Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A quick update

In case anyone is wondering, I'm off on a little trip to the land of 10,000 Lakes. I'm up here on work and having fun trying to squeeze in some visits with friends too. More later. Have a good time, ya'll!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Listening to the radio

If you ever listen to the radio, no doubt at some point you’ve heard ads for The Shane Co. In their ad, a genial older man talks about their gems and well, then he perpetuates stereotypes and plops fear into the hearts of women and men. Things like, “She’ll know you bought a quality gem…and so will her friends.” Or “ALL women need a strand of pearls to enhance her wardrobe.” Etc, etc. Most often he boxes women into status driven, money hungry diva categories. I don’t think I’ve ever even thought to myself, “Damn, if I only had a strand of pearls, my life would be complete,” nor have I ever even thought for a moment that, “I wonder if my friends will recognize that my rubies are genuine red not some purple or pink cheap-ass ruby. They wouldn’t like me anymore if my rubies were cheap looking.”

I find their ads soooo, soooo, soooo demeaning. I know that advertising in general tries to scare us into conformity and it often perpetuates stereotypes, but there’s something about it being stated by a seemingly genuine guy just talkin’ to us. It almost makes the ads sinister to me. I mean, they’re nice and if you don’t think TOO hard, they’re not sinister…they’re just warm fuzzies filled with gemstones dripping out of the radio. Right? Right!

Friday, July 15, 2005

It's Friday Afternoon...

That can only mean one…wait…it can mean a million different things. Let’s not set any limits here. For now, however, it’s Friday afternoon…time for Illustration Friday submissions. This week’s topic? Karma. Here’s my submission.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Take a Pill

With the quiet reporting of the errors found in the research that spawned the “Obesity Epidemic”, the half-truths that were reported about Vioxx side effects in the NEJM, and countless other research studies blinded by corporate greed, I’ve finally figured it out. We sure do have an epidemic on our hands. An epidemic of monumental mathematical proportions. A SKEWED STATISTICS EPIDEMIC.

If you’re funding a research study and you’re not happy with the outcome, simply manipulate the numbers. In a sense, just put a “spin” on it as politicians do with bad economic forecasts or scandalous misbehavior. The public is stupid enough to read your partially reported “facts” and believe everything you feed them, so why not?! It will keep your bottom line healthy and no one need be the wiser. Well, that is until you end up killing 1,000 people. But, hey, you’ve had a good ride with the cash until then, so who cares?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Cherry Season

One of the really fab things about living in a warmer climate than Minnesota? Fresh fruit! This time of year is Cherry season! A short drive from here is a place called Fruitway. From now until the snow flies, you can find tons of fresh fruit offerings for decent prices. This past Sunday, we drove up to Fruitway in Willard and picked up 10lbs of fresh cherries for $10. Not a bad price. The cherries were hot and juicy (sounds like an add for a porno flick, but no!). Ivan's mom used to put the cherries straight into the freezer for a nummy frozen snack. That's what we've done too. They are awesome! I haven't had 'em that way before. A healthy, sweet treat that's not as hard as you might imagine. Ever frozen a banana? Hard as a rock! Sweet cherries are kind of like thick fudge. All of this cherry talk brings back a fond memory of my childhood -- the Cherry Hill Revenge. My family used to take month long trips in a motorhome. This one particular year we were driving west from Minnesota. Stopped in Cherry Hill, Utah at a campground with swimming pools, but more importantly lots of cherry trees. We picked and packed a ton of cherries from that stop. Of course we were lovin' 'em, for a couple of days. As we were driving through toward California, my mum realized we had to eat the fruit before hitting the CA border. So, all of us ate 'em and ate 'em along that journey. What's the side effect of eating too much fruit quickly? Well, let's just say it was a small, but smelly motorhome. I remember my brother John was the worst offender. We'd try to get him to stay in the back of the motorhome 'cuz he was producing green clouds that were quite offensive. In a motorhome with six people on board, there is very little room to hide and sadly just not enough air flow. This is memory that is known in my family as the Cherry Hill Revenge. Good times!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Slippers? No, sorry, these are my shoes.

