Saturday, December 27, 2008
My new workout buddy is a trainer at this gym, and I have been following his fitness and weight loss battles on youtube for some time. At first, I didn't realize that he lived in Hot Springs, but it is such a small world sometimes, isn't it?? Anyhow, I've been doing my own battle with the bulge, as many of you who know me already know. My biggest mistake this year though, was taking on too many other obligations, and the gym somehow slid into bottom priority. By slacking off my gym time, I was able to re-gain nearly 20 lbs. that I had lost... and I did it in only the length of 16 weeks, or i.e., one Fall Semester. I'm not dissapointed, I just now realize that the committment I make to fitness and overall health must be a daily consideration, just like eating or sleeping, or I will die a very premature death. I don't want to die young. I refuse.
Luck would have it that my new friend and I would finally meet face to face yesterday, and upon discovering that we're to turn 40 years old within a month of each other, we have made a pact to celebrate our 40th Birthdays in the best shape of our lives. I am so, so, SO very excited about this! You know how when something is so exciting to you that you cannot sleep? THAT is how excited I was about this. (Which today, makes Alan a sloppy, dragging, tired fool.)
I am making certain preparations for the journey today, even though I feel like crap-o-la. I am getting the kitchen and pantry ready for a make-over as well. I know I will need to free up space in the pantry and fridge and freezer, for the new bounty of healthy foods I will now be keeping on hand. I am also rearranging the cupboards as best I can, and any other way possible to help me help myself in the kitchen.
And as tired as I still am from a severe deprivation of sleep.... I am still SO very excited. Tomorrow will be the day it begins.
John Costelloe, also known as Johnny Cakes... the closeted gay love interest of Vito on The Soprano's, also has died.
Actually, Christmas Day brought us three deaths with one big wham. Besides Costelloe and Eartha Kitt, Nobel-winning and otherwise famous playwright Harold Pinter, all died on the same day.
In threes, ya know.....
Johnny Cakes and Vito share
a special moment.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Eartha_Kitt, made famous for her role as Catwoman on the 1960's television series, Batman, as well as for her vixen-voiced rendition of "Santa_Baby", has died. Ms. Kitt comes in as my #2, in reference to my earlier post this month, "It_Happens_In_Threes,_You_Know...?
Isn't this ironic? Santa Baby is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and today, December 25th, was THE DAY Ms. Kitt would take her last breath. She recorded the song in 1953.
Coming a long way from her South Carolina roots - the daughter of a poor cotton farming family, her father was white - she proclaimed herself as a sex-kitten, Orson Wells called her "the most exciting woman in the world", and through her 6 decade career, earned herself three Emmy nominations... two of which she won, and also numerous Grammy and Tony nominations. Stage and screen icons like Eartha are a disappearing type of hybrid performer. Even entering her 80's, she had a large fan base that was less than half her age. I happen to be one of them! As of the past few years, Eartha had taken part in several children's animated series, doing voice characterizations. I will follow this post with a video or two (hopefully there's a clip on youtube).
Good Night, sweet and sexy Eartha. You were loved by many.
Where else in the world wide web can one search for information without the pesky ads and pop-ups? I can spend hours (and have) looking at anything and/or nothing specific, just to expand my knowledge. Of course, I was one child that read the dictionary and encyclopedia... for fun. Does that label me as a nerd?
Here's a link to donate. Do it!!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
|Christmas Open House|
I was able to take photos at the very beginning and at the very end. Sorry for the gap, but we had such a good time, that toting a camera was not on my mind. The photos in the kitchen were at the end of the evening, and things were getting messy:) My friend Sharon is actually wearing a shirt of mine, b/c she was 'burning up' in her Christmas sweater.
All be told, I think we had around 50 people show up.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- The front parlor has been totally cleaned, including each and every individual piece of antiquity, and the black baby grand has been tuned.
- The library has been cleared and rearranged... and cleaned.
- The dining room has been cleared of all the Brown_County_Art, cleaned, and selectively had its antiquities rearranged.
- The back parlor has had all of its bookcases cleared of chachkies and replaced with, well... books... and cleaned.
