Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What Cures Your Anxiety?

My "blog buddy" SJ has tagged me for this meme. She's into a ten item list thing, but the original meme was for five things. I came up with seven.

First, why I call SJ my blog buddy: She was one of the first people to notice my blog and to comment on it. She also generously offered me the use of the name "Blogasm" which she came up with, and figured I needed it since "MB's Blog" sounded too boring. And since she and I have never met in person or spoken on the phone, but only in the blogosphere (so far), I am affectionately referring to her as a blog buddy.

Second, even though I was happy to be "tagged" by SJ for this, I am just not gonna tag anyone else. But if you are reading this and wish to participate, I'd be thrilled to read about it in the comment section. I think I have the comments set up now so that anyone may comment here.

Third, here is the meme:
"List five things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it on your journal, then tag five friends and ask them to post it to theirs."

Here are my de-stressors:

1. Walk around the neighborhood with or without my dog, sometimes with my camera. I enjoy looking at the various details of the neighborhood, like architectural features, gardens, people and their pets, and cool-looking automobiles. It's a more interesting form of exercise than just walking on a track somewhere.

2. Get a professional massage. (My friend Patty does a great one.) The smells of the massage oils, the relaxing music (the type of ambient sounds that I usually get bored with, but that seem to fit perfectly with the whole massage experience) and the feeling that the masseuse is totally focused on getting the kinks out of my aching body. Some of my favorite parts to have massaged are my feet, my hands, and my scalp.

3. Watch an old movie that I've seen bunches of times just to see the scenes that I know will make me cry. I can't just skip to the scene, there has to be that build up throughout the entire movie. Some scenes that always bring tears: It's A Wonderful Life when Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey says, "Clarence, get me back"; Miracle on 34th Street (the original one with Natalie Wood as the little kid) when the post office guys start bringing all that mail for Santa Claus into the courtroom; Terms of Endearment (when Debra Winger is telling her two sons goodbye in the hospital room); and Dumbo (yes, the animated Walt Disney film) in the scene where Dumbo's mother has to be locked up and little Dumbo comes to visit her. Even though they play a kind of sappy song, Baby Mine, the expressions on the elephant's faces make me choke up and cry real tears. I cannot explain this. I also cry at the end when Dumbo is in the act with the circus clowns and finally gets up the courage to fly even though he dropped the magic feather. This kind of movie watching crying is very cathartic.

4. Put on some really funky music and DANCE!

5. Call my friend Mark S. He always makes me laugh with his corny jokes. I can't repeat any of the jokes here because they are mostly in-jokes about people we know, or they are non-PC and extremely tasteless. But Mark invariably comes up with something so funny that I laugh out loud. Repeatedly. And then I feel much better.

6. Cool soothing Ice cream or pudding, or a coffee malt, makes me feel like a carefree kid again.

7. Singing. In the shower, or along with a CD, or at choir practice. It's exercise for the soul.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Some really fantastic photos

Originally uploaded by deborah lattimore.

Gallery photoset by Deborah Lattimore. All sorts of photos, all sorts of subjects. Check them out and see which ones are your favorites. I've been adding them right and left to my flickr favorites.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

caddy fin - high contrast

caddy fin - high contrast
Originally uploaded by MBK.

I took this picture at the St. Louis PrideFest in Tower Grove Park.

More of PrideFest. Click on the post's title to see cars photos.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bikes and Sunset

Bikes and Sunset
Originally uploaded by riccorman.

from the New Mexico photo set on Flickr.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Perspective: Brasilia

Originally uploaded by MrPixel.

MrPixel in Brasilia, Brazil, has a whole set of photos called The Built Form, architecture in Brasilia.

Out My Window: 18 June 2005, Brasilia

Originally uploaded by MrPixel.

MrPixel, located in Brasilia, Brasil, has a beautiful series of photos on Flickr called Out My Window which demonstrates that Brasilia must be the next best thing to Paradise in the beauty department. You may want to bookmark it and check back, as he promises us a photo a day.

Green Stairs

Green Stairs
Originally uploaded by phonezilla.

The photographer, phonezilla, says:

"The green staircase of an otherwise yellow and white house."

Here's a set of his Favorites of the photos he took.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Might As Well Face It, I'm Addicted To Flickr

If you click the title of this post, it will take you to my favorites page on Mind you, these are other people's photos that I have viewed and then clicked the button to mark as a favorite. I don't do this for every photo that I like, because on my iMac it takes several seconds for the thing to work.

It turns out that I have done this 1609 times at the time I'm writing this. Yes, I have sixteen HUNDRED and nine favorite photos on the website. I wonder how many hours of looking at photos I spent to end up with that many favorites. Many, many photos I only look at in the thumbnails on the pages of people's photostream, sets, and group pools. The ones that I click to view in a larger size, for a few I leave comments, or decide to "blog this photo" here or on my other blog, MB's Blogalicious on Live Journal, which since it has no sidebar, I have it set up to insert the photos in a larger size than here on Blogasm.

In the past, I've also used the site to blog photos, but lately it doesn't seem to work for blogging.

I can't wait until I get my scanner to working and/or get a digital camera from my friend who decided she's ready to upgrade and will give me her old one to use. Then I'll start putting photos of my own on my blogs. So far, the photos under my name on flickr are all photos that someone else took, and I put them up there just to have a place to store them.

-SaloN- three (shades of yellow gold)

-SaloN- three
Originally uploaded by -ScarlettveinZ-.

The photographer says: "this gives me goosebumps.."

I like the contrast of the dark hair and the golden floor. The hair does seem somehow alive, which contributes to an eerie feeling, even with the sunny color predominating.

Saying Goodbye! (photo from a kid's perspective)

Saying Goodbye!
Originally uploaded by Blueskygirl.

The photographer, Blueskygirl, says: "Jewel (my three year old) took this."

I think it's a nice family photo.

Friday, June 17, 2005

entrance (the perception of doors)

Originally uploaded by mjutabor.

from the perception of doors photo set

The Many Faces of Marilyn Monroe

The Many Faces of Marilyn Monroe (12 June 2005)
Originally uploaded by alephnaught.

From the Praise and Curse of the City photo pool. The photographer says:

The Many Faces of Marilyn Monroe (12 June 2005)

Part of series of photos taken during the opening of the West End Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.

This photograph was taken with a digital camera, and processed in Photoshop.

Killer Asian Longhorned Beetles (I heard it on NPR)

Morning Edition, June 17, 2005 - In the treetops of Central Park, western smoke jumpers, the folks whose regular job is to parachute into wildfires, are propelling themselves into maples and elms in an attempt to stop the killer Asian longhorned beetle.

In order to stop the Asian Longhorn Beetles, the entire tree must be destroyed, roots and all. The beetles have been found in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and other places in the US.

More about the beetles here, here, and here.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

High Heels and Handbag (red & blue on white)

High Heels and Handbag
Originally uploaded by Reggio.

I like this photo. What else can I say?

Part of the Shoes photo pool on flickr.

Going higher and higher... (red, white & blue)

Going higher and higher...
Originally uploaded by Esther17.

Esther17, the photographer, says:

"I had forgotten how much fun this was. I'm sure I looked like a lunatic, but who cares?"
She's obviously on a swing. Either that, or she's rising upside down into the air through telekinesis.

moon, sky, brick

Originally uploaded by joto25.

Included in the Background Sky photo set.

Unbridled versus Restrained

Unbridled versus Restrained
Originally uploaded by bikeracer.

The photographer says:

"Originally entered into DPChallenge Opposites and earned 1st place!

This was one horrific storm. I drove through it for roughly 40 miles and there were hundreds if not thousands of strikes during my drive. Lightning was hitting in front of me, to either side, behind me and above me, I honestly thought I might die that night.

Anyway, after what seemed like hours I managed to get out from under the storm. I pulled over in a rest stop and set up. At first I did it hand held, figuring it would be a cool effect. Those didn't look to great, so I set up the tripod.

So, was I lucky? To come out alive, for sure! To get the shot that won? Definitely. But, I was luckiest to get to experience that storm and have the luxury of pointing my camera where ever I pleased and to know I would capture lightning in a bottle."

Easter Sunset photo

Originally uploaded by swardraws.

Part of the Sunsets photo set by Nancy Ward on flickr.
For more of this photographer's work, see Best of, Buildings and Catchy Colors. Here's the link to all her wonderful photosets.

A rock with legs? A salamander?

Originally uploaded by bubblemonkey.

From the Aquarium Adventure photo set by bubblemonkey on flickr.

I don't know what this creature is, but it's interesting. Bubblemonkey says nothing about it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Very First Triathlon (The Journey)

Janine just finished doing her first triathlon! Give the girl some props!

Can I Get Some Change? (Laundromat Story)

Be The Boy has a touching story about laundromats and reading. He writes well. Check him out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

American Flag Roof

Originally uploaded by cottergarage.

Here's what the photographer, Carol Cotter, says about this photo:

"The roof my husband made on the neighbors garage. this is not painted. all 50 stars were cut out and tared on."

In Missouri photo set.

Old Glory for Flag Day

Old Glory
Originally uploaded by Duo de Hale.

More American Flag Photos

Is it patriotic to wear a flag shirt? To sit in a flag chair? To drape a flag over your shoulders like a shawl?

These and other flag related things are discussed on NPR's All Things Considered for Flag Day in an interview with Mark Leepson, author of Flag: an American Biography. He and NPR correspondent Melissa Block talk about wearing flag shirts, both in the time of the Vietnam War and now; about the commercialization of the flag back in the 1880s, and how people protested the use of the flag on beer bottles; how the "flag code" is just a set of guidelines and is not legally enforceable; and much more.

Waterfalling (part of the colorific and waterful photo sets)

Originally uploaded by formerly TaGurit.

The photographer, Tiffany, describes her photo this way:

"Photo of water cascading down into a baby tub. I really liked the way this one came out with the bubbles and ripples and everything so clearly defined. Plus the color...I love color! "
And I say ... "what she said!" The Waterful set has more high speed photos of water. And the Colorific set is exactly what it says.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Photo: macrointelligence 015 (see through)

macrointelligence 015
Originally uploaded by Culinarynovice.

See Through photo set by Amber Pasquali on flickr.

Let the Finder Beware: A Language of My Own

Let the Finder Beware's blog writer Paul says:

"When I was 13 years old, in eighth grade, I started constructing my own language. We're not talking a short word list or a few limited pieces of jargon, we're talking an entire functioning language. With its own grammar, its own vocabulary, its own idioms, and its own meanings which are often hard to translate into English. I kept on working on this language for years. I'm still working on it today, 35 years later."

I've never heard of this type of thing before, but Paul found out years later that there are others like him:

"...until just over two years ago, I thought that we language-makers must be an exceedingly rare and almost unheard-of phenomenon. Then I stumbled across the website of Sally Caves, an English professor who had begun creating her own language, Teonaht, when she was only nine years old. And through her site I found all sorts of other sites of people who had their own 'constructed languages' or 'conlangs'."

To read more about Paul's created language, click on the title of this post.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Books are our friends

The blogger over at Sporked has too many books and only one bookshelf. I have a similar problem, too many books for too few shelves, but I have lots of bookcases. I still have books on the table, books on the floor, books on top of the wardrobe, and (confession time) I still buy more books. Not as many as I used to buy, and I do give some away (which I never used to do) but the collection is growing rather than shrinking.

I'm always reading more than one book at a time. Currently:
  • Lewis Thomas: The Medusa and the Snail
  • Emily Bernard, editor: Some of My Best Friends - Writings on Interracial Friendships
  • Barbara Kingsolver: Small Wonder - essays
  • Anna Quindlen: Loud and Clear - essays
  • Christine Hunsicker, editor: A Dog's World - true stories of man's best friend on the road

The most recent book I purchased is Ann Patchett: Truth & Beauty - a Friendship which I've not heard anything about, but bought at the supermarket because I liked the cover. It's got a drawing of a flying insect and an ant on the front cover, and the back cover blurb describes the book as "at once a grief-haunted eulogy and a larger meditation on the solace and limitations of friendship." - Washington Post

So how could I resist? I may start reading it before I finish any of the others.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Walk the piazza

Walk the piazza
Originally uploaded by ale2000.

This photo makes me feel like Alice after she fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland (not the Michael Jackson Wonderland, but the original one made famous in the Lewis Carroll novel). She kept growing and shrinking.

The Supervisor (shades of blue and beige)

The Supervisor
Originally uploaded by Niemster.

The photographer, Niemster (Matt Niemi) , says:

"She watched his every move."

And here is Matt's photo set of Pittsburgh walls.

Gathering Storm (from Before Ground Zero)

Gathering Storm
Originally uploaded by *syzygynick.

Before Ground Zero photo set

More of his photos: People, NYC and Buildings, NYC are just some of Gary's photo sets.

Strange Mural

#2 Strange Mural in my Neighborhood (closer look & story)
Originally uploaded by buglugs.

Click on the photo to see what the photographer says about this mural. Here's an excerpt:

"...many years ago this same building had a small fire on the upper floor and a little girl died up there. The bar employees said that over the years... some nights when it's quiet allround they can hear the little girl upstairs in that room crying. The big round circle beside the upper middle window is supposed to represent her spirit looking out..."

A shot before parting

A shot before parting
Originally uploaded by carpeicthus.

The photographer says:

"This was taken in Bryant Park seconds before the cop kicked us out of THERE. And *he* was nasty about it."

The leaves are so green and the sky is so deep blue and the sycamore trunk is just amazing. I'm glad carpeicthus got this photo.

Part of the flickr photo pool
You can't take pictures here! and the *vanishing points* pool. (click on this post's title to see his photo set My NYC.)

structured space

structured space
Originally uploaded by Permanent Identity Crisis.

I have no clue whether I'm looking up, down or sideways at this structure. But I like it. The photographer calls him/herself "Permanent Identity Crisis".

laundramats can be scary places

laundramats can be scary places
Originally uploaded by Walsh.

The photographer, Walsh, says:

this isn't the floor of the laundramat. it's the counter. all surfaces have this pattern in the laundramat.

I wish my laundramat (laundromat?) had this black and white color scheme. Mine is all orange and yellow, but really quite cheery. But the warm colors make me feel hot in the summer with all the dryers going. I think this looks like a cooler environment for doing the wash. But perhaps the pattern makes you dizzy.

blackened in the light

blackened in the light
Originally uploaded by Viper1911R.

Another photo in the *Vanishing Points* photo pool.

Parallax photo pool on flickr

Originally uploaded by fabianmohr.

Here are a bunch of cool photos from the group *Vanishing Points* on Flickr.

Steel City Graffiti

Steel City Graffiti
Originally uploaded by Niemster.

Here are some more photos by this photographer, Niemster, of his home town of Pittsburgh.

Bright Green(ish) Steps (click here to see more of his faves)

Bright Green(ish) Steps
Originally uploaded by Niemster.

The photographer says:

I walk by these steps almost everyday. I finally took a photo.

I love the colors and the whole thing. I'm glad Niemster decided to photograph it.

But I think I would call the color of the steps 'turquoise' instead of greenish.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quickie IQ Test

Basil of Basil's Blog is a genius. He took this 16 question "IQ" test and got branded a genius in all four of the categories. So did Hans and a bunch of other people, who also got a score of 140. I did pretty well on the test, though not as well as they did:

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your General Knowledge is Above Average

I'm happy that I got "genius" status in Verbal Intelligence – yippee!! I still think the scoring underestimated my overall intelligence, but what the heck. Maybe I am getting less intelligent with old age. And my weakness was general knowledge, rather than any of the so-called kinds of "intelligence" so maybe I’m just forgetting whatever it is I may have known in the past, but (I hope) not losing my abilities. I have, in fact, lost my ability to type as well as I used to. I have never been dyslexic, but am becoming a "dyslexic" typist, making the kinds of typos where the letters are typed in the wrong order, or erroneously typing the letter on the other side of the keyboard, like 'k' for 'd' to give one example. And since I like to have everything spelled correctly, it takes me an age to get a little blog post up.

My life what it is, my mind a dream: "I have an idea"

Tawsha says::

"I want to write a book, I have an idea, it is just the point of taking the time to do it."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Image Meme from Suburban Blight (updated to add SHOES! and favorite number)

On The Fritz did it. So did Manic Viking. And AAYOR at Advice at your own risk. Also Cheeky Prof, and lots of other folks in the blogosphere.

update: more who got in on the action:

(Nobody tagged me to do it, I just liked it and chose to participate.)

Here are the instructions:


Search for: Place you grew up. Place you live now. Your name. Your Grandmother’s name. Your favorite food. Your favorite drink. Your favorite song. Your favorite smell. added: favorite shoes. favorite number

Then post the first or your favorite result for each.

Some of the bloggers told you what words they searched on, and some wanted you to guess.

So here are mine (I used my favorites, never did like the first result):

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. This picture appealed to me more than the photos of Elvis Presley's mansion, although we did drive right by Graceland every Sunday on our way to church:


Where I live now. This house is typical of the St. Louis architecture:

St. Louis, Missouri

I liked this image best for my name. I had to go a couple of pages:

Marjorie Stave, artist

My grandmother's name was Katherine. She was a vaudeville dancer in her younger days. This image reminds me of her:

Katherine Taylor

It's hard to pick just one favorite food. I love coffee ice cream:

coffee ice cream

I chose a Margarita for my favorite drink:


How could anyone pick one favorite song? But this is one of my favorites, Ubi Caritas as arranged by Maurice Durufle:

Ubi Caritas

Now this may seem odd for a favorite smell. But when I was a kid, I loved dolls. And new dolls smelled like vinyl, the way a new vinyl shower curtain smells. When I googled "new vinyl shower curtain" this was one of the first images. It doesn't make me think of dolls or shower curtains at all, but it has its own appeal:

new vinyl shower curtain - WHY?

And when SJ did it, she added a couple that weren't in the ones I saw first; namely "SHOES"! I googled "red shoes" since I've had several favorite pairs of red shoes. I liked the combo of the red with the black and white in this photo of Shari's shoes:

red shoes

SJ also added her favorite number, seven. SJ, you may not believe this, but seven has always been my favorite number also. And by sheer coincidence, my waitress number when I worked at Flaming Pit Restaurant was 7. Then when I joined the Cathedral Choir many years later, my music folder number was (and is) number 7. I didn't pick these numbers, they happened to be available in both instances. If I were a person who plays the lottery, I guess I'd be picking that good ol' number seven all the time. My google search brought up several pictures of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, who is my favorite Star Trek character. So I picked this really hot image of her:


This has gotta be the most fun I've had with a meme.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Waking Ambrose

Waking Ambrose is an interesting concept. Doug Pascover takes the Ambrose Bierce "Devil's Dictionary" for a starting point and then updates each definition for 2005.

Here's one example:

Infancy, n. The period of our lives when, according to Wordsworth, "Heaven lies about us." The world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.

2005 Update: The time when our contribution is least and our compensation is best.

I've always enjoyed Ambrose Bierce's humorous definitions, and I like this blog concept.

Doug also has another blog, Developmental Disability System Reform: Information and Rumination about changes to California's community-based system for people with developmental disabilities.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ya Gotta Believe:

Michelle mentions:
" of my favorite kinds of shopping--organizer shopping. i love going on a spree of rubbermaid containers and drawer organizers. in my world i believe that the mere act of purchasing these items will ensure the immediate and continual organization of the entire house. and this will work one day, i am sure of it."

I also like to buy or otherwise obtain containers to contain my vast array of stuff. I was browsing an online store today, trying to decide whether to purchase the 224 CD notebook or the even larger one that holds more CDs than most people will ever own. I've already brought home from work several boxes that are a pretty good size for holding several CDs in their jewel cases. I do put the CDs in these boxes, but fail to organize them by any system which would help me to find any of them again. I have four of these boxes, plus several shelves full of CDs (the shelves are arranged in rough alphabetical order, i.e. the A's are near the beginning and the Z's are near the end) and then there are the CDs which I've removed from their jewel cases already and placed in one of those notebooks, mostly without the accompanying leaflets. These are only CDs that have the track listings printed right on the CD itself. I need to know the track listings so I can choose what to play on my radio show.

Anyhow, as you can perhaps tell, I need to get these CDs organized in a better fashion. And my CDs take up a relatively small amount of space compared to my books, only some of which are on shelves, and vinyl LPs, some of which are on the floor. Not to mention my collections of various knicknacks, my clothes, my rock collection, my nativity sets with added angels and animals, my ten plastic Christmas trees with ornaments, my collection of posters and prints and original artworks by struggling artists (some of these are on the wall, but I'm running out of wall space), and all my other stuff.

I tend to hope, as Michelle does, that purchasing organizational tools will suffice to miraculously organize my possessions, yea even my life. At least my dog is small and doesn't require a lot of paraphernalia.

Trompe L'Oeil Wall

Originally uploaded by purevizhun.

The photographer says:

"sanitarium abandoned, urban art on the walls"

I want to walk through the door into that cool blue and green.