I was browsing through the new Silhouettes catalog. I came across these Suede / Fleece Clog "shoes" amid the regular winter boots. They say, "Cozy comfort you can wear all day." Now, who amongst you would be willing to hop into your car and head into the office for a full day of comfort wearing these bad boys? Can you imagine the snickers you'd get? or the comments like, "Hey, Catherine, didn't want to get out of bed today, did ya?!" Granted, I get my fair share of "wearing bunny slippers?" today while working from home, but hey, I *do* wear my bunny slippers while in the comfort of my own home. I just can't fathom wearing these in the "real world".

Metropolitan

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is “Metropolitan”. I thought doing a view off the balcony of my old condo in downtown St. Paul. Then I thought maybe a rat in a sewer. Then…wait a minute…The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. That’s what I picked, and glad I did. I did the major portion of it in Flash then put some filters on it in Picture Publisher. From the get-go, I wanted to do a snowy view of it primarily because I know I didn’t have time to put in all of the architectural details, even if they are a bit fuzzy in memory. After I did this, I looked up photos from Google. I’m not *that* far off from what it looks like. Kinda. Sorta. J

Friday, July 08, 2005

I made the mistake..

I made the mistake of flipping channels on television this afternoon and paused upon some show called Elimidate or something like that. Are people *really* that rude in real life? What sort of man or woman would want to date an in-your-face catty beyatch? Do men/women really find the opposite sex attractive when they’re picking apart the competition? Yesterday, I wondered what sort of cretins can blow up innocents in Britain since they seem so far removed from me. But, then, what sort of creatures do we have breeding within our own borders? If we can’t even treat each other civilly on fake dates in front of a camera, how can we treat each other with a modicum of respect in real life? The people on this show weren’t even 16 or 17…they were in their 20s?!  Ugh. Ick. Ptooey. Who are these people???

Thursday, July 07, 2005

...Just sad...

Waking up to horrific news of terrorist attacks in London is a surefire way to make me sad, angry, and disappointed in the world in which we live. My thoughts are with Londoners today. What a sad day for them after such a high yesterday upon hearing they’ll be hosting the Olympic games in 2012.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Linked again

Today, I made this blog public again. As you can see from the long string of archives, it's been around a long, long time. I took it, and the rest of Cat's House of Fun offline about 18 months ago for reasons that I choose not to divulge. Anyway, I hope to get this site up and rolling again. I've worked and re-worked to no satisfaction, the House of Fun site. I feel that my creative juices were nearly dried up and that past couple of weeks, I've been trying to revive them. It's *kind of* working. At least I feel more positive about it than I did a year ago. I figure if I just keep exercising my creative muscle, I may eventually get this place in ship shape again. We shall see. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Oh, and an update to yesterday's post

Ding dong, the earwigs are dead! We fried ‘em in the closed car!

Mooo...Moo... Mooo...I'm a cow!

Well, not literally, but dang, yesterday, we went out rock hounding again just south of Nephi, Utah. Nothing unusual about that. We were “hounding” petrified palm wood. No luck, but we had a fun time trying to find the area and the petrified palm. On the drive back home, we stopped at a little canyon that Ivan wanted to investigate for fun specimens. While he traversed up the hills, I went for a little walk to stretch my legs and *gasp* get a little exercise. I saw that the desert road went down a little ways and around the hill. I walked down around the hill and DANG a cattle guard crossed the road.

For those of you new to the idea of cattle guards, they’re metal contraptions with slats going across the road to prevent cows from crossing. The cows won’t / can’t cross ‘cuz their hooves are too narrow to walk across the thing. While I’ve seen a lot of these things driving around the wild west, this is the first that I came to out of the car. I felt the cattle’s fear well inside me. If I tried to cross, certainly my leg would get caught as I slipped off the slat! Yikes! I decided to end my walk here and head back…back to graze a bit further on the grass. I did, however, figure that if a herd of cattle were to rush me over one of those things, I would stop, drop and roll across. Certainly the cows wouldn’t dare to try that!