- The kitchen... cleared and cleaned.
- The laundry room/powder room has had a nice treatment of Kenneth_Reeve hanging art added to its walls... and cleaned.
And I hope that if you are not able to drop-in on The 602 this Christmas season, that all of the work that has gone into it recently will remain as is. (I can only hope.)
The reasons for all the 'to-do' are two fold... On Saturday, we will be having our first ever Open House. It is for our friends and neighbors, Ron and Leigh Linton, who will be having a jewelry show. They are fine artisans in precious metals and stones, and we have thought of hosting a show for them for quite some time. It is also a way for us to be motivated to get our house 'guest-ready'.
Then on the following weekend, my family will be gathering here to celebrate our Christmas. It will be the first time I have hosted my family Christmas in several years. The last time, Rachel and I were still married, and Luke had just been born less than a month prior. Needless to say, my circumstances have changed drastically since then, and I am very excited to be able to welcome my own flesh and blood into a home full of warmth and love.
I've got a lot more to do, so I'd better get crackin'!!!! I'll post pictures as I can.
Click to embiggen:
Prior to my exam, I did the necessary calculations to know how well I would need to perform in order to maintain my A grade, and it turned out that by working so hard throughout the semester, I needed only make a 63% on my final. Had I totally bombed or skipped-out, my class grade would have suffered a drop to an 85%... or mid-B. So, I was in no way stressed about my test performance. After handing in my exam last night, my instructor graciously graded it, and I discovered I exceeded my expectations. 98%! When I arrived at home, I called my parents to congratulate them, in that their son is - for the first time ever - a straight A college student.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I have completed all my course work for Business Law this week, too. Our instructor, who just happens to be one of our esteemed Circuit_Judges, dismissed us after Monday evening's session, and not without letting us peek at our course grade. When he began class that evening, he immediately scaled-out the entire body of scores in bell curve fasion on the blackboard, from highest to lowest, and then drew dividing lines, so as to separate the scores into groups. Of course, this was to show the different grading divisions. Five students recieved A's, around 12 B's, then fewer C's, etc... I knew that I did not have the highest score in the class. I was really just hoping for the #4 or #5 spot! But to my surprise, I clearly saw that I was #3!!!!
Everyone knows the face. Having appeared in around 40 films, 200 plays and many television shows, Robert Prosky had a face you would not easily forget. Knowing and remembering his name was not so easy.
His son, Stephen Prosky, was quoted in today's Associated Press, "Everybody knows him as a fairly famous actor. My brothers and I know him as a marvelous father."
It always seems that it is at this time of year that deaths of famous persons somehow are quick to gel in our memories. Here it is, just two weeks from Christmas, and we have our first for 2008. Who might we mourn next? It never seems predictable, but I am sure to count on at least two more noteworthy deaths before the stroke of Midnight, 12/31/2008. Any predictions out there?
And a good-night to you Mr. Prosky. You now join an ever growing list of those who have become immortal by means of cellulose. Now, whenever I watch Mrs. Doubtfire, or reruns of Hill Street Blues... I will know your name.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
All of the pieces are from the Brown County Art Colony, Brown County, Indiana. Most pieces are also from the earlier years of the colony, from the 1910's to the middle twentieth century. Joe and Kris were avid collectors, and we would have better use of the capital it could possibly generate than to have it all gracing our walls.
Click on my Blogger profile, and you will see it listed as another blog I own. Enjoy! (and if you are interested in any of the pieces, use my gmail address and let me know.
To make viewing even easier, here's the link: http://browncountyartcolony.blogspot.com/
Today, I have spent the majority of the day in the attic. Not your typical attic, I should add. The 602 boasts an attic the size of the average American home. Some 2000 square feet, with ceilings that reach around 14 feet (give or take), at it's highest point. My plan is to have the attic become a landing spot for much of the boxed goods that are scattered about the house. Some things will land there permanently, such as luggage and wrapping paper, and empty boxes, and Holiday themed stuff... but some things just need to have a place to land for a little while.
