Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Musical Interlude ;o)

Here are a couple of YouTube videos for your enjoyment. (Or not, depending on your personal taste in music. (g))

After catching a snippet of figure skating on TV the other night and recognizing the music one guy was skating to, I went looking for it online. Both of these are from the soundtrack of The Painted Veil. The film left me feeling pretty depressed. I enjoyed it, and I suppose the ending was more realistic than a "happily ever after" ending would've been. . . But I still feel that there are already enough sad endings in life without our needing to make up more of them.

Anyway, here are my favorite songs from the soundtrack:

Erik Satie's Gnossienne No. 1
The name looks atrocious (I don't care for "gn"), but the melody is oddly haunting.

"River Waltz" (by Alexandre Desplat) echoes some elements of the previous piece, but is more piercing, I think.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's Feast

Here's this week's feast:

How many times per day do you usually laugh?

I have no idea. I enjoy laughing, but how much I do it in a day depends a lot on what I'm doing. If I'm watching, listening to, or reading something amusing, of course I'm more likely to laugh. I probably laugh more when I'm not alone-- if only because there's more opportunity for something unexpected to happen when there's another person involved. My dogs also make me laugh, cute little clowns that they are.

What do your sunglasses look like?

I don't own a pair of sunglasses. I wear "regular" eyeglasses all of my waking hours, so traditional sunglasses are out-- and I've simply never bothered to find the clip-on type. I don't often feel the need for them, but every now and then it occurs to me that they might be useful. If Donald and I are happy with the (cheaper) new glasses we're going to order (one of these days), we may make another order for prescription sunglasses-- either that, or I could have my old pair coated.

You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?

If time isn't a concern, I think it'd be fascinating to travel by train to Alaska. . . assuming that's even possible. (I really know nothing about where there are and are not passenger train routes. I've never even been on a "real" train before-- just the little ones they have at amusement parks.)

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.

I don't live in the city limits, so technically I don't live "in town". (Generally speaking, I'm very happy about that.) One great quality about living in this area is that it's still a place where you can feel (mostly) safe. As we continue to grow, that's changing, but I still feel much safer in our little town than I do in some of the neighboring, larger cities.

If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?

It's hard to even imagine! Probably not green, because then there's no contrast with the land (if you life in a mostly-green landscape, like I do). Probably not red, because that'd be too much contrast-- plus it'd be kind of apocalyptic and creepy. ;o) I'd go with purple. Of the remaining colors of the rainbow, purple-- or indigo, if that's "allowed"-- is the closest to blue and probably the best for the sky, IMHO.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Originally uploaded by littlepinkstudio

Strange how a picture can bring back a memory you didn't even know you had!

These little plastic ballerinas took me back to a long-ago trip to a shop *full* of this sort of thing. I was with the best friend of my childhood, whose mother decorated cakes. I suppose the shop was full of cake-decorating goodies. I don't remember much about the place, but until seeing this photo, I probably hadn't even thought about it since that day. (g)

Anyway, just thought I'd share this rather amusing photo of canned ballerinas. ;o)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Couple of Time-Wasters :o)

Apparently, this has been around for a few years (at least), but Donald and I happened upon it just a couple of days ago.

It's pretty weird, and I don't see why they couldn't have given the poor woman something more than skimpy underwear, but it's somewhat amusing (for the first minute or so, at least), if only because it's so strange. (g)

Here's the Bubble Woman. Just click and drag her a bit to get her started, then watch as she "falls", bouncing and sliding over bubbles as she goes. You can grab her with your mouse at any time to reposition her on the screen.

Note: It helps if you think of her as a rag doll instead of a real person. ;o)

If scantily clad Bubble Women aren't your thing ;o) have a look at the singing horses. :o)

There-- consider your time well-wasted.

How unique is too unique?

Today I'm memeless, but still in a posty mood. I think I'm about to ramble (and ramble) in generalities. Feel free to skip this entry. (g)

Most of us don't want to be completely lost in the crowd. We want to stand out-- but only to a certain degree. We want to be recognized as a unique individual with specific personality traits, talents, and abilities. Some of us even feel that being known for our foibles (or more serious faults) is better than entirely blending in.

But on the other side of the coin, we (as a whole, not particularly all of us) are, at worst, extremely harsh toward anyone who doesn't "fit in". At best, we can't help but at least notice that they don't fit in, and we probably treat them differently because of that, even if we don't mean to do so.

I assume that most of you are familiar with the game show known as "Family Feud"? If not, here's a brief explanation: The idea of the game is that to win points by giving the most common/popular responses to different questions. The show has surveyed 100 people for each question to determine the relative popularity of the answers. In order to win, you have to think like other people-- or at least know how other people think. (There is a difference, by the way.) At some point in my youth, I was torn between wanting to "win" along with the contestants by giving the most popular answer-- and sometimes wondering what it said about me if I were able to win. At what point are you no longer just"fitting in"-- knowing your stuff about what other people think-- and simply ceasing to be a unique personality?

Doesn't the latest research indicate that some of our basic personality traits are determined genetically? Of course we are shaped by the events of our lives and the people we encounter along the way, but how much of who we are is predetermined? Should we take any more pride in (or credit for) our personalities-- talents-- ambitions-- than we should take for our natural hair color or our shoe size?

My "answer" (for the moment): As for our talents, no, we can't take much credit for that. Just as some of us are born with superior bodies, others are born with superior minds-- or a voice that sings more beautifully than average-- or an eye for drawing, etc. These things are blessings, if you like-- or if you're less religiously inclined, mere flukes-- "winning tickets" in the world of DNA. It is what we do with our individual gifts that we can take pride in-- using them for good, working hard to improve upon what we have, and having courage when dealing with our weaknesses.

But-- if our genes determine our basic personality traits, how much credit can we take even for our behavior?

Consider this scenario: Rob is born with an amazing talent for art. He shows great promise as a child, and by the time he's an adult, he's a successful artist. Steve is born with just average artistic ability. His people are all stick figures; he'll never be famous for his art. Can Rob really take more credit for his artistic ability than Steve can for his? I'd imagine that most would answer "no"-- no more than a tall person can take more "credit" for his height than a short person can.

