Gusto Gal!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Today, on the bay, a military plane flew overhead while we were afloat in the Bayliner. We were waving just for fun and the pilot tipped his wing as a greeting.

I think this may be the next book I read. The author's bio is really nifty.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some interesting notes about today:
My grandpa would have turned 105 today.
Heidi would have turned 40.
I ate birthday cake for part of my breakfast.
The sunset was just perfect tonight--beautiful glowing red, but not blinding.
The manager at one of my favorite restaurants in town made an exception just for me. Sweet gestures like this sometimes make me feel incredibly fortunate.
I came across someone on the Internet today named Calliope and I can't quit thinking about it.
It is supposed to be in the mid-90s tomorrow and we have plans to spend a few hours on the boat.
I have a few fairly interesting writing assignments on my agenda, so my mind is active.
The quote on my calendar today said: "Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time."--Betty Smith

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thursday night we took our houseguest to The Cherry Hut for dinner. We were seated at a table for a few minutes when a little guy, maybe 3 or 4 years old, approached me. He was wearing blue Crocs.

My dad said, "I like your shoes. I need to get some of those."

The boy replied, "You'll get some someday." Then he went straight to the subject of his curiosity.

"How does this chair work?" he wanted to know. The question surprised me because usually young kids ask, "Why is she in that chair?"

When we described how my chair needed pushing, he was fascinated by all of its parts. He liked the brakes and the bungee cord that keeps my tray tight. Finally, he concluded, "That's pretty cool!"

Yes, his daddy is an engineer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I have had some wonderful vacation days in the past few weeks.

First, we stayed at this hotel in Battle Creek.

We saw the whole team of Blue Angels, and they went out of their way to give me special attention. I had my greatest teehee of that trip Saturday night (June 30). We were getting on the hotel elevator and a Blue Angel, looking all official, was already on board. I spouted out: "This is sooooo cool! Now I can say I've had a ride with a Blue Angel!"

Another fun memory of the trip was seeing the hot air balloons. This was a Greeeat! one. After we returned home, I heard on the news that one of the balloons crashed and the pilot was seriously injured. Hope he or she is all recovered at this point.

Away from the airfield, we took a trip to the Binder Zoo. It has been years since I have been to any zoo, so this was a treat. A Plexiglas window is all that separated me from a cheetah. Plus, just as their advertisement promises, I was nose to nose with a giraffe! I felt a bit like Goldilocks: "My goodness, Mr. Giraffe, what a long tongue you have!" We read that their tongues can measure as much as 18 inches.

For July 4, we traveled to Mackinaw City to enjoy the fireworks with one of my cousins and his family. We stayed just one night at this hotel. It was a lovely time. I was in a nostalgic/sentimental mood, I guess, because I kept thinking how strange it seemed to be "all grown up" with my cousin and his kids watching fireworks. I'm getting old! On our return trip to TC, we stopped in Petoskey and hit our favorite places including Gattles, Cutlers and Grandpa Shorter's. Then we ordered a delish lunch in the City Park Grill. The ride home was complete with Kilwin's peanut butter fudge to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Our expedition for July 7 was a day trip to Grayling to see the Golden Knights. It was too windy for them to jump, but I had a chance to mingle with the team. I love hearing their stories about how they became interested in skydiving. I was all giddy with a golden ribbon tied in my hair.

With that much recorded, it's time for me to take the plunge now and get this posted before three more week pass. Time flies when I'm having fun.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It is time to jumpstart my writing again, so I'm going to return to blogging with the hope it will limber up my creativity a bit. I'm in the midst of working on my master's thesis and suddenly I have turned into a clam. It seems like I have lost all my easy breeziness, which was the hallmark of my light and fluffy writing style.

What happened? I'm not too sure.

I thought, "Maybe I'm not reading enough." So, I have been catching up reading the accumulated magazines here and I just finished reading, "Poster Child," by Emily Rapp. Plus, I have several online stops I regularly click to keep feeling like a "well-read" person.

Then I thought, "Maybe I'm not venturing around town enough." Moving from place to place just isn't as easy as it used to be for me. Still, in the past two weeks, I have been to The Cherry Hut, to the Olde Town art fair, to the Park Place, to Oryana, to The Blue Tractor, to both major bookstores and even on Grand Traverse Bay. On days when I have stayed home, I have pushed myself to make contact with people outside my usual circle.

My best guess is that I'm not being tough enough on myself in terms of production. My deadlines are all distant, meaning I don't feel that pressure, but I should still be demanding incremental progress on my part. I keep telling myself, "I need to be getting further on this or that project!" When I do force writing, though, it isn't any good; it's too stiff and formal.

So, I'm really stuck. Perhaps, a little blogging will do the trick and get me past my block.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Happy New Year!

1. What 2 things do you look forward to accomplishing in 2007? This could be the year I complete NU's MFA program. That would be exciting. Also, I would like to establish a few new outlets for my writing; this means more networking on my part. I need to be updating my personal/professional Web site, too.
2. What is your favorite -007- (James Bond) movie? We saw the new -007- movie just prior to Christmas. I was disappointed in it, because it was quite violent. Action movies are not my favorites anyway, but I guess the older James Bond pictures were more tolerable for me because they were less torturous.

New Year's
1. Do your have a traditions for New Year's Eve or Day? We usually celebrate quietly with some tasty treats and a champagne toast. We tune in Dick Clark close to midnight. (Is he broadcasting again this year? Fingers crossed!)
2. Do you know anyone with a New Year (Eve or Day) birthday or wedding anniversary? I believe I know of a couple who was married on New Year's Eve, but I am not close friends with them. I simply heard about their wedding through another person.

Times Square
1. What was your favorite time during this 2006 holiday? The Christmas tree lighting in downtown TC was a highlight because we hit on it unexpectedly which somehow made it more fun. The day after Thanksgiving was unseasonably warm and it was fun to be gallivanting around town. I especially enjoyed shopping for and sending gifts to friends this year. I also thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Twelve Oaks. Of course, we had a lovely Christmas dinner.
2. Pizza: Round or square? I'm really more into lasagna or spaghetti, but if we are talking pizza, I would go for round. Square slices seem overly heavy and filling.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Let's hear it for the girl

Calendar Girl
1. Do you prefer a "day by day," "weekly" or "monthly calendar"? I have a Mary Engelbreit day by day sitting atop my printer that I just adore.
2. What is the oddest girl's name you've heard? I thought Wave was really unusual when I first heard it, but now it is growing on me.

Cover girl
1. What was the last magazine cover that made you have to read an inside article? I delved into the Ladies Home Journal with Meredith Viera on the cover. It was an interesting story, but I'm having a difficult time adjusting to the Katie change. It sees like every time lately I have turned on the Today Show, someone is always subbing for Meredith.
2. What is your favorite gift to give for a new baby girl? Girl or boy, I always like to give a rubber duckie and a "Baby's first Christmas" ornie.

