May 31, 2008

-image-definition

WINDCHIME (n): a hanging configuration of metal or glass pieces combined with pieces of other material, such as wood, that chime when pushed by the wind

NOISE (n): other people’s windchimes

May 30, 2008

-image-update

Remember when I asked you all to pray for my dear friend, MM, who’d had an irregular mammogram? She called me yesterday — she had gotten in earlier because of a cancellation — and, it turns out, she’s fine! I sat there with the phone and just started to blub. Then we both sat there listening to each other blub. Then I blubbed intermittently throughout the rest of the day. It was wonderful.

Thank you all for your prayers.

-image-some jeff bridges love

First, here’s smokin’ hot Jeff Bridges — aka, Tracey’s favorite living actor — his smokin’ hot wife and one of his daughters at the recent premiere of Iron Man:

jeff-bridges-and-his-wife-susan-and-daughter-iron-man-los-angeles-premiere-arrivals-ofm7dm.jpg
Mazeltov, Mrs. Bridges, on your hotness. I’d never seen you before, but I would want nothing less for Jeff Bridges. Your daughter is also pretty. I can see Grampa Lloyd in her face a little. Not that that’s a bad thing.

And this photo …. it just makes me so happy. Look at them.
jeff-bridges-iron-man.jpg
Married 30 years. Man, fidelity is sexy.

May 29, 2008

-image-signage

Seen here yesterday on a marquee outside a resort hotel:

Welcome Digestive Disease Week

and

SKYNARCS

I am confused on every level.

May 28, 2008

-image-elephant art

I know that somewhere ’round here I mentioned buying some elephant art when we were in Thailand a few years ago. The piece itself is too large for me to scan or to get a decent picture of, otherwise I’d post it here. BUT I was so excited to find the elephant art site recently — complete with profiles of all the elephant artists, including Wan Pen, the elephant who painted our piece. (We know this because when we purchased the piece, they gave us a card with the artist’s name, picture, and bio. I loved that. So much fun.)

The organization is called The Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project and here is a link directly to Wan Pen’s page. Scroll down and you can see examples of her work. When we bought our piece, I think she was fairly new to her artistic endeavors. Looking at her recent pieces, I can see she still likes flowers and red and green — ours has some yellow, too — but the flowers on ours are more primitive, not as flowing and easy. She’s grown as an artist! Haha. Also — note the prices on those paintings. $600-650. Wow. Uhm, we paid 25 dollars American. Granted, we had to fly to Thailand for 18 hours and throw up on a plane and such, but still. Pretty big price differential, no? Notice the names of other elephant artists on the side bar there, too. I spent some time over the weekend clicking on all of those artists, reading their bios and checking out their work. Some of the bios crack me up, talking about the elephant’s personality and phobias: “He’s afraid of chickens.” “She’s afraid of cats.” Like this one:

Confident and outgoing as she is, Boombim does have one fear: dragonflies. She does not like taking baths in the river when there are many dragonflies around, but she is brave when she must be. Boombim deals with her phobia by immersing her entire body in the water, head included, in order to avoid the dragonflies.

Poor Boombim! I cannot stop picturing her dunking her massive self under water to avoid some flitty little dragonflies. Why does that make me so weirdly happy?

If you click on some different elephants, be sure to scroll down their page to check out their work. I’m still amazed at the different styles, just as I was when we visited the Maesa Elephant Camp. (Click around to find elephants from that particular camp.) We actually got to watch the elephants as they were painting and their styles ran the gamut: Impressionist elephants. Pointillist elephants. Abstract elephants. And they all really got into it. Dancing around a bit. “Smiling.” Totally focused on their canvases. They seemed to completely love what they were doing. I remember standing there thinking, “I am watching an elephant paint. An elephant is PAINTING.” Maybe the Creator has hardwired all his creations to CREATE. That thought has never left me since witnessing that. It was a truly surreal joy to watch.

Anyway, I link to this to share some of that joy with you. Click around on the different elephants. You will so enjoy it.

May 27, 2008

-image-for cara

Update on the recent fatal shark attack in SD. Because Cara needs to know, basically.

This totally creeps me out. Just don’t be swimming around out there looking like you’re threatening the shark’s food sources, ‘mkay?

I saw this story on the news yesterday evening and the shark expert said it’s interesting to note that all the rescuers — the other men swimming with Dr. Martin, about 7 of them, I think? — were unhurt. He’s never known an incident where any rescuers have ever been attacked.

Lessons:

— Don’t threaten the shark’s food sources, i.e., don’t swim around with sea lion hanging from your mouth.

— Be a rescuer at all times. Never swim in the ocean unless you’re rescuing someone.

Everyone clear? I’m just looking out for you is all.

May 21, 2008

-image-back next week

See you soon.

May 20, 2008

-image-jammies, headbands, and doorknobs

A couple of days ago.

It’s late in the afternoon, 5:30, 5:45. It’s been a long day. I’ve changed into something comfy and plopped myself down on the couch with my laptop. The blinds to our living room are open slightly so I can see as this woman walks by, dressed in a dark blue suit, headed for a neighbor’s unit. I mean, I don’t know her so I figure she’s not coming here. Seconds later, though, she ambles up to our door. I start to click through what this could be about: Maybe she’s a J-Dub and I can mess with her head just like Jesus (aka the archangel Michael) would do or Maybe she’s one of those people I’ve prayed for who unclogs your toilet then gives you a massage or Maybe she’s with Hillary’s campaign and I can mess with her head just like Jesus would do.

So many possibilities. I am tingly with anticipation for at least three seconds. But, eh, it passes, and then I just wait for the knock on the door so I can sit and ignore it, like I usually do. I hate answering the door. Especially an unexpected knock on the door. In my experience, nothing good ever comes of it. Will it be a free puppy? Will it be Ed McMahon with a giant check the size of my doorway? No. No, it won’t. It will just be someone who wants something that I don’t want to give and I just want to be left alone with my snowglobe jammie bottoms and Stretchy, my comforting headband.

But there is no knock. Nope. The woman in the suit doesn’t knock. No, she doesn’t. Instead, she jiggles the doorknob. For several seconds.

What?

Luckily, the door is locked. It’s always locked if I’m inside because I live in southern California and I’m not completely stupid. But what if I didn’t keep the door locked? What if I was like my in-laws and never locked the door, ever, even at night when zombies stagger across the countryside hoping to kill you and eat your brains? I mean, can you imagine if she’d just been able to walk in on me sitting with my laptop in my snowglobe jammie bottoms and Stretchy, my comforting headband? Gah. She would have been so embarrassed for me.

Heart pounding a little, I watch her whilst Stretchy comforts me. She stands at the door for a moment after her unsuccessful jiggle then stomps away.

Phew. Home break-in and awkward social moment averted.

Moments later, though, I see her on the walkway again. She moseys up to our door again. Jiggles the doorknob for several seconds, again.

What the ??

Now I’m just annoyed. I don’t like random Betties trying to break into my house. Especially dishonest random Betties who try to disguise their felonious ways under an uptight blue suit and cover of daylight. I watch her again. She stands there for another moment, starts to walk away. But I jump up, gird my loins, and bound to the door, ready to confront my would-be felon.

I open the door, call to her back, “Uh, ma’am? Why do you you keep trying to come into my house?”

She turns around. “Oh. Uh …… well …. uhm, well, I’m looking for the lockbox for Unit 1.”

We’re Unit 2.

She walks closer, keeps talking. “I mean, it’s for rent and I thought, well, I uh —”

I slam the door in her face. Wham. Just like that. I don’t say anything else. I don’t need to or want to. Because I suddenly remember that I am standing in front of this blue-suited woman in my snowglobe jammie bottoms and Stretchy, my comforting headband.

Oh, and my aqua blue refining face mask.

Bet I don’t have to worry about her knocking on my door again.

May 19, 2008

-image-your birthday a la the french republican calendar!! eh??

I get interested in weird stuff sometimes. I was reading Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser a while back and it mentioned what you see below here — the French Republican Calendar, a calendar used for about 13 years during the French Revolution, starting in 1793. Anyhoo, I began reading up on it for some unfathomable reason and I thought it was kinda fun, quaint, weird, etc.