Now, what about this scenario? Sarah is born with a healthy dose of ambition and carries it through to success. Driven by her ambitious nature, she works hard and does very well for herself. Betty, on the other hand, is born without much ambition. She isn't driven to succeed, so she'll never reach the heights Sarah's seen. She works just as much as she has to-- no more. Is Sarah's success any more to her credit than Betty's "just getting by"? Yes, she's worked harder, but that's at least partly because she was born with something in her personality that drives her to work. Does the fact that Sarah is driven to succeed make her any worthier than "go with the flow" Betty?

(Obviously, whether or not Sarah "deserves" more credit, she will reap the fruits of her labors. She'll be financially secure, admired/envied by others, and probably somewhat powerful. There's no debating that; it's the way the world works, after all, and possibly Sarah's example will inspire Betty to work harder than she would if surrounded by only people with her own laid back personality. The question is less practical and more philosophical.)

Is it genetically easier for some people to "be good" and do well in life? How much credit or blame do we deserve, if we're born with our basic personality traits? Is lazy Betty-- born without much natural ambition-- to be blamed more than the artistically challenged "stick-figure Steve"? (Maybe this is why we are told not to judge. Too bad it's so hard not to judge!!)

Carry it another step further-- How much of criminal behavior is based as on genetic predisposition as opposed to training (or the lack thereof) and situation (growing up in a place where criminality is common or even accepted)? Supposedly, some murderers and others with antisocial personality disorders are born without a conscience. They lack the ability to empathize-- to imagine how other people and creatures are feeling-- and this makes it possible for them to do horrible things that most of us couldn't imagine doing. If this is true-- if a person is born without the ability to see that something is terribly wrong-- if their only indication of it being wrong is that other people say "don't do it"-- how much blame do they bear for what they do? (The same questions raised by the old "it's a sickness" argument.)

I won't pretend to know the answer to that. I feel that however much our genes impact our behavior or determine who we are, we are still responsible for what we do with what we're given. We must do our best, but what "our best" is will probably vary somewhat from person to person. Some of us may have to work harder to be what we ought to be, but that doesn't give us an excuse to not behave in the way we know to be right. As for those who are born with such skewed perceptions as to not know what is right. . . if that's ever even truly the case. . . I don't know what we're supposed to do with them. My gut reaction is to banish them from our presence-- i.e. kill them, or at the very least condemn them to a life sentence in prison. But I have to admit that I'm not sure that's what God would want. I'm pretty sure that if someone purposely hurt someone I knew and cared about, my first impulse would be for revenge, whether or not it was right. (Hey, can't get much more honest than that, can you?)

Anyway. . .
As I wrote before, these are just philosophical ponderings. I'm definitely not trying to say that I think something along the lines of "we're all born one way or another-- we have no control over it-- so the concepts of right and wrong are archaic, and it's cruel to punish someone for being 'different'". Not at all!! I think that if there's a genetic component to our personalities (as it seems increasingly evident that there is), it's just interesting-- but we're still individually responsible for our actions. It may help explain a little more clearly why God instructs us to keep an eye on our own thoughts and actions and leave him to be the judge of all others. Maybe we don't know the whole story-- not merely the story of the events in the other person's life, but also the story of what s/he was given to work with.

I also don't advocate the opinion that, if some of us are born with greater ambition and/or abilities than others, it's inherently unfair that people earn different amounts of money, power, and prestige based on their individual gifts. For one thing, who's going to decide how to more fairly distribute those things? (I'd rather leave it up to the DNA lottery, myself. That's how much faith I have in my fellow man to do a better job!) For another-- how many times have we heard of immensely gifted people who still manage to make an utter mess of their lives? Things are just too infinitely complicated for us mere mortals to figure them out, however intelligent some of us may believe we are. ;o)

And to think, this all started because I was annoyed by an article's recommendation that you not give your dog a "popular" name. Come on, it's a dog!! What's the big deal? Don't give him a common name-- but you don't want a name that's too far out there, either!! It's a very delicate balance! Ok, maybe it could be annoying to give your dog a very common name if you're always taking her to dog parks or other places where you might call your dog and end up with twenty other pooches by the same name. For those of us who will never be in that situation, it seems pretty low on the list of things to worry about.

Both my dogs have very popular names-- or at least they have been in recent years-- but we just chose them at random. So how does that happen? Kind of weird, but you see it with kids' names, too. I've heard that "old-fashioned" names come back into style after a few generations. Something about names from the grandparents' generation seeming "out-dated", but those from another generation back seeming new again. My own grandparents' names don't seem very out-dated to me, but when I think of some of their sibling's names. . . Yes, some of those might feel a little old-fashioned. Not that they're bad names, but I have a hard time picturing a child with those names. An older person comes to mind, instead.

Ok, that's much more than enough rambling for one day. I'm not sure how much housecleaning ambition I was born with, but today I need to scrape together as much of it as I can. ;o)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Alabama Snow

Cardinal in Crabapple Tree
Originally uploaded by victorandcarrie

Over the weekend, we got nothing but cold rain, but a little further north, my sister and brother-in-law had a little snow. (See photo above.)

From what I've heard, it didn't last long, but snow is snow. ;o)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday's Feast

Oops. I'm having to edit this, because I forgot to list three things on my desk!

A meme, courtesy of Friday's Feast:

What is your favorite beverage?

Dr. Pepper. I'm usually not too choosy about whether it's "the real thing" or a store brand approximation, but I've found that I don't like the Winn Dixie version (Dr. Chek, I think it's called) very much.

I keep telling myself that I'm trying to cut back on soft drinks. I know I don't need all that extra sugar (and other stuff). I also know from experience that once I make myself stop drinking them, I don't usually miss them that much after the first day or two. So far, however, I haven't forced myself to give them up. If they're in the house, I'm probably going to drink them, but I can't very well stop buying all soft drinks, because Donald drinks them, too. Well, he doesn't drink Dr. Pepper, and since that's my main cola addiction, I can go a long way by excluding them from the pantry.

