Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had a very interesting conversation with Mustang Girl when we went out to lunch yesterday.
It seems she is reading this book, (she reads as much as MM and I do) and it has an interesting concept.
The main female character is an 18 year old girl dying of cancer. She has a friend, whom she develops a relationship beyond friendship with.
He's a vampire.
So, of course, to save the girl, he is turning her into a vampire.
Here is where the discussion began.
Would you want to die young, or would you want to live, forever?
Tough choice, isn't it?
We talked about many aspects related to this. Like, is it easier to live forever with someone that you love, who will also live forever? But forever is a LONG time. Look, or think about your spouse. 60 years, 70 years, great, right?? Try on INFINITY.
Can you see yourself with that person, some, 800, 900 years from now?
And what about the rest of your family. The non vampire family? Can you sit, and watch all of them die? And, won't they notice that you haven't aged beyond eighteen? Or whatever age? How often would you have to move so not as to draw attention to yourself?
How about the earth.
Realistically, what direction are we going in? Do you want to live forever, and watch us devolve, possibly back to the dark ages? Or, on the plus side, if you think so, are we EVOLVING into a higher form of life and would you like to stay and watch that?
I ultimately decided that I would NOT live forever. It would suck, but I'd have to accept the fact that I was going to die, young. Because living forever has no appeal to me.
No matter how hot the Vampire is.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday wrap up

Its all over, and though I had a bunch of fun, I am very glad. Now I need to take the tree down and get the house back to normal. I can wait until New Years Day, (maybe).
So, here is my recap of this year.
Mustang Man surprised me with an iTouch. I surprised him with a guitar. Both surprises were worth it. Mustang Girl came home from her Mom's Sunday and then we bombarded her with many gifts. Including, but not exclusive of, the whole basket of very odd things that Mustang Man and I got when we were bored, at the dollar store. (We were waiting for the start time of our movie). Among the dollar store haul was a bobble headed santa, an elephant shaped air freshener, and a whoopie cushion. Good times....
The big family Christmas was fun. The adults played "steal a gift" for the first time in MANY years (really missed you, rest of the family). I ended up with a very complicated puzzle, MM ended up with a hand painted wine glass. Uncle B had his gift stolen so many times I think he was beginning to think he was cursed. Good times, yet again.
AND, I got something to rival Bubblewenches Guns and Roses pants.
Thats right.
I said it.
See those Guinness lounge pants?
They are all mine.
Somehow, middle sister found those, and got them for me.
Aren't you jealous?
Older sister got me a very phallic looking plant holder. It is, uh. Interesting.
Its outside. Where I can put a plant in it.
It is.
No where near the dogs....


Yeah, Christmas. It was fun. The kids were crazy, the adults probably crazier. So glad it's done...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I more than likely won't post again until Monday, because I am working, and then we are going to go to my parents for the annual family Christmas extraveganza. So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all the other holiday cheer you can stomach. And I think the Santa on my table got into my home made Kahlua when I wasn't looking....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Tuesday, yet again. We all know I have snow, we all know Christmas is coming. My gifts are now almost all sloppily wrapped. There is one hold out.
The post office is holding Tickle Me Ernie hostage on me.

I got a "sorry we missed you!" slip in my mailbox the other day, and thought to myself, "odd, I was home most of the day." Oh well. So I filled it out for re-delivery of Ernie, and I got the slip back, telling me that they would not come through the snow.

Yes, the Post Office won't come through the snow. And I have to tell you, thanks to the hard work of MM, with a little bit of help from me, our driveway really isn't that bad anymore.

So we have to go liberate Ernie from the post office, where he has been held hostage for the last few days. So that I can imprison him again in a brightly, but sloppily wrapped package for middle nephew.

I wonder if he misses Bert? And, is it just me, or does 'Tickle Me Bert" sound a bit skeevy?

OK thats all I got. Off to make cookies.

Monday, December 22, 2008

How much tape can I get onto one box....

