Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Magic

Ahhh . . . holiday traditions. Santa has come and gone. Presents have been opened. Eggnog has been drunk and stuffing has been eaten.

One of my favorite new holiday traditions is going to hear Magic Slim and the Teardrops on Christmas night at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln, Nebraska. Magic Slim has been singing and playing the blues for decades and his sound cannot be beat. This year was no exception to his tremendous talent. Although much of the year Magic Slim and the Teardrops tour Europe, Japan and other countries, the Zoo Bar still manages to book him for a couple of choice sessions, including the annual gig on Christmas night. If you like the blues and want a break from all of the other holiday traditions, come to the Zoo Bar next Christmas night. You won't be disappointed.

You can read more about Magic Slim at Blind Pig Records:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Carols for the Slightly Unbalanced

Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...........

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Quintessential Heroine

Ahh . . . the beauty. The humour. The talent. The gumption.

Carole Lombard.

She was known for her friendliness and her ability to swear like a sailor. She helped put a shy Margaret Mitchell at ease with all of the craziness on opening night of "Gone With the Wind" in Atlanta, teaching her how to handle the paparazzi long before it became known as "paparazzi." She was married to two other noted film stars: William Powell (from "The Thin Man" films) and Clark Gable.

Most of all, she's known for the wonderful films she left behind when she left this world far too early in 1942 in an airplane crash. With over 75 films to her credit, you must see "My Man Godfrey," "To Be or Not to Be,""Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and my personal favorite, "Nothing Sacred." Her spunky Hazel Flagg set the tone for many heroines who followed.

I tag you all to list and discuss your quintessential heroine. To see my choice for the quintessential hero, see the November 23rd post.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Things I've Done/Not Done/Don't Care To Do

This is a list started over at Robin L. Rotham's blog. I've highlighted in red all of these things I've already done, left unmarked the things I've not yet done and highlighted in blue all of the things I'd just as soon rather not do.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris (eager to do this one)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly could
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (31 + the District of Columbia so far)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends (and being blessed with more all the time)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign (but someone who shall remain nameless stole one for me)
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland (looking forward to reliving a past life there)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater (just last summer)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (can't wait to do that)
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert” (the media have not caught on to me yet)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music (not for mass release)
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (I remember a little German from Frau Gangwish's classes, though)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (I'm not the groupie type)
98. Been to the Great Barrier Reef
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari (someday, someday)
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears - EWWW!
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (at many points in my life -- I've been lucky that way)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you (I've had offers, though)
145. Had a booth at a street fair (but I've helped friends with theirs)
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head (but there was this frightening time when I cut my bangs in 7th grade. Kids shouldn't be allowed to be too creative with scissors.)
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

I wonder if anyone can highlight them all? What's something you've always wanted to do but haven't made time for yet? It doesn't have to be on this list. What inspires you to do it? What's keeping you from it? (There's a little GMC for all the fiction writers out there.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Faves/Traditions

Responding to Robin's tag:

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate, the homemade variety my mom makes.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Santa leaves them under the tree unwrapped.

Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Red chili pepper lights are in the house on the ficus tree year-round. The Scooby Doo holiday lights usually make it out this time of year. Some white icicle lights also have been known to hang from some windows on the inside of the house.

Do you hang mistletoe?

Of course. I hang it and I carry it with me. You never know when you're going to find a great kiss out there.

When do you put your decorations up?

Just after Thanksgiving (with the exception of the lights on the ficus. Henrietta is adorned with some type of lighting/decoration year-round.)

What is your favorite holiday dish?

My mom's peanut butter pie. She makes it on all the major holidays and I never feel guilty when I give in to sugar to savor it.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

Finding my mom's Christmas present stash with my brother. As an adult, one a few years back was really special, even though I spent it in a hospital. I took my mom up to visit my dad and my cousin and his wife stopped by, too. We all had a great visit and it turned out to be my dad's last Christmas with us.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I don't remember the details (it was a very traumatic event for me), but I do recall that I was shocked that my parents would lie to me, especially after I asked about it and they continued to lie. Guess that's why I have trust issues now . . . .

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Always. The main part of the very Celesky Christmas takes place on Christmas Eve.

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

I haven't put up a Christmas tree for some time. I decorate Henrietta the lovable ficus year-round.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Dread isn't really a strong enough word for how I feel about snow. My concept of hell does not include flames of fire, but huge, blowing drifts of snow.

Can you ice skate?

In a past life, but not this one. I still roller skate from time to time, though.

Do you remember your favorite gift?

From my childhood: A doll house. From adulthood: A bouncing Schipperke dog.

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Spending time with friends and family, taking photos and planning how we're going to push my sister-in-law's sister's buttons.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Chocolate crème pie, with graham cracker crust and whipped crème topping (as opposed to meringue). Nothing holiday about it, but it's my all-time favorite dessert.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Getting Valentino's pizza take-out on Christmas Eve, eating it very quickly so we could open up presents and watching the kids bounce off the walls (and yes, often times I'm one of those kids doing the bouncing).

Also, sending out custom- made Christmas cards featuring my dogs, along with a letter from them summarizing our year. I hope to resurrect that tradition next year.

What tops your tree?

Nothing on top of the ficus right now, but a five-pointed star I remember as my favorite tree-topper.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Watching a person open a gift you've just given.

What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Traditional – Silent Night. Contemporary – The Twelve Days of Christmas by Bob and Doug McKenzie and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry.

What is your favorite holiday movie?

Christmas in Connecticut and Christmas in the Clouds.

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

YUM! And also right up there is that individually-wrapped peppermint nougat candy that all of the classy businesses put out in their offices.

What are some of your favorite holiday things/experiences/memories/traditions?