Monday, December 13, 2004

Throw me more than a bone, will ya?

Sometimes people converse by indicating things with body gestures and by giving vague or cryptic verbal clues to the next part of what she or he is trying to communicate.

Let's describe this phenomenon:

"Lassie, what is it? What is it? Are you trying to tell us something? Oh! Timmy's stuck in the well???!!!"

Strangers in the afternoon at the Citgo

So I've got some time off on Friday. Good day to do a bit o' shopping while others are slaving away in their offices. I stop at a nearby gas station (Citgo), which is rather small. It's tucked into a corner of land and has, oh, maybe four pumps total.

I'm wearing a cute pair of jeans, cute shoes, and a decent amount of makeup (read: highlighting the eyes), but my hair was atrocious and up in a ponytail. At this point, flyin' in the cool, breezy December middle TN air.

A pickup truck pulls up behind me. To wait for me to finish, of course. I shake my head and keep on with my task.

One of the guys in the truck gets out. Mistake #1: I turned around. Mistake #2: I smiled.

Hey, it's Christmas time, I'm a Southern gal in the South, and it's just a nice thing to do.

The guy utters, "Gas station's really busy right now," or something similar.

"Yeah, I guess," I reply. *Maybe he won't speak again* I think...and PRAY.

Then the dreaded occurs. "You got a boyfriend?" came the voice next to the pickup truck.

I'm thrown off guard. *What does he want?* After what seems like an eternity, I respond (balancing sweetness and firmness as well as I can), "Well, I guess that's for me to know and for you to keep wondering about." Eek...how would he take it? Can I jump into my car fast enough? Does he have a shot gun? How loud can I scream?

"I was just tryin' to pay you a compliment, ma'am," explains Mr. Pickup.

*Oh* I think, *I guess he's not gonna abduct me or ask for my number.*

"Thank you." A Southron gal has to be nice.

"Whoever he is, he's a lucky man," says Mr. Pickup with a grin.

Stunned again, I get in my car and dazedly make my way off the property.

So.....Mr. Man, whoever you are, wherever you are, you will someday be a very lucky gentleman, according to Mr. Blue Pickup. I just hope you can wait till then.

Mating Call of the Geeks

I was in a local Borders this past Thursday, feelin' cute and lookin' for good children's books and whatever else I could find. Made some excellent discoveries (like the interactive _Egyptology_ book and the Jane Monheit CD on sale for $15.99). Made my way to the checkout counter.

Alex was the clerk. And no, he wasn't FINE, but he was cute...in a tall, dark-headed, regular guy sort of way. He looked like a nice guy who was happy with his life. Something burned in my chest. (Whopper burger scarfed down in the car, maybe? Or was it my "future husband detector" going off?) I wanted to ask him what he liked about working at Borders...how old he was, does he want children, did he love Jesus. I kept stealing looks at him. He'd grin. I'd grin. Only slightly. Well, then a little more. But always a little controlled. I chuckled/giggled a bit and said hi. He chuckled a bit and said hi. The transaction went quietly and smoothly. I had a reckless thought---"Maybe I should write my phone number on the receipt." But my shy self who likes to play by The Rules checked that thought---"Nope. The guy should make the first move." So I just left him with another nice smile and a bit of a strut out the door.

I'm sure I'll return to this Borders. It's a good location and usually easy to get in and out of, both store and parking lot. I'll let you know if I see Alex again. :o)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Great-granny is a mommy again---ZOINKS!

Looks like somebody evidently didn't hit menopause yet. Click on the post title for this amazi... er... weir... er... gro... er... yeah, amazing story.

Friday Frivolity

Click on the blog entry title for some Friday afternoon hilarity, frivolity, and silliness...all about kitties!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Another blog worth reading

If you love theological discussions, pondering the great questions of the universe, and many things Bostonian, Mark's your guy. Movie fanatic, voracious reader, loyal friend, post-doc at Harvard. And bouncer wannabe....or not. Heh-heh. Great blog with a great design. Check it out!

{By the way, let me know if the link doesn't work for you.}

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Great quotes

Needing the Martha Stewart touch is one thing; needing the Bob Vila touch is another!---Elena (about a potential rental property for her sister)

"I need you like Ben Affleck needs acting lessons."---Team America: World Police

Every calling is great when greatly pursued.---Ralph Waldo Emerson

{*Male readers take heed!*} French blue: the color of shirt that makes every man look like a movie star.---Elena

Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.---Unknown

There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.---Unknown

Growing older is inevitable; growing up is optional.---Unknown

"Where's the beef?"---little old lady in Wendy's commercial from the 80s {Strangely apropos for much of life today. Where's the real meat?}

"I mean it!" "Anybody want a peanut?"---The Princess Bride

"I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."---The Princess Bride

"Mawwiage." "Twoo wuv."---the priest in The Princess Bride

"A bird may love a fish, Señore, but where would they live?" "Then we must give you wings."---Ever After

"You were there, You were there in the midst of the unclear."---Avalon's song "You Were There"

A great flame follows a little spark.---Dante

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

What a girl wants

Since my birthday is Saturday, I thought I'd give you my wish list (in no particular order). Donations to the "Get Elena Through Grad School" Fund are also welcome.

* Completion of Briley Parkway construction, all Music City drivers to use turn signals, and....oh, yes....world peace (*grin* ~ting!~)
* The perfect black dress
* A Wheel of Time paperback that doesn't lose its cover after the first week of reading
* Cube-shaped eggs
* The answer to "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"
* A pen whose ink flows smoothly and is perfect for writing on ANY kind of paper
* An unused box of Crayola crayons made BEFORE all the wacky new colors
* My own little ivy-covered cottage and herb garden
* An amazing book collection for the cottage's library nook
* A comedic role in a Broadway musical
* Pantyhose that does not snag or run
* A refrigerator with ice maker
* Myst: Uru for my new computer
* Donations for the purchase of my new computer (make checks out to TrainDad and SewMom, personal computer shoppers)
* A trip to Great Britain, Spain, and Italy
* My name on a brick in the Bicentennial Mall
* Lifetime supply of Reese's Pieces and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
* Case of diet root beer
* High tea in Ireland
* A mini-break stay in a castle
* Arwen's silver and crystal necklace

Or just fond wishes and prayers for a good 2004-05...

Happy Birthday, Ashpenaz!

On this day, in 1979, a dark-fuzzy-haired wee babe arrived to bless our family. Except for Pink Kitty, Ashes is my "bestest friend in the world!" Ashes has endured many a wild 'n' woolly Elena moment, including those involving my learning to drive. She went through my first "living away from the parents" experience with me as one of my three roomies. She has been there through boyfriends and countless crushes (ie. long conversations about boys and men and our confusion about them). She has advised me on all things artistic, from interior decorating to my wardrobe. I credit her with drawing out my growing sense for color. She encourages me, keeps me accountable, laughs with me, cries with me, and cooks me food! ;o) She is loyal and generous, creative and hard-working. I admire the determined person she has become.

Seven years ago, we went before the church together to profess our faiths in Christ. (Neither one of us knew the other was going down front to talk to the pastor. We ended up on the aisle and walking to the altar together!) Three weeks later we both were baptized in the same worship service. Ashes is the only woman who is doubly my sister: by family blood and by the blood of Christ.

Happy 25th, little sister! I love you!!!

E.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Elena and Ashpenaz in the Countryside

This past weekend was my sister Ashpenaz's and my trip to the great south central area of Tennessee: Lynchburg, Winchester, Tullahoma, Belvidere, and Manchester. (Well, we only drove through Tullahoma and Manchester, so those don't really count.) She won the trip in a drawing at the Y. (She thought she was entering a contest to win the car, but it was actually to have a car available to her for this trip.)

Friday night Ashes picked up the white BMW X2 (read: small SUV), complete with sunroof and CD player (and large "Courtesy Loaner of BMW of Nashville" sticker on the back windshield... nice...). Saturday we drove southish to Shelbyville and hung a looey toward Lynchburg. We stayed in a little B&B in Lynchburg run by a very nice lady. Our room was the one with the two beds. (Yay!)

Saturday lunch took us to the Iron Kettle, a little dinerish place on the square in Lynchburg. Good greasy grub to be had. Then we window-shopped in the stores on the square. We skipped most of the stores with the Harley Davidson paraphenalia (of which Lynchburg has way more than its share). Checked into the B&B around 3:00 p.m. Discovered that Miss Mary Bobo's Restaurant only seats for a meal at 1:00 p.m., not at all on Sundays, and only by reservation. Well, there goes our gourmet Southern food dinner. Hrm...what to do? Well, we headed toward Tims Ford State Park. I got to drive the Beamer this time! Heehee!

After what seemed like FOREVER (which was only 20 min. probably), we got to the park, paid the fee, and walked a paved path to an overlook. Then we walked back and got directions to a marina where food was to be had. Drove to Holiday Landing and ate at the Blue Gill Grill. More greasy food. (Pretty good fried catfish. Excellent cheese spread for appetizer.)

We drove back to the B&B and just hung out. I watched Shallow Hal, and Ashes read Shopaholic & Sister. (I've yet to finish the book. Book review forthcoming.) I thought the movie was cute, if rather irreverent at times.

Sunday morning, we two heathens (heh-heh, we skipped church) went back to Tims Ford State Park to ride the hydro bikes. We rented the tandem one and pedaled out to the middle of the lake. My tushie is still smarting from the butt fatigue. It was good exercise, and it was a beautiful morning out on the lake. Sun shining on the water. Trees changing slowly to their fall colors, in muted tones of gold, orange, red, and brown.

We had the bikes for an hour but our knees, legs, and hineys couldn't last that long, so we pedaled back and jumped into the Beamer-mobile for the drive to Belvidere. We had our sights set on Falls Mill, a historic mill that used to produce all kinds of products but now is used to grind corn, wheat, and other grains. The mill is also a museum and gift shop. And the proprietors told us they do have weddings there on the grounds.

We got to Belvidere a little early, so we backtracked through Old Salem and then through Winchester and found a little bait shop place near some other creek or river or lake thingy. They sold hamburgers, thank goodness, so we didn't have to make do with our granola bars and peanut butter. The shop owner tried to give us directions back to Winchester that would also take us down the road that had all the restaurants (which we didn't need now that we had burger-ness in hand). He explained: "Hemena-hrm-how right turn, shemeny-sherba-sow left turn, blahdee-blah-blah 'nother right turn" and much more. (I think he was really telling us how to get to North Carolina.) Ashes and I looked at each other, thinking, "Didja get all that?" Of course not. We hopped into the Beamer and said, "Yeah, we'll just go back the way we came."

