Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shopped, dropped

Don't go to Louisville to buy anything tomorrow. There's nothing left. Mike and I killed time before we met Annabelle's plane by getting him set for school (which starts NEXT MONDAY). He will be one stylish dude this year.

Annabelle arrived home safe and sound. Her first words upon getting off the plane were: "I am so over this unaccompanied minor crap." Apparently they kept her on quite a short leash, which was rather offensive, I suppose, to such a seasoned world traveler. It's good to have her back! The dog just about turned herself inside out with joy when Annabelle walked in the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

OTPO continues

That's Operation Total Photo Organization, you know. Yesterday I managed to finish uploading all my pics from 2007 to my Flickr account. You can see 2007 in all its glory here.

Today I've moved on to 2006 (2008 was already up to date). I have a tendency to take the same picture multiple times, so I'm trying to weed out some of the repetition before I move on to uploading and tagging them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

For Annabelle

What could be cuter than an anteater in a shirt?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Home cooking

This month's issue of Fine Cooking has an article devoted to gin and a recipe for a homemade Tom Collins. Tom was a very good friend of mine back in the day, so I was eager to try it out. I squeezed my own lemons and made my own simple syrup (sugar and water--see? simple!) and poured it all together, and it was quite tasty:

I felt like I had stepped right out of a scene from Mad Men as I sipped my cocktail. All I needed was a cigarette, some stern foundation garments, and a dude in a suit to treat me like crap, and the scene would have been complete. Anybody else watching this one? It's my new addiction; I've been catching up on season 1 and can't wait for season 2 to start tonight! Was 1960 really so smokey? And were men really such pigs?

I might have to make another TC to go along with tonight's show!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I've had a very quiet day today, with Fred in PA, Annabelle in NY, and Mike at the pool. Just me and the dog. I was going to call this post "I'm all alone" after the song by the same name from the musical "Spamalot." I went searching on YouTube for a clip of the song, and I found this one, but I can't embed it. I looked a little more for one that I could embed and came up empty-handed on that account, but I found this, which I love:

Friday, July 25, 2008


Mike's show last night went really well. I hope to get some video clips uploaded this weekend, once I finish bringing my newly rebuilt computer back online. Slowly but surely I'm getting everything reinstalled.

We were well past midnight getting home last night, and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. What I did NOT want to do was discover that at least 3 house centipedes were having a party in my kitchen. Ew! I am not going to post a photo of those disgusting little critters here, because then I would have to go shower every time I looked at my blog. If you are inclined to check them out, however, you may go here. You'll regret it though . . .

Our friendly Orkin man paid a visit this afternoon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Like a thief in the night . . .

I am in the middle of installing a new hard drive on my desktop computer, so Internet access is fairly scarce at home today. I brought Mike and some friends up to Louisville though where they are playing a "gig" tonight, and I was able to get a wireless signal out here in the parking lot.

Wish me luck on my upgrades! I installed new RAM yesterday and had to make an unplanned trip back to Best Buy because I had bought the wrong kind. Today I had to use my feet to push the old hard drive out of the computer. Somehow I don't think that is the recommended method. It worked though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pennsylvania or bust

The big adventure begins today! Fred left for PA just a little while ago, just him and 1000 pounds of his most necessary stuff:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On her way to Camp Maya

Annabelle left this morning for a week in Syracuse with Maya. I don't think we need to worry about her getting snowbound this time!

While we waited in the airport, Annabelle amused herself by teaching Fred how to add numbers to his new phone:

Here's the plane she left on, but she has already arrived in Detroit and should be heading out on a different plane for the final leg of her journey any minute now:

Have fun, Annabelle!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweet sixteen

Our bouncing baby boy is 16 today!

Happy birthday, Mike!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sew sad

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read it in the paper this morning: Baer Fabrics in Louisville closed yesterday. Apparently it was very sudden. Over a century in business and then wham! gone just like that.

