December 29, 2010

Oops...

Well here I am, behind once again. Although, I do believe, I am much too far behind to reasonably catch up. So I will here end this photo challenge and announce it a failure on my part. It all started with a nasty cold, and then a church play, and then this Christmas Holiday thing (I mean, come on, what's up with that?! Even if it does mean easier access to peppermint sticks). Oh woe is me and my despairingly short attention span (not to mention procrastinating habits). Dear readers, have you entirely given up on me? Just a little? Admit it, have you been doubting yourself more and more every time you think about checking up on me and my ramblings? If not, then I think it's time you went and got a CAT scan, or saw a psychiatrist, or took a nap, or something. In the meantime, I'll call you loyal and feel a little better about myself for just a short while longer.

However, it is now time to review the Holiday Season-that wonderful Christmas time- and what I've done, learned, eaten, and mused upon, and to talk your ear off about all the stuff I got.

Or something like that.

Let me start by asking you how your Christmas was. How was it? Hot? Cold? Wonderful? Humbug? I want all the fabulous (or gory) details, and no scrimping! Tell me all about the succulent turkey and the scrumdiddlyumptious pumpkin pie. I want to hear about the excitement of opening presents, that sluggish, happy feeling you had as you prepared and ate breakfast at a leisurely pace with your family. Did you sing carols? Watch movies? Burn the food? What happened this year that will live on in your family's infamy as "That one time at Christmas"?

My Christmas was glumptious. It was splendiferous. It was whippsy-whoppsy, whiffling, jumbly, hopscotchy, gloriumptiousness.
As you can tell, one of the gifts I got is a Roald Dahl book collection. I stayed up until about 3 AM that night reading a few of his books, and I rediscovered how much I love The BFG.

As to great family stories, I don't think I have any this year. We were all very glad to be together, and spent the entire day eating, cooking, relaxing, and loafing around. I also got my father to watch Planet Earth, and was more than correct in my belief that he would enjoy it. He thoroughly loved the episode on deserts. I also took him to see the new True Grit for his birthday on the 27th. Let me just say that if you want to see an amazing movie, then True Grit is the one to watch. The Coen Brothers need to direct every movie from now on.

I've been trying to enjoy the rest of my holiday break before I have to refocus on school and graduating. Although this mostly means loitering around on the internet/blogworld, I've been able to spend my Barnes and Noble gift cards (mostly crafting books and a couple of Joan Bauer novels. I'll post some pictures and reviews on the craft books when I get a chance to go through them), and I also discovered one of my new favorite blogs. Dottie Angel (run by the British and charming Tif), is a shabby-chic meets retro-darling craft and creativity central. Reading her posts and looking at her pictures is like eating the perfect French croissant: light and fluffy, sense-indulging, and absolutely delightful. I found her via Etsy a few weeks ago, and have been an avid reader ever since.

I've also been doodling around with a couple pictures. My latest and favorite is a shot of the space needle my dearest friend Breezy took this past summer. I tinkered around with it a few times, and these are my favorite out of the five different results. *sigh* I love and miss Seattle so much- editing photos of it just doesn't seem to satisfy my urgent craving to travel there.





Well I've run out of time (again) and need to stop here. I'm going to get my senior shots taken in a few days, and as soon as they are taken and edited by the fabulous Savannah Tally, I will post a few here. I also can't wait to get my hands on my new books and start knitting and crafting. Be back soon!

December 14, 2010

Day Sixteen or The Importance of Being Ridiculous

I've begun to notice a pattern in my blogging during this daily challenge (or game, or distraction, or whatever you want to call it). It seems that by the time I finally get around to uploading, writing, and posting the entry, it's already past midnight and time to start the next one. While this is a bit disgruntling and probably not the best way to establish good sleeping patterns, I've discovered that it has had little effect on my activities spent out and about during daylight hours, has actually improved my mischief-making capabilities and performance in the workplace (I remembered to mention the pumpkin soup and suggest the quiche today, as well as persuade everyone that spiced rooibos wins over Herbal in the debate of best caffeine-free chai teas. And of course I was wearing my favourite pair of heels). But, it would seem, it is not condusive to good health. I can feel a very nasty flu attempting to stage a coup (beginning with laying seize on my throat and voice-box). As I'm supposed to take part in a play this Saturday and Sunday (lead role, no understudy), I'm desperate to battle it.
However, as I sit here, once again, at a late hour, staring at my laptop screen, I find I must ponder my newest challenge.