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.

This desk in the "main room" is more "mine" than the one in the office, even though the computer monitor is smaller and the computer's nothing fancy. I use this one 95% of the time. (That is, 95% of the time that I'm using a computer. Not 95% of my time, total. ;o) Just to make sure that's clear. . .)

So, three things on this desk. . . (I did something similar to this just a few days ago, coincidentally!) . . .

1. A glass full of pens and scissors. I've had a glass of writing instruments on my desk (at home) since I was a little girl. In the old days, it was usually a coffee mug. This one's a clear glass (with a slightly greenish tinge-- I love that kind of glass!) embossed with the image of a cow and the words "ABSOLUTLY PURE MILK". This is one of the things Donald brought from Sweden-- thus the "absolutly" instead of "absolutely". (g) I don't think it's a reference to Absolut Vodka-- just a typo.

2. A mail order catalog of Christmas decorations. I think Donald's mother, Britt-Marie, likes seeing these kinds of catalogs from the US, so I'm going to save it for her.

3. A couple of polymer clay pendants that I need to photograph. They're "experimental models" made from translucent polymer clay and some card-making flocking I bought on sale a week or two ago. Salad
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?

Honestly (ha ha), I think it depends on the situation. In general, I'm pretty honest. A 9, maybe? However, I'm not someone who feels honor-bound to tell everyone everything-- especially if no good will come of it. There's such a thing as discretion. Sometimes it's necessary to tell a little white lie to protect someone from needless embarrassment or pain, and I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as it doesn't materially damage someone else.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?

Hm. . . I've never thought about this before. I'm sure there are plenty of cities out there with weird names that could use a change, but nothing jumps out at me. I suppose I might change the name of my hometown. There's nothing wrong with its real name, but it's a bit ho-hum. It'd be nice to live in a place with a more romantic name. (g)

What stresses you out? What calms you down?

Some sources of stress:

  • bad news about the state of the world
  • most "health news"-- I just don't want to see, hear, or read it.
  • doctor's appointments
  • spending lots of time interacting with "new" people
  • Daisy's seizures (when there are lots of them)
  • the realization of the relentlessness of time :o(
  • trying to make the "right" decision when I'm not sure what that is
Some sources of calm:
  • nature -- trees, wind, water, sunshine, moonlight, clouds, sunsets
  • Donald
  • my dogs -- petting them, talking to them
  • prayer
  • a really good (familiar) book, movie, or TV show
  • getting lost for an hour in a hobby
  • being home-- shutting out the rest of the world for a while
  • a relaxing back-and-shoulder massage
  • (some) music
  • comfort food

Thursday, January 17, 2008


While refilling the dogs' food bowl (outside, on the back porch), I just found a black widow, lying belly-up not far from the bowl. I don't know if it was dying or just stunned by the cool weather, but it wasn't completely dead yet, as I discovered when I was trying to slide a piece of paper under it. (As for why I would so such a thing-- I wanted a closer look at it, but of course dogs always have to be right under your nose, and I didn't want them seeing it and nosing it-- or accidentally stepping on it.)

Anyway, at the first sign of motion I panicked and squashed it, so it's certainly dead now-- but I have to wonder if there are more (or an egg sac) in some nook or cranny of the porch. I guess I need to go spider hunting. Always lots of fun. ;o)

Thursday Meme

From The Back Porch:

::Apple Pie Crust::

Onesome: Apple-- turnovers? Bear claws? Do you have a favorite pastry? You know, the one you can't pass up no matter what!

I'm not 100% sure what qualifies as a pastry. Are plain glazed doughnuts (Krispy Kreme style) pastries, for instance? (I love those. Plain/glazed, with no nasty filling to ruin the flavor, please.) I haven't had a whole lot of pastries with fillings in the past several years, but I used to be fond of cinnamon bear claws and blueberry and cream cheese danishes. (I like lots of other things, too, that I'm not sure would qualify as "pastries"-- pecan pinwheels, glazed cinnamon rolls, etc.) I generally prefer desserts without too much fruit to distract from the sugar, though I'll make the occasional exception. (g)

Twosome: Pie-- or cake? You're out to dinner and you get your choice: What do you go for? ...or do you simply have to have the creme brulee?

I think I will almost always choose cake over pie. Like I said, I'm not too impressed by most fruit-filled desserts. They're ok, but I'd rather have iced cake, some yummy cookies or "bars", or "candy".

Threesome: Crust--makes the pie, ya' think? Which pie absolutely has to have the proper crust or it just doesn't work for you?

As you might have deduced by now ;o) I'm not a connoisseur of pie, so I can't really say much on this subject. The one pie that sounds remotely appealing to me right now is key lime pie, and if I recall correctly, that has more of a crumbly graham cracker crust than a traditional flaky baked crust, right? All things considered, it's probably best if I leave this matter to more experienced pie-eaters.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Semi Random YouTube Clips

I went there hoping to find "Lassie" by the Ainsbruck Singers, but I didn't. :o(

So instead of that, you get these. (g)
These are all clips of The Wailin' Jennys, a group I've mentioned here a few times before.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Situation Sunday -- a meme

This is a meme I haven't participated in before: Situation Sunday.

Situation #1: You have purchased property, 2 acres. You have a house and have been living very comfortable for the last 4 years. There is a knock on your door......it is the local Historian. They tell you that your house and property is in a historic site. The was the Civil war and numerous bodies are scattered just 3 feet below the earth all around your yard. With your permission they would like to start digging them up and putting them all together in one section. WHAT DO YOU DO?

I might not be very happy about it, but in the end, I'd have to let them move the bodies to one part of the property-- preferably somewhere out back so that the graveyard wouldn't be the first thing people saw when they came to my house. ;o)

My major stipulations would be that they work quickly and that they put the yard back in as good condition as they found it-- no sinkholes. They'd also have to put down sod or something where they tore up the grass. After that. . . I'd just hope that there wouldn't be too many people wanting to come "sight-seeing" at the cemetery.

