Saturday, March 31, 2012

Party Pictures

A month ago I had a party.  A historic event in my life.  I described it here.

Many of you asked to see pictures.  There was only one person taking photos and they used a film camera.  Do you remember film?  Well, film has to be sent away for developing and that's why it took so long to get these.

The photos themselves aren't very good, but they give a glimpse of what the occasion was like.  I'm still glowing in its memory.


Friday, March 30, 2012

You're Invited To My Meme

I try to keep my finger on the pulse of our culture.  I may not be as hip as you cool kids, but I listen and learn.  I even tweet.  When I tell people my age that I have a Twitter account, they think I'm crazy.  "That's silliness for the kids," they say.

Which is my introduction to the concept of meme.  No, not "Auntie Mame," the famous film with Rosalind Russell.  (If you haven't seen that movie, you must!  See the 1958 original, not the 1974 remake with Lucille Ball.  The original was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress.)

A meme is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."

My friend Kathy (who uses the online-name Toadmama) commented here recently and suggested that I turn one of my regular features into a "meme."  The feature she was talking about is "Things I Saw Today."

What I do with this feature is post pictures taken of things in my environment.  Ordinary images from nature and society.  Pictures of trees, mailboxes, animals... whatever I see during walks around town.  Many times, despite their ordinariness, the photographed images have an intrinsic beauty which I recognize, enjoy and try to share with you.

We are surrounded by surprising beauty.  All it takes is the mindset to look for it.

Feel free to adopt this idea and run with it.  I'm eager to see what you find in your world.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hamburger Car

This beauty was found in an old post on Fuzzy's blog.

The Right Price

I read an interesting article in The New York Times yesterday.  It reports that most consumers, when shopping, seem to know the right price for things.  To the surprise of many in the business world, consumers successfully resist efforts by retailers to get them to pay more than that price.

Most shoppers have an instinct for when an item is overpriced.  When we feel that way, we hold off on buying until the price is reduced by discounts, often steep ones.  This reality contradicts a sexist notion held by many businessmen that shoppers -- i.e., women -- are easily subject to commercial manipulation.  Apparently, we are not.

“The customer knows the right price,” said the chief executive of J.C.Penney, Ron Johnson. “We can raise the price all we want; she’s only going to pay the right price. And why is that? Because she’s an expert.”

My favorite line in the article is a quotation from one man who has studied this subject.  He begrudgingly gives credit to shoppers, saying “They’re like mathletes with credit cards.”

Do you have a sense of what something should cost?  Will you pay more?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blog Love

Our connection to other bloggers varies in depth.  For many, we're mere visitors to their online display.  For a few, we're regular commenters and almost friends.  For a select couple, we're actual friends.

I've made the effort to meet a half-dozen bloggers in person.  Each encounter was tremendous fun and deepened our relation.  I now consider each of these lovely people to be real friends of mine.

Two of my favorite bloggers (one of whom I met in person when she visited NYC) have  been flirting with each other for months.  Their comments on each other's blogs are hilarious and amusing.  Both have a solid sense of humor.  Both are palpably affectionate of the other.  I'm speaking of Tracy and Ashley.

With a little planning, they just met in person!  In Arizona, of all places.  That's a weird meeting-point because neither of them live there.  Tracy lives in California (near San Francisco) and Ashley lives in some cold region of the Midwest.  Minnesota, I think.

I've been rooting for Tracy and Ashley to meet because I know how close they've become online.  They are similar in numerous ways and seem fated to be friends.  Real, close, good friends.

From reports, the meetup went well.  Both Tracy and Ashley posted about it with characteristic humor.  (The links are in their names above.)  You will be entertained by their posts.

If you've never heard of these special women, visit their blogs.  You won't regret it.  Here's how beautiful they are...

Meeting someone in person tells you reams of information you can never get online.  You quickly and instinctively assess who someone is from the many cues they give off.  I've found that meeting a blogger in person is essential to turn them from an acquaintance into a friend.

Are there any bloggers you'd like to meet in person?  Who?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My First Flowers!

Since last week, my flowers have started to blossom.  Here they are...

It's exciting to see them grow.  While I didn't do much to assist in the process, I'm proud of having nurtured these plants to fruition.  My babies are all grown up!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring? Okay!

I thought it was too early for Spring, but you can't fight Mother Nature.  Here in New York, we have sunny, 70-degree days and flowers are starting to blossom.  You'd think it was May.

Okay, I'll go along with that.  Last month I picked up this cute dress for $6 at a thrift-store.  It reminds me of Spring and I've been saving it to open the season.  Here we go!

What do you think?  Does this have a Spring vibe?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Small Thrills

I own two motorcycles.  One is big and comfy; the other is nimble and fast.  The BMW rides like a limousine; the Yamaha accelerates like a rocket.

The weather has been unseasonably nice lately, so I've been taking the Yamaha to work.  It lacks the luggage and comfort of the BMW but makes up for that with good looks and fun.  Here's a picture of my Yamaha from behind with Pandy as my passenger.

Do you remember when you were a little kid how adults and life itself seemed to ignore you?  How you felt insignificant when you were overlooked?  I remember that and I always keep it in mind when dealing with kids.

