Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Life Intimidates Art

With sincere apologies for suggesting that there is any art involved in the production of this blog...

Real life continues to infringe on my free time, and hence the lack of of posts in this forum.

If you are interested in how I'm spending my midday today (Tuesday) and Friday, go to http://www.kyw1060.com/ and click on "Listen to KYW Newsradio" and you'll hear me in my full-fledged traffic glory..."on the 2's" between 10 AM & 3 PM.

Just try and contain your excitement.

(Hey, it's me again at 1:26 PM-- hopefully nobody followed that link today, because my shift has turned into a huge battle with phlegm ...although if you like the sound of a female with a cold, then by all means tune in -- you've got another hour-and-a-half

Sunday, November 19, 2006

From Newton-John to Michael Penn

Having taken my Olivia Newton-John title thing as far as I need to, it's time to cross-fade into my present-tense musical obsession: a critically-acclaimed yet criminally-unfamous, wordsmith-extraordinaire singer-songwriter -- a man who needs no hyphens, although I gladly provide them free-of-charge: Mr. Michael Penn.

While I could blather on about Michael Penn for paragraphs on end, my blathering today is aimed towards my participation in a MP tribute project, and what amounts to my first attempt to gift the world with the beauty of my singing voice (she says in a voice heavy with sarcasm.)

Being a presumably mature human, I won't cop to being part of a fan club; rather I am a member of a collective of highly intelligent individuals who appreciate the artistic vision of Mr. Penn - the michaelpennlist.

Earlier this year, one of the highly intelligent individuals, Ms. Merujo, presented the idea of a cover project to the group, which was enthusiastically received.

Man, I'm really into the multi-syllabic words today. Sorry.

Esteemed Husband and I chose to cover the song, "Try." Our plan was to take this straightforward pop/rock ditty & turn it into a duet. Esteemed Husband would handle all the instrumentals, and I would simply have to come in and sing, just as I've song along with that song innumerable times in my car.

But see, there's the catch: I've sung in my car -- alone. I've song in my shower -- alone. I've song in my house -- when noone else was around (except for the cats when they were alive, and my singing would generally prompt the felines to leave the room.)

Blame my stage-fright issues on a teenage guitar recital performance of "Annie's Song" gone awry (I daresay the music of John god-rest-his-soul Denver has wrecked many a budding career.)

Consequently, even after being together 13 years, my husband has really never heard me sing, other than very, very softly. And now we were going to record a song together.

Don't get me wrong...I've been pestering said husband to let me sing back-up on his songs for many a year (for those who remember "I Love Lucy" - imagine Lucy Riccardo trying to get into Ricky's band) to no avail.

(Okay, the set-up has turned to be so lengthy that I'll save the actual "Behind the Music" for the next post. Oh, I know you'll be able to wait...somehow...)

Monday, November 13, 2006


I'm practically hyperventilating as I type this...as I found my heaven on Earth today in the most unlikely place -- Old Navy. See, there's nothing that gets me more excited than buying things really, really cheap.

Two hours of shopping frenzy, and a $135.92 charged brought me this:

10 tees
9 shirts
3 jackets
2 prs pants
2 skirts
2 camis
1 coat
(and a partridge in a pear tree...)

Bonus - I got to pretend my kitchen was a shop when I got home (all the clothing hides the dirty dishes!)

Yes, folks 31 items for $135.92 (plus $10 coupon for a future purchase!) All due to the beautiful collision of 50% off all clearance items and an extra 20% off for using my Old Navy credit card during their "stuff and save" promotion (my favorite big bag next to the Big Bag o' Clean!)

So, I got a start on my Christmas shopping...and then there's the other 75% that's for me (hey, I'm easy for me to shop for...)

All that's left to do is convince husband or parents to give me this stuff for Xmas gifts and it will be absolutely FREE (convoluted logic, but somehow it works for me.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

(We Are) Magic

(Continuing the Olivia Newton-John blog Title theme)

However late I am, there was some interest in seeing my urchins' Halloween costumes, so here they are (in all their blurred-facial-features glory!)