Day 16
: A picture of someone who inspires you.

How does one go about picking the person who inspires them the most, post a picture of them, and then write up a (hopefully) brief explanation, without getting all teary and emotional?

Quite easily, I assure you.

Meet Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde. Also known as the most brilliant man to ever have twirled a cane and held a pen. (Really, it shouldn't surprise you in the least the I'm inspired by a dead guy. Most everyone worth being inspired by is long deceased, and the only people worth honoring are the ones that are in the dust stage of decomposition.) This chap wrote many great novels, short stories, essays, and poems in his life, but is rarely remembered for anything more than his The Picture of Dorian Gray and a handful of children's fairy tales. Besides leading a controversial life (for which he was sentenced to prison, where he wrote one of his greatest works, De Profundis), he was dedicated to Beauty and Art, and I don't think anyone will ever be quite his equal.

However, this fellow comes quite close (as you can see in the uncanny resemblances between the photos).
Meet Stephen Fry: Author, actor, comedian, dancersizer, and techy extraordinaire. He is also a Wildean fan, as well as a champion for Oscar's works and beliefs, not to mention extremely witty and delightfully cuddly.

He also has impeccable taste and flair. Let's face it: there aren't many men out there who can look so utterly stylish in a necktie such as this.


Haha! It is not yet midnight, so I do not at all feel the need to post tomorrow's entry yet. This is progress. I may need to take some cold medicine, or I'll be a mess for the production this weekend. Come rain, come shine, (come fever, come laryngitis,) the show must go on! *hack hack cough*


December 13, 2010

Day Fifteen or Oh The Places You'll Go!

Day 15: A picture of something on your bucket list.

What's on my bucket list?
Perhaps a better question is, what is on every Gypsy's bucket list?
Traveling the world, of course!
But, unlike most bucket lists, which are more like wishful thinking lists, I fully intend to fulfill this dream. My greatest goal is to cross the world and paint what everyone merely passes by without truly seeing. Here are but a few of the many places I particularly wish to visit, and the things I'd most like to see.

New England

I am enchanted with everything about the East Coast. This coming from a West Coaster born and raised sounds a little strange, but I have my reasons. I love the history, the fact that it is where our country began. I love the seasons in the country, and the monuments in the city. It's all so beautiful. However, the place I want most to visit is Williamsburg Virginia. Yes, it's a tourist trap. Yes, it's a bit silly. But do you see what these people are wearing? I love to dress in period costume, so something tells me that this place would fit me like a lady's kid glove.

Alaska

What can I say? I like the cold.


Canada: Montreal

I adore this town. I so yearn to sit in a small cafe on a street corner, admiring the bustle whilst sipping a Cafe au Lait and nibbling at a small, fresh, buttered baguette.


Wales

Simply because the gardens are to die for.


Italy: Rome

Dear Michelangelo, do you know how much I love you?


Germany

If I weren't so set on someday living in a small cottage in Ireland, I would definitely try for one of these.
It has that Evil Rich-Guy's Lair thing going on.


France: Paris

Well, and the Notre Dame Cathedral as well. I feel the need to enjoy that gothic appeal the Roman Catholic church is so famous for.


And the Eiffel Tower: the ultimate romantic symbol for nearly every woman, the reason for which both sexes are entirely unsure of, but neither are going to dispute it.

England: London

I have always wanted to paint Big Ben.



Hmm, I seem to have somehow lost the photos of Ireland that I uploaded, and it's getting too late to even care about at the moment. I will say, for sake of clarification, that of all the places in the world, I would rather set up shop (or studio as the case may be) in Ireland than anywhere else. I have been drawn to that place for so long, that I can't even remember when I gave up trying to understand why.

December 12, 2010

Days Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen or, Catching Up

I am behind. Again. I can offer up no excuses.
However, I do have some reasons why.
Being involved in a play and being employed during the busiest days of the year for a small Idaho tearoom do not seem to leave me any time for other things like, say, school work. And blogging. But I'm here to catch up, once again, and I'm quite impressed with myself for staying with it so well this far.
Here are the days I've missed and what I'm about to make up for.
Day 12. Something you love.
Day 13. Your favorite musician(s).
Day 14. Someone you can't imagine life without.