Falls Mill turned into the best part of the trip. Beautiful grounds. We took silly Glamour Shots style photos of each other with the upper falls as the backdrop. We toured the mill and museum, got to see the big wheel up close, and explored the grounds. Ivy and kudzu everywhere. It was like a hillbilly fairyland! (We discovered that the geographic name for this area of TN is the Highland Rim. Can'tcha just hear the bagpipes?)

I drove us from Belvidere to I-24 and on to Murfreesboro, where Ashes and I searched for rental properties for her and TexasStar. She and TS will continue to room together as they both finish their undergrad degrees. LittleBit, the resident four-legged furrball, may get booted off the "College Girl Island," since many landlords don't want kitties or puppies in their properties. Fortunately, Ashpenaz and TexasStar aren't that attached to the feline. Hrm....StarGazer, you want another kitty-cat daughter?

Notice that no Jack Daniels Distillery touring occurred. Ashes had her taste of the Jack in the Whiskey Raisin ice cream at the parlor on the square in Lynchburg, and we sampled some Jack Daniels hard candy in the general store. That was the extent of our Jack Daniels experience. I'm thinking the Natenicks are going to be disappointed, but oh well...

No real treasures were discovered on this trip, unless you want to count the numerous instances of roadkill, which in TN can be yours for the eating. It's legal. But eewww!!!

The trip did confirm that Ashpenaz is a city girl. CI-TY GIRL.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Lovin' the 80s

Click on the link above to find a great site for searching all of your favorite cartoons from the 80s. They've even got some really obscure ones.

I scoured the Web and found the SHEET MUSIC to the Chapi Chapo theme song!!! Does anyone else remember this cute little short that was part of Nickelodeon's show "Pinwheel"? Because of the pronunciation, I thought the last two lines were "Bashoo, bashoo, biddy-boo; bashah, bashah, biddy-bah; biddy, biddy, baddy, baddy-ah." I used to crack Ashpenaz up doing that little ditty with my cute little girl Elena voice.

Ash's schtick used to be "Couldja, wouldja, pweese?!" with the bottom lip stuck out as the final flourish. This was when she was young...like...preteen!

So what are some of your favorite cartoons? Past or present...whatever...it's fine. Just post in the comments. (Sorry that I don't have Haloscan.)

A few of my faves:
Voltron
Thundercats (Thundercats, ho!)
Smurfs (DenisonGirl, my cousin, pronounced it "Purfs" when she was 3.)
Rainbow Brite
Jem
My Little Ponies
Gummi Bears
Tarzan
Transformers
G. I. Joe
Tom and Jerry
Woody Woodpecker
Fat Albert

Other favorite kiddie shows:
Great Space Coaster
Mr. Rogers's Neighborhood
Sesame Street
Electric Company
3-2-1 Contact
Mathnet
Ghostwriter
Bloodhound Gang
Wonderworks
Mr. Wizard

Favorite grown-up shows:
Knight Rider
Magnum P. I.
Charlie's Angels
Falcon Crest
Dynasty
Dallas
Knots Landing
A-Team
Mission Impossible
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Kate and Allie
My Sister Sam
Who's the Boss?
Mr. Belvedere
Benson
Soap
Taxi
Lavergne and Shirley
Happy Days
Joanie and Chachi
Cheers
Star Trek: The Next Generation
SeaQuest


What do you remember from the 80s?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Male Actors in Their 30s: Yowzah!

Cutie patooties in their 30s...*grin*

Jack Black (when he's in his less scruffy moments; hey, he's funny and cuddly)
Samuel West (Prince Caspian has grown up!)
Anthony Howell (Sweet scientist guy into bugs in PBS's Wives and Daughters miniseries)
Alessandro Nivola (conniving Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park)
Stuart Townsend ("I didn't get to be Aragorn after all.")
Toby Stephens (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; Possession)
Jonny Lee Miller (more Mansfield Parkage)
Gerald Butler (taking Michael Crawford's spot in Phantom of the Opera; Timeline; Tomb Raider 2 [did he HAVE to blow off Lara? *sigh*]; Reign of Fire)
Paul Walker (Fast and Furious; Timeline)
Rufus Sewell (plays villains and good guys well)
Hugh Jackman (need I say more?)
Hugh Dancy
Ioan Gruffudd (can't pronounce his name, but he's cute)
Ethan Hawke
Matthew McConaughey (had to)
Tom Ward
Matthew Settle
Brendan Fraser (hello, Rick!)
Oded Fehr (hello, that guy that rides the horsie and has the cool tatoos!)
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Henry Thomas (ET's cutie's all grown up)
Marc Blucas
Matthew Marsden
Ben Miller
Jason Behr
Adam Rodriguez
Jared Leto
Kerr Smith
Scott Wolk
Matthew Fox
Kyle Chandler
Dylan Neal


*sigh* James Purefoy turned 40 this year, so he can't qualify for this particular category, but me still likey, likey.


OK, that's enough listing for now. I'm plum tuckered out.

Ciao!

Favorite Songs from Childhood, or Everyone Loves "Ring Around the Rosy"

What are some of your favorite songs from childhood? Did someone sing lullabies over you while you were rocked? (No, I'm not talking about rocking Led Zeppellin {sp?} style.) Did you sing songs in elementary school? At church?

Note the ones listed below. Let me know if we share some faves!

"Ring Around the Rosy"---Despite its morbid origins (it's about the black plague), it's a fun song. (Four-year-olds know nothing and care nothing about bubonic plague.) You skip in a circle holding hands, going faster and faster, till you let go of one another's hands and fall down on "We all fall down."

"Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush"---Yay, a chore for every day of the week. (Each stanza is about a different chore. Each day has its assigned chore.) OK, that's not such a fun idea, but acting the chores was always fun: sweeping, washing, and so forth.

"White Coral Bells"---This song is about lily of the valley. Pretty tune. Catchy lyrics.

"The Riddle Song"---Begins "I gave my love a cherry without a stone." Again, pretty tune. The first stanza states the riddles. The second stanza asks "How can there be?" all of the things mentioned in stanza 1. And the third and final stanza explains the riddles. The explanations are sweet. :o)

Rounds:
These are fun to sing, whether nonsense songs or ones that teach lessons.
"Zum Gali Gali Gali"
"Dona Nobis Pacem"
"Reuben, Reuben, I've Been Thinkin'"
"One Bottle of Pop, Two Bottles of Pop"
"Make New Friends"
"Come Follow Me"

Songs from Brownies:
I learned these in Brownies. (That's Girl Scouts for 1st graders, I think. It's been 23 years. Cut me some slack.)
"Father Abraham"---another song involving actions
The one with the line about "mutilated monkey meat." Little kids like gross-out songs.

Songs my mom sang while rocking me:
"Go to Sleepy, Little Baby"
"The Old Grey Mare"
"Mairzy Doats"
"Are You Sleeping?"
"Aunt Rhody"
"Baa Baa, Black Sheep"
"Jimmy Crack Corn"
"Little Cabin in the Woods"
"She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain"
"Clementine"
"Where Is Thumbkin?"
"Way Down Yonder in the Paw-Paw Patch"
"Did You Ever See a Lassie?"
"Itsy Bitsy Spider"
"The Farmer in the Dell"
"Old Macdonald Had a Farm"
"Six Little Ducks That I Once Knew"
"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"
"Hush Little Baby"
"This Old Man"
"John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt"
"Kookaburra"
"Little Bunny Foo Foo"
"Mary Had a Little Lamb"
"Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore"
"The Muffin Man"
"My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"
"O, Susanna"
"Puff the Magic Dragon"
"Praise Him, Praise Him"
"Rock-a-bye, Baby"
"Skip to My Lou"
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
"Three Blind Mice"
"Yankee Doodle"

No, she didn't sing all the songs in her repetoire every time she rocked me. Some of them we sang in the car. Some I sang along to the records I played in my room. (Yes, the old vinyl 33 and 1/3 rpm records. I still have them but not the turntable.) Some I sang in my head or aloud while reading the children's songbooks Mom had collected. (It's good to have a mama with a degree in elementary ed. with a minor in music ed.)

Some I learned in school:
"It's a Marshmallow World"
"The Green Grass Grew All Around"
"The Water Is Wide"
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again"

I'll add more to the list when I think of things.

So what's on your list?

{Thank you to the Kididdles folks (see link in title of post) for their alphabetized list of songs. Many of them are as I remember them from childhood. Go check out their site and explore.}

Friday, October 01, 2004

Welcome, Baby E! (A belated birth announcement)

Well, Preggo is preggo no longer! Little E arrived at 8:00 a.m. on Sept 30th, and she is a sweet little bundle of joy at a wee 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 inches long. She sleeps a lot, says Daddy UGAMan. She slept in my arms as I rocked her during my visit the day after she was born, while Preggo ate a hospital-food lunch.

Little E has darkish blue eyes, but most babies come equipped with blue eyes at first, so who knows what color they'll turn later?

Little E already has UGA socks and a "good little baptist" onesie. (For those not in the know, a onesie is a one-piece baby outfit. This particular one is short-sleeved and short-legged and snaps at the appropriate spot so that you can easily change her diaper.) Daddy brought the dancing Harry Dog to the hospital room. I think Little E already knows the dance, from the photographic evidence I've seen. (Y'all who've seen the pics know what I mean. And sorry to the Yellow Jackets...Little E is gonna be a die-hard Bulldog!)

Preggo had NO meds whatsoever during childbirth. Owie!!! I would have screamed like a banshee. I think Preggo did.

If I ever have a baby, I want ALL THE DRUGS!!!


Note: Since Preggo is not preggo (or "preggers," for the Bridget fans) Preggo needs a new name.....so.......MamaJR is it. (Heehee...makes her sound like a _Dallas_ fan!!!)


MamaJR says, "I can't believe she's mine."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Other Austen books/flicks

I liked _Persuasion_, and I like the 1995 movie with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. I didn't like the 1971 version (too grainy and too self-conscious).

The 1995 movie confounded me the first time I watched it. The characters spent much of their time with their hair mussed and wearing rumpled, almost dirty clothing. Watching it as an older person, I see the value in showing the actors more as real people. One does get rather dewy after those long walks in England. And even if the sea-faring captain Benwick isn't very cute, he does thrill to the passion of poetry and seems to be a kind and generous soul. Don't expect the polish of the Emma characters' appearances when you watch _Persuasion_. But these folks are passionate and genuine. _Persuasion_ 1995 might be one of the better Austen films.