This time of year can be rather frightful.
The whole gift thing.
Not the giving. Or the receiving. (Though, certain members of my family can make the receiving painful. *Cough* Older sister ugliestdamnplanterihaveeverseen*Cough*)

What gets me, every time, is the wrapping paper. And the importance placed on wrapping paper, and how your wrapped gift is supposed to look like you took 10 hours to do it with it's perfectly folded corners, perfectly aligned ribbon with a good bow to ribbon ratio, and just a certain amount of tape.
Or, if you prefer gift bags, there is the whole tissue art thing going. Different colors, some with sparklies sprinkled on it, peeking out of the bag, or rioting out of the bag like an exploded volcano.

Last year I had surgery on my hand. It was THE PERFECT EXCUSE for my half assed attempt at getting things wrapped in any kind of decent shape. I simply didn't. My attempts at wrapping were hilarious. Lots of gift bags were used last year, out of necessity. And the tissue got shoved in left handed and willy nilly. It worked.

This year, I am feeling the pressure again. TV commercials run amok with those tape dispensers that rest on your wrist, like a bracelet, or on your fingers, and now, the newest thing, a blade thingy that you can use to cut the wrapping paper without shredding it with scissors. I don't actually have that problem, though.

Every time I see those commercials I think that I should start wrapping. Then I don't. Don't get me wrong, I have some things done. But the bulk of it? Not really.
But today, today I am going to work on it. Really I am.
And, unless my hand surgery somehow gave me miraculous wrapping skills, my gifts will look as they usually do, and, as usual, my Mom will make fun of me.
Gotta love this time of year.

And on a fun note, I must send out interweb xoxoxoxoxox's to Jo and Daryl. The fedex man was cursing Daryl friday when he had to drive up our iced over snowy drive way. But I don't care. The picture she sent me is GORGEOUS, and MG is very taken with the picture on the holiday card. Thank you!
And Jo. The book is awesome. And so funny. (211 Things A Bright Girl Can Do). I am so glad my slippers won your contest. My favorite chapter thus far was the" How to fart with grace and charm at the ambassadors do". I do have one question for you, though. What is Cava? And why does the book recommend I pour myself some, frequently?
And the socks and the chocolate that came with the book are very much loved and appreciated, as well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Mieography

This one came about as just a laugh between me and MM, because, we were discussing celebrity endorsements of certain things, like, oh, say, US Cellular?
For which Joan Cusack used to be the celebrity voice for...
for whom MM used to work for....


She was born in NYC, but raised in an Illinois suburb, the daughter of a political activist mother (Nancy) and her actor father, Dick. She has four siblings, Ann, Bill, John, and Susie, who have also been actors. She did go to college, graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelors of Art in English. Because her father, and siblings (eventually) all acted, Joan grew up on the stage, and trained with the Piven Theatre Workshop.
She started out in movies with lots of roles that were frequently in movies her brother John was in, like My Bodyguard, and Sisteen Candles. Always a comedienne, she accepted a position with Saturday Night Live, but ended up feeling constrained, and that there was a lack of good material for women. She left after one season. She continued to play supporting roles in multiple movies (she is known well for this role, actually) but finally got her breakthrough role with Working Girl, and got an Oscar nomination fr that film.
In 1990 she accepted a part in the comedy "My Blue Heaven", with Steve Martin. The role ended up being a negative experience for her, and she abandoned Hollywood for awhile, and concentrated on her family. She is married, with two sons. She sporadically visited the big screen, and finally made a come back of sorts in 1997, with the movie "In and Out", scoring another Oscar nomination. She continued her work in many, scattered films, continuing to act in movies that her brother John was in, such as Grosse Pointe Blank. When not acting in some of his work, she is frequently seen in the "best friend" role. She was also the voice of Jessie in Toy Story 2, and 3. She even had her own TV series, which was filmed in Chicago so she could be with her family.
All told, she has had a steady career, with over 47 movies in the last 20 years. One of my personal favorites was the role she played in a very odd little film called Toys, with Robin Williams.
Some of you may be wondering why I chose her today (despite her MM and Cellular connections). I have just always liked her. She makes me laugh almost every time I see her in something, unless she is playing a sad role. Her sense of humor seems fun, and she was smart enough to figure out how to have a career and family. Sure, she isn't exactly a high priced, much sought after big name, but she is satisfied, and I bet her life is much less stressful than those big name actresses. Plus, we all need a funny best friend in our lives, right? Where would these movies all be without her?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday 13