Girl power
1. What is your biggest complaint about today's girls? They can be too "catty."
2. Who wielded the power in your house growing up? Dad's word is final, but Mom gets her say.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Homo farewell

1. What is the best sale item you have bought in the last month? I picked up a sweater from Marshall Fields shortly ahead of it becoming Macys. It was not initially on sale, but we bought it. I never wore it and we returned/rebought when they had a sale day.
2. Sailboat or parasail? I have been on a sailboat, but never parasailed. I can imagine potentially liking the sensation of floating through the sky.

1. Do your pets (if you have any) wear collars? My cat does not wear a collar, but he probably should. If he were to sneak outside, he would likely get lost. Our intention, however, is for him to be an indoor pet. The other quandary is his name. We usually call him Smokey, but he has been everything from Guido to Nagano to Yoplait to Ralph. So, who knows how the tag on his collar would read?
2. Have you ever been the winning caller in a radio station giveaway? No. Now, if they had a giveaway where listeners e-mailed, I'd be winning all the time.

1. Are you collecting the new quarters and nickels? We are collecting quarters in a neat case. I believe we are only waiting on the Dakotas now.
2. What is your favorite perfume? My favorite scent changes periodically. At the moment I think Lovely is quite lovely.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Repeat feat

1. Do you have a favorite 80s band? Which one? I don't pay too much attention to music. For me, it is mostly just background sound, not any matter I give much attention. I remember my mom playing the Flashdance soundtrack in the 80s. "Let's Hear It for the Boy" is a song that I also specifically remember. Chicago and Genesis, too, are bands that come to my mind.
2. What food do you dislike so much it should be banned? Lima beans. Who would miss them?

1. How long is too long to wait for someone to arrive to an appointment? Thirty minutes is the absolute max.
2. How much does your weight fluctuate? Incredibly little. In fact, this might be an area where I would have a chance of earning a Guinness record.

1. Maze, crossword, search word or sudoko? Crosswords are probably my top choice, but I like puzzles in general.
2. What was your favorite Crayola color? Maize, Tangerine, Brick or another? Blue green and thistle were my two favorites. Periwinkle and sky blue would be next on my list.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: "Homo" fun
1. What's good for all that ails you? I have several little comforts that make me feel good: chicken noodle soup, my monogrammed blanket, smiling flowers, glass ornaments, sweet tea, ice cream, my cheery chickies atop my monitor, the chiming of our grandfather clock...
2. Are you more of a Sprite/7-up person or a Vernor's/Ginger Ale person? Sprite/7-up is always my second choice. They are generally more available than Vernor's/ginger ale, so maybe, in part, I like the idea of choosing the more unconventional beverage. Just a few weeks ago, I discovered a really uncommon, tasty treat bottled at the Cherry Republic: it's cherry ginger ale. Delish!

1. What is the last craft project you completed? I helped friends create a peanut bottle. Let's just say it involved making a label and playing with pixels.
2. What Kraft products do you buy regularly? Block cheese and mac 'n' cheese; I'm part mouse.

1. What did you have for dinner last night? My eating habits are all out-of-whack. I had a huge turkey dinner plate about 5 p.m. at The Gobbler in Gaylord. Technically, that was my "lunch"; it was the second meal for the day. Then, about 10 p.m., I ate two warm crescent rolls with butter and a red, sugar-free popsicle.
2. How do you make your 8s? Figure 8 style or 2 individual circles on top of each other? Never thought about it until now, but always figure eight-style.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Hmmm...
Incision Decision
1. Have you ever had elective surgery? No way, Jose.
2. What made you decide to do the FFF this week? It was late at night when I saw the first set of questions and I was too tired to be working, so I just fired off my FFF.

Executive decision
1. If you could be the CEO of any existing company, who would you choose? Maybe, Hallmark. Their gold crown would suit this Queen B.
2. What kind of decisions are hard for you to make? Decisions that go against what others are advising.

Decisions, decisions
1. Google or Yahoo!? Yahoo! first, but Google when I have to get serious.
2. CNN or FARK? CNN. I adore Anderson Cooper!
3. Oprah show or Oprah magazine? Her magazine is the BEST!
4. Big 3 or "foreign" car? Let's just say I'm sick of all of the hullabaloo about the big three.
5. Fat free or sugar free? Fat plus sugar-filled is probably my choice.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: And?
Questions and answers
1. How do you deal with people who ask nosy questions? I try to laugh it off, avoid answering and shift the conversation to a new subject.
2. If you were going to be the new Today Show anchor, who would you choose to interview first? Maybe Katie Couric. I'm having a hard time understanding why she would leave fluff stories and fun interviews for boring, depressing nightly news? I guess she could be exhausted with getting up so early in the morning. Plus, she will be earning the distinction of being the first solo female nightly network anchor, but yuck!

Peanut butter and jelly
1. Do you like PB&J? What kind of peanut butter? What kind of jelly? About once a year, I get a peanut butter craving. Usually, I satisfy it with a peanut butter cup. I like peanut butter cookies with crisscrosses on top, too. When I was younger, I liked peanut butter even a bit better. At that time, my favorite brand was Velvet. I rarely eat jelly, but strawberry would likely be my first choice.
2. What is your favorite kind of sandwich lunch meat? Ham or turkey are about even for me.

Dollars and cents
1. What do you do with your one dollar bills? (Save them? Spend them? Donate them? Fold them into funny shapes? etc.) I rarely seem to have ones when I need them.
2. Have you ever saved your coins in a bank at home? What did the bank look like (Piggy? Water Jug?) I had at least one actual "piggy" bank. I also remember having a mini gumball machine that collected pennies.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: What's that yummy smell?

1. What is your favorite scented hand lotion? I'm not a big lotion user, but I like this Summer Hill scent.
2. When it comes to candles, what is your favorite scent? I like pine candles. The scent usually seems quite close to true pine, and it makes me think of the "gorgeorgious" tree Sunshine helps us decorate.

1. Breath mints or chewing gum? Of the two, I prefer gum, but I don't really like the look of people chewing gum, so I wouldn't really enjoy it, unless I was alone.
2. What is your favorite kind of gum? When I was little, I loved chewing several multicolored into one wad. My mom also used to pull an occasional piece of Freshen-Up gum from her purse for a treat. It seems like they had three flavors -- peppermint blue, spearmint green and cinnamon red -- and the green was my favorite. The most recent "fun gum" I remember having was Cinn-A-Burst. It has these neat little crystals in it that explode as you chew.

1. What delicious dessert do you enjoy eating or baking? Lately, I'm getting in the mood for Strawberry Shortcake, made with Bisquick biscuit.
2. Other than "delicious" what adjective do you use to describe your favorite food? Scrumptious

Monday, March 27, 2006

Here's a cool fluff story, just my style:
Because I care enough to post the very best!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I'm in a state lately where I have a ton of unfinished projects. I'm somewhat OK with that, because it means I have projects going. This incompleteness also makes me a little crazy, because well...nothing is getting done!

I have three newspaper stories in the works, one of which I think has the potential to be better than the norm, because the material lends itself to creating a heartfelt story. I want to proceed with it carefully, incorporate as many details as possible and do the best job with it as I can. I'm probably going to work myself into a fit worrying about it and ultimately struggle with it to a frustrating finish. With any luck, it will develop somewhat naturally.

Meanwhile, I'm engrossed in a complete site redesign for one of my clients. It is a good project for me while I am out of school. The tricky part is trying to guess what this person is going to want/like. I aim to please, but sometimes that means tossing out many unappealing possibilities to get to the right one.

My client's site redesign has me inspired to update/freshen my own professional site. I'm not planning on going wild, but I hope to spend a little time tweaking.

For some reason I am constantly thinking about my book project that is the final requirement for my MFA program. I have three more classes to take...then I finish with two eight-week classes that will push me through the process of writing a 110-page book. At the moment, this sounds outrageous to me because I usually grapple to write a 12-page paper! How on Earth will I write a book? When I get to thinking about this, my mind goes berserk... What will I write? What hasn't already been written? Why would anyone be interested in reading anything I could write?

Then, I go into my crazy, artsy mode. How can I call myself a writer? What if I never write another won't matter...if it doesn't matter, it must be pointless.... Well, you get the idea, it is a vicious cycle of questions.

To add to the mix of questions, I have to come up with some mentor/advisor person to oversee this whole 16-week book ordeal. The school will assign someone, but they highly suggest the student, meaning in this case me, selects someone in the field who is published, familiar with my work, supportive, yet will push me to produce the best work possible. So now in my spare time, I'm fantasizing about these high-profile writers I'd love to introduce as my advisor/mentor. Just for fun, I like playing out the scenario with Mitch Albom, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Ann Patchett and Anne Lamott. I am clueless about who I will really ask. This is rather a nuisance for anyone who accepts the responsibility. I feel like it will be nervy of me even to make the request. We shall see. For now, it remains yet another unresolved situation.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Friday Frou Frou: Egg-stra!

Nest Egg
1. Nestle or Hershey? I would give Hershey the edge, I think. The last candy bar I had was a Hershey's dark chocolate variety and it was quite scrumptious!
2. Eggs: how do you like them cooked? I like them hard-boiled, deviled or once-in-a-blue-moon as an omelet.

Green Eggs and Ham
1. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" has timeless appeal, but I have sweet memories of "Green Eggs and Ham." We had a used book sale at our elementary school. Mom sent me with a dollar, hoping I would come home with one or two, at most, grungy-looking books. Much to my childish delight and my mother's surprise, the books were priced at five or 10 cents each. I came home with at least 10 titles, one of which was "Green Eggs and Ham."
2. What ingredients go into your favorite omelet? Lots o' cheese, please, and sometimes mushrooms.

Egg on the face
1. Eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner? with what sides? Generally, I feel like eggs taste better the later in the day I eat them. I usually like them with fried potatoes, Smokey Links or something syrupy. No toast necessary!
2. What celebrity's face intrigues you? Why? Now much more intriguing can a face get than one with Mr. Clooney's little smirk? Why is he smiling like that?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm trying to push myself to practice positive, productive pursuits during this two months I am free from school work. So, here I am ready to try blogging again. Thanks to Sunshine, my page has a fun, fresh look. I'm honestly feeling rather rusty, tired and afraid right now. We have a health scare happening here that is making me like a crazy person. It should be OK in six to eight weeks, but at the moment that span feels like forever. One day at a time and experiencing about 4,200 different moods is how I will be enduring the passage. Read with caution. I may be peaceful or panicky. As long as I'm feeling something, I guess that's what counts!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Enjoying the winter solstice

Winter Wonderland
1. How do you keep warm during the winter time? Do you have a favorite jacket or type of coffee to warm you? My favorite warmer-upper is the softie maroon blanket Sunshine gave me for my 30th birthday. For sipping, my two favorite hot choices are sweet Earl Grey tea or cocoa ala tons of whipped cream.
2. Do you ever wonder what Santa gets for Christmas? What would YOU get him? I never really wondered what he received, but I did wonder what he did during his off time. That question is answered in this movie. If I was shopping for Santa, I would give him a 12-day-stay someplace warm, away from the North Pole.

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
1. If you could change the color of snow, would you leave it white or make it some other color? When I posed this question, I originally thought it would be really neat to watch intricate snowflakes in a variety of soft pastel colors float gently to earth. When I thought of how it would all accumulate into a hideous combined color, I'm thinking why question Mother Nature? White is right.
2. How much snow does it take for you to say, "Enough is enough!"? Snow after Jan. 1 is too many flakes for me.

Frosty the Snowman
1. Do you prefer a slushie/slurpee or an iced Cap? I think I prefer the slushie/slurpee for a cold treat, but I have really only tried hot cappuccino, so I'm not really sure on this one.
2. Any good/funny snowman stories? Making one or even seeing a humorous one? Not really. When I awoke from pulling my first code blue, it did occur to me to say, "Happy Birthday," like Frosty did each time he came to life, but I didn't do it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Face it

Baby face
1. What is your favorite trick to make a fussing baby smile? Offering Cheerios or a cracker can be a quick fix.
2. Whose face would you like to put on a postage stamp? I'd like to see the traditional yellow smiley on a stamp. Have they done that one?

Poker face
1. Do you enjoy playing cards games such at poker, rummy, gin, or even go fish or crazy eights? I don't play them often, but an occasional game is fun. I used to be crazy about UNO.
2. If you had to face your biggest fear, what would the fear be? My biggest fear is being alone, without anyone willing or able to help me.

Face the facts
1. What big challenge did you have to face this year? How was it? I guess staying occupied and productive while living "in the boonies" has been my big challenge. So far, I have succeeded, but it's going to be an ongoing challenge.
2. What is your favorite fact-finding site? The first place I turn is Yahoo!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: It's all an act

Performance Anxiety
1. If you were in the circus, which trick/act would you want to perform? I would probably be some kind of a clown. It is good to have the ability to see the humor in your own experiences and to make people laugh.
2. Do you get anxious when speaking in public? Does the anxiety differ depending on the audience or topic? Yes, I don't even like talking on the telephone, really. Maybe I am just rationalizing my phobia, but I actually seem to be challenging for people to understand. It makes verbal communication rather awkward. They get flustered and I get flustered, so it's a vicious cycle.