_Sense & Sensibility_ with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman (I love him as Colonel Brandon!), and Greg Wise (Does he HAVE to be a rogue? See him as a sortof hero in PBS's mini series adaptation of Edith Wharton's _The Buccaneers_. *raises eyebrows* Hachachacha...!):
Gorgeous cinematography. The commentary on the DVD with Emma Thompson and compatriots is delightful. Emma and Kate flesh out the two sisters, Eleanor and Marianne, superbly. They put the meaning into the Napoleonic era's "sense" (using your brain, not your emotions) and "sensibility" (using your emotions and taking in information, or sensing, with them). I don't know if it was the time at which I read S&S for the first time, but Austen's language turned my brain into tangled spaghetti. I could follow the storyline, but the vocabulary confused me. Well, the movie helped things. They used bigger and more "up-market" words back then to mean what we would say now in words more casual and of fewer syllables. And we don't evaluate people in the same people the way the folks of the late 1700s and early 1800s did. I'd have to quote something from the book to explain this. Perhaps in another post.

Have I forgotten a work of Austen's? Yes, if you count Sanditon, or whatever it's name is. And her letters and cute little history of England with its drawings (which was used in the more recent movie adaptation of _Mansfield Park_ [see previous post]). But I'm not covering those today.

Got to run to church for choir rehearsal!

Cheerio!

Jane Austen's _Emma_ (movies)

It's a Jane Austen palooza! Whee!!!

The most well-known movie version of _Emma_ probably would be the one with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam (yum!). Gwynny keeps her English accent throughout the movie. A definite plus. She's rather petulant, though, and I don't know how well that matches the "real" Emma of the book. I'd have to re-view the movie and re-read the book to give a good assessment.

The other movie version I've seen is another A&E/BBC adaptation with Kate Beckinsale as Emma. I forget who plays Mr. Knightley in this one. I like Kate, and I liked her as Emma. But that's all I can remember about that movie.

I think there was yet another BBC version...made in the 80s or 90s, before the one with Kate. I didn't like it. It wasn't just the grainy-ness of the recording...it was too "Look at us doing a TV special" in tone. Too self-conscious of being a televised play. And it was not a play really, not in the vein of _Our Town_.

Not the most informative review, The Pink Kitty. Sorry! (Note to other readers: Pink Kitty---best friend from TN; The Pink Kitty---new blogger friend, from CA.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Jane Austen snooze fest

OK, I know that purists dislike the 1999 version of Mansfield Park with Frances O'Connor (_Timeline_), Jonny Lee Miller (*sigh*), Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola (drool! I do like some blond boys), and others because of the extra stuff about slavery, the switching of Fanny's close relationship with her brother William to one with her sister Susan, the nude scene, and Fanny's seeming to be a proto-feminist. But the camera work is excellent. (Does it always boil down to better cinematography?) And I believe the acting is excellent as well.

The version linked above seems to stay truer to the book, but that's part of the problem. They tried to include every bit of the book. And Edmund is a rather boring person in this version. I can understand why Mary Crawford's stomach roils when she thinks of a life lived with Edmund the clergyman rather than the I-was-second-son-but-now-am-first-cuz-my-brother-died version of Edmund she dreams about. (Which would necessitate Tom dying of his ailment instead of surviving it, as readers of the novel knows he does.) This version drags on and on and on...and even the ending, which I skipped to to see if Edmund shows a spark of feeling for Fanny when he finally declares his love for her.

Yeah, I get it that subtlety is best. I know, I know. But sheesh! Fanny and Edmund sit side by side in chairs, facing who knows what (b/c the camera never shows you), and they are perpindicular to the window. Before Edmund enters the room, Fanny doesn't appear to be interested in looking outside. What is she doing? Why is she in that room? Is she brooding? This actress has got Fanny's stoicism down pat, but Fanny was also passionate, in her way. I see none of that passion in this actress's portrayal.

The portions of this adaptation I've seen all contained acting that slowed the plot to 5 mph. It was the line delivery, the lack of emoting on much of a level, and the not-so-attractive actors. (Forgive me...but I do prefer pretty people for some films.) The episodes I watched made me want to stick hot pokers into my arms. Don't buy it. Don't rent it. Check it out at the library if you MUST watch it.

I'll go back and watch the whole thing and tell you if there was one redeeming bit in the entire....argh!....six episodes of the thing.

If you've got to watch six episodes of something, get the six-episode set of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. They make Lizzie Bennet and Mr. (whatever his first name is) Darcy come alive. (And yes, you CAN survive Mrs. Bennet's wailings.)

Cheers!

If you're gonna score a Jane Austen movie...

Please leave out the 80s electric guitar and saxophone.

Bless their pea-pickin' little hearts at the BBC or wherever or whoever over there in jolly ole England made this version of Jane Austen's _Northanger Abbey_....but OMIGOSH, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Classical music of the period of the events of the book should be used for a high-quality Jane Austen adaptation. NOT cheesy B-movie horror flick musical scoring.

The deal is...Catherine Moreland (Jane Austen's most giggly heroine) is a voracious reader of Gothic horror novels, especially those written by a one Mrs. Radcliffe. In this movie adaptation, Catherine is seen envisioning dreadful kidnappings of her own person, tyings down to ornately carved beds, and daring rescues by blond Englishmen on horseback. What more could a girl ask for? And the music underscores the dreadful yet romantic visions she conjures up in her vivid imagination. Thus, the producers/writers inclusion of the electric guitar and saxophone. (Which I, of course, think are quite unnecessary for creating that delicious spine-tingling mood.)

These musings eventually get Catherine into trouble. She is invited by the sister of the gentleman whose romantic interest she has garnered (and returns) to stay with the family. Guess where? In their medievalish castle home, which bears the same name as the title of the book. Catherine views the family dynamics through the lens of her Gothic novel-reading. "Disaster" ensues. But, as in Pandora's box, hope still remains. Watch it for yourself, but you have been forewarned about the cheese factor.

The Brief Tale of Ralph

Do you remember The Mouse and the Motorcycle? Wasn't the mouse's name Ralph?

Anyway, Bama Girl and I earned the delight of being the furry Empress Kitty's sitters for several days while unfurry Empress Pink Kitty went on vacation with Duke Diva.

On the first morning that was my turn to feed the feline, upon checking the kitchen counter for the cat food, I was greeted by a plateful of dead rodent and a little note from Bama Girl: "Elena, Kitty left us a present." Wasn't Bama Girl nice to leave it for me to share in the joy of Miss Kitty's triumph over the little mousie?

The poor thing was intact, thankfully. He looked exactly as if he had died while riding a miniature motorcycle and had just fallen off the thing. And Pink Kitty not there to share in the joy. Sadness... I'm sure Kitty herself was shedding a feline tear over that.

Well, Ralph got dumped into the trash bag and deposited in his crypt, the waste basket, in the kitchen, where he stayed until the stench of dead mammal assaulted Pink Kitty on her arrival home. Oops! *Note to self: When disposing of dead rodent, take plastic bag receptacle all the way to outside container. Dead mouse over a long period of time = stinky, stinky stink!!!*

Later I learned that Furry Kitty had brought Ralph in to play. Ralph didn't want to play. Pink Kitty didn't want Ralph to stay to play either. (Notice that feline children don't ask their parents permission to invite playmates in for a play date.) Pink Kitty was trying to pack for vacation. Furry Kitty didn't care. Ralph didn't care either. He just wanted to get away from that four-legged furry thing with CLAWS and TEETH!!! So he scurried under something and hid.

We don't know if Ralph died of a heart attack or succumbed to the playful wrath of Furry Kitty, but died he nonetheless.

RIP, Ralph.

I'm back!

No, I haven't been anywhere, really. Just haven't been posting. Wow...over three weeks absence here. Sorry, y'all. You've had to put up with old stuff, and unlike fine cheese and wine, it probably does not get better with age! ;o)

Friday, September 03, 2004

Wanna party Pink Kitty style?

PK's gotten into online chatting while watching poli sci stuff on TV (ie. RNC nite o' the stars). If you are politically inclined (read: Libertarian or Republican...or a not-so-scary Democrat) and would like to chat online with other bloggers or lurkers during some of the debates or on election night, drop a comment over at Pink Kitty's Scratching Post with your ID. I think she's using Yahoo!, so you probably have to Yahoo! too in order to participate. But hey, what's another membership? Don't we all have, like, 50 gazillion of them?

It's amazing that we can all keep up with our usernames and passwords. Talented folk we are!

More poetry bits

Go there now! Now, I say! I need feedback. Even if you aren't a writer, aren't a fan of poetry, or aren't much of a reader of any kind. Your gut impression is still worth something.

¡Gracias!

Sleepin' with an enemy?

Heehee...not what you thought, was it?

Well, I've joined YET another blogging outfit, so the link will get you to that page. You have to join their org (free, of course) to be able to comment there...which explains why I joined. I must say...I do like being able to put up icons with links when I want to let the world know what I'm reading or what's in my CD player. So go check it out. Just for kicks 'n' grins.

Friday, August 27, 2004

New furniture at the casita

My wee little apartment, La Casita, has new furniture. At least it's new to me. And Pink Kitty helped me christen it with a Pampered Chef party Tuesday night. My guests included Elena's Mom, StarGazer, Salsa Guy, Texas Sisterchick, Photo&Song, and the best PC lady in the world--GOPMama.

A good time was had by all eating the yummy brie dip and the silky chocolate fondue. Check out the Pampered Chef Web site for the fondue recipe, plus others.

Much of the furniture came from Pink Kitty's dad DetectoMan's estate. (Detecto died of a sudden heart attack earlier this year.) I said to PK, "Ashpenaz comes over to help clean; I come over to shop!!!" PK is thrilled to have some of the stuff out of her dad's and now in a new home...all cutened up with recent purchases from Pier 1!

I LOVE Pier 1!!! And NOT because of the Fab 5 member, Thom. NO! It's a great store, and the location from which I bought my desk and chair has the friendliest sales associates in the Music City area. Colors for this fall range from rich reds and oranges to deep purples and luscious greens. Embellishment is the name of the game. A little flash here, a little beadwork there---it's a beautiful thing.

So La Casita is getting a makeover, and she is one cute chiquita of a casita. Lots more red than used to be. Less blue. More warmth. Let's heat up those white walls! I would love to paint, but I'm not sure what the management would think about cinnamon or terra cotta or pumpkin.

