Sunday, August 29, 2010

Freewrite.

Rocks on the Shores of Lake Michigan
I am filing away information from my last class (Composition II) and putting them away in files. During my shuffling, I came across a piece of paper that had an essay that I wrote in class along with my students. It was a free writing session. Admittedly, this piece was edited for this post. When we finally reached Lake Michigan I was tired. I dipped my toes in the sand and started selecting rocks. I searched for Petosky stones and found other rocks instead. The waves of blue slapped against my legs. The waves on the lake temporarily washed away my sadness, leaving me refreshed with a feeling of peace. After searching for many rocks, I waded back through the heavy sand and sat down with Steve, who relaxed on the sand.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cat-Fu.

Here is a sequence of Moshi and Sake wrestling at the dining room table. Steve snapped these photos. Absolutely hilarious. You have to start with the bottom photo and work your way upward to get the right sequence.

Shower.

I co-hosted a bridal shower for my friend last Saturday. The groom's mother was the other cohort in this event, as well as a cool person I met at a gathering a couple of weeks ago. I am proud that it went off without a proverbial hitch and that the bride was happy. That was my biggest concern--that the bride had a wonderful experience because she deserves it. She's a lovely person and a class act, so it was a pleasure and a privilege to do this for her. Here are some recipes from the shower that may help if you are ever interested in hosting a shower or soiree: Food Thank God for Steve. He made spaghetti. It's easy and not expensive. We served baguettes and a salad. We also had red wine (merlot) and sparkling red grape juice for the under-21 crowd and the non-drinkers. A great hor d'oeuvre: orange and honey delight. Peel oranges or cut them up into slices. Pour wildflower honey (We prefer Laney Honey from North Liberty) all over the oranges. Sprinkle almonds over the oranges. You may opt to have a side dish in case there are people who can't eat almonds. My mother brought back this recipe from Hawaii. I thought of her as we made them. Also, you may opt to place toothpicks in the orange slices because it can get sticky. Another tasty hor d'oeuvre: Apricot, Cheese, and Walnut delight. Place an apricot, a cube of cheese, and a walnut together (toothpicks help.) The taste is wonderful. Pepperjack and mozzarella cheese are particularly tasty. Ice Ice Baby, or Ice to Meet You Ice cubes: I had more fun with ice cubes. I tried to find ice cube trays in the shape of flowers, but better yet, I found cubes in the shape of shark fins! So there were a few sharks swimming in the champagne bowl. Flower trick with ice cubes: find edible flowers at the store (or better yet, grow your own.) Fill water halfway up. Place flowers in water. Then fill water to the top. Freeze. Then you have pretty frozen floral ice cubes. A friend did this with pansies at my bridal shower. Ice cubes in the shape of sharks may be found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Punch I learned this trick from a colleague at the library. Two cans of Dole Pineapple Juice and one bottle of diet 7-up. (I substituted with Andre Spumante.) Add in ice cubes and edible flowers (optional) and you have a fabulous punch. Shower Gift for Your Guests This idea was lifted from another bridal shower I attended. My cohort painted flower pots and we put in African Violets and dirt. It made for a beautiful giveaway for each guest. Shower gifts from games: Tiny bottles of Laney Honey and decorative wine stoppers.

Moonrise.

Crescent Moon Adorns the Sky.
We watched dusk fall into night as the moon adorned the Michigan sky.

Dusk.

Goodnight, Violet Sky.
Here is the third scene. The clouds mask the sun, leaving a magnificent glow in the horizon.

Sky.

Violet Sky Here is the second scene of the sunset. It looks like an artist painted the sky.

Sunset.

July Sunset
Here's the first part of the gorgeous sunset. It was quite warm (about 90 degrees) but the water was warm and resembled bath water (rocky bath water).

Feather.

Feather in the Sand I finally have a moment to post photos from a couple weeks ago. The four of us watched an amazing sunset on a more secluded beach on Lake Michigan. We first visited Silver Beach and it was way too crowded for an evening of serenity and sunset. So we drove there and enjoyed the magnificent view. Plus, I collected more beautiful rocks to share for class on Monday. I also noticed a white feather in the sand, so I snapped photographs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waterfront.

