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Month: November 2009

NaNo NaBlo Wipe out!

Well, I crashed and burned on both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo this year, but I am still glad to have dabbled in both. Because of the NaNo efforts, I met a local writer, and connected with a local writing group. Because of the NaBlo I discovered some really interesting bloggers. I’m delighted with the groovy new friends I am making, and whose blogs I will be linking to … when I return. Yes, I’m hopping a jet to London in a couple of hours. This will be the first Thanksgiving that I’ve had in 8 years with my fabulous step-daughter and…

Big Grandma is Watching You!

I saw this atop a cab in Ft. Worth. I wonder if there are any other Grandma signs around town? Maybe, at the entrance to the hospital, there’s a reminder to have clean underpants on before you check in. I actually don’t mind when guys’ boxers show. I don’t find it cool. It simply makes them look funnier when they run all knock-kneed across the street. Personally, I’d like to see Grandma take on some tougher stuff, say, creating peace in the Middle East, or lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Tweet This Post

Bon jour, y’all!

“Bon jour, y’all!” is how the server at the local French restaurant greeted us. This collage of phrases was melded together with a heavy Texan drawl and seemed utterly natural coming from him. Now that I think about it, it really sums up the Frenchy-Tex cuisine they offer there. In fact, if I were their marketing director, I’d consider making that their slogan. Tweet This Post

Monet, the Fishing Spider

When it comes to spiders, I experience equal parts fascination and freak-out. So when I realized the one in the photo above was mere inches from me as I sat by the backyard pond, I had mixed feelings. I’m new to Texas, and don’t quite know what’s venomous here, so this seemed like a good time to call upon the gods of Google. Unfortunately, 15 minutes of downloading one spider photo after another only succeeded in giving me a serious case of the spider heebies. The spider heebies are akin to how you might feel if you spent the night…

Raindrop Halos

The rain in Spain may fall mainly on the plain, but in Texas it just bitch slaps you wherever you may be. Texan rain resembles the tempests you see in movies about Seattle: sheet after sheet of pounding, morbidly obese raindrops, with thunder and lightning for added drama. Any Seattleite will tell you we rarely get Hollywood style deluges in the Pacific Northwest. I know a lot of folks there who don’t even own an umbrella. I like walking in Seattle style rain. There is a certain velvety mist I especially enjoy, like a constant whisper throughout the day; it…

Expired Inspiration

It’s late, I’m tired, and not too inspired. The opposite of inspiration is expiration, and while I’m not yet ready to expire, I am more than ready for bed. Despite this, I want to post something for NaBloPoMo; so enjoy this photo of morning fog, sky and tree branches, and I’ll catch up with you – whoever you may be – tomorrow. Tweet This Post

From Hopi Kachina Dolls to Phillip Glass

Big power lines like this remind me of Hopi Kachina dolls. Can you see what I mean? It’s in how the ‘arms’ jut straight out from the ‘body,’ and how square the ‘heads’ are. You could use that big metal contraption as a framework to build a gigantic Kachina doll if you wanted. (Quick, somebody tell Jeff Koons!) Hopi Kachina dolls make me think of Phillip Glass, because my first exposure to him was via the hypnotic film ‘Koyaanisqatsi,’ which is a Hopi Indian term meaning, ‘life out of balance.’ It’s a beautiful film, and there’s no dialogue, just lots…

Do you want to explode?

I have noticed that the air in Texas quite often smells of steak, and not just when there’s a restaurant nearby. I’ve caught whiffs of char-broiled beef at the library, the DMV and even the opera house. For all I know, that steaky smell lingers on people’s clothing, or is some sort of cologne. If New York is the city that never sleeps, then Texas is the state that never stops barbecuing. In fact, I could substitute the word ‘barbecue’ in the poster above and it would be completely appropriate for the Lone Star state. Tweet This Post

For when your breath stinks to high heaven

OK, so tonight’s photo was not taken from the passenger seat of any vehicle. I was simply standing in line at Hobby Lobby as you can see by the price tag, when I happened to notice these Testamints for sale. I wonder if they’d pay to use the slogan I came up with? At any rate, I think it’s a sign, a sign that I am really, truly dwelling in the mythical Bible Belt. Tweet This Post

Enjoy the view, whatever it may be

There’s a line from “White Men Don’t Jump” that springs to mind whenever I pass by apartment complexes featuring wishful-yet-inaccurate names. Some female character, I don’t know remember who, gave the line. I didn’t even see the whole movie. I was channel surfing after having my wisdom teeth pulled and between the headache, anesthesia grog, and Vicodin, it’s a wonder I remember this line at all. The character was complaining about Vista View Apartments because, “there ain’t no vista and there ain’t no view.” I can’t say that I laughed until I hurt, because I was already hurting, but that…