Since we repainted all of the upstairs last summer, things have never gotten to a state of normalcy, simply because of the sheer volume of 'stuff'. If I can get most everything up there that is now in our way, I plan to have the main house completely staged for normal living by Christmas*. Perhaps my library will not be painted by then, but to have The 602 livable in each room will do my psyche a heaping bit of good.
Last week was mid-term grade reports, and I am very pleased to say that in Accounting, I have a very solid "A", and in Business Law, I have a "B". Since getting back into the swing of school while working full time, I cannot imagine the folks who take a full load and still work. I realize that my two classes may be more time consuming than they are difficult, but these 6 credit hours are whipping my be-hind! Of course, my job is somewhat demanding of my time too... so I suppose it's a combination of both that are doing their number on me.
I guess that's it..... Check out the picture of the chandelier I installed in the front hall last weekend! Very blingy.
I installed a dimmer switch on it just before trick or treaters arrived last night, so that made the mood of The 602 even more dark and mysterious!!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
This week, I offer something more upbeat and happy. I don't know why I was in the doldrums last week, but I'm all better now! It's also nice to get emails from people that I don't know who have read the blog. I got three in the last week!
Anyways, meet Echo and the Bunnymen. They are another of the essential 1980's bands, when one wishes to sample that decade of music. Jangle-Pop was their genre, and even though it was a short lived genre, it was awesome. The only other mainstream band to have made it in that genre was "The Mighty Lemon Drops". (Another band I adored).
Let your hair down, turn it up, and be happy it's Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!
More recent Echo (2005):
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I am going through a sentimental phase. Bear with me and it will play out.
You may recognize the actors in this video. The female is Samantha_Morton, whom you would most likely remember as "Agatha", one of the clairvoyants in the film Minority Report. The male is played by the drummer of U2, Larry_Mullen, Jr.
Also, a video about the making of the video......
Friday, October 17, 2008
Giant-Mega-Band, U2 was a cutting new sound first in Ireland and the UK, then... the world. I was hooked with the first few songs that my cousin Philip had bought on the black market in Saudi Arabia. We were 12, it was 1981, and Pride/In the Name Of Love, the first American realease, had not even been recorded.
I'll always equate that time in my life with the pains of coming of age, my cousin Philip, and that hauntingly hollow beat we know as U2.
Even now I can see a chilling resemblance of Philip in the lead singer, Bono. Maybe it is that I will always hear Phil's voice singing along with Bono that helps bring it to mind, but to see them, one would think they were most certainly related.
Philip was shot in the face on Martin Luther King Drive in Little Rock in 1992. He lived on life support for three days, and then he died.
We were 23.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Upon our urging and reassuring, Thomas and Marieke are on there way up here today. From here, they can better manage their personal affairs and eventually begin the process of getting their life back into order.
It may take weeks for issues in Galveston to be resolved and the city reopened. From articles I've read, all of the infrastructure is gone, and now health and disease issues are plaguing those that stayed behind. Reports range from that of cemeteries that have had their tombs disinterred by the flood waters with the mangled mess of old coffins and dead bodies and other debris washed against fences and buildings, to accounts of rescuers finding people with hundreds of mosquito bites, dead pets and sea-life littering the whole town, and cattle and horses now aimlessly wandering about that had escaped the flooded western end of the island that has no sea wall.
The Houston-Galveston media is apparently shielding this information from residents so as to prevent panic, and I can understand why. However, I do think they should at least be willing to reveal to Galveston residents that it will be quite some time before they let them go back home, and even longer before life can return to normal.
Yes Thomas, things are really bad down there. You have no idea how bad.
So, perhaps we may have house guests for quite some time. Joe and I look forward to being able to help these two special people get their life back in order... however long it may take.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The previous owners could not let one single room escape their obsession with wildly patterned wallpaper. Although not covered in the 'floral vomit' pattern throughout the downstairs, it is still quite dark and un-library like. Soon though, the paper's grasp will be released from the walls of this stately room, and it will take on an air more accustomed to our liking.
