areas I've been working on over the years and I HAVE improved, but I still take things too personally. 5. Do you like punk music? I'm not a huge fan, but some of it is good. 6. What is your favourite flower? I don't have a single favorite, but I like anything that's old-fashioned and super-fragrant - daffodils, lilacs, viburnum, peonies, roses, lilies...stuff like that. 7. Does someone have a crush on you? I have no idea. There are a few people here and there who act a bit flirty with me, but for all I know they may act flirty with everyone. 1. Closest orange thing to you? The background of a postcard Julie sent me from her trip to Glastonbury last year. 2. Do you like to burn things? Sometimes, I guess. But it isn't a big turn-on for me. 3. Dress up for Halloween? Dressing up for Halloween is one of those things I think sounds fun in theory, but in practice I can rarely be bothered with it. I'd rather take photos of other people's costumes! :-) 4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? Yes, I think so. 5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship? I like the security of a relationship that allows me to be myself and pursue my own path from within that relationship. 6. What would your super power be? Ooooh....dilemma. I've always answered "flight" to this question, but then I saw Bee's answer "to heal people" and that's really, really good. Hhhmmm.... Maybe I could heal people by flying?? :-) 1. Closest white thing to you? The pages of a notebook I keep by the 'puter. 2. Would you say you're innocent? No. And I don't mean that in a bad way, but c'mon y'all...I'm 44 years old. Anyone who can live for 44 years on this earth and still claim to be innocent is a better person than I am. 3. Always try to keep the peace? No. I prefer peaceful surroundings and everyone getting along. I'm not an agitator or instigator. But I won't *always* try to keep the peace. Sometimes it does more harm than good. 4. How do you imagine your wedding? In the past. Hehehe. It was very nice, but if I had it to do over again, I'd want to skip the whole church wedding thing. I'd want to elope and get married on a beach at sunset. 5. Do you like to play in the snow? NO. Snow is a four-letter word. I like to take photographs of it - briefly - then I want it to melt and go away. 6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? I'm not afraid of going to the doctor, although I find doing so annoying, but the dentist freaks me out. I'd rather have a pelvic exam than a dental exam. Seriously. 1. Closest black thing to you? Everything I'm wearing that isn't blue - my bra, undies, shoes. Also my watchband. 2. Ever enjoy hurting people? No. 3. Are you sophisticated or silly? Gee, I wonder....yeah, I'm going to have to go with silly on this one. 4. Do you have a lot of secrets? Some I guess, but I wouldn't say many. 5. What is your favourite colour(s)? It's easier to say what colors I don't like and that would be the dunduggity ones - gray, wimpy shades of pink, dingy shades of brown. I like pretty much all the rest. 6. Does the colour you wear affect your mood? My answer is the same as Bee's and Susannah's - it's the other way around for me. My mood affects what color I choose to wear. If you decide to use the famous Red Shoe Ramblings Self-Serve Meme Tagging System (patent pending...NOT), please let me know in comments so I can come see your answers, 'k? Thanks! Here's a snapshot of a fire we had the other night because a) it was pretty and I want to share it with all of you, and b) you can find pretty much all the colors mentioned in the meme in this one photo: (Can you find me in there? Twice even??) And here, for today's DAT is an extremely "messed with" version of that same photo. This one is clickable if you want to see it larger. "Home Fires in Neon"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago today - the 18th of November, 1986 - I went on a blind date. A woman I worked with kept telling me about some guy her husband worked with and how she thought we'd hit it off and wanted to introduce us. I was doubtful. Really doubtful. I resisted for weeks, but finally gave in and agreed (with many sighs and much rolling-of-the-eyes) to go to a little dinner party at her house and meet this person, although I was sure she was wrong, since every blind date I'd ever tried had been a disaster. On the surface, I should've been right. I came to Pat's house straight from work and I was stylin' in my red dress and red shoes, with my typically '80's Big Hair, along with saucer-sized earrings and bangle bracelets. I would've looked quite at home at most any yuppie dance club. He was a tall skinny guy with shaggy hair and a beard, wearing faded jeans, cowboy boots, and a flannel shirt. He looked like he should be hanging someplace with sawdust on the floor. And it wasn't just the look. We didn't really seem to have much in common. But there was sparkage, people! Definite and immediate flying of the sparks was going on that evening. The next day I told Pat "if he asks, give him my number." He did. She did. He called. A little over two years later, in February of 1989, I married that guy. Sometimes the blind date thing works. Go figure. Love you, J! Here's today's Daily Art Thang, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of this post. :-) "Berry Cluster" (clickable) Hhhmmm....Unless one wants to make something profound of how opposite the shiny red berries and the pointy green leaves are, yet how well they complement each other. Well. Maybe this photo has something to do with the rest of the post after all! HA!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just Dreaming Out Loud on a Gloomy Friday Morning

Merciful Zeus, I'm so late getting anything posted today, y'all probably gave up on me. I've actually been up for a little while, but I got lost on a fascinating website called Find Your Spot. This time of year, when it goes all cold, and gray, and virtually sunless in my little corner of the world, J and I always start dreaming about moving somewhere else, specifically somewhere winter isn't such a grumpy bitch. For now it's just a dream, but who knows about the future. Find Your Spot is a website that takes you through a long list of questions about what's important to you about where you live - climate, economy, job opportunities, government, cultural opportunities, religion, schools, housing costs, crime rates, education - all sorts of things, and then generates a list of two dozen US towns and cities it thinks you would like based on your answers. I had a few oddball things thrown into my results, like Las Vegas showing up in the #5 position. (Las Vegas? Really?? I can't even imagine!) But my overall results can be pretty much summed up by the top three recommendations: El Cajon, CA (near San Diego), Alexandria, LA, and Honolulu, HI. Nineteen out of twenty-four of my results were towns or cities in California, Louisiana, or Hawaii! Nineteen out of twenty-four, y'all! Hhhmmmm.... Sadly, unless we come into an unexpected and HUGE windfall of the spendable green stuff, I don't see California or Hawaii ever being an option for us. The cost of living is way too high in those two states compared to what we're used to here in little ol' Kentucky. But I find it interesting that Louisiana showed up so often. I wouldn't have thought to single out that state in particular as opposed to so many other states in the southeast (which IS, in fact, a region of the US I really like), but Alexandria is a town where J has done some contract work in the past and he really liked it there. Oh yeah, and the average cost of a house in Alexandria is $135K as opposed to ~$500K in the other two top spots on my list. Ahem. Oh well, just dreaming out loud...for now. Meanwhile, I have to admit our little corner of Kentucky has some pretty days, even on the dark side of the year. Here's a glimpse of one of them: "Autumn Pond" (clickable)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

This week at Poetry Thursday, the prompt is to lie your ass off. Well, ok, there's a little more to it than that. You can read about the idea in more detail on the PT blog, but basically the suggestion is to do a creative writing exercise where you list any 10 everyday objects and then make up a lie about each of them, and try to turn those lies into a poem. The instructions go on to say: "The point: to help flex your creative muscles. Creative writing is all about lying — making up stories that never existed or representing something in such a way as to make it like it never was. Of course actually, the sideways look — or lie — is often made to try to extract something essential, too. In Mark's words, telling lies to get at the truth. But making stuff up is also fun. The more outrageous the better." I thought what the hell, I'd give it a shot. So I started writing down objects one day and this is the list of 10 I came up with: window, tangerine, clock, fork, book, shoe, telephone, needle, lantern, and comb. As I started jotting down ideas for lies to tell about those objects, it all started to turn into this surreal little story in my mind - a story that reminded me of the sort of dreams I've had on the rare occasions when I've had an extremely high fever. It's one of the more bizarre things I've ever written, to say the least and I almost can't believe I'm even sharing it. But anyway, here it is - a poem of sorts about things that never really happened, except maybe in the mind of someone who was delirious, or doing some really good drugs, :-) Fever Dream The window draped softly over my shoulders, while the tangerine