I probably wouldn't want to stand around and see the bodies being exhumed, but other than that. . . (shrug) What are you going to do? Besides, once I knew they were there, I'd rather have them all in one place instead of scattered all through the yard. It's somewhat less creepy that way. (g)

Situation # 2: You are driving all alone on a country road. You are on your way home. Your home is located way out in the sticks, about 5 miles to civilization. As you are driving you notice a car in the rear view mirror.....after 2 miles the car is still following you but they now have turned off their head lights.....WHAT DO YOU DO?

Scary! I'd try to find my cell phone and call 911. Other than that. . . I guess I'd just try to stay on the road for as long as possible. As long as we're each in our separate cars, I'm safe(r). If they tried to ram me. . . I'm not sure. Speed up and try to outrun them? If possible, maybe go off the road and try to circle back going the opposite direction (i.e. toward civilization and more people).

. . .What about you? ;o)

Friday, January 11, 2008

You really can find anything. . .

Anything-- even if you weren't even looking for it in the first place. ;o)

Fans of light verse might enjoy the OEDILF-- the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form.

Friday's Feast

Today's meme, from Friday's Feast:

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?

As I have an unusual first name, I've written about this before, but here's a brief recap-- No, I wouldn't change my name. I've had it long enough, now, that I'd have trouble thinking of myself by another name. (I decided that back in Kindergarten, when the other kids were temporarily calling me by my middle name.)

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?

If I designed what I wear, it'd be mostly jeans (with an occasional non-denim pair of pants) and tailored/fitted tops. All sorts of colors-- everything from black and drab olive to aqua and magenta.

If we're talking total fantasy, I'd like to design clothes with a retro/vintage feel. Bring back the hat and glove (for more than fashion models)! ;o) Again, I wouldn't want to be restricted in my color choices-- or my fabrics-- but instead, I'd do a little of everything. Anything that caught my eye would be fair game. Pair a brown tweed skirt with a frilly silk top, for instance, and throw in a pair of thigh-high leather boots for good measure! (g) I'd like to bring back the long, flowing empire-waisted gowns (like you see in Austen flicks) for more than just formal occasions.

Now, would anyone (including myself) actually want to wear this stuff? I don't know.

What is your least favorite chore, and why?

Oh, there are so many non-favorites! How do I choose just one? ;o)

At the moment, I think my least favorite is dusting. It's just such a pain, getting in all those nooks and crannies, and it doesn't seem to last at all. Maybe this is what I get for actually enjoying dusting when I was younger.

I may try to get rid of (or temporarily box up) some knick-knacks in an attempt to somewhat decrease the number of things I have to dust. I'm not really a minimalist at heart, but I'm a lazy housekeeper. (g)

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?

I used to be really scared of deep water. I was even uneasy walking on a large, sturdy pier with guard rails. I'm not quite that frightened now, but if I were in a small boat without a life jacket, I'd be pretty nervous. I can't trace it back to any specific event, but probably it came from being told (as a child) to be careful of water, since I could drown. That and not knowing how to swim have made me a bit cautious. ;o)

I'm similarly frightened of snakes, but again, I think that's a legitimate fear. I live in a place that has venomous species, so they are a potential source of danger. I'm sure I was also taught to avoid (and thus fear) snakes. I'm not so scared of snakes that I can't be in the same room with them or look at them without terror, but I like to keep a safe distance. (Even the non-venomous ones can give a nasty bite.)

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.

I'm in the living room/"main room" of our house, facing into a corner (because that's where the desk is).

Three things I can see at this moment include the following:
  1. A stack of papers I need to go through (various notes I've taken on everything from quilting and polymer clay to eyeglass frames and websites of interest).
  2. A photo display with tiny pictures from my wedding.
  3. A framed ribbon embroidery (a heart made up of roses and other flowers) given to us by Donald's mother.

Look! It's a non-memey post! ;o)

I figured it was about time for a break from the memes. (Now I just have to figure out what to write about. . .) I think this post is going to take the form of random snippets, so prepare for a modge-podge of topics with little or no transition between subjects. Or in other words, the usual.


Last night I dreamed-- what? You aren't all that interested in my dreams? Well, too bad! ;o) As I was saying, I dreamed that I had a dog that suddenly starting singing. In English. She only knew a line or two from each song, but I still considered this to be rather impressive. For a dog. ;o) She was even able to answer simple questions, so she understood English and wasn't just mimicking it. As I said, I was impressed by this hidden ability, but looking back, I wasn't quite as impressed as I ought to have been. (g) It's strange how we easily accept almost any bizarre thing in our dreams, isn't it?


Yesterday afternoon, I went for a walk (to soak up the drama of overcast skies and rising winds). I was preoccupied with taking photos and watching for snakes. (I'd seen one while driving, earlier in the day, so I figured the warmer weather might have them "on the move" again. The frogs were also singing beautifully-- more evidence that cold-blooded things were enjoying the warm snap.)

As I neared a turn in my path, there was a sudden hissing sound. I looked up, expecting to see a cat-- and a large one, by the sound of it-- but instead saw a deer bounding away. Another-- a buck-- broke out of the brush on one side of the clearing and went crashing into the tall grasses on the other side. There were several more crashes, each growing more and more distant, as they continued to flee. (I must look scarier than I thought.)

It's so startling when deer do that. (Deer, and also doves. They both make the most awful racket when you surprise them!) I just hope they always make the decision to run in the right direction-- away from me! I don't like to imagine how much it could hurt to have a deer run full speed into a person.


I was a little bit more cautious than usual on that walk, and not just because of snakes. This was the first solo walk I'd taken (not counting trips to the mailbox and back) since hearing about a vicious dog attack. Evidently a woman I met briefly on a polymer clay forum was killed by three or four bulldogs. The dogs attacked her while she was taking her daily walk. (Later that day, the same dogs also killed an elderly man.) This happened just a day after she responded to something I'd written on a forum thread. That certainly brings home the reality of animal attacks.

