Say Yes, Say Yay!

Last night I had an epiphany of sorts. I won't go into it, but I will say that I've seen an immediate turn-around. It had to do with submitting to the good things in life, to success and prosperity.

All my life I've thought of submission as a kind of going belly up proposition, a giving in to that which I could not fight. But it occurred to me last night that I need to submit to the good things, not the bad. So I did. Maybe I've been living with a fear of success all my life after all.

This morning, before I was even really awake, I got three new jobs (one is HUGE!) and a bunch of revamping work for my best client. All this before 1:00 in the afternoon. Amazing! It has been so dry around here, and we're behind a month on our rent, so I really appreciate the work.

It wasn't any noble enlightenment I experienced, I just got good and pissed off at living on a thread-thin, fraying shoestring, so I said yes to security and peace of mind. Funny how simplistic it sounds once something dawns, and how much we're in the dark until it does.


Speaking of the 80s...

George Harrison -- Gary Plyly
For a very short time, I worked assisting a guy who provided sound for various punk bands in L.A. I first met him in 1971 when he looked like the George Harrison of the All Things Must Pass era. I totally fell for him at first sight when we jammed at a Sunday afternoon front porch party at his house in Thousand Oaks. Fourteen or fifteen years later, I responded to an ad from someone who needed an assistant sound engineer. I had no experience, but hey, it was work. The guy on the phone asked me to meet him at his house the following Friday night before a gig in L.A...


I Want to Come Back

I guess you could say that I woke up in my 33rd year, that I was somehow mystically reborn. I’d spent a year teaching myself to be a genius (I'm still not quite sure how that turned out).  A composer is born. Or reborn. Or invented. It really doesn’t matter. The music poured out of me, covering 11x17 sheets of yellow card stock manuscript from Judy Green in Hollywood and I'd never studied composition. Who questions something like that? You don't. You go with it and let it take you down the rabbit hole...

You're Darned Tootin'

I woke up to find a man in a parka standing in our bedroom. No, this isn't him, but you get the idea. It was the DSL dude, here to reconfigure our modem. This is the only downside of having one's office in one's bedroom. Nettl's online (she uses the main computer to which all our others connect via wireless), but I'm still having to use the connection I used last night. I'm not awake enough and I don't possess the know-how to figure that out.

After all my griping about not getting winter here this year, we've finally been "blessed" with a two-day ice storm. The streets are like a skating rink and a car nearly plowed into our house yesterday evening. Fortunately, the driver wasn't driving fast and the curb stopped him.

Waking up to a man in our bedroom was weird. Especially when he looked like something out of Fargo.



See the time in the mini-blog on my sidebar? That was about 15 minutes before our web host's server went down. Of course, I automatically assumed that the problem was my fault, and I spent the following two hours crawling under the desk, defragging this and rebooting that. I plugged, unplugged, reset and redecorated. Finally, I called the host and found out that they'd experienced an "equipment failure". Throughout the course of the day I called three more times and at last I learned that the issue had been resolved. Hm. Then why weren't we online?


Fun with Steph and Nettl

See Nettl write.
See Nettl work on her book for two weeks.
See the words flow out of her.
See Nettl's calm, serene manner.
Write, write, write.
See Nettl put Steph to shame.

See Steph write (or not).
See Steph get brain pretzels.
See Steph delete more pages than she writes.
Delete, delete, delete.
See Steph pretend to write.
See Steph play DragonStone instead.

Why I Love Ventura #6: The Anacapa Lighthouse & Arch Rock

Anacapa Island, 12 miles off the coast and visible from Ventura, is a chain of three small islands connected by reefs that are visible at low tide. Together, they are 4 1/2 miles long and a little over half a mile at the widest point...


The Noble Nose

The Pink Cowboy has done some research into nose classifications and has asked us to tell him what kind of nose we have. I don't know what the classifications are, except for Roman and Greek; I've always been told that I have an English nose. I've always been proud of my fine, prominent proboscis, and for as long as I can remember it has been a topic of conversation with my friends. I am known for my nose where my family and friends are concerned...


Taking a Night Off

Joel and I finally got the last of the Christmas stuff out of the house this evening. Because nearly the entire household came down with the rotten cold that's taken over this state, we didn't get to it the weekend after New Year. Instead, we did it in fits and starts. For the past week, all that was left was the bare nekkid tree in the corner. But it's out now and everything's back to normal. I even vacuumed the living room, including the stairs. That was fun... I detest carpet, almost as much as I do wind, and there's way too much of both here.

