Showing posts from 2009

A Cheap Holiday Greeting

I love free apps... but the ads suck. I am thinking about springing for the 3 bucks to make cards without the ads. We'll see

Make a Smilebox slideshow

At Home on the Night Shift

First turn on the Player for music to read this blog by.

What exactly do people do at home in the evening? I ask because I work nights, and have done so pretty much all of my work life. I am at home tonight. I took the night off -- just because. When I signed myself out a week ago, I thought that it would be great to be at home on a weeknight and, well, feel normal. Strangely, I don't.

I don't quite know what to do with myself. I sought help on the Internet and found a list of 10 fun things to do at home, but the suggestions were pretty cheesy.

I can hear the Commodores singing: "Gonna be a long night, it's gonna be all right on the nightshift You found another home, I know you're not alone on the nightshift" (of course, they're singing about dead people, but you have to admit it's nice and mellow -- so 1980s)

I should be doing homework (not housework), but that would be a waste of a night off. I tried watching television, but I hear there's not…

Surviving School - Is it Possible?

"Keeping fit physically and mentally is very important because it will allow us to have energy to pull through the whole program."

Words of advice from a certain doctor offering advice for old people who are going (or thinking about going) back to school.

How do you keep fit physically when every waking hour is consumed by school work and house work and work work? If anyone can tell me how to work in the three hours that it takes to work in a one-hour work out at the gym, I'll pay big bucks -- but only if it the plan actually works. And working out at home is hard to work in to, because why waste an hour that you could spend studying?

Keeping fit mentally -- I fear nothing short of drugs can keep me on the right track and prescription help is way too costly. Forget about eight hours of sleep -- that's not going to happen.


I've decided to help myself by visualization -- imagining how I'm going to treat myself with a trip to Belieze when school's ov…

Health Care, Punches and Perks

It had been getting ugly for a long time... but only one side had been showing up for the health care reform fight.

Until now.

Can't want for the next round. We better get a bill soon or somebody's gonna get hurt.

Hope the injuries are not bad enough to send them scurrying for medical help -- unless they're a member of Congress (public employees, meaning we pay their salaries), who have some sort of exclusive ultimate platinum care plan. And I emphasize exclusive.

Eat your heart out (not literally, please) while trying to wrap your head around an ABC News report on the perks, including possibly the best government-run health care system in the universe.

Is it Autumn?

I don't know when Fall officially starts but I don't care because the past few days and today are my vision of what the most perfect autumnal season would be. No humidity, High 70s, windows wide open at night -- and best of all -- NO air conditioning.

Maybe I'll have an electricity bill this month that's not in the three figures.

Tomorrow, I'm dropping the top on the car and hitting the road on a day trip -- looking for a body of water and some wide open space. Or find a spot to sip espresso at an outdoor cafe and read Vanity Fair while planning the fantasy fall shopping spree that I am never going to take.

I want to idle away the time without a timepiece or cellphone and without reservations. I want the day to last forever.

I want to breathe in every minute of wonderful weather and enjoy the feel of the wisp of the gentl autumn-like breeze

..... before it disappears and the dreaded Indian summer returns for one last scorcher.

The Last Kennedy Story

Having just completed a video class, I really enjoyed watching this piece by the Washington Post . Of course, it was done by a team -- several shooters and two editors, with material from the news pool.

Nice job of backpack journalism. I hope someday to produce work this good.

Kennedy and Memories

My earliest memory of what it means to live in Washington was made on a bitter cold November morning when my father took us kids to Memorial Bridge to see President Kennedy's funeral procession as it inched toward Arlington National Cemetery.

It was freezing and we must have complained because I remember my father explaining that we were there because "this is history." I did not appreciate it then. But years later, I came to understand what he meant. I treasure that day and I love the majestic city and all that it symbolizes. (Yes, I know we don't always live up to its promise, but I keep hoping.)

Tomorrow, I probably will not make the trek to the bridge. But I do intend to walk to the East Front of the U.S. Capitol where congressional staff will pay one last tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy as his funeral procession makes its way to Arlington.

It seems only fitting. The death of Edward Kennedy brings to an end an era, not only in my life, but in the life of a nation.…

Happy Birthday Baby

That would be happy birthday to me, as I face the wee hours of the morning. Feeling somewhat sad.
The nephew will be off to Berkeley law school before dawn. He'll become a rich lawyer and I'll never see him again. But it's okay. I taught him well and it's time for him to go out into the world and create his own life. God speed.

It's been fun having him in my orbit for three years. But I have to wonder whether these 20 pounds I've picked up would have found some other body.

My other nephew has relocated to Columbus, Ohio. I don't want to lose touch but I don't want to force him to keep in touch by sending emails. He's such a good kid. He always responds. And bless his little heart, he's extended an open invitation for me to visit any time. I wonder whether he really means it.

The niece is such an independent young lady. She eyeing grad school -- finance to go along with her accounting degree. I'm so proud of her. Smart and beautiful. And very ki…

It's My Party

The Birthday countdown is underway.

It got started a little late this year. I think it was because of the July 4th holiday falling on a weekend. 

Bottom line is my usual 30 days of celebration is now down to 20 and kicking off today. 

Another glorious summer day.

No humidity and only a slight chance of rain ordered up just for me, of course. I love summer and I am a happy July baby.

I will fire up the grill to put the finishing touch on my favorite ribs, turn up I-Tunes and have a pale ale on the balcony while I plan a special treat for myself on everyday for the rest of the month. Because that's what I do. I am making up for all of the years of not realizing how deserving I am.

