Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here's To "Auld Lang Syne"

Yes, probably one of the most worn out songs in history, "Auld Lang Syne". But it's traditionally used to mark the end of each year as the old blows out with the wind and the new rushes in. So, if you don't know what it means, The song's name is in Scots, and may be translated literally as 'old long since', or more idiomatically 'long ago', or 'days gone by'. Click here to learn more about 'Auld Lang Syne'.

So today, the year comes to a close and I wanted to wish each and everyone that stops by my 'Forrest' and says hello and shares a kind word, a safe, wonderful, prosperous and happy new year. As the song quips...

"And there’s a hand my trusty friend ! And give us a hand o’ thine ! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne."

May old aquaintances never be forgotten, and new ones be around long enough to become old ones... Have a safe and happy one everyone.

Best Wishes from Aunt Jackie and Uncle Richie :)

Friday, December 29, 2006

It Ain't Over Til It's Over

December 29 is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 2 days remaining... 2 days!!! That's all that's left in this year... just when I finally got used to writing 2006 as the year on all checks. It's scary how fast it has passed.

Is there any way I can briefly recap the events of 2006, sort of a 'year-end' remembrance? Not really, and there isn't anything that noteworthy in my datebook, so i'll leave that for the 'world news announcers'... Music and Art are more my topic anyway... so I was going to do maybe some sort of 'top 10 hits of 2006' but it's so trite... nobody cares... most of the hit bands these days are total dufus's that I don't listen to anyway. But while searching, I found something more my speed.

Being a fan of all kinds of music, especially Rock, Punk and Metal, I think there are alot of cool bands out there... young and old alike. However, when you are dealing with Metal music in particular, 'Black Metal', it gets way deeper than other genres. Black Metal, is a type of music that one must acquire a taste for. It takes some getting used to. There is brutality, possible satanism (or at least anti-christianity), and there is violence among these bands, specific to places like Norway and Sweden. They wear what's called 'Corpse Paint', which can make them look a bit cheesy at times, if not out-right hilarious. So the article I ran across, gives photo accounts of some of the most ridiculous "looks" that some of these black metal bands sport.

This is a must see... funny stuff. I give you TOP 10 MOST RIDICULOUS BLACK METAL PICS OF ALL TIME<--(Click Link): Warning, some of these are explicit and have nudity (giggles). Note: Aunt Jackie's personal favorites are #5 & #1* I should be back with more before our year comes to a close, but accept this as my little tribute to a world gone wrong in which we have to continue to have a grand sense of humor, about ourselves, about the world around us and most importantly... the ability to laugh our 'arses' off at our fellow man. Here's looking forward to a bright new year, I truly hope 2007 brings us all a little peace/piece/peas--whichever you prefer. ;)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Inconvenient Truth, Certain Apathy, Unyielding Faith

I'm sure many people have, by now, watched "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore. There are skeptics and believers alike of the contents of his documentary, and the facts therein. