Saturday, October 31, 2009


Best costume all night from a Trick or Treater

M who is deathly afraid of spiders, actually put a spider whistle in her mouth. I had to get a picture of it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Funny Stuff

Okay, so I felt in the mood for fun music or something funny. So I went over to YouTube to look at videos and this was on their most recent list. So I click on it and am trying to figure out what this chick is up to. Apparently she's gone into the Apple Store more than once to dance on camera and post it to the Internet. Here's her comment for this video: "Okay I know.. no more Apple store videos, but I HAD to post this because I almost got kicked out for the first time ever!" That made me laugh. I know I wouldn't have the nerve to dance in public and just go for it like she did.

Here's a Louis Black skit. I find him amusing, but be warned, he's quite fond of the F-word in this clip, so keep the sound down if there are kids around.

Then, this public indoctrination film from the 1950s is also always good for a laugh. "Go on kids, hide under your desk. It will protect you from a nuclear attack." Is it any wonder why we don't trust our government?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Preparing for the onslaught

It's almost that time again, decorating, candy, costumes. I remembered last year, the gargoyle we made, two years ago now, didn't survive a year in the basement very well. The flour and water paste we used on the newspaper for its papier mache body had disintegrated a little bit. Also the fall from the roof when we took him down put some heavy-duty cracks in his leg and wing. I knew to check it earlier this year and anticipated some repairs. Man! The holes in that monster were bigger and more wide spread. It looked like a flock of moths had gotten to it. They hadn't, our basement is dark, cool and dry. Still, I had my work cut out for me.

This time I chose to use a watered down drywall paste to make the papier mache with and repair the gargoyle. I worked on patching his wing and repairing his leg. This so far is looking pretty cool. It's giving the gargoyle a harder shell and making him more stable. It's also making him heavier. I left him in the garage overnight to dry. I'll find out today if the weight of the drywall paste on his wings was too much weight or not. Next I have to patch some spots on his belly and underside of his neck, then when he's dry I can spray paint on that gray flecked paint that makes him look like stone. I'll post another picture when he's done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tending Family

So these are shots of my home town - Owego, New York. The Susquehanna River runs through the town. These pictures were taken atop Evergreen Cemetery, known to the locals as Cemetery Hill. We were standing in front of the grave of Sasana Loft. It's quite the gathering place.

While we were there, we interrupted the peace and tranquilty of a poor teenager in the midst of teen angst and next thing you know there are car loads of people (adults and kids) and one lady brought doughnuts and began sharing them with everyone, and it was quite the little social gathering. The look on the poor teenager's face was like "and I just wanted to be left alone." It's not something you expect to happen in an old cemetery, but this isn't your average cemetery.

It's old, it's cool, it's hilly, the graves seem haphazardly scattered all over the hills and in every nook and cranny. There are huge old trees, gnarled roots, marble mausaleums, grand family plots with stone memorials and humble little stones just barely popping up above the ground. I've always said this is the only cemetery that doesn't scare me. Although I must admit to being a little creeped out as a child up there at twilight. This was the first stop in our little family outing. I try to go up here every time I go home. I couldn't go up the last time because of all the snow. The road going in is extremely steep and crooked.

This is the place where I would like to be buried, or what's left of me after the organ donations. I want to fit in with my eternal neighbors, so I want a cool tombstone, a soaring angel, wings outstretched ready to take flight, arms reaching upward, ready to be welcomed home into the arms of loved ones who have gone before me. I want my tombstone to reflect my attitude about death, it is not an end, but the next step in the journey. Fearing it is a waste of energy when so many others have already gone before and there's no way to avoid it anyway. So, one last breath before I go, then onward and upward, soaring home. I'd also like this to be a place where people would feel comfortable having a picnic lunch like families used to do ages ago on the weekends. You know, we don't visit cemeteries like our ancestors did. I find that disrespectful on some level.