Nettl (angel that she is) picked up some Trumer Pils for me (my favorite beer, and yes, I even have the cool glass), and even made dinner while I vacuumed. This is the first beer I've had since summer.

Earlier in the afternoon, I was able to open the patio door because it was in the mid-70s outside. I didn't know! Damn! If it's like that tomorrow, I'm moving my butt out to my hammock office! I got to enjoy the weather long enough to cut back the roses, water the jasmine and tidy up the patio, and now, I'm taking tonight off. I'm going to sit here, blog-hop, and drink my pils.


* Vielesteine, Not Enough Sleep

I suppose now's the time for me to turn on my charm, my wit, my magnanimous personality, and my articula... articulator... articulitio... my amazing use of the English language. I've been nominated for the Okie Blog Award, and in two categories, too! But all the Einstein brain cells in the world can't help me tonight so as usual, when I'm tired, you get a bullet list...


It's Sunday, Might as Well

One of my favorite books is Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie, and I enjoyed the film starring Jack Lemon as much as I'd enjoyed reading the book. Yesterday, I turned across a movie that was just beginning. I didn't know the name of it for about an hour, but it got me hooked immediately. It turned out to be The Five People You Meet In Heaven, starring Jon Voight. It wasn't until after it was over, and I looked it up on the web, that I discovered the film was made from the book of the same title by none other that Mitch Albom. No wonder I liked it...


You Got Talent, Kid!

It always amazes me how many really talented people there are in the world. It just proves that everyone possesses some talent of some kind.

With the advent of the Internet we are introduced to more talent than ever before. We saw it on television, heard it on recordings, and applauded it at concerts, etc., but the talent always belonged to those people, the gifted others, the ones who were famous, or about to be...


Friday Nights

You know what I miss? I miss those Friday nights when my friends and I would all meet in mIRC and play stupid Name That Tune and Music Trivia games, drinking, and passing wavs across the still brand spanking new thing called "online". There wasn't even a real public Internet yet, just DOS-based AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy. And mIRC, of course...


I have a new addiction. It's a game called DragonStone that my son Micah developed and put on his blog. I'd give you the permalink, but beneath the DragonStone entry is a really nice Mahjong game as well. Right now, DragonStone is the second entry from the top.

If you want to see more of his programs, click the XLab link in his sidebar. And give his music a listen, too. Great stuff!

His blog's been getting a lot of hit counts from me this week...


Innocence Lost

When I was a kid my dad always promised to take me to a burlesque show on my 21st birthday. Sadly, by the time that rolled around there were no such places left.

What got me thinking about this was the movie meme I posted earlier in the morning. The list so far is of actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Deni's addition being James Cagney. That got me thinking about Vaudeville, and then burlesque came into my thoughts.

There are a few women who perform genuine burlesque, but none so well as Vienna La Rouge. Her act is pure vintage--from the 18th century to 1940s Hollywood--and she never loses her ladylike quality. Sure, she strips, but there's pasties and a thong beneath those big feather fans. In an age when Britney Spears flashes her bare wowzer just getting out of a car, and women in strip clubs bend over and shake their booty four inches from a man's face, Ms. La Rouge's act might seem pretty tame. What she understands though is that the most powerful sexual attraction begins in the imagination, and that there is an art that appeals on more levels than just the mere physical. Today's strippers lack art; Vienna La Rouge is an artist.

My grandfather, who was a Vaudeville performer from childhood used to say, "A woman standing bare naked is okay, but put a wisp of fabric on her and yowza! That's something!"

A Movie Meme

My friend Deni, at Flapdoodle, put this movie meme on her blog last night and I thought it was fun...


Photos That Are Hard to Explain

I like to visit sites that post silly or weird photographs, but tonight I realized that through the years my friends and I have collected a few of our own, so being the effusive, magnanimous person that I am (a-hem), here are some pictures from my past that are very hard (or dangerous) to explain. Feel free to add captions if the spirit moves you. Click to embigiate. (Also, mouse-over for captions.)


Just a Brain-Dead List

I know that I can't keep at this schedule. It's only a matter of time before my brain's going to hurl itself into full revolt mode and start coming at my body with rakes and pitchforks. That nasty cold I got right after New Year forced me to sleep for nearly a whole week, and I hate that.

Sleep is boring and there's so many things I could be doing if I didn't have to give in to it. Going to the bathroom is a waste of precious time too, as well as that whole morning routine of "Shit, Shower & Shave" or whatever your third S happens to be. In my adult and mature fashion I rebelled by staying up until dawn when I finally felt good enough to do so. Today I'm functioning on about three brain cells and even they can't seem to find each other to rub up against. It rolls downhill--all you get is a bulleted list entry from me today.