Award-winning performance
1. Who would you like to give an award? I would like to have an award to give to people I encounter who practice random acts of kindness. Plenty of disability advocates complain about unjust treatment, but for the most part I run into incredibly compassionate people. If we all reinforced these positive scenarios, we could probably build on them.
2. What is the first live performance you remember seeing? The first one I have a distinct, strong memory of seeing was "Annie" at the Fisher Theatre. I was crazy about everything Annie that year and it was a big deal when I received the Annie doll with Sandy the dog in her pocket.

Performance review
1. Have you ever had a performance review at work? How was it? I do not think I ever had any formal job review. However, as a freelancer, I am constantly being judged by my performance. I need to keep writing in order to keep my portfolio fresh. Also, now that I am working toward this creative writing degree, I am constantly being evaluated by profs.
2. How much stock do you put in book/movie reviews? Not too much. I have written reviews, myself, so I know the people doling out the ratings are just ordinary people. My idea of a good review is a clear, concise synopsis that does not reveal too much of the plot.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Bird brains

1. Do you enjoy thunder and lightening storms? Not really. I worry about losing power to the puter.
2. What kinds of birds do you get in your area? Do you keep birdfeeders or special plants out for them? Mom and Dad have become true birders. We have two feeders right now that attract blue jays, cardinals, finches, nuthatches and woodpeckers. During the summer we have a third feeder for hummingbirds.

Early bird
1. What early signs have you noticed that the holidays are coming? Thanks to Sunshine, we have had our tree decorated for weeks! We are starting to notice a few more decorations dotting the landscape, too. Some of our Christmas shopping is done. I saw my first Christmas commercial quite some time ago, advertising for Wal-Mart.
2. If you were a bird, what one would you be? Why? I would be a pink flamingo, so I could have a heart-to-heart with Max and Erma.

"Lady Bird" Johnson
1. Who is your favorite "first lady"? I love Eleanor Roosevelt quotes, so I think she is my fave.
2. What is your favorite © Johnson & Johnson product? Baby lotion. My mom uses it all the time, so the scent makes me think of her.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Last week's Friday Frou Frou: On the hunt

Treasure hunt
1. If you uncovered one, what would you want to discover inside your treasure box? Journals of my ancestors. Colorful glass beads. Cutesy teacups. Christmas ornaments. Fancy writing papers. Fun reading material.
2. What are you always hunting to find? E-mail addresses for people I need to interview. I admit it...I have even stooped as low as searching through obits.

Fox hunt
1. Have you seen a fox near your home? Yes. As a matter of fact, we were sorry to see a fox recently that had been hit and killed by a car.
2. What was the last subject you "hunted down" online? My latest quest has been for good adaptive gardening information.

Helen Hunt
1. Who is your favorite "Helen"? My grandma's name was Helen Ruth. For some reason, she always went by Ruth, but she will have to go down as my favorite Helen.
2. If you were asked to go hunting for deer with a friend, would you go? Would your answer change if it was a different animal? Now that I live in the "wild north yonder," a neighbor has suggested I watch him hunt...I think it was pheasant, or maybe quail... I'm not too sure I could stomach the whole adventure, but I am a meat eater. The fact that I have had an invitation to go hunting makes me teehee.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Blue x 3

Blue cheese
1. What is a quick remedy when you are feeling blue? Putzing on the puter, going for a ride or eating ice cream.
2. What is your favorite variety of cheese? Colby is probably the most multi-pupose cheese for me, but any cheese pleases me. I'm from the "Mouse" family.

Blue collar
1. What is your favorite shade of blue? Tanzanite blue. It's a cross between purple and blue.
2. Do you prefer to wear shirts with collars or without? I prefer with collars, because the more covered I am, the better.

Red, white and blue
1. What book are you reading? I have three books in my stack. I have been reading "The Lady and the Panda" all summer. I started out interested, but then it became rather textbookish, and I never seem to get around to finishing it. Then, last winter I was ready to read "The Know-It-All," but I decided to start school, so pleasure reading went out the window. Finally, a DWW member sent me a copy of her book, "Writing Home." If I could ever bring myself to shut down this computer...
2. YES OR NO: does flag burning as protest annoy you? No. (This always confuses me. Isn't burning the flag one of the proper ways to dispose of it? Or, is it supposed to be buried?)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Animation imagination

1. What is your favorite Pixar Animation feature film? If it is a kiddie movie, I'm probably going to like it. "Finding Nemo" would probably get my vote for fave, but "Monsters, Inc." is a close second.
2. What cartoon from the past do you think would make the next great Pixar Animation feature film? I'd like to see Felix the Cat ala Pixar. He would have to have some colorful sidekicks, however, because he is so black and white.

Looney Tunes
1. Which is your favorite Looney Tunes character? I know it is boring, but plain and simple, I was a Bugs Bunny fan. The cartoon aired at 3 p.m. when I watched it, and that was the first time I learned to read on our kitchen clock -- big hand on the 12, little hand on the 3.
2. Which Looney Tune can't you stand? I never liked Marvin the Martian. He must have been too boy-ish for me.

1. What is your favorite animated Disney movie? For a classic Disney movie, "Cinderella" is my choice. As far as the more recent Disney movies, my pick is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
2. Have you been to any of the Disney theme parks? I have been to Disney World, Epcot and MGM several times, but all the trips were a long time ago. I have great memories of going there. I understand why some people dislike it -- the lines, the cost, etc., but I went as a child, so I was just carried away by the happy place and unfazed by reality.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Cause and effect

1. Have you ever experienced a flood in your house, yard, community, etc.? What happened? No, not that I can remember. The closest disaster-type situation I experienced would probably have been our Jeep fire.
2. If you had to evacuate your home and community, where would you head? Stay in a hotel or with family/friends, etc? If a hotel was available, that would most likely be our first choice. However, we enjoy having family and friends stay with us for brief stretches

Power outages
1. When you lose power, what do you miss the most? I miss my computer most of all, because it seems like I sit on the machine all day.
2. How do you typically pass time when you lose power? Reading is probably the main way I would pass the time. We have also been known to take in a movie or cruise around town. The last time we lost power was the day we went car shopping and found my mom's Subaru.

Gas hike
1. How much is gas at your neighborhood station today? During our long holiday away-cation, the lowest I saw was $2.98 and the highest I saw was $3.31/gallon.
2. Will you be hiking/walking/biking more now that the prices are going up so high? Teehee! I'd like to see me hiking/walking/biking!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: How does your garden grow?

1. What are some of your favorite things to do once the sun goes down in the evening? I don't watch TV too often, but if I am going to tune into a show, it is usually in the evening. The later it gets in the day, also, the more likely I am to surf the Internet for pleasure reading and/or online solitaire games.
2. What types of flowers do you have in your home and/or in your garden? My mom really enjoys gardening, so it seems like we have a plethora of petals in our yard: hydrangeas, flax, daisies, lily-of-the-valley, trilliums, more than I can name... Especially when we are have company visiting, she tries to have flowers in the house, too. Right now, we have chrysanthemums and some hydrangeas she cut and is trying to dry.

1. If "candy is dandy," what is your favorite kind of non-chocolate candy? Other than chocolate, I am not much of a candy fan. I do, however, LOVE peanut butter fudge.
2. What do you think about the idea of letting African lions and elephants roam the prairie? This questions makes me hunger a bit for animal crackers. Those are the only lions and elephants I would care to approach.

1. What is the coolest way you have heard of someone proposing marriage? I love stories about really creative marriage proposals. It seems like recently I saw an commercial where a guy asked his gal to become his wife. It made me all smiley to see, but I think my preference would be something a bit more intimate.
2. What is the first piece of gold jewelry you remember wearing? I had two bangle baby bracelets that, lucky-for-me, still fit my wrist. I'm not sure if they are "true" gold, but they certainly have lasted a long time. When I was about 6, I think, my parents gave me one of those children's birthstone rings with an itsy-bitsy emerald. I felt like I was wearing a "princess" jewel with it slipped on my finger. It seems like everyone was cautioning me to be careful not to play with it and lose it. For a while, I had some contraption on it called a "ring guard," but I don't even remember how it worked. I only know it was supposed to keep the ring from sliding off my finger. As I recall, the ring guard worked, but it hurt my finger and we had to have that safety feature removed. I never lost the ring, so apparently I was careful!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Hear me out, here.
1. When you build a sundae, what toppings do you include? Hot fudge would probably be my first choice. It seems like in my younger years I preferred fruitier toppings, like pineapple and strawberry, but somewhere along the line, that changed.
2. What rituals do you have that make up your Sunday routine? Almost every Sunday, I have a slow wake-up morning and eat breakfast before getting dressed for the day. Quite often, we let a pot roast slow cook in the oven all day, too. So, I guess my ritual is to keep Sunday slow.

1. Have you ever known anyone addicted to an illegal drug? Not sure if alcohol counts here, but if so, then yes. Otherwise, I don't think so.
2. Which FICTIONAL book/literary character is a pretty cool heroine? Anne Shirley from "Anne of Green Gables" is my favorite from childhood.

1. Do you empty out the "cache" file on your computer? How often? I used to be better about this when Sunshine and I spent our days together. Usually, what prompts me to clear my cache now, is when it is too full for me to "view source" for coding purposes.
2. How much cash do you generally carry with you? I like to carry $20, but in smaller bills.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Lots of mail

Junk Mail
1. One person's junk, is another person's treasure. What "junk" item do you own and refuse to get rid of? My orange smiley ornament is certainly not the most valuable in our collection, but it has always been my fave.
2. Who generally checks your mail? Where is the mailbox located? My e-mail I check whenever I hear a click. As far as our snail mail, usually my dad collects it. Our mailbox is located at the base of our hill.

You've got mail!
1. What is your favorite Tom Hanks movie? I like most Tom Hanks movies. "Splash" is maybe my top pick, because it is the first non-animated film I remember my dad taking me to see. I felt "grown-up," to be beyond watching cartoons.
2. Whose voice would you choose to tell you daily, "Welcome, you've got mail"? Some "snap-out-of-it!" voice, like Robin Williams saying, "Good morning, Vietnam!"

The post office
1. Is your usual mail carrier a man or woman? I think a man, but I don't know why I think that?
2. What is your best post office-related story? Hmmm...I don't feel like I have any super stories. I LOVE getting mail. I usually put cards I receive around my computer to brighten my work area and make it cheery.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: In the kitchen

Everything but the kitchen sink
1. When you take a trip, how organized are you when it comes to packing? I tend to bring more than I need, "just in case," and yet there is always something I wish I had brought.
2. Describe your kitchen sink area. Our kitchen sink window looks out to Grand Traverse Bay and across to the village of Elk Rapids. Last night was the close of Elk Rapids' Harbor Days and we could see fireworks from our window. The faucet part of our sink is white and we have Corian counters. I believe the color of our Corian might be Pepper Ivory. We usually have handy about three bottles with pump dispensers of dish soap, hand soap and hand lotion.

Too many cooks in the kitchen
1. What is your favorite dish to cook/bake/make? Stuffed roast turkey is a rare treat that makes the house smell sooooo good. It's about time for a Thanksgiving feast, I think, minus the November gale.
2. What is your favorite kitchen gadget? I love my electric chopper.

Beep-beep-beep, beep-beep-beep (timers)
1. What was the last thing baked in your oven? Hmmm, I think it might have been either a pot roast or a batch of brownies.
2. When was the last time the smoke alarm went off in your home? I don't ever remember the smoke alarm going off here, but sheesh the washer/dryer alarm is going off all the time! We bought new machines fairly recently and when they finish their cycles, they beep incessantly until someone gives them attention.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Face it

Put on a Happy Face
1. What automatically puts a smile on your face when you see it? Kittens, babies and smiling friends.
2. When you draw a happy face, what features do you include (nose, ears, hair, etc.)? When I draw a smiley, I usually include eyes, nose, mouth, hair and often eyelashes. When I type a smiley, I generally stick to just eyes and a mouth.

Face the Music
1. What have you been so wrong about that you admitted your error? (just one...LOL) I never thought I would be a student again, but here I am enrolled in classes.
2. Are you musically inclined? Do you play an instrument? Egadz, no way! I shudder at the thought of me trying to be musical.

Putting a face to it
1. Who has been the most memorable spokesperson (and for which company/product) to you? For some reason, the only person I can think of at the moment is Bill Cosby acting as the spokesperson for Jell-O.
2. Which company or product would you be the perfect spokesperson? Panera! I miss Panera sooooooo much.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: The circle of life

Born to be wild
1. What time were you born? I always have a hard time remembering if it was 4:41 or 4:43 p.m., but I think it was 4:41.
2. Have you ever watched an animal giving birth? If yes, what kind? I don't think so...maybe on a TV wildlife program. I can't think of a specific case.

Live strong!
1. What is a good alternative to "living strong"? Sorry I was confusing with this question. I was thinking of Lance Armstrong's yellow wristbands to raise money for cancer. They say, "Live strong!" If I were creating a band, I would design them in a tanzanite blue color and have them say, "Go with gusto!"
2. What are you more known for: endurance or fast action? Definitely endurance!