Which leads me to my next set of photos and our next cemetery. In addition to going to cemetery hill to see my beloved hometown and put flowers on a friend's grave, I also like to visit other cemeteries where family members are buried, clean their graves off and leave fresh flowers. Who knows if some part of them remains behind to even be aware of what I'm doing, or if they're in some other place, yet know I've been there. On some level, I want to let them know they have not been forgotten, just as I hope someone will remember me someday.

It's also a chance for me, if I'm alone, to quietly remember, sift through all the memories and images I have of that loved one, remembering who they were, what part of them I carry with me in my own DNA, and to feel a part of something older than myself, bigger than just me, this speck of life floating in the universe.

But it's always a better experience when I have my sister P there. Sometimes it's just quiet and we search for the graves, other times, she might remember something about the family member and share that piece of family history with me, revealing things I was too young to know or remember at the time. This is also a way to reconnect with my sister, my past and remember, not all of it was awful. We are all flawed human beings, we make mistakes, sometimes we hurt the people closest to us, but if we're lucky, we're forgiven and loved in spite of ourselves and our mistakes.

So tending to family members for me is a form of redemption. A reclamation of my identity that too easily gets lost while I am out in the big, bad world, so far away from my origins and my people. It's a way for me to remind myself, this is who I am. This is where I am from. This is my history.

These people are my family. This is who I look like, this is where I get my love of writing, my excess energy in the morning, my German tendency to clean and have things neat, tidy and organized. I am a composite of all those who came before, and I am the seed for those who will come after. I am part of a continuum, and when you look at it that way, death is not so scary, it's not really an end.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Watkins Glen & Buttermilk Falls

So has it been over a week since I last posted? Wow. Well, I finished grading all those exams and thought I'd pop on here before I begin the next batch of grading. *sigh* Rather than yakking non-stop I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. It's more peaceful that way and you can maybe enjoy the Glen like we did, in the early morning, a cool mist as the rains ended and the sounds of rushing water and birds all around. Here's a live web cam link set up on Lake Seneca Harbor near the Glen. Live Web Cam Here's the Wiki about Watkins Glen, NY Oh, and click on the photos to make them larger. They look so much better than these little shots can show.

This last picture was taken at Buttermilk Falls, about 25 minutes from Watkins Glen. It's a State Park and we rented a cabin there. Very nice, very cheap, very deserted. We were there the last week of the season. It got down to 41 the second night we were there. That might explain the absence of tourists. Buttermilk Falls State Park

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trying to Play Catch-up

Okay, so Baconfest came and went and I didn't do a post. My batteries ran out in my camera and because the event got so large this year (over 50 attendees and 34 submissions) it was held outdoors and my camera phone couldn't get good pictures in the twilight and dark. :-(

So this weekend we made a fast run up to NY to see my sister, P, and to eat spiedies and doughnuts (of course). We also hiked Watkins Glen and I'll have great pictures to share after I get through grading 105 essays and 420 IDs from the exam I gave last week. *sigh* You can run away for the weekend but all that work will be waiting for you when you return. Hey, what do you think of this pic? I took it in Watkins Glen. It had been misting and raining for the early morning but cleared up while we were hiking. I thought the water and colors were so vibrant!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Single Ladies

Okay, now this is not up there with the cult following of the Hitler's Downfall videos, but there are quite a few of these take-offs on Beyonce's "All the single ladies." Here are some of the more enjoyable ones that I found.

Beyonce's Original Video

This baby has some moves!

Joe Jonas?! Really?

I don't know if you've seen the new series "Glee" but it's awesome! This was from one of the episodes. Wait for it, it's good.

I'm still trying to find one of the earliest take off videos of the teenage guy who does this in his bedroom. His choreography was amazing. I think he even went on Oprah or Ellen or something because it was so good. Anway, after that everyone started making their own videos. I'll keep looking.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today's Video News

In case you missed any of these, here are some stories that got my attention.
A broken wrist is a pre-existing condition and we don't need healthcare reform. Right.

Holy crap! As the mom says in the video, that thing is prehistoric, it's massive!! As a mother, I'd be completely freaked out at taking a 5 year old out to hunt alligators.

Does the phrase, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" seem appropriate?