13 pictures I took playing in the snow. For other Thursday thirteen, go here

1. Home Sweet Home

2. Somewhere in the back yard

3. Santa? Is that you, Santa? I'm a good girl!

4. The Road Home

5. Our back yard

6. Iced Mocha

7. See the beheaded cherub?

8. Potter enjoying the snow

9. Snowy tree branches

10. Snowy gate light

11. Abominable Snowman Tree

12. Jeep? What Jeep?

13. Tag you're it

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Tuesday, isn't it?

Of course it is. But we are still having some weather vs. power challenges, so I am doing a few posts in advance.... Monday afternoon, watching Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo dress up in drag for their road trip to a small Nebraska town.
(Its a stupid, yet funny movie)
So, the weather
It looks like we are going to possibly have a White Christmas here. I must say, I knew it would snow more here than when I lived in town, but I did not expect for us to get that 14 or so inches in less than 24 hours! The backyard looks fantastic. I really like the way snow looks in the big majestic trees. Sadly, the snow is too deep for me to get back to where all the cool madrones are back in my own private sculpture garden. I'd slip, trip over something ad break my arse, and probably my camera getting back there.
Meanwhile, I suspect that MG is probably going to get another snow day, BUT, this is also finals week at school, so I am not sure.
(Its supposed to snow more, more until Wednesday, I think, then we get a few days off).
Oh look Ru Paul just entered the scene, wearing a dress styled as a Rebel Flag. And her name in this movie is Racial Tension. Cute.
Boy this post is meandering along, isn't it? You guys are getting the benefit (?) of my foggy brain.
Patrick Swayze does not make a pretty woman... yet he tied with Wesley Snipes for the drag queen beauty queen? Interesting. I actually think John Leguizamo was prettier. Here are some pictures, tell me what YOU think. I will end this silly post...

Monday, December 15, 2008

be careful what you wish for

This pic is from yesterday
Woke up this morning and we've got over a foot of fresh snow, and no power. Awesome. MM home from work, MG home from school. I am not sure if I am going to work tonight, or not. If it starts to snow again I am heading towards not. We shall see. Right now MM's Jeep is stuck at the bottom of our drive way, so I need to go help dig that out. Dogs still think its the best thing ever, though they are quite happy to be inside with me at this exact moment More pictures later

Sunday, December 14, 2008

whoo Hooo!

We have snow. Finally.
And the dogs love it
pictures to come later
happy Sunday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Mieography

