Monday, October 31, 2005

An Eeny, Meany, Halloweenie

Made a cameo appearance at the Harvest Fair at church - long enough to see the grandgirls. Who were looking Very Grand indeed, dressed as a Renaissance princess & a winged pixie. Their other side Auntie took some quick pics on her digital camera (promised me she'd send some to me - I'm holding you to that Shelle!). What I love about digital pics is being able to view them immediately. Oddly enough, only the pics that included me, had like a bajillion of those Orb thingies all around us, of varying sizes. Being the oddball that I am, I was very excited about this, & had the following conversation with hubby (who'd stayed behind to man the candy station), when I got home:

Tink: "Honey, guess what!"
Hub: (sigh) "What now?" (you'd think I get all excited like this, all the time!) (ok, so he knows me well...)
Tink: "Shelle took all these photos with her digital of the girls & Brook & Chris & herself & me - and the only pictures that had Orbs in them were the ones where I was in the picture! What do you think that means? Do you think they're angels trying to heal me or spirits haunting me or what?"
Hub ( looking in serious thought mode): "Was Roy in any of the pictures?"
Tink (looking seriously perplexed): "Roy who?" (now seriously wracking brain for acquaintances named Roy)
Hub: (with annoying straight face): "Roy Orbison...." (wisely ducking for cover!)

Time for me to duck under the covers, turn on the radio, & spook myself with scary ghost stories, as I listen to "Ghost to Ghost" on Coast to Coast AM radio with Art Bell (they have some spooky artwork submitted by listeners, on their website, if you're up for that kind of thing tonight!)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Day Before Halloween

Well, I didn't get to the bookstore or the library - found out the grandgirlies (& my big girl & her hubby) would be spending the day with us today, so I went to the grocery store & stocked up on goodies instead, & cooked up a storm (well, actually a ham, sweet potatoes, baked beans, au gratin potatoes, brownies & spiced cider) which were all gobbled up in no time today.
The little girls had a great time with dressing up Zoe in all her costumes, over on the "allsorts" site (if you have kids & haven't seen this, you need to check it out - SO cute & fun for kids!) & we big girls crafted up treat bags, etc for the pre-k class my daughter teaches. Good times...
Tonight, Desperate Housewives is on, & I am SOOO ready to be in my pj's & under a fuzzy afghan in front of the tube...maybe with a bottle of applebeer.
All Hallow's Eve-eve at its best.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


So what do you think? I was getting tired of all those polka dots & thought it might be nice to have a change, since I still am unable to post photos/graphics, I thought I'd at least try some different templates out for Some visual interest! Can't do much else with it for now, so I'll just play blog "dress-up" & put a different costume on it each post!

Sorry I don't have much else to offer today (though I'm going to the library & bookstore to see if I can make myself at least a teensier bit more knowledgeable on this whole web/blogging thingy - cross your fingers! There's hope for me yet [I hope]!) (Is there a limit to the number of parentheses & brackets you can use in one sentence? [Hope not!])

Have a good day everyone - if I get a little more edumacated today, I'll try some of that knowledge out here later tonight. TTFN.

Friday, October 28, 2005

When Your Inner Child Throws a Tantrum - Throw Something Back

A disclaimer: This blog contains much whining & some kvetching. The contents of this blog may bore some viewers to tears. If you feel this may apply to you, you may want to avoid viewing today's episode. You should probably consult a physician if you experience symptoms similar to those described in the blog. Reading this blog (or viewing the movie described therein) is NOT a substitute for actual medical care, no matter what you may think this blog says.

I'm STILL dealing with a sinus infection while healing up from dental work. So I went back today to the Dr. to get New, Improved meds - Now With More Germ-Fighting Power! - since the ones I've been on have been total slackers - Hello! it's been 10 days! Time to work now! (Which by the way, is what my boss & co-workers would like ME to do - & me too, since I really like getting a paycheck). And while my outer grown-up is sick & tired of being sick & tired & not working, my Inner Child has been pouting & throwing tantrums ("I hate being sick & never getting to play! I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!!!")

So, while waiting for my prescription to get filled, I took my Inner Child to the movies to see a cartoon (Wallace & Grommit - Curse of the WereRabbit). And It Was Good (both the movie & the Inner Child - it sat very still through the whole movie without whining once, & even laughed lots to itself. I mean me; myself. Oh you know what I mean!)

Anyway, I think that may have been the best medicine I've had all week; I felt better after the movie, even BEFORE I took the new med.

Next time I'm feeling sick, I think I'll find a good comedy to watch first, before I ever go to the doctor. It'd be a lot cheaper & it's certainly a heck of lot more fun!
(Remember the disclaimer at the beginning? Well, this is where you're supposed to remember it! So don't mess around & not go to the doctor when you don't feel well, just because I say silly things in my blog! However, AFTER you see your doctor, feel free to go to a funny movie & laugh your head off - it just might feel better - once you pick it up & put it back on...make sure you wash all that icky stuff from the theater floor off it, though - ooo, yuck! Is that someone's gum down there in the popcorn?)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Halloween Kitchen Mystery

Everyone has such clever Halloween blogs, with cool banners & ghost blog envy grows by leaps & bounds!
The only remotely spooky thing I have to offer is THE MYSTERY OF THE POTS & PANS!!
Actually, come to think of it, it was a pot & a spoon....Tonight, inanimate objects in my kitchen have decided to move about inexplicably on their own.

