11.30.2008

TV Shows - some are just too good to miss!


While I'm kadoodling with some beadmaking and other creative endeavors, my little TV or laptop is ever at the ready.

Currently I'm catching up on a series I missed the first season-and-a-half, on Hulu. It's Burn Notice, and I guess you could call it the poor man's OO7. While trying to learn who 'burned him,' former spy Michael takes on what you might call 'odd jobs' earning the money that used to come a lot easier as a 'special ops' guy for 'the government.' A lot of fun, a lot of explosions, but not a lot of bloodshed, and what there is isn't nearly as messy as CSI's.

Another 'never miss' is Dexter. I'm just amazed at Michael C. Hall's talent. I just wish I could find a site that has back seasons of '6 Feet Under.'

I have plans to catch up on the seasons of another show I missed first time around - 'Rescue Me,' because I really like Denis Leary. Finally, when I'm thru with that, I'll peek in on a few others I've ignored because they cost big bucks to subscribe, like HBO and Showtime. Bless these streaming rerun sites!!

11.28.2008

Bits, Pieces, and the demise of a well-loved Crockpot

I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, which means a lot of time in front of the small TV I also have on my desk. As a child-of-the-####ies (oops, a little line noise there), I learned to aurally multitask, listening to music or radio dramas while I did other things, most notably my homework. (hmmm...that might be why I got thru 12 grades by the skin of my teeth...) At any rate, I never did get out of the habit--to this day I can't just sit and watch TV. I must have something going on with my hands, be it needlework, beadwork, or even a book. (That takes REAL multitasking...) This is really my explanation of the 'bits and pieces' entries...I'm doing something else and something has piqued my interest on TV (or the Roe Conn radio show...you should stream that sometime!).

So...watching the Early Show's presentation of great (if not inexpensive) gifts for kids...I fell in love with Bisquit. As a cat person, I can be pretty smug about not walking the dog, especially during a snowstorm, but this pup I could really warm up to. I can't seem to get the embedding to work here, but here's the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKSgU2cLUvg

I might add to this today, but for now....the dearly departed crockpot saga...
This isn't exactly the LOOK of my pot - it was white with flowers on it - but the style is the same. I loved to make stews and big chunky soups in it, as well as my 'end of the month' shove-in-the-Uncle-Ben's budget stretchers. It had its faults, one of which was divesting itself of the lid handle, and it became a real challenge to find something with which to lift the lid. But I loved it, knew its temps, and pretty much timed everything just right with the symbiosis of a real partnership.

Then came the unit inspection. I was doing a major tidying of my counter, shelves, etc., and the crockery insert was in the sink holding silverware and coffee-cups bathing in sudsy water. I had put a shopping bag over the pot because the inside had become pretty disreputable-looking over the years and I figured lifting lids and such was beyond the purview of even the inspection militia. Well... apparently in all the shuffling around, the little thingie (technical term) was jostled from 'off' to 'low,' so for the better part of the day the pot was working on the green recycled synthetic shopping bag. At some point the bag sagged down to the bottom of the pot, which was still without its crockery insert (it would have modified the damage greatly) and melted pretty much permanently onto the insides of the cooker. It does not peel off, and putting ice on the green stuff doesn't allow it to chip off, either. Leaving it there is not an option; it sets off my hard-wired smoke alarm, although there is no smoke to be seen...it's all invisible and apparently insidious.

So, it's 'goodbye, old friend.' I can't afford to replace it on my incredibly tight budget, although using the gas oven is going to be more expensive in the long run. I guess I'll have to chalk it up to another lesson well-learned...

11.27.2008

Bits n' Pieces

Sometimes when 'dropping' I run across a blog entry that just has to be shared. This is one of those times, and I really hope you stop and read this one:
If it didn't at least almost bring a tear to your eye, you need new eyes...

More later, but just had to share that.

The WE channel has just given me a very nice Thanksgiving present... they're showing "Benny and Joon." This is such a rich, touching film, almost my favorite. "Friendly Persuasion" has that spot, but B&J is IMO Johnny Depp's best movie.

11.26.2008

Good/Bad News and a Thanksgiving wish...