(Photograph provided by the Waterfront Restaurant website.)
Back to Saturday. D and K took us to a restaurant called The Waterfront Restaurant in Coloma, Michigan. The venue is located on Paw Paw Lake. We dined outside on wrought iron tables underneath umbrellas near the lake. D and I took off our shoes and stood in the water. (Of course, I collected more rocks.) I dined on frog legs, made obnoxious jokes that I was eating Kermit the Frog's kinfolk (it did make the server laugh), and drank Starry Starry White wine. Inside, the restaurant and bar has a festive, Floridan feel. It was the perfect meal on a beautiful day with Steve and cool friends. The adventure continues...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vineyard.

Vineyard: Ground planted with cultivated grapevines.
(From the freedictionary.com)
Here is another Bibliovina blog...
D and K surprised us yesterday with a road trip through southwest lower Michigan. K picked up wine glasses and a pitcher and D took us to a beautiful place called Karma Vista Vineyards and Winery. The winery is located on top of a hill in Coloma, Michigan, surrounded by acres and acres of vines. We enjoyed the spectacular view. Inside the winery was even better. Located next to the expansive window overlooking the vineyard was a tasting bar. There was a menu and you could sample up to six wines. There were wooden tables on the other side for people to sit and several displays of wine-related items (glasses, coasters, etc.) to purchase.
The labels and names of the wines are simultaneously musical and whimsical. For example, you can purchase Cha Cha Chardonnay, Cherri Amour, Moondance Merlot,Pink Side of the Moon, or Stone Temple Pinot. Steve and I swooned over the O'Nine Riesling, Starry Starry White, and Watusi Red. So D told us to each select a bottle of wine. So we opted for the O'Nine Riesling and the Watusi Red. And then he purchased a Karma Vista wine glass for each of us so when we celebrate together, we'll use the glasses and remember the day.
(There were more adventures yesterday, but I'm splitting them up into separate posts.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Unsealed.

If you are a Go-Go's fan and/or a Belinda Carlisle fan, you will enjoy her autobiography entitled Lips Unsealed. Although her book is marketed as a memoir, I believe it to be more autobiographical. In an autobiography, the author discusses one's entire life from birth to the present. In a memoir, the author focuses on an aspect or a snapshot. Belinda focuses on three main points of her life: her musical influences and coming-of-age as a Go-Go, her alcohol and drug addictions that haunted her for most of her life, and her family.
Overall, it's an interesting read. Belinda's courage to share her demons and her story with millions of readers is admirable. I recommend this book; it's not just fluff and photographs that some celebrity autobiographies/memoirs are made of. In this read, she's got the beat. (Couldn't resist. ) :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Serendipity.

Serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. (Source: dictionary.com.) I'm over my cyber pity-party. My frustrations needed to be expressed. And so they have, friendly readers. Now I can regroup and move forward. Shopping always helps. On a clotheshorse-worthy note, at the satellite campus where I teach, I discovered an arty consignment shop named Serendipity. What a wonderful name. The shop is enticing, too, with fun accessories and clothes that are stylish and one-of -a kind. I also appreciated how artistic and whimsical the store looks on the inside. I love places like this. So, I purchased a pair of jean shorts and two lovely skirts. The shop also accepts clothing on the first fifteen days of the month. So if you want to thin out your wardrobe and make some money in the meantime, it's a good place to visit. Definitely a safer retail-therapy choice (and an arty one) than paying full-price at a boutique. (Although I visit boutiques occasionally.) More information on the Serendipity shop: 7106 Grape Road, Granger, IN 46530 Telephone Number: 574.271.1200. Here's the website: http://serendipityshops.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Disappointed.

It's been a challenging week. I want to escape back to Gen Con and geek out with Steve and my friends. I made a painful decision this week to leave my band. The intensity and stress of recent practices and the performance made me exhausted and physically ill. After Thursday night, I had enough. I do hope to play again and keep in touch with people (I love my bandmates, except there is one I want to scream at, except as always (mostly), I was polite. Maybe I should speak up more often.) It's wearing to have played with two groups in the past few years and end up being disappointed. It's so tempting to sell my drums. At least Steve wouldn't have to help me haul them around anymore. I'm very disappointed with the school situation. That's all I'm going to say here. Hoping for a better season in fall, because for the most part, this summer has been tough. Sigh.

Monday, August 09, 2010

8.9.10.

Sculpture of a Beholder. Indianapolis, IN. SJS & LCS c2010. Someone brought it to my attention that it is 8.9.10 today. Interesting. I'm out here on the porch with Miss Javacat snoozing in the chair. Thank goodness she feels better. Enclosed please find a couple of photographs of me with a sculpture at Gen Con. I listened to directions (not) and touched the sculpture. There should be rope around it if people aren't permitted to touch. Jeez. Before I start writing for classes (I have two this semester!), I will leave you with a quote by Mike Stackpoole, prolific science fiction writer: "If you finish a novel, you are a novelist. If you finish, you are a chapterist. You don't get far being a chapterist." Well said, Mike Stackpoole. I finished a poetry book with Jake. Next step, the novel! Even if it's the roughest draft ever. I will finish a novel in 2010.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Nerd Shell.

It's amusing. I spent the first 20+ years attempting to shed my nerd shell. I was scrawny, endured frizzy hair, and sported coke-bottle glasses. Until my orthodontist tortured me with headgear and braces (without the attractive colorful rubber bands that adorn today's teenage teeth), I had huge buck teeth with a big gap in the front. From third grade until my sophomore year of high school, I was the poster child for nerd. I was so dead on the playground. And in band. Imagine a skinny Ugly Betty. Yep, that was me. In college and beyond, I was determined to lose the nerdness and achieve perfection. I lost a lot of weight (too much at times), always wore contact lenses, made sure the tresses were perfect, and obsessed about looking good and fitting in. I made certain the nerdy persona was a shadow of the past. In fact, I sported a haughty look-at-me-now-bite-me chip on my shoulder at my ten-year class reunion. In the past year, I'm putting the nerd shell back on. Except it's an adult shell. It's a better shell. It's a curvier shell. It's a healthier shell. It's an intellectual shell. It's a sexier shell. And I just returned back from Indianapolis: Gen Con 2010 AKA Nerdapalooza the Sequel. And now I am spending my second life feeding my inner nerd. I'm actually going back to school in hopes to earn a second master's degree. And if someone refers to me as a nerd, I will wear my shell with pride. Because in 2010, nerds are cool.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Survivor.

Meet Sakura Hemingway Sigety. We call her Sake (pronounced sa-kee). Her name is Japanese meaning 'cherry blossom'. She is four pounds and barely four months old. Steve and I adopted her on Sunday afternoon. Her foster family from Michigan took excellent care of her and christened her Sakura. We decided to keep her name. We learned that like most stray kittens and cats, she experienced a rough start. Apparently she was found in a ditch in Grand Rapids, Michigan, covered in gasoline. (*sigh*) Fortunately, she was rescued and is now home where she will be pampered and loved. Sakura is unique because she is a Hemingway cat. (A friend referred to her as a mitten kitten.) She has six toes on both of her front paws and five toes each on her back paws. We will have to get her partially declawed so her inner nails won't stab her in the pads of her feet. Sakura is enjoying her new digs. She is still a little wary of the front porch, as she does not like to be outdoors at all. Sake has had enough of the outdoors. As a survivor, Sakura never has to worry again about fending for herself. Welcome home, Sake! :)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Resilience.

Here is a photograph of Miss Java taken in July 2010. She is a strong cat. She is resilient, weighing just over 11 pounds. Java has kidney disease and arthritis. Java outlived her brother, Jack. (He died in 2008). She outlived her younger sister Latte, who just died in July. She now tolerates (barely) two new sister kittens. Moshi just turned a year old; Sakura is barely 4 months old. Today Java growls at both of them. At 11+ years old, it's her birthright. She's also growling at Steve and me. After what she's been through today, she's an equal opportunity growler and I can't say I blame her. Java tells us ALL the way to the vet and ALL the way home in cat speak (growling, meowing and yowling) how much she does not appreciate having her temperature taken in her backside, how much she hates getting shots, and how much she truly hates having blood drawn out of her neck. Unfortunately, we had no choice. I managed to move the couch, pick her up from under the couch, and place her in the carrier. I was proud that a) I accomplished this alone and b) I was not injured in the process. So Steve comes home from work and we take her in, half-expecting to put her down. Despite Java's symptoms of lack of appetite,listnessness, nausea, and vomiting, she is faring well. The staff at KVC gave her fluids for dehydration, nausea, and anti-inflammatory. We'll keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

Labor Day Weekend: Library, Gaming, Rock Band, and Kayaking

Isn't it interesting how a simple, one-line post on social media can inspire a person to write more about it on a blog? Yes, that is w...