Friday, April 12, 2013

Spa day, without the spa

Today, I got a haircut, manicure, pedicure, facial, eyebrow shaping, and eyelash extensions.  I hardly recognize myself!  Seriously, the eyelashes are a bit much but what the hell, they'll be fun for a while.  It's nice to feel a little pampered and glam after having such a crappy week at work.

Why are surgeons such asses?

Why are administrators so clueless?

Why did I ever think nursing would be a great career choice?

I wish I were 20 years younger--not to be young again, per se, but to make different decisions.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012 official count

Well, between 5PM and 9:15 PM on Halloween, we handed out candy to 1,045 trick or treaters--a new record for us!  Sometimes when the holiday falls midweek, as it did this year, we have had fewer goblins visiting, but clearly that didn't happen this year.  It was chilly but not daunting, and a bottle of 20 year-old Graham's Port helped us pass the hours without too much distress.

I was too busy to take any photographs but the best costume was a kid in a Romney mask, suit and tie, with a nametag that said, "Hi!  I tell lies all the time!  I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message."  He got double treats for that! 

Lots of Captain Americas and Mario Brothers this year, I noticed.  Far fewer Disney princesses, Harry Potter characters, and Pirate lads and lassies.  Seemed to be a lot of ninja warriors, too.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting ready for......Halloween!

Halloween is a big event in our neighborhood.  No, I mean, REALLY BIG.  We have had over 1000 trick-or-treaters at our house in previous years.  Yes, you read that number correctly: over one thousand.  It's quite the parade of goblins, super heroes, famous personalities, princesses, axe murderers, and zombies of all sizes.  I purchase candy in bulk online and I'm not even going to write how much I spend because it's embarrassing.

There are lots of reasons our neighborhood gets so many kids.  There's a great density of houses.  There are sidewalks.  The houses fairly close to the street.  There's lots of parking on the street.  Many of us decorate and make our houses visible and welcoming.  And of course, the folks here generally have enough money to give out candy to all the visitors.  We're not talking full-size Snickers bars or anything extravagant, but it's not single sticks of gum, either.

My husband and I sit on the front porch from about 5-9 PM.  I have a crock pot of soup or stew for us to nosh on as needed.  We open a bottle of port to keep spirits high.  We invite neighbors & friends to hang out with us--the price of admission being a bag of candy.  It's just a great time, unique in my experience.  A huge percentage of the kids who come by are not from around here---I've seen buses pull up and discharge dozens of little ones, mostly black or hispanic.  This drives many of the folks around here crazy; they moan and complain about how they end up providing candy for what seems like the entire city of Durham.  Doesn't bother me in the least.  It's one night a year, and if these kids don't have a safe/convenient/prosperous place to trick-or-treat, I welcome them here.

Besides, I've gotten some great photos over the years!  Let me share a few with you.

This container is about 8" deep.

My daughter in her Lady Gaga Getup:

Betty and Don Draper came by, too:

Like I said, it's a great, fun night!  Wish YOU were here to share it with us!

Let me know about Halloween in your part of the country.......however you celebrate, hope it's fun, safe, and good weather!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Word of the Week

I've happily reconnected with one of the folks I met when I attended The Cabaret Conference at Yale in 2006, and I've been following her blog:

She's started a "word of the day" thread and I like that idea, especially since I'm such a wordy person.  I'm definitely not organized enough to highlight a new one every day, though, so this will be a "word of the week" venture.  But how to decide?  I could open the dictionary and randomly pick a word, I suppose.  But that seems like cheating, somehow.  Should it be a word I know and love?  One I don't know?  Technical?  Poetic?  Archaic?  Funny?  English has something like a million words from which to choose.....the possibilities are daunting.

For today, though, I will go with a ridiculously simple word, one which encompasses what both you and I are doing right now.  Ready, set..........READ.

To read.  Such a simple verb.  The object of many hours of labor to learn; the gift of a lifetime.  Everything we do, every day, requires reading.  You can't drive, or cook, or do your job, or effectively manage your life, without reading.  Reading takes you from the mundane to the heavenly.  I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have the incredible luxury of losing myself in some kind of writing, be it in a book or a magazine article or a recipe.  To read is to open up yourself to EVERYTHING.

It makes me sad when I talk to people and they say, "Oh, I'm not a reader."  How much richness they must miss!

So, let's hear it for books, for newspapers, for magazines, for Kindles, for libraries, and even for blogs!  Read something wonderful today, and revel in where it leads you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Post-concert nightmare?

So, my concert, "The Songs of Fashion", was on Sunday night.  I think it went fairly well--still have to listen to the recording--but there were 9 people there.  Honestly, I don't know why I die the thousand deaths I die making everything happen for every concert, and then I get a turnout in the single digits.  Between me, Holly (the venue owner), and Preservation Durham (the nonprofit), I'm sure we notified 1000+ people of the event.  I know the return on invitations is traditionally low, but 1% seems ridiculous.  I have to say I was pretty bummed, despite my determination (see previous post) to not let it bother me.  Came home, dropped everything on the kitchen table, took an Ambien, put on my pjs, and went to sleep.  Didn't take off my makeup or brush my hair.  Then the next day I had a complete meltdown at work when I read my sweet husband's note on Facebook, which read:

My wife, Ellen, sang her heart out last night in a Cabaret concert supporting Preservation Durham--a cause that is self-explanatory. Songs all about fashion--plus a heart-melting encore--Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields "The Way You Look Tonight." Thanks, dear one!


He's definitely a keeper.

Anyway, then I toiled all day at work, came home, couldn't sleep, finally fell into a fitful doze, and had THIS wicked nightmare: I was taking a house tour which, somehow, was being conducted by a man with a horse.  The abode we were wandering through was a mansion, with multiple rooms, all decorated in a very stark, modern fashion.  I was afraid of the horse at first but it was very friendly and the tour guide kept giving me treats like apples to feed the horse.  We got to the bedroom and I said I was really tired, so the man, the horse, and I all got into this ENORMOUS bed, so big that nobody was touching each other, and took a nap.  I got up to go to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror, my head had changed into half me and half horse........then I woke up, screaming. 

Any amateur Freuds out there who would like to analyze that charmer?

Wicked headache today since my sleep was so interrupted.  I may go take a nap now.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I paid more for these shoes than I have ever paid for a pair of shoes in my entire life, but they give me SO much sheer pleasure I think they were worth every cent.  Here's another view:

That's 4-1/2" of height enhancement!  Really bad for my knees but really good for my soul!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trying, always, to be fashionable........even in black & white