The built-in bookshelves anchor one wall in entirety. And rather than the shelves being open to the room, all are enclosed behind doors. Along the bottom, the doors are of wood panel, and the tall doors above are all stained-glass. On the opposite side of the room and tucked into one corner is a lovely fireplace, surrounded in green tile and topped by a wood mantel.
It's the kind of room that one would expect to find a moose-head hanging over the fireplace, a tufted leather couch... maybe even a bear skin rug. (I'm working on the other half to make all that a reality, but I don't know if he can see it just yet...)
When it's done, I do know that it will likely be my favorite room in the house. I'll be sure to make before and after photos to post here.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Q: How does it feel to be the oldest student in the classroom?
A: It feels great!
At least the instructor has a good 10+ years on me. And, lucky for everyone in that class, our instructor is energetic, funny and engaging... and this is Accounting? Okay, one class can be checked-off as enjoyable. The true test will be whether or not my Business Law class will be just as pleasant. I have no fear that I will be interested in the subject matter, it is the instructor that I have my doubts about. He's a judge. A judge that I have stood before years ago. About 6 years ago, and in fact just happens to be the judge that ruled in both my separation and divorce hearings.
Ahh, life in a small town... Do not worry, I will in no way intentionally remind him of how we last met. I wonder if in his absence, my ex-father-in-law will substitute for him? They are very good friends, and, well... oh, just forget it.
My pursuit of a college degree has been a multiple launch effort. My last attempt, ten years ago, while hoping to someday be admitted to dental or medical school. Just days after beginning that term, I (we) discovered that a third child was on the way. (Somehow I still think that was intended as sabotage on her part... but I think that is a possibility with all three pregnancies.) And so, even though I finished that semester with a 4.00, I never attempted to reach for my goals again. Until now, that is.
In no uncertain terms, my life partner has been nothing but encouraging about this new pursuit. I had toyed with the idea of going to culinary school in Little Rock, and even though I know I would enjoy the subject matter immensely, I realize that the job security in that field is not as solid as I would like.
Upon being visited by our friend Jerry from El Dorado, Arkansas, I discovered that a degree program in his occupation, and one which I had been interest in as a much younger person was now being offered at the University of Arkansas campus in Hope. Prior to that program, one would have had to attend a school out of state with the closest being in Dallas.
The degree program is in Mortuary Science.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I urge you to follow the link and experience it:
Also, I cannot believe that Madonna just turned 50.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
First, it was Joe. He called on Monday afternoon asking if I knew where he might could find a copy of his proof of insurance for his car. He had been rear-ended on Central Avenue, and could not find a copy in his car. Since he was on-duty, and to make sure any injuries were to be covered by workman's comp, he would have to go to the doctor for blood work and exam. While there, the Doctor diagnosed him with bronchitis.
By the time he got home, he could not speak and was delirious with sickness. On top of it all, he was sore from the auto incident, too. The bag of prescriptions that I fetched for him raised pharmacy staff eyebrows significantly, as it not only included narcotic cough medicine, but also vicodin and muscle relaxers for his muscles.
Needless to say, within an hour of arriving back at home with his meds... he was toasted.
Luckily for Joe, he was able to call-in sick for two days and was able to rest and heal. I, on the other hand, became ill the next day, and could not take off work at all. Apparently, the person that stands in for me when I am ill or on vacation was already filling-in for staff in our North Little Rock lab. In other words... I was shit out of luck.
"Just go home as soon as you get all your work done" says my boss. Seemed simple enough, but after having already gone to the doctor yesterday morning prior to work, my meds had kicked-in too... and I was doing good to complete my work at all without grinding off my fingertips with the dental drill.
So, yesterday I got to leave a whopping 5 minutes earlier than usual. Today was a bit better though. I got to leave much earlier. Much, much earlier! 2:00!!!!
Gee whiz, maybe I'm just pissy b/c I'm sick... or maybe I just want a new job.
I'm thinking it's both.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
It's July in Hot Springs, and it is indeed hot. Joe and I tag-teamed yard duty this morning, and even though we started just before 8:00 and finished just after 10:00, it wiped us out. Even the Scots are bushed after walking back with me from the groomers. As soon as we walked in the door, Wills laid himself out on the slate floor in the kitchen, where he still remains some 40 minutes later. He occasionally lets out a groan for us to hear. I totally understand what he means and how he feels.