At the time of the Incident, the cats were all accounted for, vegging in front of the tube tonight with my hubby & me; the girly was at a play rehearsal at the college; the dogs were outside, taking care of business; the rabbit was in his bathroom and the frogs & fish minding their own business in their bathroom (well, technically in their aquarium, in their bathroom) - NO ONE (that we know of) was in the kitchen, though someone HAD left the light on (tsk,tsk) - when the pot & spoon that had been sitting on the stove (empty, thankfully), decided they just couldn't take it anymore, & decided to JUMP from the stove, onto the floor (like 2 feet AWAY from the stove)!

Now, they did have good reason to be depressed, because I am not known for my promptness in housekeeping (obviously, since we'd finished eating, yet there on the stove they sat; but still, if everything in this house that's neglected started behaving this way, it would look even more like a tornado had been thru here than it already does! (And frankly the laundry would have had much more of a reason to try to end it all - some of my husbands socks can stand on their own, I'm surprised they haven't tried to make a run for it yet!)

We do live in earthquake country, but nothing else moved...Or some sort of magnetic anomaly? Has anyone else experienced this? There may be a pandemic of pans spontaneously springing around on their own. Perhaps they've gotten ideas by us watching "Beauty & the Beast" one too many times with the grandgirlies. We do read nursery rhymes to the little ones, too - perhaps they were running away like the dish & the spoon?

I am trying to maintain a humorous attitude about this, but I have to admit, it did leave me feeling a little spooked & nervous....& really glad we'd had soup for dinner & not something requiring forks, knives or a cleaver!

Ok, on that note, you'll have to excuse me now - I have to go duct-tape the utensil drawers shut.....
(Silly as it all sounds - this really DID happen tonight! Anyone have a rational explanation, I hope?!?)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Family Art Show

Here's the idea I passed on to another blogger earlier today - so if you read this on My Weblog (Molly Chicken) already, I apologize. Actually, I apologize to everyone who's ever had these ideas already published - I told you they weren't all that original, I'm just adding my own little twists here & there.

OK - you're dying to work on your own art - but the kids want every iota of your attention; they are Bored with a capital B. So gather the crayons & every scrap of paper you can find, because in a minute - NOT YET! - you're going to announce that there will be an Art Show at __ o'clock [choose the time based on a) the age & attention span of the kids - give yourself at least 1/2 an hour; b) the amount of paper you have for them to draw on - & paper bags or old newspapers can work here if need be!]
BEFORE announcing the art show - quickly get some ribbon scraps (one per child) & with a marker, write: "Winner 8 yr old div." or whatever age applies, one ribbon per child. No ribbon? No prob - just do the same thing on pieces of paper (remember - kids are not as picky as adults & usually they like it that an adult took the time to play along this far with them). But whatever you use - DO THIS BEFORE YOU EVEN TELL THEM ABOUT IT. For one thing, it piques their curiousity "What are you doing?" "You'll see in a minute, if you're quiet." (This usually will buy 3- 5 min. of semi-quiet, "What do you think she's doing?", "I dunno! Shhh!" For another, you don't want to cut into the time you're carving out for yourself by doing this while they're drawing! That's YOUR time! No matter how tempted you may be, at least the first few times, try the ribbon or paper award ONLY, to see if you can get away with it - 'cause once you've started with any add'l treat, they won't be happy without it. Much later, down the road, AFTER you've had a bajillion artshows & it's allure is wearing thin, ONLY THEN should you up the ante by attaching a stick of gum or candy with some tape to the award. Trust me on this.

Also, look around you now, for the "display area" - it can be the fridge if you have lots of magnets; along windowsills or a mantel; I've even clothespinned them onto clotheslines & shower curtains; pinned them on drapes; and paperclipped them to windowblinds. Whatever it takes; I support the arts (lol)
OK - you have your "awards" ready, you've mentally designated the exhibit space, announce the show!
The Prospectus: In order for their art to be eligible for the show, they must use at least 3 different colors & cover as much of the page as possible "to look like a painting" (this helps slow down the quick scribbler syndrome) and (if able to, yet) sign their work. They must enter at least 3 drawings to be eligible for an award. If they're in a whinier than usual mood or just stumped for ideas, give them a theme (You can give them a quick pep talk naming some subjects for the theme: say it's Halloween: Costumes, pumpkins, black cats, haunted houses, spiders, monsters, etc.) If it's not near a holiday, some other quick themes:
Superheroes; favorite toys, books or movies (create posters for them); castles, dragons & royalty (princes/princesses); amusement park rides (ones they've been on & ones they invent themselves); family portraits - a different portrait of each person in their family with things that person likes, include pets; school portraits - a picture of each person in their class (or at least their friends), include their teachers; animals (see who can come up with the most drawings of different animals - call it a wildlife show!); garden - flowers, trees, veggies, creepy crawlies.

Believe it or not, I learned you actually can buy MORE time with this one by NOT using a timer - they usually get so caught up in this activity, they'll go beyond the time you would normally allot without thinking about it. I just tell them at the beginning a time we'll have the art show
& usually they'll keep drawing right up to the deadline! Now's YOUR chance - GO! Work while you can!

