Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress Report

Also known as avoiding work - removing wallpaper
















and its underlining, is a pain in the ass!





Friday, July 30, 2010

Anne Rice leaves Christianity

Author Anne Rice announced that she quit "Chrisianity." She said she refused to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist," “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” She also said, "It's simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group." She also added that she still believes in Christ and will follow his teachings but that "following Christ does not mean following His followers."

CNN Story

Well Anne, I completely understand, been there, done that, and for the same reasons. Connect to God not the humans who try to warp the message for power, control and money. Good luck to you on your journey.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's 10:30 p.m. - Do you know where your dryer is?


Ours is sitting in our side yard smoking, after having an electrical fire when M tried to start it and smoking up our house. It sucks that this happened, but it's great that it happened while we were awake and at home. Life goes on...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Keep Ploughing Through...

I can scarcely believe that I'm THIS close to being done with B's room. Here are the shots from the various angles. Feel free to click on the pictures to see all the dragons.

Gone is all the little boy stuff, and what remains are the things he still likes the best. I've got all his favorite books on the nightstand shelves next to the bed, and I've put all his dragons and knights in various spots around the room. If you look closely in the next picture, over top the window, there are tiny little silver things up there. Those are his pewter Vikings. I love putting little things in odd places. I find it's more interesting when looking around a room.

The only thing left I need to do is hang two pictures on the walls over the bed and beside the bed. I had a photo I took of an old sailing ship from Baltimore harbor blown up to go over the bed. I also took a photo of tug boats at Fells Point and that will go beside the bed. It's to subtly keep with the nautical stripes I've got going on in the curtains and bedding.



Now on to the last room, our room, the room that started this whole summer of musical bedrooms. So all our furniture went into B's room. You can tell from the previous pictures that it was a lovely antique bedroom set. Modern black furniture will now be going in our room. It's all because of a set of lamps that I got for M 3 years ago for our anniversary. NOTHING matched those dang lamps. We had to get new furniture, new bedding, and I'll be putting a new color on the walls. I'll show you pictures of it all in another post, but suffice it to say, the lamps were kinda Art Deco, with silver and crystal, with satin burgundy shades. What a headache it's all been! So in this first shot you will notice a pale section of wall. There used to be an exposed chimney there. Very romantic, not at all practical, very hot in summer, very cold and drafty in winter. A couple years back M's brother sheetrocked the area for us and it's been sitting naked and unpainted ever since, just waiting for this makeover.

So the next step in this room is to finish clearing it out, clean it, and then begin stripping wall paper, if we can. We're pretty sure one wall is sheetrock, but suspect at least 2 of the other 3 walls are plaster and there's no good way of stripping wallpaper from crumbling old plaster. We may end up using drywall patch on the seams of the wallpaper and painting over it if the walls prove to be plastered. Now, you can't really tell in this shot, but yes, just as the entire downstairs was, this bedroom was also countrified! I think this was her ode to the stars and stripes.

Here, look closer. This is what we have been living with for 5 years. The stars aren't so bad, but the plaid wall can be optically blinding in the right light. So, back to work yet again for me.

Hopefully I'll be done within a week and will have the whole room finished. I've already gotten a number of the items for the room and they are elegant and gorgeous! I can't wait until it's all done!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Otherwise Occupied

I've felt like I was melting lately in the 100 degree plus humidity we've been having lately. We've been going to the beach in search of cooler air and staying indoors in the AC as much as possible. Thankfully last night's storm dropped the temps 20 degrees and dropped the humidity. Normal life can now resume.


I have not been slacking while avoiding the heat. I spent all my free time for over a week cleaning out B's bedroom. You have not experienced tedious until you have sorted more than 10 years worth of Legos, Bionacles, K-nex building sets, and Yugi-Oh, Magic and other assorted collectible cards. M kept telling me to just throw it all away. I kept thinking how much it all cost and that maybe my eventual grandkids might like to play with them some day, so I continued sorting. Once that was done, it was time to get rid of the day-glow stripes painted around the room. These stripes were on the walls when we moved in, the room previously belonged to a 5 year old boy. B never complained about the paint colors, so I never knew if they bugged him or if he'd gotten attached to them.

When I texted him and sent him pictures of me repainting the room, he responded with "Yeah" and that he wouldn't miss the stripes. So now the room is repainted and now it's time to move a different set of furniture in there and return some of B's items to his room that he actually uses. All the little boy stuff has been packed in plastic bins and stored in the basement. I'll post a picture once the room is put back together. I did take a number of before and after shots with my phone camera, but accidentally deleted them before storing them on my computer. So this is the best I could do. I'm also nearing the end of my "summer of rotating rooms." It's been a virtual circus trying to get the upstairs in order, just so I could begin a makeover on mine and M's bedroom. We got a new Queen-sized bedroom set in April, that's been waiting in boxes in the garage all this time. So the plan was to take our antique full-sized set and put it in B's room. B's full-sized iron bed would go into Min's room. The open futon in Min's room would go back in the office as a sofa. Before each move could be made, rooms had to be cleaned and the painting done. So the office got finished first in a matter of days. Min's room was next and took 2 days. B's room has taken a couple weeks and after today, I will begin on our room. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment, but I'm trying to finish before M's family arrives for a visit on August 8th.