Little Miss Deep Thinker is resplendent in an orange witch tunic with black organza puff sleeves & apron.

This costume was originally purchased for me to wear my little nephew's birthday/costume party a few years ago. Until I tried it on and found it was evidently a "naughty witch" costume, since it was so short that it barely covered my, um, assets. However unsuitable it was for me to wear to a kiddy party, it works great on an actual kiddy!

The Elder Daughter's "rock star costume" looks remarkably like what she wore for the first day of school this year. Evidently, first-day-of-school is magically transformed into a costume with the addition of an inflatable guitar.

I was rather crushed that she rejected a wide variety of gaudy 80's metallic-striped shirts that I presented her with when we were working on her "costume", but happy that she did choose to wear my authentic vintage (South Street, Philadelphia) studded wrist bands from my college pseudo-punk days.

The 20% candy tax at work:

Strictly in the interest of teaching my children about percentages, I devised an educational math-in-the-real-world exercise in which my kids give their parents 20% of the candy they receive during their trick-or-treating. (And yes, fellow parents, they fell for it!)

Esteemed husband and I got 36 pieces of candy out of the deal - not to mention the bowl of undistributed Snickers that somehow disappeared when the kids were at school & husband at work. I suspect a sudden infestation of mice, or perhaps poltergeist.

Next math lesson: calculating the percentage of body weight gained during the post-Halloween candy gorge.

Another tip -- hiding the kids' stash so they don't sneak into it between meals. I've found the perfect secret spot - a most desolate area, abandoned by all ye who reside here. It's a place so long unused I'm surprised it wasn't decorated (appropriately) in cobwebs; a spot that finally has a purpose.

It is - the oven.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hopelessly Devoted...

Maybe I'll give all my posts Olivia Newton-John song titles from now on. Hmmm...

Anyway, I showed amazing restraint in not acosting ONJ on her way out of our office yesterday. If only I had casually opened my studio door at just the right moment, it could have blocked her path. Or I could have stuck my leg out to trip her. But alas, it was not to be.

When you've been a star for as long as she has, you evidently become quite an expert in brisk walking. I thought my "shift's over" gait couldn't be topped, but ONJ set a new world record in beating a path to the door. In fact, I'm not even sure her lovely little feet even touched the ground, so efficiently was she whisked out.

For the fashion-mavens here, Olivia was wearing an ankle length-ish skirt (maybe a panelled thin denim.) I also got the impression of a vest worn open, and either a turtle neck or ribbed crew on top. My Esteemed Husband tells me she was on a local TV show (the "10" show) earlier in the day, so thousands saw exactly what she was wearing, as opposed to my blur.

Anyway, in honor of the moment (or lack thereof) I present you with proof positive of my little youthful fling with country.

Forgive me if I somehow neglect to mention the year -- suffice to say that a few of you reading may have been embryonic (or younger) at the time.

The scariest thing (yes, even scarier than me in a cowboy hat) is that I still have that shirt in my basement. When patchwork Western shirts come back in style I am ready, baby! (Hey, if leggings came back, anything can happen...)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Olivia in the House

As I type this, Olivia Newton-John is just down the hallway.

Okay, I'm at work, and all I got was a glimpse of ONJ being whisked down the hall past my glass studio door. But one of her publicists smiled at me.

This is pretty darn exciting for a girl who spent her high school years in cowboy boots, singing along to all of Olivia's countrified pop. Yes, even before Grease.

Even now, even though I haven't listened to her music for many a year, I honestly love her.

It's all I can do to resist the temptation to meander down the hall -- maybe Ms. N-J would like a mini-Snickers bar? I've got one of those. Some herbal tea?

There's something about the idols of your youth that never leaves you. And if Pat Benatar ever shows up here, I'm tackling her at the door.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Always the Finalist, Never the Bride

Scenes from an undisclosed hotel ballroom:

My blur is the upper left blur

Not me at the podium

If only they were giving awards for playful eyebrow-arching, I'd be a sure thing.

But I did get this lovely commemorative certificate -- and I promise to carefully place it with last year's certificates (if I could just remember exactly which pile of papers they're in.)