Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Films of the Decade

For those who might be interested in taking a look ..

Director/Screenwriter Michael J. Bassett* is making a list of the best films of the decade, and he thought he'd ask the readers of his blog for some suggestions. If you would like to comment with your own list or comment on the movies already mentioned, you can do so here:

My list of the Best Films of the Decade:
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy
- The Fall
- The Fountain
- Spirited Away
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- 28 Days Later
- Gladiator
- The Departed
- Pitch Black
- Signs
- The Matrix Trilogy
- Hero
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

* If you want to know who Michael J. Bassett is you can read his "About" blurb on his blog or on the IMDB listing.. :)

** cross-posted to

** edit: What was I thinking? My own list of the best/favorite films of the decade wasn't in my original post so I added my list to this post. My list (which kind of goes on forever - oops!) is posted on Mr. Bassett's blog, but I shortened it for this post. :) Jan. 2, 2010

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today Was a Good Day

My glasses and I are a bit wet from our drizzly walk to the supermarket and back, but a few items were needed for tomorrow's "feast" so it had to be done. It's chilly, foggy and sprinkling, but it's nice out all the same. I know that sounds strange, especially considering I wouldn't normally describe an evening like this as nice. I think it must be the mood I'm in today. The fact that a branch leaped out and hit me in the face on my way home didn't sour my mood either, oddly enough. Okay, so it didn't come out of nowhere, but my glasses don't have windshield wipers, and I had no idea the branch was sticking out right there in front of my face; had I known I would've avoided the branch naturally. ;)

This weekend I was not in such a great mood. Two people I know had visits to the ER. Once was released the next day, and the other is still there at the hospital. Both are doing just fine, but both have fairly serious health issues if you think about it. So I'm not thinking about it.

I am seriously behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. I'm one-fifth of the way there with a little over five days to go. *headdesk* My own fault, but I still have hope for this coming weekend.

The beginning of the week was not so nice for me at work. Nothing bad happened, it's just that the paperwork is piling up, and there are no helpful hands. I've got piles and piles of stuff to do, and the hands that are supposed to be helpful simply give me more stuff before leaving early for the day so it appears that the hands have done their work, while not following through on anything I've passed along to those hands. Leaving me to do take care of that as well. And that's the most polite way to describe it. C'est la vie.

And I intended to have several Christmas ornaments made for the etsy shop by this weekend. That hasn't happened yet. I did start on one Saturday, but then I put it all aside when the Bean came over, and never picked it back up again.

Today, however, went really well. No one yelled at me at work. Not one person. This is always a good thing. :) Everyone was in a pleasant mood, at work, outside of work, at the post office, in the coffee shop. :) To top it all off, I received two lovely letters today. One from my Dad (yay!). The other from someone I hadn't expected to write me back so that was a real treat. Two lovely surprises from two lovely people, and tomorrow all the sisters will be here for Thanksgiving. So it's a good mood for me all around. All kinds of awesomeness.

Oh, and "The Philanthropist" will be released on DVD, January 5, 2010! In time for my birthday. :) (and yes, that's a hint!)

p.s. Thaer Abdallah, my friend Sheila's hubby, has another art show in December at the 1369 Coffee House in Inman Square if anyone's interested. Opening reception is this Monday, December 7, courtesy of Out of the Blue Art Gallery.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2009 Con Book Deadlines and Halloween Postcard

I'd forgotten to post the link to the Con Book list for this year's Farscape Creation convention* in November. Some deadlines have passed, and others are approaching this weekend.

the list

* This year's convention is a joint Farscape-Stargate convention which is a cool idea since two of the actors (Ben Browder and Claudia Black) were on both series. :)

Also, I've been experimenting with some handmade postcards. Most have been completely unsuccessful. Some are unsatisfactory. Others were just a little disappointing. I did put up one in my etsy shop that came out okay, just not the way I was hoping. You go see my Trick Or Treat Witch postcard here. It's in the "Sales" section because Halloween's this weekend and because the postcard didn't come out quite the way I wanted it to. I'll probably leave it in there until the listing is expired, then remove and use. Take a peek while you can and feel free to comment here! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful Autumn Day

I just got back from a too short walk.

It's days like today that really make me miss my friend M.M. (now living in Austin, TX!) It's a gorgeous fall day out. The sun is shining. It's on the edge of warm and cool. The air is crisp. There are flowers everywhere and colorful leaves on the trees and crunching on the sidewalk. This is the kind of day where she would call me in the morning and ask if I wanted to go in town with her. Most days we barely had $5 between us, but we always had enough to get us into Boston and back again, and somehow we always managed to feed ourselves snacks or lunch, too. We would walk for hours, just walk, all over the place. It was always a bit of an adventure, never boring, and on days like this I really didn't want to stop walking. Walk, snack, explore, walk some more. On days like this I wish she were around so I could call her and ask if she'd like to go in town. These days no one wants to just *walk* with me anymore. Walk with no real purpose, for hours, in the beautiful weather, and randomly stop at some tiny little sub shop or cafe or street vendor to get a snack.