Then at the appointed art show time, help them line up their work in your designated exhibit space. Ooo & aah, lots - ask them about each one. Then tell them to come back in 10 minutes (go play, pick up toys, whatever). While they're gone, choose one from each child as the best & attach the award to that one. If you have a camera, when they come back for their awards, take a picture of each child with their prize-winning picture. Not only does this boost their self-esteem & look good in their scrapbooks, you also have visual proof when they become sullen teenagers, that you DID, too, spend quality time with them!

Happy art show!

The Enchanted Leaf & Finding a Purpose

This morning, I groggily sat down on my front porch to sip my tea (more like slurping it since the mouth is still healing, yuck) & looked out to see a magical, enchanted leaf - floating in the air, dancing in the wind! Now I know I've been on painkillers & I'm NOT a morning person under the best of circumstances - so it took me a while for my brain to sort out what my eyes were seeing. But while I was waiting for the synapses to connect, I felt all the wonderment of childhood again. This leaf was PURE MAGIC! Perhaps it was under a spell! Maybe it's being held by a ghost (it IS Ghosting season, you know) or a fairy!
Unfortunately, the brain finally woke up enough to kick me in the derriere & say"You idiot! Your porch is shaded, so obviously you can't see the strand of spidee web it's attached to!" (I really Hate when my brain talks down to me that way. We're thinking of counseling...) But I've stubbornly tried to cling to that sense of wonderment all day (so what do you think of that, Miss Brainiac!?!)
(Sorry to involve you in our sordid pettiness...Yes; yes, I would like a comfy little padded room - as long as there'll be crayons to draw with!)
Which brings me to my next little brainstorm....When I finished my tea & finally got my brain into gear, I tried to find a purpose for the day; but somehow I just ended up drifting over to the PC, blogging along thru my usual bookmarks. Then I found someone who was having kind of a "down" day with the kiddies at home & so I left a comment wiith a semi-coherent idea of mine (that I really hope works for her!) to entertain the kids & retain some sanity (hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe this idea didn't succeed in saving mine! Well, at least it kept me off the 11:00 news!) Anyway, from time to time, I'm thinking I might share some of these "fun things for little people" ideas, in hopes they'll help some of the grown-up people enjoy life a little more - I'm sure the ideas aren't all that original, but maybe someone who's desperate for an idea will stumble across these when they need them. So starting with the next post I'm going to be throwing some of these ideas out to whoever wants to play catch. Or just wants to catch a moment of peace.

Breaking Thru Artist's Block

Well, it took a week off from work with sinus & dental problems, mega antibiotics, painkillers, & lots of sleeping...mmm...I'd forgotten how good sleeping is...Yawn :<> , yep, ready to go right back to dreamland again - oh, sorry! What was I going to tell you? Oh, yeah. Finally got a little inspiration going again & broke out my sketchpad & Caran D'ache neocolors (cool little watercolor crayons) & these fun multicolor rainbow crayons from Michael's & tried out an idea for a children's book. I can't believe it, but I was actually inspired by my visit to the dentist! Someday soon (Christmas is coming & I've been laying MAJOR hints) I hope to have the technology to share my artwork digitally & then I can show you guys.
But now I think it's time to catch some more zzzzzzzzzzzzzz'sssssssss. 'Nighty - night

Monday, October 24, 2005

Falling Off My Soapbox

Ok, now that I've fallen off yesterday's soapbox, I've spent most of the day curled up in a ball from having 2 teeth pulled. And I don't even have bounty from the toothfairy to look forward to (sigh). Cheek's swollen out like a chipmunk (heavier sigh)
Still don't have a way to post photos, etc. (sob) Oh, wait, maybe that's a good thing, since I look like a chipmunk (lol) And it's probably a good thing I don't do podcasting, since my enunciation is pretty much down to vowels only, right now :D
Oh! My husband just got home from his drumming class....& he brought me FLAN! Yeah!
Alrighty, then, life's getting better! (Mmmm.....flaaannn....)
He is so sweet! (wipe tear from eye)
Did I mention painkillers give me extreme mood swings? :>)
You noticed?
I'm feeling like a hedgehog - in other words, time to curl into a ball again....

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Heartbreak of Broken Blog Syndrome

In our last episode, it was revealed that Tinker's blog was BROKEN & her toolbar icons either stolen by the jealous cat gang or possibly destroyed by the Cyber gods, who were greatly displeased by her feeble attempts at blogging. Outlook Express was also appalled at her inept ability to correctly identify her server, & was holding her for contempt of cybercourt, without even allowing her to make an e-mail to Blogger. Also, her computer may be possessed by the spirit of HAL of 2001 fame.
When she called for help, a mysterious stranger appeared in her comments section, assuring her that by purchasing his wares, the Cyber gods would be appeased. But then she must also post photos of herself or other attractive female humans wearing his wares; only then would he help her vanquish the Byte Monster still attacking her.
Since we last tuned in, Tinker attempted to bravely confront the mysterious stranger with the following reply to his comment:
Dear TAL, Thank you for your comments & advice. Alas, the Cyber gods are obviously far from omniscient, since a) I cannot purchase blogging or any other wares to appease them, since my current occupation is listed as 'artist, starving.' (I would however be willing to paint them an altar, crochet them a tea cozy or if need be, send them a cat. If they pay the postage.); and b) They obviously forgot that I CANNOT POST PHOTOS!! Photo posting is impossible, even if I really wanted to! Even if the Cyber gods themselves, were to suddenly appear on my monitor & COMMAND me to post a photo - I could not! Because the photo icon (& all others!) were eaten by the Byte Monster! REMEMBER? Thank you for your kind interest. Have a nice day!

