25 September 2012

Adopt-a-Stray Update!

If you got through the bitching and moaning of the beginning of my post from yesterday, you probably read about our new adoptee, Jenna-the-cutest-pup-ever, coming to us very soon from a wonderful animal rescue, Adopt A Stray, down in Arkansas.  Kelley, the founder, has started up a new website.  Though it is still under construction, it is still very navigable, and the adoptees are able to be seen, which is oh so important!  Here's the address if you are so inclined to take a peek:  www.adoptastrayrescue.org/
One of the babies available for adoption.  Come on!  How cute can you get?

I dare you not to smile while looking at these faces!

24 September 2012

Digging Around for the Upside to the End of Summer

Watch out.  I've been feeling all morose and crabby for the past couple of days, due mainly to the realization that the summer was filled with lots of great events and adventures (that's the name of a singles' matchmaking place, isn't it?), all of which were fantastic, but are now merely memories (I have to say the Gotye concert, which was the most recent thing, was stellar).  That, and the first day of autumn/last day of summer was this past weekend.  I know.  I sound all jaded and whatnot.  But seriously, as I described to a couple of friends today, I feel like a kid the day after Christmas.  It's just that anticlimactic situation that's inevitable when great things happen, and then the Happy Balloon deflates.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one this happens to.  And of course, this too shall pass.  Another summer is only a short nine months away.  I wish I was as ecstatic about the upcoming ski season as the rest of my family.  It will be fun, but I do sandy beaches and warm oceans better than snowy mountains, butt-freezing chairlifts, and snotcicles.

So, it's time to look forward to some new things.  Now that autumn is here, cooler temps are on the horizon.  It was 39°F when I woke up this morning (that's enough to make even the happiest of people crabby).  And these cooler temps can mean only one thing:  Shirtless Running Guy is going to start putting on some duds.  I got a text from a friend last week letting me know that he was wearing a...a...a...tank topAN ACTUAL SHIRT!  I saw him as well, though at first I thought he was a woman because: a) he was far away; and b) the shirt made him look a bit androgynous.  It was kind of loose and flowy, not super-tight-wife-beater-like.  Soon, on the really cold mornings, the running tights and gloves will appear.  Maybe I can get out of my doldrums by aiming to capture some new shots of his seasonal running apparel.  It will be the opposite of a strip tease.  The clothes go on rather than come off.

And the biggest, best thing to look forward to is the new puppy-girl we are in the process of adopting.  I just got news today that she will be transported up here from Arkansas in just under two weeks.  She is the sweetest thing, and we can't wait to meet her in person!  Here are a couple of pictures of her (you know there will be a bajillion more pics on this blog the minute she gets into my car in two weeks!):
C'mon...how can you not make a smunchie-munchie noise when looking at her?

Right now her rescue name is Jenna, but I'm pretty sure it will become Willa once she's at her new home with us.  I can't say enough about the woman who rescued her.  Her name is Kelley Prichard and she is the founder of Adopt-a-Stray Rescue down in Arkansas.  She has a heart of gold, and has done so much for so many animals whose lives would have otherwise been miserable if not non-existent.  If you are ever wanting to give a loving home to a rescue dog but need some direction on where to begin, here's a link to her Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/adoptastray.rescue  She is how we found Pippet, too!

So just writing these few paragraphs of not outrageously exciting stuff has made things all warm and rosy again.  Amazing how that works.  Had a bad day?  Crabby and pissy like I was?  Write down a couple of things that make you happy.  It so works!  Bloggotherapy.

19 September 2012

An Homage to Indie

Music equals inspiration, no?  It can come in any form, dependent on the listener.  From Mozart to Lead Belly, The Sex Pistols to southern gospel, The Chieftains to The Dead (cringe: Even I had a spell of Deadhead-ism back in the 80's.  Jay still gets stuck there sometimes.).  Whatever the source, it's what gets you going.

Picture your vision going all wavy-like (kind of like if you were at a Dead show) and turn the clocks back a little for a bit of author-imposed digression.  I know--yawn.  Humor me for a sec.  Way back when, during my college years, I had high aspirations of making it big as a visual artist.  I did not know how it was supposed to pan out, whether I would fall into that romantic, starving bohemian stereotype, or the commercial drone working in the graphics world.  I just knew that making stuff was one of the very few things I was really good at and it was what ultimately made me the happiest. 

Well, I learned things don't always work the way our tiny, 20-ish, idealistic minds would prefer.  I had various jobs for various printing houses, but did not get to use my artistic talents very much.  Then marriage happened and shortly thereafter our family was started.  Not that I don't appreciate Jay and the kids, but wow.  Sort of a buzz kill for my inner artist.

OK, enough with the depressing and boring reflection.  Sometimes you've got to set ground work, ya know?  Anyway, currently things are on an upswing with my painting and overall artistic output.  Hey--I even started this blog, which finally puts my degree in English to work for the first time since I graduated over twenty years ago.  Point is, I'm doing and making stuff again.  It may not be to every one's taste, but it feels damned good to put all of the scrambled mess that's in my bizarre mind out there in a creative way.