Oh, one other thing, you're probably not going to believe this. I've been painting rooms for all of my adult life and even back into my teen years. I've always known about edging paintbrushes, but never really thought they would work. So I've been using painter's tape to tape the edges of molding, windows, etc. whenever I painted. I hated the end results. No matter what, some paint would always bleed under the edges of the tape and I would have fuzzy, messy edges. I decided to be bold and reckless and try an edger brush this time. The results you see above in B's room are the first time I ever painted a room WITHOUT ANY painter's tape on the edges. Other than taping down plastic to protect the rug, I did everything freehand. My edges look better than when I used tape. I will never go back to painter's tape. I will forever invest the few extra bucks into a good edging paintbrush. I also got the room painted faster because I didn't have to take time to wrap everything in tape. Yee-Hah! Now back to work for me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I love genetic routlette

It might sound unbelievable, but, a black woman gave birth to a very blonde-haired white baby. The father is also black. The baby is not albino and the couple does not know of any white relatives in their family tree. Doctors are puzzled. Read full Sun article

Sun Video Clip

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heeeee'ssssss Baaaaccccckkkk!

Here's a little chuckle to brighten your day.

Racism


I came across this video today and was reminded of my childhood with a female Archie Bunker for a parent, going from an all-white high school in the North, to a mostly black high school in the South, then on to a mostly Hispanic school in the Southwest. I remembered the distinctive racism of the various regions I lived in. Up North, it was the Puerto Ricans, Sicilians, etc. who were to be feared. In North Carolina, it was the Blacks, in Texas it was the Mexicans. Whoever "the Other" was in any region, that was the group to fear, mistrust, segregate yourself from. I remember thinking even then that it was silly and backward, but yet it persists in our society. I realize we are pack animals, tribal groups and gathering among your own kind was a means of survival for the early part of our human history. After so many centuries though, you'd think we would have evolved a little further than this.

Here's another more obvious video I just saw on another blog about the Tea Party people.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Movie Review - Sorcerer's Apprentice

M and I went to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice late this afternoon, early evening. Yeah, I know, it's a Wednesday, but I had a rough, hyper-busy day and was in need of an alternative reality. I was not disappointed. The film stars Nicholas Cage as master sorcerer - Balthazar, Alfred Molina as a formerly good sorcerer gone bad, aka Balthazar's archnemesis - Maxim Horvath, and Jay Baruchel as Bathazar's apprentice - Dave.

Now you might remember the Mickey Mouse segment of Walt Disney's animated classic, Fantasia. Only one small segment of this movie has any similarity to that animated feature, and that would be the apprentice's disasterous attempt to make the mops and brooms do the cleaning up, and it all goes awry. Everything else about the movie is original and I thought was a very good story, with great special effects.

The movie begins back in ancient times when Merlin the Wizard and Morgana are battling it out. The only one left standing is Balthazar. I won't tell you what happened to Merlin, Morgana, or the other two apprentices, that would spoil the movie for you. Anyway, after that beginning, we follow Balthazar through the centuries as he searches for Merlin's replacement. He finally finds him in modern day Manhattan. The child is only 9-10 years old, not ready to conceive of being a sorcerer when all hell breaks loose for about 2 minutes. Then everything is on hold until ten years later, when Balthazar finally catches up with that child destined to be Merlin's replacement, that would be the apprentice - Dave. Jay Baruchel plays Dave, nerdy, bumbling, sweet, a guy who slowly finds himself and a girl. Well, I don't want to give it all away, but the end of the movie, and few parts in between are cool battles between good and evil sorcerers, climaxing with the greatest battle at the end.

If you're a child, you'll likely enjoy this movie. It's definitely rated-PG, there's no cussing, no nudity, and no inappropriate adult content. The sorcerers' magic might scare some really young tots, but other than that, it's like a good amusement ride, fun, fast, a little scare here and there but a great ride overall. That said, I really enjoyed the story, the special effects, and I found the character of the apprentice, highly likeable. Good job Jay Baruchel! Oh, and Nick Cage doesn't disappoint either. So be sure to go see this movie with your favorite nerd.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And now for some good news

Is the world falling apart, going to hell in a hand-basket? That's what it feels like most of the time. Wouldn't you like a little good news? Wouldn't it be great to hear about progress, enlightenment, technological and medical advances? Those things do still exist.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TEDx program and the annual TED Prize.

Here's a CNN Story that tells you more about what they've already accomplished. It's quite interesting.

Morning Headlines

This genius ranks right up there with people who steal candy from babies and kick puppies:



Is there any body of water in Florida that does NOT have gators in it?