Obviously something like that makes you consider your own mortality. Remember those two large dogs that were running on our property not too long ago? The ones I thought I heard growling? What would have happened if I'd come across them while out walking? Probably nothing serious, but you never know.

I'd really like to have a can of pepper spray to take with me-- on walks, on hikes (when on vacation), in my purse for when I'm shopping alone. Where do they sell that these days? I used to see little cans for sale here and there (usually near the check-out, I think), but I haven't noticed any for years.

Be careful, everyone. There are too many people who don't understand the necessity of keeping their potentially lethal pets in an adequately fenced yard.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Warning: Yet another pointless meme. . .

I can't help it. I like doing these silly things. They're addictive! (But this will be the last iPod meme for a while, I think. (g))

Ok, so here's the scenario: You're in charge of putting together the soundtrack for a movie (looks like it might even be a movie about your own life), but you forget about it until the last minute. What to do? ;o)

1. Open up your library (iTunes, Winamp, iPod, etc.).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every "scene" listed below, type the song that’s playing. When you go to a new question, press the next button (or listen to the whole song, if it's that great).
6. No repeat artists. If you get an artist twice, hit the button again until you get someone new.
7. No cheating. (It's more fun to let it be random.)

Opening Credits: Porcelain -- Moby
(Nice song, but didn't they already use this for The Beach?)

Song for a Winter’s Night: Against All Odds -- Phil Collins
(What does this category mean?)

First Day of School: Hey You -- Pink Floyd
(Sounds like a scary school-- especially for the first day of school!)

Falling in Love: Scarborough Fair -- Simon and Garfunkel
(Kind of a creepy song for falling in love, since it's about the aftermath of failed love.)

Breaking up: Sunshine on My Shoulders -- John Denver
(Odd choice for a breaking up song, but maybe it'll work if you show glowy flashback shots of the broken-up couple in happier times.)

Prom: Here Comes the Sun -- The Beatles
(A bit hippy-ish for a late 1990's prom. . . But then again, some of my friends were big Beatles fans. (shrug))

Life’s OK: Storms in Africa -- Enya
(Doesn't sound like "life's OK", with a title with the word "storms" in it-- but despite the title, the song has a pretty upbeat feeling, I think.)

Mental Breakdown: Teardrop -- Massive Attack
(Yeah, that sounds about right. (g) I'm really not sure what this one's supposed to be about-- I just like the sound of it.)

Driving: Forever Young -- Alpahville
(Yes, if you're doing the right kind of driving-- no traffic, interesting road, nice scenery-- it can be just the kind of thing to trick you into feeling that you'll always be young and happy. Or something like that. Just don't listen to all the lyrics. All that stuff about "The Bomb" can bring ya down real fast. (g))

Flashback: Wuthering Heights -- Kate Bush
(I'm just wondering what event in my life would deserve a flashback to this song. (laugh) This is one of those songs that I listened to at first just in bewilderment, but after a while it grew on me. It's definitely different.)

Getting Back Together: The March Air -- Nightnoise
(No lyrics to the contrary. So it'll do fine for "getting back together". Especially if the people getting back together are doing so in Ireland or some other lovely green place, in a golden misty evening.)

Wedding Scene: Love Rollercoaster -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
(LOL! Well, maybe this would be an appropriate wedding theme for some people, but not for us. Not quite dignified or restrained enough.)

Honeymoon Scene: Unchained Melody -- The Righteous Brothers
(This one was "supposed" to be "Under the Bridge", which gave me a good laugh, since that's *not* much of a scene for a honeymoon, but as I've already had some Red Hot Chili Peppers on this list, I had to go on to the next one. And who could ever argue with "Unchained Melody" after seeing Ghost? Maybe it's a little bit sad for a honeymoon, but other than that, no complaints.)

Shelter: The Kiss -- from The Last of the Mohicans
(Has nothing to do with shelter, as far as I know, but I love this song, so I'd leave it in anyway.)

Birth of Child: Av Längtan Till Dig -- Cajsa Stina Åkerström
(I think it's a love song, but other than that, I'm not sure. It's Swedish, by the way.)

Final Battle: Dream a Little Dream of Me -- Sissel Kyrkjebø
((g) This must be a very surreal final battle! I'm picturing it all in slo-mo, bullets drifting lazily by and swords gliding through the air in a ballet of blades. . .)

Death Scene: Theme from Somewhere in Time
(What a sad song! So appropriate! I saw this film for the first time in the last year or so, I think. I still don't see why he couldn't have recovered and gone back in time, but I guess that wouldn't have been dramatic enough.)

Funeral Scene: Air on the G String -- Bach
(Absolutely beautiful. A bit formal, perhaps-- and maybe people'd think you took yourself a bit too seriously-- but if not at your funeral, when will you ever have a better excuse for this sort of thing? Right? (g))

End Credits: Morphing Thru Time -- Enigma
(Well, why not? I like the chanting monks. (g))

The "Five Things" Meme

Have I done this one before? I can't remember. . .

Five Things. . .

. . . that can be found in my room:
(I guess this sort of thing is geared toward "kids", because I haven't referred to a room as "my room" since I was living with my parents. And most of the time it was a room I shared with one of my sisters. (g) I assume the question refers to the bed room, so that's how I'll answer, though the craft room is closer to being "all mine".)
  1. The ironing board and iron. (I'm in the midst of catching up on the ironing.)
  2. A bag of hand-me-down capri jeans that I need to try on. (I love hand-me-downs! Free clothes! (g))
  3. A stack of clothes I'm going to "hand down" to someone else-- or donate to Goodwill, if no-one's interested. I still need to go through some of my clothes, and Donald's, too. If you aren't going to wear it, you might as well pass it along to someone else and make room for something else.
  4. Our un-made bed. (It's usually made by now, if it's going to be made, but I'm running late, since I went grocery shopping today.)
  5. A rather dusty vanity cluttered with jewelry of all kinds. (None of it of any great monetary value, for all you cat burglars out there who might be reading this.) I really need to put things away and get out the dust cloth. . .
(That makes our bed room sound pretty messy, but it's really not that bad. (g) Well, maybe it isn't quite ready to be photographed and featured in a decorator's magazine.)

