Wednesday, July 31, 2002

I get so inspired by new stuff others are doing... Alex has a gorgeous new layout here and a new site here and Claire has comments now (yay!). Although it seems like I've been awful quiet lately, I've been very busy....there are some very exciting creations in the works that you'll be quite happy with. I promise.

Friday, July 26, 2002

Hot dog! The new Harmonytryx CD is out and I can finally show off my artwork! And lest anyone forget, I'm on 5 songs and helped arrange one more. You can check it out for yourself here. I was an extremely proud member of the group for about 7 years or so, and I'm so glad to be a part of this. And tomorrow I'm going to be seeing the girls as they open for Ray Charles! {And if you're in NJ, there are still tickets available!} I'm so amazingly happy for them!

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Happy birthday to me. Today, the French Toast Girl site is 3 years old! Celebrate by eating some french toast today! Woo hoo! {If you can't see the little animation, you need the Flash player. It's free.}

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I had a humongous list of all the great and exciting things I was going to do my website this summer, beginning with a grand redesign. Every time I would start on something else, I'd stop myself because I hadn't planned out the redesign yet. So I finally started working on the redesign, and I realized something important: I love my site just the way it is. I'm not ready to overhaul it yet, not until I come up with an unpressured, fully toasty design that really makes me warm and happy inside. And I don't want to hold up all the rest of the nifty things I want to do, waiting for that to happen. When it's right, it'll be right. I need to trust my instincts on this one. I did a poll a while ago asking the Loyal Readers what they liked and didn't like. {The most common respose was to stop opening things in a new window.} The other responses all said, "More art, please!" and "More writing, please!" and "When the heck are you going to post your HOW section?" So I'm going to concentrate on just that. More art, more inspiration, and more about french toast. The rest will come when it's time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I don't get this. I just walked downtown to get a scoop of ice cream. One scoop. So I go into the shop and ask how much it is for one scoop, in a cup. It's $2.25, no matter what flavor I get, in a cup, or in a cone. "For one scoop?" I ask. The guy behind the counter says yep. So I say, sure, I'll get a cone of peanut butter ripple ice cream with one scoop of ice cream for $2.25. What the heck. I just want a taste. He proceeds to jam three huge scoops on top of this cone, wraps the bottom with a napkin and hands it to me. "This," I say, gesturing with the cone, "is ONE SCOOP?" Yep, apparently so. It's not one, it's three, and it's two more than I wanted or needed. It's 96 degrees out, and by this time everything is melting. I lick off my hand and give him the $2.25. Next time, I'm going to vault over the counter and show him what one scoop means, i.e., you stick the scoop in the ice cream, scoop some up, once, place it in a cup, and you're done. Either that or hand him a dollar and a cup and ask him to fill'er up for a dollar's worth. It was great ice cream, though.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Just got back from wonderful D.C., home of the free museums and clean-and-easy-to-use subways. We tooled around and visited lots of exciting stuff, including the Natural History museum, where I was able to watch my favorite movie. It's cheesy, old, and absolutely delightful. We asked in vain at the giftshops for some CHON t-shirts; they didn't have a clue what we were talking about. I saw it at least 3 times and sang along. This describes it pretty well. We also giggled a lot at the new and really cool John Paul II Cultural Center — it's interactive, and we got a little crazy in the Gallery of Imagination. I firmly believe that God the Creator loves it when you get creative. We stood on line for ages to get into the amazing Treasures of Egypt exhibit {totally worth it}, whirled through the National Geographic headquarters, visited the planetarium at the Air and Space Museum {quoting Homer Simpson: "What do you mean, there's no air in space? There's an Air In Space Museum, isn't there?"} hung out in Union Station, went to Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where there's lots of beautiful artwork featuring different countries' depictions of Mary — very cool — and got to visit with Paul's school buddies. As if that weren't enough, we also visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and saw a free concert and a dance recital going on, seperately, on our way to dinner. We didn't get to visit the newly opened International Spy Museum... I think we packed enough into 2½ days for this trip. That'll hafta wait for next time. {phew.}

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

I just read this book: "Anatomy of a Rose: Exploring the Secret Life of Flowers" on our camping trip. It's all about the sneaky and amazing ways flowers adapt to get what they want: namely, to get pollenated. It was really a fantastic read, and talked about the titan arum, the "world's biggest and stinkiest flower". Nature is so cool.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

