Monthly Archives: October 2008


I don’t know if you have stores that sell Storypeople books and artwork in your area, but we have As Kindred Spirits (aka “Dona’s Favorite Store”).

Storypeople is a company / studio that creates books, cards, furniture, prints etc. based on the work of Brian Andreas. I got to meet Andreas back, just after his second book, Still Mostly True, was published. He is a down-to-earth person with a lot of stories to tell. His books are made up of truisms and illustrated with whimsical and usually primitive (think 5-year olds’ drawings) artwork. Check them out — I think you’ll like them. You can download a free e-book to see what the other books are like — but honestly — I don’t like the e-book as much as I did the first three (the only ones I own). Their site is a hoot — if somewhat difficult to navigate.

I just saw that they are also offering videos — Here’s their Halloween 2008 offering. Enjoy.

Discovering new music

Yesterday evening, after returning from a quick visit to the grocery store, my neighbor Amy, who was outside raking leaves told me about a fund-raising event at a local pub beginning in a half hour and asked me if I’d like to ride along with her. I was reluctant to go — mostly because Dean was making a nice dinner and because True Blood was on TV Sunday nights, but I had not gotten out all week, except for book group on Tuesday, so I quickly changed clothes, put on some make-up and went to Amy’s house.

I’d met the first performer and master of ceremonies, coordinator for the DC area of GoGirlsMusic — an international group for indie female musicians — at a neighborhood gathering. She either lives in my neighborhood or the next one over. I’d not heard of any of the others, but it was nice to sit, sipping cider and watching some amazing female singer-songwriters.

Near the end of the evening, after a large group left a young woman in a black leather jacket and white neck scarf sat down in front of us. I imagined she was there to hear the music, but before long the MC was introducing her as Ruut — someone whose CD she played for months.

I can see why — Ruut blew me away. Her singing style is similar to Sarah McLachlan — the way her voice changes notes in the middle of syllables and the piano background. After she sang three songs I talked to her a bit — she said that her influences were Tori Amos and Andrew Lloyd Webber and her parents who were professional classical muscians. Amy bought me a cd (I’d paid for her drink — I think I got the better deal) that Ruut signed.

Here’s a YouTube video of Ruut’s song Nothing is Right. Watch it. It’s fun.

Finishing things

I tend to leave things unfinished. My 365 blog. My song a day blog. My NaMoWriMo novels. It is an unfortunate part of my personality.

It’s not that I don’t like the feeling of accomplishment when I do finish something, but I have a hard time with it. Don’t get me wrong — if it is something I’m getting paid for, then yes, I do finish. But everyday things tend to be put on the back burner and either forgotten or ignored.

So, I’m proud to announce that I finished not one, but three things yesterday:

  1. The Whistling Season — my book group book this month. I liked it but never made time to actually read it. I was about 4/5 of the way through it when I went to the book group meeting (thanks, in part, to netlibrary where I found it in audio form and listened while tagging PDFs). Then I was told how it ended — which kind of ruined it for me, but I persevered and finished it. (not that it was hard to do — easy read)
  2. The Overacheivers — I had two pages left and it was bugging me (actually, I thought I had more to read). So last night I finished those two pages. I think this book took me the longest to read of any book I’ve ever read (except maybe Wuthering Heights which I read in 15 minute increments over a semester in college) since I began reading sometime around the beginning of the year or perhaps earlier than that).
  3. My Ireland Trip Blog — I had one entry and some photos left to post and finally did. It was just a bit about the last few hours in Ireland at the airport, and the plane trip home, but I needed to write it to check off that I was done.

I’ve got hundreds of other things half or almost finished around the house, so, I’m at no risk of not having things to do.

Stream of Consciousness — Daily Routine

Several times a week I make the short drive to my kids’ high school. To get there I pass an all-boys school. I often pass by when the boys are being dropped off or being picked up and because of the traffic congestion, they’ve hired a police officer to direct traffic.

I like him. He reminds me of my son’s former rugby coach and 4th grade teacher (and my daughter’s 5th grade teacher) — a gentle and kind man. I have no idea if this traffic cop is gentle or kind, but he seems to be good-natured. He’s always smiling and doesn’t jab his hands around all angry-like. Which always makes me remember another traffic cop — Vic Cianca from Pittsburgh.

Most of you are too young to remember the original Candid Camera, but I remember it well and the clip I remember most of all is the traffic directing Officer Cianca from Pittsburgh with the white gloves and “dancing hands”. I saw him, once, when I lived there — directing traffic for a trolley or Mr. Rogers festival or something like that. The last time I saw him was in Flashdance.

On days when I pass the school and there is another traffic cop, I feel let down. The past few times I’ve driven by the school the traffic cop has been a stout angry looking fellow who made me feel as if I should have found a different route to the high school. This morning, however, my buddy was back; all smiles and using happy hand gestures.

All is well.