sat warm in my hand and hummed a lullaby. A clock erupted through the floor to shatter the fork's stately dance with bitter, swirling rage. "Hush," said the book, as a sliver shoe swept through its pages, untangling tightly braided words. "Be glad you aren't the telephone, crippled and alone, grieving for the wings it never had." The needle nodded in sympathy, or perhaps in smug agreement. No one ever quite knows what the needle is thinking, not even the lantern, who is in the autumn of her thirteenth life. As all became quiet once more, a comb crept in on blue velvet feet and crawled into my hand to curl around the tangerine. The fork began to dance again to the sounds of a lullaby, while the window draped softly over my shoulders. If you want to read more lies (or maybe even some poems where people opted to tell the truth!) then check out the links on Poetry Thursday. Today's DAT: "Tangerine Dreams" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Comments on Comments from the Past Two Days

Hi y'all! I've gotten so behind on Stuff that I've given up on any thought of attempting individual replies to the last couple of days' posts. So I'm going to do a reply post here and call it Good Enough. regarding yesterday's Glam SPC: A few people asked about both the lashes and what I was wearing. The lashes are, of course, totally fake. My real ones are sparse and wispy and so light-colored that they might as well be invisible. Mascara is my friend. :-) I don't usually wear falsies (frankly, I can't imagine going through that too often!) but I couldn't resist putting on a pair for these glam shots. As far as people asking how I get them on straight and keep them on - to the first, very carefully and with a lot of cussing. It took me several tries to get that right! And as to the second - I don't! Toward the end of taking these photos I was having some Eyelash Migration without even realizing it and ended up having to move the lashes back into proper position in Photoshop in a couple of shots. ;-) And what I was wearing wasn't a dress, it was (as Jen surmised) a hand-dyed silk velvet scarf I bought from the lovely Deb Lacativa last year. I decided early on when taking these photos that the costume changes were going to be a total pain in the ass. So for most of them I was topless and just draping various scarves and things over the girly bits to keep the final photos rated PG. Was that Too Much Information? :-) regarding The Great Glasses Test of '06: OMG, y'all realize you've completely overwhelmed me, right? I was figuring if I got oh...5 to maybe as much as 20 comments, I'd consider that a great response. So now I'm still totally confused, but I'm also very touched and greatly amused and both of those are Good Things. I love how passionate some of you got about your preferences and how analytical others were! I think my favorite Laugh-Out-Loud comment was the one where Terry referred to the much-maligned #5 pair as "serial killer glasses." ROFL! I received an interesting email from my brother-in-law where he explained that he chose #2 as his favorite because he felt like the rectangular shape of 1 and 6 had become almost a cliche for Artsy-Nerdy-Cool and he'd like to see me get something a little different. He also informed me that he would no longer be speaking to me if I bought #5. I told him if I had more money than God, I'd buy them just to wear when I visit Sandy and him. (But I don't, so never mind.) Hi, Andy! :-) J (my husband, if any of you don't already know that) was with what seemed to be the majority of you in that he really liked #6 and 1; said he could live with 2 or 4; and he actively disliked 3 and 5. I'm still undecided, but I really appreciate the input! I will say that (much to the disappointment of a few of you) the more I look at the photos, the less I like #3, plus I'd hate to go around wearing glasses my husband detests. I have sex with that man, y'all! And, despite my smartass comment to my BIL, I don't see me getting #5 either. (Picture Cate and Kristen being disappointed while everyone else breathes a sigh of relief. Heh) But I still really like various things about all 4 of the others, as well as the unnumbered rimless ones, so....hhhmmm....we'll see. Whatever I get, I'll be sure to post pics so some of you can cheer and others can mutter and wonder how I went so very, VERY wrong. :-D Today's Daily Art Thang: "Ephemeral Strength" I may not like spiders (helloooooo, Understatement!!) but I find their webs fascinating. (clickable)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

SPC: Glam, Week 2 - Digicolor Deb