The calendar begins on the autumn equinox with 12 months of 30 days each. The names of the months are based on nature. (Weeks are 10 days long, hours had 100 minutes, and I cannot even begin to explain how seconds were counted. I beg you do not ask.) Each calendar day is associated with either an animal, for days ending in 5; a tool, for days ending in 0; or a mineral or plant for all other days. You might notice the calendar year ends on September 16. The remaining 5 days were called Complementary Days and were national holidays. Woo hoo.

Today is Monday and Mondays are tiresome, so I thought it would be kinda fun, quaint, weird if we figured out our birthdays according to the French Republican Calendar.

‘Sfun, I say!!

Okay. Directions: Scroll down and find your birth season and month. Note the dates the month encompasses — they’re in the parentheses. You must start your count from the first date in the parentheses. Don’t start with 1. Start with the first number in the parentheses. (Disregard the 1-30 on the left there.) BUT remember: There are 30 days in every month. Don’t count 31.

For instance, let’s do mine: July 31. Doesn’t exist on this calendar, really, so it converts to 1. So I was born on Abricot (As in apricot, yummy) in the month of Thermidor. (As in lobster, yummy.) May you be born on something equally delicious.

Also, if you were born on one of the Complementary Days in September, here are your special days, pookums:

Sept. 17: La Fête de la Vertu “Celebration of Virtue”
Sept. 18: La Fête du Génie “Celebration of Talent”
Sept. 19: La Fête du Travail “Celebration of Labour”
Sept. 20: La Fête de l’Opinion “Celebration of Convictions”
Sept. 21: La Fête des Récompenses “Celebration of Honors (Awards)”

Do try not to get a big head about it.

Okay. So. Put your birth date in the comments — no year necessary — do the conversion and tell us your French Republican Birthday! No lopping of heads required, I promise.

READY. GO.

AUTUMN
Vendémiaire — “grape harvest” (Sep 22 ~ Oct 21)

1. Raisin (Grape)
2. Safran (Saffron)
3. Châtaigne (Chestnut)
4. Colchique (Crocus)
5. Cheval (Horse)
6. Balsamine (Impatiens)
7. Carotte (Carrot)
8. Amarante (Amaranth)
9. Panais (Parsnip)
10. Cuve (Vat)
11. Pomme de terre (Potato)
12. Immortelle (Strawflower)
13. Potiron (Calabaza)
14. Réséda (Mignonette)
15. Âne (Donkey)
16. Belle de nuit (The four o’clock flower)
17. Citrouille (Pumpkin)
18. Sarrasin (Buckwheat)
19. Tournesol (Sunflower)
20. Pressoir (Wine-Press)
21. Chanvre (Hemp)
22. Pêche (Peach)
23. Navet (Turnip)
24. Amaryllis (Amaryllis)
25. Bœuf (Cow)
26. Aubergine (Eggplant)
27. Piment (Chili Pepper)
28. Tomate (Tomato)
29. Orge (Barley)
30. Tonneau (Barrel)

Brumaire — “fog” (Oct 22 ~ Nov 20)
1. Pomme (Apple)
2. Céleri (Celery)
3. Poire (Pear)
4. Betterave (Beet root)
5. Oie (Goose)
6. Héliotrope (Heliotrope)
7. Figue (Fig)
8. Scorsonère (Black Salsify)
9. Alisier (Chequer Tree)
10. Charrue (Plough)
11. Salsifis (Salsify)
12. Macre (Water chestnut)
13. Topinambour (Jerusalem Artichoke)
14. Endive (Endive)
15. Dindon (Turkey)
16. Chervis (Skirret)
17. Cresson (Watercress)
18. Dentelaire (Leadworts)
19. Grenade (Pomegranate)
20. Herse (Harrow)
21. Bacchante (Asarum baccharis)
22. Azerole (Acerola)
23. Garance (Madder)
24. Orange (Orange)
25. Faisan (Pheasant)
26. Pistache (Pistachio)
27. Macjonc (Tuberous pea)
28. Coing (Quince)
29. Cormier (Service tree)
30. Rouleau (Roller)