I've got to get over my fear of flying and get myself out to Austin to see her. Maybe I could take a train. If it weren't so far, I go outside right now and just start walking there ..
Rain, Rain

Rainy snow last Saturday. Tropical downpour last night. As they say in New England, don't like the weather? Just wait a minute.

In other news a motorist in the UK might be fined for splashing kids at a bus stop. Read the story here. L. had posted the youtube video on Facebook, but I can't seem to get the video clip to work. She thinks it's hilarious, by the way. I don't really. I used to enjoy splashing in puddles as a kid and walking in the rain, but I never enjoyed cars that would drive close to the sidewalk and speed through puddles soaking me from head to toe. Of course, that's just me. Maybe those kids really did enjoy the tower of puddle water raining down on them. My sister says I was "safety girl" when I was younger so maybe that's why I disliked it when cars did that. (Now, I more than dislike it, especially if I'm on my way to work. *g*) I'll have to check with the siblings to see if they would've loved that when they were kids. ;)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

Thursday it was sunny and in the 70s. Yesterday, sunny but cooler (50s - 60s), and today, warmer than yesterday but rainy and gray. All I want to do is hibernate right now.

No Boston Book Festival or NaNoBoston Meet & Greet for me this weekend. There is so much to do this weekend that I really shouldn't be treating myself until I do it.

On the fun side ..
I'm plotting out my nanonovel for this year and need to work out some more "candy bar scenes". This year I'm working on a story I started over two years ago. I stalled during NaNoWriMo on this story before. Poor pre-planning, a lot of procrastination and the fact that my main characters' names were undecided were all part of the problem. I'm tackling the pre-plan/pre-plot right now and have figured out, from last year's "win," how to manage my procrastinating tendacies (for this one month anyway). Now it's the character names I need to tackle next. I've always believed naming to be important, especially in stories, and I've chosen a few names that have meaning to me and to the story for the characters, but I need now to make a decision. Sometimes there is only one possible name for a character, and other times, like in this particular case, there are many suitable choices.

In other news L. will be shooting her first music video, for a local musician, in three weeks. Very exciting although I don't think it'll meet my personal defintion of a music video so I'm glad I'm not the one doing it. The musician wants to shoot six videos at once. At first, he wanted to do one, then four, now six, and unfortunately, she didn't say NO. So now they'll be shooting six at night in some studio, and I'm afraid (as is she) that all six will look eerily similar, if not exactly the same. Basically it sounds like he wants professional recordings of his performance of certain songs. I suppose that would technically be a music video since many music videos are simply the musicians performing their songs, but when I hear "music video," I think "storytelling." The music video is a wonderful way to visually relate to your audience and tell the story of your song. Aren't songs simply sung stories? The singer is sharing a story, evoking certain emotions or moods and sometimes very particular images and associations. The video is a way to expand on that. At least, that's what I think. But hey, what do I know? Plus, L. has to keep the musician happy, and if he's happy with six videos of him performing six songs on stage and nothing more than that (except for varying camera angles and transitions), then it's all good. Maybe he wants it to play as a music video of a concert. Still ..

Regardless, I've been sending her clips of simple but effective music videos (in my opinion anyway) to give her ideas of angles, lighting and ways to make each video hopefully interesting and unique. She's been sending me some as well. In the end it'll be great experience for her and will look good on her resume.

And I'm hoping I'll actually get some reading done, in addition to writing. I can't believe I haven't read a brand new novel from beginning to end (or anything brand new from beginning to end) at all this year! Gone are the days of two to three new books every week. Geesh.

Friday, October 23, 2009

No More Teddy Rist

Well, it's official. The Philanthropist has been canceled. I knew that already, or suspected anyway, but now there's official confirmation. A DVD of all the episodes will be released so that's something to look forward to.

James Purefoy, who played the lead character Teddy Rist, is currently filming Ironclad, and according to Michael J. Bassett's blog will be on a publicity tour in Europe for the movie Solomon Kane in December. Then there's John Carter of Mars. If The Philanthropist was renewed, he would be somewhat limited in his film roles and promoting the films because he would be contractually obligated to NBC. So, the cancellation is good in this way, I suppose.

Still, I enjoyed the show while it was on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I'm Thinking

* My friend C.'s house burned down the other day. I know I say that matter-of-factly, but really, it is a matter of fact. She posted yesterday about it on her FB status. She and her family are okay, but they lost most of their possessions. Someone in her neighborhood recorded part of it and posted it on * youtube. C. posted the youtube video on FB so here it is. :(
Fire on Austin Street
She's an old friend from high school and hasn't mentioned yet what she and her family need, but I there are a number of people who are ready to help out.