I'll let you know how the home office redecorating goes. La Casita is saying adios to the twin bed and the Mary Engelbreit look, in favor of something more exotic and sassy. La Casita's senorita is hoping to donate said twin bed to the local women's transitional housing program. And some of the other items may go as well.

Well, the laundry-filing-movie hour is coming, so Elena must skeedaddle.

Don't forget to check out "the OTHER blog," Cozy Cuppa Corner, at cuppateanthee.blogspot.com. (Cut and paste into your browser.) I've posted new revisions of poetry I've had sitting around in the hard drive for a while. Let me know what you think.

¡Hasta de lunes!

E.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sad news

The wedding has been called off indefinitely. Please pray for my sister and her now ex. After talking with her, I understand her decision to put off getting married, and I think it's for the best. Only God knows what will happen. I'm praying the best for her and for him.

I know you're dying for details, but those aren't for broadcasting as you can understand.

Not the most exciting leadoff for a break-the-blog-fast, is it? Sorry...

Edit: Further developments from this situation have...developed. Just keep praying that my sister will be enabled to make wise, judicious and timely, decisions about her future...in all its aspects. I love my lil' Ashpenaz and I want her to continue to grow to be one amazing woman! God knows the way she takes and when she comes through, she will be as gold.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Prayer request

I need to know if God is pulling up my roots from my current church home, in order to send me somewhere else, or if He wants me to deepen my roots at the current place.

A week ago this past Sunday I visited a new church plant not far from my apartment and not far from my childhood home. It is an intentional multiethnic church planting. Right now most of the members are African-Americans and there are a handful of pale-faces. ;o) It's exciting to me that they want to tell people about the God who loves them and that they want to connect people from different backgrounds. The entire service was chock full of Scripture.

His sermon was basically the command: "Get out of the boat."

And at my home church yesterday, the sermon was about what faith is.

I gotta admit. I've been rebellious against God lately. Not obvious acts of rebellion that others can see. But attitudes. I've been avoiding many Christian things because I didn't want to merely have the plastic veneer of shiny-happiness that so many Christians wear (whether real or not). I didn't want the prepackaged surface, youth-group-focused media. I want the "walked the hard, dusty road of life" wisdom of REAL people, including the ancients, the first-century Christians, the early church fathers, and later faithful folk.

I want to know and be with the real God. Yes, the same One who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...but unmediated by the latest packaging of Christianity. Even if it is hard to hear and accept and obey...I want the TRUTH.

And I want to be passionate about REAL things, not just fluff and stuff that impresses people for a split second till they switch their internal channel to the next interesting thing.

I don't need to be famous, but I want to make a lasting difference. I want my life to count for something good and profound. Not to just get up, primp, go to work, correct spelling & grammar all day, come home and figure out what to eat, veg out or go out or do chores, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again. Ick... I think if I had hubby and kids that routine would at least be serving someone else besides me, but it's just me right now.

And so many folks out there are feeling the same way. We've all chatted about it. Things haven't changed much.

But maybe the things are changing slowly...like the movements of the starfish stalking, attacking, and eating their prey. In "real time," starfish seem to move at a glacial pace, but with time-elapse photography, you can see the "fierce battle" that goes on as they hunt and devour sea urchins. (Thank you to an episode of Nature from PBS. I forget the title!)

So hang in there! I'm hangin' on too. By the tips of my fingers...but I'm hanging on nonetheless.

E.

Friday, August 06, 2004

More about the music

About tracks from Jill Paquette's CD:

"Come to Me" verbalizes God's call to the struggling believer. And that's me. Sometimes all my faith is the determined clinging to the intellectual truth that the one true God is the Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David...and Jesus Christ, our Savior. And that intellectual belief often angrily rants against false religions. All others ARE false! At times, those thoughts are the only ones I have that are akin to the Christian walk. Seems odd. StarGazer and I were discussing this, and his reminder that one's faith fluctuates in its types of manifestation---throughout one's life---reassured me. Just read the lyrics. You'll see what I mean.

"Lift My Eyes" contains a line reminiscent of C. S. Lewis's "The Weight of Glory" sermon:

(from the song) "Love tells me without speaking, resonating in my soul,
With a light that's ever reaching, ever letting me go."

(from Lewis's sermon) "...this brings me to the other sense of glory---glory as brightness, splendor, luminosity. ... We do not want merely to see beauty,though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words---to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. ... That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can't. They tell us that 'beauty born of murmuring sound' will pass into a human face; but it won't. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of the Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, WE SHALL GET IN. [emphasis mine]"

That last sentence brought tears to my eyes yesterday. "We shall get in." Into a place and a Person, our true home. We will be with Love and be inside it and infused with it. Not the vague, abstract notion of love. But Love, the immortal, eternal, all-knowing, all-being, everywhere-present God who created us to be His children forever.

This is the reality of why we are here. And we young people long for a representation of reality that proves itself to be truly pointing to what is real. (We cannot contain reality, only describe our understanding of it.) But we seize upon the representation and cling to it till it is bled dry of all meaning. Our quaint, trite Christianese phrases did not begin so. At one time, when they were first coined, they overflowed with meaning, put words to that "love...without speaking, resonating in [the] soul."

The life of faith must be, has to be, a continual holding on and letting go, like a flying trapeze artist releasing one apparatus and reaching for another, trusting that he will not fall in the interval between release and grasp. Yet, unlike the trapeze routine, this process is not planned by us. We do not know how long the interval is, nor the precise timing needed for a successful release and grasp. But we know the One who does, and we must leave the "routine" to Him. Then there are the times we want to know ahead of time---we want to practice the routine over and over before we commit to performing it. But God doesn't tell you, every time you want to know, "Yes, this is the trial run. You will have to do it again." (God is a great Teacher but He doesn't have "tells" that let you know which are the most important notes for the exam or what questions will be essay assignments!) Only in the looking back do you understand that perhaps you were preparing for the next task or that you had to experience again a lesson you thought you had mastered before.

It is times like those, the times of wanting to know what's going on and why, that I go "nuts" and crawl the walls, so to speak. At least in my mind. And often in my actions. Words too. This truism is probably too cliched, but I like it anyway: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles: it empties today of its strength." Too often I have not been present in the present. To mitigate the moment's troubles and vainly to ward off tomorrow's, I have fretted during one activity or another about the next thing to be done, or even about future possibilities or certainties. And what use is that fretting? None!

So I ask myself---Well, what do I do then, if I am not to think, speak, and act in the way I have in the past? And I answer (perhaps God's voice is entering now): Elena, do you have to have that answer now? Can you not just do the next thing and the next thing and the next? Just "one foot in front of the other," to quote a song from an old claymation Christmas film. And trust that some of those next things will be what prepares you for a great-great-great-great-grandchild activity of that task? You see, time management is one of my great "areas for improvment."

Which reminds me...time to end this post. What a lovely, rambly time we've had, huh!?!

Comments welcome!

In the CD player: Jill Paquette

This young Canadian writes heartfelt lyrics and music, articulating the twists and turns life takes when you refuse to walk the "vinyl-boxed" version of Christianity but a real faith.

It's part of the newest soundtrack for my life.

I'll blog about specific tracks later. Time for lunch at the tea room!

In the CD player: Jill Paquette

This young Canadian writes heartfelt lyrics and music, articulating the twists and turns life takes when you refuse to walk the "vinyl-boxed" version of Christianity but a real faith.

It's part of the newest soundtrack for my life.

I'll blog about specific tracks later. Time for lunch at the tea room!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The OTHER blog

I have a blog about books and such. Go there for the more literary musings (and my poetic prosings). This blog will be more silliness and oddities found in my Web crawlings.

"Today's blog post has been brought to you by the suffix 'ing,' the letter 'l,' and the color green."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Let the weddingpalooza begin!

Ashpenaz and her wonderful guy are engaged! He proposed on July 30th at The Melting Pot. The ring is beautiful. And she is beaming all the time.

Date not set yet. But she's got the dress on order. Will keep you updated!

---the maid of honor (she already asked. *grin*)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Boston Tea Party, TN style

This guy cracks me up. Notice the photo. Shades of The Joker minus makeup? Or perhaps he's thinking, "Heehee, I'm weirdly funny and cute. Gotta love me! (Don't be scared.)"

If you...want to click on linkies, just go ahead now!!!

Tah-dah! Elena's got link!

In the news: Trash or treasure?

Yes, Nashville has made the news again for something stupid. We're the folks who brought you edible roadkill and spectacular state healthcare. Mayor Bill Boner harmonica-ed* a tune on the Phil Donahue show (remember that one?). We proved that tornadoes do hit downtown areas (well, that wasn't our fault). Click on the title to get to the lyrics. Read them and picture the images for yourself. Yes, it really is that tacky.


* What verb would you use for harmonica playing?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Female tactics frustrate guys, no?

We drive them nuts, ladies, for good and for bad. Guys, feel free to comment on the following items:

1. You've exchanged e-mail addresses with a female acquaintance, whom you've met offline first, who interests you romantically, but you don't know how she feels about you. You begin corresponding with each other. When she gets the drift that you "like her like her," she drops your friendship like a hot potato and avoids you at church, at work, or wherever you two are usually in the same room. This behavior frustrates you and boggles your mind. No?

2. She's so giggly and smiley whenever you talk, but she won't go out with you. What's up with that?

3. You ask her what's wrong or why she's angry, and she refuses to tell you. She claims she's fine and that there's nothing wrong. What the ... ?

4. She's so giggly and smiley around you, but then ... when you think about it, she's the same way when she's around Mike, Steve, and Joe. Hrm ... what's going on?


Translation or tips or thoughts from a female:

1. Problem here is each person's trying to send signals to each other rather than talking about the subject. Yeah, it's really cool and "spooky" when you "get" each other and what the other person's trying to say, without having to spell it out, but this attempt at communication is only cool when it works out. It's awkward when the friendship or relationship falls apart.
The guy didn't ask her out, but the girl sensed that he wanted to, got freaked out by the idea (for whatever reason), and tried to head that bull off at the pass. But instead of nicely saying, "Man X, my friend, I sense that you have interest in me beyond what I'm willing to respond to, and I know that this can only hurt your feelings. But I respect you too much as a person to play games and to be mysterious. If you still want to talk, great. If you would rather not be friends, I understand."
My questions for the guys---Was this girl being too skittish? Should she have waited till the guy actually asked her out? Would you rather a girl tell you straight out, or would you rather her give you hints?

