Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Silent House by the Dixie Chicks

I was watching the Dixie Chicks on VH-1's Storytellers series the other night. They were talking about their song, Silent House. I have the CD that this song is on (Taking the Long Way) and am sure I must have played this song at least a couple of times, but I never realized that it was about Alzheimer's disease until they started talking about it. One line goes, "The books that you read, are in scattered piles, of paper shreds". They explained that one of the their relatives had Alzheimer's, and when this relative realized that she could no longer read, she started shredding her books. This really hit home with me, because on one of my visits to my Mom a while back, she had a little pile of shredded photographs in her bedroom. When I asked her what they were, she said that she had been sorting through old photos, and these were the ones that she no longer wanted. I explained that she could just throw them away, that she didn't have to shred them, and she didn't have an answer for why she was shredding them (keep in mind, she is way before the shredding generation). Anyway, it was really creepy to see arms, torsos, faces of some of my relatives, and I realized, maybe she doesn't know who these people are anymore, and it bothers her to have pictures of "strangers" around. Maybe. Anyway, I strongly urge everybody to (legally, of course) download this song (shameless Dixie Chicks plug), because it's really beautiful, even without the Alzheimer's connection. Here's some partial lyrics:
Every day that will pass you by
Every name that you won't recall
Everything that you made by hand
Everything that you know by heart

And I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
And I'll remember the years
When your mind was clear
How the laughter and life
Filled up this silent house .....
"Silent House" by the Dixie Chicks

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Painting Pictures

I did some more painting yesterday. I finished up the 11" x 14" watercolor landscape experiment - It started out as a watercolor, but I kept on adding acrylics to get the look I wanted, and now it's more acrylic than watercolor. Tried another watercolor last night - bare branches against a cloudy sky that I saw outside my window. Did the background in watercolor and the branches in acrylic - but now the branches are too dark against the watercolor background. So maybe I'll add watercolor leaves to hide the branches, then try again all watercolors. Sigh! I am not getting the results I wanted, but I want to keep trying, until I get something good. Or good enough to satisfy me.

Halloween Card

My mom sent me a Halloween card, which is really touching, since she has Alzheimer's and no longer remembers birthdays, etc. The first time she forgot my birthday was an absolute shock. I mean, I didn't care about the lack of a card, phone call, etc., but, to paraphrase "16 Candles", "Parents live for that shit!"
For Halloween, she must have had her caregiver take her to the store for the card, and then she must have gotten help with my address, since she can't process that kind of stuff anymore. It was a card for a little kid, but that's ok. And here's the good part - she signed it "The Spook", just like she used to before she got Alzheimers.
Very touching.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gas Station Pizza

I admit it - I had some gas station pizza last week. It was last Friday, I had to work late, then I had to go the post office, then I had to get gas. When I went in to pay for the gas there was a display of pizza next to the counter, and it looked and smelled really good, and I was really hungry. So against my better judgement I bought a couple slices, took it home, and you know what? It was actually pretty good pizza.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Time to go to the V-E-T

Here's Rocky.
My cat Rocky had to go to the vet last night for his annual check-up. So I left early from work, went home, got changed, got him in his cat carrier, and off we went. Rocky does not like the vet's office - after the vet tech weighed him, etc., she left us in the room to wait for the vet, and Rocky tried to hide himself under my coat, pushing against my stomach as I stood by the examining table - it was really kind of cute, but I felt bad because he was so scared. Anyway, he is doing fine. His teeth are looking good - He used to have to have his teeth cleaned quite often, which is quite an ordeal for cats, because they have to be anesthesized - but I started added Friskies Dental Diet to his cat food mix, and it really helped! Yes, I will give Friskies a plug here, because their product really works. He has lost a little weight, which is not a bad thing - down to 11.6 pounds from 13 pounds. He is now 14 years old, which the vet said is equivalent to 72 person years.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin

I saw a giant pumpkin going down the road on my way home from work last night. It was on a flatbed trailer being pulled by a truck. This pumpkin had to be at least 4 feet wide by 3 feet tall. Wouldn't it be cool to tow a giant pumpkin down the road?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

So, I was catsitting for my neighbor for two weeks while he was on his honeymoon. Mind you, I did not get an invitation to the wedding. Two weeks of feeding, petting, cleaning the litterbox, bringing in his mail, etc. Know what I got for all this? A lousy t-shirt from the cruiseship. $15.99 - he didn't bother to remove the price tag. Wow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Death Cab for Cutie Video - Very Touching

Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You into the Dark

This is such a touching video!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Music In Our Schools

When I was in the fourth grade, I started violin lessons at school. You couldn't start a band instrument until fifth grade, to give the less popular orchestra instruments a chance. In fifth grade, I started flute lessons in school, which continued until I graduated. For a time, I also took private flute lessons (That poor woman! I never practiced.). I also took drum lessons for a brief time. In high school, I was in the regular chorus, Vestal Voices (select chorus), concert band, jazz band (drums), marching band and field band. Yep, I was a bandie. It was a great way for a shy person like me to make friends and feel accepted. I really, really enjoyed my band experience - we even got to go to Florida once for a competition there. Twenty-five years out, my strongest high school memories are of band. It was a blast to go to competitions, do halftime shows, etc. I didn't care if it was geeky - it was so much fun! So it saddens me that music programs are being cut in favor of "gut" courses - science, math, etc. I know that those courses are very important. But I think I learned more of what matters in band - how to work with other people, how to handle failure (losing competitions), and, most importantly, the sheer joy of doing something you really love. I hope that educators will see that, for kids who don't excel in the classroom, music can be a chance to really shine in something - even if you're not that good at whatever instrument you play, it's still fun to do.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Slippers

These are my slippers. My feet are always freezing, so the slippers keep them warm at night. These absolutely do not have that non-slip rubber stuff on the bottom; what good is a pair of slippers if you can't slide around the kitchen floor in them? I tried wearing the kind with the rubber stuff on the bottom and found that I lurched around like Frankenstein.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Greenwood Park

Here are some pictures of Greenwood Park, where my Mom and I walked two Sundays ago. Lots of Canada Geese on the lake.

Favorite Web Sites

Here are some of my favorite web sites: www.threadbared.com, www.dooce.com, www.foundmagazine.com. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Funeral Slobs

I had to go to a funeral mass yesterday. There were lots of people there, and it was held in a Catholic church. I could not believe how many people were dressed like absolute slobs. Most of the guys were wearing jeans, and out of approximately 100 women there, only two others besides me were wearing dresses/skirts - all the others were in slacks or jeans. Lots of untucked/wrinkled shirts. What happened to respect for the dead?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mini Z

Earlier this summer, I took a kids' ride-on rocking horse and made it into a zebra - Mr. Z. I was at the Sal(vation) Army thrift store after work yesterday and found another rocking horse on springs, about half the size of that one - Mini-Z! I think I'll keep him under the stairs this winter and then paint him in the spring, and either put him with Mr. Z in the garden or keep him up on the porch.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just look the other way

Texas finally called last night (Wednesday). After I called her last Saturday re the minor crisis with my mom, she said she was going to call me last Sunday to keep informed. Yeah. I guess I have a hard time understanding why she would rather slit her wrists than get involved with the care of her (our) mother.

A picture of me

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I superglued my fingers together

OK, so on Sunday night, I needed to glue a bracket onto the back of a picture frame. So I got out the trusty superglue, pulled off the outer cap, unscrewed the inner cap, aimed, squeezed, and ........ glop! A giant glob of superglue went all over the frame, the table, and ..... my fingers, which promptly stuck together! Ran into the bathroom, tried nail polish remover - nope! Finally had to pry my fingers apart. Then tried to clean up the mess on the table, then spent next two days peeling dried superglue off my fingers. All over a lousy bracket.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I experimented with watercolor paints last weekend. I had an acrylic painting that I was trying to finish, and I just couldn't get the clouds right. I thought watercolors might work, so I went to the dollar store and got a set of kids' watercolors. They worked out great for the clouds, and the painting went so much faster than with the acrylics, I got out a blank 4 x 6 canvas and whipped out a watercolor landscape in about 15 minutes, which is about 10 times faster than the acrylics take! So I'm going to give watercolors a go for a while & see what happens.

The pigsty next door

So, my next door neighbor got married on Saturday, to which I was not invited, and now I am catsitting for two weeks while he is on his honeymoon. The worst part is, his apartment is an absolute pigsty. Clothes heaped in piles everywhere. Boxes piled on boxes, so you can't even get to the windows to open the blinds, which he always keeps closed. A cast iron pan on the stove with about 1/4" of grease in it. Dirty dishes in the sink full of dirty water. Keep in mind, he went away for two weeks and left it like this. I can't believe the building doesn't have cockroaches thanks to him. I feel sorry for the cat.
Here's the scary part: This man found a woman desperate enough to settle for him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Texas Bails Again

There was a minor crisis w/my mom on Saturday, so I called Texas on Saturday night to keep her apprised of the situation. She was really concerned, etc., & said she'd call me back Sunday night to keep updated on the situation. Did she call on Sunday? No. I guess some people are more concerned than others. I'm not surprised - I just don't understand why she (& half the other people in the family) really doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about their mother.