I passed our housing unit inspection despite dumping a whole shoebox full of beads and supplies on the floor just as the housing nazi arrived to inspect. I must make the catbox alcove a little more accessible to fresh air, but other than that I'm ok for another 6 months...just enough time to get it all cluttered again.

Bad news (and I had a feeling this would happen) is that I think the UTI/kidney prob is back, just in time for the T'giving holiday medical office closures. The doc substituting for my regular MD gave me 5 days of antibiotic, although I think 10 is more the norm. At any rate, those 'fork in the ribs' sharp pains in the right side are back. By the time the office opens, I'll be more than ready to pop in and say 'hi again!'...

And my best wishes and prayers for my friend Jael, who is going thru more stresses this season than any one person (or even family) should go thru. She truly deserves to say 'what next???' every five minutes as long as it takes to subside!

11.25.2008

In my Opinion....


Every so often I become inspired to be grumpy, crotchety, catty... I think it occurs in all of us, but not all of us express it. This is one of those days for me.

So...

Just saw both Liza Minelli and Tom Jones within an hour, live, on morning TV. First, I have to say I'm not a dedicated career follower of either. Tom Jones is pushing 70 and Minelli is just over 60. I don't think it's just a gender/sexual thing when I say Jones looks 10 years younger and sounds light years better today than Liza has for the past 20 years. Maybe it's just good ol' hardy Welsh genes, but whatever it is, he's pleasing to listen to, and Minelli's voice sends me diving under the table. (Checking out some of her fairly recent reviews, I feel like the little kid in the story "The Emperor's New Clothes.")

From the "You just can't win" department: I'm hearing now that grumbling has surfaced about Obama not attending church since the election, and about his registering his kids for private school in Washington rather than public school. Jeez, guys... doesn't the phrase 'sitting duck' come to mind? I'd prefer he stay in his house and lay low until inauguration day, thanks.

"Boston Legal" is my guilty pleasure, and I could forgo the first 50 minutes of any episode just to savor the balcony scene. But last night's Thanksgiving show (the last one of the series) was such a true-to-life joy. Not a gripe, just sayin'....

LOL!!!! Elizabeth Hasselhoff just called Larry King 'opinionated' ... that's classic...

Holiday birthdays: We should figure out how to have a group hug. No one singing happy birthday to us in school, and if our birthday falls on a BIG holiday, we're pretty much largely ignored/forgotten. My birthday, January 1st, is annoying because both Christmas and NYD's gifts were great excuses to say "remember, that OTHER gift day had to be counted in..." I know, I know... grateful and all that...but kids just don't think that way. I'm not sure which would be worse--having a Christmas birthday with all the hoop-la spread around among all the guests and all, or New Year's Day, where pretty much everyone is either hung over or anxiously waiting to see if their favorite 'bowl game bet will be successful or not. Feh. If I had to choose one, July 4 seems nice. All those fireworks you can pretend are just for you...

To bring this diatribelette to a positive end, I'd like to mention a TV 'star' of sorts who should probably have a series of his own, or at least be a major part of one -- that's the guy who does the Jimmy Dean sausage commercial, Haynes Brooke. The only non-commercial acting I've seen him in was an episode of Medium, where he played her husband's alter ego; I think he should be grabbed up by some casting director for a chance at a series of his own.

11.24.2008

How to Identify a REALLY bored kitty...



Today was very 'kitty-oriented' -- usually I can stretch out things until the end of the month, but ran out of money and cat-food simultaneously. So... went to geezer bingo as usual (I keep a little stash of nickels and dimes in a special geezer purse) and won enough for a box of food for the girls. (At 5c a card, 6 cards per game, the chances are good, but not perfect...)

I'd like to think they'd appreciate it, but I suspect they couldn't care less that I dedicated my day to them.

11.22.2008

Catch the Fleeing Dollar...

FYI -
If you tend to give gift cards around the holidays, you need to be careful that the cards will be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as Bankruptcy Planning. Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about.

Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing
Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide
Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Cache will close all stores
Talbots closing down specialty stores
J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots)
GAP closing 85 stores
Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January
Wickes Furniture closing down
Levitz closing down remaining stores
Bombay closing remaining stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
Whitehall closing all stores
Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Linens and Things closing all stores
Movie Galley Closing all stores
Pep Boys Closing 33 stores
Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
Wilson Leather closing down all stores
Sharper Image closing down all stores
K B Toys closing 356 stores
Loews to close down some stores
Dillard's to close some stores
Mervyns closing all stores

11.20.2008

SUPER-HANK!!!


As a former Californian, Henry Waxman has long been a hero of mine. He is a stunningly brilliant choice for chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Bravo!

Be afraid, Halliburton... be very afraid...

11.19.2008

Magic in Monochrome


This blog was started, originally, to share my artwork in bead and jewelry designing, but has taken on a life of its own... mine!

Today, since my phone bill is looming, I'm going back to its roots and showing a favorite design of mine, and offering it up for sale.

There are two great things about this particular necklace -- first, it goes with absolutely EVERYTHING. It would even look great with that little basic black cocktail dress, with the three high-quality CZs that follow the line of the piece. Second, you would be wearing a bit of way-back history... way back as in millions of years. The focal point of it is a fossilized seashell, tumbled and tossed by ancient seas and waiting eons just to grace your neck in a wonderfully fashionable way.

Hyperbole? Maybe. But it is all true. Go on, take a closer look over on Etsy. If you want to snatch it up, and mention that you saw it here first, I'll even take 10% off.

11.16.2008

Breathing easier...

...in several ways. Trying to put my inspection reprieve to good use, and the corn pollen seems to have settled down a bit. My regular pharmacist (in nearby Paxton) saved the day by doing what the Walgreen's guy couldn't...pushed my breathing med thru medicare. I have to give kudos to this particular pharmacy...Hudson's...they really rise to the occasion when needed, without blinking an eye. As an example, I had a nasty staph infection on my leg that needed immediate antibiotic. The Rx was called into a local pharmacy which promised delivery the next day (they deliver 2 days per week). The next day was very snowy, and they decided not to do deliveries. I called them to ask if they would catch up on the undelivered scripts the next day...seemed logical.

No, they would wait until the next scheduled time, three days later. I called Hudson's, which delivered it that same day. (no charge, incidentally) I subsequently pulled all my business from the local pharmacy and have been with Hudson's ever since. The one time I wavered was this last time with the breathing med, because it was early evening and I thought it would be expendient. [snort!!] I'm just grateful there are places like Hudson's still around.

I have taken this weekend 'off,' essentially - forced myself not to feel guilty about not doing much, and it was very restful.

Now... tomorrow will be another day - my first time back to the lunch I attend twice a week when they play 5c a card bingo. Last time I was there, one of my tablemates was going to move to Canada if Obama won the election. Maybe it's been enough time for the ol' coot to simmer down... if not, I have a feeling my mouth is going to get me in trouble...again....

11.14.2008

Retreat and Regroup

On the heels of the fubar inspection, I'm taking a blogging-vacation. Just a day. But I found the ideal 'spacesaver' for those who want to read a like-minded columnist writing on a subject at least 'near' to me, if not 'dear' ...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/14/DDB61436N6.DTL

I can feel it, even if I can't seem to do it...

11.12.2008

The inspection saga continues....

As loyal readers may remember, I've been suffering (big-time!) with a UTI with possible kidney complications. For some reason it's not painful (most are) but it's energy-sapping.

On the heels of this charming illness comes the biannual unit inspection of the community in which I live. Since I'm a clutterer and semi-hoarder (just things I'm sure I'm going to use someday...) the only thing to do was to bite the bullet and get to 'tidying'... What with rest periods, some procrastination, and the occasional glance or two at the TV, my only recourse as I counted down in hours to today's inspection was to pull an all-nighter.

That's right... awake from 5am Tuesday until this morning at around 9:30am. The place wasn't perfect, and Roger Hazard of "Sell this House!" would almost certainly spend most of his time in it frowning, but sometimes reality just has to be accepted.