I find it amusing that I'm expected to list but one thing that I love. I love such a wide and vast variety of things, each more strange or random than the last, that I don't think I could ever pick just one. My affections are spread across an unimaginably wide map of things, and I often feel that I'm composed of a thousand pieces of love, all waiting to escape somehow. Here are but a few things of which I'm particularly fond.

In case you're wondering, this picture is representing both my love of travel as well as interest in old maps.

This is a good portion of my personal library. I always seem to have at least three books I'm lending out to a friend, and I don't think there's such a thing as "too many books". Just not enough space.

Ah, the old Aurora Borealis, or Norther Lights as they are more commonly known. I love the North- the cold, the mountains, everything about it- and I love this night sky. Why do I love this? I don't know, but I find it absolutely fascinating. I don't think there is a more spectacular display of color to be found anywhere in the entire earth. One of my highest goals in life is to someday sit out under these lights and attempt to paint them. Something tells me I'll spend more time drooling in a hypnotized state of awe than actually painting...


Now, as to my favorite musicians, I'm afraid that I cannot possibly list all of them, or even a small fraction. The list is endless (No, really, it is). Here are the ones I've been listening to the most in the past two days.

A Fine Frenzy (The lovely band leader, Alison Sudol, whose trademark red hair is no longer red. Go figure.).

Ingrid Michaelson, taken by myself at her performance in Boise this past October. (You don't know how amazing this women's concerts are until you've been to one. She's not just a musician- she's a performer.)
My favorite composer and musician ever, Claude Debussy. I listen to Clair de Lune at least once every day, and it's a confirmable fact that I would sell my very soul to go back in time and meet him.
Here is the lovely Michelle Doolittle (or Elizabeth Cliff, if she ever decides she needs a spiffy stage name)- the world's most talented opera singer and also my sister. I'm the unofficial head of her fan club (whether she knows it or not) and am more than willing (as in "I will bomb you with tracks) to share some of her music, should you like to hear her.



When it comes to deciding who I couldn't live without, I'm hard-put to choose from among a long line of wonderful friends and heros. However, today I feel that William Shakespeare- that handsome, balding, devilish King of the Sonnet- takes the cake.

Well, now that I'm finally caught up, I shall bid you all goodnight and leave today's post (as it is now past midnight) to be done after a few hours hibernation. Sleep well, dear readers, and don't let my crazy blog give you nightmares (Note: this is not an invitation to dream about Unicorns and rainbows either. Unicorns are dangerous, and I'm pretty sure that rainbow is not, in fact, composed of Skittles. Beware, readers, beware.).

December 9, 2010

Day Eleven or Bomb In A Birdcage

Day 11: A picture of something you loathe.

Agoraphobia. Claustrophobia.
What do you call the fear of being caged?

{You Can't tie me down}



December 8, 2010

Day Ten or Hangin' With My Gnomie

Day 10: A picture of you and the person you do the strangest things with.
Another easy one.
This award goes to Hugo, faithful friend, and roaming Gnome. Hugo: where would this gypsy be without you (that was a rhetorical question, don't answer it).
Here are some pictures of our adventures together.









A big thank-you to the two lovely Southwest flight attendants above, who were more than happy to indulge a strange gypsy girl's wish for them to pose with her even stranger (and rough-around-the-edges-rude) gnome friend. Sometimes there's just no beating Idaho folks.

December 7, 2010

Day Nine or Time After Time

Day 9: A picture of a person (or people) who have gotten you through some of the hardest things/always been there for you.
The fact that I'm limited to only two people is kind of cruel, but I do know the first two faces that come to mind.
This is a Grace Sterling.
No, that came out wrong.
This is The Grace Sterling.
Of all my best friends, and closest acquaintances, this is the one who never has and never would abandon me. We are not friends merely because our names are the same, but because we often feel like the same person (only she's a little more violent and far more amazing than I am). She was there to listen to me gripe and complain, weep, dream, talk about boys, and punch things, and I only hope that I can be half the person for her that she's been for me (or half the person in general).
And she probably won't kill me for posting this picture.

And then I have this awesome Brianne person (AKA Breezete Danyan Longero: Evil Avocado, Hooligan, Artist, Writer (her blog is www.therewebe.blogspot.com), Gypsy, and all around Beauty). She has this awesome Ryan person (on the right).
Well, it's more like, "he has this awesome Brianne person as well", but that's just because Brianne is a very high level on the scale of Extraordinarily Fantastic. Brianne (who is probably going to find and read this later), is one of those really spiffy people you wish you had a hundred of, but are glad you don't because then the one wouldn't be quite as special as she is. I'm pretty sure she's had to listen to more silly twaddle about boys and life and ridiculous things from me than anyone should have to lend ear to in a lifetime, and the fact that she still hasn't deserted me completely is something I find curious and strange. It also makes me really happy.

Here is The Brianne nomming upon a flower.
All the best people have strange eating habits

For these I am truly thankful.

December 6, 2010

Day Eight or The Best Medicine

Day 8: A picture that always makes you laugh.
This...is my family. Or at least a portion of it. All seven of my siblings are here, as well as parents and paternal grandparents. This photo was taken for my sister's wedding back in 2008, and, in the way of family tradition, we found it nearly impossible to stay serious for even a few pictures. So we decided to let loose and be ourselves. I should warn you that however crazy this side (the West-Coasters) may seem, my mother's side (the East-Coasters) are even crazier.
I love my family.


We Interrupt This Message For Some Useless Information...

Christmas is almost here!
You probably already knew that (it's hard to ignore, what with the stores pushing it up every year. I love Christmas, but I do not love wandering down aisles of Christmas merchandise in the local supermarket in October), but I felt I ought to remind you anyway, and then maybe laugh at you as you frantically run around, attempting to gather gifts and decorate, while I calmly sip my cup of Holiday Chai and devour a few hundred candy canes.
I adore Winter, and Christmas is just another thing to love about it.
I love the cold, the ice, the snow (we've already had a foot this year!), and the overcast skies.
I love how jolly people become, how they think of others a little more, and smile all the time.
I love the carolers singing Christmas hymns, the laughter of children as they throw snowballs, and the Salvation Army man that stands outside of Albertson's in his stocking cap, ringing a small, cheery bell and extolling a "God Bless" for every coin that chinks in his red collection plate.
I love the spicy gingerbread cookies and the sharp sweetness of peppermint sticks, as well as the warming comfort of a cup of hot chocolate after playing in the snow, or a mug of Christmas tea while reading some Charles Dickens.
I especially love remembering the origin of the holiday- marking the arrival of Jesus Christ, God's only son, into our human world. The beginning of a great journey and an amazing life that would give up everything to give us a chance at Salvation. What a sacrifice to leave the beauty of Heaven and exchange it for the filth of our world! We are all undeserving, but received it none-the-less.
To me, Winter is a time to relax a bit (the exact opposite of so many I know who think of Summer as a time to relax. Summer? Really? But it's so hot!), and I hope you are able to slow down and do the same.
Oh tidings of comfort and joy...

December 5, 2010

Day Seven or Rags To Riches

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item.

This was another no-brainer. It's also another book, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that it's probably the greatest non-fiction work to be found.
My greatest treasure is my Bible. In today's society, it might hard to think of something so widely distributed and easily available as The Bible as something to be treasured. However, this book is the divine word of God (reason enough to treasure it), and the rope that ties me to my Anchor- Jesus Christ: it is also a treasure because I know that this book- so easily procured for us- is an item much sought-after and yearned for by others far less fortunate than I. It is still not uncommon to hear tales of poor and needy people in other countries working for many years and going long distances to obtain one of these. I am truly blessed to have it, and am even more blessed to be able to practice my faith openly, and without fear of oppression.


I will say, though, that this book is a definite second, might even have competed with the first for a minute or two in my mind. Let's just call it first in the category of fiction...




December 4, 2010

Day Six or, The Princess and The Gypsy (Er, Pauper)

Day 6: A picture of someone you would like to trade places with for a day, and someone you would not.

It should come as no surprise to you that I would choose literary characters for this one. And if you should say "Literary characters don't count: they're not real!" then you are hereby banned from my list of friends. I prefer book characters to real people: you can believe in them, there are no consequences for hating or loving them, and their feelings will never be hurt by your speaking your mind about who they are and what they stand for (although this may spark discord and heated debate among the people you know that actually breathe).

My first choice is, as always, Rosalind from Shakespeare's As You Like It. This is, by far, my favorite Shakespeare play, and the following is the best movie adaptation I've ever seen (probably the only movie adaptation, come to think of it). Either way, Rosalind is my heroine among heroines. She's clever, witty, and beautiful: incredibly feeling and emotional, somehow manages to get herself into the silliest scrapes, and just as equally amazingly gets herself out. And all with the greatest sense of humor and honor.


Of course, in the end she wins the dashing Orlando, and that doesn't suck either.


Now, on the other hand, I would never, for my life, trade places with Hester Prynne. I love The Scarlet Letter, and I love her character (as well as the impish Pearl, her daughter), but I would never trade places with her- not for all the embroidery skills in the world.



December 3, 2010

Day Five or, Disturbing The Dust On A Bowl of Rose Leaves

Day 5: A picture of a favorite memory.

Every year I visit Sardine Lake, a resort nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and every year I feel like I'm enjoying a slice of heaven. This place has always held sway over a great number of my happiest memories, but I think that my yearly hike to the top of the Sierra Buttes (a grueling five miles of nothing but steep uphill misery) is one of the best parts about the whole stay. Situated at the top of the mountain is a small, glass-like house, where a ranger used to live many years ago, keeping an eye out all summer for signs of forest fire. Doesn't sound daunting? Maybe I should mention the 150 plus rickety stairs to get to the house, and the sheer drop visible all around, not to mention some of the heaviest winds you may ever experience that constantly whirl every which way. Still, there is nothing so great as standing looking over the lakes, and not feeling as if you have conquered the mountain, but have made friends with it.

December 2, 2010

Day Two (And Three and Four)

Argh! I'm already behind! I feel rather silly offering up excuses, but I will say that I was unexpectedly busy these past two days- t'would seem that playing in a foot of freshly fallen snow takes up a lot of time, as does twirling in the icy streets (and maybe going to work for a few hours in between). However, I shall make up for it by posting required pictures, and redoubling my efforts and zeal (HA!) for this little project challenge.
Which means I'll probably never get anything posted.

Day 2: A picture of myself and the person I am closest with.
I thought long and hard about this one, and finally decided that person I am closest with by far is only as close as my own heart and soul. This person is Vincent van Gogh. Why a dead, half-crazy, artist chap, you ask? Because of the painting Starry Starry Night (a work which, ironically enough, he absolutely hated). I can still remember the first time I saw this painting- I mean, really saw it. I was very young, but that changed nothing in how I was effected by it. It's a bit much to get into right now, but I can very well attribute the fact that I am an artist at all both to this man and this particular painting. I'm sorry I can't post one of myself with him, but I promise that I will when I someday stand in front of an actual painting of his (not just a poster-replica like the ones on my bedroom wall).




Day 3: A picture of the cast of your favorite telly show.

This one is easy. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Doctor. Or, rather, my two favorite faces out of the eleven different ones he has assumed over the years. Dr. Who is probably the greatest British telly series running, or that will ever run. Tom Baker (left) and David Tennant (right) are by far the greatest actors to ever have played the lead role. Don't know what this show is (it's okay, not a lot of Americans do)? Then Google it. I'm not going to do all the dirty work for you.



Day 4: A Picture of your night.
This one is much harder, seeing as I have no idea how to capture the multitude of emotions, feelings, and thoughts that are running through my head at this precise moment. However, I shall try.

This is a picture of...my arm. In an existential, technical way, yes. But it's also the perfect sum of every question thrumming through my very being at this moment. For starters, have you ever read The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot? I thought not. This is one of the lines that catches me the most every time I read it (or repeat it- I have it memorized by now, but I do like to read it off the page anyway, just because I love the way the words look, and how the poetry is sprawled across the page a bit. One of the same reasons I enjoy EE Cummings). Do I dare? and Do I dare? There is so much to ponder in that simple question. The thought of challenging the entire universe is an idea I find both utterly frightening and absolutely necessary. There is so much I both adore and dislike -even loathe?- about this world, that to defy it would be at once a labor of love and an act of hateful rebellion. Sitting by and being comfortable in the same skin and thoughts, the same mere existence, as everyone else will never do. To conform is to bury the soul, to adhere would speak death to the heart. I will take beauty, art, and truth where others will only ask ease and ignorant wealth.



Well, at this rate I might as well upload tomorrow's photo too- it's an hour to midnight, and I almost feel like getting ahead of the game. However, I will make it my point to blog after my school and before I leave for work. Tomorrow evening will be spent getting into all sorts of mischievous antics at a youth group meeting. However, for now I feel the great need to read some Carroll or Kipling, and I will probably end up staying awake for the next three hours just to get some EE Cummings in there as well. Sleep well, blog world, and may you dream of beautiful things.