2. Here are possible explanations:
a. She likes you as a friend and person and enjoys talking with you. She enjoys the attention. She does not realize you want to date her (unless you've already asked).
b. She likes you as a friend and person and enjoys talking with you. She enjoys the attention. She knows you want to date her (you may have already asked), and she doesn't want you to be hurt but she cares more about getting the attention.
c. She's that way around most or all guys and you just haven't observed it yet.
d. She's a giggly and smiley girl. You just haven't noticed that she's that way around her gal pals as well.

3. When a woman says she is "Fine" and this is said between clenched teeth, she is not fine. She's angry. When she says it with red eyes or with visible tears, she's not fine; she's upset (sad, frustrated, stressed, whatever). When she says she's fine but she seems preoccupied, she's probably doing OK really---she's just got something on her mind that's more important to her at the moment than assessing her own mood or emotions. Perhaps she's just quiet at the time you ask; maybe she's enjoying her own thoughts, just neutral. If she says, "Oh, yeah, I'm fine; don't worry," and smiles, then chances are that she really is fine. It's all in the facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, not necessarily in the words themselves.
Close female friends often can sense each other's moods and emotions and if they've been friends long enough, know a range of possible explanations for the other's mood. They know when to let the other person alone or when to speak words of comfort or to perform a kind act. This sense is not perfect, of course.
Women have dreams of men treating them as their own gal pals and female relatives do...as far as sensing the women's emotions and needs and acting accordingly, without the women having to report their current status and needs aloud. Yes, quite often this desired result really is fantastical. Most men aren't wired to intuit things about people. There are exceptions. And, true, men can learn their own women's signals over a period of time, if they apply themselves to this sort of learning.
Guys, thoughts?

4. a. She likes a lot of male attention.
b. She likes all four of you.
c. She likes attention period.
d. She's giggly and smiley with all people. She's just got that kind of personality.
e. She's up to no good.


Conclusions:
* Isolated incidents aren't always good indicators of the person's interest in you. Watch for repeated behaviors. Notice the other factors in the environment when the behavior occurs.
* It's OK to ask around about a girl's character, but be discreet. Ask those you trust, those who will not spread rumors like "My pal Joe really likes Heather; pass it on!"
* What women want and what reality is often differ. Know where you draw the line---what you will and won't do to please a woman, which kinds of expectations from women are realistic and which are outlandish.
* You won't always get your assessment of a woman's motivations right. She may not realize that she is being deceptive or hurtful. If you can stand being around her and still talking to her, after you've been deceived or hurt, gentle confrontation may benefit both of you. "You know, it really hurt when ... ." is a good way to phrase this. Sometimes it's better not to know her motivations behind everything she said or did in your past together; knowing such info. might hurt you further rather than teach you something. In that case, pray that the Holy Spirit convicts her of what she did wrong so that she doesn't repeat those deceptive or hurtful behaviors. You learn what you can from what you did do or should have done. If you never dated but have experienced awkwardness and you feel that the acquaintance or friendship is worth maintaining, push past the weirdness, keep offering grace, and love her as Christ does. It is possible to remain friends. (Remember the hard times with your guy friends. No, punching the girl won't get you the same results as it did to punch Jeff or Hank. But you did what you had to do to keep the friendship.)

Correct me where I'm wrong, folks. I'm sure I've missed something or wrongly concluded something somewhere. But there's truth in there too.

Cheers!
E.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Charge to young Christian singletons

Let us focus! Focus, people! I'm saying this to myself as well as to you. Everyone I talk to about what to do now while you're single says, "Focus on God."

This focus will manifest itself it different ways, be you male or be you female.

For the guys, you will build a career, gaining further education or training if you need it; get out of debt as much as possible; pursue hobbies and recreational interests; be involved in ministry or missions in some way (all Christians are called to share Christ and to serve the family of God and the wider world---whether in your current location and culture or as a missionary out of your "comfort zone"); and cultivate good relationships with family and friends, coworkers and supervisors, and leaders and peers in the church.

The women folk will do the same but in feminine ways rather than in masculine.

I know---that sounded really old-fashioned, as well as vague. Further explanation to come. My brain's shutting down for the evening. (Excuses, excuses, you say. I know. Forgive me.)

*sleepy smile*

Test posting

OK, so there's supposed to be a task bar that shows a globe and two chain links, but I don't see one. Hrm...

I gotta get PK to actually see this Mac screen to figure this out. My head aches too much at the moment to figure all this stuff out. Argh...

Monday, July 12, 2004

Things I really like

* Earl Grey tea, hot
* claret red...the color of my bathroom shower curtain and the accent color in my bedroom
* _Jane Eyre_: book and various movie adaptations
* musicals, old and new
* a gorgeous sunset (I always sleep too late for the sunrises.)
* babbling brooks (teehee...the ditzy poet coming out!)
* the right pen (see an earlier post)
* scones
* silver jewelry
* my sister's smile
* SoundMan's version of Strongbad's email chant
* Pink Kitty's sense of humor
* the real Empress Kitty's rabbit-like fur
* Lord of the Rings: books and movies
* The Chronicles of Narnia: books and TV movie adaptations
* The Chieftains
* Bridget Jones Diary: books 1 and 2, the movie
* chicken kabobs
* Pad Thai
* Mom's homemade soups
* Caesar salad
* French Vanilla pudding
* diet Coke with lime
* blank journals
* Shakespeare's sonnets
* Isaiah 61
* a teddy bear covered in alpaca fur
* old letters
* lip gloss or lip balm (In years past, I attempted to collect every flavor in existence. Ashpenaz thwacked me several times over that one.)
* blogging ;o)

Back to the freelance project. Ciao, dahlings!

The new Harry Potter movie

(Wahoo! I figured out how to add titles. Faboo.)

So I was really proud of myself for going to a movie alone. I would normally cringe at the idea, but as I had just eaten a lovely Waffle House brunch all by myself at their counter, I thought, "Why not?"

I had the theater to myself until about 10 or 15 minutes before the previews. It was as if my own living room had expanded 100 times its normal size. And then I got guests without having to feed them. Sweet!

Things I loved:
* Harry is such a cutey! OK, yes, I know...jail bait. But one can appreciate beauty.
* Speaking of beauty, omigosh, the water and the hills and all the scenery! Gorgeous!!!
* Gary Oldman as a hero, imperfect but heroic nonetheless, rather than a villain. Oh, yes...
* Hagrid in a tie. Priceless.
* Hermione's right (or was that left?) hook to Malfoy's face. And his crying when she held the wand to his neck.
* NO Dobby! Thank goodness. That was a mini Jar-Jar Binks I could do without.
* The Boggart-deflecting lesson, complete with ballroom dance music. Love a Dark Arts prof with a sense of humor as well.

Things that bugged me:
* Stuff in the castle being in different places...what's up with the huge pendulum and the clockworks?
* Hagrid's domecile having been moved to down a hill, rather than across a yard. Or did I miss something from the two previous movies?
* How quickly the end was "tied up." Or have I just not noticed that before?

The difference this time before I watched the movie is that I read the books (all of them) before viewing it. When I saw HP1 and HP2, I hadn't read any of the books. I think the first two were good adaptations. The third was closer to the book than the LOTR movies were to those books, I think. But you can correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Rednecks from childhood

Picture it: Nashvegas. TPAC. (That would be the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Think plays, operas, and symphonic concerts. You with me?) Late 1980s. Big hair---the kind with bangs that stand up to greet you---was in. It was really in. I'm in the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade at the time. I don't know for sure which one. It's one of those field trip days. And kids are buzzin' on being out of the classroom.

During intermission, eyeglasses-wearin' and not-that-cool me accompanies a gal pal to the rest room. (Gals are biologically required to take a companion to the ladies room.) We do our bid-ness and wait for an open spot to wash hands.

And I hear it. You can hear it, and picture it too. Frizz-curled Miss Thang standing at the sink, bending towards the mirror, brandishing a brush and a huge can of AquaNet. She says, and I kid you not, with great dismay and frustration in her voice, after spraying what must have been three quarters of the can onto the nest o' bangs: "KREE-stuhl, I cain't git mah har high 'nuff!!!"

My friend and I high-tailed it out of there, stifling our guffahs until we were at a safe distance.

Miss Thang and her friend "KREE-stuhl" were from a different part of Metro, I guarantee it.

True story. Believe it, or not.

Soup, words, mullets, and more

I'm in a chunky Campbell's soup haze right now. (I know...that made NO sense.)

Thought of another howler this afternoon: "I've taken a turn for the banal."

Maybe I have. Gotta look that one up in the good ol' Webster's.

So what's the gal been up to these days? Not much, folks. I did catch several flicks over the weekend. Not at the theater. At Ashpenaz's place and in my own little cozy corner of the world.

The Boyfriend (this would be Ashpenaz's) selected two movies for our viewing pleasure: _I'm Gonna Get You Sucka_ and _American Mullet_.

The first one was merely odd. The classic moment was the pimp-mac-daddy's leaving prison with platform shoes with aquarium heels. Not painted in aquarium murals. Oh, no. These were actual aquariums---glass containers complete with water, rocks, and fish. They didn't survive long on the mean streets...neither the shoes nor the fish.

The second flick was priceless. I've got to watch it again just to catch all of the absurdity. My greatest conclusion from the movie is that the average mullet wearer knows that she or he looks odd to the general public and is horribly out of fashion...and DOESN'T CARE!!! You would be an idiot not to have concluded the same thing. They make it obvious. So this isn't proof of my mental prowess. It's merely the information that nearly knocked me off the couch onto the plate o' pizza. WHY, oh WHY would anyone want to do that to himself or herself? OH, OH! And then...one of the special features (you know...the quality of the DVD is often measured by the variety of its special features) was about one near-mullet-wearin' dude's cardboard motorcycle. A CARDBOARD motorcycle! Covered in some kind of fancy irridescent Mylar. Yep, white with a rainbow effect on top. I'm baffled---how does he keep the thing from catchin' on fire???


Now for the greatest achievement of the weekend, aside from Channel 4's near-excellent coverage of Nashvegas's fireworks display: the purchase of a GREEN POLKA-DOTTED BAG!!! Yes, found at a supah-dupah Wally World in the wee sma's. Transluscent with baby blue and light lime green polka-dotted and trimmed in the same baby blue. OK, yes, it's one of those plastic totes you're seeing all the fashionista girls carrying (or the middle-aged fashionista wannabes). But it was the closest thing I've found. AND it was only $10. Yep, it had "Elena" written all over it.

