Thursday, October 18, 2018

An Evening In The Land Of Angels

The view from the rooftop of our hotel in Los Angeles.  We spent over an hour watching planes takeoff and land - I was sipping coffee, the boys were drinking beer.  The weather was AMAZING, a perfectly cool clear night. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Drawbridge Warning

2016: Driving Into The Sunset With Voices In My Head
2015: Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Dixieland
2014: Denial For Sale In New Mexico
2013: Friday Night Fright
2012: Ten Things For October
2011: Jane’s Addiction

2010: Isolated Iesolana
2009: WWJD?
2008: Where The Angels Arrive And Depart
2007: Diamonds In The Deep Blue
2006: Everyone Is Doing It
2005: En-Gulfed Coast

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Signed, Sealed, And Being Delivered

The mid-terms are only three weeks away, folks!

This year they're dedicating a special voting day for each party.

Democrats vote on November 6th.

Republicans vote on November 7th.

Don't miss your day. 

Make sure you get out there and VOTE!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Growing Season

2016:  The General Landscape Of Southern Arizona
2015:  A Bright Spot In The District
2014:  The Way The River Went
2013:  If You're Looking To Flip A House For Money....Don't
2012:  A Sad Day For The Piggies
2011:  A Warrior Waging A Noble Fight, Fueled By Chocolate Ice Cream

2010:  Ragazzo dell’Ombrello
2009:  Eddie It’s Not Even Halloween Yet Friday
2008:  Not So Different, Are We?
2007:  Quite Uneducated, If You Ask Me
2006:  Sometimes Identity Theft Can SAVE You Money
2005:  Mina In Fifty Years

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Run, Roll, And Rain

Today Ed participated in the Jim Click Run 'N' Roll, an event that supports the Adaptive Athletic Program at the University of Arizona.

We arrived just after sunrise and the run started a little after 7am.  Although it rained in the early morning, it stopped before the run. 

That didn't stop the participants from trekking across the rain-soaked lawns or the runners from hitting the shiny, wet pavement.  Ed did the 3K and made excellent time! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bee Stop

2016: Prepping The Butt
2015: Strangled By The Capital Beltway
2014: Even The Deer Are Bored
2013: Happy "Columbus" Day!
2012: Not So Subtle
2011: Satan Called. He Wants His Weather Back.
2010: If Only I Looked As Good As He Does
2009: What Grandmothers Do When Their Grandchildren Grow Up
2008: The View Of The Valley And Meadow
2007: A Beautiful Dimple In The Earth
2006: Dive The Sky
2005: G-Y-M

Saturday, October 13, 2018

French Inspired

In honor of our trip to Paris, Ed and I decided to have breakfast at a local French place called Ghini's French Caffe.  Breakfast in French is "petit déjeuner" which literally means, "small lunch".

Ghini's has been around for over 20 years but this is the first time I've ever been there.  Ed, on the other hand, visited once with his running buddies.  Because they serve beer (and other drinks, if desired) for breakfast.

They have a lovely menu and it was hard to decide.  We decided to try two dishes and have a taste of each.  The first was their signature dish, Eggs Provençal.  They bill it as, "A simple dish from Provence in my grandmother's kitchen: An amazing symphony of flavors, locally sourced hot house tomatoes sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with fresh garlic, fresh eggs, and thyme. An addictive dish that can be eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime."

It was DELICIOUS.  First, I love eggs with herbs.  I will often sauté vegetables for an omelette with rosemary and thyme.  What I loved, even more, were the luscious tomatoes.  And the toasted mini-baguettes weren't too shabby either.

The second menu item we tried was the Florentine Croque Madame - Fresh baby spinach layered with béchamel, gruyere, and parmesan cheese baked on their box French bread and topped with a sunny side egg.  And they baste the eggs, so not only was it delicious, it was beautiful. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2017:  Millions Of Miles Of Memories
2016:  The Early Bird Gets The Cacti

Friday, October 12, 2018

My Feet Are Getting Itchy, Too

The drawing above is from artist Malachi Ray Rempen, of Itchy Feet, The Travel and Language Comic.

