Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calendar Girls and Other Random Stuff

trying to draw something realistic from my head

trying to draw a different look, bigger eyes, hair swept back

not sure what I was kidding about....

girls in glasses

bipolar today

a row of witnesses...

witnesses to my crappy achy day

taking a break to celebrate spring

a case of art imitating life?

sometimes you just can listen to another load of bs.....

you know I love that show

feeling playful yesterday

Yes, I'm still filling my daily worksheets with tons of doodles and scribble scrabble. If I like it or if it represents the way I feel on that particular day, I cut it out and tape it to my calendar.

For anyone who wonders what kind of job I have....I make phone calls all day long (ugh!) and doodling helps me keep my sanity.

sorry about the quality of the images, took the pictures in bad lighting

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Remember This?

When bathing suits looked like this?

And everyone wore a bathing cap?

When elegant really meant EL-E-GANT?

When everyone smoked?

When hats were everyday attire?

When wearing animal fur was not criminalized?

When women shaped their nails like this?

When being in vogue had nothing to do with Madonna or Sue Sylvester?

These fabulous photos are from the Flickr set of Tom Palumbo. An America photographer and theater director, he took many of these photos of one of his wives, fashion model Anne St Marie. He worked for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue magazines from 1953 to 1962.


My mother always shaped her fingernails like those in the photo. They still look the same today, although her fingers are not as long and pretty as they used to be due to arthritis.

I had a fake fur leopard skin coat when I was eleven. I have photos of the night my girlfriends and I put on makeup and took glamor shots of each other.

I hated bathing caps.

Did you see the Sue Sylvester/Jane Lynch Madonna video on Glee last week? If not check this out. Sorry, you will have to watch the commercial first.

BTW, notice the corset shot in the video and compare it to this photo taken by Horst P. Horst in 1939 of the Mainbocher Corset.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip back to a time when the ideal woman was elegant and beautiful. When they all had necks like swans and looked fabulous in pencil skirts. Good thing I was just a little kid back then...I never would have fit in. : )

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Magpie 11

Dashing and Dapper

Come on, peek behind the scenes with me. Shhhhhh, don't make a sound. We don't want him to know we are here. Here, come right here beside me. Can you see him? Look through the slit in the curtains.

He's still good looking isn't he? You know, he's getting ready to accept a lifetime achievement award. Everyone's excited that he's here tonight.He hasn't made a public appearance in such a long time. He's changed a lot since his heyday in the movies, hasn't he?

But, there's still something magnetic about him. I mean, look at me and you....thrilled to get such a close look at him. I'm just saying, he still looks dashing in a tux, even if he has to lean on that cane to walk.

Read more Magpie Tales here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Circa 1962

Mont St. Michel, Normandy, France - Site of a Benedictine Abbey, tidal island, population 41 - 3 million visitors yearly

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Paris, France - Seine River - Eiffel Tower

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy - I think I see Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck circling the building on a Vespa.

The Vatican
King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein castle - Bavaria, Germany

Taken by the Air National Guard while stationed in Europe 1961-1962, during the Berlin Wall build-up. Found in a box that belonged to my uncle. His job was developing aerial reconnaissance photographs. I'm not sure how he came to have the photos, but suspect he developed anything of a non-sensitive nature that he liked and kept a copy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Persistance of Our Olfactory Memories

As I was leaving Wal-Mart this afternoon, the thought came to my head that the entrance smelled like my Bigmother's (maternal grandmother) house. It was the smell of bath powder and maybe some other unknown fragrance as well. Funny thing how that thought just popped into my head. My Bigmother has been gone for 33 years.

I'm not one of those persons that smells bring up memories very often. So after today's sudden memory and having a curious nature (according to Diahn : ) I decided to look up the reason behind this experience.

The olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area closely associated with memory and feeling. It has access to the amygdala, where emotion is processed, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning.

As small children, we learn to associate smells with specific emotional responses to people, places or events, otherwise known as conditioned responses. Because a link is formed in the brain between the smell and the event we associate the same smells with those long past memories.

Higher level processing of olfactory information is done by the olfactory cortex. This is where we process the specific memories associated with smells. Only two synapses separate the olfactory nerve from the amygdala. Three synapses separate the olfactory nerve and the hippocampus.

Smells can also elicit feelings of welling being in us. These are some smells that I have warm fuzzy feelings about: the smell of freshly mown grass, the way dirt smells before the rain, that baby oil/powder smell of little babies, cinnamon rolls baking and the pungent smell of good cheese. One evening last week, I drove home with the windows down along a road that had an abundance of wisteria blooming in the trees. Mmmmmm, the smell was heavenly.

Some of my least favorite smells are playdoh, paperwhites ( too strong!), turnip greens cooking (although I like to eat them), cabbage cooking and burning leaves. Some of the worst smells are critters that die in the wall forcing you to live with the odor until they decompose (yuck I know but tell me it's never happened in your house), passing too close to a paper mill (stinks to high heaven if you've never experienced that one) and stinky feet.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The space shuttle, Discovery passed overhead this morning. I didn't see it, but I know it did because Rachel heard the sonic boom. She thought it was an explosion. When I told her that I'd driven the last mile to work with the windows down and the radio off in expectation she realized that she'd heard it. I was disappointed not to hear it myself.

I had to do a little research to be able to explain the boom to her. I haven't heard one since I was a teenager and I'd forgotten the cause. In case you have too, here's a quick refresher course: the boom occurs when the sound barrier is broken in supersonic flight. The object passing through the air forms pressure waves in front of and behind the object. These waves travel at the speed of sound. When the plane or shuttle travels faster than the speed of sound the waves are compressed together into a shock wave and the boom occurs. (it's really more complicated than this, so just call my explanation Sonic Booms for Dummys)

This probably explains why Rachel heard it at her home, but why I was unable to at work:

Since the boom is being generated continually as long as the aircraft is supersonic, it fills out a narrow path on the ground following the aircraft's flight path, a bit like an unrolling celebrity carpet and hence known as the "boom carpet". Its width depends on the altitude of the aircraft.

I suppose I wasn't in the red carpet area.

By the middle of 1971 sonic booms had been outlawed by Congress over populated areas.

An interesting tidbit I picked up while reading up on the subject today is that the sound created when a bullwhip is cracked is a small sonic boom. The end of the whip, which is known as the cracker, moves faster than the speed of sound when the whip is wielded properly.

So there you have it....the little that I know on the subject.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just a Minute of Time

Leisurely misused, unappreciated, wasteful, wolfishly devoured years.
Blindly hurtling onward, rushing through the sieve of time
too late grasping for more, unable to reverse the ravages.
The clock chimes midnight.
Life is over.

To read more Magpie Tales click here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Fresh Fluff

After trying for years, today I finally found a pair Canadian geese parents and their goslings that were willing to pose for a family portrait.

As I turned out of the parking lot at lunch time, this family group was grazing by the side of the road. I stopped my car right in the middle of the road and took 43 pictures, backing up occasionally as the family walked along the edge. A few cars came and went, but they obligingly past me without honking which would have surely spooked Papa Goose.

As it was he stopped and watched me warily a couple of times. Mama Goose and babies trusted him to be on the lookout for danger because they went right on eating and ignoring me.

Aren't they sweet?

Bursting Out All Over

currently blooming in my yard, but not all pictured; pink, salmon and white azaleas, white and purple iris, purple widow's wort, running periwinkle, narcissus, violets, trillium, dandelions, white and purple snow drops, red bud tree and various weeds

Spring is my favorite time of the year for a number of reasons.
  • I relish the longer daylight hours.
  • The warm humidity free days make it a joy to be outside.
  • I wake up with more energy than any other time of the year.
  • Spring is the most beautiful time of year in the South.
  • Almost every yard is bursting with blooming bushes, trees and flowers.
  • The sides of the freeways are colored by dogwood and red bud trees.
  • Wisteria hangs from fences and covers the tallest trees with grape shaped bunches of purple and lavender flowers.
  • Mosquitoes haven't taken over any outside spaces yet.
I only wish this weather would last longer...but as usual, I know it will be gone too soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lunch at the Whistle Stop

Rachel, Elijah and I had lunch at the Irondale Cafe last Friday. (I took a much enjoyed/needed vacation day) You may remember that the Irondale Cafe was the inspiration for Fannie Flagg's book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe which was made into the movie Fried Green Tomatoes in 1991.

Rachel had the fried tomatoes, mac and cheese, stewed squash and turnip greens. I got the country fried steak, mashed potatoes and turnip greens. Elijah had some bites of squash and greens. There was plenty of pepper sauce on the table for the greens. We got the rolls, but the cornbread looked good too. We skipped dessert, but not without regrets.

The train tracks are right across the street, just as Flagg wrote in her book. Elijah got to see his first train...close up. Two trains went through while we were there.

My favorite scene in the movie was when the two hot young things cut Evelyn Couch off in the Winn Dixie parking lot:

Evelyn Couch: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
Girl #1: Face it, lady, we're younger and faster!
[Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times]
Girl #2: Are you *crazy*?
Evelyn Couch: Face it, girls, I'm older and I have more insurance.

Have you read any of Fannie Flagg's books? I enjoy them for the picture she paints of the South the way it used to be; the sights and sounds and flavors which were unique to this region. Even though you may think we still sound different we are much changed. We're becoming homogenized, 1%. We used to be a buttermilk culture...thick and rich.

Friday, April 9, 2010

mag 9-Flash Fiction

2:30 am: Smears of crimson stained his lips; a dead giveaway. He'd been with her again.
-L'Oreal, Brazen Hussy Red

Click here for more Magpie Tales.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

You say Tomato, I say Tomato

Preventive/Preventative....which is righter?

WikiAnswers says:

== Answer == I vote for preventive, although they can both be used. Why throw in the 'ta' if it is not needed?
It seems that "preventive" is indeed the better option, as long as you're using it as an adjective. For use as a noun, I would say that "preventative" works better. For example, "Airbags act as a preventive measure for automobile accident fatalities. Indeed, they are a commonly used preventative." that would imply "prevention" better than "preventatation"

The Oxford English Dictionary seems to prefer "preventive." The suffix -ive carries the meaning of "having a tendency to, having the nature, character, or quality of, given to (some action)". The suffix -ative carries a similar meaning, but it is less common. To my ear, "preventative" would be the adjectival for the non-existent verb "preventate."

All I know for sure is that Prevenative is wronger!

ps Lawn mo?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Caution: Pollen Alert!

If you are allergic, you may want to postpone your trip to Alabama until allergy season passes this year.

My lime green view of the world today:

It was so bad on Tuesday a number of people came to work saying they could see it blowing in sheets across the freeway. Every car in the parking lot today was covered with it. The asphalt even had a greenish-yellow tinge.

Luckily, I don't suffer from allergies. I hope you don't either.

Well, I might have this allergy: "I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness." -James Thurber

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Interior Color

I saved these pictures in February when the world was still frozen and gray. I believe I needed a shot of Spring. How about you? Would you be attracted or repelled by so much saturated color in your home? (except for the bookcase wall...not much color there, I just love books)

I think I would feel invigorated in a colorful home like this one. I would certainly be reminded of Spring all year long.

ps Happy 34th Birthday to this cutie of mine!