I bought my fabric for my retro dress at Baer last fall:

I didn't go there often, but it was comforting to know that there was a REAL fabric store just an hour away.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Here, kitty kitty

Fred and I took Annabelle up to Louisville this morning to see "Cats" at the Iroquois Amphitheater. It was a great production, and Annabelle was happy to get to see it in English for a change. (The kids and I saw it in Düsseldorf while Fred was deployed.) I thought it was fitting that we should see "Cats" today, closing night for "Beauty and the Beast," since that was the show that sparked Annabelle's interest in musical theater in the first place (and the one that inspired her costume for Halloween 2005):

Friday, July 18, 2008

One day more

When she saw my video clip of the castle battle from "Beauty and the Beast," which starts with the tail end of "Kill the Beast," my friend Deana remarked that it had a real "One Day More" (from "Les Miz") look to it. I think she's right. Here's a picture that I copied from the YTHC website:

And here's a shot from "Les Miz" that I copied from heaven only knows where (thanks, Google Image Search!):

Consider the lyrics: "Here we come, we're 50 strong, and 50 Frenchmen can't be wrong . . . " Coincidence? I think not.

And now it really is one day more. Annabelle is at the next to last performance right now. I'm going to go tomorrow to watch the closing night performance. It's sad to see it come to an end, but Annabelle is already looking forward to next year's show. "That's the nice thing about having civilian friends," she remarked the other day. "They'll still be here a year from now."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I scream, you scream . . .

. . . we all scream for ice cream!

Yesterday my friend Miki sent me this photo that was taken of her son Michael in Iraq:

The caption at DefenseLINK says:
U.S. Army Capt. Michael Kolton buys ice cream from a street vendor during a combined patrol with Iraqi police officers in Baghdad, Iraq, on July 8, 2008. Kolton is platoon leader, 4th Platoon, Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. DoD photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill, U.S. Army.
It just amazes me because even though we've seen Michael fairly regularly over the years since Miki and I met in our third year of law school, in my mind he will always be about the same age as the Iraqi kids in that photo. Not to get all "Sunrise, Sunset" or anything, but how is it possible that he is an army captain already? At any rate, we're all terribly proud of him and keep him in our thoughts every day, so I thought I would share the photo here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is this just a Kentucky thing?

We have found that the one thing we can count on here is that on any given weekend at least one charitable organization will be standing in the middle of a busy intersection looking for handouts. I'm assuming they have official permission to do this because they always have the traffic cones and the vests. Heck, sometimes it's the firefighters with a firetruck parked in the median, lights flashing, and men walking up and down holding out boots for drivers to toss their donations into.

I worry the whole thing is an accident waiting to happen. Not to be a grump, but I have a blanket policy that I will not give money under these conditions, not even to organizations that I would happily support otherwise. I don't want to encourage the continuation of this practice:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Calendar girl

Remember the birthday picture of me that I de-greened the other day? It was part of my top-secret project to create a calendar for Fred to take with him to the War College when he moves next week. (Yikes! Next week already?) I was so pleased with how it turned out that I wound up ordering one for us to have here at home as well.

Here's the cover image:

You can click here and see the whole thing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy, busy!

No time to really blog right now. I've got a big indexing project due on Friday, and I keep coming up with distractions. I'm trying to get a big chunk knocked out tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll be more interesting!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I crack myself up

We had some time to kill between dropping Annabelle off at the theater yesterday afternoon and returning to see the show, so we decided to run a few errands. While Fred went into Lowe's to buy some paint, I dashed into Feeder Supply with Mike and his friend Nick to buy some poo bags--rolls of plastic baggies that hang from the handle of Ginger's leash and enable us to do our part to keep the neighborhood tidy.

Anyway, we were standing in line with the poo bags when I noticed that the package proudly declared the bags to be biodegradable EXCEPT IN CALIFORNIA. "Amazing!" I said. "How on earth does the bag know it's in California?" I think the sales clerk thought I was serious. He solemnly assured me that the bags were indeed biodegrable in California. I thanked him and said I would keep that in mind should I ever take a bag of poop to California.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So, about that LOLcat

Here's one that represents me today:

Opening night was a complete success, and Annabelle had a blast at the post-performance lasagna party, which went until midnight. We were really late getting home, and then I had to get up at 7:00 to make it to my 9:00 hair appointment in Louisville.

