Friday, May 29, 2009

a "gothlic" photo friday

gothlic katie

One of the many things I enjoy about my niece, Katie, is the fact that she has a slight dark side like me. As a four year-old, her favorite game for a brief time was to pretend that she was dying from a long, dreadful disease. "I have . . . a-larr-ium . . . (malaria) . . . " she'd breathlessly announce, flopping around dramatically while clutching her forehead, and then collapse on the floor with her tongue hanging out. I'd have to frantically bring her back to life while begging her to hold on. She loved it. Most kids enjoy playing with Barbies or coloring books. Katie? A rousing game of "Malaria" made her very happy.

When she was nine, a 14 year-old cousin of hers went through a goth phase. Katie was not sure about the whole thing, and arrived at my parents' house to say exasperatedly, "Well. It happened. Alisha turned Catholic." 

We all stood there puzzled, not sure what she meant. Why would a 14 year-old Methodist decide on her own to choose another religion?

"Catholic?" my mom tentatively asked her.

"Yeah, you know, when you're Catholic you wear black clothes and have white skin and black makeup and you walk around mad all the time."

"You mean GOTHIC."

"Yeah, gothlic."

That afternoon, she disappeared for awhile and came out dressed completely in black. Handing me a tube of liquid black eyeliner , she asked that I take her picture as a "gothlic." And so I painted her lips black and off we went. This is my favorite photo from that shoot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

memorial day video

I am in love with my new Flip Video Ultra HD! It's small enough to carry around with me and takes fantastic video.

Here is my very first video creation, taken over the weekend, and edited in iMovie with a vintage effect. My little neighbor had a blast playing with Sophie and Sadie and blowing bubbles. It was a fun holdiay.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

house envy

The "Old Dover Road" house.

I've been spending far too much time on the site The Beach Studios and Locations, drooling over the gorgeous homes and clean, open rooms.

The "French House":

I'd love to move right in to one of them. Look! No cat hair! No dog hair! No accidental pee pee puddles (from the dogs . . . not me)! No dishes in the sink! No piles of mail and old magazines!

The "Lavender Grove":

White furniture!
The "Foster House":

"Thames Street" house:

I want this summerhouse in my yard.

Sigh. Off to unload the dishwasher.

And on a similar note: does anyone watch How Clean is Your House on BBC America? I am totally addicted and DVR every episode. After watching it, you'll feel much better about your own house. Trust me.

My favorite episode to date:

Friday, May 22, 2009

photo friday

just married
Yep, my grandma is making yet another appearance. But look! She brought my grandpa and two unknown friends with her!

My grandparents are the couple on the right; I have no idea who the people on the left are, but they seem fun enough. Just look at them pretend to fill a glass with a cold beverage! Nonstop frivolity, I'm telling you.

This photo was taken shortly after they were married, maybe on a day trip to Boblo Island (note the faint sign above my grandma's head). I love the fake ship background, the cheesy signs, and the up-to-no-good expression on my grandpa's face. Maybe his bottle was filled with the real stuff.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

garden workout


One of the best side effects of having a personal trainer is that I'm too exhausted to stay up very late, and then I sleep like a rock. Last night I was tucked into bed at 10:00 p.m. ON A SATURDAY because my legs & abs session had wiped me out. Oh, Branden, how you push me to my limits.


But anyway, that means I was up at 7 a.m. ON A SUNDAY without setting my alarm. It's all very strange. After lingering over coffee and blogs, I got dressed and headed to Home Depot to buy a new clamp for my broken driveway gate, paper yard waste bags, weedwacker string, and a stash of new perennials.


I planted, weeded, moved some perennials to new locations, mowed, weedwacked, and filled seven yard bags with grass clippings, leaves, and twigs.


For dinner, I ate turkey meatloaf and a glorious roasted eggplant from a recipe found here. I seasoned my eggplant with fresh minced garlic, basil, and a touch of red pepper flakes. If you've never eaten eggplant this way, I highly suggest you try it - I can see this recipe becoming one of my favorites.


I am tired, achey, and filled with vitamin D after a full day in the yard. I love spring.


Friday, May 15, 2009

photo friday


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I hurt. All over.

I can't sit down without making an embarrassing "heee-flaaaoowwww" noise. I walk in stilted, tiny geisha steps, and I massage my thighs at every chance. Have I gone mad? Apparently. I hired a personal trainer.

I've been unhappy with my weight loss progress for awhile. The up and down, back and forth, on-again, off-again disarray of how I've been living is just not working. I've been on Weight Watchers for five years. Have I made progress? No. Doing the same thing over and over and not getting results is pointless. I need a routine, a master plan in the hands of someone else, encouragement, and accountability. That's where Trainer Branden comes in. Our first session was Thursday at the gym I just joined.

I'm not sure, but I think he tried to kill me.

I started off all fresh and perky (camera phone photo taken in my car). Afterward, I looked like this:

And I'm not kidding. I was WIPED OUT. All my makeup had melted off, my hair had sweated and curled itself to twice its size, and my muscles felt like a shaky mass of rubber. I wanted to lay down in the parking lot and cry.

There were lunges and squats and lunges and squats and squats and squats and squats. Machines. Balance balls and weighted little balls. Kicks. Crunches. I had thought I was in decent shape for chubby girl who'd survived Lyme disease, but apparently this was not the case. 

I wanted Branden to know that I hadn't always been like this, throwing in comments like, "I used to be really thin," or "I used to be a figure skater," or "I used to have much more endurance before I got sick." He was not impressed, and I realized that the used-to-be's don't matter. This is what I am right now, and I have a lot of work to do. No one was going to hand me a brand new size 8 body just because I used to be a perky little skater. 

"I like you much less now than when we started," I commented to Branden as he pushed down on a weighted ball I was lifting over my head while seated on a big balance ball, sweaty mascara running down my face and my arms shaking.

"Well, at least you're not throwing anything at me," he replied cheerfully. Had people actually thrown things at him? I wondered, but I was too out of breath to ask. By the end of the session, I began to understand why winging a five pound ball at his head would seem like a good idea.

I hired him because I will never do this on my own. I would never willingly go to the gym and do 5,000 squats on purpose, without someone standing in front of me and cheering me on. I would just stay in my comfort zone of the treadmill or stair stepper, maybe do a few half-hearted arm machines, and call it a day. Slightly tired, but not pushed to the limit. 

I want to put on my skates and land a flip jump when I'm 40. I want to wake up in the morning excited about what I'm going to wear, and not dread the same oversized clothing that helps me cover up a body that embarrasses me. I want to hike up a mountain and not feel exhausted.

I want my outside to reflect how I feel in the inside. And so, on Monday, I begin. Get ready, Branden. You have your work cut out for you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

photo friday

my grandma, 1940
My grandma, age 18, 1944.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

day trip from london


climbing the tor
About to climb the Tor.

top of tor
Inside the ruin of St. Michael's Church at the top of the Tor.

chalice gardens
Path through the Chalice Well gardens.

Read more here.

I've been a woman of few words lately, processing the events of last week and slowly rejoining society. More soon.