Saturday, December 29, 2001

Just in case you wanted to know...
Take the Which Beatle Are You? Quiz. Hmmmmmmm.... I always thought I'd be Paul...

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

A Blessed and Merry Christmas to everyone! Oddly enough I've been so busy there's been no time to get on the computer... Friday night we christened our brand new/half finished fireplace by making its inaugaral fire and having a picnic dinner in front of it on the floor (no furniture yet — just beanbag chairs) and listening to Christmas carols. When I got home from work, Paul had lit candles positively everywhere.... and he rigged up something nifty on iTunes where he shuffles up our Christmas music, so we have a good mix; everything from "Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey" to Placido Domingo. After we cleaned everything up Paul pointed out that it was the winter solstice, which seems an auspicious time to have a first fire. And for the very first time, I have a stocking hung by the chimney with care! Christmas Eve was spent making another fire and having Paul's family over for calamari and pasta. It's the same dinner every year, except this year's was bittersweet because his Nana usually does the cooking, and she makes her macaroni from scratch! We really missed her. Later on that night we went to mass; Paul and I sang our duet that we've sung every single Christmas Eve since we've met (back when we were dating and nobody even knew it!... so that's been about 7 years now). After mass, a man came up to me and gave me a hug and a kiss and said, "That song you and your husband sing is our favorite... we look forward to hearing you sing that every year." How sweet! We drove home through a section of town where everyone does luminaries (just like my street growing up) and went home to finish up some last-minute preparations. Yesterday (Christmas) we made another fire, got the bacon going, and did our presents in the bean bag chairs and blankets... then we all visited Nana in the nursing home and it was so hard to leave her. You knew she wanted to come back with us, but at this point she just isn't strong enough. Dinner was at my parents and it always works out wonderfully that Paul's whole family and mine can celebrate together. My brother and his wife and Joey were at his other Grandma's, but Mary was there from AZ so that was a happy treat. A sample of dinner: rice balls, pepperoni bread, marvelous antipasto, stuffed mushrooms, sausage rolls, homemade manicotti, a ham, sweet potatoes... (boy, do I have some marvelous leftovers!) Mary's friends kept dropping by and cracking us up; and Mom did her best to feed them despite their protests that they still had to eat at home. (That's an Italian grandma for you!) My sister made us a family cookbook of our special recipies and Mom made a great tape of about 8 Christmas specials since we don't have cable. It was a thoughtful and very creative Christmas! When we got home it was more Christmas specials and another fire... And today? I have a date with the library! I plan to spend at least part of the day sitting in front of the fire and reading my new SARK book (thanks, Carole!) and some library acquisitions; hopefully doing some painting too. And yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas card; it should be up this week. :) linkage: My workplace Christmas bowling party pics are up (that's me in the PRI sweatshirt)

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

It's Christmas Card Central over here. I'm printing, stickering, gold-and-silver-penning, labeling, addressing. I'm surrounded by gel pens, star stickers, and address lists. It's thrilling! Very, very soon, the card will be up online [I want to give the cards in the mail a fighting chance first!] fun Christmasy links: Why we smooch under the mistletoe What flavor are you? [My results: Yum! You're peppermint. Fresh, classic, and crisp, you're as tasty as they come.]

Monday, December 17, 2001

Today was not my first day back in New York, but it was my first day back on public transporation. At Penn Station, a whole wall of a corridor was covered with red, white and blue craft paper. Thousands of signatures, prayers, and wishes were penned in every handwriting imaginable; from the scrawl of a kindergartner to a teen's bubbly script to the shaky penmanship of a senior. Photos, photocopies, artwork, and flowers were pinned up. Rosaries hung here and there from pushpins. Nowhere did we see curses, slurs, four-letter words, paper ripped off. Only well wishes, prayers, and appearing so many times, "I'm sorry." Mrs. Jones's fourth grade class wrote a book of poetry that I could not bring myself to open for fear that I would certainly lose it right there in the corridor. Brightly laminated butterflies covered one section, as if their wings could carry the prayers right up to heaven. It was — all of it — breathtakingly beautiful.

Sunday, December 16, 2001

We had a really fun day yesterday... helping celebrate my godson's 4th birthday during the day, and at night, going to the George Winston concert. Joey’s birthday party was lots of fun. We must have played at least 7 games of “Go Fish” with him. He loves telling you to go fish in this tone of voice that implies that you must be crazy if you think he’s got a card for you. We got him a mini-aquarium that holds about a gallon of water. He wasn’t interested once he realized that the fish on the outside of the box wasn’t there right NOW. The biggest hit was from Grandpa Ken, who got him this year’s Hess helicopter with a little truck and motorcycle inside. I think everyone was on the floor playing with that thing at one point or another that day. It was nice to spend the day with [almost] the whole family all together, and to get to see my brother’s latest animations. In the evening we went to see George Winston’s Winter concert... we like to go every year; it’s a good way to take a break from all the craziness that seems to descend around this time of year, and just enjoy some beautiful music. We were able to go backstage after the concert and say hello [we’d met him before]. When it was our turn to say hi, he gave me a big hug and said “And this is the painter!” I’m amazed that he remembered that! We, and the 5 or 6 others there, chatted about music, cats, Paul’s studio, bacon, travel, the World Trade Center, and yes, even french toast. I was dubbed “Pixie” and he said he’d look at our websites! I’m so honored....