Afterwards I took Annabelle's Macbook to the Apple store to see about getting a couple of minor glitches fixed. Stupid me--do you know what the Apple store looks like the day after the release of a new iPhone? There were lines just to get in the store. Anyway, when I brought it back home and she booted it up, the glitches had disappeared. So maybe all it needed was a trip to Louisville. Who knows?

We are going as a family (plus Mike's friend Nick who is visiting from Texas) to see tonight's show. Can't wait!

Friday, July 11, 2008

You almost got an LOLcat today

I spent most of yesterday working on the video clips that I posted from parents' night. Today I have got to devote some time to something other than my blog (like work and this filthy house), so I resolved last night to make today's post a quickie. LOLcats are usually good for that, but you got exceptionally lucky! I found this picture on the YTHC website:

Tonight I'm working the concession stand at the show (opening night!) during intermission and then staying to bring Annabelle home after their post-show party, which promises to run until midnight. Then I have to be in Louisville for a 9 a.m. hair appointment on Saturday. Tomorrow you might very well be getting an LOLcat.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The video clips

As I said in yesterday's post, last night was our one opportunity to take pictures and shoot video during a performance. I've been working on my video clips for most of today and am happy to be able to share them. A couple of notes first though:

First, we were not allowed to use monopods or tripods for filming, so the video is shakier than I would have liked.

Second, I tried to balance getting a good overview of the show with getting good shots of Annabelle. Accordingly, there are times when it looks like a performance of "The Rug and Beauty and the Beast," but I figure that's my maternal perogative.

In "Belle," Annabelle is the chimney sweep who walks in from the left (stage right):

"Me" is one of my favorite numbers from the show:

In "Gaston," Annabelle wears a pink dress and starts off on the far right side chatting with the baker. After Gaston spits, she wipes his spit off her forehead. Later on in the song, she is on the left chugging some beer:

"Be Our Guest" is just spectacular! Annabelle is the rug in this song. I think it's funny when the castle creatures are all sobbing and she blows her nose on her tassles:

In "Human Again," Annabelle's big moment comes at around the 2-minute mark when she rolls onto stage and is swept away:

"Maison des Lunes" is one of Annabelle's favorite songs, so she asked me to record it:

Here's the title song. I tended to focus on the dancer, because Annabelle wanted to show Maya (yay pointe shoes!):

In the "Castle Battle," our heroic rug engages in fierce battle against Le Fou and later chases him off stage:

And finally this is "Transformation," "Finale," and the curtain call. The transformation is so cool:

It has taken me most of the day to assemble this post. The cast is doing a special private performance right now for a VERY GENEROUS corporate donor (thank you, First Federal!). I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Running up to deadline

It's almost midnight, so I'm in a hurry to get this posted. Tonight was the show for family members, and it was just wonderful. It was the one night that we were allowed to take pictures, so I shot about 45 minutes of video, which is uploading right now. I'll work on getting it edited and posted tomorrow.

The only still shots I took were after the show. Annabelle with "Belle" and some of the other townfolk:

With "Lumiere" and "Gaston":

With the "Prince" (in a not so "Beastly" mood):

With her friend Joanna and "Le Fou":

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blown away

Tomorrow night is a special performance of "Beauty and the Beast" for family members, but I got a sneak preview tonight. Annabelle's friend Katherine has been visiting for the past week or so, and she has to leave tomorrow morning. So the director was kind enough to let us sit through dress rehearsal tonight, and it was WONDERFUL!

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the blog for the show is fantastic, and you really should go check it out! I've collected a few pics from there that show Annabelle in her various costumes. Here she is working that rug costume:

And here is she is as a random chick in "Gaston":

And as the chimney sweep in "Belle":

Monday, July 07, 2008

You mean 1969 WASN'T electric green?!

I was working on a photo project the other day, and I needed a picture of me as a kid (this will all make sense in a few days). So I got this one out of the photo album my Grandma Jernigan made me and ran it through the scanner:

I promise you, that photo has been that weird green color for as long as I can remember. Just for laughs and grins though, I decided to see if I could fix it up a bit in Photoshop Elements. A little Autofix, a click of Remove Color Cast, application of the default Color Curves adjustment, and a hit or 2 with the healing brush, and voila:

It's not easy being green. But it was pretty easy to fix.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Watching for little red trucks

I generally set my videos at YouTube either not to allow comments at all or to require comments to be approved before they are posted. That is because lots of the people leaving comments at YouTube are mean-spirited twits. Somehow though, I neglected to set these controls for my clip of Annabelle's performance with Missoula Children's Theatre last fall, but somehow each comment that has shown up there has been so full of happy energy and enthusiasm that it renews my faith in humanity (or at least the segment of humanity that frequents YouTube) just a little bit.

