Tuesday, May 30, 2006

don't mess with the bull, young man... you'll get the horns.

Paul Gleason died yesterday at 67 from mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. He was better known to Gen X'ers as Principal Vernon, the Barry-Manilow-dressing sadist who gave out Saturday detentions in suburban Shermer, Illinois. "The Breakfast Club" defined my generation... the joy, the pain, the heartache. It was all there. It let you know you weren't so crazy after all.

Nothing funny or amusing today. Just watch the Breakfast Club... soon. Even if you've seen it before--it's worth re-watching. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to go do right now.

You have exactly eight hours and fifty-four minutes to think about why you're here. You may not talk, you will not move from these seats. Any questions?

(Originally posted on my 360: Tuesday May 30, 2006 - 11:17pm EDT)

Monday, May 29, 2006

take care of you...

Here's the entry for the Vintage Nudes Fatbook from my Altered Art Obsession group that I promised to post. I'll also post a link for the book of originals that will be auctioned off to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund when it becomes available. What you can't see on my submission is that the image of the girl comes out of the pocket and on the back side is an aged mirror that reads "at risk" at the top. Art doesn't have to mean anything, but it's nice when you can convey a message through an image.

I see Dr. Mohr next week for my annual. When is yours?

(Originally posted on my 360: Monday May 29, 2006 - 11:28pm EDT)

a wedding. a funeral. and a bunch of mutants.

So, I think the fun and frivolity I had writing last Tuesday's entry (has it really been THAT long since I've posted here?? Almost a week??!!) is just going to have to become part of my memory pool. I don't have the energy or the sharp memory I used to have, but I will mention one particular little rant that got my dander up... imagine my elation when tuning in to the ACM Awards on CBS that night (after a RIDICULOUSLY disappointing hour spent watching THE lamest American Idol semi-finals show EVER!), to find out that Rascal Flatts was going to be performing not one, noooo, but TWO, count'em t-w-o songs for the show! They went from playing "Me and My Gang" in front of the MGM to being on stage inside to perform "What Hurts the Most". There they are... kicking bootie and taking names, when the train suddenly DERAILED! Out came Kelly Clarkson. Yes, Kelly Clarkson. No, I don't know why she would have been singing with them either. That was the problem. Here's how the situation works out mathmatically: Rascal Flatts=Awesome. Kelly Clarkson=Awesome. Rascal Flatts + Kelly Clarkson= Not so much, really. Sadly, the "duet" left me wishing we'd called it quits after "Me and My Gang".

Speaking of Idol... what an utter let down. In all honesty, I quit watching weekly (did I just admit to watching Idol weekly??!!) when Chris was voted off. Un-frickin-believable. I wanted an Elliott v. Chris showdown. The ultimate rocker (ok, so maybe not "ultimate"... but you know what I mean!!) against the former Karaoke King. I didn't even bother to tune in for Wednesday night. I was afraid I'd fall asleep and I had stuff to get done.

On the home front, the VP of Customer Service for my builder was in my home at 9:30 am Thursday morning to see how things went so horribly wrong with our house. I just realized, my post about the phone survey on Tuesday was part of what got eaten! OK... quick version: Tuesday afternoon, phone survey call for builder by third party survey company. Me: totally honest and hot under the collar about house situation. My phone: ringing off the hook by Wednesday afternoon from builder reps trying to figure out "how things have gone so wrong". Me: wondering the same exact thing. Now we're back to the VP in my home Thursday morning... THANK GOD someone finally said, "You're right. This isn't acceptable and we're going to make it right." Honesty among those in the construction industry is so amazingly refreshing. I was sick of people blowing smoke into every available orifice. Anywho... he brought the head of a "we-fix-all-the-crap-other-people-have-screwed-up" company with him and by next Friday I will hopefully have the house I should have had when we closed. The drum beats on... I'm sure there's more to come with this story. Stay tuned, kiddies.