Sparky’s Dashboard

I moved my home office today, but you don’t want to read about that, nor do I want to blog about it. I still can’t find my wireless mouse – argh! Anyway, it’s a great space. From here I can look out and see the backyard. There are oaks, a little pond, and a figurine Tex calls Esperanza. It’s the only garden statue his ex left behind. When I told him that Esperanza means ‘hope’ he laughed and said, ‘That’s about right. My ex took everything but my hope.’ This sparked a talk about the pluses and minuses of leaving…

Found Sound

My boyfriend fell asleep tonight while I read an article out loud from Science News to him. It’s an interesting article about the songs of Humpback whales. Some groovy science chick spent 4 years recording whale ditties. She isolated various riffs and played back her own whale remixes to see how the buoyant cetacean dudes would react. Turns out that they jam with other males, altering their songs when others join in. Maybe next year she’ll take them to a karaoke bar. I quit reading aloud once I realized Tex had fallen asleep. (Tex is not my boyfriend’s real name,…

Reconnecting with my Shadow

A plane touches down, reconnecting with its shadow. The only way you can ever truly be rid of your shadow is to fly. Maybe that’s why we envy birds so much. Nah, I think it’s just ‘cuz flying is so dang fun. Whatever the case, Jung could surely have a field day with today’s photo. Since my plane landed in Texas, I’ve been slowly reconnecting, resructuring, and starting over – yet again. I’ve even started remembering my dreams more vividly. I’m sure Jung would approve. Tweet This Post

Helen, the face that launched a thousand pop-up ads

This morning, I had an urge to hear the theme song from the old TV show ‘The Odd Couple.’ Simple enough, right? It would have been, except that Youtube was down for maintenance. So I tried to find the song elsewhere. Easy enough, right? Easy, yes, but I wound up on a malicious site, a site that launched a gazillion pop-ups, and would not take cancel or let me x out of them. I wound up rebooting and running my virus scanner, which snatched a couple viruses. What a mess! Anyway, what originally made me think of ‘The Odd Couple’…

Riding Shotgun through Sant’Agata de’ Goti

Tonight I grabbed the first “taken from the passenger seat photo” I ran into on my computer, and it’s this – a shot taken whilst crossing the bridge into Sant’Agata de’ Goti in Italy. As you can see from the following pics, we literally drove through town! I don’t imagine that too many Hummers or limos ever snake their way through these labyrinthian alleyways. You’ve got to wonder what happened in the past to require street signs telling folks to keep left instead of driving through that wooden doorway. I thought that was a given. I did, however, get my…

Harvest Moon

The title of this post reveals what I playfully attempted to capture in tonight’s photo. Yup, that orange sphere is all I could snatch of the spectacular harvest moon we’ve had this week. In keeping with my, “snapped from the passenger seat” theme, I grabbed this shot as we hurtled down the highway, smugly getting 70 mpg in our Honda hybrid whilst being passed by one gas-guzzling Texan pick-up truck after another. Tweet This Post

Bubbly Clouds

I’ve decided to see how far my ‘shots from the passenger seat’ obsession will take me this month. Before I explain today’s pic, however, let’s take a moment to grieve together over the ones that got away. I was not quick enough, for example, to get a photo of the billboard showing a 6 pack of Miller beer which read, ‘Show the recession who is boss.’ (I can’t help but wonder if the the ad team come up with that one after sampling large quantities of the product.) I tried to get a photo of the furniture store marquis offering…

Pondering the Inflatable Elvis and Bad Realtor Headshots

I promise that my blog posts will be more than just things I have seen whilst whizzing down Texan highways, but it is nearly midnight, and it is NaBloPoMo, and it’s not every day that you see a giant inflatable Elvis. What amuses me about this one is that he looks more like an Asian Elvis impersonator than the King himself.  While I can’t say that makes me want to test-drive a Kia,  I assume it draws people in – or does it? Ever noticed how car dealerships have a thing for inflatable objects? Do balloons and American flags truly…

Got Gun?

Spending time in Texas when you’re from the north is rather like hanging out with an infamous uncle, the one you’ve been hearing outrageous stories about your whole life, but have never met. You step off the plane, shake his hand, and can’t help but keep a mental checklist of how he stacks up in real life versus all the family lore. As a newcomer, I am still sorting through Texan cliche versus Texan reality. One that’s ringing true so far is that folks like their guns down here. I have seen billboards for at least 3 different gun shows…

Hardcore Training

What do you mean, you go to Curves? 24 Hour Fitness? LA Fitness? That’s sissy talk. Around these here parts, we take physical fitness seriously. That’s right. We are hardcore, hence the name. I haven’t actually been inside Hardcore Fitness, I merely snapped this shot as we drove by, but it’s all too easy to envision a Spartan interior, with plenty of cement and jutting corners. The dressing room benches are cold hard slabs, nothing cushy anywhere. Cold showers, for sure, and let’s not forget the lurching, no-necked, roid-filled trainers with monosyllabic names who barely move their lips when they…