Surely, you all recognize this friday's candidate. This Amelia Mary Earhart. She was born to Edwin, and Amelia "Amy" Earhart, in Atchison, Kansas. Her mother's family was very prominent in that town, and her maternal grandfather never really approved of her parents marriage. She was officially named after her two grandmothers, and nicknamed "Meeley", sometimes called Millie. She was the ringleader of their family, her little sister Grace "Pidge" as her follower.
Amy Earhart did not believe in molding her kids into "nice little girls", and, among other things, let them wear bloomers, much to their grandmothers consternation. The pair of sisters, Meeley and Pidge, set off daily to explore their neighborhood, climbing trees, hunting rats with rifles, and sledding. They collected many things, worms, moths, katydids, and a tree toads.
She had her first "flight" during her childhood, with a wooden box, and a ramp she put together fashioned after a roller coaster she'd seen in St. Louis, secured to the family toolshed. She emerged, with the broken box, a bruised lip, and a torn dress. It is said she told her sister "it's just like flying!"
Her father was transfered to Des Moines, Iowa, and Amelia saw her first aircraft at the Iowa state faire. Her father had tried to interest her, and her sister in a flight, but, the airplane looked too old and rickety, and Amelia asked to go back to the merry-go-rounds instead. Sje later described the plane as "a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting".
The girls ended up going back to Atchison, because their parents ended up in newer smaller quarters in Des Moines. She ended up homeschooled, with a particular love for reading. By the time she was 12 she was back with her parents, and in school in Des Moines. Her father, sadly, by this time, had a problem with alcohol, and could not maintain his job. Her maternal grandmother passed away, and left a substantial amount of money to her daughter, in trust only, fearing Edwin's alcoholism would take all the money. Her father finally found work, briefly, in Minnesota, but that fell through, and her mother ended up taking the children to Chicago to live. Amelia searched the area for the best science program in the high schools, and found Hyde Park High School, eventually. Sadly, she was miserable there, and her yearbook caption read "A.E, the girl in brown who walks alone". She graduated, and wanted a career, collecting newspaper articles about succesful women in male oriented fields. She started junior college, but World War I began, and she instead accepted nurses aide training fromt he Red Cross, and worked at a Military Hospital. She got sick herself, suffering from pneumonia, and sinusitis, requiring hospitalization. She ended up being discharged from the red cross, and had to have painful procedures done to wash out her sinus'. The procedures were not succesful, and she then began having severe headaches. She spent nearly a year with her sister in Massachussetts, recovering, reading poetry, learning to play the banjo, and studying mechanics. The chronic sinusitis affected her always.
When she was better, she went to an air show with a friend, in Toronto, Canada. There was an exhibition there by a flying "ace" of WW I, who, seeing she and her friend, had his airplane "dive" at them, expecting them to scamper away. She did not. As the airplane came closer, she said later "I did not understand it at the time, but I believe that the little red airplane said something to me as it swished by".
She enrolled in college at Columbia University, but, quit once again to be with her parents, whom had reunited in California. She was taken to an airfield, with her father, and she got the ride that would change her life. "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly". She worked a number of jobs, as a photographer, truck driver, a stenographer at the local phone company, and saved the money needed for lessons. Interestingly, she took lessons from a woman, Anita Snook. She got herself a leather jacket, and slept in it for three nights to give it a more worn look. Then she cut her hair short, like the other female flyers. Six months after her first lesson, she owned her own plane. It was bright yellow, and second hand, she nicknamed it "The Canary". She used this plane to set a world record in altitude for female pilots. She was the 16th woman to be issued a pilots license.
Amelia wasn't the best pilot, and had frequent mishaps. She frequently would seek out guidance and assistance from various instructors during her career. Her family eventually used up the inheritance from her grandmother, and Amelia had to sell her plane, as well as her automobile, "The Yellow Peril, a Kissel "Speedster". Not to mention her sinus problems returned, and she had to be hospitalized for another (unsuccessful) operation. Her parents ended up divorcing. She eventually, after travelling with her mother, ended up working as a teacher, and a social worker. She did continue to fly, however. She eventually became the vice president of the American Aeronautical Society in Boston. Her celebrity as a pilot began to grow. After Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic, Amelia got a phone call, asking "Would you like to fly the Atlantic?" She went, but as a passenger, keeping the log for the other pilots. While in England, she found another aircraft she liked, and had it flown back home. She gained lots of press from this trip, and was dubbed "Queen of the Air. She came back to the US, did a lecture tour, and authored a book. She also endorsed many products, including Lucky Strike Cigarettes, which caused her many image problems. She even promoted womens fashions, having her own line of clothing displayed at Macy's. ("A.E.") She also had a luggage line. All of this made it possible for her to fly. She began to fly competitively after this. She was the first woman to fly solo across the North American continent and back. Slowly, her piloting skills became stronger. She began to dabble in racing, and continued to set altitude records. She also became involved with "The Ninety-Nines", a female pilot organization. She was their first president. She married George Putnam, after he proposed to her six times. She referred to her marriage as a "partnership" with "dual control". She wrote him a letter and had it hand delivered to him on their wedding day, writing "I want you to know I shall not hold you to any midaevil code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly." They eventually moved to the west coast, after a fire destroyed their home. They had no children together, though Amelia was very fond of George's sons from his first marriage.
At the age of 34, Amelia became the first woman to fly solo non stop across the atlantic. For this she got the Distinguished Flying Cross, from Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French, and the Gold Metal of the National Geographic Society from President Hoover. She became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt at this time, as well, whom actually flew with her. She completed many more solo flights during her career.
She disappeared, on her second attempt to fly around the world, somewhere near Howland Island. She was running out of gas, flying at 1000 feet. They never found her, or her co pilot, nor the Electra they were flying in. Her husband funded a search for her, for years. There are many many theories about her disappearance.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday 13