I've gotten comments from kids who have been in other MCT performances in other parts of the country, and they are always reporting what positive experiences they have had. How can your heart not melt when you read: "I was Prince Perfect. I'm in oklahoma. 17 years old. I love missoula and want to do tours with them so bad." Or: " Squee! I've been searching everything all over the internet for other MCT things (other than what goes on in my town). I loved doing this play! I was Amelia! This week we're doing Rumplestiltskin(sp?) I'm the queen!!! ^^"

Today I got this comment:
It's great to see different casts doing the Missoula Children's Theatre shows. We filmed "The Little Mermaid" for the new film "The Little Red Truck" in two different cities, Hollywood and Harrisburg, PA. The film opens in 12 cities around the country this summer/fall. Hope MCT fans will help spread the word and come out to see it.
How cool is that?! Apparently "The Little Red Truck"--a documentary that details the what happens in a week with the Missoula Children's Theatre--has earned rave reviews and honors at a variety of film festivals, and it's going to be debuting in a number of US cities this fall. Unfortunately, none of the cities listed thus far are anywhere near me, so I certainly hope that the movie will be out on DVD eventually.

Annabelle had a really great experience with MCT, and their program is amazing. I sure hope they come back to Radcliff this fall!

Here's the trailer for what looks like a wonderful film:

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Movie night

I promised Annabelle that I would watch "Nightmare Before Christmas" with her and Katherine at some point during Katherine's visit. Play rehearsal is going to be calling for really late nights from here on out though, so it looks like tonight is THE night. She assures me that I will love it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

[Edited to add: Egads, I just realized that some of my clips fade to black WAY too early. I'll try to get replacements up ASAP!]

I spent a fair bit of today editing snippets of the "Beauty and the Beast" mall show to share here on the blog. I just couldn't wait for everybody to see what a great show these kids are putting on.

Here's "Belle":

And "Me":

And "Is This Home?":

And "Gaston":

And "If I Can't Love Her":

And "Human Again" (Annabelle's fans will want to pay special attention to the middle of this clip where she somersaults and then rolls offstage, symbolizing dust being swept away):

And the title song, "Beauty and the Beast":

And "Finale":

These kids just blow me away!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mall show

Tonight the cast of "Beauty and the Beast" took their show on the road and performed highlights from the play at the E'town mall. It was really good! I videotaped the whole thing, and I've got my footage downloading to the other computer right now. I hope to at least have a snippet or 2 up tomorrow. I also hope that lots of the people who enjoyed the show tonight come out to the theater next week to see the real thing. It's gonna be great!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hatfields vs. McCoys, Fort Knox style

Once upon a time a Canadian soldier and his family lived across the street from a United States Marine and his family. The Marine family decorated the Canadian family's yard with pink flamingos. The Canadians sought their revenge by "gnoming" their neighbors, literally mining their yard with garden gnomes. Over time the flamingos begat more flamingos and the gnomes more gnomes until each house was quite a sight.

Who's to say who escalated the fight, but the feud took a nationalistic bent. And now the Canadians' house looks like this:

And the Marine family's house looks like this:

Can't we all just get along? Happy belated Canada Day, and a happy early Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Keeping busy in bullet points

Today I:
  • Went to the commissary

  • Went to a friend's retirement ceremony at 10:00

  • Went to a 10:00 meeting at 11:00

  • Went to the PX to buy a new can opener

  • Went BACK to the commissary

  • Took Annabelle to rehearsal

  • Went to Panera and worked for 2.5 hours on my indexing project

  • Picked Annabelle up

  • Walked the dog

  • Cooked spaghetti

  • Cleaned up the kitchen with Fred

  • Walked the dog AGAIN
Now I am going to:
  • Eat some cake

  • Read my book

  • Go to bed