I can't believe that Slyde gave me a shout out on his bulleted list today! And in the first slot, too. Back atcha, buddy.

I'm sick and tired of coughing up lung chips. Honest to God, between Nettl and myself our bedroom sounds like the tuberculosis ward of some old Victorian hospital in a Dickens novel.
Where the heck is our snow? Places that never get snow have it and we've not had any. There was that one light dusting in November, but it lasted about five minutes. I'd like some snow please.
F*cker Cat (the name I call her) has gotten into the habit of getting up on us at 4:30 in the morning. She "makes bread" on Nettl, then she climbs onto me to roost so that she can stare at Nettl at eye-level. Is it affection? Is it love? No. She's demanding she be fed. Oh, she's a passive-aggressive one. She gives us nose kisses and purrs, but when that doesn't work she gets on the bed tables and knocks stuff off. Then she sharpens her claws on the chairs, which rouses a loud "PSSSSST!!!" from Nettl and a groggy "F*cker cat..." from me. F*cking cats.
I need writing gigs. Actually, I need some work, period, but I think a writing gig would be nice. But it has to pay something. I only have 50 cell phone minutes left and I can't afford to add more.
Our living room looks weird right now. Because we were all sick the first week following the holidays we didn't get our decorations down like we usually do. We've been doing it piecemeal: whenever one of us goes downstairs (and has the energy) we take something down, so there's Christmas crap on the table, on the bar, over the chair... The tree is still up and it's too bloody cold to take down the outside lights. I unplugged them though, so at least we don't look like a bunch of nerkles to our neighbors.
I had to clean up my Blog List a bit. It doesn't mean that I don't love you, it's just that if you haven't updated in three months or so, my OCD tendencies take over. I still have you in my Google Reader though, so when you update I'll be there.
I really hate those Mucinex commercials because they're so true. That green dude and his entire green trash family have moved in and will not be evicted. I think they're breeding too, because if snot was an alternative energy source Nettl and I could keep a city of about 15,000 lit up for a year.
And with that lovely visual I'm out of here. I have some business stuff to do online today and it's already after three.


Brain Cells in My Front Yard

I really haven't been sleeping, although I just now turned on my "Online" sign. I was out in the front yard cleaning up the brain cells leftover from New Year's Eve. Every year we host the party, you see, and every year I buy a bunch of confetti. Every other year I've gotten the shiny mylar kind. Through the years we've had some that were cut in the shape of the year, champagne glasses, spirals, stars—I can't remember them all. This year we couldn't find any that said 2009, so we bought palm trees instead, then a big bag of paper confetti. We also get those little bottle poppers, so there were colored streamers in every shrub, every flower bed, and every potted plant.


Show Me Yours

Click to enlarge
A long time ago, when the web was a new and magical place that tinted our faces a pale blue late into the night, we learned simple things, happy things, things that were new revelations. Like not hitting "Send" when we were drinking, or the power of "Esc", "Insert", "Ctrl+Alt+Delete", and "Prnt Scrn".

In those days we liked sharing things with each other, including screen shots of our desk tops. Wallpaper, icons, cursors, wavs, screen savereverything served to tell the world who we were. It was all new, and we had fun.

It has been ages since I sent someone a screen shot of my desktop, so I thought I'd show it to you (if I sent this to someone in an email they'd think I'd finally gone off my rocker). If you have a blog and want to play, post your own screen shot and I'll come look.


Why I Love Ventura #5: The Architecture

From Craftsman
(Bernadette's Cafe, Main St.)
Within a grid of about six square blocks you can see so many different styles of architecture that it makes it difficult to give Ventura a single label. The historic downtown district, which had no particular celebrated identity of its own until a little over 10 years ago, has now become famous for its non-unifying style, which has become Ventura's calling card. Like its people, Ventura is hard to pin down, but spend an afternoon walking around and you'll understand our bohemian natures as well as our love of diversity.


The Armchair Circumnavigator: Monuriki Island

There's not much to say about Monuriki Island, except that it's in the Pacific Ocean,
in a group of islands known as the Mamanuca Islands, just off of the coast of Figi.

No one lives there, there are no bars, no hotels,

yet it has become a favorite "must see" for tourists.

Does it look familiar to you? It should...

It's where the movie, Castaway, starring Tom Hanks, was filmed.

Click here for more photos

Don't forget that this is National Delurking Week. Leave a comment and say hi!


