Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day

In memory of Roby Starns, Dean Cannavino, and Chris Roper.

November Nablopomo

With this entry, I have completed November Nablopomo. I know that some of the content was not brilliant, some of the entries were shorter than I would have wanted, but I finished. It is silly to feel like I have accomplished anything important, but I do. I have been wanting to get back to writing and that's why I started this blog in the first place. It is a challenge sometimes, but I am still finding words and things to talk about, so I will keep plugging away.

As crazy as it sounds, I will be participating in Nablopomo for December because the theme is "Thanks". I'm hoping this theme won't stymie me the way that many of the others have (well, many is an exaggeration - I think I have participated in Nablopomo like 4 times total...ha). It will be fun to see what I can come up with, but I already have ideas.

P.S. For some reason, I can't get the link to work on the badge in this post.  I added it to the sidebar of the blog, so if you want to go to Nablopomo, click on that one.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goal for December

I am not a person who ever shops on the day after Thanksgiving...having worked in retail in my late teens and early 20s, I saw the downfall in that kind of behavior, aside from the conspicuous consumption aspects...I don't think it was as bad then as it is now...I never heard of any of the retail workers being trampled to death...

But I do love looking at all the ads in the newspaper to see what kind of weird things are out there. This year, I saw a little gadget that I am DYING to go get - as a gift to myself. The results could be giftage, but the machine is all for me.

At Bed, Bath and Beyond (of all places), they have a little machine for $99 that will convert negatives and slides to digital. I have been searching for something simple like that so that I can take all the slides my family has and make them digital. With them digital, we can actually make prints and look at them instead of having them in a box that we take out once every 10 years.

I have been down with the flu for a few days and then on Friday, I coughed really hard and pulled a back muscle, so this whole thing has been dragged out way longer than it should. I guess it prevents me from having to deal with the crowds - that's good. But I really need to go buy that machine. I can't wait.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"My Father's Chair" - Rick Springfield

I have always loved this song and I was thinking about my dad yesterday and this song came to mind. I love Rick Springfield - mullet and all.

So, a couple of years ago (maybe like 4 or 5 years), I was looking through the A&E in the Oregonian newspaper and I saw that Rick Springfield was playing at one of the casinos at the coast (I think in Lincoln City)the next night. I wanted to go but it was on a Thursday evening and I had to work on Friday. I don't love that drive in the dark, so I decided to postpone. I kind of let it go for the time being, but then I thought maybe he was playing somewhere closer, so I looked it up on the web. Sure enough, the following week, he was playing at a casino in Tacoma. Not really closer, but an easier drive in the dark. I purchased the ticket. Then, I realized I needed to figure out where this place was...turns out, it was on a boat.

I don't like boats.

Why didn't I read that BEFORE I bought the ticket?!? Well, I'd spent a bit of money on it, so I decided I would just have to buck up and go. I hoped that the boat would be docked the entire time, but I was prepared for the worst.

Turns out, it was next to the boat, not on it. Whew! I had arrived a couple of hours early, but, having no experience with casinos or concerts at casinos, I wasn't really prepared for the crowd. When we finally entered the venue, it was hysterical. There were all these 35+ year old women dressed to the nines and their reluctant and balding husbands in tow. The guys were, ahem, NOT dressed to the nines, and all begged to go back to the casino, to go buy a beer, to escape to the smoking area.

When the concert started, the women screamed like they were seeing the Beatles sans hair-pulling, crying or fainting. I'm not a screamer, so I just enjoyed the fact that Rick was still out there in the world singing. When he sang, I noticed his voice was different - not just older, it was rougher - almost like he had been a heavy smoker or something. I heard that he had been in a bad motorcycle accident a few years ago, so maybe that impacted his voice.

Rick Springfield was still a showman - He talked to people on their cell phones as women held them up. He damaged a lot of flowers by playing his guitar with them, petals flying. He looked like he was having fun and announced that he would be playing a show in Vegas for a while.

The whole experience was pretty surreal. I realized then and there that I was glad I had gone, but I would just enjoy my CDs at home next time and remember how he sounded when I was 17. This was all just a reminder that we had all gotten older and not necessarily in a good way.

Anyway, I drove home after, arriving at 3am or so. It was fun, but next time, I'm just going to stay home.

Here is a vintage Rick video from his first album, I believe. The song is called "Take A Hand".

**Also, please note that Rick Springfield is 59 years old now...Dang. Who'd have guessed...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude on Thanksgiving

I know that everyone is thinking about what they are grateful for today. As I am sick and did not celebrate Thanksgiving today, I am claiming an extension for this activity.