A little beer, a small bet, and the next thing you know...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Abuser, Alcoholic or Mentally Ill?

I've been watching Mel Gibson for years. He was always entertaining in the Lethal Weapon movies with the slightly crazy cop persona he portrayed. Later, he didn't age well, alcohol likely played a role in that. He got busted, there were the alleged racist comments. His marriage dissolved. That could make anybody angry, crazy, turn to self-medication,etc. More recently he had a child with a Russian woman and now that relationship has fallen apart and there are tapes allegedly with Gibson's voice spewing more racial slurs. But which came first, the malady or the self-medicating cure?

Has he always been crazy and it's only in his older years that it's harder for him to keep a handle on it?

Has he always been abusive or an alcoholic? Mel and Robyn were married for 28 years and what, 7 kids? You never heard any mention of him abusing her. He's never been caught on tape saying abusive things to her. But now, get a listen on the last tape at the bottom of this post and Mel's rant against his now former Russian girlfriend is so hateful and controlling!

It's evident that he has been a long-time drinker. He's said as much in older interviews. Has that just now, in later years gotten out of control? Is he self-medicating anger, depression, some other mental illness?

I know it would be very easy to hate the man. Say all sorts of awful things about him, but his decline in recent years has been marked. His lack of control of his drinking, and even his words, sober or drunk has been noticeable. Is he at the early stages of some sort of dementia or Alzheimers?

Some of the early signs of dementia are: personality change, poor or decreased judgment, changes in mood or behavior. Early signs of Alzheimer's can also include changes in mood and personality.

Look at the following interviews with Mel over the years. He starts out okay, but usually half-way through, he gets animated or agitated. He says odd things, and some things you suspect he actually believes.

I don't know. I'm not quite ready to believe he's just an abusive alcoholic. I get the impression there's something else going on here. What do you think?







=====

Update: But wait, there's more:

WORLD EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Mel Gibson's Explosive Racist Rant -- Listen To It Here | RadarOnline.com

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Movie Review

M and I went to see Despicable Me today. M really wanted to see, I did not. CNN Story I've gotten bored with Steve Carell. He seems to play the same two types of guys all the time, either the stupid/nerdy/innocent guy, or the overly confident, socially inept guy. His delivery in his lines, his timing and his tone are so recognizable, that I easily get bored with him in the various roles he plays.

Well, as it turned out, it wasn't as bad as I expected. I think the phony accent he used helped hide some of his traditional delivery. The story was fine, if a little predictable. We were in a theatre surrounded by small children and they seemed to love the movie, so apparently, it was a great movies for kids, a good movie for bigger kids at heart, and had a few funny spots in there as well. For me personally, I would have gotten it on DVD rather than pay the theatre prices to see it, but M wanted to go to the movies, and I always have a good time with her, so why not?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

After the kids go . . .

I have been waiting for the "empty nest" feelings to hit, but they haven't yet. Perhaps it's because I've been too busy with the jobs and with cleaning and re-doing multiple rooms in the house. I actually pulled out my keyboard shortly after Jr. moved out, with every intention of beginning to learn how to play it, and I even started doing my yoga again in the early mornings. All that has fallen by the wayside. There are too many other things to do, and it's been hot and I am tired. Am I a heartless mother because I don't miss my kids yet? Were the end days just stressful enough, that I'm smart enough to be relieved without the guilt? I keep thinking there are things I'm supposed to feel, longings brought back forward that were placed on the back burner while raising the kids, but life just keeps moving on at its normal hectic pace, kids or not.

I keep thinking that who ever I was going to be back in my 20s, when I put my life on hold to raise kids, that I should go back to that person and fulfill those dreams. But then I think back to who I was in my 20s and realize, I had no ambitions, no goals, other than the constant thought that I wanted to be a mother. So, I did become who I wanted to be back in my 20s and further, I went back to college and embarked on various careers as I developed into who I wanted to be in my 30s, that my 20 something self never conceived of. That still leaves me here today, the mom thing behind me. Am I who I want to be? I now have my time and resources back and can do with them as I choose. Do I still want to learn an instrument? Will I ever write the screenplays and books I know are in me, or is a busy life of work, politics, travel and friends enough, without something more?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spring Flowers

I never got around to posting my Spring flowers when they were all in bloom, too busy. Now today with temps in the 100s and desperately wishing for the cool weather of Spring, at least I have the pictures and can remember. Hope its cooler where you are.






























































































Friday, July 2, 2010

It's My Birthday

In honor of my birthday today, I am posting what makes me happy....puppies! German Shepherds in particular. Going home! Going to Vancouver! Doing puzzles! Listening to music! Spending time with loved ones!















M, just because I started the list with puppies doesn't mean I love puppies more than you. I saved the best for last. :-)

And on and on and on

Still busy!  Surprised?  I think this is just the state of my life.  I'm teaching an on-line course, traveling three weeks in a row (MD,...