Oh, a funny thing about cattle guards. Every so often you’ll see fake cattle guards. Rather than the slats, smarty pants ranchers have painted yellow lines on the pavement. Apparently, the cows won’t cross those either ‘cuz they think they’re the real thing worthy of breaking their legs off. I’d like to think if I were walking along on one of those roads I would brave it. That’s what separates me from the bovine.

I'm so freakin' festive!

This afternoon, we head over to Harmon’s to purchase some beverages and a flat of water for Ivan to take on a hike up Dry Canyon. The cashier says to me, “That’ll be 1776.” Well, I must have done something right to warrant such a total today, after all, it is July 4th. They should have given us the liquid for free, like we won the lotto or something. ;-)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bug-eriffic

Ivan and I take trips out to the desert fairly often, either for rock hounding or ghost town haunting. Yesterday, we took a trip to a rock hounding spot south of Nephi, Utah. The rock hounding book that we have hints that black and white agate can be found in this spot. Sounds purty and well worth a Saturday afternoon adventure. So, we pack up the Beetle with a cooler full of water, SoBe’s and ice, some digging tools, rock chisels and a lawn chair on which I can rest my BFB (big fat bum). A normal enough payload for a trip out to the middle of nowhere.  Right before we start our journey, I look in the car. Earwigs. Two of ‘em. Then three. Then four…then many, many more. Ick. Ick. Ick. How did they get in there?!?!  So, Ivan starts to kill ‘em. Earwigs are the lovers of the dark aka nocturnal.  They crawl under things to get out of the sun and heat. Smart little buggers. Anyway, every time we think we’ve got ‘em all. We find another…and another. I asked Ivan if the lawn chair was lying on the ground. He said it wasn’t and that he shook the thing off before he put it in.  So, icky, icky, icky, where did they come from?  We got in the car, figuring we had eradicated most of them. Happily, we made it to our rock hounding spot with only a couple of extra visitors on the floor. (Of course while we were driving, we both felt like they were crawling all over us!)  I get out of the car and Ivan looks at my BFB. Sure enough, I had two earwigs hanging on. I must have provided some good shade. Grrr.

 

We spent several hours at the remote location. The smell of the cedars and the desert sage brush was delightful. There were TONS of gnats flying around, getting in my ears (bzzzzzz zzzzzzzz) and hair. A little too annoying. Luckily the beauty of the area combined with the delightful smell made it well worth the adventure. Ivan found a ton of cool rocks, too. One rock was similar to a split geode, only the outer ring of the crystal center was a deep, beautiful blue.  Oh, and he found one super large rock that was probably 75+ pounds. It wasn’t the promised black and white agate, but rather a large stone covered with HUGE crystals on one end. It is a gorgeous find that will have a great place of honor in our soon to be developed rock garden.

 

So, we pack up our stuff and Ivan picks up the chair and out comes an earwig. And then another. They darned things were *inside* the legs of the chair!!! He slammed the chair up and down on the desert floor. Out came more. And More. And more.  Ick. Ick. Ick.  The chair was probably stuffed with them when he put the chair in the car.  I’m hoping that with the windows closed on my car that the little buggers will be baked to death today.  I saw quite a few crawl behind my back seats when we were hunting them, so I hope the heat is high enough to get ‘em even under there. Ick. Ick. Ick.

 

On the drive home, the bugs were out in force. We ended up hitting a huge moth (at least 2-1/2” long) that somehow flipped into the car and landed on my lap. I looked down and was going to pick it up and it flipped out away from me. I hope it made it out of the car alive. If it didn’t, the earwigs will probably be munching on it this afternoon.

 

Have I mentioned that the wetter than normal spring and summer have made for an unusual number of bugs and spiders?!  Ick. Ick. Ick.

 

 

Friday, July 01, 2005

Illustration Friday

This week’s topic: Sport. *yawn* I think PhotoFriday had this topic the other week. Ah, even with a dull-ish topic, I decided to participate to help eradicate my creative block. Here’s my submission for this week. This was a two hour effort. Again, a bit longer than I had planned on. Ah well.