Doctor, Doctor Part 5

Picked up the new bifocals Friday night. As it turns out, they cannot make bifocal contact lenses for me because my astigmatism (whatever that is) is too severe. So the eye doctor said that when I am wearing the contacts and need to read fine print, I should wear a pair of cheater reader glasses, 1.0 magnification. Went to the dollar store, got the glasses (Foster Grants - orginally $17.99 - now $1.00, thank you very much), and it works! The bifocals work really well too - just a little bit of dizziness at first, and now I can read fine print again! Yay!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I can't even get invited to a crappy wedding

My neighbor Bill is getting married tomorrow. Good for him! He asked me to catsit for two weeks while he is on his honeymoon, after which he is moving in with his new wife. Congrats! We have been on good terms since he moved in around 10 years ago, and we would trade catsitting duties when out of town, taking in each other's mail, etc. Great guy! We had lots of conversations on the deck that our apartments share, and I've met/talked to his fiance lots of times. Good people!
I didn't get invited to the wedding. I am taking care of his asshole cat for TWO STINKING WEEKS, like I have done nine million times before, and I didn't get invited to the wedding.

Fun with tripods

I bought a tripod for my camera last night. Some of my flower pictures have been coming out blurry, and I thought a tripod would help. That tripod is a blast! You can adjust the legs nine million ways, adjust the camera angle, turn the camera vertical, etc. While I was monkeying around, I figured out how to use the timer on the camera, so of course the first thing I did was take a self-portrait. My camera is 35 mm, not digital, which means I have to use up a whole roll of film and get it developed before I see what I shot. I've got to get a digital camera - maybe as a combined birthday/Christmas gift to myself?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I watched the season opener of "Lost" last night, and I was not impressed. I want some answers, not more questions! And I'm getting sick of the flashbacks. I want to know what is happening to these people now, not what happened to them five years ago. I really loved this show when it first started, but I'm getting tired of it.

Doctor, Doctor Part 4

Upon doing an internet search, I discovered that they do indeed make bifocal contact lenses. So why is the trial pair for the new prescription that the doctor gave me not bifocals? I am going to have some questions when I pick this stuff up. Why would they make the glasses bifocals and not the contact lenses?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Doctor, Doctor Part 3 - Rosacea

While I was at the dermatologist he took a look at my Rosacea, which I have had for years. Rosacea is a skin condition which basically makes it look like your nose and cheeks are sunburned all the time. He asked me if I wanted to try a prescription ointment, which surprised me, because when I was in there last year he said there was no presecription medication for Rosacea. So anyway, he wrote me a prescription for this stuff called Metrogel, which sounds like metrosexual + hair gel, no? It's this clear ointment that goes on once a day. I also made an appointment to start laser treatment again. I had one laser treatment last year, and then the laser technician quit & I didn't see any improvement anyway, so I didn't go back, but they say it takes 3 - 4 treatments to see improvement. But the treatments are $100.00 a pop, so I'll have to wait and see if I have that kind of money when the appointment time rolls around.

Doctor, Doctor Part 2

I went to the eye doctor Saturday. The verdict is ........ I need bifocals if I want to read fine print again. Geez! So I ordered a pair of no-line bifocals which should be arriving the end of this week. I just hope I can get used to them. I kicked up such a fuss at the eye doctor's that she said if I couldn't get used to them, I could bring them back & they would put in regular lenses for free. I won't mind wearing them if it means I can read small print again without feeling like I am going blind with the effort. But...... they don't make bifocal contact lenses, so even if I like the glasses, I will just be wearing them at night, cause I wear the contacts during the day.

Texas Calling

Texas finally called me last Friday to thank me for her birthday presents. We talked for a long time, but I am still miffed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Day After

I was watching a made-f0r-tv movie this weekend, The Day After, which was made in 1983, starred Jason Robards, and was about the aftermath of nuclear war. One of the characters had this great line: "Einstein said, "I don't know how they will fight World War III, but I know how they will fight World War IV - with sticks and stones"".