First of all, to everyone who commented yesterday, THANK YOU! I'll talk more about that tomorrow rather than double-posting today, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you all how much I appreciate your input. Now on to our regularly scheduled SPC post. **************** It's time for the second week of November's Glam Self-Portrait Challenge. I'm continuing to take my inspiration from classic Hollywood glamor shots rather than the suggested Glam Rock. This week I was inspired by a legend - Ms. Lucille Ball. Everyone knows Lucy was one of the great comediennes of classic television, but what some people may not know is that she had a long movie career before that and was known in her younger days as Queen of the B-movies. When Lucy was a young starlet, most movies were filmed in black and white. But when the studios started switching over to filming many movies in color, the camera became one of the first to love Lucy. Life magazine did an article about her in 1943 in which they dubbed her "Technicolor Tessie" because of the vibrant visual impact of her pale skin, blue eyes, and red hair in color film. I'm no Lucy, but I have that same type of coloring. And I'm not using film, but the effect is similar in pixels. So for this Self-Portrait Challenge photo, I've dubbed myself: "Digicolor Deb" This is my husband's favorite of the photos I've taken for this challenge. :-) And as a bonus, here's a second shot from that same series of photos. I didn't like the overall pic quite as much as the previous one, but I liked the position of my hand in this one and I liked the look of my eyes: "Digicolor Deb: Take 2" (both photos are clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Do You See What I See?

Remember a few months ago when I reluctantly decided to give up on wearing contacts and go back to wearing glasses full time? You don't? Yeah, I'm a little fuzzy on exactly when it happened too and I don't feel like digging through the archives, so I'm not going to be linking to a former post. You'll just have to trust me on this one. The thing is, my current glasses are old and scratched, I don't think the prescription is quite right anymore, and I don't like the way they look. So it's time - past time really - to make an appointment for an eye exam and then order some new ones. But now that I'm not wearing contacts anymore, I can't really SEE what I look like in blank frames well enough to choose new glasses. Make sense? Sure it does! So here's my ingenious solution. The last time I went to a certain megahuge discount store which shall remain nameless, but it rhymes with Blooper Ball-Fart, and yeah I know all the bad things about Blooper Ball-Fart and why I shouldn't go there, but sometimes I DO, ok? Ok. If it helps at all, I tend to feel bad about it after. Ahem. Anyway, last time I went to BB-F I took my little pocket camera with me and zoomed through their optical shop and yanked a bunch of frames off the display and took "arms stretched out" photos of myself so I could see how different styles and colors would look. Clever, yes? I thought so, but I'm not sure the guy working there agreed. BB-F WorkerDude: "Can I help you ma'am?" Me (with a big smile): "No thanks! I need new glasses, but I don't have an appointment. I want to see how I'd look in them before I order any and I can't see how I look in glasses unless I'm already, you know...WEARING glasses, so I'm taking a bunch of photos of myself in different frames so I can look at them on the computer later and post them on the internet and show my friends and then decide what to buy." BB-F WD (looking a little dazed): :::crickets chirp::: about taking a look and telling me what you think? In a perfect world, I'd like to get two pairs of glasses, although depending on the cost that may not happen. I may have to get one pair and hope to swing another pair through ye olde budgette in a few months or a year. But let's say for a moment that the clouds will part and the sun will shine and I'll have a positive plague of money cluttering up my bank account and get to buy two. In that case, I'd like one of them to be something very minimalist, kind of like this: (Please excuse the blurriness and weird facial expressions. These were speed photos if there ever were any, and in bad lighting at that.) Then I'd like the second pair to be much more obvious - sort of Cool Artsy Nerd-style glasses. I'm thinking something sort of like one of these: (this one is clickable, although the quality of the larger version is not-so-good) Do you like any of them? Detest any of them? Talk to me! I'm ready to see things through your eyes. (grooooan) In keeping with today's blog post topic (in a weird sort of way) today's DAT was a photo I took a few weeks ago where I was messing with depth of field and wanting to keep just one very small portion of the photo in focus while the rest went a bit blurry. "One Sharp Edge" (also clickable)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Those Were The Days? Well.....