The photos above were taken the day of our last snow this year. I made sure to capture it, as I knew it would not be around long. Snow in Hot Springs is not nearly as common as one might think. I've seen winter here pass without seeing a single flake. However 2008 gave us snow on two occasions. What made it even more uncommon was that both snowfalls occurred during the same week. March 3rd and March 7th. The first two photos are of home 'the 602'; then, looking up West Mountain; next, the tan Victorian on the next corner on Hawthorne St. (we don't know them very well, b/c they are assholes); and finally, our dear friends Danny and Janine-owners of Prospect_Place_Bed&Breakfast just around the corner from us.
Doesn't it look wonderful? I feel cooler already.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
The effort I put into the project over the past weekend has rendered me into an achy, moany, grouchy old poot. So, the decision for me is to only tackle regular outside duties: mowing, trimming and watering as needed. Period.
I am sure the decision will please the mate to no end, as we've finally begun the ominous job of staging and decorating the old Victorian that we call home.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
So... I ripped it all out. Yesterday.
I had done a small area weeks prior, just to give a glimpse of how that might look. I liked it. It pleased me. But I didn't have the gumption nor the energy reserves to tackle the entire 50' stretch, especially since the area is in direct sun by 9:30 until 6:00. I knew it would be a project that would have to commence early on a weekend day, before the area succumbed to full sun.
Yesterday morning, I arose at 6:00 on the dot, and I began my dreaded task at 6:30, equipped with shears, rakes, shovels and a pot of darkly roasted coffee. My luck would have it that the early morning sun rose... then disappeared behind a heavy bank of clouds around 8:00. I'll take 90% humidity and overcast instead of 90% humidity and sunny, any freakin' day.
All told, the entire project to completion took about 12 hours. I think I burned at least 10,000 calories.... With the ivy gone from the strip of ground, the remaining ivy on the fence was given a 'high and tight'. (I had no idea I would haul so much of it away, and thank goodness the city will pick up at the curb.) I also removed two large holly bushes, and the two that remained, were given a bonsai-type treatment. (Who in the hell plants holly bushes by a pool, anyway? Please, would somebody tell me the logic in that?)With all of it now out of the way, I then proceeded to cover the area in hardwood mulch. Three miniature roses were planted, a large metal sculpture was set, protective reflecting orbs placed around the roses, and the palm trees on the far end of the pool were trimmed of their deadness.
Pictures to enjoy(clicken to embiggen)....
From our bedroom deck above.
The roses with their protective reflecting orbs and, well... rocks.
The palms, all trimmed and fresh. I wintered them in the sun porch, and they lived!
Joe and his late friend Gary bought the sculpture in Sandwich, IL. It was an original fixture in a bank in Dixon, IL. I saw the maker's mark on the bottom when I was moving it... but I've forgotten what it said.
I will eventually look at it again, but it won't be anytime soon. That fucker is heavy! So is the stone block it sits on. They don't really go together, but I married them, and I think they look right smart.
I remember. It's a Horvath. Gene Horvath (1927-1995). He was a well-known abstract metal sculptor in the upper Midwest, and there are many public works of his in Rockford and Rock Island, IL and Davenport and DesMoines, IA.
From the looks of his other work, I bet this one is very early. Guessing late 1950's.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
No calls on the phone
No cards in the mail
No glimpses of my kids
No sticky melted ice cream kisses...
No Happy Father's Day wishes.
Just bear with me and I will get over this. I've had to deal with so much more. I just hope they know how much I love them...
And when they're grown, I hope they will want to still know me.
Well, I did finally receive that all important call. And even though it came at 9:30pm, it changed my mood tremendously. It was so nice to hear those sweet little voices.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
"Shake the Disease" Supposedly about an infactuation, but for many, an all too familiar memory for what was happening around all of us. There was only one real disease then, and it was swallowing up hundreds every day.
Today is my very good friend Bethanie's birthday, which also happens to be lead singer David Gahan's too.