I've been through his site and have found quite a few amusing comics.  Take a look!  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2017:  Of Course
2016:  This Butt Is No Joke
2015:  A Day Of Amusement On The Lake
2014:  法拉盛華埠
2013:  The Pumpkin Master
2012:  Prime Viewing
2011:  Still Flowering
2010:  Wishing I Could Trade My Feet For Wheels
2009:  And The Winner Is…
2008:  Palm In The Dirty South
2007:  Ed Makes Out With Fair Fluff Friday
2006:  Blue Light Special
2005:  Blue Collar

Thursday, October 11, 2018

It Is Enough Simply To Look At A Tree

Two years ago we planted ten trees on our property.  I wanted something green and leafy to look at (I'm not a huge cactus fan), and Ed wanted a privacy screen between us and the neighbor.

They've grown considerably since we put them in.  They were skinny and sparsely leafed when they were planted, and now they're fatter and more full.

This week he was working on digging a new ditch to buy the irrigation lines.  We've had so much rain that much of the dirt covering the lines had washed away, and a few critters got to it and chewed on the plastic tubing. 

I love the trees and hope to plant more.  They're beautiful to look at and apparently, their mere existence provides health benefits.  Win-win.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

2017: It Might Take A Minute
2016: Couple In Selfies
2015: From The Top
2014: If Your Name Is Tinsley, You Probably Use A Fountain Pen
2013: British Invasion
2012: Splendid Fantasy Road Trip
2011: Hard To Get Close To 
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone 
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level 
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya? 
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky 
2006: Individuality 
2005: Text Me

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stepping Outside Of The Comfort Zone

If you know anything about Simon Cowell, of American Idol fame, you'll know that he was rarely seen in anything other than a black t-shirt.  Sometimes - gasp! - a v-neck t-shirt.

I have Simon Cowell's closet.  Everything in it is black.

I've been drawn to black since I was young.  I remember cutting up a black sweatshirt in Madonna days.  Also in the eighties, I owned a black mesh t-shirt that I wore over tank tops and bathing suits.  I had a black bathing suit.  I loved black tights.  I bought (almost exclusively) black purses.  I was probably the only person who liked my waitressing uniform - black shoes, pants, and vest.  Black eyeliner was always my first choice.  And any kind of accessory - wallets, scarves, gloves, notepads, etc. - were almost always black.

So this week while I was going through my clothes for our trip, stacking them on the bed, all I saw was a sea of black.  I mentioned this in a previous post, but it's been in my head more than normal so I decided to try to bring some color in.  I went shopping, again, and picked out a few items that are pure, solid, color.  See photo above.

I did slip in one floral top with a black base color, but that should still count.  It's a print.  And the blue fabric item on the top of the pile is pajama bottoms.  Oddly, I have very colorful pajamas/lounge pants/hang-around-the-house clothes.  Don't know what that's all about.

I will have plenty of black to choose from but I'm hoping I have the courage to throw in a few of the colored pieces to punch it up a little.  If I can't fully commit to an outfit to wear out in public, I will transfer the colorful stuff to my pajama collection.  

I wear more of those anyway, and my stash can always use updating.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
2017: Fall, Falling, Fallen
2016: Twisted Monday
2015: The Bitchy Beast Of Strijen
2014: Montana Moments
2013: Scanning Comes To A Mouth Near You
2012: Go Ahead, Judge Me
2011: Con Los Años Que Me Quedan 

2010: Ten. Ten. Ten. A Perfect Score! 
2009: Lighting The Testosterone Torch 
2008: Eddie Helps The Economy Friday 
2007: Talk About A Thorn In Your Side 
2006: My Sentiments Exactly 
2005: Mason? Dixon? Line? BELOW It.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

When Does The Next Ocean Liner Leave?

photo source
This is a steamer trunk.  They were popular in the late 1800s, early 1900s.  

This is how I need to travel.  This is my kind of luggage.