Then, when Tinker went to post this comment/reply, she discovered the Byte Monster had STRUCK - AGAIN!! (cue organ music) And the WORD VERIFICATION prompt, for posting comments? WAS GONE! There was no way to enter the characters - because suddenly they were INVISIBLE! She looked to the Word, and Verily, the Word was not with her; the Word was no where to be seen! So, now, Tinker can't a) Post photos; format/change text; b) E-mail Blogger or anyone else by using Outlook Express; or c) Post comments/reply to her own cursed blog!!!

What will our poor blogger do? Is there no one who will come to her aid? Will no one slay the Byte Monster before it strikes again? Is TAL, HAL's evil twin? Will this blog survive?

Tune in next time, when we hear Tinker say, "This bytes!!!"

(closing organ music, fade to black)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

How Do You Mend a Broken Blog?

Help! Won't somebody pleeease help me? My blog is broken...I have no idea what happened, because I am a techno-idiot; I am one of those people that they write the "Dummies" series for....& I still can't get it right!
It all started night before last. I was so happy then (sob)! I actually had a photo I wanted to post to go with "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part," where I had painstakingly painted (with a non-optical mouse & a lot of unhelpful help from cats trying to catch said mouse) a devil costume & flames on a photo of myself - I was so proud! And as they say, pride goeth before a fall....and now I've fallen & I can't get up!
I thought I had just successfully posted the photo to my blog on the "create" page - then I published the blog. Went to the bathroom. Came back to view it & the text was there, but no photo! So I went back to "edit" & my text is there, but no photo...& so I went to download the photo again, but...guess what! I no longer had a PHOTO ICON. In fact, I no longer had ANY ICONS on my toolbar....AT ALL!!!! Thus making it a tool-less toolbar. If a toolbar has no tools, can it even still be called a toolbar? So, wouldn't that really mean, I no longer HAVE a toolbar?

Is this situation covered in the HELP section of Blogger? Of course not - I am obviously the ONLY idiot in the history of blogging to have effectively eliminated their own toolbar.
Therefore, I can only conclude that my manipulated photo was so UNSIGHTLY, that it seriously offended the Internet gods, who zapped the computer with lightning bolts & BROKE MY BLOG!

My only other theory is that my blog was hacked into by....MY CATS. (I have to type this part very quietly. They're watching me right now....) You see, my cats have become EXTREMELY jealous of the attention I pay to this strange box; how I stare at it for hours (even more than that other noisy box (TV) I often stare at, instead of gazing with admiration uponTheir beauty); and I play with that clickety mouse on a string & NEVER give them a turn with it....they really hate that. So they had the Motive, AND they had the Opportunity - I DID get up to go to the bathroom while I waited for my blog to publish, & NOT ONE CAT TRIED TO FOLLOW ME IN THERE! Very suspicious behavior on their part! Usually I can't go in there to blow my nose without one or more of them keeping me under their intense scrutiny. (Normally I'm under their 24 hour surveillance; they have shifts & everything. Really!) But this time, when I came out, not one cat was looking at me; they were all lying around the floor under the computer table, looking very casual & nonchalent....just a little TOO innocent-looking if you know what I mean!
On the other hand, there is further evidence that I may be paying penance to the Internet gods: I am caught in some terrible loop with Outlook Express, wherein my server is listed incorrectly. It won't let me correct it. Therefore, I CANNOT contact anyone at Blogger for help. Ever. As far as Outlook Express is concerned, I have made a VERY serious server address error & I MUST be punished & kept from contact with anyone, ever, EVER again. To them, I am a wayward sinner in the Internet society who must be shunned for the good of the world wide web.

If anyone out there has any advice (including appropriate sacrifices to appease the pissed off Internet gods & which wine I should serve with it), please, PLEASE comment here! Or contact Blogger for me! Or call Bill Gates! Something! Anything!!

Uh-oh. I just had a thought (rare occurence, I know) - what if it's my computer, ITSELF! Sort of a 2001 HAL "I'm sorry, I can't open the pod door" type thing....If that's the case then I guess I'm just ERROR/errOR/user error/illogical sequence encountered/cannot execute command//