. . . I've always wanted to do:
(Maybe not always wanted to do, since our goals in life change over time. These are a few of the things that come to mind at the moment. Oh, and these are things that I haven't already done.)
  1. Be a published author. (But if I really wanted it badly enough, you'd think I'd spend more time-- any time-- writing something that wasn't a blog, a to-do list, or website content.)
  2. Be able to do back handsprings. (They look like so much fun! But I seriously doubt I'll ever do this. I'm too worried about breaking my wrists. (g))
  3. Have a gorgeous garden-- or just a gorgeous spot in my garden-- and host some sort of (small-scale, friends and family only) shindig out in it, with candlelit lanterns hanging here and there. (This one is certainly do-able, if I'd just put in the man-hours on the gardening.)
  4. Learn to swim? (Kind of, maybe? I probably ought to change that to "I'd like to already know how to swim." (g) The learning part I'm not so excited about, but I know it'd be a good skill to have.)
  5. Be a great homemaker. I'd like to keep an immaculate house, put delicious food on the table, create a warm, homey environment-- and yet not feel that housework and cooking is all I ever do. Hey, there's nothing saying that these five things have to be within the realm of possibility! ;o) I definitely don't want to be someone who worries so much about keeping the house clean that I don't enjoy life or let my family relax in their own home. At this point, I don't think there's much risk of that happening, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about.
. . . in my bag right now:
(Have to run and fetch it. . . Oopf! It's heavier than I remembered. Well, there are many more than five things in there, so I'll have to narrow it down.)
  1. 20 Questions game "orb". (Ha! I didn't even know that was in there. No wonder this bag's so heavy, if there's stuff like that in it!) This was what I got at the game of Dirty Santa I mentioned before Christmas. It's pretty amazing how often it "reads your mind"!
  2. A key ring with all my little "card chips" on it. "Card chips" are those teensy things they give you (along with a credit card-size card) every time you sign up with a store's "saver program". I'm annoyed that they make me sign up to take advantage of their sales, but at least this way they're all in one place, and I don't have to carry the whole card.
  3. Germ-X hand sanitizer. Because it's a nasty, nasty world out there. ;o)
  4. Hairbrush. Because it's also a windy, windy world, and my hair tangles if you think mean thoughts about it, much less give it a harsh glance. (g)
  5. No fewer than four ink pens. I don't know why. I guess it's in case pens #1, 2, and 3 suddenly run dry and I finally figure out how to solve all the world's problems.
. . . in my wallet:
  1. Plastic money. (You know what I mean.)
  2. Receipts.
  3. Cash (in bills and coins).
  4. More plastic cards -- two library cards (two different counties), driver's license, Sam's membership card, (old) insurance card, etc.
  5. Burke's Outlet frequent shopper card. (Only forty more dollars and I get 20% off my whole purchase! (g))
. . . I'm currently "into":
  1. iPod memes. (There's one more I've already done, which I'll probably post immediately after this, but after that, I think I'm finished for a while. (g))
  2. Cherry Cordial Hershey's Kisses. (Doesn't coincide well with my hopes for losing a little weight, but man, are they ever delicious!)
  3. The 2006 version of Jane Eyre. (I think I wasn't completely sold on it, the first time I saw it, but the more I see of it, the better I like it.)
  4. The "faux ceramic" polymer clay technique. (Haven't used it in months, but I'm thinking about it again.)
  5. Getting the house back to order and my life back into a routine (a better one, I hope) now that the hectic holiday season is over.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another round with the all-knowing iPod (impostor)--

Because I enjoyed the other one, even if no-one else did. ;o)

(I take a certain degree of pleasure in writing sentence fragments-- sometimes even beginning with the word "because". Teachers always used to say that you had to know the rules before you were allowed to break them. I guess I know enough of the rules by now, and I'm not being graded these days, thank goodness.)

Same instructions as before:
1. Set you iPod (or other mp3 player) to "random" (or "shuffle", etc.-- you get the point).
2. Let the title of the song that pops up be the answer to the first question.
3. Continue from one random song to the next until you've completed the questionnaire.
4. Feel free to comment on the answers generated by your all-knowing iPod. ;o)
5. Cheaters will be punished. (You don't want to find out how. . .)
6. Everyone's invited to play along. Come up with some of your own questions, too, if you like!

What makes me giggle uncontrollably?
Bitter Sweet Symphony -- The Verve
I have a *weird* sense of humor!

What always brings a tear to my eye?
We Are All Made of Stars -- Moby

What makes me madder than a hornet?
Shadows in Silence -- Enigma
Apparently, it's very easy to incur my wrath. Shadows and silence are generally thought fairly unobtrusive things. Lots of Enigma popping up, considering there's just one album of theirs on here. . .

What's my hidden talent?
Everywhere -- Moustache
Now, if the question had been "*where's* my hidden talent". . . As it is, I'm confused. I hope it's not trying to tell me that my hidden talent is a *mustache*!

What should I do for the weekend?
Le Moulin -- Amélie soundtrack
I think that means "the mill" in French. I don't know of any nearby mills to visit, however. Unless. . . it means the paper mill in Mobile? (Is that still even running these days?) In any case, not my idea of a great place to go for the weekend.

What would I do for a Klondike bar?
A Whiter Shade of Pale -- Sarah Brightman
So. . . stand out in the cold until I'm a whiter shade of pale? I'm not sure. I've never understood the lyrics of this song. (Maybe that's the point.) It always makes me think of The Canterbury Tales ("as the miller told his tale").