Since it's December, I might as well stick with the Christmas theme. In NO particular order, here are 13 Christmas movies that I look forward to seeing, each year. As usual, for other Thursday Thirteen participants, go here

1. Twas The Night Before Christmas

2. Miracle on 34th Street

3. Home Alone

4. Elf

5. Santa Claus is Coming To Town

6. It's A Wonderful Life

7. White Christmas

8. The Grinch That Stole Christmas

9. A Christmas Story

10. Frosty, The Snowman

11. A Charlie Brown Christmas

12. The Year Without a Santa Claus

13. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the talk

no not that talk.
a different talk.

I started watching a movie, this cold morning, called P.S. I Love You. It is about a woman who becomes a very young widow. She managed to actually design the urn that his cremated ashes were placed in.
MM and I are conversing, back and forth via IM like we do, during the day when he is at work and I am home, and I let him know that I am not going to design an urn for him. Like I have ever done that, anyhow.
Of course, this spurs us into a conversation about what he WOULD want.
And the answer surprises me.
He would like to be buried at sea. And his ashes should be implanted into an artificial reef.
Yes, seriously.
Now, take a minute, and give this some thought.
it means he isn't taking up any ground space, and, he is giving back to an environment that he loves, the ocean. I think this is a really great idea, actually, and it's got me thinking, what do I want? Do I want to be buried in the ground like the "normal" people? I thought I did, but now, this idea is really appealing to me. Except, I don't want to be cremated. Something about fire, and ashes, and me. Though, it would not really be me. I know that. But still, the thought of that hot flame....
I did digress there.
What, exactly do I want when my time is up?
Now, I don't exactly know.
But I have time to think about it.
Plenty of time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

its Monday, again

Let me just start out by saying that my Midshipmen didn't let me down. They routed the Army 35-0. The army was wearing their new, camoflauge uniforms. My guess is that the QB couldn't see the rest of his team for some reason. When I woke up Saturday and immediately went to the computer to see the score, I did a happy, happy dance. Seventh year in a row my boys have taken the trophy. Makes me very happy.
Saturday was a happy day in general. We went out to dinner, and then I got put on call. So we went and found our Christmas Tree, came home, and decorated it. That always makes me happy. I think the tree is my favorite part of Christmas, and I look forward to it, every year. I got to stay home all night, they didn't need me, so Sunday I was nice and rested. We decorated the outside of the house, and gate, for Christmas (picture to come). All we need to do is hang the lights on the house now, and it's all good.
The Nutcracker performance we went to see was very entertaining. Our little ballerina was in the Party Scene, and then, came back as a very cute little mouse. She had a great time, and we enjoyed watching her. I think my favorite part of the show, though, were these little tiny little snowflakes. Little, little ballerinas who could barely toddle, let alone dance. Yet dance, they did, and blow kisses. It was priceless.
And so, the holiday season is upon us. The house is decorated. The tree is up, The Nutcracker has been seen. I have surrendered to it all.
I still think playing Christmas Commercials before Thanksgiving should get someone shot, though....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Story Saturday

This story was inspired by a photo taken by the talented Daryl. Go here to see which one....

