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, SeƱore, 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, 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!!!


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!

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

A few of my faves:
Thundercats (Thundercats, ho!)
Smurfs (DenisonGirl, my cousin, pronounced it "Purfs" when she was 3.)
Rainbow Brite
My Little Ponies
Gummi Bears
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
Bloodhound Gang
Mr. Wizard

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

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.


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)

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"
"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"
"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 is it. (Heehee...makes her sound like a _Dallas_ fan!!!)

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