And they had polka-dotted covered spiral notebooks. (An office supplies junkie's dream season: back to school.) Of course, I bought one. Now...what to write in it?


And you ought to see what I've got collected for Pink Kitty's birthday. Yep, this year she gets actual presents, not IOUs. How marvelous! It's gonna be a kitty kitty day!!


OK, so Iraq is governing itself, and John Kerry and John Edwards are running mates. And supposedly Saddam has no connection with Al Qaeda whatsoever. Right. I get sick of the obsession the media has with some of these stories. We have some overly flagellated deceased equines lying about here. Enough!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Ripper-mania

I just recently started reading (and then skimmed the rest...I'm impatient) Patricia Cornwall's book about the Jack the Ripper case in Victorian England. She's identified the killer! I'll not spoil the book for you. It's really good. What did frustrate me about it was that she went off on tangents quite often, but since I do the same thing, often to illustrate or prove a point or to explain th significance of the main story, I can't complain too loudly. You might find it too irritating.

I'd give you the title, but I don't have it in front of me. Check back later. I'll consult the minds at the online bookstore.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

On a copy editing high

Wuzzup, peeps!!??!!?? I'm a little hyper this afternoon. Not sure why.

Not a lot going on in the Polka-dotted world, except a lot of looking things up in the dictionary. For example, that zigzag, flat, matte trimming you see on little girls' dresses from the 80s is "rickrack"---notice: no hyphen. Yep, that's the kind of thing I do all day. Well, not the only thing, but one of the tasks.

I'm reading the supposedly widely popular Eats, Shoots & Leaves, in which the author rants (with good reason) about the misused apostrophe. I saw it today: "it's" was being used when the writer should have used "its" to show possession. Argh, argh, argh, argh, ARGH!!!

I admit it...I'm a stickler! And I'll shoot our motto: Sticklers unite!!!!!

You have noticed that I do use ellipses with fearless abandon and often write in sentence fragments and use alternative spellings. That's just me online, folks. And it's how I talk, as well. I think. Call it "stream of consciousness but with punctuation."

I like being a copy editor. We copy editors are champions for what so many in society have abandoned: good grammar, punctuation, and spelling and consistent style.

Now...how to make more money at this??? Hrm...

No, I'm kidding! I don't care so much about rakin' in the bling. I would like to buy a couch, a new desk, and a new computer para mi casita. But I don't need a Benz. I would like to help people with their writing: teach them how to improve their grammar, spelling, and punctuation; show them how to improve the clarity of their writing so that their messages are communicated without so many glitches; and encourage them to write creative pieces. I believe writing-art-communication is great therapy and necessary to healing. I don't think I would have emotionally survived high school without writing all that really bad poetry. (Heehee...my junior year English teacher teased me that I was Emily Dickinson reincarnated.)

Well, that's it for now. Gotta go level the colorful mountain range of laundry that's redefining the geography of my living room.

Tah-tah for now!
E.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

More great date ideas

[Note: Not all of these would work for a first date. Some are better for second, third, or subsequent dates.]

* While chatting with your lady, take note of her interests. Then find things to do in your area that connect with her interests. And if it's something she's never been to, seen, or done, what an adventure!

Ideas:
---Paint pottery together (we have four or five places here in my city)
---Take your camera (or borrow one) and go on a photo scavenger hunt (thank you to our graphic designer LittleBit for this one)
---Stroll through a historic neighborhood
---Make a snowman (how's that for cheap but fun!) [You can do this year-round with Styrofoam® balls and other craft supplies.]
---Visit people in nursing homes and retirement communities. Share your skills and talents. Bake and take cookies.
---Pet sit together
---Babysit together (this may require a "chaperon," depending on how you are at maintaining boundaries)
---Go to an art gallery
---Attend a lecture
---Rock climbing, rappelling, sky diving, bungee jumping, and so forth
---Laser tag (oh, yeah!)
---Bowling
---Darts
---Grocery shop and then make dinner together
---Host a dinner party together...everyone pitches in with ingredients and with the cooking duties
---Chaperon a youth function with your church
---Dinner and ballroom dancing
---Country line dancing
---Do yard work for others
---Go around adding change to the parking meters
---Give your own outdoor, on-the-corner concert; put out a hat and see how much change you collect in an hour
---Stand on a sidewalk corner and quote monologues from Shakespearean plays
---Read to each other...do weird voices
---Play card or board games
---Make your own drink mixes for hot beverages; take them to the local police station, fire station, or post office
---Volunteer with your local PBS station or with your local listener-supported Christian radio station
---Give out free water bottles on a hot day
---Decorate small fake Christmas trees with stuff about yourselves
---Make a Birthday-in-a-Box for a friend (the box is a kit for a birthday celebration: hats, noisemakers, confetti, birthday button to wear, snacks...whatever you want to put in there) [thanks to Cactus for this one]
---Write letters to your political representatives on your favorite issues
---Write letters of encouragement to our troops
---Send thank-you notes to people who have influenced your lives; tell each other the stories that include those people
---Visit the VA hospital in your area
---Attend a parade; see who can scream the louder or who can keep waving a flag the longer
---Try a foreign food restaurant
---Get a map of your area and plan a day trip to a part you've never seen
---Shop for steaks and show her your grillmaster skills; challenge her to make mashed potatoes from scratch! (note: don't challenge her on the first date, unless you know she can and will take you up on the challenge)
---Troll the used CD store for the oddest album you can find
---Make a collage together about stuff you like...could be 3D even


* We're blessed to have in my city a lot to do. Of course, there's country music, but there's more than that as well. If you're in Music City ever or live in the area, here are some ideas:

---Predators game
---Titans game
---Pool halls (downtown has at least two)
---Jillians at Opry Mills---games (including skeeball---win her lots of tickets and let her spend them), bowling, dance floor, billiards, Japanese restaurant, regular sports bar & grill
---Opry Mills---more than just Jillian's---themed restaurants, IMAX theater, a Build-a-Bear place (build a stuffed animal together...then take it to a kid in the hospital)
---Grand Old Golf---putt-putt in the Opryland area
---Centennial Park---it gets a little "shady" at night---movies in the park in the summertime and Shakespeare in the Park in August
---Renaissance Festival every May in Triune (budget $35 per person for entrance plus food, more if you want to buy souvenirs)
---Las Paletas---homemade Mexican-style gourmet popsicles---made year-round


Well, I've got to move on to some copy editing. But this gives you lots of ideas to spur your creativity. Some activities are more appropriate for on into the relationship when you know each other better, of course. And some of you may not want to foray into the world of crafts. But if you're willing to try, it's a lot of fun, and you can discover inexpensive, thoughtful gift ideas for her birthday, your dating (or wedding!) anniversary, Christmas, and so on.


Again, you got questions? I got ideas. Perhaps not the absolute answers. But I got opinions and ideas.


Tootles!

Prayer request update

If you prayed for me about the volunteering opportunity, thank you!!! I signed up and am now a volunteer overnight host, spending the night at our women's ministry center twice a month.

Our residents are coming from local prisons, and these ladies are thrilled to be out from behind bars. They are so excited about starting their lives again, this time with better choices, and about reuniting with their families. The three ladies all have kids.

It's so much fun to ooh and aah over their new clothes. After spending months or years wearing the same outfit, complete with identification number painted on in white or black, these gals are getting to pick out dresses for church.

And to think...this ministry has been in the heart of God all along. Two years ago some women in my church started praying about how to use the building the church owned. They felt it should be used for ministry again. Now two different ministries for women and their families are in the building. People from all over the city and surrounding areas are getting involved with this vital work. It's bringing churches from different denominations together. We may not agree on the right age for baptism, but we know when people need help and love to jump in and do it!

Please pray for the two new gals. They will be job searching for the next several days, and one had trouble getting her state ID yesterday.

Pray for this ministry. God will use this to touch the lives of entire families...effecting change that will continue through generations. He wants to break the cycle of addiction and incarceration...and to help people find true freedom...in Him!

Randomness

Ah, access to a computer...all Saturday long. Life is good.

So have you noticed that I am not the only gal who's gone ga-ga over polka dots? I've seen them EVERYWHERE!!! Target has some great stationery and office organizational supplies that are covered in polka dots. And I found the most darling plastic tumblers at Wally World...clear with blue and green polka dots, what else? ;)

What a girl wants; what a man needs to know

Well, Erik (not StarGazer...note the "k") reminded me that I had promised the Vox Volk that I would post some advice for the mens. (That would be the ghetto spelling!)

Here goes...


1. Do not assume that gaggle of girlfriends surrounding your lady of interest is the conglomeration of her best pals. One Volkmensch dubbed the dreaded gaggle "Circle of Doom."

The man's method of approach should fit his personality (the better side of his personality) but he should feel that he is allowed to approach the group. A wingman is optional.

If this is a group of people you know on some level, a "Hey, ladies!" is a good start. If one acts as if you've interrupted their important assessment of the merits or lackthereof of Hugh Grant, ignore her irritation, but still treat her with respect...tho' undeserving she may be.

This gaggle of gals may be mere acquaintances...whether you're at the office, in the hallway of a church building, somewhere on campus, or whatever. Or it could be her closest friends. Don't be intimidated. We women don't like guys who let others intimidate them too often. Vulnerability is great. Wimpiness is not.

Now if this girl is one you're meeting for the first time and you know no one in the group, of course you don't want to just jump in. You could still introduce yourself to the group...without interrupting rudely...by saying something like "Good evening, ladies, I hope you're enjoying the concert. My friends and I were wondering if we could buy you some nachos." Good line for an outdoor concert with food and a picnicky sort of area. Of course, before you make the offer to the gals, be sure to OK it with your guy pals that you're all going to chip in and buy the girls the nachos.


2. Ask women on dates. If she's a "courting only" type, she'll let you know. When asking a girl out, the signal that it's a true DATE is a combo of info. given to the lady in question: (a) I want to take YOU out, (b) picking you up, (c) on a specific day, (d) at a specific time, and (e) to do a specific activity. The generic meal and a movie will work just fine if you don't know much about the girl. A movie only doesn't provide much opportunity to talk, unless you both like to commentate on the flick to the other person. Other great date ideas to be posted later.


3. Good grooming and hygiene improves any guy. Don't overdo the cologne. But a good man's cologne...*sigh* My gal pals and I sprayed men's cologne on the sample cards at Dillard's one day and then put the cards over the vents in the car. The vehicle "smelled like a man" for hours.