I've successfully narrowed the packing for our European vacation down to two small bags. I did a practice run with all the things I think I'll need to see if everything will fit.  
I've mixed and matched clothing and found a few pairs of shoes that will work.  I'm probably going to take more shoes than I need because, with my big feet, I can't risk not having something that works.  Shopping in the United States for shoes is traumatic enough for me, I can't even imagine shopping for them in a foreign country.

But as I was thinking about packing, and the trip, and what I needed and wanted with me, I started thinking about how other people travel.  And how people used to travel.  And I came to a realization.  

I'm totally a steamer trunk kind of girl. 

I'm not the backpacking-through-Europe type. 

I'm not the living-out-of-a-duffel-bag type. 

I'm not even the pack-everything-in-a-roll-on-bag type. 

I'm not even a throw-my-hair-in-a-ponytail-and-go-for-a-burger girl.

I need things. And I'm indecisive.  I'm terrible and making decisions about what I need and what I can't do without.

I can't even condense my purse, for Chrissake.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Young And Jazzy

2016: The Happy Cyclist
2015: Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love
2014: Where The Cranberry Is King
2013: How To Lower Your Blood Pressure While Raising Another's
2012: I Made It Because I Like The Word Schnitzel
2011: I May Be Old, But I’m Not That Old
2010: Today’s The Day!!
2009: Ed Getting Jiggy Among The Sunflowers
2008: The Bridge To Everywhere
2007: Scared Into Anorexia
2006: A Good Hot Cup Is Desperately Needed
2005: Am I The Only One Who Noticed This??

Monday, October 08, 2018

I've Got New Rules

This song is called "New Rules" by Dua Lipa. I've never heard of the artist, and I didn't know the song until I heard it tonight on The Voice. I like the vibe.

Maybe it's because she's 23, but more likely because I'm 51, I couldn't understand any of the lyrics.  I liked the beat but didn't know what she was saying, so I turned to Google.  If you're in the same boat, not being able to quite get what's being said, the words to the song are below. 

You're welcome.

New Rules
By Dua Lipa

One, one, one, one, one
Talkin' in my sleep at night
Makin' myself crazy
(Out of my mind, out of my mind)
Wrote it down and read it out
Hopin' it would save me
(Too many times, too many times)
My love, he makes me feel like nobody else
Nobody else
But my love, he doesn't love me
So I tell myself, I tell myself
One, don't pick up the phone
You know he's only calling 'cause he's drunk and alone
Two, don't let him in
You'll have to kick him out again
Three, don't be his friend
You know you're gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you're under him
You ain't getting over him
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've gotta tell them to myself
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've gotta tell them to myself
I keep pushin' forwards
But he keeps pullin' me backwards
(Nowhere to turn, no way)
(Nowhere to turn, no)
Now I'm standing back from it
I finally see the pattern
(I never learn, I never learn)
But my love, he doesn't loves me
So I tell myself, I tell myself
I do, I do, I do
One, don't pick up the phone
You know he's only calling 'cause he's drunk and alone
Two, don't let him in
You have to kick him out again
Three, don't be his friend
You know you're gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you're under him
You ain't getting over him
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've gotta tell them to myself
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've gotta tell them to myself
Practice makes perfect
I'm still tryna' learn it by heart (I got new rules, I count 'em)
Eat, sleep, and breathe it
Rehearse and repeat it 'cause I (I got new, I got new, I)
One, don't pick up the phone
You know he's only calling 'cause he's drunk and alone
Two, don't let him in
You have to kick him out again
Three, don't be his friend
You know you're gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you're under him
You ain't getting over him
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've got new rules, I count 'em
I've gotta tell them to myself
I've got new rules, I count 'em (baby you know I count 'em)
I've gotta tell them to myself
Don't let him in, don't let him in
Don't be his friend, don't be his friend
Don't let him in, don't let him in
Don't be his friend, don't be his friend
You ain't getting over him

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Flashback To A Flashdance Summer

2016: Make Your Reservation Now
2015: Every Year Is A Good Year For A Hero
2014: Peace Through Understanding
2013: Goodwill Hunting
2012: Approaching Talladega
2011: Music Sets The Stage
2010: Tacky Prevails
2009: Not As Hot As It Looks
2008: Burst
2007: Stockholm Syndrome
2006: Playing In A Dream Near You
2005: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Gratuitous Zac

Two weeks ago I watched 17 Again and last week I watched for the second time, The Greatest Showman.