Frimaire — “frost” (Nov 21 ~ Dec 20)
1. Raiponce (Rampion)
2. Turneps (Turnip)
3. Chicorée (Chicory)
4. Nèfle (Medlar)
5. Cochon (Pig)
6. Mâche (Corn Salad)
7. Chou-fleur (Cauliflower)
8. Miel (Honey)
9. Genièvre (Juniper)
10. Pioche (Pickaxe)
11. Cire (Wax)
12. Raifort (Horseradish)
13. Cèdre (Cedar tree)
14. Sapin (Fir tree)
15. Chevreuil (Roe Deer)
16. Ajonc (Gorse)
17. Cyprès (Cypress Tree)
18. Lierre (Ivy)
19. Sabine (Juniper)
20. Hoyau (Grub-hoe)
21. Érable sucré (Maple Tree)
22. Bruyère (Heather)
23. Roseau (Reed plant)
24. Oseille (Sorrel)
25. Grillon (Cricket)
26. Pignon (Pinenut)
27. Liège (cork)
28. Truffe (Truffle)
29. Olive (Olive)
30. Pelle (shovel)

WINTER
Nivôse — “snow” (Dec 21 ~ Jan 19)

1. Tourbe (Peat)
2. Houille (Coal)
3. Bitume (Bitumen)
4. Soufre (Sulphur)
5. Chien (Dog)
6. Lave (Lava)
7. Terre végétale (Topsoil)
8. Fumier (Manure)
9. Salpêtre (Saltpeter)
10. Fléau (Flail)
11. Granit (Granite stone)
12. Argile (Clay)
13. Ardoise (Slate)
14. Grès (Sandstone)
15. Lapin (Rabbit)
16. Silex (Flint)
17. Marne (Marl)
18. Pierre à chaux (Limestone)
19. Marbre (Marble)
20. Van (Winnowing basket)
21. Pierre à plâtre (Gypsum)
22. Sel (Salt)
23. Fer (Iron)
24. Cuivre (Copper)
25. Chat (Cat)
26. Étain (Tin)
27. Plomb (Lead)
28. Zinc (Zinc)
29. Mercure (Mercury (metal))
30. Crible (Sieve)

Pluviôse — “rain” (Jan 20 ~ Feb 18)
1. Lauréole (Spurge-laurel)
2. Mousse (Moss)
3. Fragon (Butcher’s Broom)
4. Perce-neige (Snowdrop)
5. Taureau (Bull)
6. Laurier-thym (Laurustinus)
7. Amadouvier (Tinder polypore)
8. Mézéréon (Daphne mezereum)
9. Peuplier (Poplar Tree)
10. Coignée (Axe)
11. Ellébore (Hellebore)
12. Brocoli (Broccoli)
13. Laurier (Laurel)
14. Avelinier (Cob or filbert)
15. Vache (Cow)
16. Buis (Box Tree)
17. Lichen (Lichen)
18. If (Yew tree)
19. Pulmonaire (Lungwort)
20. Serpette (Billhook)
21. Thlaspi (Pennycress)
22. Thimelé (Rose Daphne)
23. Chiendent (Couch Grass)
24. Trainasse (Knotweed)
25. Lièvre (Hare)
26. Guède (Woad)
27. Noisetier (Hazel)
28. Cyclamen (Cyclamen)
29. Chélidoine (Celandine)
30. Traîneau (Sleigh)