Only the good die young.
1. Do you like Good n' Plenty candies? Nope. For the most part, I like my candy to feature chocolate. Peeps are an exception to that rule.
2. Dying young is tragic, as we all know. If you were to die young, how would you want to go (ie, doing something you love? in your sleep? as a martyr)? I would want to go fearlessly with as few regrets as possible.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: John Bartlett would be proud.

"They're Here" -- Poltergeist
1. AFI listed the top 100 movie quotes a couple of weeks ago. Which quote among them is the most memorable for you? Or which movie quote was not listed that you feel should have been? "E.T. phone home." It seems like this movie must have been released on video when I was in high school...could that be? Every teacher seemed to show it just prior to a vacation. I'm pretty sure my Spanish teacher even showed the film with subtitles.
2. What's the scariest movie you remember watching? I think I only watched bits and pieces, but I saw "Children of the Corn" when I was too young and the movie creeped me out. To this day, I still only like "baby" films, "chick flicks" and an occasional drama.

"I'll be back." -- The Terminator
1. What is something you would like to get back to doing, but have not yet started? Writing one page daily. I did this for about a year, around 1997, and it is supposed to be a good practice. It always feels awkward and I don't know that it yielded any great results for me when I did it, but it is encouraging to see the pages piling.
2. What celebrity do you wish would make a comeback? Has Harrison Ford been in a good movie lately?

"How dare YOU, sir!" -- Clear and Present Danger
1. Do you take up dares? Hmmm...I'm at a loss to think of a specific example, but I suppose maybe I do thrive in challenging situations?
2. How happy are you with our President? I'm happiest not thinking about politicians.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Last night we went to Schelde's for dinner and the woman at the table next to us made a scene because her dessert wasn't "piping hot!" I'm not sure what she ordered. It looked like some kind of dumpling or cobbler, maybe, topped generously with vanilla ice cream. If it was too steamy, the ice cream would have been soup in a second. How hot is "piping hot," anyway?

Then, a guy at a table behind us ordered the prime rib, and the server literally laughed in his face when she told him it wasn't available. I didn't get what was so hilarious, but her hoot made me giggle and before too long, we were all three teeheeing.

We had our own ordering fiasco. They were pushing four of their "petite" desserts, one of which was chocolate mousse. I was expecting "just a taste" of a pudding-like treat. Instead, our server brought us a mambo piece of pie -- their "chocolate mousse" pie. Apparently, they serve the same dessert in a variety of different shapes and sizes and call it a different name in each case. To sweeten me up, I guess, she brought me the big much for my girlish figure.

Friday, July 08, 2005

This cherry festival week has been busy. We moved from Monday to Friday in a flash. We spent the evening of the fourth in Northport. It is the cutest, little town. I was sad to find out they tore down the old shipwreck building. It was just a shop of junk and the owner died two or three years ago, so I wasn't totally shocked, but it almost felt like one of the area's historic sites. Plus, they closed our favorite store in town, too. North Country Gardens had the best frou frou. Why do we have to lose so many goodies?

Wednesday was our annual cherry festival fashion show. The reigning cherry queen was involved in a near fatal accident last November. I was fascinated watching how they handled accessibility issues so she could participate in the event. She is unable to even stand independently and she strictly walks with crutches. Two handsome escorts practically carried her onto the walkway and supported her while she addressed the attendees. I initially thought it was a tasteful way to deal with it. When I reflect on the incident, however, I guess I wonder why she didn't simply use her crutches?

Yesterday and today, we have had rounds and rounds of company. Tomorrow is promising to be another full day. We have the Beulah art fair to browse, a shop in Frankfort to visit and the end of cherry fest fireworks to dazzle us. Summer life is good.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Maybe I can actually get back to blogging now. School finished last Saturday and I actually started a post then. I was composing it in an e-mail message and I was nearly ready to enter it into Blogger, but my computer completely froze. I tried every trick I knew to save my text, but nothing worked and I was forced to restart my system. Grrrrrrrrr! That was the end of that post and I didn't have the heart to begin anew.

Now, a whole week has passed in a flash. I had three stories due in those seven days, so I have absolutely been scrambling. It feels like I can catch my breath again, which is a big sigh of relief.

I love school and I love the fact I am taking a two month break, having completed 20 percent of my MFA program. The classes are forcing me to work outside my comfort zone, which is important. They are making me be productive and helping me connect with people I otherwise wouldn't meet, so that is just ideal. It does make me crazy, though, when I feel too booked.

One of my classmates is going for this degree at a record pace. He completes all the assignments early and plans to double up his class load certain semesters to earn his degree ASAP. That's fine for him if he can take it, but my reality is I like to have some fun.

I like to read magazines, spend hours at the mall, make runs for Culver's lemon ice, IM Sunshine, follow friends' blogs, take day trips with my mom, go to art fairs, surf the Web, offer help when someone needs a hand, catch rays on the boat... you get the idea!

All these activities might be meaningless, but if I have learned any life lessons so far, one is about the precious value of pleasure. So, I'm going to keep working toward that degree I want to earn, but I am going to make time for satisfaction, too. If it is meant to be, down the line, I will be able to list an MFA on my resume, but more importantly... I will have a Cheshire grin because I wasn't too driven to savor my share of merry moments.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Boxing/Brad
Million Dollar Baby
1. What is the most likely way you would earn a million dollars? Maybe writing something or many somethings, but based on this screenwriting class I am taking now, it won't be writing screenplays!
2. If you were choosing a baby name now, what would you choose? I like Katie-related names: Katrina, Katheryn, Katelyn

Fight Club
1. Have you ever been in a physical fight with someone? No. Teehee. I would have a hard time arm wrestling a mouse.
2. What clubs/organizations did you belong to in High School? Do you belong to any now that you're an adult? I have never been much of a "joiner." In high school, I think I went to one or two Spanish club meetings and I reluctantly applied to the National Honor Society. I contributed heavily one year to The Aquilla, the school's literary magazine. Now, I belong to Detroit Working Writers and a few listservs, but I seemingly have strong recluse tendencies.

Meet Joe Black
1. Since we've already done the "did you ever meet anyone famous," do/did you know anyone who resembles someone famous? One of my cousins looks quite a bit like Josh Groban, but my cousin is balding so you have to take his picture and Photoshop on hair.
2. "Joe Black" is a pretty boring name, so what is the most creative/interesting first name you have had the pleasure of meeting in person? I think it was a summer or two ago, one of our regular restaurants employed a gal named Abundance.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Big sigh of relief! That's what I am breathing! My first of 10 NU classes is finished, and I have an entire weekend free to refresh, renew and get my wits collected before my Intro to Screenwriting class begins Monday.