Both star Zac Efron.  And as usual, he's delicious.

This photo is my current iPhone lock screen wallpaper.  Whenever the screen "wakes up", Zac is looking deep into my soul.  Albeit, with one eye, but still.

His gaze makes me swoon.

Yes, I know, I'm totally cheesy.  And yes, my husband knows I have a crush on a baby.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tall, Foxy, And Toxic

2016: Magic Shoes

2015: Finally Fall
2014: Fruit On Main
2013: Circling The Shark
2012: Unlimited 
2011: Autumn Leaves Begin To Fall 
2010: I Wonder What Color The Ancient Estruscans Wore? 
2009: You Ask, I’ll Answer 
2008: You Can’t Hide From The Eyes Of A Truck Driver 
2007: Flurry Of Ruffles 
2006: A Bag Full Of Dicks 
2005: Go West Young Man!! Uh, I Mean East. East.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

I'm Not The Only One

Ed has been doing some shopping, too. One of those thin puffy down jackets, rain gear, a gorgeous Kuhl Pullover, a very non-dorky Patagonia Sweater Vest, pants, underwear, money belt, and more.

Unlike me, Ed makes quick decisions and almost everything he pulls off the rack fits.  He's decisive - "Yes, I like that." or "No way." - he doesn't waver, and I almost never have to return something he bought because he knew he wanted it when he picked it out. 

Oh, how I wish I had that gene.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Teddy Bear You Don't Want To Cuddle

2016: You Are Scored On My Heart
2015: Truckin' Punkins
2014: How To Achieve 365 Days Of Perfection
2013: Leaving Las Vegas And Bypassing That Damn Dam
2012: A Difference As Big As The Grand Canyon

Friday, October 05, 2018

One More Look

Ed, my mother, and I went to see A Star Is Born today.  I've had the release date on my calendar since it was announced it was coming out.

This is the fourth remake of this movie.  The original, made in 1937, starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.  It did not have any singing in it, but the storyline of the female lead being a rising star as the male lead's fame begins a downturn is present through all four films.  I have not seen this movie but plan to watch it this weekend.

The first remake, done in 1954, stars Judy Garland and James Mason.  This one, from what I've heard since I haven't seen this one either, has plenty of singing.  And dancing.  Because Judy Garland.

The third, which is the one I know and love, starring Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, came out in 1976.  I know every word of every song and have seen the film multiple times.  Even after having seen the new one, this (until I see the other two) remains my favorite.

The newest version, directed by Bradley Cooper and starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga was good, but in a sense, disturbing.  Bradley Cooper's character, Jackson Maine, was just too tortured a soul for me.  Too drunk.  Too high.  Too out of control.  And the spiraling of his life, the embarrassing actions of him while drunk and high, the chaos of the life he leads, is too much.  I don't like watching it and I certainly wouldn't want anything to do with it.  I have never liked being around people who drink, let alone people who do it to such excess, they ruin themselves and everything around them.  

The Kris Kristofferson character, John Norman Howard, was a drunk too.  But it didn't seem as extreme.  Watching Kristofferson on screen didn't make me cringe as much as Bradley Cooper's character did.  That said, I thought the acting was very good. 

This was Lady Gaga's acting debut and she did a fine job.  And if you know anything about her, you'll know she has an outstanding voice. Bradley Cooper did a great job with his character, too.  Very believable.  And let me just tell you....he's beautiful.  Just beautiful.  Even sunburned and sweaty, with greasy rock star hair.  His grittiness is sexy.  And his swagger can make you swoon.  And his eyes.  Oh, those eyes - especially when he rolls down the limo window for one more look.