I have the flu and it is yukky. More when I feel better.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Roby Starns!

On 11/26/66, Roby Starns was born.  He lived for 29 short years before leaving us on 1/8/96.  I miss him daily.

I was planning to meet his mom and go up to the cemetary today but since I am sick, I think I will wait. I don't want her to get the flu. :(

And as I post these pictures, I remember that one of the things that is so unexpectedly hard about people dying is that there are never any new pictures of them. It sounds stupid, but it is something that impacts me in a really heavy and weird way. If someone moves or goes away on a long trip, there is the possibility of new photos - seeing them grow and change and be happy.

P.S. I know the pictures have weird white dots...that's what happened when I scanned them. They are from the Seaside, OR photobooth. I hope I can learn enough about a photoshop program someday to fix them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am sick

Yesterday, a cold came and jumped on my face.  Literally.  I felt it.  I got stuffy, then I started sneezing uncontrollably.  I slept ok and woke up with a little sore throat, but just a little congested.

As the day has progressed, I have used almost an entire box of kleenex, my nose is raw, everything hurts and now to top it all off, I feel naseous.  I found out that a friend of mine (who I had dinner with on Saturday) has the flu.  The actual, doctor-diagnosed flu.  Great.  Cuz that's where I think this is going. 

And I have 5 days off.  There is no justice in this world.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Foiled again

I don't think I'm supposed to read that book, "Twilight".  All kinds of things conspire against me...I loaned it out over the weekend, then got it back and on my way out the door ended up loaning it again.  Then another person came and asked if they could borrow it when the second person was done.  

I don't mind loaning it out, but it promises to be an easy and (from what I hear) an engrossing read.  That is exactly what I haven't been finding in books lately, so I was excited to have something like that on tap.  I was tempted to buy all 4 books, but I didn't.  

Anyway, that's all I have been doing, except working.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Missing You" Video

I was watching some of the special features on the "Dreamgirls"DVD and I thought of this song from 1984 (I think) - Diana Ross's "Missing You"

I thought I had posted it once before, but I couldn't find it and I wanted to share a beautiful tribute and a beautiful song.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rallying the troops - 37Days Call-to-arms (or letters, as it were)

Please go to this site and read the story about Glen Edward Chapman.  If you are so moved, please write a letter to help right a wrong.  I just printed mine.

It is small actions like this that make all the difference in the world.  Thanks to Patti for giving us the chance to help.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Eurythmics music

I was feeling musically nostalgic..."Sweet Dreams are Made of This" is one of the first music videos I ever saw.  One of my favorites and MAN, is Annie Lennox sexy.  Here is the link to the video:

Duh...The song that I DO have a video for is "Julia" from the "1984" Soundtrack...This is one of the Eurythmics BEST albums, but their music was cut from the movie.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing the story

Some of my energy has been taken up this month as I start to write down the stories of my friendship with Roby.  I don't have the stories here right now, but I may add some of them here later.  

It's funny how you start to write one thing and then a million other stories pop into your brain...I can't always keep up or write long enough to capture everything.  Right now, I am just throwing the basics down - not many details - just enough to even remember the story later and then I can flesh it out with the details when I have more time...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Squirrel Underpants

Yes, there is a website..

Courtesy of I arrived home to find Archie's catalog in the mailbox. Good clean fun. I particularly liked the Marie Antionette action figure who's head you can pop off.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"The Visitor"

I don't have enough time to review this movie...I will soon.

"The Visitor" is out on DVD. I saw it while I was on vacation and I loved it. It made me cry. Duh. What a shock!

Anyway, more later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Sappy Love Confession

Last night, I watched an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and cried. This is nothing new. I cry almost every week when I watch that show. This week I was touched by the beautiful, gracious gratitude of the Frisch family. The parents had 3 birth children (all boys) and adopted 5 boys from an orphanage in Haiti and 3 additional boys from Toledo, Ohio. The father is a firefighter and the mother a youth counselor until she was struck down by a disease I had never even heard of before.

Weekly, I am amazed at the generosity and kindness of these families who take care of people in whatever way that they can, against the odds, without thinking of themselves. I am always amazed at how kind, well-mannered and gracious the children in these families are.

This week, the boys who were adopted (but who were every bit Frisch) talked about how they wanted to make the world a better place. Some of the boys wanted to go into service - fireman, policemen, etc. Some of the boys wanted to return to Haiti to make a difference. The University of Toledo (I believe) offered all 11 children full-ride scholarships so that they can go out into the world and make it better.

