Sunday, December 30, 2007

Going back to work

I went back to work on Friday (and worked yesterday too) and it was harder than I expected. I've been trying really hard to go ahead and cry when I need to and not let sadness get bottled up, but after work on Friday I did the very thing I've been trying so hard not to do: I came home upset after my hard day, told Greg about it briefly, then a couple of hours later had a meaningless disagreement and suddenly burst into sobby tears. Oh, well.

I have always been so afraid of my parents passing away that I was uncomfortable when other people had a death in their family. I remember people at work especially, I'd often sign the sympathy card being passed around and then not mention it to them at all. I've always heard that it's way better to say something, but I'd still feel reluctant to bring it up, since it's obviously painful. But holy cow, going back to work and having most people either say nothing or say one quick "I'm sorry" and then retreat hurt my feelings much more than I expected it to.

I know no one wants to think about anything so sad during the holidays. I really appreciate the couple of people who hugged me, and I appreciated the couple of others who actually spoke to me for a few minutes about it.

I also got the feeling a few times that people weren't saying anything because they didn't want to remind me of it. It's not exactly like I can't think about anything else, but it's sort of like I am thinking about my Dad even when I'm not. There's just a continuous achy sadness that's getting a little better, slowly, but doesn't go away.

I feel bad now about all the people I didn't speak to when it happened to their loved one, and I guess one lesson I have learned is how important it is. I'm sure everyone is different in dealing with their own grief, but I think pretty much everyone is already thinking about it all the time and feels some amount of relief when other people bring it up.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Father

When I was little, I'd go out to the porch in my nightgown and climb up on my Dad's lap and he'd tell me a Tarzan story. They always ended with Tarzan getting really sleepy and going to bed. When I was going to spend the night away from home for the first time, I was afraid of being homesick, and Dad recorded a Tarzan story for me to listen to if I couldn't go to sleep.

I remember he didn't want me to hear it (so that it would be a brand new Tarzan story for me) so he sat outside alone talking into a tape recorder, and Mom considered playing a joke on him and calling the neighbors, saying that Dad had gone insane and was sitting alone talking to himself. Ha.

On Tuesday he and Mom were in the dining room in their retirement home, and he said something (possibly that he would rather be having dinner at Red Lobster) and Mom turned away to speak to someone, and when she turned back a moment later he was gone. Just that quickly. He might have had a heart attack, we don't know for sure.

I can't imagine how unbearable this would be if I wasn't completely sure that he knew how much I love him. I saw him for his 92nd birthday in August, I visited again last month, I just spoke to him a week ago and told him all about the Mt. Dora Christmas lights and how much I was looking forward to seeing him for Christmas. He knew I was going to bring him cigars and a Hickory Farms box, just like I always do.

I mentioned in my blog a while ago that he had dictated his obituary to me, leaving out his degree from Virginia Tech and his Army service (during WWII), and highlighting his faith and church activities. He also gave me a list of things to do and phone numbers to call. I have to admit, even though seeing that obituary in print made my stomach hurt, having it taken care of and having a list of things to do did make it easier for me. I was having trouble thinking clearly, and I know he knew I would be and he tried to make it better for me.

I miss him so much.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Friday

Holy crapmuffins, it's practically Christmas, and almost 2008! How did that happen?

Tomorrow Greg and I are making our annual trip to see the Christmas lights in Mt. Dora. Our first date was in early December 2001, and our second or third date was to see the Mt. Dora lights, so it's a tradition for us now. I loooooove Christmas lights, especially in the lovely 65 degree Florida evenings!

We are also following tradition by spending Christmas in a retirement home. What, doesn't everyone spend Christmas in a retirement home? :o) Well, we'll be heading up to GA to see Mom and Dad, and we're staying in their retirement home's guest room. It's nice, it's much easier to be so close to Mom and Dad (as opposed to staying in a hotel).

Next weekend we'll be staying in a hotel suite that I got for free at work. It's only one night and it's here in town, but it's near a movie theatre and lots of great restaurants, so it's perfect for a date night. We'll go see a movie (maybe the Golden Compass) and have dinner and spend the night in a suite. It's been a long time since we've had a date night, so I am really looking forward to it.

I'm so glad it's Friday! :o)

Friday, November 9, 2007

August Underground

Since my husband is, as I have accurately stated before, a horror movie FREAK, I am in the fairly odd and (I would imagine) unique position of knowing a lot about horror movies without having ever seen them.