Meme: My Year in Review

Go into your archives and post the first sentence from the first post you made each month last year. Here are mine:

January: "In bed today with a nasty cold with the accompanying body aches, stuffy nose and that oddly pleasant, slightly delirious sensation." (And again, this year???)

February: "It just occurred to me why I've lost inspiration and passion for my art." (Too bad I hadn't found the resolution as well.)

March: "You may think I'm silly, but today was one of the happiest days of my life." Good for me. At least I had one last year.

April: "I never knew that one could be surrounded by so many crises, tests, and emergencies at one time." (Well, nothing lasts forever.)

May: "There are few morning experiences better than that first cup of coffee." (Some things never change.)

June: "So this is how we spent our Sunday." (This was actually the caption for a photo taken on our veranda, called, "Still Life with Corona". I miss summer...)

July: "When we first moved into this house exactly four years ago, I painted the wall above our bed a deep red." (I'm so glad I repainted it.)

August: "I have a bad case of the wanderlust this week." (Summer makes me want to travel.)

September: "Looks like Gustav is heading for us, although I doubt it will bring any more than some wind and rain." (I was right.)

October: "I'm giving my Remarkable Women Bloggers Award today to Blog Queen, who is a nurse who works in the ER of her city's hospital." (I wish I knew where she's gone to. She hasn't posted a blog entry in over two weeks. I hope everything's okay.)

November: "I never quite know what to do with myself on Saturdays." (So far this year, I've been a lazy ass.)

December: "No, that's not a bow tie he's wearing, it's a thyroid (thanks, Photoshop)." (You'd have to see the picture to understand this one.)

Don't forget that this is National Delurking Week. Leave a comment and say hi!


It's National Delurking Week 2009

Today begins National Delurking Week*, a time during which those of you who read blogs but don't comment can safely rise to the surface and grab a little air, and we bloggers can meet you.

Shy? Don't be.
Don't know what to say? Just say hi.
Afraid? What of? There's nothing to be afraid of here on my blog. Everyone's welcome and safe here.
A regular commentor? Say hi so that those who aren't won't feel like they have to be the first.

Come out, come out, whoever you are! (If you're a Flying Monkey, i.e. stalker/troll, however, just go away and don't bother to embarrass yourself.)

If you don't feel comfortable delurking, thank you for reading my blog anyway. It means a lot to me.

*According to different blogs, the actual dates for Nation Delurking Week are open for debate; I'm going with January 4-10, because they're nearest the first of the year.


Belly Buttons & Those Who Flash Them

What's the big effin' deal? Everywhere you look -- television, the web, the street -- people are lifting their shirts and showing off their belly buttons. I don't have anything against belly buttons. I mean, we all have one, but that's my point. I have a crack in my ass, too, but it doesn't make me special. And if it's about a tattoo, or a belly button ring, or even 6-pack abs, still, BFD! I'm supposed to be impressed by this vapid, pointless vanity?

I wish these people would show off something else, like their minds, or their talents, or the things that truly make someone special. Like correct apostrophe usage or something. But belly buttons?

There's a workout commercial in which a blond (using that awful croaky, lazy voice that's so popular with girls right now) says, "I love my abs, I love my belly, I love my abdominals..." Yeah. Sorry you don't love that dead car battery in your head that barely passes as a brain.

The fascination with our belly button usually ends with toddlerhood. But then, that's the issue anyway. The sexy eternal child. The giggling, pouting, simpering, hairless, belly-button infatuated child woman and her dumb-as-a-stick, hairless, bratty boy with an eternal hard-on.

I want substance, people! I miss young people who read, who think, who philosophize, and who are interested in these things in other people. Will we ever get that back?


Tag, I'm It

This morning I woke up with the cold that's making the rounds, but fortunately, it's not even a fraction of the one that Nettl's had all week. Let's hope it stays this way. With as good as I've been feeling lately, I'm pretty optimistic.

The downstairs still looks like a tiki bar on Guam after being hit by a tsunami, but it'll get cleaned up, eventually. I had every intention of un-decorating today, but now, I just don't think so...

I actually feel like reading in bed, but the linens need to be changed. Everything that needs to be done around here depends on something else right right now, and I just don't feel up to it. They'll wait.


Oh, What a Night

Not as many people showed up as in years past, but we made up for that in just plain fun and personality. The theme was a tiki lounge, and our living room/kitchen looked every bit the part, thanks to all of the decorating and hard work put in by Joel and Heather. The bar, as usual, was the center of activity and the dance area was well-used. About 11:00 a very special guest made a brief appearance, and then the real celebrating began!