I have been so consumed with assignments that I haven't written a good blog post in ages.

Here are some notes about my life in the past eight weeks that I have neglected to mention:

1. I'm quite hooked on the FOX TV show, "House," even though parts of it drive me crazy. The character development is great. I just can't believe the actor who plays Dr. Gregory House is British! His accent is undetectable on the show, but he sounded all prim in his interview with Jay Leno. Why the drama writers have the docs go to patients' houses is beyond ridiculous!

2. I have become a fairly frequent reader of Rosie's blog.

3. I'm hooked on really bizarre foods: cream cheese toaster strudel, Stauffer's spinach souffle, Ritz Bitz, Quiznos beef dips and Minute Maid frozen lemonade.

4. During my class, I had occasion to contact Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jon Franklin and we exchanged a few e-mails. Now, I have a year's subscription to his WriterL listserv.

5. We have a new HP printer, soon-to-be connected to my computer. This is happy news because my current printer is so archaic, it might as well belong to a museum.

6. We are feeding the birds, and in my opinion, better yet, the squirrels. My favorite is a little red guy named Murphy.

I'm sure more has happened in the past two months, but at least this has been a mini-update.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Weathering the storm

1. What would you like to see the sky raining other than cats and dogs? Maybe feathers. Maybe flower petals. Maybe teehees. Candy hearts would be really fun!
2. What promise are you trying to make to yourself and keep? I'm trying to make the most of situations I cannot control, rather than fight them and make myself miserable.

Snow Angel
1. When you see snow, do you smile or grimace? If it is the first snowfall of the season or holiday time, I can be cheery about it, but otherwise it makes me "flurrious!"
2. When it comes to deciding on whether to be good or bad, is it the angel or devil on your shoulder that usually wins? Usually the angel wins, but I do have a sneaky side.

Dust Devil
1. Where does "dust" seem to accumulate the most in your private life? Pleasure reading. If I'm reading lately, it is usually for class.
2. How close have you been to a tornado/dust devil? I have never been near a dust storm, but I have seen tornado-like conditions a few times.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Action

1. Does your camera take film or is it a digital? We have a digital camera now, but egadz...we sure are not too good about taking pictures with it!
2. Which film, 25 years old or older, is one of your favorites? E.T. is quite close, because it is from 1982. For a classic, Mary Poppins used to be a favorite. I haven't seen it in ages, and I suspect it might be a tad wearisome now.

1. How do you feel about watching movie you enjoy a sneak peek or could you not care less? I like watching them at the theater. At home, they usually provide a little extra time to get ready.
2. What is a case where the preview you saw made you want to see a movie? The Grinch.

1. What sequel do you think was better than the original movie? I'm thinking this was the case with Spider-Man, although I'm terrible at remembering movies.
2. What movie do you think needs a sequel? I'm not a fan of sequels. Generally, I think it is best to stop with the first one.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Brainiacs
Brain Freeze
1. What's sexier, a brainy (wo)man or a funny (wo)man? I think funny, because it takes a certain amount of brains to be funny.
2. What is your favorite frozen treat? For quite some time now, it has been Minute Maid frozen lemonade.

Brain teaser
1. Who is the smartest person you know and how? (book smart, common sense smart, etc.) Well, the kind of person I think is the smartest is someone who knows a fair amount about a range of subjects and also is someone who is willing to admit when he/she doesn't have an answer.
2. Were you teased as a child and if so, by whom? Even though people would have had plenty to tease me about, I was not teased. The worst I had to face was being ignored, which wasn't so bad.

Brain surgery
1. What is one detail you struggle to keep in your brain? The spelling of the word, "tomorrow." One "m" or two?
2. If you could have cosmetic surgery on one part, what would you choose? I dislike pain way too much to go under the knife, but if pain were not a factor, I think it would be great to see clearly without my glasses. I like my specs just fine, but they are one more attachment and I already have too many!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Phone tag
1. How long have you had your current home telephone number? What has been the longest amount of time you've had a certain number? Hmmm, we have had it for between 5-10 years. We lived down the street just a few houses for a short time and we were able to transfer the number from there.
2. Do you think of e-mail and IM as "the new telephone"? Yes, e-mail and IM are actually preferred if you ask me. I LOVE my computer way more than the telephone, which makes me sound like Minnie Mouse.

1. What is your favorite ring or piece of jewelry (other than engagement/wedding ring)? Assuming my mom's original wedding ring counts as the exclusionary ring, I suppose for sentimental reasons, my gold bangle bracelet I had as a baby that I can still wear.
2. Do you have different ring tones on your cell phone to distinguish who is calling?No. There would be no way anyone in my household could figure out how to do that. We are lucky to be doing the basics with our cell phones, like dialing out and receiving calls.

1. What greeting do you use to say, "hello"? (Hi, Hi there, Hiya, etc.) For e-mail, I like "Hiya!" when I am in "fun" mode. Just to greet people verbally, I most often say a simple, "Hi!"
2. On a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most enthusiastic, how happily do you greet each new day? I'm going to give myself a 9, because I am generally pretty gung-ho, but I want to leave room to grow.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Friday Frou Frou:

Show me
1. What do you believe to be true, even though you can't prove it? Ice cream is good for you.
2. When was the last time someone apologized to you? Care to share why the apology was necessary? The last distinct apology I remember was from the person at the Starbuck's cart for running out of hot chocolate ingredients.

Tell me
1. How tricky is it to keep yourself from telling secrets? It is really hard for me to keep my lips sealed. I am rarely alone, so that makes it especially tricky. I can sometimes keep shushed by getting one person to help me keep a secret from another.
2. What bedtime story did you want people to tell you over and over as a child? "The Three Little Pigs" was one of my faves. I also have a pretty strong memory of "The Runaway Pancake" and "A Time to Keep."

Hear me
1. Who told you the last joke that made you chuckle? I'm sure it was my mom or dad.
2. When was the last time you heard a train whistle (blow)? Hmmm...does the train sound on my FTP system count? If so, then it was yesterday morning when I made a mini update to Kate's site.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: Job-hunting tips
1. What is your occupation and/or title? Freelance writer
2. What job are you thankful you DON'T have? I cannot imagine being a police officer! Thank goodness, the police academy will never want me.

1. Do you often have to hunt for your keys or wallet, not remembering where you put them last? Keys or wallet, no, but e-mail messages or Word files, occasionally.
2. When job hunting or house hunting, do you tend to get stressed, or do you enjoy the process? I know I should try to enjoy the process, but I am easily frazzled.

1. Other than a server in a restaurant, who, if anyone, do you tip? The stylist who trims my tresses earns a tip.
2. What is your best tip to beat the winter blahs? Trying something new is curing the humdrums for me. This online class is keeping me so occupied, I'll be lucky if I have any sanity left this spring.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: What's your sign?

