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.