I feel the need to post something a bit mindless today, so here's a meme I lifted from Janet a while back. Yes, a meme. YES, another one. It's Sunday and it's been a rough week. Cut me some slack, 'k? Thanks! What was your first childhood pet? A gerbil named Gerry. What was your favorite comic? Assuming this means comic books (as opposed to newspaper comic strips), I liked the Archie ones a lot. I used to really like those lurid horror comics too (which I find a bit mind-blowing in retrospect, since I detest horror movies) What was your favorite childhood book? I loved the traditional fairy tales (like the Grimm bros. stories), and the Trixie Belden books, and "A Wrinkle in Time. " Going farther back, I liked Dr. Seuss an awful lot too. Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a child? No Did you play an instrument as a child? I played the piano. Badly. What was the first hit single record you bought? I have absolutely no idea, but it was probably something really lame. I got my first record player (yes...Record player) when I was about 11 years old and at that age I had a huge crush on (omigawd, I can't believe I'm about to reveal this...gulp) Donny Osmond. Yes. I know. What tune sums up teenage summers? "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" What was first pop concert you went to? I hardly went to any. I've never been into concerts - still am not into it. Don't like the noise or the crowds. That said, I think the first one of the few I went to was for the band Journey. Fave teenage TV program? All My Children. No, I don't still watch and haven't for years and years, but I was totally hooked on that soap during high school and college. Were you a naughty or a good girl at school? Both. Really! I was a straight-A student, ended up as valedictorian the year I graduated. I was a cheerleader 3 years and played volleyball (badly) and basketball (badly) one year each, and was in the choir. However I also broke a lot of rules, spent more time than I ever wanted to with the principal and in detention, and I was at one point suspended and threatened with expulsion. So. Both! Miss Popularity, Artsy Pants, weirdo or geek, which of these groups classify you at secondary[high] school? In high school I'd have to go with Miss Popularity with a whopping side of geek. In college I was more an Artsy Pants-weirdo combo. Girl most likely to [as in year book]? I don't think we did that "most likely to" thing when I was in high school and if we had, I have no idea what they'd have said. See above regarding my somewhat wide range of behavior at that age! :-) What color did you paint your bedroom as a teenager? White. I know, sad isn't it. But I shared with my sister, so we'd have had to agree on a color, and that room had bright red shag carpeting. BRIGHT. Red. So white sort of seemed like a visual relief. Plus we had so much stuff on the walls it hardly showed anyway. Very first paid job ever? Babysitting Have you ever been really drunk? Yes. Bleah. Did you smoke dope? and if so did you do a Bill Clinton [ smoking but not inhaling]? No. I know that's unusual for someone in my generation, but it's true - I never tried any illegal drugs at all. Even as a teenager I knew enough about my tendencies (toward escapism and OCD-ish behavior) to think that if I ever tried drugs I might like them altogether too much and might not be able to quit. So I just never started. A stupid thing you did? Just one? Heh. Ok, how about the time my friend Pam and I were walking through the woods and came upon a ravine. We noticed some wild grapevines in the trees along one bank and decided to do a Tarzan move and swing across the ravine on a grapevine. Pam went first and made it fine. I went second and the one I was swinging on broke when I was over the ravine. Luckily I only got the wind knocked out of me and got some bruises, but I came about three inches away from impaling myself on a broken sapling stub that was sticking out of the ground like a stake. Pretty stupid. Left handed or right handed? Right Should you play a board game with me? I have no idea what that question means. Is it asking if I like playing board games? Then yes, some of them, but not all. I love Scrabble. I like Apples to Apples, Taboo, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, stuff like that. I also love to play cards. But I detest Monopoly and I've never been into checkers or chess. Is it asking if I'm good at board games?? Some yes, some no! If you came to visit me what would we do? Here again, I find this confusing. I suppose it's asking if YOU, the person reading this, came to visit me, what would we do? Well, it depends a great deal on who is reading this! I will say though that I'm not kidding when I talk about living in the middle of nowhere. If you come to visit, you'd better want to see me, not a lot of touristy stuff. That said though, there are places we could go antiquing and some pretty scenery (photo ops!) quite close by. There are towns and cities within decent day-trip distance where there are museums, theaters, shops, etc. We could climb the Purple People Bridge. (I still need to do that!) But mostly I hope we'd hang out and talk and laugh. RSR regulars know the drill - all tagging is self-serve, so if you want to play, tell me so in comments and consider yourself tagged. Today's DAT: "Glowing Heart" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Healing? Wallowing? Hhhhmmm....

