Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life vs. Blogging

That silly little thing called life keeps getting in my way of the truly important things, such as blogging.  Today at lunch, I plan to catch up on as many of your blogs as possible, because frankly, I am in withdrawals.  Even coffee and Nutty Bars can't console me.  I must satisfy my blog addiction with blogs, and only with blogs.

It's like trying to quit smoking by sucking lollipops.  It doesn't work.  Believe me, I've been there.  I quit, but not that way.  I digress.  I have a review to write, and if I would stop leaving the book to review at my house, it would be posted already.  Don't give up on me yet.  I'm still here.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this little gem:





This is where I go to create word searches and crossword puzzles for people when they have a birthday coming up.  Maybe I'll make one for myself, since it's that birthday time of year again creeping up on me soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Constant Characterization

Sometimes, when I watch a movie, or read a book, one thing will stand out to me and grab my attention.  This time, it was a movie again.  I'll Believe You is one of those movies that Netflix has decided to grant streaming priveleges to for a while.  Catch it while you can!  I did, twice.
What really hit me about this was the characterization.  Each character is distinct and constantly acting as only they would, complete with quirks, linguistic differences, and unique dialogue.
Basically, the story is about a late night talk radio host who is fighting to keep his show on the air.  His show, is called "Hey, I'll Believe You," and features Big Foot sightings, the Loch Ness Monster, and discussions regarding UFO's.  A first time caller sparks a commotion in his small community, and a mystery begins to unravel.
In the meantime, the viewer is introduced to an eclectic cast that is true to character throughout.  The station manager is self-absorbed and selfish, and shows this by stealing food from the company fridge right in front of his employee, after asking if those intials were his and learning that they were not.  One character is obsessed with hoses, and creates nozzles that shoot rubber ducks out of his swimming pool.  Another is a high school science teacher who can create fire with her saliva.  And yet another is a police officer who uses his radar gun to time the speed of a mosquito.  Each quirk says something about the characters that expository dialogue would have only mangled.  I won't even tell you about the Chris Elliott character.  You'll have to watch to see.
I was so impressed with the whole "show, don't tell" philosophy put into action throughout the movie that I watched it again.  I will probably watch it another time, or even more, because every time I see it, I notice something that I missed.
This is some of the richest writing I've seen on the screen in a very long time, and I'm impressed.  Definitely not your lowest common denominator blockbuster, and probably won't win any awards, but maybe it should.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sent from my PDA as kind of an experiment

*Note:  Apparently, when blogging from my PDA, I can submit blogs without titles!  LOL  And here are the shoes.  :-)  What a great day!!!  I don't know how to save the spacing, though, so let's just consider this an experiment that is, shall we say, a tad avant garde?

I slept blissfully through the night and slipped on my brand new real
people shoes which are pink and grant wishes. The shoe genie granted
me the wish of a n afternoon spent enjoying balmy breezes, fresh baked
goods, and jazzy Beatles songs played on keyboard under a tree in the
park. All concerns regarding my medical stuation are gone with the
wind, and aside from a brief brush with unpleasantness early on, the
day has turned out to be exquisite.

Thank you, Shoe Genie!

I wish I could attach a picture of my shoes here but I am blogging
grom my pda. Much awesommeness just in that!!! Anyway, I uploaded
the pic to fb if you are my friend there. I will upload it here
later. Right now, I am going to continue walking and allowing the
breeze to massage my scalp while I listen to music and breathe deep.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

To Walk or Not to Walk

I haven't been blogging lately, sorry, but I had plenty of time at two separate doctor's visits yesterday, and the auto shop the day before, to observe humanity, to read, and to curl inside myself and hide while my foot was poked and prodded and pulled.

Unfortunately, there is an issue with the lack of authorization for physical therapy, and my ankle is not where it should be on the healing scale. I think it is fair to use the word depressed to describe my total state of being ever since, oh, even before the surgery, but this week, it blasted in super force. So I wasn't ready to face the blogging world, or the other world (there's some overlap, but not much), and I hibernated for a while. And now I have been forced to take action I didn't want to take in order to try to obtain physical therapy, and to resolve some other issues with the medical "care" I've been "receiving." So that upsets me, along with everything else that complicates my life that is amplified because I'm upset about the health situation.

It breaks my heart (literally, because my blood pressure is through the roof and I suffered palpitations into the early morning hours today) just knowing that I could have been spared from pain and swelling if only the physical therapy had been approved, and no one, NO ONE, cared enough to authorize the referral for that OR for the daily pain in the other ankle, even after the second time I requested both, in writing.

They sent me a form letter, called me by someone else's last name, and wrote me off. I guess I'm expensive, but I'm worth it. I have to believe that or I would just crawl right back in bed this minute. I might do that anyway.

The good news is that at least I can wean myself out of the walking boot a few hours at a time in the next six weeks. I need to find new shoes for work, because I can't wear the tennis shoe on the other foot anymore. There is hope for my mood, though, because a friend of mine at work sent me a couple CD's of hand-picked better-than-coffee music to assist in the healing process.  Also, everyone knows what cheers women the most: shopping.