Esther was walking in the rain, on the Upper West Side of Broadway, lost in thought, her left hand absently clutching the handle of her open black umbrella. Her son, David, was coming home for Shabbat dinner for the first time in three years, and he was bringing his shiksa wife, Amy, with him. He'd tried to convince his mother that Amy had converted to their faith, but Esther wasn't so sure.
"Give the girl a chance" Myron had begged her last night, as she slammed around the kitchen, checking on what groceries she needed to go out and get.
"Why should I?" Esther cried. David was their only child, and she'd had such high hopes. She was sure, when he was just mere hours old that he was going to be a Rabbi, marry a traditional girl, and provide her with many grandsons. Instead, he was a psychologist (not even a doctor!) married to his receptionist, a baptist of all things. And after four years of marriage there was no sign of children yet! And he'd had the unmitigated gall to leave New York City to live in Teaneck, New Jersey!. It just boggled Esther's mind. Her thoughts on this continued as she walked, briskly down towards her favorite bakery. She'd had the time this morning to make the Challah, her special recipe, and she had a brisket in her slow cooker all day. But she had wanted to serve some marbled rye as well, it was a particular favorite of Myron's, and David's. Looking at her watch she groaned, it was nearly 3:30.
"Nice watch, lady" said a greasy redhead, suddenly appearing at her left elbow.
"Yeah nice watch!" said an equally unattractive brown haired boy coming up to her left side.
"I think you need to give it over"
"Yeah, give it over!"
Esther felt a moment of panic, she had been given that watch by her mother on the eve of her wedding to Myron. She always had that watch. Her mother was gone, now, and the watch was one of the few reminders she had left of her.
"Hand it over old woman!" the redhead demanded
"Give it!" echoed the ugly brown haired kid.
Suddenly, Esther saw red. Without even realizing what exactly she was doing, she turned, and, decompressing the umbrella a little, she began to forcefully beat the red headed kid with it, crying, and shouting at him in Yiddish about respecting his elders the entire time. The crowd, milling on the street stood to watch in awe as this little, grey haired lady no taller than 5 feet proceeded to beat him, until he ran off, his friend in tow, and her umbrella lay, spent, and broken, in the street.
"He tried to take my watch" she announced, loudly, still angry, at everything.
"Then you did good, ma'am" offered one of the onlookers, secretly impressed with how she'd handled it.
"Thank you" said Esther, and, feeling the last vestiges of red hot anger leave her, she traveled the last few blocks, to the bakery, and got TWO loaves of marbled rye.
That night, during Shabbat dinner, Esther was very kind, and talked more with Amy than she ever had. When Amy and David announced their coming child, no one was happier than Esther. She decided that having a shiksa daughter in law might not be so bad, after all....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Mieography

my Christmas miracle came early....
last night, I was trying to leave for work. And it was cold outside. As I have been doing for the last few nights, every time I stepped out the door, I scanned for Jack. And called his name. To my shock, I got an answer. Now Jack has the most pitiful sissified meow there is. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was him. So I called work, and told them I'd be a few minutes late. (I was not going to lose him again, damn it). I kept calling. He kept answering. MM and MG had left already for her guitar lesson. So it was just me and him. The dogs were inside in their crate. I call he answers. Marco... Polo.....
Then, after about 20 minutes, I spot him. He's in our neighbors yard, slowly coming towards me. Stopping every now and then to love on a tree. We are on opposite sides of a fence. Not a tall one, and one I can get my hands through. I sit down, and stick my hand through the fence. For about 10 minutes he teases me, rubbing against my fingers, then running off to love a tree. Meowing the whole time. Knowing this may well be my last chance, I wait him out. Work be damned. I love my job, but I want my cat back. So I wait. Finally, he truly comes. I scratch his head, where he likes it. Then I grab him, and lift him up. I have to stick my other hand through the fence so I can reach over it with my right hand, and before he knows what hit him, I've got him, and he isn't getting away. Not that he tried to. He stayed, still in my arms as I walked back to the house, scolding him and praising him the whole way. He got a little unsettled as I unlocked the door, but relaxed when he saw where we were. I put him in the bathroom, with a can of wet food, and examined him. He is fine. Not a scratch on him. I had to leave him there, to go to work, but MM and MG were able to liberate him into the house when they got home, about 2 hours later. I think the time alone inside was good for him to decompress, and eat and drink. So the rascal is back, and will be monitored very closely, and not allowed anywhere near an open door for a GOOD LONG TIME. Thanks everyone for your good, positive thoughts.
ok, cat drama over, here is the Mieography :)

the suggestion of Mustang Girl.....