So how does our three day weekend end up occupied by a wedding, a funeral and more mutants than you can shake a stick at?? I was wondering the same thing. That's how it went though... and the wedding and funeral were in the same church, with the same group of friends. Tell me that isn't a little weird. Death is such a fascinating mystery to me... not in a morbid way, but rather a mystical one. I'll spend some time soon putting my faith/spirituality hiccups into a post. Jamie doesn't want me to turn hippie-dippy on her, but I look at it more as being a progressive thinker. Is that just semantics? Kind of like janitor v. waste removal engineer? Oh well... in the words of a great philosopher, "I yam what I yam." Suddenly I feel like eating spinach... hmmmm.

As for the mutants... go see X-Men: The Last Stand. Seriously. Right now. I'll wait.

Thus starts a new week. Back to the grind. And not the good kind of "grind" either... more the "this sucks" kind of grind. Catch you on the flipside.

Stina out. (My new goal for this year is to be more like Ryan Seacrest. I'll let you know how things go.)

(Originally posted on my 360: Monday May 29, 2006 - 10:50pm EDT)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

hey baby, what's your sign?

So... today my friend Karen showed me my astrological birth chart, which she was kind enough to put together for me. I have so much weird stuff going on in my life right now, she suggested this past weekend that we take a look at what the stars have to say about my current situations! To make things clear... I am not the kind who would base my life decisions on an astrological reading, but I am open to hearing what the planets think about me! How VERY interesting and illuminating this experience was... kinda scary how accurate some of the stuff can be, too. I won't go into detail, but I feel much better about my "secret self". To think all this time I've been worried I'm a freak!! It turns out, it's all in the sign, BIG BOY!!

More stock for the shoppe arrived today. The momentum keeps building and building. I have Artgirlz and BasicGrey orders on their way, along with a bunch of Design Originals stuff. I better get busy photographing and sample making so that I am ready to go soon. I'll have bunches of cool charms, including a lot of SOB (Student of Buffett--my new catchphrase for describing my life. I am NOT a parrothead!) stuff.

Well... I had typed this whole totally cool entry about the rest of my day and Yahoo! ate it. It's too bad, because there were all kinds of cool links and everything. I was pretty charming, and witty, too. Really. It's a shame you missed it.

(Originally posted on my 360: Wednesday May 24, 2006 - 01:27am EDT)

Monday, May 22, 2006

the time is drawing near...

Well... I am getting closer and closer to the official launch of the "beautiful epiphany shoppe"!! My merchandise orders have started to arrive, so I spent a few hours this afternoon packaging and working out logistics. This is VERY exciting. I have wanted to have my own business for a long time now, and it's wonderful to have everything finally coming together!

I was here all day again today for more contractor work on the house. Our painter, Juan, showed up this morning around 8:30 (still WAY too early for my liking, but what can I do?), and spent the better part of the day painting our living room/dining room walls--AGAIN!! Four coats later, one of the walls is semi-acceptable, but the other one is still horrible. At this point I'm not sure what can be done other than having the drywall guys come in, sand the whole thing down and start over again. All I know is I am sick of being stuck at the house all day, day after day. It's one thing to choose not to go anywhere... it's another all together to not be ABLE to go anywhere! I'm not backing down, though. I've spent too much time making sure that everything comes together the way it should have been when we closed to give in now! The saga continues...