The same advice goes to both sexes...wear your hair in ways that complement your features and your personality. If you don't like your hairdo and that dissatisfaction makes you grumpy, your attractiveness goes way down.


4. Your car. A great guy who smells good, brings me flowers, listens to what I have to say, and cares about my dreams...also will straighten up the interior of his car before taking me out. I shouldn't have to remove something from the front seat, avoid stepping on yesterday's Chinese, or delint myself of Bruno's fur.

If you have to get in the car, reach over the passenger seat, and fling open the door to let me in, this is a problem! Get it fixed! It is worth the investment to be able to open the door to the car and let your lady in, treating her as the lady she is (or has the potential to be).

Notice I didn't say that the kind of car mattered. Or the condition of the outside. If you're a poor grad student barely getting by on Ramen, I'm impressed that you're buying my dinner and movie ticket!


5. Be able to ask her about herself and follow the conversation. Ask her specific questions...even those goofy ones like "If you could only take 5 CDs with you to a remote island (with a battery operated CD player), which albums would you choose?" And if she asks about you, great! She should be asking you about you and your family, your job or current school situation, your church and ministry involvement, your hopes and dreams. All in good time...not wise to dump all your info. on the table at once.

Follow-up questions like "So what did you do next?" "What did you learn from that situation?" "What would you differently if you could have a do-over?" get to the ways she thinks. Good listening comments and non-verbal movement help, for example, "That's great!" "I'm sorry you had to go through that." "Wow, that must have been a lot of fun!" "Bummer..." (OK, choose your favorite current lingo...keep it clean!), nodding the head, "Um-hmm," "Oh, really?" "I didn't know that," and "Don't that beat all!" (Southerner speak). I could go on, but you get the picture.


6. A woman wants sincere compliments. Don't tell her you like her outfit, unless you do like it.


7. Does a guy have to have a high-profile job to get a woman? No. For some women, it's important for their man to have a job that carries status in society. Other women don't care. I think it's most important that you feel called to what you are doing. And if you aren't called to it and your situation is transitional, that's OK. Be doing something toward your calling or toward the career that interests you. Researching, asking questions of folks in those jobs, filling out grad school apps, going to interviews...etc. Really be doing something about it, and not just for show. A woman can tell when a man is really doing something with his life, or when he is at least trying.


8. Well, I've run out of ideas, and the things I thought of yesterday when reading the Vox posts have flown outta my head. So put your questions and ideas in the comments field, and I'll get back to ya.


Elena

Friday, May 28, 2004

Garden gnomes, creepy-crawlies, and blogging...oh my!

If you've been reading my blog and have been praying for me about the freelance assignment, keep praying! Things are going MUCH better. It can only be God. Inspiration comes from Him.

So yeah...one set of the teaching plans I'm editing uses the story about the garden gnomes being "liberated" in France back in 2001. I went to the GGLF's Web site (that would be Garden Gnome Liberation Front). Strange...very strange. Check it out at www.freethegnomes.com. (no links, remember?)

Creepy-crawlies...the folks at Pan Galactic Blogger Blaster were sharing the ickiest stories about bug infestations. Most of them having to do with Section 8 housing or some other unfortunate poverty-level living situation. Entire homes covered in roaches, so that you couldn't see the walls. Don't suppose that Hildi will ever do a room with bugs as wall coverings. But don't hold your breath. Large bugs one assumed were mice...but were in fact bugs. Bugs that laid eggs and hatched IN SOMEONE'S NASAL CAVITY. Eew, eew, eew, eew, EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll stop there.

My favorite bug-related quote, to which Pink Kitty, StarGazer, and DukeDiva will attest, is "The man should have to kill the bug" by Suzanne Sugarbaker. StarGazer, upon receiving the kind but unwanted attention of a small eight-legged friend, remarked, "Yeah, the man should have to kill the bug, but he shouldn't have to wear it!" Which is now my all time favorite quote. So EAS, you made the blog!

I'm considering installing a pull-down bunk in my office. Why go home? Sleep here. Shower at the Y. Return for facial and dental ablutions and application of makeup. Keep the clothes nicely wadded into the filing cabinets. Stash snack items in the desk drawer. Hey, it could work. ............... Neh.

I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Doh! Can't do that. ConDog's coming to take her furniture. Gotta unload the baker's rack (aka bookshelf) and clear the living room floor. So long, futon...it was nice knowing you. I'll miss you, reclining chair. Guess it's just you, me, the coffee table, and the TV, pappazan.

Egads, almost 11:00 p.m.

The Cuteness Factor
Friday update
My toes and my fingers are matching. I mean the nails. They're painted the same color. (It's late...at night.) And they're TOO cute! Somehow feet aren't as gross when the nails are painted. Exception is guys' feet. Please don't paint your nails, boys. Get them trimmed, yes. Painting, no.
Yesterday (ooh, look, indention!) the white high-heeled sandals were back. I know you missed them. They packaged the little tootsies quite well, I must say. Denim jacket, white shirt, denim skirt, white shoes...blue toes...a fashion full house! Yeah, it gets b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d late at night.

Currently reading...
_Lapsing into a Comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print—and How to Avoid Them_. Great book. About copy editing. Yes, a great book about copy editing. And the idea that someone could mix up "coma" and "comma" is HIlarious! The image on the front cover is a woman reclining on a fainting couch, complete with "woe is me" look on her face. (Or is that woe is I? Yep, there's another copy editing book by that title, _Woe Is I_.)

Now that I've mesmerized you, and without the aid of the voice of James Earl Jones, I shall TTFN and whisk myself off to Elena's Casa de Yonosé. ¡Adios, amigos!

a very tired E.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

No links, prayer request, and a Lauper story

The blog without links to other blogs.

It's not that I don't want to have links within my posts. I just haven't figured out yet how to do it. Paste something into the html code. OK. Whatever. As Daisy from _Keeping Up Appearances_ tells her crisps-lovin' hubby, "You're just too bone idle." When it comes to learning stuff like that, yeppo.


If you're a praying person (who prays to Jesus), pray for me...I'm doing a freelance assignment for work, and it's scaring the bujiggers (yes, I just made up that word) outta me. Which is why I'm sitting here blogging. Argh... Guess I'm skeered I'm going to do a bad job. Anyway...


Icko moment of the day: Coworker related following anecdote about 80s semi-icon of pop music: "When C. L. was singing and had her mouth open, a bird pooped right into her mouth!" Hrm...wonder if the Comic Dog had just passed by too?

Is that the best I can come up with? Uh...yeah, for the moment.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Currently...

...belting while driving:
* Thoroughly Modern Millie. The original Broadway cast soundtrack. "Forget About the Boy" and "Gimme, Gimme" are two favorites.
* "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson whenever played on a country station. I love the part about shopping at Wally World rather than at Vickie's Whispers.

...noshing on:
* Chicken fingers from the chicken finger place at the Roundabout near Music Row. Excellent sauces for dipping. The fingers almost beat Chili's.
* Hershey's Miniatures. Four yummy choices of chocolate. They dress up for the holidays.
* M&M's homage to Shrek 2, in the form of peanut M&M's.
* Granola bars. Excellent breakfast selection. Key is to actually eat them at breakfast time and not wait till one is near-falling-over stage of hunger and dizziness.
+ NOTE + am NOT noshing on these all at once or on the same day. You work out the eating plan.

...writing:
* comments on people's blog postings.
* silly blogs or e-mails to friends.

...reading:
* Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Hilarious despite author's obvious love of wordy dirds. Can't wait to see movie version.
* forgot the title, but the story is an 18th century version of the Jacob, Leah, and Rachel love triangle. (The book was published in 2003.) I'm a sucker for a good Christian romance novel. This one's not as swoony as some others.

...dabbling in projects:
* embroidering the front panel of what will be a darling purple tote. Perhaps will be someone's birthday gift. I dunno.
* cross-stiching a Paula Vaughn design that I started probably 14 to 15 years ago for Mama H. Pink Kitty can attest to the fact that I begin lots o' crafting projects destined to be gifts for one occasion or another and then have to give the recipient an IOU till I get the thing completed, which can take YEARS.
* seeing how many empty glasses my coffee table can hold. Hey, it's...um...a foray into the world of science and geometry!

...shaking head in disbelief over items:
* Massachusetts and the recent law passed there. And people think the end times aren't approaching...
* the Frogger-like maneuvers on the interstate highway I drive every day.
* apt. rental rates in my city. Eek!
* price per gallon of petrol. Double or triple eek! Am glad we do not have to feed autos with other substances which would cost upwards of $100 if required to purchase by the gallon. Forget which ones they were, but included pink tummyache-reducing liquid in outrageous per gallon pricing.
* perhaps more shaking head at silly self for believing would be otherwise. Have fallen in love with stretchy rhinestone bracelet with design in various colors of blue but NOT in love with odd greenish "tatoo" left behind by said bracelet. And Ashpenaz bought it at Elena's favorite store. Tragic!

...lovin' 'em:
* the inclusion of several nostalgic mid-80s items in Pastor F's sermon yesterday. (We honored the class of 2004.) Gotta love a preacher who can work in two references to Michael J. Fox.
* my YansNY bag that goes with just about anything.
* the goofy but lovable kids in my discipleship group.
* blogs: Miss O'Hara, Vox Day, and Pink Kitty.


Bit o' News from Elena's World:
***** Preggo and BulldogFan are having a GIRL!!!!!! No fear, the nursery will not be tricked out in red, black, and white.*****

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Look before you flop

whew, so it's been a WEEK since i last posted. terrible!

Sorry, had to use the "convenient" capitalization system there for a moment. Back to normal now!


Embarassing moment #258
In seventh grade I sat in ketchup. Moral of story: Look before you flop yourself down onto any surface.


Real essay answers from high school students (more to come in June!)

One student explains in the essay that flophouses (the early version of the YMCA) were expanded to include locations that admitted women in order to guarantee "equality of flopping."

Flop = lie down to rest. My parents would say it's when their daughters decide to land on the couch for the evening. Their living room breathes great sighs of relief now that Ashpenaz and I no longer live with the 'rents. We have our own places to flop. :o)


Currently ...

... reading
* Literature Lost. About deconstructionism, postmodernism, and literature.



Thursday, May 13, 2004

It's all about modesty

Modesty...hrm...

I'm seeing more comments on modesty from blogger chicks. It's got me ta thinkin'.

Maybe it's my age. I dunno. But I don't see this as an issue for me. But I wouldn't go out in public with my belly hangin' out or my "gifts" hitched up to my eyeballs, no matter my size.

Modesty for me is more about keepin' my mouth shut when necessary, not bragging, not butting into conversations, timing my questions better, and letting other people praise me (but not seeking it) and turning that praise back to God. My mouth and my pride are the larger issues for me...things I need to submit to God.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Lickable wallpaper?

Zany thought for the day: I wanna redo my office in Willy Wonka. Who can resist the chocolate factory?

We need more Peepage

I think someone ought to make a _The Last of the Peeps_ movie, a colored-sugar-covered-marshmallow homage to _The Last of the Mohicans_. Peeptacular!

So is anyone else wondering what Uncas would have said to Alice were we to have been allowed to see more of their interaction?

Nathaniel (to Cora): I will find you. Stay alive! I WILL find you.
Uncas (to Alice): Uh...yeah, me too.

You gotta love men who live by this motto: "I just met you a couple of days ago, but I will stay in this doomed fort for you, jump from high places for you, let your previous suitor die in both of our places, AND will thwack scary, angry Native American guys who kidnap you."

Cora would say: "It's the power of the hair."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Elena's Insanity List

You gotta love blogging or just reading blogs. I do. We're all a bunch o' chatty folks here in the blogosphere, aren't we?

You know you're going nutty when...
* you care way too much about what color is the symbol shape on your product. (It's something to help a teacher use a resource kit item.)
* the "rebooting" sound of your air conditioning is driving you insane.
* you can tell when someone forgot to use the smart quotes option in his or her word processing document.
* you delight in showing someone how to turn off the automatic hyphenation in Quark.
* you prefer a smooth writing ballpoint pen to write on sticky notes, a cartridge fountain pen for writing in a journal, and a permanent marker for writing a "where I'll be in the next hour" note to post on your office door. Yes, there is a pen hierarchy.
* you have a not-too-dissimilar hierarchy for clothes hanger usage.
* keeping an open jar of peanut butter next to the bed is a good idea. (Yes, I did that two nights in a row. Why? I don't know. And I can't blame it on Vicodin. I didn't have surgery. I'm not on pain killers. Gotta love Miss O'Hara.)
* you have to keep yourself from copy editing other people's blogs, homepages, and e-mails.
* you fret over whether you really ought to hyphenate the word "e-mail" or not.
* you can tell the difference between a regular typed space and an option space.
* you like making lists...just to make lists.
* you think it's cool that using newspaper to shine a mirror really works.
* you lose, temporarily, your driver's license down the shaft of your parking brake; then discover that needle nose pliers will retrieve the card (thank you, Preggo!); and then experiment with trying to remove the cup holder from the gear shift-parking brake console...and the cup holder comes out! Voila! Next time one has lost valuable item down impossibly complicated and skinny hole in car plastic, remove cup holder!

That would be Elena's "are you sure she's not blond?" moment for the day.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Coated snackage

The Haystacks turned out OK. And no, a double boiler is not required. Nuke it, baby! Microwaves are awesome. Note: Don't make these to serve on a misty, moisty Southeastern U.S. day. Butterscotch chips are not the same as bark coating. Stick 'em in the fridge and they might last longer. (BTW, Haystacks are a combo of butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and chow mein noodles.) I piled mine on the cute serving plate, and the little suckers looked like one massive haystack. There was a great convergence of haystackage. My thought was "How will people know they can actually eat this? And that they don't have to eat the whole thing?" Oh well. I didn't stay to find out. I made an early exit from the par-tay and, eek, left the cleanup and the what-to-do-with-the-leftovers for the hosts to figure out. (Yeah, not swift.)

Wow, didn't know the blogosphere was so large. I guess those of us who got sick of chat rooms have now discovered a "whole new world." Ain't it grand?

Health tip for the day: If you need a chocolate fix, try chocolate graham cracker sticks. (ooh...a rhyme...) With 14 sticks, you're only getting 24 grams of carbs. With 1, count it, just 1 chocolate covered graham cracker, you're consuming 14 grams of carbs. Sheesh! Also, no-sugar-added or sugar-free hot chocolate is pretty good too. Usually only 10 or 11 grams of carbs...less than the max amount for a snack. Yeah, I don't do the Atkins diet. I believe in eating all the kinds of calories. You need a variety of foods in order to get the nutrients you need. Not that I'm eating a wide variety myself, but hey, I'm not on some loonytoons diet either.

Y'all can pray with me about an opportunity to be a volunteer overnight host at a new women's transitional housing center/program here in my city. The tasks would not be hard, and it would be a great chance to encourage women coming out of prison who are serious about making a fresh start and building a whole new kind of life. I've got to tell the director my decision tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

The Nahrerlater Sweet

Do you remember that taffy-like, square candy in the fun fruit flavors? We Southern Gen-Xers call 'em "nahrerlaters." The packaging describes the candy as "soft and chewy." I think the emphasis should be placed on the "chewy" part. As I said to Preggo (she with baby of 16 weeks gestation), "I think there's more 'later' in this nahrerlater; ain't much 'now' to it."

And why in the name of all things sweet and delectable must a candy announce itself to be "artificially flavored," as if that is something to be proud of? Oh, yes, I was really wondering...does this apple-flavored square of never-ending chewiness actually contain APPLE? No? Bummer! Really...now...I don't care if the flavor came from processed goo of alien. I just want it to somewhat taste like an apple (which it did, by the way) and not remove every dental equippage in one's mouth. (I don't have dentalwork, but some o' my peeps do. No, not Peeps, but peeps. Anyhoo...) And if it does contain processed goo of alien, please don't tell me. Just make sure it has under the maximum number of bug parts in it.

Speaking of bug part max...and food. My dad used to regale my mother, at the dinner table, with stories about his food and drug inspections. The last straw was the story of "Cookie Icing and the Night Visitors." The factory would ice the cookies, leave them out to dry, and ice them again the next day. Yep, you guessed it. The local rodents would come out, do their version of the Nutcracker suite on the cookies, and return to their holes to sleep off the sugar. For the cookie gods, they dropped little gifts as they danced and nibbled. "Unsuspecting" humans just kept preserving the gifts for short-lived posterity in someone's intestines. Eeeww... Sadly, no more dinner-time stories.

My next assignment for myself...attempt to make a batch of snacky dessert things, called Haystacks, without using a double boiler. I'll let you know how that one turns out.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Odds and ends

Analogy of the day: My personal CD player eats batteries as if they were Chex mix.

I'm serious. I think I've changed its batteries three times in the past two weeks. Maybe there's a conspiracy between electronics manufacturers and battery manufacturers. Or...maybe not.

You might say, "Elena, dear, just use a boom box and plug it in, plug it in." Good solution. But then you've leashed yourself to the device, by way of headphones, and if you forget that you're attached to the machine (as I did the other day and took the phone with me across the office...whonk!...dial tone----*eehhrrnnhh*), then it's gonna do a whonk onto the floor. Oh well... the drahma that is the work day in my little world o' one DQ. (btw, DQ = drama queen)

Mysterious movie quote of the day: "How long have you been in possession of dead husband?" (Think...set in a southeast Asia country now going under a different name.)


After a freakish falling of snow and sleet yesterday here in Music City, the sun be a-shinin' and I be a-grinnin'. Wahoo!!!


So my friend o' the pink kitties and the hatred for all things track-suitish is going to help me polka dot up this blog. Or something...


Pink Kitty (I think that'll be her code name.) told me of an interesting theme occurring amongst the Vox Volk: dating and the lack of quality volk to date. Question for self and for others: Am I looking within my league? Do I know what my league is? Can I change leagues? (No, we're not talking "switching teams.") Am I keeping my focus on the right thing by thinking about these dating issues so much? (If you have to ask yourself the question, the answer is probably yes. And I'm right there with y'all, so don't fret, my pet.)


Good album: the self-titled Ramiyah. Christian hip-hop/R&B. Great rhythms. Good messages. I'm rather ignorant on how to analyze hip-hop, so I can't say anything cooler than that. But hey, check 'em out. And they keep their navels covered! On another tack, I'm wondering...did they take the group name from the Hebrew word transliterated into English as "Ramiah," which means "the Lord is exalted"? It would make sense: their album is totally about praising God.

As it is Wednesday and time for church in the buckle o' the belt, I must sign off for now. Tootles!


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Cute shoes, Easter doesn't equal bunnies, and a mini-quiz

I bought the most darling pair of white high-heeled sandals the other day at my FAVORITE store, the one we Southerners call "Tah-ehr-zshay" when we're trying to be posh. (Yeah, we know we ain't foolin' nobody.) And I've worn them a couple of times. The fashion crisis always arises....if the outfit is primarily black, can I get away with wearing all-white shoes, even if I'm carrying a bag that is black with some white on it? I should ask my fashionista friend, but she's the one who reminds me not to wear my track suit jacket to go Krogering. So hrm... Well, I wore the shoes with my Easter outfit. And I had fun wearing them. My cute little pink toes looked like candies wrapped in white bows. And how much better can you get?

No, Easter isn't about outfits or cute shoes or bunnies or eggs or pretty flowers. It's about the One who lived, died, and rose again, just because He loved us so much. Loved the people who would love Him back and loved the ones who hated Him and still hate Him. We sang the Hallelujah chorus at the end of the worship time Sunday morning. Perfect way to rejoice at God's love for us. Christmas and Easter, the alpha and omega of the story of Jesus' direct (bodily) interaction with people here on earth (His whole story is everlasting, without beginning or end)...fitting times to sing Handel's beautiful anthem.

So have you discovered the origin of my blog's name? Give ya a hint....think jazz.

An embarrassed BulldogFan

Did you know that when you sign up for a Victoria's Secret credit card, they ring a bell and shout, "An angel just sprouted its wings!" ??? Didja? Well, the hubby of a friend of mine, the preggers gal, went into the store on one of the busiest shopping days of spring, selected new undies for the mama-to-be, and was an unwitting victim of this embarrassing tactic. Well, if you're a female amongst your sistah-friends, I don't suppose this rallying cry is that embarrassing. It's like the joyful shouts of sorority gals when a sister gets pinned. Or something.... Poor guy... Yep, it's a pink, pink, pinky pink world in there, and you men are brave to enter it. (Give us the same credit when we meander into the fishing tackle or car parts sections of Wal-Mart. All that smelly oil. Yech...)