I love good people getting good things, good people doing good things. I know I'm a sucker, but it just helps start the week off well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Secret Movie Shame

My secret shame of movies is that I LOVE "Armageddon"! I know, I know. It's embarrassing, but I can't help it.

The summer that it came out, it came out around the same time as "Deep Impact", which I saw first. I really liked it - I love Tea Leoni and I came to appreciate Robert Duvall in a way that I hadn't before. I liked the characters in the film and the different ways that it depicted people in crisis. Leelee Sobieski was the current "it" girl in Hollywood (another failed attempt to force us into accepting someone as a star before they were ready to take on the mantle of it - see Winona Ryder, Gwenyth Paltrow, Scarlett Johannson). Vanessa Redgrave was heartbreaking in it, as well.

Then I saw "Armageddon" and I didn't like it at all. Compared to "Deep Impact" it was just a big blow-em-up movie. It was too loud and too long and I just didn't get the appeal. But I ended up seeing it a couple of times...and started appreciating it more and more. First of all, no matter what anyone says, Ben Affleck is looks GOOD in this film and he is a master tear-jearker (See "Bounce" and other films). I love Bruce Willis because he is who he is (love "Die Hard"). Yes, this does pose a dilemma when thinking about the kind of person I want to be, but I loved his movies before I was really thinking in those terms. I think Billy Bob Thornton was good in this, Steve Buscemi, and the ever-beautiful Liv Tyler. I love the true=blue Americana when they show the scenes of people listening to the president's radio address, the scenes from around the world as people waited and wondered what was happening. I think the whole Dad-as-hero aspect is particularly appealing, since my dad was in the military and I had always thought that he could protect us from anything.

So, why do I bring this up today? Because normally, I sleep through "Armaggedon" because I have seen it so many times. Yesterday, I put the movie in as background noise and I missed the very beginning, but then I watched the rest. Today, I was flipping the channels and the only thing on besides football was "Armaggedon". I somehow managed to catch it right as the movie was starting and I thought I would just watch it while I was eating lunch and then turn it off. Now, 2 hours later, it is still on and just ending. Obviously, if I am typing, I am not fully engrossed in watching it, but still...

Every time it is on television, I get sucked in. And I have it on DVD and VHS. What is that about?

Anyway, I am giving myself a break this weekend about it because I feel crappy. Weird what things comfort you when you don't feel well. Anyway, my secret is out.

I even like that Aerosmith song at the end...not my style at all!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen"

I am not feeling good today, so I sat down at the computer to wear my headphones and play solitaire. I heard "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen" for the first time in years and it made me cry.

Here it is with Portugese subtitles...It was the full version and the only one I could find...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Crack

I am on the last season of "24" that is out on DVD. I'm not sure what I will do without my weekend does of TV-crack. "Buffy" is still my fav, but now it has an almost narcotic affect on me...I go to sleep when I hear the theme music. I'm sure at some point I will only be able to watch it while sitting on a bed of nails.

I do experience a moral dilemma when I watch "24" - torture, breaking the rules, going outside of standard protocols, violence...but it is just a TV show. I love Keifer Sutherland (have since his "Lost Boys" days). I get some satisfaction on really bad days from thinking, "Well, my work could be worse...I don't get nerve gas set off in the vents." At the same time, propagating this kind of thing isn't the best idea. If I had children, I probably wouldn't let them watch this show. But I don't.

Anyway, it keeps me sane sometimes. Just some crazy, fantastical tv show that keeps your adrenaline pumping. Although I often fall asleep when they have those long policy meetings. And they say, "Jack!" too much - like in "Titanic".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Background color

I can't decide what I like for the background color. My favorite colors are pink and yellow. I don't like the pink color that is actually readable on this and I don't want to mess with the formatting too much without knowing what it will look like. I have tried a pale green, but I don't like that. So, I keep hopping between blue and yellow...I'm sure I will find something I like sooner or later. I wish I understood HTML or whatever more so that I could mess with it all on my own, but I just don't have the time or the inclination. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I don't know what happened this week, but MAN, have the days been long. So long, in fact that I couldn't wait to leave work yesterday. Normally, that isn't me, at all. Usually, I am always working on "one more thing", but yesterday, I finally just left out of self-defense. The day just dragged on. I have a lot to do, but nothing I could have completed in a reasonable amount of time. So I only worked 8.25 hours! Yikes! It felt like I was playing hooky! (We can talk about how wrong that is at a later time...)

Anyway, I am finally going to make my way out of here tonight. Off and out into the rain.