My most memorable celebration -- in beautiful Isla Blanca, Mexico, ten years ago, sleeping in a palapa at the edge of the ocean in a tiny "resort" with maybe 6 other people. I shared a birthday with one of the women from Arizona who wee in the cottage next door. My gift that year was the nightly ga…

Michael, Memories and Me

Okay, everyone has had their say about Michael Jackson, king of pop, master showman and all-around curious little man.

Now it's my turn. Let me say, he had a very interesting life. But in the end, he went out a lonely, sad, pathetic person who never seemed to have lived at all. I don't want to go out like that. Another reminder that money, fame, tons and tons of adoring fans and a three-thousand-acre California hideaway will not cure what ails you.

Today, the world is saying farewell in an extravagant LA memorial service. Like everything about his life, it's over the top. One billion were expected to watch a live broadcast and some news organizations were live-blogging, no doubt drawn by the promise of a star-studded lineup. I won't be among them.

I hope somewhere the poor soul is enjoying a moment of peace and the joy of solitude -- and I hope he's found whatever it was he was seeking. God knows he deserves it. After all those years of being this strange creatur…

Saturday Night Barely Live

I'm back and loving Vimeo. Nice video, although I think it's all done by pros. So nice to relax on a Saturday. Exactly one year from this month, school will be done or I'll be. Have a glass of wine, begin the countdown and contemplate what's next. That's what I'm doing. In the meantime, contemplate this:

CANARIAS TIMELAPSE from luis garcia de armas on Vimeo.

Always Tomorrow

Tomorrow. I will make a list of all of the things I intend to do tomorrow -- today, let us think about tomorrow and have a little fun.

Now that I am inspired... tomorrow:

I will iron the shirts and blouses stashed away in the drawers and closet because maybe if I ironed I actually might have something to wear tomorrow.

And then I will exercise for an hour because I know I need to and maybe my clothes will fit again and I won't have to iron or clear the closet of all of those great outfits I am going to fit into again tomorrow.

And then I will pick up one of the dozen books piled up on the bedside table and read again because I never make time to finish them because I am always going to set aside an hour for reading tomorrow.

And then I will paint the bathroom because it's a quick way to change the look without spending a lot of money and I will do it now because I never made time to do it after I bought the paint supplies ages ago and made plans to do it tomorrow.

And then I wil…

Contain Yourself

Welcome back sunshine. It's 60 degrees today and it finally looks and feels like Spring. My soul is lifted. Three Sunday brunches in a row -- one long-standing tradition, one new invite and one new restaurant. The taxes are done and filed on time, despite major snafu involving old company and stock. Beware of mergers!!! Twelve-page research paper is almost done, save for the "research" that needs to be added.

Life is good and now it's time to reward myself with the annual spring container garden planting ritual.

I got a head start last weekend, planting -- or rather placing -- miniature root balls purchased at the Philadelphia Flower show. So in a few weeks, I should have lots of basil and some black-eyed susans. I also bought a flowering maple which will be interesting because I have never seen one of those before. When I bought it, it had beautiful tiny peachy-colored blooms. But they soon fell off and I've seen no more.

The color theme this year will be golden ye…

It Must Be Spring... well almost

Here's how I know that Spring is just around the corner -- last Saturday was the last day of the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show and just as I've been doing -- off and on -- for years, I joined some friends in the City of Brotherly Love for the event.

It's the same every year. The theme of the show, the biggest indoor flower show in the country --if not the world-- changes. The theme this year was "Bella Italia."

But let's face it, once you've seen one gardenia, hydrangea, succulent, iris, tulip, African violet, etc., etc., you've seen them all. However, it is still a sight -- amazing what some people can do with flowers.

Have a peek inside (courtesy of someone identified only as gkfe):

The annual trip to Philadelphia with my friends is not about the destination. It's about the journey.

A two-hour ride up in a mini-van, a speed viewing of the show, a quick pass through Reading Terminal Market, a late lunch at a chain restaurant (remember it's the jo…

Leave Me Alone

This is how I know I will never give up my car (ok, so it's a luxury convertible -- but that's not the point).

I hate public transportation. The key word here is "public." I never take the bus and hardly ever use cabs. That leaves the subway, which really is the best way to get around on weekdays.

As convenient as it is (if you live in the heart of the city, as I do), I hate it. I hate being trapped underground with strangers. I especially hate being trapped in a subway car with strangers getting way too close. Strangers on the subway are just stranger than strangers on the street and you can not escape them once the subway doors shut.

Some people are babe magnets. Me, I am a magnet for strange people who ride the subway.

Today's encounter. A wild-eyed wild-haired middle-aged woman enters my car screaming at someone behind her -- only there's no one behind her. The car is half empty, but she plops down in the row of seats next to mine.

I can hear her mumbling angr…

Do Overs

Just how many do overs does it take before this weight loss thing takes hold? I'm officially overweight. My clothes no longer fit and I keep buying new ones for the old body. I keep starting a new food diary every week it seems. But I can't make it to the end of the week before some event, like the inauguration -- when I had three people staying in my home for five days. It's impossible to maintain my healthy eating routine when you're trying to be a good hostess. I also find it impossible to keep up my exercise routine -- to difficult to squeeze in an hour at the gym without carefully arranging my daily schedule. So here I go again. Taking another "do over." Starting today, with dinner prepared for the week, beginning a new food diary page and swearing that I am going to drink 8 glasses of water a day and not buy any 85 percent cocoa dark chocolate.