So, today I'm riding the Yamaha to work and I find myself behind a schoolbus.  I'm trailing it for a while and notice two girls in the back seat had turned around and are watching me.  One of them waves.  I wave back.  Instantly, the two girls leap up and squeal.  A second later, several more kids turn around to see what the excitement is. 

They start waving to me; I wave back to them.  As soon as my hand goes up, I see chaos in the back of the bus as dozens of students jump out of their seats, rush to the rear-window and start waving furiously.  They're about 8-9 years old which explains their frenzy.

Kids often wave at motorcycles and I enjoy returning the gesture.  This bus, however, was going nuts.  I'm sure the cranky bus-driver was screaming, "Get back in your seats!"  But there's no denying children their attractions.

After a short while, the bus turns and I give the kids a thumb's-up to say goodbye.  Again, the gesture incites immediate commotion as they all jump around to wave goodbye.

A small but pleasurable moment.  It isn't every day we get to feel special.  Do you ever wave at anyone on the road?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like learning new things.  It's fun and helps us grow.  Pursuing a new hobby is a great way to spend time.

Among new activities I'm adding to my life is gardening.  I've never done it before and am just starting out.  Last year, a friend who loves to garden gave me bulbs which I planted in my backyard.  He says that in a few weeks, they'll sprout daffodil flowers!  I can't wait.

This is what's appeared so far.  The picture was taken today.  I'll let you know when there are pretty flowers to see!

Have you ever gardened?  If so, any advice?

It's Back!

I'm excited to announce that my favorite post of all time, The Prom Project, is being showcased on a cool online magazine.  The magazine, named "The Blind Hem", has interesting content on several subjects we care about.  It's fun to read.

The piece just went up -- here's the link.  Proof that good things never die!

Monday, March 19, 2012

How To Sing The Blues

I love blues music.  It has such soulful character.  My favorite blues-performers (Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf) are pictured below.

To enjoy the blues, you need to understand its culture.  That's the learnin' I'm gonna teach ya now.

Most blues songs start out, "Woke up this mornin'..."  The blues are not about choice.  You stuck in a ditch; you stuck in a ditch.  Ain't no way out.

Certain cars belong to the blues.  Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks are okay.  The blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs or SUVs.  Blues can head south on a train but they never fly a plane.  Walkin' is a major part of blues lifestyle.  So is fixin' to die.

Teenagers can't sing the blues.  They ain't fixin' to die yet.  Adults sing the blues.  "Adult" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

Blues can happen in New York City, but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada.  Hard times in Tucson are just depression.  Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are the best places to have the blues.  You can't have the blues in a place that doesn't get rain.

A man goin' bald ain't got the blues.  A woman goin' bald does.  Breaking your leg cuz you wuz skiing in Aspen is not the blues.  Breaking your leg cuz a gator be chompin' on it is.

Good places for the blues: (a) highway; (b) jailhouse; (c) empty bed; (d) bottom of a whiskey glass.

Bad places for the blues: (a) art gallery; (b) Ivy League college; (c) golf course.

No one will believe it's the blues if you're wearing a suit, unless you slept in it for a few days.

Test: Do you have the right to sing the blues?

Yes, if: (a) you're older than dirt; (b) you're blind; (c) you shot a man in Memphis; (d) you can't be satisfied.

No, if: (a) you have all your teeth; (b) you were once blind but now can see; (c) the man in Memphis survived; (d) you have a trust fund.

Blues is not a matter of color; it's a matter of bad luck.  Lebron James cannot sing the blues.  Gary Coleman could.  Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

If you ask your baby for water and she gives you gasoline, you got the blues.

Acceptable blues beverages: (a) whiskey; (b) bourbon; (c) muddy water; (d) black coffee.

Not acceptable blues beverages: (a) soy caramel latte; (b) Snapple; (c) white wine spritzer.

Dying in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack is a blues way to go.  Gettin' stabbed by a jealous lover is another.  So is being fried by Old Sparky.  You can't have a blues death if you die during a tennis match at the club or from complications of liposuction.

Some blues names for women: Sadie; Big Mama; Bessie; Fat River Dumpling.

Some blues names for men: Willie; Little Willie; Big Willie; Joe.

If you have a name like Sierra, Rainbow, Blue Ivy or Prince Michael, you can't sing the blues no matter how many men you shot in Memphis.

Here's how to make your own blues name.  Pick an infirmity (Blind, Lame, Little), add a first name from a type of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi) and finish with the name of a President (Jackson, Jefferson).  For example, you can sing the blues using the name Blind Lemon Jefferson.  Or Little Willie Jackson.

Do you sing the blues?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things I Saw Today

What a lovely Sunday it was today.  I went on a nature hike with Nicole.  What did you do?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Desert Clothes

When I travel, I like to pick up a small item to remember the trip.  Seeing those things later reminds me of the good time I had.  For years, I used to buy t-shirts.  Now I buy dresses. :)

While wandering the hip section of Tucson (Fourth Avenue), I found a pretty dress, matching necklace and cute ring.  They appeal to me because their colors are found in the desert.

Here are some pictures.  I know it's not technically Spring yet, but you could wear this in Arizona right now without difficulty, so let's just imagine we're living in the Southwest.

Do you buy items when you travel?  What kind of stuff?