The New York Times put together this piece about the four flicks.  The "one more look" stood right out to me, mainly because of the song in the version of the movie I've seen.  In my opinion, it's the best song in the movie.  This song is done at the end of the movie and she does a mash-up with "Watch Closely Now".  Barbra gives me chills.  

Bradley Cooper did all his own guitar playing and singing.  I read he spent months learning how to play and really worked on his singing voice.  And it was pretty damn good.  This song, "Shallow", was written by Lady Gaga's character in the film (and by Lady Gaga in real life) was one of the best songs in the film.  They're both outstanding.

Here are the lyrics:

Tell me somethin', girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin' else you're searchin' for?

I'm falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin' for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Tell me something, boy
Aren't you tired tryin' to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?

I'm falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I'll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us
We're far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We're far from the shallow now

Oh, oh, oh, oh

I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I'll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us
We're far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We're far from the shallow now

Seeing this movie did not move me enough to call it my favorite A Star Is Born, and I wouldn't call it great, but I'd recommend it for Bradley Cooper or Lady Gaga fans, and if you've seen any of the other movies, you'll definitely have to see it to compare them.  

My next movie night will include the first two versions.

2005: Sleeping Beauty

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Real Home Shopping Network

Shoe shopping for me is a nightmare.  I've mentioned my giant feet in the past - size 12 - which makes walking into a store and picking a pair off the rack next to impossible.  And when I'm looking for something specific, like heels for my wedding, red ballet flats, or comfortable walking shoes, it's even more difficult.

So I turned to Zappos, my favorite shoe store.  Not only do they have my size, but they offer free delivery and free returns - up to 365 days after you receive your order.  That's amazing.

So I ordered thirteen pairs of shoes from Zappos and one pair from Nordstrom.  I've narrowed what I like down to eight pairs.

These didn't make the cut:  


VIONIC Cameo - I was really hoping these would have worked out, as they look like the European sneakers I saw people wearing in Italy in 2010, but they were too tight.

These are the eight I like, which I will narrow down to two or three:

Munro Traveler - I have two pairs of Munro shoes and I love them.  These are nice and sleek, with a stretchy piece over the top of the foot.  I need to walk around in them a little more.

Propet TravelActive SlipOn  -  I'm not in love with the white sole on these.

SAS Bliss - these are great for a dressier look with pants and are super cushy.

Naturalizer Sela - these have the white bottom, too, but they somehow look cooler.  

SKECHERS Performance Serene - a ballet flat with a few extra straps to keep 'em on the foot.

Propet Wash N Wear Slip-On Knit - these look a little weird, like socks, but they're not so ugly in person.  And on the foot with a black straight-leg or yoga pant, they look pretty cool and they're super comfortable.

Easy Spirit Twist - I really like these, and they look good with most of the pants I'm going to be wearing on my trip.

And this pair of shoe booties is most likely a definite: 

Munro Ana Bootie - these slip on and off easily, they're surprisingly comfortable, they look good with pants, leggings, and I'm going to try them with a skirt and tights.  I think it'll work.

I had to spend over $1,600.00 to get shoes delivered to my house in order to find something suitable to wear.  There's no way, even with all the traveling around the country we do, that I could have had this kind of success.  A few clicks of the mouse and I was able to try all of these on in the comfort of my own home.  I'll send back everything I don't want.  What can be easier than that?

As I lay out my outfits for my trip I realize that everything I own is black.  Seriously not one speck of color.  Oh, wait, I do have a red drapey sweater that's going to break it up a bit, and a classic black-and-white striped shirt to wear in France, paying homage to Coco Chanel.

I have always been drawn to black, even if there's a color option of the same exact item.  Ever since I was young I liked the color in clothing.  Growing up in New York, black was always in style, still is.  And  I hear Europe is very similar, so I guess I'm good.

But there's still time to shop online for some accessories to give a little oomph to all the black.  And if my success rate is as good as the shoe shopping I just did, I'll be set by the end of the week.

I love shopping from home.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2017: After The Storm
2016: Doing One Thing Well