Back to the music thing.   This newly found and prolific expression coincided with my re-appreciation for music.  There are so many great new sounds to constantly be discovered!  Music has always been a trigger for expression with me, as I know is the case with so many people.  I feel huge amounts of crazy energy/joy when I see the array of  amazing indie artists out there right now.  It's that cutting edge and freedom from the expected that makes so much of the indie music scene full of pure awesomeness.  At the helm of this reawakening of mine is a key artist whom I began listening to, just as I began to unearth all of my art supplies.  That would be Wally de Backer, a.k.a. Gotye.  Ah yes, we all know his "Somebody That I Used to Know," I can see the eyes rolling and hear the groans as I type that song title, due to the massive air time it has received in the last year (I personally still love it and will still belt it out if I'm out of earshot from other people and not near any glass that I can shatter with my voice).  But there is so much more on the rest of his Making Mirrors album as well as his previous work, i.e. Like Drawing Blood and Boardface.  Like this piece entitled "Save Me," from Making Mirrors which just happens to have incredible animation to go along with it, as so much of his work does.

And through listening to his work, I have been introduced to the music of Wally's fellow musician currently on tour with him, Tim Shiel, a.k.a. Faux Pas.   More amazing music--the kind that you can totally get lost in.  Nice.  I'm totally loving this song from his latest album, Remixes: Tim Shiel & Caitlin Park - Baby Teeth Remix .  Excellent work, and if you're inspired to do so, take a gander at his website:  www.iamfauxpas.com .  Great stuff, all of it.   AND accolades to Caitlin Park for having such a kick-ass voice.  Zounds.  Here's her website: http://caitlinpark.net/ .  I think I'm needing to listen to more of her work.

So what's the point of this diatribe that is seemingly endless?  Simply this:  I need to thank these guys.  It is because of their music that I'm back on course with my art.  Pretty neat.  And now for the...erm...odd bit.  I'm directing this precisely to Wally, Tim, et al.  I was lucky to see the show you played here in Boston back in March, and I am even luckier to have tickets to your upcoming show here this Saturday the 22nd (!).   I do not need  to shake your hands personally to show my appreciation (though c'mon, that would be great for just about anybody).  BUT, if at some time during the show, you happen to look out at the crowd, center section in the vicinity of the 11th row, I'll be there, heartily singing along (though terribly off key, much to the dismay of those near me) and grateful that there are such great artists such as you to inspire and delight so many people.  A big thank you for helping me get my art chops back!

Alright.  I don't know if these guys will ever see this, and if they do, hopefully they don't think I'm all weird- stalker-crazy.  But one thing I know is it's always good to put some thanks out into the universe.  It definitely never can hurt.  Rock on, Garth.

11 September 2012

Greener Pastures Always Await

Sadly, we said goodbye to our old-woman-dog, Scout, this morning.  She went peacefully, on a blanket on the floor of her vet's office, with me lying right beside her, our noses touching.  My thanks to the amazing staff at Main Street Veterinary Hospital, who helped guide both Scout and me through the entire procedure, down to the doctor and technician who shared a couple of sniffles with me once everything was complete.  It takes a very special kind of person to do what they do on a daily basis. 
And so, as they say, on to greener pastures for our old girl.  Carry on, Scooter.

06 September 2012

On Brain Aneurysms, Grizzly Bears, Dust, and Gilbert Gottfried: the Composition That is My End-of-Summer Brain.

We've all heard it enough since Labor Day:  summer is over for the year 2012 (my god, I'm opening with a ray of sunshine, huh?), at least here in the Northern Hemisphere.  And though we officially have a few more weeks according to the calendar, the magic is totally gone.  Belly-up.  Gone-zo.  So, with the kids back to school, it's back to talking to my dogs or myself during the day.  And thinking about lots of weird things.  Here are a few of them that have been knocking around in all that empty space in my brain for the past week:

  • Maggots are freaking scary.  Way worse than snakes, spiders, grizzly bears (even when they have that big snarly turned-up nose thing going on) and what have you.  Why?  Well, besides being all gross and squirmy and able to move across surfaces at an alarming speed (!), I now have first-hand knowledge that they are pretty damned resistant to straight bleach.  It doesn't even seem to begin to phase them for a good 20 minutes.  Blech.  I'm not happy about the fact that I was able to discover that tidbit, nor am I happy that I'm the person who gets to deal with the outdoor trash cans.  Hint, hint, Jay.

Not nearly as scary as those nasty little buggers.
  • Blue jays are the Gilbert Gottfrieds of the avian world.   Loud.  And annoying.  And yet there still remains a certain appeal that makes you say, "I guess they're not that bad." (That may be a "just me" thing.)  I can't believe I just admitted that.

  • If I were to suffer from some life threatening event, say, ohhh, a brain aneurysm, while Jay and the kids were watching Doctor Who, I'd be toast.  Never mind that I wouldn't be discovered until somebody came looking for whatever the next meal may be and instead found me lying in a heap of rigor mortis somewhere.
  • As much as I try to make it work, dust just doesn't cut it as an addition to our house's decor.  Thicker and denser is not a plus.  
  • There has yet to be a product put on the market that truly makes dusting our house's decor not pure torture for me.  Swiffer ads LIE.
  • And finally, has Shirtless Running Guy been told by an informant that there's a crazy blogging lady who can't stop writing about him?  I wonder.  He made major eye contact with me a couple of weeks back.  Almost accusing.  I think I've got a giant case of covert picture-taking guilt. 
And so it's back to the grind of school and work and eventually extremely short days resulting in Seasonal Affective Disorder in just about everything that moves.  Time to embrace one's pasty, white, winterized self.  Know it.  Love it.  Ignore it.  A brand-sparkly-new summer will be here before you can say tan-in-a-can.