A Day to Dye For

We had a blast at Connie's house on Saturday -


Concert-ed Ramblings…

The radio comes on instead of the alarm giving us heart attacks and this morning the KLUV team was talking about upcoming concert events for this weekend and it made me realize that Dave and I don't go to concerts (unless you count the School bands…Alexander is a member…he plays the clarinet…very well, I might add)…we went to Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse once, but it was so long ago neither of us remember the artist…
…I've been to a lot of Irish music concerts and have met and conversed with a lot of Irish musicians - Tommy Makhem,
the Clancy Brothers, Patrick Ball - whose paycheck for working the Irishfest I held hostage until he autographed my CDs…
…and too many more Irishmen to even remember off hand...
...they needed someone to be able to go into the ladies room and haul out drunken young women (using a female to do this avoided potential lawsuits), so I worked security for a concert at the Arcadia for an Arlo Guthrie concert and he personally thanked the crew after the show and stood around talking to the four of us for about 20 minutes while his roadies loaded the bus - he's really really nice
…I sat in the nosebleed section for a Neil Diamond concert…for which all of us (10,000+) were on our feet for the entire time…a lot of love in Reunion Arena that night!...
…I saw John Denver in concert…it was right after he broke up with Annie…so sad… …in college, I feel asleep at a 'in-the-gymnasium-bring-a-blanket' rock concert (too much noise and I'm out like a light…my friends and future husband were amazed…)…I don't even remember the band… …I left a Ravi Shankar concert halfway through…too much Zen…. …At Carowinds in NC, I experienced a show by Jimmy Buffett the week before Margaritaville hit the charts…he was too drunk or stoned to be on key or remember the words…. …and I've seen lots of music in a much smaller venue…Michael Hedges, Jimmy Ray Vaughn, folk singers, blues musicians… But my favorite concert of all time…Kris Kristofferson…at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth…and while it was a venue of over 2,000 (most of them bikers, by the way…) my seat was on the front row, directly across from Kris on the same level about 20 feet away…to this day it feels like I had a private concert…I don't remember anyone else in the room at all….
…so why don't we go to concerts?....maybe it's the outrageous price of tickets, and/or that our tolerance for the traffic, the parking, and our fellow patrons, just isn't what it used to be - not too many musicians out there we'd go through that for...we'd rather go see David Sedaris, Maya Angelou, Jeff Dunham, the opera, or musical theatre...or the latest Bond movie...
But - who knows...maybe we'll see you in 2012 when The Stones celebrate their 50th year Concert Tour....


Productive Pockets...

I live for pockets of time that can be used either more efficiently or more creatively - the 45-minute commute to and from work are two perfect pockets…since Dave is a minimalist conversationalist in times of traffic, I find myself feeling guilty if I'm just riding along (though an occasional nap is nice, too)…I've occupied myself with reading (sometimes the only reading I get done that day), knitting, crocheting, sewing, and writing.
Writing wasn't too successful - I thought it would be a great time for journaling morning pages but the road surfaces, a merely adequate car suspension system and handwriting aren't a good combination. I'll be able to try the writing again in 21st century fashion once my Dell-mini (weight 2.29 lbs) arrives. I know I could schlep my laptop around, but upstairs it's plugged into the scanner, printer, photo dock, and stylus pad, so it's kind of a pain to unplug and go, although possible. This purchase will allow me pc features in a smaller package and the opportunity to work in those pocket of time - on scrapbook pdfs, refining pictures, pre-writing my blog. (Yes - I prewrite this - I jot down everything I want to say in a Word document and then turn it into complete sentences later. I edit and sometimes spell-check…..What? You thought this brilliance just comes out of the tip of my fingers when I sign into BlogSpot?.....Really?) Pre-writing is the only way to go - it sometimes takes me days to get enough thoughts together for a blog - or I just don't have time to polish it up…But I'm hoping to get more done with the more portable laptop - it will also mean I'll have something else to do with the other 45 minutes of my lunch hour (I'm not eating quickly; I just don't eat so much food at lunch that it takes me an entire hour to consume it). So - right off, that's 135 minutes I can use for creative/artistic personal purposes. And that expands the time I can spend on those bricks being spit out from my studio. I spent three hours last night doing hand embroidery (hea...ven…) - something I've missed - mostly because I've spent every spare minute, when I'm not at work, with the pictures from the trip to Massachusetts. I'm on the third section and there are many more to go - and when it's over, I need to break it up into reasonably-sized (~2meg) chunks. But - there is a lot of history to read through! I'm not trying to write a textbook; I'm just trying to document some salient facts that my photo(s) represent - and when you are someplace, it's almost impossible to keep the information in your head because there is too much stimuli and too many facts…but I love doing the research directed by my photos. It lets me focus on just one historical thing at a time. So - here's hoping the mini comes soon! Wonder if there are any games on it…..hmmm...maybe that wouldn't be so productive...


Dave Turns 60

Dave celebrated his 60th birthday by spending the day watching Tyrone Power movies (I gave him the collection...along with the Black Adder collection) - I held the package from his parents back until our friends, Rob & Val, came to join us and then he was allowed to open it - they gave him a beautiful silver pocketwatch which he was thrilled to receive! He's been wanting one for quite some time - then we all went out for a fabulous gourmet meal at York Street (our favorite 5-star restaurant). All-in-all, not as nearly a painful "odometer birthday" as Dave had feared.
As I always say - "Enjoy your birthday - having one is better than the alternative!"


Sorting pictures

I spent the weekend going through the pictures from our trip to Massachusetts. Not as big a walk in the park as you would think. I started with 2,841. I've knocked it down to 1,353. The number I use in the pdfs will be much lower than that....maybe....probably.
But I often take two or three pictures of something and then just pick the best one, so the first pass through usually drops it to about a third. It just takes such a huge pack of time to look at all of them! So now my list has changed from "review pictures" to "put scrapbook pdfs together". I do love looking at all of the pictures - I especially love it when I find a picture came out as well as I had hoped. This one, for example, came out very well.
Cool, huh?



I have an enviable lifestyle, though some would find it boring. Dave and I go home and decide how to spend the rest of our day. Not a lot of outside pressures; we can do (or not do) whatever is on our lists. There is often so much on my personal 'list of things to do' that it is overwhelming. Dave says it's like building a wall…start with the first brick. But, really, sometimes, all I can see is a pile of bricks. It's a good analogy, because the list feels that weighty, too. Which is, of course, kind of inane since my To-Do List consists of art projects or moving paper/pixels around. Nothing world shaking. "Doesn't affect the cost of tea in China", my mother used to say. I sometimes think my real problem is that we haven't won the lottery (yet) and I "lose" large chunks of time committed to earning a paycheck that's adorned with benefits. Health benefits. Something my art studio doesn't offer (unless you count mental health…). But I know that's not an excuse either since I am pretty certain that if I gave up my 9-to-5, my day would still not have enough hours in it. Last week, there was a reception for two women who were both retiring after 20+ years at the University (one I know and one I don't) and, of course, people kept coming up to each of them and asking, "so…what are you going to do in your retirement??"
…one is quite busy (moving, selling property, is a jewelry-maker, helps her husband with his business, etc.)
…the other kept saying "oh, I don't know - I guess I'll figure it out when it gets here…[she has] no hobbies other than reading - so maybe do volunteer work."
Huh? I can't even imagine it. A lifetime of weekends.
My dilemma would be deciding what to do first…which brings me back to the original conundrum: which brick do I choose?