Exhausted, I emailed the office and mentioned my illness, and requested that they check out my place first, "so I could go back to bed." (They are infamous for never changing their schedules for anything ... as in, "you're dying? Just don't block our way..." It's why I didn't try to postpone it--it's like poking a caged tiger)

So what happens? While I'm "indisposed" I get a call that goes to voicemail. Because I'm sick, they are rescheduling me for the last tour of inspections on the 26th.

This, for me, is the very definition of mixed emotions... as I neared my 30th hour with no sleep, irrationally proud that I could actually do it, contemplating the total futility of it... it was pretty much more than I could handle. So I went to bed to dedicate at least 5 or so hours to olympic-quality snoring.

Hour 2: Charley-Horse!!! Worse, they're bilateral in the thighs, and the kind that make you suspect, thru your agony, that you just may levitate out of bed. The kind where you're fine standing up but no possible position lying down will block its relentlessness. So......... it will be at least 50 hours (minus the 2 I snuck in) of unrelenting 'awakeness.' I'll watch my favorite shows, then I'll try sleep one more time.

Less of a challenge than keeping the place tidy until the 26th....

11.11.2008

Still coughing, sneezing, swearing, and tidying up for tomorrow's inspection... Anyone want to come help?? ;o)

11.08.2008

Quick n' Dirty Contest



I'll give 25 ec credits to the first five people who can identify this flower. Yes, *I* know what it is, but I'll bet not too many other people do... Amazingly gorgeous thing of beauty, and a great example of form AND function...


Please reply to kellythek at gmail dot com rather than the 'comment' option below. I don't want to reveal the answer prematurely, but don't want to keep the winners waiting, either. I have 2 winners I can't contact because they didn't
do so.

The Inspection Nazis

Note: The photo in this post is NOT of my place -- but it sure is close.


Once more the managers of the community where I live have scheduled an inspection of everyone's home. This is for construction/obstruction/repair problems within each unit, and I understand that, I really do. But I was raised by parents who closed themselves in their home, and while the curtains weren't always drawn, the blinds were always set so no one could look in. Privacy was as vital to them as air and water.

Now the inspection affects me strongly along privacy issues. I hate having people wander thru my house; it's a feeling I'm being judged (and probably being found wanting). Since I'm a clutterer/procrastinator, it always means I have to stop what I'm doing and tidy up. Ah, that it would only be a dusting/vacuuming kind of 'tidy' -- no, it's the yard bag and shovel kind, due to the disability I have in my arms and fingers. Things drop, and usually when I'm busy trying to do something that might sell and thereby is more important to my personal survival, like paying the rent and keeping the utilities on. Lets see... I drop things maybe 30 times a day, multiplied by 6 months. Ick.

Wednesday is the inspection day. I really do have time. So what the hell am I doing blogging??? Yep, procrastinating.

11.07.2008

What's it to Ya?

Warning - this may be considered a contentious post, so if you don't want to possibly be annoyed do go watch The View, or Oprah or whatever. It will be fairly short.

Among the propositions on which Californians were offered their say, Proposition 8 (gay marriage) was the most repugnant, IMO, and one of the reasons I left California 10 years ago. What was once a truly Golden State became tarnished with the advent of George Deukmejian (1983), and the loss of the gay marriage affirmation (3 days ago). Can California have come only THIS far in 25 years?

To those who voted for the Prop (outlawing same-sex marriage) I ask you -- "What's it to you?" I have no dog in this hunt, being neither gay nor (still) married, but I wouldn't begin to think of taking away something as precious and important as marriage from a large segment of our population.

Gay marriage (I hate that phrase!) doesn't jeopardize traditional wedlock. If you're offended, go somewhere else, look elsewhere, or think of blue skies and puppies. Your marriage is safe. Since most of the scientific evidence indicates that 'gayness' is genetic rather than whimsical, it's unlikely that any of your family will be 'recruited.' The majority of this important minority is simply looking for peace, and love, and recognition of themselves as part of the Family of Man (no pun intended). Who are you to thwart this search? Do you think that by voting for that odious Proposition, the 'offending behavior' will cease? Of course not. When we start legislating, in 2008, from each others' bedrooms, we truly will have begun a really nasty downward spiral.