Okay, I've seen a few, mostly in trade-offs with Greg: I watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre and he watched Terms of Endearment, I watched Hellraiser and he watched Gone With The Wind, I went to see Grindhouse and he went to all the Harry Potter movies. I actually really liked the second half of Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, but pretty much suffered through the gory blood, pus and zombie filled Planet Terror.

One movie that my husband watched recently (and reviewed here) is August Underground. And I have to admit, while this movie is the definition of everything I don't want to see in a movie, I am fascinated by it.

It's supposed to look like the personal home video of a serial killer. From Greg's review: "This is not a horror movie. This is a hate movie. And even calling it a "movie" is like saying that huffing gas is "doing drugs". There is no plot. No story. Hell, there are really no characters. It's just the exploits of 2 nameless, violent thugs."

It's basically filmed with a single handheld movie camera (you never see the cameraman's face, but you hear him laugh frequently) following around a guy who tortures and murders a couple in his basement, robs a convenience store, goes to a metal concert, gets a tattoo, visits a prostitute. (I'm giving you an extremely cleaned-up summary; the movie is apparently almost nonstop blood, torture and degradation.)

The look of the film is completely real, it appears unrehearsed and, according to Greg, looks like a snuff film. Greg says in his review that if he were in someone's house and came across an unmarked videotape that had this "movie" on it, he would without question believe it was real and call the police.

It's made by Fred Vogel, who started a company called Toe Tag Pictures. Fred Vogel wrote, produced, starred in, and did the special-effects makeup for August Underground.

Here is he with my husband:

He looks like a creative guy, doesn't he? Heh.

I even had a dream last night about this movie. Greg was going to a screening in a small theatre, and while dropping him off I couldn't get away fast enough, I was afraid that I was going to end up seeing some of the movie.

Do you think I'm weird for being fascinated by a movie that I not only have no desire to see but actually would go far out of my way to avoid?

Yeah. That's okay, I think you're weird, too! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


We went to Screamfest (horror convention) yesterday. Greg's favorite movie EVER is the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not the remake, mind you, the original; Greg was relatively offended by the remake. TCM (as obsessed fans refer to it) starred Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface. Guess who was at Screamfest signing autographs? THAT'S RIGHT! Greg was VERY EXCITED!

Here is Gunnar autographing a particularly gross 8x10 for Greg, which will soon be up on our wall (oh, joy):

Here is Greg with Gunnar:

He's absolutely giddy!

See the picture that Gunnar signed for him, with the droopy skin and bloodiness? That's the "Pretty Woman" mask (as TCM fans call it), where Leatherface had on his mask made from his victim's skin. TCM was very loosely based on Ed Gein, a serial killer in the 50's. He murdered several women and dug up the recently buried bodies of several others, all of whom looked a bit like his mother, and made clothing out of their skin. The Buffalo Bill character in Silence of the Lambs was also loosely based on Ed Gein.

Who wants to bet that I know more horror movie trivia, relative to the amount of horror movies I have actually seen, than anyone, EVER? :)

Here's Greg with some stray freak (there were plenty of them wandering around the Wyndham):

I bought some really cool stuff, too, including this SCARY necklace:

I love The Shining, it's one of the few really scary movies I have actually seen and enjoyed. The book was so good, I just had to give in and watch the movie. It's not quite as good as the book, but movies rarely are. I don't know if being scary is a good trait for jewelry, but I fell in love with this creepy necklace.

And I bought this little painting:

From this artist:

How cool is this chick? I loved all her paintings, but settled on just buying one small one. I plan to put the painting somewhere in our newly organized library, I haven't decided where yet (in the picture above I put her in front of several scary paperbacks... ooOOoo). You can see more of her stuff here:R. H. Phister, and if you want to buy me a fabulous present for Christmas this year, you could get me one of these. Especially if you happen to be married to me... That's a HINT.

We also ran into our friend Gary, from the Just Push Play podcast.

Gary was in a movie that was screened at Screamfest, Zombies Zombies Zombies!. Zombies vs Strippers, who wouldn't love that?

Er... other than me, I mean. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007


I set up my deviantART gallery yesterday. (deviantART is a community website created for artists to show and potentially sell their work.)

My DeviantArt Gallery

So far I have 50 pictures uploaded, and I have more to go through. This is really the first time I have seen a chunk of my pics all together, and it's pretty cool.

This weekend is Screamfest, a horror convention that my husband has been looking forward to since... well, since last year's. Gunnar Hanson, the actor who played Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, will be there and Greg is VERY EXCITED about meeting him. TCM is his favorite movie ever. Gads.