Shirley Hardie Jackson was born in San Francisco, Calif, in 1916. She grew up in the small community of Burlingame, California. Before she went to high school, however, the family moved to Rochester, New York, where she attended high school, and eventually college. She started college at the University of Rochester (she was *asked* to leave, hmm) so she finished at Syracuse University with a BA, in 1940. While at college, she became involved with the literary magazine there, where she met her husband, Stanley Hyman (unfortunate name) who was a noted literary critic.
She developed some interesting hobies, as well, such as collecting small ceramic snails, and learning to play the mandolin. She collected the snails her whole life, and her collection is now on display at a Junior High cafeteria, on the days when snails are the entree. (What jr. high in their RIGHT mind serves snails? This isn't France for pity's sake!).
Shirley also did not like people thinking she was older than her husband, and would change her birth year to reflect herself being younger.
She is best known for her short story, "The Lottery", though she was quite a prolific writer. She wrote 6 nvels, 2 memoirs, 4 short story collections well over 150 short stories that were published, and four children's books. Some of her novels were also adaped to the stage and made it all the way to Broadway. They also made it to film.
She died young, at only 48 years old, in her sleep, of heart failure. She had been ill with various things throughout her life, various neuroses, and psychosomatic illnesses. These problems, and also her penchant for the medications she prescribed, contributed towards her death. She was also a heavy smoker.
Her husband released a posthumous volume of her work after she died, with several chapters of an unfinished novel, and several short stories.
She won some awards for her writing as well, including a National Book Award nomination, she was listed in Time as one of 1962's "Ten Best Novels", and an award from the Mystery Writers of America's "Edgar" award for Best Short Story. It was for one called "The Possibility of Evil:, which was published in the Saturday Evening Post, in 1965.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday 13

We are getting our Christmas Tree this week, and I SO love the whole Christmas Tree thing. Getting it will take my mind off of what a crappy week it's been so far. (Still trying to get the silly black cat inside. Losing hope).
Anyhow. I have quite a few ornaments for my tree. Some are old ones from my childhood. Some are ones I've collected on the way. So here are my 13 favorite ornaments that hang on my tree....

1. You can't really appreciate this one, unless you get to see it in person. It is so ridiculous that it utterly charmed me. The fluffy feathers, the striped legs. I laughed and laughed. Then I bought it. And I have a camel, too. But it isn't quite as ridiculously fun as this one....

2. This is part of a set I have that depicts the 12 days of Christmas. Obviously, he is a piper piping. I like hanging men from my tree :)

3. This is one of the few I don't really recall where I got it from. But it's one of my favorites, just the same.

4. This is one of my newer ornaments, and for some reason this little airplane just shouts Christmas! at me. Maybe because I buy toys for little boys year after year after year...

5. I bought this one in Paris, at the Louvre. I always have good memories when I look at it.

6. I bought this one in Charleston a few years ago. How many others can say they have a sailor hanging from their tree?

7. This is one was painted by my Mom before I was even born. It hung on our family tree for many years. My mom, for whatever reason, decided almost 10 years ago to give me and my sisters all the old ornaments. We split them up three ways and I cherish each and every one of them that I got.

8. Yes this is really a cat in a crinoline. I had a Christmas Party one year, and someone brought me this as a 'hostess gift'. I was kind of appalled at first but she has grown on me over the years, and now I laugh hysterically, and hang her in the front of the tree for all the people to shudder at.

9. This is another one from my childhood. My Mom painted it. I remember being entranced with it when it hung from our family tree. It's sparkly eyes have fallen off over the years, but I still love it.

10. A young lady made these for me with her own two little hands. Crafty little thing. I love them. I wish that I had a big pair for my own hands...

11. I have the whole Peanuts gang in ornaments. Except Woodstock. Why oh Why didn't they make a Woodstock?

12. My Scruffy lil tugboat. I've had this one for a long time. It even came with a mini little golden book that tells his story. I always think of my tugboat years when I hang it up.

13. My Mom brought me this little elf right from Finland, home of Santa, himself. He looks especially charming swinging from a top branch. I used him as my blog header last year.

For other participants of Thursday 13, go here