Ventôse — “wind” (Feb 19 ~ Mar 20)
1. Tussilage (Coltsfoot)
2. Cornouiller (Dogwood)
3. Violier (Matthiola)
4. Troène (Privet)
5. Bouc (Billygoat)
6. Asaret (Wild Ginger)
7. Alaterne (Buckthorn)
8. Violette (Violet (plant))
9. Marceau (Goat Willow)
10. Bêche (Spade)
11. Narcisse (Narcissus)
12. Orme (Elm Tree)
13. Fumeterre (Common fumitory)
14. Vélar (Hedge Mustard)
15. Chèvre (Goat)
16. Épinard (Spinach)
17. Doronic (Large-flowered Leopard’s Bane)
18. Mouron (Pimpernel)
19. Cerfeuil (Chervil)
20. Cordeau (Twine)
21. Mandragore (Mandrake)
22. Persil (Parsley)
23. Cochléaria (Scurvy-grass)
24. Pâquerette (Daisy)
25. Thon (Tuna)
26. Pissenlit (Dandelion)
27. Sylve (Forest)
28. Capillaire (Maidenhair fern)
29. Frêne (Ash Tree)
30. Plantoir (Dibber: a hand gardening tool)

SPRING
Germinal — “germination” (Mar 21 ~ Apr 19)

1. Primevère (Primrose)
2. Platane (Plane Tree)
3. Asperge (Asparagus)
4. Tulipe (Tulip)
5. Poule (Hen)
6. Bette (Chard Plant)
7. Bouleau (Birch Tree)
8. Jonquille (Daffodil)
9. Aulne (Alder)
10. Couvoir (Hatchery)
11. Pervenche (Periwinkle)
12. Charme (Ironwood)
13. Morille (Morel)
14. Hêtre (Beech Tree)
15. Abeille (Bee)
16. Laitue (Lettuce)
17. Mélèze (Larch)
18. Ciguë (Hemlock)
19. Radis (Radish)
20. Ruche (Hive)
21. Gainier (Judas tree)
22. Romaine (Lettuce)
23. Marronnier (Chestnut Oak)
24. Roquette (Arugula or Rocket)
25. Pigeon (Pigeon)
26. Lilas (Lilac)
27. Anémone (Anemone)
28. Pensée (Pansy)
29. Myrtille (Blueberry)
30. Greffoir (Knife)

Floréal — “flowering” (Apr 20 ~ May 19)
1. Rose (Rose)
2. Chêne (Oak Tree)
3. Fougère (Fern)
4. Aubépine (Hawthorn)
5. Rossignol (Nightingale)
6. Ancolie (Columbine)
7. Muguet (Lily of the Valley)
8. Champignon (Button mushroom)
9. Hyacinthe (Hyacinth)
10. Râteau (Rake)
11. Rhubarbe (Rhubarb)
12. Sainfoin (Sainfoin)
13. Bâton-d’or (Wallflower)
14. Chamérops (Palm tree)
15. Ver à soie (Silkworm)
16. Consoude (Comfrey)
17. Pimprenelle (Salad Burnet)
18. Corbeille d’or (Basket of Gold)
19. Arroche (Orache)
20. Sarcloir (Garden hoe)
21. Statice (Sea Lavender)
22. Fritillaire (Fritillary)
23. Bourrache (Borage)
24. Valériane (Valerian)
25. Carpe (Carp)
26. Fusain (Spindle (shrub))
27. Civette (Chive)
28. Buglosse (Bugloss)
29. Sénevé (Wild mustard)
30. Houlette (Shepherd’s crook)

Prairial — “pasture” (May 20 ~ Jun 18)
1. Luzerne (Alfalfa)
2. Hémérocalle (Daylily)
3. Trèfle (Clover)
4. Angélique (Angelica)
5. Canard (Duck)
6. Mélisse (Lemon Balm)
7. Fromental (Oat grass)
8. Martagon (Martagon lily)
9. Serpolet (Thyme plant)
10. Faux (Scythe)
11. Fraise (Strawberry)
12. Bétoine (Woundwort)
13. Pois (Pea)
14. Acacia (Acacia)
15. Caille (Quail)
16. Œillet (Carnation)
17. Sureau (Elderberry)
18. Pavot (Poppy plant)
19. Tilleul (Linden or Lime tree)
20. Fourche (Pitchfork)
21. Barbeau (Cornflower)
22. Camomille (Camomile)
23. Chèvrefeuille (Honeysuckle)
24. caille-lait (Bedstraw)
25. Tanche (Tench)
26. Jasmin (Jasmine Plant)
27. Verveine (Verbena)
28. Thym (Thyme Plant)
29. Pivoine (Peony Plant)
30. Chariot (Hand Cart)