My husband is a horror movie freak. He writes a movie review blog, and if you have a strong stomach you can read his reviews here. I would just like to say once again how thankful I am that he watches these movies while I am out of the house.

Anyway, I am looking forward to taking pictures at Screamfest, since there will be a lot of people dressed up (there is even a zombie walk) and there will be a whole area for people to get tattoos.

Maybe I could even find a zombie getting a tattoo... What could be cooler? :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

B/W Pictures

Greg has been urging me to look through my pictues to convert some to black and white. It seems like every photographer has to have some b/w pictures to round out their portfolio.

I am as pretentious as the next artist, but I just really can't get much into black and white. Every now and then I think it might add poignancy or contrast-y interest, but usually I'm all about colors.

This one, though, I think looks pretty good in black and white:
In color, it's is pretty much dominated by green, I think it might look better with all the shades of gray.

This is such a strange shot, I think it's almost easier without color:
I think I like the fact that you have to sort of look closely to see the people (who are, by the way, both white people wearing black). I think the lack of color makes it more dreamy... or nightmare-y.

This one is almost black and white anyway, but I think the green of the trees reflected in the bits of glass makes it more interesting:

What do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Doesn't coming back to work after a week of vacation suck? :)

Last week went great. I have definite tendencies towards packrat-ism, so I worked really hard to get rid of a lot of crap.

Examples of the ridiculous junk that meant a lot to me but I got rid of anyway:
* A stuffed pink doggie that my best friend Tammie gave to me in third grade
* A shiny red tape recorder that I got for Christmas when I was five (the first "grown-up" present I ever got)
* A construction paper American flag that I made in 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial (I was 10)
* Uncle Scrooge comic books

It's embarrassing. But I am proud of myself for getting rid of so much stuff. We also got rid of a bunch of cords and cables and speaker wire that we didn't need, and a videotape rewinder (ha! remember those?).

We also weeded out dozens and dozens of books and magazines that we will donate to the local library. We ended up buying 4 tall bookcases from Wal Mart. Oh, the cheapass crapitude of those bookcases! They are so rickety they actually come with a strap to attach to the wall. I would never have bought these if we had kids! But they look pretty good all filled up with books. We had three already, so we now have a total of 7 big bookcases (two are in the living room, five are in the office).

We are actually still in the process of arranging the books. I say we should have straight alphabetical order, within fiction and non-fiction sections. Greg thinks we should arrange by height, with all the paperbacks together and all the hardbacks together. But what if we want to look up a certain author? I want to find all my Andrew Vachss books together! His plan is clearly flawed. I'll let you know who ends up winning this one. In the meantime, all the books are arranged in non-order, but they look lovely!

To celebrate, we went out and bought a couple of books. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

You Can't Have Too Many Books

Someone asked today about how many books one might have in each room of one's house. I love books, and we have approx 1 buttload of books. Er... maybe 2 buttloads.

Breakdown of current book totals in each household location:
Kitchen: 8 (all cookbooks, several from library)
Living room: 161 (not counting magazines, photo albums, or yearbooks)
Dining room: 5 (library books that are waiting to be returned)
Office: uncountable zillions, literally
Hallway bathroom: 0
Bedroom: 6 (one on each bedside table, 4 stacked on top of dresser)
Master bathroom: 0 (we are not read-while-pooping people)

So, when we bought our house, we wanted to turn the second bedroom into an office. We don't have kids and don't plan to have kids, and we do have multitudinous office-y type stuff (computer, mucho misc computer accessories, books, files, etc). When we first moved in, we figured we would make it an office/library, with a computer desk and shelves. Lots and lots of shelves. Shelves covering at least two walls. Big walls.

We briefly considered making it a spare bedroom for guests, but quickly said Fuck that! and bought a sleeper sofa.

We looked at hiring a carpenter person to come in and build bookcases. We had a designer give us an estimate to design custom shelves and a built-in desk. We priced those bare wood shelving units that you can paint/stain yourself. All of a sudden, it's a year and a half later and what have we got in our office? Big piles of boxes of books! At this point, dusty boxes. Ugh.

We are really not thinking we will stay here forever. We plan to sell this place and buy in a better - or at least, different - location in the next 5-10 years. We decided that putting in anything permanent would probably not help us when it comes to the resale value, since there are only two bedrooms. So, what's the obvious choice?

