Tuesday, April 18, 2006

my brush with fame

My sweet and clever husband, on our anniversary last October, bestowed upon me a wonderful gift. At the time, it was intangible; no box, no ribbon, just a promise. Ever since then, I have savored the idea of it. How many gifts can be so fulfilling for so long (almost seven months!) without actually existing?

Well, today, that gift became reality. Today, Nick Arrojo cut my hair. I know of Nick through TLC's show "What Not to Wear." We've been fans of the show since it started, and have always had an appreciation for the way Nick is able to fix even the worst hair foibles. I never dreamed that Ted would be so inspired by this little TV show to think to get me into Nick's salon!

Seeing as Ted was willing to spend the money on the haircut, I ponied up the cash for the color. Naturally, I ended up buying some "product," too. Figure in tips, and all totaled, we spent more money on my hair today than I spend in two years. But I had an absolutely tremendous time -- and I love my new hair! Nick was great. If we win the lottery, I'll go back to Arrojo Studio every six weeks. Until then, this was a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Monday, April 17, 2006

... and apple blossom white

Here are my favorite pictures from this weekend's photo exploration of Spring.

I love the tipped lawn chair in the background and the focus on the flowers. It was wonderful taking this picture because the magnolia has such an amazing aroma. This is in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

This one is more about the location (South Norwalk, Connecticut) than any inspiring photography on my part. Driving through the tunnel of trees is absolutely beautiful. And very early on Sunday morning, there was no traffic. How picturesque.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Off to work.

cherry pink...

I finally made a little time to take some pictures of Spring. For some reason, I struck upon the theme of "man versus nature," although it leaned more toward juxtaposition than conflict. It started with an intersection I drive through regularly.

This is my least favorite of the pictures. Too much going on (particularly in the background), and it was dark and drizzly when I took it through my windshield. But I still like the composition of the flowering tree, daffodils, and traffic light.

So, I moved on, trying to isolate no more than three elements in each picture.

That's all that I'm apparently allowed to upload to this entry. So, I'll save my favorite two pictures for their own entry.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

earthling jerks

Leave it to us humans to brazenly lay claim to territory that so completely isn't ours. It wasn't bad enough when we first stepped onto the moon's surface, hitting golf balls and planting the American flag. Now, we're actually going to crash forcefully into it without regard for the damage we'll inflict upon it.

Why? Because it serves our purposes. Because we think we have a right. Because we're too obtuse to think that other living creatures might already be there (even if they don't meet the narrow criteria for "life" that we've established as absolute). Because we're cocky and overconfident and brash. Because we got away with forcefully taking land we wanted before (even if it did decimate indigenous cultures like Native Americans and Aborigenes).

Maybe it's the poet in me. The moon is beautiful and mysterious, and maybe I think it should stay that way. Maybe it's the Trekkie in me, thinking it's best not to interfere. Maybe it's just too early in the morning for me to be reading about this sort of thing.

Off to work for me. Maybe I'll see the moon, translucent in its morning descent, lazily heading off to its daytime sleep.

Click here for an explanation for this photo of the moon.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

too ambitious?

One of the judges on AI said it well tonight... "that song was too big for you." That happened a lot because they attempted to take on Queen songs. Freddie Mercury's shoes are just not easily filled. I'm reducing my comments tonight, not only because the performances weren't collectively all that interesting, but also because my whole life is condensed these days. 16-hour work shifts wreak havoc with personal interests.

So, in a nutshell, here's my American Idol banter for April 11, 2006.

Elliott Yamin still amazes me. I love love love his voice. He was one of the few people able to pull off Queen, largely because of the specific song he chose ("Somebody to Love"). Again, my age is betrayed when I find myself completely surprised that the contestants don't know a song at all (how can you not know this song?), but despite his newness to it, he did an excellent job.

And Taylor Hicks returned to form with a kick-ass version of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Sure his microphone stand kicking routine didn't go to plan, and he did look a bit manic jumping and running and spinning and such. But he embodied the song with every fiber of his being, and did a fine job of infusing his own personality while giving appropriate homage to Queen.

Those were my only two votes tonight. Bucky did well in his own Bucky style, but still doesn't hold up for this competition. His hair, however, is gradually becoming TV commercial beautiful (when it's down and the shaved part isn't visible). Ace was eh-all-right. The notes were there, but the spark was missing. Kellie Pickler was like some weird Frankenstein monster -- a blend of Lita Ford, Bonnie Tyler, and any random domanatrix in high black leather stiletto boots. And she was in way over her head with "Bohemian Rhapsody." Katharine McPhee was surprisingly off-key (or as the judges say, pitchy) and a bit intense. Paris Bennett looked like she was playing Tina Turner dress-up. She looked afraid that someone was going to catch on that she was in disguise. That said, the singing was fine but nothing tremendous. Who am I missing? Oh, Chris Daughtry. He did well, in the familiar style he's gotten us accustomed to. I agree with Simon Cowell that it was a bit indulgent. And of all the Queen songs to choose, he picks "Innuendo." Huh?

That's it for AI tonight. I wonder why Ryan no longer closes with "Seacrest out."

Random observation of the day. As if it weren't interesting enough that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's first baby was named "Apple," they have just had a second, a son, and named the poor child "Moses." And I thought Freddie Mercury's shoes were big to fill! I discovered that there's some history with that name for the Martins. Or maybe they were inspired by the current showings of "The Ten Commandments" (both new and old). Who knows.

OK, time for sleep. Some day in the future, maybe I'll write about water and warmth and the wonderful new Take 6 album. Or I'll come back around to windows (I'm still fingering that rock). Or I'll post pictures of all the marvelous spring blossoms -- forsythia, magnolia, crocus, hyacinth, daffodils -- if I ever get around to taking pictures. Some day, when life is slower.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Today is my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They are amazing and wonderful people. Despite the fact that I've known them for 40 years and that I love and admire them so much, I'm presently lacking the ability to adequately describe them here. It will probably take me another 40 years to fully articulate how much they mean to me.

The above is a family portrait from 1972. We had these pictures taken every year at Sullivan's Studio, and my Dad would use them as the basis for our Christmas cards. The woman in the middle is my great grandmother (whose first name, Corene, I used as my pen name). She lived with us for several years. A testament to my Mom who, while already raising five children and working, took on care of her elderly grandmother. I'm the little one in front sitting on a stool. That dress was dark green velvet with white lace. It was my favorite dress. I remember thinking that my sister, Cathy, looked very modern in her pant suit.

The below is a family portrait from 2004. It was taken the day after Christmas in an attempt to have all kids and grandkids present. Although we were successful in the gathering part, the less-than-spectacular Sears Portrait Studio did fairly bungle nearly every picture. You'll notice that my poor sister is missing a portion of her left ear. That was no Photoshop cropping disaster on my part. No, Sears managed to cut off portions of someone in every picture. This one isn't the most egregious example, either. In the portrait that includes kids' spouses and grandkids, my sister-in-law is missing fully half of her face. At least we got our money back. And, until we gather all 20 of us again, for now we have a version of the family portrait.

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad. All the love in the world.