Quack, quack.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Short and sweet

What is up with those Brooke Shields/Volkswagen?? commercials?

I don't get it. I know they say if you are still thinking about it, it worked, but those commercials just annoy me. They don't make me want to buy a car.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I feel like I should have some unifying theme that runs through my posts but I am always all over the place. Every day, some new thing catches my attention (sometimes an old thing) and that is where I go. I tried the whole theme thing with Nablopomo (National Blog Posting Month for the uninitiated), but that was also a failure. Who knew that posting about a single topic or single theme would prove to be so hard?

The other weird thing about Nablopomo is that I will go for a month and post every day, thinking nothing about it. That's when I decide - "Hey, I'm willing to commit to this daily thing...and a theme! That should help." NOT. Every time I commit, i go on a trip, I get sick, I'm too tired. What is that?

It feels like I'm back in high school again and Mrs. May is assigning us "The Scarlet Letter" and we have to write a 5 paragraph essay about the symbolism in the book. Blech! I love reading, but that forced reading was never my forte. In fact, it soured me on all things labeled "classic". I didn't even read "To Kill a Mockingbird" until I was 22 for goodness sake. All because I didn't want anyone telling me what I should read. For a person who loves books as much as I do, I haven't really read nearly enough of the classics. It makes me feel less than literate. At the same time, I am not really that interested in most of the classics. I am quite talented, in fact, at finding first time and one-time only authors.

I guess none of it matters in the long run. It is just funny how things happen. Every day I sit down to write about something and I always aspire to "deep and meaningful" but life isn't always about that. It's more about the little things, really. I shouldn't worry too much about it.

Must mean I've had a slow day. That's rare. Smile

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Changing the Path

So, lately, I have been struggling with a situation. I can't really go into details here, but I have been looking at my own ability to deal with toxicity and what my contribution is to the situation. I know that I can't change people, so I am trying to change my own response to them.

Of course, my first response is to buy a bunch of books on the topic and try to research my way through it. I bought a bunch of books on Amazon today, so help is on the way.

I go through these cyclical periods where I fall into a pit of despair that this situation will not be resolved and then things calm down for 3-4 months and just when I think I'm clear, it comes up again. I hope that if I can arm myself with tools - at least things I can do so that I KNOW I am not just making things worse - maybe I can break the cycle or at least find some peace.

Sound vague enough? I know what I mean. I guess that's what's important at this point.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekend Dilemmas

Every weekend, I always struggle with the same decision: stay in the house and rest up or go out and actually do something social and interesting and not related to work of any kind. Staying in the house usually wins, but I do know that I enjoy social stuff.

I think it takes so much emotional energy to just be around people, sometimes I crave the lack of stimulation home provides. At the same time, I miss the rich social connections I had in the past. I think this is a natural age progression - people get older and more settled, so social opportunities have to be made rather than letting them just happen.

To that end, I thought I would post about last weekend - I went to see "The Secret Life of Bees". I have the book and started reading it but I didn't get very far (see postings about my failed reading renaissance). So I went to see it last Sunday. It was really good. It is just the kind of movie I love - tender, a little bit of social justice, good acting, southern flavor. Jennifer Hudson was really good - I love her. She is so beautiful and talented. Queen Latifah was grand. I love her. I love her presence. She looked great and just had a great role. Alicia Keys even impressed me...I'm not a big fan of hers. She is very talented, but her music just isn't my thing. Dakota Fanning is going to be a powerhouse actress like Jodie Foster if she keeps acting and making good choices of film and stays out of the Hollywood spotlight.

Here is the trailer:

I think, in light of Barack Obama winning the election, there is a special place for this movie this fall. To juxtapose the 2008 election of the first African American president and the civil rights movement in the 1960s with how difficult it was for African American citizens to vote without being taunted, bullied, beaten and even killed is a pretty intense thing. It struck me while watching this film that we have come so far and yet, not that far in all these years. I recommend this film. If you are a movie cryer, bring tissues.

Friday, November 7, 2008

November 7

Went to a conference today but just manning the booth. Good to see people. Takes a lot of energy to be social. More this weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Figuring it all out

I keep reading all these business and management books, books about leadership and how to motivate people, how to help them have a more positive outlook, etc. I just can't seem to find what I am looking for. I've been thinking I would like to take a class on leadership...something.