It's looking like another one of those days around here. After I posted this blog entry, I truly felt so much better - like I had flipped the switch on a pressure release valve. Plus, this week has been busyBusyBUSY, which helps in its own weird way. No time to think, or brood, or feel. (Yeah, I know numbness isn't particularly healthy, but it's very soothing. Just ask any addict of any kind.) Yesterday I worked my way to sore exhaustion helping J put a roof and part of the siding on our new garage extension. Then last night I slipped away into what I thought would be a deep and dreamless sleep, which was stupid on my part because my sleep is never dreamless. I don't remember the details any of those dreams this morning, but I woke up feeling all jagged and splintery inside. Me being me, I might be able to soothe those jagged edges and shove it all back inside if it had been sunny and bright out today, but it isn't. I woke up to a day that's dark and cool, damp and windy - a day where I won't be getting out and pounding nails into boards with every bit of strength and anger inside - a day that makes me feel like making a pot of tea and huddling in a blanket on the corner of the couch and watching sad movies. Some people would probably tell me to go ahead and do that, but I doubt I will. At the end of the day the crying would make me feel physically ill and I'd be angry at myself for the self-indulgent wallowing. (I might even be angry at myself later for posting this blog entry, but I'm going to do it anyway and see if it helps.) When you're going through a bad time emotionally, for whatever reason, how do you balance between owning those feelings and expressing them - feeling what you need to feel - and wallowing? How do you know the difference between feeling as healing and moving forward, and feeling as a self-destructive loop that's leaving you in a bad place you need to leave? I wish I knew, but I don't think I've figured that out yet. I'm working on it. My brother and sister and I are planning to revive a family event that we let go after Mom died. We used to get together in mid-December and make candy and bake cookies, then we'd share them - among ourselves and with friends. This is a photo of (l - r) me, Sandy, and Mom taken 7 years ago during one of our marathon cookie-baking sessions. We intended to keep doing that after Mom died, but on my part I just couldn't. It was one of the things that hurt too much. Strangely though, despite grief hitting me harder this year than it has any year since the first year after she died, this is also the first year where I found myself wanting to revive the family Sugar Coma Marathon. Somehow this year it seems like something that would both make Mom feel close by and would help those of us left behind to form some revised family traditions. So Mark and Sandy and I are planning to get together next month and bake our little hearts out. I figure we'll laugh and cry and tell some "remember when" stories. It feels to me like it could be a step in the right direction. You know, I really DO think typing all this out helped a little. Writing as release...who knew. "Three Leaves" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Little Bit of my Life in Pictures

Yesterday I went to Lexington for this: Well, that's not really the reason I went to Lexington. I went to Lex to do a boring-but-necessary errand. But I could have gone any day this week. I went yesterday so I could be at the Great! Opening! Sale! complete with 99 Red Balloons! Ok, ok...there were really only 5 red balloons, but I'm prone to hyperbole when I'm excited. They did, however give away freebie red tote bags to the first 100 customers and I got one, baby, along with some books to go with. Damn do I ever love book stores. Aaaahhh. While I was there I thought I'd snap a self-portrait in front of one of the horse statues they have in that shopping complex. I don't know why, exactly. Because it was there and I was there and it seemed like the thing to do. Oh yeah, "overexposed and squinty" is hawt! I don't know why the horse was looking at me like I was crazy. So were some people (looking at me like I was crazy, that is), but I didn't take any pictures of them. I took that photo right after buying two new bras, but I didn't take any photos of those either. You're welcome. And speaking of self-portraits (well, I was if you'll look back a paragraph or two), the lovely Vanessa made this request after seeing my last SPC photo: "I would