What kind of driver am I?
Mrs. Robinson -- Simon and Garfunkel
??? What kind of driver was Mrs. Robinson? I don't think I like being compared to her, even on the merits of our respective driving styles. ;o)

How would you (the mp3 player) describe my diet?
Avila -- The Wailin' Jennys
Makes no sense whatsoever. I've always assumed "Avila" was supposed to be the name of the town in the song. Ok, I think I'll hit the button again and see if the next song is any better. (No-- this isn't cheating. (g) After all, I shared the first result, didn't I?)
Sumiregusa -- Enya
I think this means "wild violet" in Japanese. So, evidently Meizu thinks I'm a vegetarian. And not just a regular vegetarian, but one of those really kooky ones who eat flowers. ;o)

What about my housekeeping skillz? ;o)
Some Good Thing -- The Wailin' Jennys
*Another* Wailin' Jennys song?! This thing doesn't really know the meaning of "random". Well, it has the word "good" in it. That's way better than I'd dared to hope!

What's my nom de plume?
Dante's Prayer-- Loreena McKennitt
Hm. If you leave off the "'s". . . Dante Prayer. Sounds like someone who'd write velvet cloaky type things set in medieval times. Maybe tweak the "last name" a bit. . . I'll add it to my list of possibilities. ;o)

What's my family motto?
La Valse Des Vieux Os -- Amélie soundtrack
Well, it *looks* like something that ought to be a family motto. ;o) However, I don't think I've found any threads in the family history leading back to France. As far as I can tell, the title means "The Waltz of the Old Bones". . . or something like that. Conjures up some E.A. Poe for me-- the translation of the name, not the melody itself.

What do my dogs think of me?
Sally's Song -- Danny Elfman (from The Nightmare Before Christmas)
The title doesn't say much, but the song itself is full of hopeless love-- going on caring about someone while not even sure if they notice you. Sounds pretty typical of a loyal dog. We go about our busy lives, sometimes taking for granted their silent devotion. (sniffle) I need to go visit the puppies after this. . . ;o)

What's the name of my perfect shade of lipstick?
Curly Sue -- from the soundtrack of the movie by that name
Hee hee. Weird name for a lipstick. Let's give it another try and see what my second most perfect shade of lipstick might be. (g)
Ice Dance -- from Edward Scissorhands
Ooh. Sounds pretty. But it sounds like it's more for cool complexions, and I'm "warm". I think. I'm never completely certain of those things. The descriptions are confusing and often contradictory. Besides, I usually just wear whatever I feel like wearing-- cool, warm, or merely lukewarm. ;o)

What do people think when they first taste my cooking?
Ashokan Farewell -- Jay Ungar
Beautiful song, but. . . does that mean that the mere taste of my cooking is enough to make someone think it might be time to say their final goodbyes?

What's the secret to success?
Kiss Me -- Sixpence None the Richer
Hm. Meizu, are you suggesting that I should use my feminine wiles to get ahead? ;o)

What's the meaning of life?

Roxanne -- The Police
You've *got* to be kidding. I feel cheated. I don't even really like this song. (What's it doing on here?) How about I give it another go?
Somebody Said Goodbye -- Enya
Yeah? Well, ok, if that's the best you've got. . . I guess it's meant to remain a mystery. ;o)

What do you (the mp3 player) think of my taste in music?
Bittersweet Me -- R.E.M.
You don't sound very happy. Trust me, you could have had worse luck.

(This is the end of the meme. Kind of abrupt, isn't it?)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Any Colour You Like :o)

Hey! It's the "Ask the All-Knowing iPod" Meme!

(I'm combining a few memes I found on some random strangers' blogs, so I'm not going to bother linking. Besides, do my handful of readers really care where I get this goofy stuff?)

The rules-- Answer the following questions with titles of songs on your iPod. Set the iPod to "shuffle" (or "random"-- whatever the setting's called) and press the forward button to get to the "answer" for the next question (unless you'd rather sit through the whole song, that is). Oh, and if you cheat, the Fates will punish you swiftly and severely. ;o)

You don't have to use an iPod, of course. I'm using our iPod imitation, a Meizu miniplayer. You could also use any program on your computer that allows you to randomize the play list.

What does next year have in store for me?
Heart of Glass -- Blondie
Hm. Doesn't sound too good. (g)

What's my life looking like, romantically speaking?
Follow You Follow Me -- Genesis
Kinda makes sense, doesn't it?

What do I say when life gets hard?
Both Sides, Now -- Joni Mitchell

What do I think of on waking up?
Comfortably Numb-- Pink Floyd
(g) Well, only when I wake to find that I've been sleeping with my arms up over my head again. Does anyone else do that? Very unpleasant-- not at all "comfortable".

What song will I dance to at my wedding?
The One I Love -- R.E.M.
Already had my wedding. There was no dancing-- not our kind of thing, really. But if we had, this wouldn't be the song we'd have chosen, I'm sure. (g) I mean, I like it and all, but I'm pretty sure Donald wouldn't have wanted this one, and really, it's not "wedding material", IMHO.

What do I want as a career?
Invisible Touch -- Genesis
I must have a lot of Genesis on this thing. . . Invisible touch. . . Is that like a superhero power or something? Or just a great skill for a pickpocket? ;o)

My favourite saying?
Sh Boom -- Baldwin and the Whiffles
Oh, yeah, I'm always goin' around saying "Sh Boom, Sh Boom, Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da". Always.

Favourite place?
In the Air Tonight -- Phil Collins
Ok, my Phil Collins obsession is finally coming out into the light of day. ;o)
And, actually, "in the air tonight" IS one of my favorite places to be, provided there aren't too many mosquitoes out.

What do I think of my parents?
A Groovy Kind of Love -- Phil Collins
Meizu. Seriously. Dude.
Folks, I DO have non Genesis/Phil Collins tunes on this thing. I promise. (g)

What's my. . . um, "naughty movie star" name? (Yeah, I edited that.)
Forever Young -- Alphaville
Well, I wouldn't mind being forever young! (If you could leave the "movie star" part of it out, of course.)

Where would I go on a first date?
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) -- Eurythmics
(laughs) I had something to say about this, but maybe it's better to keep that to myself. . .

Drug of choice?
Bad Moon Rising -- Creedence Clearwater Revival

Describe me, iPod!
Only You -- Yaz
Whatever that means. . . I always did thik I had a personality of my own!