Cheap-o crapcases from Wal-Mart! Woo! The funny thing is, we have so many books that we are going to have to buy like 6 of them. We have one of those electric screwdriver dealies, so it shouldn't take too terribly long to put them together.

Next week we are both on vacation all week to A) celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, B) buy a half-dozen shelving units from Wal-Mart and put them together, C) enjoy many happy hours sorting and alphabetizing our beloved books, and D) other miscellaneous home improvement projects including, but not limited to, painting the master bath.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Centipede (Creepy songs part 2)

Anybody remember the song Centipede, sung by Rebbie Jackson? Big hit back in 1984?

Rebbie, the unknown Jackson. That's pronounced "Reebie" by the way. She's the oldest Jackson, no scandals, married to her childhood sweetheart since the 60's, and she has a beautiful voice.

Her one hit was Centipede, written and produced by Michael Jackson. Can't you just imagine a conversation with Michael and Momma Jackson? Honey, Rebbie's pregnant, they need a new house -- write her a song!

The good: great catchy 80's style hook; Rebbie Jackson's great voice

The bad: creepy-ass lyrics

Here, see for yourself:

Your love
Is like a raging fire
You're a snake that's on the loose
The strike is your desire

But when the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire
And when the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire

I feel
A longing for your touch
Like you crawled into the bathroom window
To give him all your love

Like a centipede that's hot
The fire is in your touch
Just like a centipede you've got
A lot of lovin' to touch

Don't you know
In the quiet of the night
Is when the snake is in the crawlin'
And the moon starts to glow then disappear
When the time is really right
Is when the centipede is crawlin'
You'll be crying in the night so many tears
And he's crawlin' like a centipede

You came
To strike him with your love
Like you crawled into the bathroom window
To bite him with your love
Like a centipede that's hot
The fire is in your touch
Just like a centipede you've got
A lot of loving to touch

Your heart
Is full of strange desire
You're the heat of a summer's night
A centipede on fire
When the centipede is hot
You're bound to feel the fire
Like a piece about to strike
The centipede's on fire

Seriously, even before I was creeped out by Michael Jackson in general, I thought this was exceptionally weird. What's that stuff about crawling in a bathroom window? Crying in the night? Heart full of strange desire? And why would a song that is ostensibly about sexiness have anything to do with a centipede? Ugh. Oh, the grossness.

You can hear the song on Rebbie's Myspace page. Try not to hear the words and you might like it! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Down in the Park

We are not lovers, we are not romantics, we are here to serve you

I first heard Down in the Park by Gary Numan (one of my favorite songs ever) when I got the Urgh! soundtrack album. (The story behind Urgh! is interesting in itself, given that Miles Copeland filmed dozens of wonderful bands performing live back in the early 80's, but most of the film will potentially never see the light of day due to a terrible, stupid issue with contracts. However, a few of the songs made it to a 90-minute compilation movie that is played sporadically on HDNet and VH1, which includes -- yay! -- Gary Numan performing Down In the Park.)

I just love this song. I used to be part of a podcast, and when it was my turn to pick the music, my first choice was DITP (you can listen to that episode, including two cool Gary Numan songs here).

Anyhoo, I am not the only one who loves this song, the Foo Fighters and Marilyn Manson have both done great cover versions. I have on my iPod, at this very moment, 1) the original Gary Numan version 2) a live Gary Numan version 3) the Foo Fighters version, and 4) The Marilyn Manson version. And I love and listen to them all. It was also covered live by Christian Death, I need to find that version too. There can't be too many, dammit!

So I finally decided maybe I should try to figure out what the fuck this song is about. With lines like "Down in the park where the Machmen meet, the machines are playing Kill-by-numbers. Down in the park, with a friend called Five" I always thought it was just ol' Gary being poetic and symbolic and stuff, but apparently the album it's from (Replicas) had a dystopian science fiction theme, and DITP is meant to be taken literally.

According to the Wikipedia entry, the song "tells the chilling story of a futuristic park in which Machmen (androids with cloned human skin) and machines rape and kill human beings for the delight of spectators who, along with their numerically-named robotic "friends" view the carnage from a nearby club... In contrast to much contemporary post-punk music Numan's vocals were deliberately underplayed, leaving the slow and stately synthesizer work to evoke the song's melancholy atmosphere."

Gads. Well, the overall sound of the song was obviously pretty dark and bleak, but I was a little taken aback by the violence and horror.