really love to see this shot in colour... your amazing red hair must look just breathtaking." Thanks, Vanessa! :::beam::: Since that was such a sweet thing to say, and since I thought some other people who are into photography might be interested in seeing what I started with to end up with that particular portrait, here's the original color version - cropped but otherwise not corrected, so you can see that my backdrop needed a good pressing and I was wearing a ratty old cardigan (soooo glam! heh): Overexposed again! (Although I actually do think my hair looks kind of pretty.) I'm tellin' ya, overexposed is the new black. In this case, however, it was deliberate, as I knew I'd need my face to be uber-white in order to look right in the finished B/W photo, since I was going to be darkening it considerably to make the body visually disappear. In the snapshot above it was because I just didn't pay any attention to the direction of the sun. :-) Today's DAT is: "The View from my Back Yard" (clickable, as usual)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Just one that spoke to me on a late Autumn day

I've decided not to follow any of the quite wonderful prompts today for Poetry Thursday, but instead just, well, what I said in the post subject line - to share a poem that spoke to me today. I hope it speaks to some of you too. Three Times My Life Has Opened Three times my life has opened. Once, into darkness and rain. Once, into what the body carries at all times within it and starts to remember each time it enters the act of love. Once, to the fire that holds all. These three were not different. You will recognize what I am saying or you will not. But outside my window all day a maple has stepped from her leaves like a woman in love with winter, dropping the colored silks. Neither are we different in what we know. There is a door. It opens. Then it is closed. But a slip of light stays, like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor, or the one red leaf the snow releases in March. ~~~Jane Hirshfield "...dropping the colored silks" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) If you want to read more poetry, just follow the links you'll find at Poetry Thursday and find some magic! PS - I owe some replies and some blog visits, but I've hardly been home at all the past couple of days and it's not looking like today will be any different. Just want to say I appreciate everyone who has stopped by and I'll get to some replies and visits SOON - no later than the weekend. Hugs and smoochies! :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #32

1. I waited until a bit later than usual to post anything today because I wanted to see what the US election results were. I was disappointed in our local results, where a candidate for a county office who (whom?? I can never remember that rule) I really wanted to win was defeated by only ~400 votes (!!!) and our district was one of the few pivotal Congressional races that didn't pull through and vote for a change of leadership. But I'm thrilled with the national results. The voters in most of the rest of the country did a much better job making their dissatisfaction with the current situation known. Yay! 2. And in a more private battlefield known as my living room - Y'all, there is an invasion of spiders in my house and it is Freaking. Me. Right-the-hell-OUT! One of those little buggers HAD to have gotten in here and had babies or something and now there are all these teeeeeeny-tiny little spiders that keep making webs on and around my favorite reading lamp. Did you catch that? My favorite reading lamp, y'all. That's personal. Every day I vacuum up webs and little invaders and I don't much more than turn around and there's more and I can NOT figure out where they're coming from. I'm having horrible paranoid thoughts about the possibility of a nest of some sort lurking in the depths of my couch, but I've vacuumed the parts I can reach and I can't do anything about the parts I can't reach, since I can't exactly literally tear it apart, as that would require buying a new one and I can't afford to do that. And where is the mother?? That thought is making me lose sleep. The little ones are too small to suck off my face in the night unless they team up and cooperate (shudder!) but Where. Is. The. Mother??? I may have to move. 3. Daily Art Thang - photo taken a few weeks ago when the trees still have purrrrty leaves: "Bright Spot" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)