I have been listening to some mighty interesting music lately. In addition to the usual lunacy, I've been singing along to gems from these electronic geniuses: The Moog Cookbook: A cover band that pays homage to that great instrument of the 70's, the Moog synthesizer. Listen to their awesomely playful renditions of "Black Hole Sun" and "25 or 6 to 4" (my faves). They're addictive. The Minibosses: It's hard to get cooler than this. They cover background music from Nintento 64 games. The music was a lesson in composition simplicity, due to the limited instruments available on the soundcard. Darn catchy little tunes. My fave: the Kraid/Metroid theme. {ps ~ they're not the only ones out there that do this, but 90% of any mp3's you look for on this theme will be credited to them. Just enjoy.} The Laziest Men on Mars: Famous for "All Your Base Are Belong To Us", you'll also want to check out "The Terrible Secret of Space". Complete with video. Do you have stairs in your house?

Monday, July 15, 2002

This weekend was spent camping in the great outdoors! Did I mention that the great outdoors also happens to be bear country? High Point is a great place to camp, but all food has to be hidden from the black bears that live in the area. “Hidden” means in the trunk of the car, and making dinner gets to be an ordeal as the cooler is never supposed to be visible. Bears who see it in the backseat of the car have been known to rip the car apart to get to the food. We saw all kinds of wildlife on our trip; cows, horses, cats, dogs, three groundhogs/woodchucks, a rabbit, deer, and one very persistent little mouse who kept nosing his way around our campfire in the hopes we’d dropped some food, but thankfully, NO bears, despite the warning from the rangers that there had already been several “incidents” that weekend. We did have absolutely gorgeous weather, polite neighbors, and a view of the shimmering lake. And the most important thing – lots of marshmallows and books to read around the campfire to each other.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

According to my SARK calendar, today is Sidewalk Chalk Day! So naturally, I went out this morning and did my chalking thing. Today's quote: "The greatest achievements were at first, and for a time, dreams. The oak sleeps in the acorn." (by James Allen). So then I wanted to draw a circle, put some acorns in it, and write, "Take one..... dream big." Only those squirrels had sucked the park dry; there wasn't an acorn to be found! So I had to content myself with drawing an acorn instead. If you do have acorns around you, feel free to use this when you go on your chalking adventure!

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I find this just fascinating. It's a site about the nature and origin of symbols. Paul and I have this symbol carved on the inside of our wedding rings.
happy i yam all on a new day happy i yam people and flowers are one and the same all in a chain at the beginning of a new world someone's singing and i think it's me... someone's painting and i think it's me... someone's living and oh gosh it's me... ~ "someone singing" by Donovan

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Paul and I went out at 7:30 this morning and picked raspberries in our front yard, and had raspberries and crunchy granola out on the porch this morning. {Yum.} Our garden is joyously flowering, and soon we'll have more zucchini and pumpkins and tomatoes than we can handle. And yesterday the broad expanse of dirt we call a yard finally got seeded... I can't wait to walk across the new grass with my bare feet. As Bobby McFerrin said, "I am so happy/Simple pleasures are the best."

Friday, July 05, 2002

We spent a lot of yesterday at the town pool, watching the incredibly long line of kids waiting to try out the two new slides they just put in. Sitting next to me was a family with 2 kids under 10, 2 women of mom age, and a man in his 40's who was clearly mentally disabled. Eventually everyone but the man got up, and he began talking to himself, making comments about the water, how hot it was, the fact that he was hungry. I pretended I was asleep because I was really tired and wanted to relax, not make conversation, but I felt a twinge about doing it.... he was literally 3 feet away from me. When it came time for the family to leave, they packed up all their stuff, and then struck up a conversation with an friend the mother had run into. The women completely ignored the man, who was hanging hopefully on the fringe of the group. The children tried to ignore him too, turning their backs to him and peering into each other's eyes, comparing who's were redder from the chlorine in the pool. "Let me see," said the man to the little boy. "Oh, you're just fine," he reassured him. "How would you know, you moron?" asked the girl derisively, turning away. The man put his hand on the boy's shoulder, but the boy brushed him off and ran away too. "But you're my buddy," said the man to himself. "You're my little buddy." It just about broke my heart. What would it have cost me before, just to give a smile, a nod, to say. "Yep, you're right. It is really hot!" A conversation that might have made someone feel like he belonged, just for a minute?

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Here, as promised, are the many more details about meeting SARK. {Warning: it's looooooonnnnnng!}

Monday, July 01, 2002

This weekend's chalking: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." {Eleanor Roosevelt} As always, I went undetected... well, by humans, anyway. The squirrels seem to like it.