I still love it though. Here are the lyrics for your reading pleasure:

Down in the park
Where the Machmen meet
The machines are playing Kill-by-numbers
Down in the park with a friend called Five

I was in a car crash
Or was it the war?
But I've never been quite the same
Little white lies like I was there

Come to Zom-Zom's, a place to eat
Like it was built in one day
You can watch the humans
Trying to run

Oh, look, there's a rape machine
I'd go outside if it looked the other way
You wouldn't believe
The things they do

Down in the park
Where the chant is death, death, death
Until the sun cries morning
Down in the park with friends of mine

We are not lovers
We are not romantics
We are here to serve you
A different face but the words never change

Wanna hear it?

You can stream the song or download it here

Selection of DITP YouTube clips:

Gary Numan live (not the Urgh! performance)

Foo Fighters video

Marilyn Manson live performance

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gimme More

I have to say, despite poor Britney's underwhelming crapitude at the MTV awards Sunday night, her new song is perfect for treadmilling.

Here are the lyrics:
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme (Uh)
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme (Uh)
Gimme gimme more

I love it! The remix with TI is especially cool.

Today I am working the late shift, so I don't have to be there until this afternoon. I woke up early (why? why can't I sleep late?) and headed for the treadmill. A GNC employee-dude who may or may not have known what he was talking about but looked very fit and impressive told me that exercising first thing in the morning (before eating) will burn off more actual fat. As opposed to working out later in the day and just burning off whatever you had for lunch. I don't know, it sounded plausible, so there I am with my lo-carb Monster energy drink, listening to Britney and sweating instead of having cereal.

I am deliberately avoiding turning on the tv this morning on the assumption that many channels are showing some kind of 9-11 anniversary related stuff. Okay, technically I never turn on the tv in the morning, but still.

My sweetie is out of town on work again, back in St. Louis. He's not sure when he'll be back, it depends on how things go, and how many things go wrong. So far several things have gone wrong, but hopefully it'll be better today, and he might even get home tomorrow.

I am trying to save the new episode of Californication 'till he gets back, but I LOVE that show... I don't think I'm gonna make it. :)

Friday, September 7, 2007


Love and Ice Weasels

I've been thinking lately about love.

Matt Groening says, "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."

A very wise friend told me a long time ago that many (if not most) women look for the wrong things in potential boyfriends/husbands. She said that her husband was a wonderful guy and that many women had told her that they envied her, but she knew that those same women would never have gone out with him in the first place. When he was single, they would have seen a guy who didn't have much money, or a nice car, or a job in an office, or a college degree. But once he was married, they saw a guy who supported his wife emotionally and financially and was a loving, loyal husband.

I started thinking about what traits in a guy were most important to me. I decided that having a lot of money wasn't a requirement -- I didn't have any money, so it seemed a bit hypocritical to insist upon a rich guy. I have a college degree, but that's not important to me.

I had dated guys who were not especially affectionate or cuddly, and that is a deal-breaker. My parents were very touchy and hand-holdy with each other and with me while I was growing up, and it's a very important part of a relationship for me. (I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone... To each her own.)

I also had to have someone who had my same sense of humor (a winning combination of stupid humor and dark sarcasm). I wanted someone who liked to read (WHAT they read, I didn't care about, I just can't relate to those people who never read books).

I didn't care about a guy knowing how to fix a car or an air conditioner or a septic tank. That'd be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.

The guy would have to want monogamy. Some men and women don't, and again, that's fine for them if it works, but it doesn't work for me. I knew I wanted to be with a person who would put our relationship first, and make me his first priority.

I would prefer a guy who was creative, because I think it's hot, and because I think a creative person might be more likely to appreciate my weird creativity.

My future boyfriend/husband would have to be intelligent. At least as smart as I am, if not smarter. I want someone with whom I can have interesting, challenging conversations, who can teach me things and be open to learning from me.

So: I was looking for a guy who was
* Physically affectionate
* Stupid/dark sense of humor
* A reader
* Monogamous
* Intelligent
* Loyal

That's basically it. So a few years later, when I met a kind, cheerful, smart, creative, funny guy, I was interested. When he told me he had been laid off and was having trouble finding another job (this was a couple of months after 9/11), I said that was a shame, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. When he said that he was still living with his ex-girlfriend (due to the whole not having a job thing) as a roommate and not sharing a bedroom, I said that's cool.

We went out on a few dates, and right away I felt something for him that I had never felt before, a combination of passion and... comfort. I was excited by him, but also relaxed around him (I am not relaxed around anyone, so this was unprecedented). Our first date was 12/6/01, and we moved in together at the end of January '02. He got a job, and we moved to a bigger place. On 12/6/02, the anniversary of our first date, he proposed. We got married on 10/01/03.