Friday, October 21, 2005

Favorite Things

Sorry I've been such a whiner (or is that weiner?) the last few entries....haven't been listening to my body lately when it's been trying, then nagging, then begging me to PLEASE take care of it (me! Why do I still talk about my body like it's some totally separate entity? I'm sure a therapist would have a field day, with all my various quirks - that statement right there is probably indicative of some narcissitic tendency of mine!) Anyway, I've just basically not been taking good care of me & have been uncharacteristically negative....Usually I'm fairly bubbling (& babbling) & bursting with optimism. So to get myself back to a semblance of my normal self, I'm going to list some favorite things for this fall.....In the spirit of give & take here, if anyone happens to read this post, why don't you list some of YOUR favorite things in the comments - I'd love to read about them!
1. Lovin' chocolate brown & sky blue - together, these two colors sing!
2. Trying to figure out exactly where 'Lost' is going with this season's plotline...there tends to be one TV show each year that I let myself get hooked on & though I was fairly hooked last season, by June I was getting a little impatient with it; but darn it, they've caught me again :>)
3. Target's dollar bins...they've found my weak spot - little $1 treasures, something new almost every week. This week's bounty - soft, soft yarn in yummy colors & Halloween tricks & treats.
I want to use the fluffy grey & the fluffy orange yarn to make 3-d kitten collages with the grandgirlies.
4. Mmmm...flan....& if you're in So. Calif., El Pollo Loco (fast semi-healthy fast food chain here) is selling little containers of it now! The working woman's creme brulee! They also have chicken tortilla soup, too. Mmmm.
5. While I'm thinking about food....I must be getting's the time of year for apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese melted on it (though my hubby prefers his ala mode). My Papa used to always say a little rhyme when we'd have apple pie, "Apple pie without cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze!" He also used to tell me (this may be apocryphal) that it was illegal in the state of Wisconsin for a restaurant to serve apple pie without cheese! Don't know about that!
But he was a cook, so it may have been true, like back in the days of the Depression.
6. I love men who cook, especially my hubby! Both my Papa (that would be grandpa for most people) & my uncle were professional cooks. My hubby learned to cook in his very first job at a Griswold's restaurant, & though it's not his profession any more, it's still his avocation. He is actually a much better cook than I am & he can cook for me anytime! I LOVE YOU, HONEY!!
7. Drawing & doodling in my journal...when I was at the dentist, waiting, the dental workers kept trying to sneak peaks at what I was working on...I didn't mind really, it was just kind of funny watching how they were trying to see, without being seen seeing, if you know what I mean!
8. Blog surfing still - especially Violette's Folk Art (love her painted shoes & purses); Crafty Chica (she has some cool Day of the Dead ideas) (ooo & she's podcasting now, too); Rock Paper Scissors (vicariously enjoying Halloween birthday party preparations); paulabecker, watching her work out some illo sketches; allsorts (has a really, really cute idea - you dress up her cyberdoll character in Halloween costumes, by clicking on them - my grandgirls love it!), to name just a few (actually there are LOTS - please don't feel bad if I left you out - I just have brainrot right now & can't get my bookmarks to come up for some reason).
9. Listening to late night radio on Coast To Coast am - it's a great time of year to listen to this different kind of talk radio - think X-files meets Star Trek & makes friends with the Twilight Zone & Nova. I know, very strange. But as they used to say on Laugh-In, "very strange... but interesting."
10. Reading! Finished "The Mermaid Chair;" I enjoyed it. Now I'm casting about for something new to get lost in; it was the only fiction I checked out from the library. Aack! Must go to library TOMORROW and get a new fiction fix!!!
So what do you love right now?

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

I have spent the entire day in a state of suspended animation... Waiting in waiting room after waiting room: First you wait in the lobby to check into the clinic; then you go down a hallway to another waiting room where you put your paperwork thru a little slot in the door, & sit down to wait; finally you're called back & after the nurse takes your blood pressure & temperature (& the dreaded stand on the scale), she asks you to stay seated on a little chair in the nurse's station while you wait for an exam room; then you finally make it to the exam room & still, you wait, for the doctor to come in! Then back to the nurse's station to wait while the doctor finishes writing out your prescription. Then it's on to the pharmacy, where you wait. Finally you get the prescription - but you're not free from the waiting room of Hell yet! Oh, no! Apparently you have deep-rooted masochistic tendencies that are just now surfacing, because you have also scheduled a dental appointment, which now follows immediately afterward because you had no idea you would be waiting this many hours; no time to eat - you must rush to the other side of the valley, run into the dental office & hurriedly sign in, so that now you can sit down & wait SOME MORE! And finally they call your name to go back to the dental chair, but GUESS WHAT! You're still not done waiting....OK; I know you know that we're just going to keep on with the tease & wait with all the various dental clinic personnel; so I won't keep you waiting for the end of this tale, because I cannot wait to get off my tail end!
Oh, wait - wait up just a minute! I forgot to tell you something....oh well, I guess it can wait till tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Write Stuff

I'm getting revved up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)....I've experienced the following emotions about it since signing up on Sunday: Excited; inspired; enthusiastic; nervous; anxious; scared; panicked; nauseated; terrified; "deer in the headlights" fatally calm......and that was just in the first hour! Now repeat this cycle, nearly every waking hour for 3 days....
Normally I wouldn't even have time to give the whole thing a second thought - well, maybe fleetingly - but I've been sick & off work the last couple of days, which gives me entirely too much time to obsess on next month's race to the finish line (or is that finished lines?...of 50,000 words).
So now I'm trying to calm down about this and be sensible (ha! what fun is that?)...No one ever has to see this novel if I deem it unworthy to see the light of day! Not to mention, the whole reason I signed up for this little intellectual marathon was to HAVE FUN!! And the next thing I know, I'm thinking I'm Virginia Woolfe or a Bronte sister! Even my words of encouragement to myself are sounding so melodramatic, "The only person I'm really racing against is myself...can I go the distance? Do I have the write stuff?" See what I mean? I can't even make one of my corny puns to myself without attempting to be just a little higher brow than thou (even if puns are the lowest form of humor!) If that's what novel writing is going to do to me, then - Phhhhtttt!!! (That was just me blowing a raspberry at myself - oh, sorry, I didn't mean to get your screen all wet...)
If it takes me throwing darts at the magnetic poetry words on my fridge, I'm just going to have fun with this gig!
Hey, that's not a bad idea!
Or I could consult the Scrabble board! See if I can make an intelligible sentence using the words "bright, bilge, leaf, party" or something equally impossibly challenging!
Or I could just sit down & start typing the first damn thing that comes into my head; which is sort of how I write this blog (couldn't you at least pretend to be a little surprised by that!)

Ok, I'm back to having fun now; sorry to put you through all that....c'mon back tomorrow, for the whine & cheese & watch me go crackers! (careful, don't get any crumbs in your keyboard).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What Weird Miscellaneous Thing Are You?

What weird misc. thing are you?


You're a little backwards and a little annoying, but deep down, we all love you.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Too Many Choices

"My bane & antidote are both before me."
Addison, Cato, Act V, Sc. 1
(on choices)

Well, October's nearly halfway over, & now I not only don't know how I want to dress-up for Halloween (other than, I DO want to dress-up for Halloween, because how many opportunities do women my age get to play dress-up & pretend?) But now, I also need to settle on at least a genre/theme, if not a plot outline for NaNoWriMo - ( if you don't already know from last post or elsewhere, that is where you willingly agree to participate in the insane concept of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of Nov. - all of it; in one short month!) The problem isn't that I don't have ideas - I have ideas; entirely too many of them! How do I choose? Some of these novel ideas I've been carrying around since I was a kid (& that's quite a long time - one of my kids now has kids!). I can't even settle on a costume for a one-day lark! And I expect to be able to settle on one concept for a novel! Do I go with horror (a la' Shelley)? Sci-Fi (Bradbury was the first author I ever met & forever has a special place in my brain's inspiration station); or comedy (I love to laugh & make others laugh) - Or some bizarre conglomeration of them all, sort of a female Tom Robbins (I wish!)? I guess I'll find out what the muse has in store for me when the clock strikes 12:01 Halloween night! Halloween night!! What the heck am I gonna wear for Halloween!?! Fairy (love 'em, done it often though); Corpse Bride (hmm, scare the grandkids...); Mermaid (mmm...the abs aren't what they used to be - come to think of it, a lot of parts aren't where they used to be...)
And so the little hamster wheel in my brain whirls round & round through the night....

Sunday, October 16, 2005


No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell, Life)

A man may write at any time if he set himself doggedly to it.
Samuel Johnson (Boswell, Life)

If good ol' Samuel Johnson couldn't make up his mind how he felt about writing, then at least I'm in good company, blockheads or not.

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (in November), I've informed my family & friends, I'm joining in the NaNoWriMo marathon - wherein you begin at 12:01 am, November 1st (in other words, 1 minute after midnight, Halloween night), and write till you have a 50,000 word novel, and/or it's midnight, November 30th. Don't expect to hear much from me in November, folks (all 3 of you; my loyal readers, hanging on the edge of your seats for my next post! lol :>)
But if you've ever said to yourself, "Someday, I'm going to write a novel!" - well maybe you should hop over to their website & check it out....
Misery's not the only one who loves company - insanity does, too! C'mon, everybody - what's a little 50,000 word novel going to take? Why that's barely a novella! Only - what, 10-12 pages daily of typewritten prose....C'mon, it'll be fun! So we have Swanson TV dinners for Thanksgiving - it's a small price to pay for the artful life, isn't it? Hellooo! I said, "Isn't it?" Is anybody there? You're not reading anymore, are you?
Fine. Just wait till December 1st & I'm officially a novelist. Huh! - you'll wish you'd paid better attention to my writing then! (lmao) :>D
So, this is your 2 week warning, everyone! Don't expect much out of me for a good month (maybe longer, if carpal tunnel or repetitive motion injuries occur - who knew writing could be so dangerous to your health? Shouldn't this keyboard have little Surgeon General warning stickers on it?)
Hope I have the Write Stuff & cross the finishline with 50,000 words on Nov 30th!