* "Get a life." This is what a person told me last month before trying to set me up with her mailman. I think her exact words were along the lines of "You have no life. You're always working. Would you like a life? I want you to meet my mailman. He's looking to meet someone. You should meet him and get a life." She said this to me at work, as nicely as can be. I know it was said with the best of intentions, but really, how am I supposed to respond to that? And tell me, how does one get a life after so many years of not having one? Apparently, if I get set up, I will suddenly have a life. But, there's that sticky point of "You're always working." Hm.

* On a brighter note, I might have Saturday, October 24 off so I can go to The Boston Book Festival. Yay! :) Then again, history tends to repeat itself so I'm not holding my breath yet. (See previous paragraph re: no life.) ;)

* I had such high hopes for October, but the month is almost over and .. I've yet to plot out this year's nanonovel. Among the many other things I planned to do this month. ;)

I hope The Boston Book Festival will work out. At least I will have done something this month. :)

* Oh! Another thing someone said to me just the other day. Again, at work. There are more acorns on the ground than usual & earlier than usual. She explained that this is nature's way of getting the squirrels ready for the long winter ahead. That's not exactly how she put it, but that's basically what she meant. She was implying that extra, early acorns mean a longer winter ahead. Makes sense; it sure feels like winter's starting. :) What I want to know is why can't nature set out boxes of chocolate, fluffy sweaters & hot cocoa for me in my backyard to get *me* ready for the long winter ahead? Way to play favorites, Mother Nature. ;p

* Last, but not least, Solomon Kane trailer!! Looks good. I'll now have to read the Howard books in my dad's closet. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dabbling in Dolls

As promised I put three Halloween keychains up. You can see them here. The fourth keychain is in its own section. I decided not to add it to the Halloweeny things. You can see that here.

Now for my bookmark experiments with Lisa's Altered Art!

Using her adorable sheets, I made some paper doll bookmarks. This first one is laminated. Her arms are static, but her legs move.
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On the back is a quote from Lewis Carroll's Queen from Alice in Wonderland.
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

This one has moveable arms, and her legs are static. She is not laminated but coated with Modge Podge as a sealant.
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She has a quote from Aesop's Fables on the back.
"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."

And I have some more if you'd like to see them. Please feel free to share any thoughts you have. Comments are welcome and encouraged. Thanks so much!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I just logged on to Facebook to see a friend's son died in a car accident last night. I can't even begin to imagine what she's going through right now.

It's the anniversary of her father's death as well.

RIP, Michael C. Dorman.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crafty Things

Well, I didn't get much writing done the other night. Instead I worked on some Halloweeny keychains for the etsy shop.

The following photos aren't the greatest. I need to take some better pics of each keychain individually to use for the shop. For now, though, here's a preview.

one side:
four Halloween keychains

the other side:
four more keychains

two more views of the same thing:
more keychains and 4 Keychains

Click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version. Once I have taken the nice photos and am ready to post to EstellaDawn, I'll post a link.

I also made a few things with artwork from Lisa's Altered Art. I'm having fun experimenting with her stuff and will probably post some of what I made here for feedback if anyone wants to give me some. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Remains Undone

When I got home Saturday after work, I'd planned to do the following:
1. have fun making keychains and ornaments
2. put some things up for sale on ebay
3. upload some things to etsy
4. revise and edit 2008 nanonovel (1st chapter)
5. work on Lesson 15 in Holly Lisle's HTTS course (one of the skipped lessons)
6. work on preplotting for a possible 2009 nanonovel (which I might just start on now & not wait until November)
7. come up with another 2009 nanonovel idea (assuming I start in on #6 above - which I really want to)
8. sift through some more clothes to add to the ever growing Goodwill bag
9. call Discover and let them know that I received my new card
10. call Verizon and finally get my sister's phone taken off my account
11. review supplies & see what needs to be reordered
12. finish a book I started in March
13. laundry
14. answer emails
15. write my Dad
and somewhere in there shopping with my mom because I promised

Instead this weekend I've
1. done my laundry
2. talked with sis
3. played with Bean
4. watched a Strawberry Shortcake movie with Bean
5. gone shopping with my mom

I'm going through emails, dumping many. I've yet to answer some. I'll write my Dad next then return to writing things. At least some of the items off the list can be checked off.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11th

Today's a day of rememberance in the world, and like most people, I've been thinking about how that weekend unfolded for me, where I was when I heard and how strange the world seemed for the following weeks. It was a scary time but also a time full of hope. Having been connected to others worldwide, thanks to the internet, I read and felt the outpouring of shock, grief and well wishes from many, many nationalities when I got home that Tuesday. So many countries (over 90, I think) lost their citizens September 11, 2001 on the four hijacked planes and in the World Trace Center, and the world was suddenly a much smaller place. A bit scarier. Much smaller. But hopeful in a way -- there was an opportunity for the international community to work together. Online friends and strangers sent their thoughts, prayers and hugs out into the universe, and everyone made an effort to lend a hand to a stranger, take the time to stop & listen to a neighbor.