It's fun to look back on culture through music videos. This was 1985. I was in high school, and remember all too well the bleached hair, mascara and lipstick wearing Brit boy musicians of the day...
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
While wandering around on the internet one day (at work), I came across a particular specialty school that is new to Arkansas. Years earlier, I had often thought of entering such a program while I lived in Memphis, but it was during a turbulent time in my life and I had neither the funds nor the support of my parents in attempting such an endeavor. I have come into a chapter in my life though, that will enable me to pursue this once lost dream, and do so with enthusiasm and energy. I have Joe's blessing too, and with that, I know that it will be an exciting new change.
The program into which I will enroll at some point in the future, is Culinary Arts, now offered by Pulaski Tech in Little Rock. I will also enroll in classes to better educate me on the finer points of running my own business, as I will plan on working for myself eventually. Perhaps a couple of years of experience in a big commercial kitchen, such as The Arlington or The Embassy Suites hotels will be helpful, but my goal is to work for myself as soon as possible. The idea I've had of a business model does not include a restaurant, per se, but rather a retail shop that will have deli-like offerings for lunch, a cold case, gourmet items, kitchen and party accessories, with the heart of it all centered upon a catering business.
I've even thought of the name I want to use for the store...!
Friday, May 02, 2008
I will write, soon. I promise.
I have the extended version of this song on my i-pod. First heard them in college and they're among my top faves. Only a very few bands were in the genre that was called "Jangle Pop"...and they are (were) one of them.
The Dying Gaul. Excellent! It was first a stage play, premiering at the Vinyard Theatre in NYC (I'm on their mailing list...) and wonderfully adapted to film. Peter Sarsgaard typically plays a deviant, or character with challenges, and he always pulls it off SO WELL! Didn't that last line in the trailer kind-of give you goosebumps? "I feel you!"
Watch it. Soon.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
So it says to place the patch on a non-hairy area of skin on the upper body. Okay, so does that mean I have to put it on my forehead? Because I'm telling you what, there's not much of an area on my upper torso that is not covered with hair of some sort (...okay, TMI & so sorry), but it is the truth.
My solution... my bicep. And now I'm feeling SOOO much better. I love you all. Have a wonderful day!
Sunday, March 02, 2008
I was able to smuggle-in my camera to the Symphony concert last night. I had remembered that my camera took video, so I originally shot this with the intention of sharing it with my kids. They were in Hot Springs on short notice, and the fact that we already had tickets for the symphony was a bit of a sore topic. Had there been no plans for the evening, the kids would have had the treat of sleeping over... and they haven't had that opportunity in some time.
A couple of months ago, Joe purchased both of us these tuxedos, and Gay Lynn suggested we all dress to the nines and go out and have a good time. We certainly did! It was our first opportunity to meet Gay Lynn's good friend, Candy, and we all looked smashing... if you ask me!
Don't they look fabulous?!?
Friday, February 29, 2008
I'm already craving one of their reuben sandwiches and a beer.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Underneath the big, burly and alpha exterior was a man as tender and sweet as they come. Dan was a friend, who for many years, awaited a liver transplant. In February of 2007, he finally recieved a liver and the transplant was successful. However, before being discharged, he died from a loose blood clot.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
I'll try and remember to take some before and after photos...
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Wrath of the gods? I'm thinking, yes...! But I don't really believe in all that. I'd be on the same level as John Hagee stating that Katrina was 'God's' wrath for Southern Decadence(read Fat Gay Pride) in New Orleans that year.
........but it is delicious to finally have the same ammunition they(read fundamental christianism nuts) always so blatantly fire at us.
So, there. That gets two snaps and a circle, girrrl.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Yes, she's nasty. She always will be. It's her purpose. But now, in this political atmosphere, I have to agree with her on a few of her points.
No, I'm not your typical run of the mill queen. I know for certain that we will have four rotten years ahead of us, no matter who we elect. It's why I voted for an out of mainstream candidate.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
2. The smoke detector in the kitchen is hard-wired into the security system, and
3. The response time for the Hot Springs Fire Department to our home is just under 3 minutes.