Sign here
1. With what road side sign you do most identify? I think "DETOUR AHEAD" describes my life quite well. I considered, "DEAD END," but only for a minute...teehee!
2. Is your signature legible? It seems fairly clear to me unless there are strange circumstances like I have a wrong pen or my hands are cold.

Sign language
1. Do you know anyone who uses American sign language? Like Sunshine, I know Bertram Weston. Another "signer" I have at least written about is actress Deanne Bray.
2. Which do you think would be more difficult for you to use, Braille or sign language? I have trouble imagining the idea of learning anything without my sight. Even when I just remove my glasses, I feel all disoriented. I suppose from a practical standpoint, however, I do have enough mobility to learn Braille, but probably not sign language.

Peace sign
1. When are you most at peace? Probably when I'm reading a book/magazine for pleasure or watching a TV show. That generally means my work is done for the day.
2. How much of a 60s "flower child" are you? Conservative me is not much of a free spirit at all. I am not a loud, make waves kind of person.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Today, an e-mail hit my box from an old friend. It was addressed to me and maybe six or eight other people. The note was just a brief, "How are you?"

Now, we have a little communication going, and it will probably last for a few messages. Then several months will pass before we catch up again. Still, e-mail is the GREATEST! Really, there is no excuse for being lonely when everyone is only a click away.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Mooooving my Friday Frou Frou to Saturday:

1. Do you eat beef (if no, why)? Yes, it's what's for dinner here plenty of nights. I rarely, however, order any beefy item at a restaurant, because I never have the feeling it will be tender enough for me to chew.
2. Do you wear leather (if no, why)? No, not because of any qualms I have about leather, but it is just too heavy and stiff for my mini muscles.

Cows II
1. When was the last time you saw a cow, real or a cartoon? I'm not sure about a real cow ... it might have been in Ann Arbor during my Domino's Farms appointment in December. I do have a black-and-white toy cow, we have named Ruthie, sitting on my computer desk. She came from the original London's Dairy in PH. The surprising part about the cow its that she looks like hard plastic, but when you touch her, she is a soft rubber Ruthie.
2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? I'm into hot chocolate lately, while I am living in the deep freeze, but my favorite ice cream flavors are Mousse Trax and chocolate peanut butter.

Holy cow!
1. What is your favorite exclamation for "WOW"? Wowweekazowwee!
2. Name 1 non-conventional tradition that is sacred to you. My mom serves corn muffins when she makes spaghetti.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Friday Feast from last week

Appetizer - If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why? Maybe a Chihuahua, but I'm not really a yippy dog kind of gal.

Soup - What does the color purple make you think of? Barney, grapes, lilacs, amethyst, diamonds, hearts, people-eaters

Salad - Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning? To get out of the bedroom, dressed, into the kitchen, I would estimate between 30-45 minutes. It always seems like it takes forever to get moving for the day.

Main Course - How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them? I have four on my dad's side and eight on my mom's side. I used to feel really close to my dad's family, but we have somewhat grown our separate ways. Sunshine knows me WAY BETTER than any of my cousins at this point.

Dessert - Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. BRB = Be right back.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Friday Frou Frou on Bloggals
1. Tell me, what makes you go lulu? People reluctant to use e-mail. I know ... sometimes they have good reason, but ugh; strictly being selfish here, they really complicate my life.
2. What word/syllable, that is repeated (such as "lulu" or "frou frou") are you particularly fond of? Haha, I guess. I like to laugh.

Gusto Gal
1. What do you have or would you like to have that ends in the letter "O"? Gusto, of course, but other likes: an Oreo (the mini kind), a potato (head), a (garden-fresh) tomato, a (fine silk) kimono. I feel good having my new online writing portfolio, too, thanks once again to Sunshine.
2. How "girlie" of a gal are you ... flowery and frilly or rough and rugged? I'm rarely an extremist. In this case, I think, I'm my usual somewhere-in-between self, but I'm slightly more girlie. I like jewelry and flowers and the color pink.

Walking on Sunshine
1. What word that rhymes with "walking" best suits you? Sunshine and I already had a good giggle about this. "Stalking" makes the best sense for me. When it comes to finding sources for my stories, I am even guilty of trekking people through obits. For the sake of creativity, I went to the effort of checking an online rhyming dictionary to see what other -alking words might apply to me. I found "balking," "gawking" and "hawking," but "stalking" is still the best fit.
2. Where is your favorite place to soak up the sunshine rays? If the sun is smiling on me, I'm a happy gal wherever I am.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Monday I had my ear vacuumed and I feel like the machine pulled out everything in there. I have a few projects in the works, so I'm not really at a loss for ways to fill my time, but all of them are taking soooo long to finish. Ugh, I feel like I'm in slow motion.

At least, we have made it to February. Groundhog Phil did see his shadow yesterday, which means we have six more winter weeks yet to face. Can I do it? Lucky, I have a Rosie the Riveter, yes-I-can! attitude.

Starbucks hot chocolate can be credited with fortifying me through these monotonous, dreary months. We make our "junk" deliveries and then stop for my calorie-laden treat. I am spoiled!

Today's bit o' good news came from the National University creative writing professor. She welcomed me into the MFA program after reviewing my online portfolio. Part of me feels like this is a "cop out," retreating to an academic scene, because the "real world" is a drag. The other part of me (and, hopefully, it's the larger part) is excited about a new challenge that will push, pull, stretch and shape me into a finer literary soul. Let's see how I'm feeling when they pour on the homework ...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Friday Frou Frou: TV talk
Talk Show
1. In memory of Johnny Carson, which talk show (not necessarily night time) has been your favorite throughout the years? For me, it depends on the subject of the show or the personality being profiled. One commentator/host is as good as another. I do really like Oprah, but since she airs in the late afternoon, I rarely watch her.
2. What would the name of the segment be if you were to appear on a trashy daytime talk show? Addicted to the Internet!

Guest star
1. When was the last time you had a great evening with a guest? We had a fairly fun New Year's Eve party. It looked like it was mostly going to be "older" guests, but then a younger neighbor couple came and their romance is still in the rosy stage; so, that was entertaining.
2. What is one task/activity you perform well enough that you are deserving of a star? I'm good at focusing on "fluff." The times can be pretty abysmal and I can usually find a bright side to the situation.

TV dinner
1. What is your favorite frozen "TV dinner"? Lately, I am hooked on Stouffer's spinach souffle. Just call me, "Popette, strong to the finish."
2. What do you prefer to watch at night: sitcoms, dramas, reality shows or movies? I don't tune into the tube too often, but ER is my one "must see" show. Other than that, I generally prefer to 'puter.