Now he has a great job that he loves (and he makes more money than I do), we own a home and a Siamese cat together, and he is the most wonderful husband I can imagine having. Whenever I call him during the day, he answers the phone saying "Hello, gorgeous!". When I get home from work, he meets me at the door with a hug and a bunch of kisses. He sends me text messages almost every day telling me how much he loves me. He supports me enthusiastically in whatever I am excited about, even if he's afraid it might be a bad idea. He thinks my artwork is wonderful; he thinks I'm beautiful; our marriage is his biggest priority.

I know that an awful lot of women would not have gone out with an unemployed guy who lived with an ex, but I had my list, so I was focused on what kind of guy he was, not what he had. I could see that he was an honest hard-working guy, so I believed in him.

Ultimately, I am thankful for those misguided women who were missing out by not dating him, leaving him available for me. :) That probably leaves the ice weasels for them, though. :(

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Scary Statues on a Holiday

Yesterday was Labor Day and both Greg and I had the day off work. Yay! So we drove over to the coast to spend time with friends; shopping, movie-seeing, lunching...

We went to one of those outdoorsy places that are like a mall, but outside. This place had a lot of weird statue people, who were, in my opinion, a little creepy.

Here's a girl talking on a shell phone (Not my joke, I swear):

Here are The Children of the Corn:

Seriously, look at his eyes, they are scooped out and dead looking:

We had lunch at a great pizza restaurant, shopped for books and wine, and saw a wonderful movie: Stardust.

It was a great day, despite the scary metal children. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007


Last week I set off for Gainesville, Ga early in the morning on Thursday. It was a lovely sunny Florida morning -- off I go!

I went to celebrate my Dad's 92nd birthday, and I got to see my sister and her husband (and her son and his new wife, whom I have never met before last week). My brother was there, and his daughter and her two daughters. We all went out for a steak lunch on Saturday. I took Dad several fancy cigars as a present.

I stayed in the Guest Room at Mom and Dad's retirement home, which is like an apartment building. It's a nice enough Guest Room, it has a little refrigerator and tv and stuff. Oddly, it doesn't have a phone, but my cell phone gets a little reception there, so it's okay.

Guest Room:

Dad once again brought up my writing his obituary. I have to admit, I haven't finished writing it from when I was there in March. He changed his mind, though, and decided to take out all of the stuff about his college degree (from Va Tech) and his time in the military (he served in the Army during World War II) and just leave in the stuff about his family and his dedication to the church. He also helped me figure out what to say for Mom's obituary, and he made me write down a list of things to do when either of them passes away, like who to call and what documents to file, etc.

Mom spent a lot of time trying to give me stuff, like old pictures and mementos, and cards from people who are no longer with us, and book and vases and things.

We had a good visit, despite all the talk of death. I guess when you are 90(ish), talking about it is better than not talking about it.

Early Sunday morning Mom and Dad and I went out for breakfast at the IHOP, and then I headed off to Florida in the gray Georgia morning.

Somehow I didn't have to pee as often as usual during the trip back, and I made it with only one stop (in Tifton, GA, which is almost exactly half-way between Orlando and Gainesville).

I have made this trip a zillion or so times, and it seems like it is always the same: gray cloudiness in GA, then rain as soon as I cross the FL border, then sunshine when I get closer to Orlando.

Woo! Back in Orlando at last!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Birthdays and Needles

Tomorrow morning I am driving to Georgia to visit my parents. It's my Dad's birthday, woo! We (my brother and sister in law, my sister and brother in law, my niece and her two daughters, my nephew and his wife, and Mom and Dad) are going out for lunch on Saturday to celebrate Dad's birthday. :)

I have no idea where we are going, apparently my brother in law was going to make reservations at Outback, but as they are not open for lunch on Saturday, I am not confident in that plan. Mom and Dad love Red Lobster, though, so maybe we'll end up there.

I am looking forward to seeing Mom and Dad, but I am not looking forward to the drive. I am going to burn a bunch of cd's to take with me -- including all the Harry Potter soundtracks. And possibly some Amy Winehouse. Maybe Psychedelic Furs... maybe Missy Elliott... definitely that Lip Gloss song by Lil Mama that has been stuck in my head for two months now.