And then there were the emergency workers, responding to the chaos, who lost their lives. People helping people, working tirelessly. They are remembered today, too.

I think most if not all of us were glued to our tv sets and our radios and our internet news sources. It was all pretty inconceivable at the time. That morning I received a call at work from my sis telling me a plane had flown into the WTC, and I immediately thought of a little biplane or a sight seeing plane. At first I thought it was an accident, maybe someone learning to fly had made a tragic miscalculation. Never did I think someone had crashed, on purpose, a passenger plane into a building where people worked. But the calls kept coming from my sis and my mom. More planes. Updates from patients who walked in. Updates from the radio station no longer playing classical music. The Towers had collapsed. We were all in a fog. I think we closed early and went home, and then once home, I watched the news reports and looked online at what the world was saying. And then there were the frantic bulletin board posts at various forums I visited. Has anyone heard from so&so? Phone calls to people in NY to make sure people were okay.

Saturday 8th I'd traveled to NY for a Farscape convention. When I checked in, I called home and immediately got the sense that something was wrong. They didn't tell me until I returned home, but my great aunt had died. We'd been told two days previously she had been hospitalized so I wasn't suprised, but now I connect her death with the days to follow. On Sunday 9th I had a fantastic time at the con and met lots of people, including a Frenchman who wasn't a part of the con - lol; many of the congoers were staying in NY after the convention was over. And I recall a Michael Jackson concert or gathering of some sort across the street at Madison Square Garden. No, I didn't go, but that's why the Frenchman was in NY. ;) On Monday 10th I hung out in NYC until the afternoon. I dutifully tried to get pics for Laura at the One Life to Live studios during that time before catching my train at Penn Station. I arrived home late, and first thing Tuesday morning, I went online to post a little "thank you" to the people I'd met at the con. When I returned home later that night, the boards were full of the confusion of 9/11, starting a few posts after mine. So now Scapers are forever tied to that memory as well.

911 Memorial Website
Sep. 11 Memorial & Museum

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Taking Care of a Few Items on My To-Do List

Working on #59 of 101 in 1001. I originally intended that goal to be sell 10 of my things on ebay. Not simply put up 10 items for sale. And not put up others' items for sale. But here I am, selling things for my sister T. lol

I let her know that I've seen empty DVD cases for sale on ebay before, and a few weeks later she handed over three bags of DVD cases for me. (She had removed all the DVDs from the cases and is storing them elsewhere.) So up they go, slowly but surely.

I'm also uploading a few new bookmarks to EstellaDawn.

I need to write more. I had a revelation this morning regarding last year's nanonovel. I'll need to do a lot more research before continuing with its revision. I've taken on certain assumptions in the story, and if those assumptions are weak, then the story needs major rewriting to make it all work. Blah. I need to start planning for this year's nanonovel, too. :)

Longer weekends are nice for getting a few things accomplished. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Is Big Foot Next? *g*

Just got home about 15 minutes ago. I thought Monday would be dreadful. Today was very, very long.

I'm still working on my spies, and I wanted to start planning for this year's NaNoWriMo. No writing for me tonight though. My eyes are sleepy so I won't get much accomplished. I just wanted to quickly point out this short little article I ran across: Chupacabra Found! I see or hear "chupacabra," and I think of The X-Files. Bees, oil, corn fields, the hantavirus, chupacabra and more .. all forever associated with X-Files. ;) Mulder would be pleased.

Oh! and Bean has enjoyed her first few days of K. :)

Must eat now.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best Laid Plans

A few minutes after the last post, the Bean returned from her playdate and decided she wanted to stay over night. How can you say "no" to that? So all the plans for yesterday afternoon, evening and night fell away. Same with most of today. As of 6:40pm my time the Bean was safely on her way. There's still time to do things .. just not so much. Simply a typical weekend for me. My time is hardly my own.

But it was fun. She's only this age for a blink in time, and I'm very lucky she wants to spend some of her time with me. :) Blink! She's grown some more. *sigh* Her first day of school is tomorrow. She is excited, and I'm excited for her. The school sounds very child-oriented, which you would think a school would be, but many aren't. She's smart, a fantastic listener, a really good kid. She should do really well in school. She keeps telling me she wants to learn about science. :) Learning to read is another thing she's looking forward to. :)

.. I wish I could extend this weekend and not have to go into work tomorrow. I dread tomorrow. It'll be a miserable day, and I'm almost guaranteed to be yelled at by at least two people, if not more. Definitely one person. It won't be fun. And I have so much work to do .. and not much help in getting it done. (But really, who in the world does, right? We all have this problem. I know it; I'm not alone.) *sigh* Every single person expects me to give him or her all my time and attention. Which is nice. I want to do that. But there are only so many hours in a day -- the lights shut off at 10pm so I can't be at the office beyond that -- and there are too many people vying for my attention. Plus, the boss adds extra work each day. And the coworker hands me off her work all the time. And then there's the work I'm *supposed* to be doing. I figure each person who wants my time & attention takes, on average, anywhere from 15 min. to 5 hours. That is, some take far less. Some require more - maybe several days or weeks of time & research - blah! And any given day there are at least five new people looking for attention and three carryover people looking for attention. Tomorrow will be a day filled with more demands on time than usual (some polite; some not so much) because it's scheduled as a very busy afternoon, and I figure that I won't be leaving until late yet I still won't be accomplishing much .. except for being yelled at. Again, I say, Blah.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Days Off Should Be Required Every Week

Thursday and Friday were days off for me. Yay for sanity! Boo for next week's pay check. ;) If only I could afford the sad paycheck, I would opt for sanity every time. Anyway, I finally got myself a new library card. (#32 of 101 in 1001? Check!) I did that Thursday after running errands and going for a nice walk but before the Bean was dropped off for a sleepover.

On Friday, we'd intended to attend St. Anthony's Festival in the North End, and Bean wanted to join us, but it turned out the festivities wouldn't start 'til 7pm. Much too late for Bean. So we had a little walk along the waterfront instead. Unfortunately, the Bean wasn't up to it so we couldn't do much. She did have a wonderful time, though, running up and down some stairs, admiring some yachts, watching one of the ferries turn around, gazing at the harbor seals and then riding the carousel. She also tried some chicken terriyaki and decided she wanted that for lunch instead of a hot dog. :) At one point my mom's hat flew off her head and made its way to the middle of Atlantic Ave. A very nice man went out to retrieve it for her. My mom commented that he was a gentleman, and the Bean agreed that he was kind before she decided my mom was in love with the gentleman and wanted him to be my mom's boyfriend. Beanie declared it was all very romantic. :)

Today Bean's at a playdate but should be returning soon. Later, after all the playing is done, I'll probably write a bit (working on those spies!) and continue with Halloween items (bookmarks, most likely) for Estella Dawn. One thing I won't be doing is thinking about work. Not openly anyway. Monday is going to be an awful mess in more ways than one. (Oh, yes! and one man commented to me today that my printing is smaller than a typewritten word. Yeah, somewhere in my adult life my penmanship went seriously downhill, and I often have to fit so much info. in small spaces on forms or in notebooks at work. I think my dad calls my writing "scritchy." *g*)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Armchair Travel

I love watching Rick Steves' Europe. I'm a bit of an armchair traveler. Wish I were traveling for real, but c'est ma vie.

Anyway, it's on now, and I hadn't seen this particular episode on Barcelona before, and now, I have to look up the people, places and things mentioned.

Barcelona, Catalonia, Montserrat, Guadi and Pablo Picasso ..
I've heard of modernisma but only in passing. To see buildings built in that style is amazing. Whimsical, fanciful .. like a visit to Fairyland. I'd be cool to see that in person. Rick Steeves paid special attention to Gaudi, and you can see that clip here on youtube.

And now he's starting the "microstates" (which I have see before): Vatican City, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra
*happy sigh*

People who are able to travel (and to explore their destinations) are lucky folk. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's on the Shuffle?

I survived work today. That's something.

I also received pics from Christine from our visit to Salem with Dad and the Bean. They came out nice. I won't post them though since others are involved, and they might not want their pictures posted online. ;)

My iPod needs to be recharged again. I charged it last night and accidentally let it play all night long. Plus, I keep hitting the skip button when I have it on shuffle. I have 958 songs right now on there, and sometimes I'm more in the mood for one song over another. :) Hitting the skip/fast forward button repeatedly eats away at the battery life. And I need new earphones. Desperately. I fell asleep holding the iPod up at a wierd angle just so the sound could register through the the earphones. *sigh*

Anyway, let's see .. inspired by a Facebook meme thing of songs I can't stop listening to at the moment.

Ten Songs I Can't Stop Listening To Right Now*
1. Missing (Studio Version) - Evanescence
2. Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
3. Strangers - Cloud Vegas
4. Fall Away - Better Off Dad
5. Into Dust - Mazzy Star
6. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
7. Puirt a Beul - Sileas
8. Tijaniyya - Youssou N'Dour
9. Stars - The Slackers
10. Can Dance - Favors for Favors

*can't choose less than 10 -- I tried; really, I did!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Little Fado Before I Sleep

Suddenly, I'm not so tired anymore. I decided to peruse and look up some fado. Lo and behold! There are some lovely videos of Cristina Branco performing. :)

- Redondo Vocabularo with Jose Afonso

- at her home

Which, of course, made me search out Amalia Rodgrigues videos.