Friday, December 14, 2001

I'm on Windows XP now... and there are many themes to choose from that are super-cool. There's one that looks just like OS X... hee hee hee, I have the Mac interface before Paul does. His answer to that was, "My system works." (as in: Macs rule, PCs drool.) So there. [Did I mention that we have 7 computers in this house and 6 of them are Macs?]
Today was our office Christmas party, where we followed tradition... and went bowling! It's sort of a PRI tradition that we periodically go bowling. We even got my boss his own ball for his birthday one year! So off we went to the bowling alley, digital cameras in hand. [There will be a few pics up on the fridge on the PRI site] I did very well [for me] with a 110. We annoyed the living daylights out of some nearby old-lady bowlers who were very annoyed with us for using the flash... I guess we were distracting them from their game. After returning our shoes, we went out to lunch; I probably won't have to eat again for a week. I had a monte cristo sandwich, which is basically ham and cheese on french toast with powdered sugar and raspberry jam on the side. Needless to say, I shared. I actually did all the things I set myself up for the other night, including trimming my hair. Darnit, that was so much fun; I had to restrain myself from lopping off too much in the name of "making it even." All I did was cut off the split ends — about 1½ inches — and so far it seems healthier. I know at some point I will have to get a real haircut, but for now I'm okay... at least I'm less scraggly. Pulled straight, it's still down to my waist. What is it about people [okay, women] that makes us obsess about hair? This all got started because Amanda told us that she cut her own hair... and we all got talking about our hair. I have been in indepth conversations that could have lasted an hour just talking about hair. Here's what it all boils down to: Nobody likes their own hair and wants something different. That's at the heart of the matter. It's part of that whole grass-is-greener-what's-the-matter-with-me deal that I try so hard to keep out of but get sucked in all the same. The great thing about hair is that you can try something different and if you hate it, it's not such a tragedy cos it'll always grow back. Notice I say this, but I'm still awfully cautious about anything happening to my hair.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Why is it that sometimes I feel so excited and charged up to paint, and other days all I want to do is sleep? What about the times when they're both on the same day? I was so psyched to work work work, creative juices were flowing, I was inspired and ready to go. By the time I got home from work, I was completely deflated. There's some delicate balance here that completely eludes me for some reason... I just don't seem to have time, and when I do have time (i.e., this evening with a whole night stretched out in front of me) I am on the computer with channel 5 sitcoms on in the background. I think that I keep thinking about all the stuff I have to do and I'm trapped before I even start. At least I'm answering email... And actually, that's a very nurturing thing. I have emails from people I know and people I've never met face to face... and all of them touch me in one way or another. Okay, setting myself goals for tonight: post my blog on my home page; start some more Christmas cards a-printing; and try to trim the ends of my hair.... Listening to: The Beatles Christmas messages (had them from high school and just found them online in time for the holidays!) Too many people have been hitting this guy's site, but check back to see if you can get on... I guarantee you a zany time with the lads.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Say it loud... say it proud... WE HAVE CABLE!!!!!! Yahooooooooooooooo! I can get on the internet so quickly now! Omigosh, if you don't have AAA, or something similar, please make sure you sign up now. Stranded on the side of the road today, I kept thinking that we were blessed nonetheless: no accidents, just puttering down onto the shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike. It was gorgeous weather, we were right next to IKEA (good landmark so we could get picked up), and the worst you could say about the whole day was that it was very inconvenient. Make sure you have roadside assistance of some kind and a good cell phone that's charged up too, okay? This weekend we had a marvelous time at Amanda and George's house — this crowd from college has been meeting for Christmas dinner for 10 years now. It's a great excuse to get dressed up and spend time with great people (and food) ! I really do think we're a talented bunch — we talked about our paintings or someone's book or the other person starting a new business. And it really wouldn't matter what we did; there's just an awful lot of love there. Plus there's always a sleep-over and breakfast together the next morning; tea orders being taken in waves and everyone chipping in doing the dishes and bringing food. One big love-fest. We spent some time giggling at one of my favorite sites: [Make sure your speakers are turned up and you have Flash... it's just hysterical.] "The unattainable is unknown at! The only limit is yourself!"

Friday, December 07, 2001

Okay, y'all knew I was an artist, but apparently now I can also be a work of art... If I were a work of art, I would be Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians. I am colourful and provoking, always looking to break out of the mould and to pioneer new ways of doing things. I have a jaunty outlook and although I am a bit weird, most people have some idea what I'm about. Which work of art would you be? The Art Test fun links for the day: Make an online snowflake Big, pointy teeth... I found this originally from this amazing site.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Gave my talk last night.... Two people gave their talks before me, and theirs were pretty emotional, so by the time it was my turn, I was getting pretty sniffly myself. I was mostly okay, except that I said that my Paul was 16 years younger than me instead of saying 16 days... hello, we're both 30! But I had everyone scratching their heads and trying to figure this out. I think some people really thought I was in my late 30's and had married some kid! AAAAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhh!!!!!!! Amazingly enough, I think I am going to volunteer to give a talk at the weekend, if they can use me. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.... The wonderful and always fun Charlie Brown Christmas is on tonight. "And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

I am so so sooooooooooo tired. I am s'posed to be taking dishes out of the china cupboard for safekeeping, since tomorrow there will be much banging and sawing right around the corner from there. However, I'm afraid that if I try to move the contents now, I will drop them all and get very, very upset with myself. Did I mention I was tired? Oh, yes. Tomorrow night I give my talk: for better or worse, I'm done. I hope I don't bore/offend/put off anybody, but as Sammy Davis Jr. sang, "I Gotta Be Me." No, I'm being the weency-est bit paranoid. I think what I'm worried about is that they won't like it, or think I'm just a freak and not an interesting freak. I worry too much, and about stupid things, too. I think I will bring my God Box and explain that too. The Olympic torch started its journey today... what a beautiful and inspiring thing. And for sheer silliness.... the ever-popular What To Do When You Meet Jesus article.

Monday, December 03, 2001

Not having the greatest day today, but I did take a minute at 4:30 to say an Our Father for George. Looking forward to going home and curling up with a book and a majorly large cup of tea... working up the whatever to finish my talk for Wednesday night.