Nothing is ended with honour which does not conclude better than it began.
Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 207)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Book Woman

When I would know thought looks
Upon thy well-made choice of friends and books;
Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends
In making thy friends books, and thy books friends.
Ben Johnson, Epigrams, No. 86

"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations,"
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, page 1

"That will be $22.95 in late fees, please."
Disapproving Librarian, heard in a Southern California Public Library, today

Faster than a speedreader! (Not) More powerful than a librarian! (Not!) It's a verb! It's a name! It's Book Woman! (Yep)
Terri aka Tinker aka Book Woman, Librarian's Most Wanted List

"Book 'em, Dan-O!"
Jack Lord, Hawaii Five-O, TV before TiVo

Now that little unpleasantness is behind me, let's see what books I'm not going to have enough time to read/look at this month....The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd; How to Buy, Sell & Profit on E-Bay, Adam Ginsberg; Do It For Less! Parties, Denise Vivaldo; The Mixed Media Sourcebook, Sean Dye; Crystal Cove Cottages - Islands In Time On the California Coast, text by Karen Steen, photography by John Connell; New Mexico Artists at Work, text by Dana Newmann, photography by Jack Parsons; Puppetry - A World History, Eileen Blumenthal.
So, read any good books lately?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


(Or: With a Neighbor Like Me, Who Needs TV?)
Since this past weeks' Illustration Friday Theme is "Lost," & I'm still very low-tech here on the blog frontier, I'll illustrate with words, how my neighbors most likely think (more than ever), "That woman next door has LOST her mind!"
First, a little background information: In case you didn't read the header on my blog, I'm an animal lover...actually it's gone way beyond that. And animals KNOW this! Apparently, I give off some sort of pheremones that are the equivalent of a flashing neon sign over the Statue of Liberty to lost/abandoned animals within a 5 mile radius - Bring us your tired, your poor......I'm sure you think I'm exaggerating, but seriously donkeys have shown up at my door (we found their owner, thank God); a little tame white bunny - on Easter Sunday no less (he apparently escaped an Easter egg hunt gone bad - he was covered in little pastel egg-dye handprints, with one ear flopped over, missing half his tail fur! :-o What else could I do when no one answered the ad, but set-up bunnykeeping in the spare bathroom. Where else do you keep a furniture & electrical wire-eating rodent in a houseful of cats? The dogs have the patio; the frogs have the other bathroom....Now back to today's sub-topic: cats. Cats are especially sensitive to my animal magnetism. No one ever answers ads on lost cats. Apparently most cat owners (or um, former cat owners, or for the love of God, prospective cat owners!) either are illiterate or simply do not take the local newspaper. Someone really needs to establish a literacy program for these people. Anyway - some of the latest boarders at our bed & breakfast for pets are Popcorn, Ginny & Peanuts. The Crackerjack twins are still being tamed & are therefore, camping outdoors for now - so at least four times a day the neighbors are treated to what sounds like a carnie vendor hawking their wares: "Popcorn! Peanuts! Pop--corn!! Pea--nuts!!" So, I'm sounding just a little nuttier than ever to them already. Then today, having only the funds at the moment to obtain contraception for 2 of the 3 newbies, the girls won. After a hectic round-up, got them into their carriers & off to the Spaymobile (unlike other -mobiles, not nearly as much fun as it sounds) & on to work. Then back after work to pick them up & off to home...leave them in the car temporarily while I unlock...oops! where's the housekey? (for reasons too complicated to go into here - yes I have my housekey & my car key on separate keyrings - don't ask right now) Tear everything out of my purse...nope...doublecheck the pockets....nope! Damn! I must have left it in the house this morning when I was rounding up cats! Ok - there's got to be a way in...try all doors....try all windows...including ones that require dragging a lawnchair over, so I can then get to the crook in the treebranch, ugh, cobwebs, OW! dammit! the little spindly tree twigs have me by the hair, but, look, oof, this window isn't locked!! YEA!! Woo-hoo!!! Get the screen off, oops! crash! Well, at least nobody was down there to get hurt... Ok, now, it's open a crack, just work fingers under & push up...I said Up, dammit! Please for the love of God, GO UP!! (& yes, much of this I am actually saying OUT LOUD, because I have just lost my mind that much). In background: sounds of increasingly more frantic kitties crying from their carriers in the open car - "meow!, Meow!!, MEOW!!!" then, as Peanuts decides he really must see what's wrong with his sister, jumps into the car & sticks his little nose into Oops! Ginny's carrier! Hiss! Growl! Hiss! MEOW! ad nauseam - "Popcorn! Peanuts! Gin!" - yes, I've now expanded my wares - OK, get leg over from windowsill...& in we go! right over the end table, the lamp, oops, what the hell was that? oh, lotion, now all over the magazines...Ok, back thru the house to the front door, back to the car, breaking up the stand-off, since Peanuts won't abandon his post by his sister Popcorn, & Ginny has regained enough consciousness to blame Peanuts for everything that has gone horribly WRONG with her day, "Popcorn, Peanuts, Gin - Stop It!" (keep in mind, I now have my hair sticking up in ways hair was never meant to, & adorned with assorted twigs, leaves & cobwebs). I snatch up the cat carrier from the car seat & VOILA! Guess what has magically appeared! Yes! The *&^%$#@ KEYS!!! I now proceed to use words that I refuse to lower myself any farther by repeating here....LOUDLY!!! (Did I mention I live in what is, apart from our house, a very quiet, conservative neighborhood?) Oh well, they say there's one in every bunch - someone's got to play the part of the kooky neighbor! Can you guess who it is? Did you pick me? How'd you guess?
And so ends this week's episode of "Lost In Suburbia." Stay tuned for further adventures of the crazy cat lady - next payday, it's Peanuts' turn to visit the Spaymobile.....