Want to go shopping with me?

I like these because they have built in arch supports and can go with either pants or skirts:


I also like these:

Hooray for human shoes!

Of course, I'll never wear heels again, but those aren't comfortable, anyway. I'm just glad I can walk.

Maybe someday...someday...I will be able to dance to the music playing on my speakers. But today, I will be happy knowing I can walk across the room and turn it on myself. A month ago, I couldn't even do that.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fail Cake


Or should it be Cake Fail?  Either way, it's a disaster.  Delicious, but still in ruins.  Kind of like life sometimes, when it is crumbling apart around you, but still holding on to surprise goodness when you least expect it.

I offered to bake a cake for my son's friend's birthday.  He wanted chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, and Pikachu on top of it.  No problem.  I bought the Pikachu toy to put on top of the cake, and didn't even consider making one out of marshmallow fondant.  Well, only for a minute.  Then I bought the toy instead.  I didn't want to spend hours rolling and dying fondant only to end up with a mutilated Pokemon that no one would recognize.  I wanted everyone to know it was Pikachu, and for me to focus on the cake instead.

I used to bake cakes all the time, and decorate them, too.  I can do this, I thought.  Okay, so it's been a few years, and I knew I would need to dig around in the kitchen and possibly the garage for all my baking paraphernalia, but it sounded like fun.  A creative outlet, something nice for someone I care about, and the potential for several forks full of yum.  Win-win-win!

That's not quite how it happened.  Friday night, I dredged up so much baking stuff that it made me want to concoct yummies for a week, in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors.  I had forgotten how much kitchen stuff I have!  I haven't used it in years.  So I washed the pans, set out the non-perishable ingredients, and dismissed the thought that I should bake the layers of chocolate fudge cake the night before and freeze them overnight.  I was too tired, and my feet hurt.

So I woke up early Saturday morning, eager to begin the baking experience.  All went well.  The cakes were in the oven, the homemade fluffy chocolate frosting was licked off a spoon by myself and my son, and the fudge filling sat in a bowl, ready to become the cake's luscious secret.

When the kitchen timer went off, my son ran down the hall and alerted me, and then stood next to me as I took the cakes out of the oven and we both almost fainted from chocolate fume overload.  Life was smelling pretty good.

I placed the cakes gingerly on the racks to cool, and waited over an hour.  That should be enough time, right?  They didn't feel warm anymore.  I forgot that I wasn't exactly dealing with pound cake, and that the consistency of the cakes was, well, chocolate fudge, as in, very moist.  And crumbly.  This is exactly the reason why you are supposed to freeze the layers before attempting to assemble the cake.

Upon transfer to the cake base for frosting and carrying purposes, the bottom layer broke in half.  No problem, I thought, after batting back tears.  I can fix this.  The fudge filling served as a glue to keep the two jagged pieces together.  Problem solved!  I was on top of the world, or at least, this cake.

Next, the perfect, whole, top layer.  Careful, careful, almost there, and BAM!  Top layer in a million pieces, crumbs everywhere, sitting on top of the fudge filling.  I held it on with both (clean) hands, and tried to squeeze, pinch, and rearrange it so that it was still circular.  That didn't work.  I then attempted to smush it into the fudge filling and hold it still while wielding a rubber spatula with the other hand and pressing my precious homemade frosting firmly against the sides of the cake.  That just causes mush in the other direction.  So I put more frosting on the other side of the cake.  And on top.  And then all over the counter, when it fell.

I knew I couldn't present this cake at the celebration today.  I knew I couldn't present this cake to any discerning human being.  If it wasn't chocolate, I would have given it to the dogs.  I was shocked when my son asked for a slice.  I explained that the only way I could serve it was by scooping it onto a tilted plate and mopping up what landed on the counter.  He was fine with that.

He said it was the best cake he has ever eaten.  It's just ugly.

I guess that kind of sums up my baking experience for now.  I won't be creating anything in the kitchen again anytime soon.  I can't handle this kind of disappointment on a constant basis.

I guess it kind of summarizes life, though.  Just when you think all is going well, bam, a cake falls on you.  Sometimes it's chocolate, and sometimes it's mud, and the only way you can tell is to taste it.  I'm glad this one at least tasted good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Storm

A storm passed through on my drive to my house after work last night.  It was magnificent, powerful and sudden, like a stallion galloping through the sky.  And then, just as suddenly, it was gone, and all we had left was the faint scent of moisture in the ground before the desert sun evaporated it.

Sometimes I feel like creative energy is much the same.  Right now, I can only smell a hint of it in the air.  But it will return.  Soon, I hope.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Visuals

Here are the visuals from yesterday's awards post:

Thanks again, ladies, and enjoy passing these along to other bloggers.
Sorry I don't have much more to say today, but I'm really tired. The dogs kept me up all night again, and the smoke in the air makes breathing a chore. I also tried to walk too much yesterday, and my ankles are complaining. Enough whining from me. Enjoy your day, and I'll try to think of something coherent for tomorrow's blog post.