- Solidao

- Gaivota

Gipseian References? Not really, but I wanted to stick the word in there

Jonathan Field's new CD "Drift" is available on CD Baby. Go there now to have a listen. :)

I planned to work on Halloween themed things this weekend for the etsy shop, but I need some more items. My trip to the Dollar Tree wasn't as successful as I'd hoped. No Halloween trimmings, stickers or other things I was hoping for. There were no larger paintbrushes either, just the small ones like the one I already have. Nice for detail, but it leaves streaks when I apply the Modge Podge on things. I wanted to purchase an inexpensive, larger brush and experiment with that. Oh well. Maybe I'll try the hardware store next time?

By the way, I've adopted the word gipseian.
adj. belonging or pertaining to gypsies
This is why I stuck the word, rather poorly, in the title there of this blog post. The idea is to adopt a particular word and promise to use it in converstation, etc., as much as possible so it doesn't completely fade away from existence. I'm tired right now so that's the best I can do at this moment ..
Adopt your own word at!

That word makes me want to try Sevillanas again. *g*

Via Mo Ryan, it's the Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks. Funny stuff. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

#29, Photo in the Fair .. Fail!

Well, my last post was a bit lengthy. lol

I need to get back into posting here and elsewhere more regularly. I also have to finish editing my nanonovel. Once thing I'm not completing this year is #29 in my 101 in 1001 list: Enter a photo or craft in the Marshfield Fair. I have one photo ready as an 8x10" print, Bell Tower, but unfortunately, I have no money nor any time (but especially no cash or credit) to get it framed or matted as per the Fair's requirements. *sigh* So this year, #29 is a big Fail. :(

But hey, there's always next year.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Philanthropist on NBC

"Haiti," the final episode of The Philanthropist, was on last night, and it didn't disappoint. Teddy Rist is at his best when he's working one on one with someone, at a personal level, and Philip Maidstone had plenty to do as well. I also loved the line where Teddy said he wasn't a walking ATM. I like this show. Just wish it would hang around a bit longer.

Unfortunately the ratings haven't been there, and the critics have been vocal. Some points are valid, but I still think the show has a lot of potential. It just needs a little longer to find itself. For me, it's interesting enough to keep following. I'm still curious about this path the charming but tarnished Teddy Rist is on.

The Pilot episode sold me on it really. A spiritual journey of sorts. A calling, or so it seemed to me. Even so .. Teddy Rist is not perfect. He doesn't completely transform after his fist philanthropic efforts or his second or his third. I wouldn't expect him to. I would've been disappointed if he had. He's not suddenly an angel. Nor should he be. It's a gradual process. He learns, makes mistakes. He trusts, is betrayed, learns to get past that & to forgive. He's still the same sometimes brash, sometimes reckless man he was before, but he cares deeply, and his friends aren't just fond of him. They don't just tolerate him. They love him, although they don't always agree with him. That says a lot about who the character is, I think. Through his actions and choices, he is touched and changed by the people he meets, for better or for worse, and they are as well.

He sometimes doesn't think before he acts (that's why they have Dax to watch over him .. his business partner & best friend Philip Maidstone doesn't need a Dax at his side when he travels abroad *g*), but Teddy has a good, open heart, and he's no longer isolated in his little billionaire business world, only making business deals then drinking & partying himself into oblivion. It seems billionaire playboy Teddy Rist has found his purpose in life. I'm not talking about destinty but something that holds meaning for him. Helping people makes him feel good so he chooses to help when possible. It's a selfish thing as explained by the main actor - helping because it fills this void in his life, but it gives Teddy Rist a new direction to follow. I, personally, think it's deeper than that. On a business level, the philosophy is help others, help the company make a profit. But on a personal level, when Teddy is presented with a person in distress, with a very basic need, he jumps into action, and it isn't purely a selfish thing. Okay, maybe a little, but not completely. ;) He's willing to go to the source to find out what the people need, and not just give handouts but help people to help themselves. He's willing to put his life on the line to help others, like he did when he thought a friend was in danger on his return to Nigeria.

The other episodes don't have quite the same tone as the Pilot, but I enjoyed each one of them anyway. Myanmar, for example, seemed to show him there are difficult choices to make as he learns what it means to practice his particular brand of philanthropy both for himself and for Maidstone-Rist (the company he runs with his friend Philip). Not everything is so black & white; there are no clear answers to be had, and he can't save everyone. No matter how much he might want to.

Prior to the show I was aware of Jesse L. Martin's and Neve Campbell's work, but I didn't know much about the charasmatic lead James Purefoy. In fact, Mr. Purefoy was not on my radar at all prior to The Philanthropist, but I was so impressed by his portrayal of the engaging Teddy Rist I looked him up on Turns out I *have* seen him elsewhere. I've seen him in Resident Evil, A Knight's Tale and Mansfield Park apparently but wasn't aware at the time. He is a talented, talented actor who has the ability to transform himself into the character, and I mention him in particular because he plays the titled character, and it's his portrayal which has to sell the premise of the show. There's a fantastic clip on youtube of the deaths of Antony & Cleopatra (from the cable series "Rome" - I never saw it since I don't have cable, but that seems to be the show everyone else knows James Purefoy from). I then searched out some other clips & articles (interviews re: The Philanthropist mostly) and found him to be just as charming & intelligent out of character, and more importantly in relation to the tv series, passionate about the show itself & the world/human issues that are presented in it. He, along with other cast & crew members, seemed to take the show's message to heart and they are now involved in several charitable causes (Action Aid for example: website, video) as a result.

Check out the show's website, too. There's information on past episodes, cast, characters, a production blog (relating to each episode's themes & locations) and info. on Bobby Sagar, the inspiration for The Philanthropist, along with links to organizations and ways you can help. All the episodes are available for viewing online:

And as many know, when the cast and crew are passionate about a production (see: Farscape & campaign related posts on this blog - hee hee!), I always want to see more. :)

Sadly I doubt they'll have a chance to develop the show further, and I think that last night's episode will be it.

Guess I'll write a polite little letter to NBC now. As I've learned from previous experience networks don't know who's watching unless we take the time to tell them, and since it takes a bit longer to sit down, write (or type) a letter and send it off than it does to post at a forum or jot off an email, the importance of the letter is understood.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All the Things I've Yet to Post About

A month has past, and still I haven't posted what I meant to. I'd gone to NY the weekend of March 23 for filming of Passengers of 7D. I meant to post about that, both here and at Beanywood. I will post about it .. at some point.

I've also created a Second Life account and ventured in there a few times after reading about Michelle's adventures at Juiced on Writing. I haven't been there much, but I definitely want to post about what's happened so far. I also have some pictures, including one of me as a glowing blob. I spent the first two or three days in SL as a glowing blob. And then for awhile, after I was finally able to see myself, I discovered I was wearing a box. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of me wearing the box. ;)

Some day soon I'll post about that as well.

Currently I'm watching "A Little Princess," making bookmarks and wondering about getting a table for the yard sale & bake sale at the Day House. I'm also reading up on affiliates and trying to motivate myself to get back to editing my nanonovel. I'm still following the Think Sideways course, and I see so many things I need to rewrite. I have all the edit notes taken, but I want to follow the course in order and realized I skipped some things which require me to go back, do all the excercises. Every time I read through the lessons, I feel hopeful and excited. :)

And, of course, I'm almost at my goal for The Walk for Hunger on May 3 and must start fundraising for AIDS Walk Boston on June 7. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wizard in Training

The following information is Top Secret, but I had to share. If you are reading this, you are now sworn to secrecy. Don't get me in trouble now. ;)

My little neice informs me she is a wizard-in-training. She has been one since Santa left the magic for her this past Christmas. The other day she allowed me to see her wand. Not touch it, mind you, but look at it. Apparently I am not wizard material so touching the wand is forbidden. She promises to make me my own wand at some point, but for now, it's "look don't touch."

She has been working very hard at coming up with spells to make objects disappear, like her bunk bed, but so far the needed spell has not surfaced. It's something she needs to figure out on her own, without the help of a grown up, she tells me. As I questioned her about her top secret training she stopped me mid-sentence and announced there are certain rules to be followed. In fact, there are a lot of rules. Most she can't remember. There are some, however, that she recalls because they relate to her current disappearing spell dilemna. They are fairly easy to remember if you ever find yourself in a similar situation .. with a magic wand at your disposal .. wondering what items are appropriate to wave it at.

The Rules of Magic for a Wizard-in-Training

1. You can not make the whole world disappear. If you did, everything would be all white and very boring.
2. You can not make people disappear.
(What if you couldn't get them back again?)
3. You can not make live animals disappear. Never point your wand at a live animal in case you accidentally make it disappear.
4. You can not make boats disappear.
5. If a person is in a boat and the boat is tipping over, then you can use your magic on the boat to make the boat go upright or to make the boat float up in the air.

Those are the rules.

When I mentioned that rule #5 was scary (I wouldn't care to be a person inside the boat now floating in the air), I was told it's better to be floating in the air than spilled out into the ocean. I'd have to agree. ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Ornaments

Following is an ornament I made for newlyweds Scott & Laura. L. said she thought the ornament was nice, so hopefully they both liked it.

One side features a new bride with red flowers in the charm. The other side shows a couple in love. Newlyweds, I should think. ;) I thought that theme was appropriate since they were sharing their first Christmas together as a married couple.

blissful newlyweds
blissful newlyweds

bride side

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thank You for All the Birthday Wishes!

My birthday started off wonderfully with a phone call from the Bean who asked me, "How's your birthday?" I told her all was well so far and that her mom had mentioned she sent me an email, but I hadn't looked at my email yet. She then informed me to look at my email when we finished talking and listen to it because she'd sent me a song. :)

Toward the end of the work day, I checked my email and found birthday wishes there and on my Facebook wall. Then when I came home, there were mashed potatoes and pastelles waiting for me. *yum!