[/soapbox]

11.06.2008

Now back to regular programming...

The euphoria of the election has made me less mindful of my responsibility to myself and to my art. (Also distracted by the racket caused by my mother and father turning over in their urns.. I'm so glad to have escaped the bigotry so endemic to the first half of the 20th century.)

Went to the MD yesterday for the allergy and the 'other problem' I was experiencing. Seems I have a major UTI, with possible bladder/kidney involvement. Since I'm on Medicare/M'aid, I only had to pay a couple of bucks for the antibiotic, but the cough medicine (the only one that works for me) for my dry cough is Tussionex at $48, with no generic. AND, if you are drawn to those Advair ads to help you with your breathing, know upfront that the stuff costs $400 per cassette as quoted by my Walgreen pharmacist. That's 66% of the money I have to live on ALL MONTH. I can only hope that the big-gun antibiotic works quickly so my immune system can get to work fighting off the pollen and dust that corn disking throws in the air and into my lungs. I know there are 'compassionate use' programs, but the paperwork takes weeks to process... I'll either be cured or dead by that time...

Anyway... what does this have to do with 'art'? Simply this: I'm going to actually start posting some of my work available for sale, here as on Etsy. Most will be $20 each, with 10% off if you mention this blog. I just HATE promoting myself (mentioned in the 7 things in my 'tagged' list), so bear with me. If you see anything you like, either on the scroll or listed in-post, email me and let's make a deal. If something you see is 'gone' I'll custom-make one just for you.

{{coughcough}} Eeek... time for my every-30-minutes dash to the 'other room'. I'm going to have to dig out my CD of Willie's "On the Road Again...."

11.04.2008

This Day in History...

Voted today around 11am - I knew if I waited much longer I'd rationalize my vote away. I'm totally miserable with hay fever and hopefully temporary ... um... well - ya know that commercial with the little copper pipe characters?? Like that. It's really frustrating with hay fever, especially the kind I have, which is probably brought on by the disking of corn stalks. I braved the possible embarrassment and went to vote, anyway, because at the very least I wanted to nullify a vote by the loyal opposition. Made it there and back safe, sound and otherwise dignified, but this really has to stop, literally.

On the way home I thought about all the other presidential races I've voted in. Pretty much all of them had either a winner with an agenda, or were won by well-meaning but ineffective candidates. THIS time, I really think both candidates have the best interests of the country at heart, and the means to be effective. So my choice really just came down to the people directly surrounding each one, and the ability to admit a bad choice and change course.

Watched "The View" today and found myself screaming at EH. She's become a one-trick pony in her 'don't interrupt me while I'm interrupting you' defense of McCain. I hope she wasn't planning on becoming Official Hostess to a McCain administration...

11.03.2008

...some of my favorite things...

What with all the grumbling I (and others!) have been doing, I think it's time for listing some of my favorite things:

Let's see...

Favorite TV shows: CBS Sunday Morning, Dexter, Survivor, As Time Goes By (British)
(I also like the Roe Conn radio show weekday afternoons, on WLS Chicago)

Favorite movie: Hard to find, but a joyous little gem: "Good Luck"
(Vincent D'Onofrio as you've NEVER seen him before!)

Favorite Actor: Vincent D'Onofrio and Michael C. Hall

Favorite Actress: (Dame) Judi Dench

Favorite food: sushi ... I'd eat it every day if I could afford to.

I'll add to it as I remember things to list.

11.01.2008

Peeves

I usually agree with folks' pet peeves, but there's one that I seldom (ever?) see listed. That is the habit of some people to try to enter an elevator car before riders who are disembarking have a chance to get out.

What's the hurry, that they risk actual injury to others? Perhaps they think the fella who has to step backward against their frontal assault doesn't have someone behind him who is less steady on their feet? Or maybe boarding ten seconds later, after allowing other riders to leave, will somehow corrupt their own journey up or down? They should look on it as an IQ test, and they've failed...

And... I'm not a huge fan of Andy Rooney - he seems a bit around the bend sometimes. But one thing I agree with him about... when asked what he'd say to the youth of America he said, "Turn your cap around and pull your pants up---you look like an idiot."