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Now that I'm mostly recovered from my own little personal worries, I'm listening to the news & am in shock about the devastating tragedies going on yet again in the world. This seems to be one of the worst years I can ever remember for catastrophic events happening all over the world. It's almost as though we're fleas, and Gaia's determined to kick us off of her....
My heart goes out to all the people involved in these latest tragic events.
Inventors/engineers: nerf buildings would also be an idea whose time has come (see Car-Ma post).


You know how phone calls after 9:00 pm can make you jump (because you just know it's bad news) but then it usually turns out to be a wrong number or your friend who's single & has no concept of time? Except, sometimes, your heart jumped for a reason....& though it may not be the best of news, at least it's not as bad as it could be. And you're just deeply grateful. But you may need to remind yourself of that several times, when the after 9:00 phone call starts out like this:
"Mom, before I say anything else, I need you to promise you won't say "oh, my Gawd!" or freak out or anything, ok?"
Then you just have to keep reminding yourself to breathe.
Well, the bad news is: the car is totalled :-( The good news is: my youngest, my baby, is ok : -)
Shook up; a little bruised; but OKAY. The people in the other car are OK. She's OK; really OK.
Thank you, God.
Hug the people you love tonight. Every night. Because you just never know how each day will end. I am thankful my day ended as well as it did; it could have been so much worse.
And I'm writing this down now, so I can go back & read it again when the next insurance bill comes.
Would someone please invent Nerf cars?

Saturday, October 01, 2005


The past week has been a whirlwind, a rollercoaster; & being extremely sensitive to motion sickness, I am not a fan of rollercoasters!
This week, I have:
Worked my second 6 day week in a row.
Been praised by 2 people I work with; had my head bitten off by 3 others (on separate occasions).
An unidentified person left their 1/2 eaten plate of food sitting out over night (I have 4 cats - I'm sure I don't need to go into graphic, gory detail of the aftermath). Authorities continue to question suspects in this crime.
A raging fire erupts 1/2 a mile away. Smoke, ashes, sinus headache & sleepless night ensue.
A mysterious puddle of ice cold water has been deposited on the kitchen floor in front of the fridge each morning this week. Authorities are also investigating possible leads on this mystery.
(This is a busy week for authorities at our house.)
Fire under control in my area; less smoke, ashes; sinus headache however, persists; as does yet another sleepless night, because:
I am reminded that yes, it is this weekend that I promised (over a month ago!) I would babysit; and (in a separate incident with a different person) -
Am reminded that you know how I said if the art association ever needed help with anything, they could call me - well, they need help with food, set-up & clean-up for the art reception that takes place on my one day off. While I'm still babysitting.
(Remind myself repeatedly through the sleepless night, that I am waaaay too eager to please others)
After loading jeep up to the roof for art show, remind myself of a couple of last items needed; remind myself to lock up jeep before going back into the building to get them; forget to remind myself to take the keys out of the ignition....
Finally arrtive home to discover - bathroom faucet has now joined forces with the refrigerator. Turns on....does not turn off. At all. In fact, efforts to turn it off at the tap, only succeed in it being turned on MORE. Does not turn off even when you turn off the supposed under-sink (misnamed) 'turn-off' valve. Forget a plumber, who we can't afford anyway, just call a freaking exorcist! After even more water on the floor than the fridge has manifested so far, authorities manage to turn off water at water main. However, authorities not in agreement on this solution, due to issues such as sanitation, showers, & just what the heck are we going to wear through this overbooked weekend if authorities do not take care of dirty laundry!
Manage to find something clean to wear to outdoor art show. In last minute burst of artistic optimism, decide to pin on beloved heirloom copper maple leaf. An hour later, after numerous hikes to & from jeep unloading display boards, artwork, chairs, etc. discover gaping hole on shirt - where an heirloom copper maple leaf brooch was once pinned. Look down at the surrounding ground, & the approximately 10 gagillion leaves that cover it, as far the eye can see, because, news alert - it's fall! & try desperately not to cry. Remind self to price metal detectors on e-bay.
Survive day of sweltering heat (news alert to non-Californians - it may be fall as far you & the trees are concerned; however, the sun does not bow down to autumn's authority here) and periodic gusting winds that knock down paintings. Then knock down display. Three times.
Art show ends. Sales never begin. However, valuable contacts made, resulting in 3 upcoming exhibits.
Stop at store & spend way more than I should on food for tomorrow's reception considering need refrigerator & plumbing repairs; need to save up for a metal detector; & there were no sales made for my clients or me! Also buy pizza to take home, because - I'm going home to babysit.
Arrive home to find babysittees awaiting. Greeted by babysittees as a returning hero! Am informed that they want to grow up to be artists just like me & I must sit for them while they draw my portrait; repeatedly; in different poses; with different cats. Am then asked (as an authority) to award winning artwork. The figurative "Beautiful Artist Resting," depicting me reclining on sofa with hand to forehead (a la death scene from "Camille"), surrounded by cats, was awarded first place. Grand prize, however, went to "QUEEN OF THE BEACH" depicting me and my eldest cat Cleo, surfing.
And so tonight, despite the whole damn rollercoaster ride this week, I will finally sleep well. Because I was reminded: I am loved (with or without authority); I am an artist; I am a cool surfin' granny with a cat sidekick; I AM QUEEN OF THE BEACH!!!