What is the thing I like doing most?
Sweetness Follows -- R.E.M.

What is my state of mind like at the moment?
If You Leave -- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Sounds kind of unstable. . .

How will I die?
Down Under -- Men at Work
What does that mean?! Either I'd better resolve never to go to Australia, or. . . Well, at least the question wasn't "Where will I go after I die?" ;o)

Humm. . . I think I may have figured out why I'm getting so many results from a single group/artist. (And no, it's not because that's all that I listen to, ever. (g)) I think I'm randomizing within a single folder, as opposed to through the whole device. (Either that or the "randomizer" just isn't very random today.) I still don't completely understand all the functions on this thing, but I'll try to fix that before continuing with the next leg of the meme.

How does the world see me?
La Soñodora -- Enya
Oh-kaaay. . . I have no idea what that means. Lovely melody, though. :o) Ok, just looked it up. If the site I visited got it right, "La Soñadora" means "The Dreamer".

Will I have a happy life?
The Roundabout -- Enigma
"Roundabout" means "indirect, circuitous". Make of that what you will. Then remember that this is just a silly iPod meme. ;o)

What do my friends think of me?
Skellig -- Loreena McKennitt

How can I make myself happy?
Guilty -- the version from Amélie, whoever's singing that one. . . oh, it was Al Bowlly, according to Wikipedia
Not quite sure what that could mean. Either admit my guilt or. . . be more guilty? ;o)

What should I do with my life?
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) -- Dead or Alive
Take a whole new direction, maybe? ;o)

Will I ever have children?
Reflecting Light -- Sam Phillips
Sounds promising, I'd say. Especially since it's "from" Gilmore Girls, a show about a mother and daughter. (g) What? This is all very scientific, isn't it?

What is some good advice for me?
Begin -- The Wailin' Jennys
It's kind of generic, maybe, but that's good advice for just about anyone. I can certainly apply it to my own life, in a few different ways. (Beautiful harmonies in this one, by the way, as in most of their music.)

How will I be remembered?
End of the Evening -- Nightnoise
I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds nice.

What's my signature dancing song?
Prairie Town -- The Wailin' Jennys
The not-so-random randomizer strikes again!! ;o)
Well, I'm not much of a dancer (in public, at least), so I suppose one song's as good as another. This one's kind of sad, though. The type of thing you'd find yourself dancing to, with teary eyes, on an almost-empty dance floor. . . at some kind of outdoor dance in the middle of Kansas. Or the Canadian midwest, since that's where these women come from. (g)

What's my current theme song?
The Highwayman -- Loreena McKennitt
Hey, I can't complain. ;o)

What do others think is my current theme song?
Why! -- Enigma
(laugh) Maybe so. . .

What shall they play at my funeral?
Once You Had Gold -- Enya
I doubt it, but I suppose it's possible.

What type of men do I like?
Harvest Moon -- Cassandra Wilson
Don't know what that means, but I love this song.

What is my day going to be like?
White Room -- Cream
So. . . a bit wilder and druggier than usual, I guess. ;o)

What do I look like when I first wake up?
White Flag -- Dido
As in "I surrender, just turn off that darn alarm"? (Of course, the meaning of the song is the opposite of "I surrender". . .)

What's the song title that you'll put as the subject of this post?
Any Colour You Like -- Pink Floyd
Ok, if you say so!

I don't tag people (not many of my readers have public blogs, and I don't want to irritate the few who do by tagging them every other day), but if you're of a mind to follow suit, then please do so! :o)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sweden's Answer to ELVIS. . .

Elvis is very popular (among a certain crowd, at least) in Sweden. Today, I was introduced to Sweden's most. . . unique ;o) Elvis impersonator, a man by the name of Eilert Pilarm:

For those of you who might be wondering-- no, he's not singing a Swedish translation of these Elvis classics. He's singing them in English (sort of). (g)

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's the shelt-sheltiest time of the year!

The sheltie lovers among you might be interested in a few photos I just uploaded to Flickr.


Donald took these on Christmas Day, when we were over at my parents' house. They're mostly of Kolby (oops, just typed "Sheltie" by accident-- very creative name, that would be!), but there's one for the Mandy fans, too. (g)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

~ ~ shiver ~ ~

Oh, and by the way, did you non-local folks notice (because I know that anyone living here already knows (g)) that the little weather widget to the right indicates that our low tonight is going to be in the teens?

Come on, now! Even you Swedes have to admit it-- that's pretty cold! ;o)

Better go throw an extra blanket on the bed!

Aren't people funny?

A couple of weeks ago, I uploaded the photo below to my flickr account. Just for a little fun, because I was already uploading a couple other photos, anyway.

Hershey's Kiss

Now it has over 30 views. (More than some of my "real" photos!) (g) Who'd have thought there'd be so many people wanting a closer look at an extra-long Hershey's kiss banner?! ;o) I imagine most of them were just trying to figure out what the photo was and why I'd bothered putting it "out there" for all the world to see, but it still amused me. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very happy new year. :o) Let's try to enjoy every day!

We spent New Year's Eve quietly at home, watching a couple of movies and playing some Boggle to pass the time. We made it till midnight, but it wasn't as easy as it used to be. (g) It's kind of sad that now that I'm "old enough" to stay up until midnight every night (if I want) it no longer holds the same appeal it once did. I think I'm more of a morning person. (Maybe I shouldn't admit it. Morning people are generally reviled as unnatural creatures. ;o) Does it help if I add that I'm a morning person for an hour or two, and then I get tired again?)

After a while, we'll head over to a last-minute family lunch at Aunt Cathy and Uncle Doug's house, where we'll eat some black-eyed peas to ensure that 2008 will be a prosperous year. ;o)

They say that whatever you do on New Year's Day will set the tone for the rest of the year-- that you'll be doing that same thing all year long. It's a good thing I don't believe in the old superstition, since poor Daisy's been having a few seizures today. (Well, she probably will have them off and on through the whole year, but not every single day, I hope!)

I suppose that's all I have to say. Time to get to work on some of those resolutions! (g)