I'm always on a search...I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

I bought an iPod shuffle yesterday as a treat for handling a very difficult day. It said it was going to autoload some music but it didn't. I then realized that there is no visible volume control on the shuffle. There probably is one, but I just don't understand it all. I will load some music on tonight. See what happens. Welcome to the 21st century, right?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Excitement in the air

Right now, at 7:01pm, the election is Obama 207 Electoral votes to McCain's 135 Electoral votes.

There is a buzz around almost everything today. The traffic seemed different today. As I drove by the Ballot Drop Off, there were police and pylons and a big reader board announcing that the drop off site had moved across the street to the KMart parking lot...On Saturday, it had been in front of the Police Department. So many people needing to get their ballots in on this final night - before 8pm- that they had to move the drop off to the Kmart parking lot.

People who never engage in political discourse talking in whispered tones about their hopes for the election either way.

We are having a "Resistant to Change" potluck tomorrow - comfort food only and wearing pajama bottoms to work - to recognize the historic day. In a couple of weeks, we are having an "Embracing Change" potluck. So much is happening at work and the election and people just seemed like they needed a way to manage their feelings about it. When I brought this up, it made them laugh, so we decided to do it.

Regardless of the winner tonight - Change is coming. Capital 'C' Change. We are ready.

Buzz. Buzz. I am ready. Hope bubbles up.

Voting done...Waiting for results

My voting is done. Now it is waiting time. I just want to be at home and listening to the radio. I hope we get good news.

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Badge for NaBloPoMo

Here is my badge for November. Hopefully, I will be able to put a completion badge at the end...We'll see what happens.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Book Meme without the Tagging

I don't know where this originated, but I really really really wanted to do it.  I know I won't be able to answer in one book answers, but I don't care.  I just love talking about books.  I also know this is kind of an old meme and I don't really have anyone to tag, but I wanted to do it anyway.

 1.  One book that changed your life: 

First books that changed my life:  "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" which was the first book I ever read by myself.  Dr. Seuss wasn't whistling Dixie.

"Helen Keller's Teacher" - the story of Anne Sullivan.  My sister read this book to me when we were living in the Ameila Earhart Hotel in Wiesbaden, German when I was 6 years old and had just been transported to a foreign world full of sights and smells and sounds I was unfamiliar with.  Away from family and friends, it bonded us as sisters and served as the foundation of a life-long love affair with books.

"Roots" by Alex Hailey - stunning.  Amazing. Heartbreaking and triumphant all at the same time.

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee- released me from my almost-paralyzing fear of "classics", having been burned by "The Scarlet Letter", "East of Eden" and "Catcher in the Rye" - not at all my style and off-putting to a budding literati.

"A Woman's Worth" by Marianne Williamson - led me to her lectures which got me through the hardest years of my life.

"And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts - opened my eyes to the bureaucracy and the prejudice that existed and still exists surrounding AIDS and the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual and Transgendered communities.  As a guest in that world, it wasn't always so clear to me. And I was young.

"Letters from the Quilt" - a compilation of letters people had written to accompany their entry into the Names Project Quilt.  I realized I was not alone in my grief.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: 
All the Harry Potter  books 1-5.  Books 6 and 7 are still waiting for their second read throughs.

"Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" by Fannie Flagg

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: 

One book?  How impossible is that?  I would bring the Harry Potter series...should keep me entertained for a while.  And "Roots"...and maybe "Les Miserables" and "Wicked" (all 3 books).

4. One book that made you laugh: 

Barrel Fever by David Sedaris (especially "Santaland Diaries")

5. One book that made you cry: 

"Letters from the Quilt" - a collection of the letters people send in when they submit a quilt for a loved one to The Names Project.

6. One book that you wish had been written:

The story of Roby's life from his perspective

7. One book that you wish had never been written: 

Anything by Ann Coulter

8. One book you’re currently reading:

"The Wednesday Letters", "Twilight", "Discipline without Punishment", "It's Not About the Coffee", "The Book Thief"

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: 
"The Diary of a Young Girl:  Anne Frank's Diary"

"Wicked", "Son of A Witch"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Aspirations

The November theme for NaBloPoMo is to just write every day.  I have to add myself to the blogroll, but I don't have time to do it today.

I think my theme for the beginning of November is "Change".  Changes I hope for, changes I want to make, changes that are scary.  I don't know if I will stick to that the whole month, or not, but that is the goal.

Change #1:  Desired Change

I'm not sure what I will do if Barack Obama doesn't win the election.  This is a change we all need.  A little bit of light at the end of what has been a dark and terrifying tunnel.  I'm sure it will hold its own challenges - to adapt to a new way of looking at the world as a nation, but I think we are way past due and I think that the majority of people agree.


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