SUMMER
Messidor — “harvest” (Jun 19 ~ Jul 18)

1. Seigle (Rye)
2. Avoine (Oats)
3. Oignon (Onion)
4. Véronique (Speedwell)
5. Mulet (Mule)
6. Romarin (Rosemary)
7. Concombre (Cucumber)
8. Échalote (Shallot)
9. Absinthe (Wormwood)
10. Faucille (Sickle)
11. Coriandre (Coriander)
12. Artichaut (Artichoke)
13. Girofle (Clove)
14. Lavande (Lavender)
15. Chamois (Chamois)
16. Tabac (Tobacco)
17. Groseille (Currant)
18. Gesse (Hairy Vetchling)
19. Cerise (Cherry)
20. Parc (Park)
21. Menthe (Mint)
22. Cumin (Cumin)
23. Haricot (Bean)
24. Orcanète (Alkanet)
25. Pintade (Guinea fowl)
26. Sauge (Sage Plant)
27. Ail (Garlic)
28. Vesce (Tare)
29. Blé (Wheat)
30. Chalémie (Shawm)

Thermidor — “heat” (Jul 19 ~ Aug 17)
1. Épeautre (Einkorn Wheat)
2. Bouillon blanc (Common Mullein)
3. Melon (Honeydew Melon)
4. Ivraie (Ryegrass)
5. Bélier (Ram)
6. Prêle (Horsetail)
7. Armoise (Mugwort)
8. Carthame (Safflower)
9. Mûre (Blackberry)
10. Arrosoir (Watering Can)
11. Panis (Panic grass)
12. Salicorne (Common Glasswort)
13. Abricot (Apricot)
14. Basilic (Basil)
15. Brebis (Ewe)
16. Guimauve (Marshmallow root)
17. Lin (Flax)
18. Amande (Almond)
19. Gentiane (Gentian)
20. Écluse (Lock)
21. Carline (Carline thistle)
22. Câprier (Caper)
23. Lentille (Lentil)
24. Aunée (Yellow starwort)
25. Loutre (Otter)
26. Myrte (Myrtle)
27. Colza (Rapeseed)
28. Lupin (Lupin)
29. Coton (Cotton)
30. Moulin (Mill)

Fructidor — “fruit” (Aug 18 ~ Sep 16)
1. Prune (Plum)
2. Millet (Millet)
3. Lycoperdon (Puffball)
4. Escourgeon (Six-row Barley)
5. Saumon (Salmon)
6. Tubéreuse (Tuberose)
7. Sucrion (Sugar melon)
8. Apocyn (Apocynum)
9. Réglisse (Liquorice)
10. Échelle (Ladder)
11. Pastèque (Watermelon)
12. Fenouil (Fennel)
13. Épine vinette (Barberry)
14. Noix (Walnut)
15. Truite (Trout)
16. Citron (Lemon)
17. Cardère (Teasel)
18. Nerprun (Buckthorn)
19. Tagette (Mexican Marigold)
20. Hotte (Sack)
21. Églantine (Wild Rose)
22. Noisette (Hazelnut)
23. Houblon (Hops)
24. Sorgho (Sorghum)
25. Écrevisse (Crayfish)
26. Bigarade (Bitter Orange)
27. Verge d’or (Goldenrod)
28. Maïs (Maize or Corn)
29. Marron (Chestnut)
30. Panier (Basket)

May 16, 2008

-image-prayer request

Hey, everyone. I just saw a dear friend of mine — let’s call her MM — and she’s just had an irregular mammogram and needs to go back for further testing. Her mom died of breast cancer when MM was just a little girl, so this is one of her worst fears. If you think of it, would you please pray for her? She’s not scheduled for her return check-up until June 10 (!!), so she could use some support — and supernatural support is, I think, the best kind there is. That’s the amazing thing to me about prayer. You don’t have to be there; you don’t even have to know the person or their name. The power of the Holy Spirit just transcends all that.

She is my dear dear friend and if you knew her, she’d be yours too. She’s just one of those people. Thanks, everyone.

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