So: my husband has a terrible fear of needles. It's funny, because he will watch really awful, disgusting, bloody, disturbing things in movies (I won't go into detail -- you're welcome) but if someone gets an allergy shot he has to look away.

Last week he had to have a blood test. He was very brave, I went with him and he did great. He did less great when, later in the week, the lab called to say that they had messed up the test and he had to go back in to have more blood drawn. Gah! Did I mention this is one of those fasting tests where you can't eat/drink anything for 12 hours prior? Geez. So he fasts and goes back in.

This time he decided it was time to get over his fear, and he watched everything. He watched the nurse/technician/whatever she's called get out the needle, and realized that it's not one of those little get-a-shot needles; it's a hollow pointy tube to suck his blood out. He watched her find a vein and insert the needle, and he watched her fill up a small tube with his blood. It didn't take as long this time, he said (I wasn't with him) so maybe the first chick hadn't been very good at it, anyway.

I was so proud of him! He called me from the parking lot and he was fine -- not woozy, not nauseous. Woo hoo! Then, the next morning, the phone rings... The nurse/technician/whatever she's called had actually NOT taken enough blood, and they weren't able to do all the tests. He has to go in AGAIN to have his blood drawn. And fast, AGAIN.

I said this is wonderful! The forces of the universe are helping you get over your fear of needles, yay! Poor thing, he is not so happy about it. :(

On a different note, here is a picture of my Yankee Candle tart burner:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007



So I'm looking around on my regular check-em-every-day websites, and on this one I see a deal on Wilson's Leather website: Take an extra 50% off clearance prices, plus get free shipping, today (8/1) only.

Hey!, I think, that's a good deal. I find a $48 purse and a $34 belt, with the clearance price, and then with the extra discount, and with the free shipping, it comes to a grand total of $21. Did I mention how cute the white leather purse and the black leather belt are?

See, look:


So Greg calls, and I tell him about my fabulous deal, and he says, "But why do you n--... never mind. That's great, sweetie."

Ha! Why do I need another purse and belt when I already have a purse and a belt! He's so cute.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


My sweetie comes home today, woo! I have to work, unfortunately, so I won't be home until almost 10pm, but he'll be waiting for me with a big hug. Or two...


Mountain Lake Road View

The view from halfway up the mountain on Mountain Lake Road in Virginia:

Saturday, July 14, 2007


It's HOT in Florida

Day Six Without My Sweetie

Greg has been gone since last Sunday afternoon, almost a week. I miss him, but it's okay. I have been pretty busy this whole week, so it's not like I'm sitting around pinin'.

Tonight after work I go to my Nikon D40 class at Crealde. I am excited, my camera has a lot of really technical thingamajiggies that I don't fully understand. I even read the manual, twice, but it's confusing. The class is taught by a guy from Colonial Photo and Hobby, and those guys are all great, very knowledgeable and very good at teaching.

I've always wanted to take a class at Crealde! I had some artwork in a show there once, but I've never been there except for that one time.

It looks like my sweetie will be home on Thursday night, assuming there are no big problems between now and then. :) I have to work on Thursday, which sucks because I won't be home until 10:00pm. But he'll be there waiting for me with a big hug! I could use one of those.

Friday is Harry Potter celebration day. Woo! I am so sad that this book will be the last one ever. In my weird geeky Potter-fan mania, Friday is VERY IMPORTANT to me, and I'm so looking forward to it. First, Greg and I will go to see the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie, which he hasn't seen yet. I saw it on Thursday after I got off work, and I can't wait to see it again.

Then, we'll go to the Barnes & Noble at around 4:30 or so to be there before 5:00, when they will start handing out bracelets for the book release party. (The bracelets are numbered and determine your place in the line at midnight.) Then, we'll to to Greg's favorite restaurant ever (a giant Chinese buffet) to celebrate his return home. Then, we'll go back to Barnes & Noble around 8 or 9 for the book release party.

Then, just after midnight, I'll bring home my last Harry Potter book ever (sob) and sit down at the dining room table to start reading. Position is very important: I discovered the year of book 4 that it's too tiring to hold the giant hardback book while reading through the night, those freakin' things just get too heavy after about the 4th hour of holding. I'll get my tissue box and my bottles of Coke Zero and I'll be up all night, reading the whole book in one sitting. (Minus pee breaks.)

Did I mention I made my own Harry Potter t-shirt? What?? Stop looking at me like that! It's very cute, and unique, and I can be a Harry Potter geek if I want!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007



A few years ago a good friend gave me a clover plant on my birthday, March 17, St. Patrick's day. I have loved this clover for so long, but now I need to say goodbye and accept the fact that the lovely clover plant is no more. I have tried so hard to take care of her, watering her and fertilizing her, but I think she's... gone.