All in all a pretty good day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Labeling My Posts

I've started to add Labels/Tags to some of my posts. You'll notice the labels (tags) popping up at the end of various posts. It will be awhile before I've updated this blog completely, but for now I have today through to October 2008.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to control the font size for the labels. I prefer font size 1, but it looks like Blogger prints it in size 3. Does anyone know how I can fix that? My guess is I have to look through my template to find it. I'll leave that for another day. But if anyone knows where exactly I look for the label sizes in my template, that would be a great time saver! Thank you. :)

I'm itching to create, write, update things, make lists, watch movies I haven't seen. And play The Sims for a bit.

Hopefully I'll manage something productive. What I should do but want to avoid doing right now is paying bills. I have just a small amount of cash to assign to various creditors until my next paycheck is deposited. Bleh.
Yankee Swap Ornament

The snow is falling, and it's deceptively pretty outside. Not so pretty that I want to get dressed and shovel it. Instead, I think I'll stay in and add another post about the homemade ornaments I made for Christmas. This particular ornament was offered in the Christmas Eve Yankee Swap for my dad's side of the family. One side is a nostalgic Santa; the other is a pinecone.

My aunt's sis chose my small gift bag in the swap. Inside the bag were the little ornament and two pieces of chocolate. Surprisingly she kept the gift and didn't swap it out, but I suspect the chocolate had something to do with it. ;)

the Santa side:

Click on the photo to get a better look!

Santa Doll ornament

What the ornaments look like hanging on your tree:

Santa Doll in tree

the Pinecone side:

Get a closer peek at the ornament by clicking on the photo!

pinecone ornament

Closeup of the girl in the charm:

Classic Girl closeup

Both the Santa image and the Pinecone image were purchased from ArtChix Studio. The Yankee Swap Santa and the previous Santa were from this collage sheet. The pinecone and the previous Toulouse pic are from this kit. The charm's face is from ArtChix Studio's Tiny Bubbles sheet.

Apologies for the lack of quality in the photos. I'm experimenting how to take a better macro, and I've a way to go yet.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Handmade Gifts

This year I've been tighter than usual on cash, especially at the end of 2008. Lots of unpaid things haunt me in 2009 already. Not a great way to start the year, but since I've got less to work with, there's not much I can do about it right now. Anyway .. I remembered various supplies I'd purchased a year or two ago when I considered trying my hand at the beautiful ornaments I saw online. So I thought, as December approaches, why not go ahead and make some ornaments for gifts?

My sis told me Tuesday that my brother-in-law really like the ornaments I made them for Christmas. Whether or not that's completely true, that comment motivated me to start posting some of the Christmas gifts I made in 2008. So over the next week or so, the ornaments will be showing up in posts.

I've resized the photos. Click on the image to see the full size, except for the charm. The charm is already at its full size. ;) Feedback is welcome. This is all a learning process for me..

The ornaments are 1x3 inches in size. Each ornament had two sides. This one was presented to my boss and his wife for Christmas. One side is Remembrance Santa (for lack of a better name).


The other is the Toulouse side.



and a little close up of the charm

Old Fashioned Girl

More to come over the next week!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Imperfect but Nearly Finished

I say nearly because it's rewrite-time for my nanonovel. I'm in the home stretch of Holly Lisle's writing course: How to Think Sideways, learning about revising my novel and finding the right ending for the book. Query letters, what to expect while working with agents and editors .. and now I just have to get crackin' on that NaNoWriMo novel of mine and make it all shiny. Shiny but not necessarily perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. And that's okay.

"Safe never starts. Perfect never finishes." - Holly Lisle

This morning as I got ready for work I daydreamed about this novel of mine, about my unfinished ones and the ideas I have yet to start. All the while I was smiling. I couldn't help myself. It was a good start to the day.

Next week, that's what I'll be doing. Daydreaming and revising but not necessarily in that order.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Time Passes Too Quickly

I found out today that a former coworker died yesterday. She was a dear lady and quite the spitfire. She was 95.

Her voice was distinctive and gravelly. She was a heavy smoker from age 14 until her late 80s/early 90s, and then she decided to quit cold turkey. Just like that. And as far as I know she didn't pick up a cigarette again. She drove (and not just locally!) well into her 80s until one day she decided she didn't want to travel the highway anymore and simply handed in her license to the RMV. She used to tell me stories how she and her brother would skip school as kids, go down to the local train station, hop the freight train and ride into Maine for a bit before hopping another train home again. Supposedly she was never caught by the truancy officer. ;) She was very contemporary in her thinking, too. I never heard any comments about "kids these days" coming from her. She carried on a conversation just as easily with a teen as she did someone her own age.

Independent. Friendly. Funny. Smart. She was a staple for many years at the local restaurants in the morning. Everyone knew her, and everyone liked her. It was hard not to.

RIP, Doris.