I had a FANTASTIC weekend! It didn't start out great at all... I had to make an emergency run to the vet with Casey Friday morning when she started pooping bright red blood. What causes something like that, you ask? According to the vet, stress induced colitis (which can be fatal for dogs) from having all of the workers in and out of the house. She had to stay with them all day for observation and is on antibiotics and special food for a week. Michael picked her up on his way home from the ballpark (the Big Orange Chorus sang the National Anthem for Friday night's game). I got to go out for a Mom's Night Out!! It ended up just being me and two other moms (Jamie and Karen A.), but we had an absolute blast!! We started the night with dinner at Kan Ki Japanese Steakhouse, headed to the Comedy Zone for Gary Valentine's 10:00pm show, and finished off the night hanging out a while before calling it quits. We were all friends when we headed out Friday night, but now we're great friends!! I'm so glad to have Jamie and Karen (aka Echo!) in my life!! Saturday afternoon Michael and I headed to Pat and Donna's to celebrate Donna's 41st!! I ended up in the pool fully dressed for the whole day... best bathing suit I've ever worn!! Everything I'm usually self-conscious about was covered, and I didn't get sunburned!! It was a wild afternoon, but it's always fun to spend time with Pat & Donna, Mark & Kristin, and Jennifer & Rich. We rang in Donna's new year in style. I think it was an afternoon we'll all remember for quite some time to come. Sunday was family day... a welcome reprieve from the rest of our weekend. Michael, Collin and I just took it easy with lunch at TGIFriday's, a marathon session at Books-a-Million and a trip to Target. Days like that are special in their own way. I'm so thankful for the life, family and friends I have.

Michael left for Dallas today on business. He'll be back late Wednesday. Hopefully he has a good trip. He's not a big fan of traveling for work... but he certainly seems to enjoy himself while he's gone! I wish the walls were done. I could get a lot accomplished before he gets back. Maybe I should use the time to situate my studio!! I'd love to paint the master bath, but somehow I just don't see that happening. Collin and I are having dinner with my mom tomorrow night, so that may have to be our "big adventure" while Michael's away.

I'm still trying to decide for sure if I'm going to my high school theater teacher's retirement party in Maryland on June 10. I'll have to make that decision soon, I guess!! It would be great to see him again and relive some old times. He dubbed me "Boom Boom" the beginning of my junior year, and the nickname has stuck with me to this day among the old Paint Branch High crowd... but that's another story for another time!

I have fatbook pages going in the mail tomorrow for a charity book the Altered Art Obsession group is doing to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. After my scare with ovarian cancer last year, this project is VERY near and dear to my heart. I used a vintage nudie mirror from Peru for the original and fabricated some fake nudie mirrors for the artist books. (The pages had to include a vintage nude image!) There's red vintage looking paper... some Italian text... eyelets, metallic threads and crackle finish-OH MY! I'll post a copy of the final soon, if I can figure out how to photograph/scan the mirror!!

As for ovarian cancer (from the OCRF website):

Ovarian Cancer: The Facts

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States, and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 20,180 women will be diagnosed with this cancer in the U.S. in 2006, and about 15,310 women will die from the disease. A woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 57; it is an insidious disease that often strikes without warning and without cause. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose.

Currently there is no effective means of early detection for the disease. As a result, ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 50% of women survive longer than five years. Today, only 25% of cases are diagnosed in the early stages, i.e., before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. However, if ovarian cancer is detected and treated early, the five-year survival rate is greater than 90%.

Until we have an effective way to detect ovarian cancer, we urge all women to become educated about the disease so she can act independently to protect her health.

Listen to your body. Do not ignore symptoms.

Signs & Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

• Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
• Abdominal bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, and/or feeling of fullness
• Unexplained change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
• Unexplained weight gain or loss
• Frequency and/or urgency of urination
• Unusual fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• New and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal vaginal bleeding

Do what you can to help yourself. Have annual gynecological check-ups and PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY! You are your own best advocate.

Ok, enough time on the soapbox... I'm off to "go horizontal", as my Italian Sister says!

Buon noche, mi amici!

Always, Christina

(Originally posted on my 360 Tuesday May 23, 2006 - 12:46am EDT)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

it's time for a beautifulepiphany...

Today is the beginning of another chapter. Time keeps marching on and you eventually realize you have no control over the pace. Your choice is simple. Sink or swim. I think I've been drowning for too long. I'm ready to not just paddle, but soar. It's like a part of me that died has been reborn.

Who were you before you put yourself last?

(Originally posted on my 360: Sunday May 21, 2006 - 11:42am EDT)