Anyway, in remembrance of my lovely birthday gift, here is a picture of one of her flowers, in happier days:

I Love This Blog

James Gunn's blog is one of the best ever! He is the guy who wrote Tromeo and Juliet, and Slither, and some other stuff you probably haven't heard of. He's also married to the chick who plays Pam on The Office, which I am sure you have heard of.

In his latest blog entry, he quotes Scott Adams (Dilbert guy) writing about horror movies:
"There are only two kinds of characters in a horror flick: the victims who are dying horrible deaths, and the psychopaths that are doing the killing. My problem with those movies is that I automatically empathize with the victims, and I can feel their pain... So I steer clear of horror movies. Yet millions of people enjoy that type of entertainment... Who are horror movie fans empathizing with?

By process of elimination, I assume fans of horror flicks are imagining themselves as the killer, thinking how cool it would be to disembowel attractive teenagers. Jeezus-frickin-christ!...

I wonder how many times in my life I'm at a store, for example, swiping my debit card, and the cashier is looking at me and thinking "It sure would be fun to drive a spike through his forehead and make a vest from his skin." It probably happens more often than I'd like.

Do you enjoy horror movies? If so, what the f*ck is wrong with you?"

And James Gunn's response:
"People generally go to horror films to be FRIGHTENED. That would mean they empathize with the victims... Through horror films, our reptilian under-brains are provided with the thrills and chills a life of relative safety denies us. Our ids are able to experience true fear in a place where our superegos are able to tell us, "Ha ha. This isn't really dangerous at all" – until something hops out from the side of the screen and our ids, egos, and superegos cry out "HOLY SHIT!" in unison, along with a theater of two hundred other ids, egos, and superegos. For just a moment, we are one in our fear and Darwinian vulnerability. And what's more fun than that?

So that is why most of us go to see horror movies, Mr. Guy Who Created Dilbert. But thank you for your perfect blend of elitism and dumbfuckness which reminds me why I care about horror films."

Ha! I love him. Seriously.

Feeding the Fishies


My Feets

Monday, July 9, 2007

Day One Without my Sweetie

Greg is out of town on business for the next two weeks. He left yesterday morning, 7/8, and won't be back until next Friday, 7/20. Gads.

I am really not one of those women who is afraid to be alone, I actually LIKE being alone. Before I met Greg I lived alone, and loved it. But now I'm used to having someone else give me a hug when I get home from work, and grab my butt when I walk across the living room, and sing the Entourage theme song with me, and yell "boobies!" when I am taking a shower, and fuss at me when I forget to eat breakfast.

Anyway. The house seems really empty with only lil' me and lil' Syndney.

That's okay, though, I have a lot of stuff to do. I am rereading the Harry Potter books in preparation for the last book release, and I'm only just at the very beginning of book 6. I am meeting Jen and Debe to record two episodes of Say Anything this week, one tomorrow and one on Friday. I have to go through our stuff to find things we can give to Jen to include in the big garage sale this weekend. I am still adjusting levels/color balance, cropping and resizing all the pics from Jacki's wedding... all 452 of them. I need to wash the dirty dishes and put away the laundry and clean the floors. I need to dye my hair, and get on the treadmill for at least 30 minutes a day. I am taking a Nikon class at Crealde this Saturday, and sometime next weekend I have to find time to see the new Harry Potter movie. I'm also working 10-hour shifts on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of this week (and today), and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Then next Friday I'm going to the big Harry Potter book release party at Barnes & Noble, then staying up all night to read the book.

I really hope Greg can come home early, next Thursday instead of next Friday, so he won't be too tired to go to the book release party with me. Today is just the first day, but he said things went really quickly, so it's possible they will be finished ahead of schedule.


Monday, May 21, 2007

My Life: A Visual

So I wandered around the house taking pictures of my life.  Why should you be interested?  I have no idea -- maybe you're not.  :)


Bettie Page in the bathroom:


A pretty mug and a duckie holding tea bags, marigold seeds and mardi gras beads in the kitchen:


Boy, THIS is my life lately, a big pile of various allergy medicines:


On the bookshelf in the living room:


Notes my  husband took to write a horror movie review:


Stuffed cow, kitty treats, light-up duckie, fingernail polish


Madame Sydney the Disdainful: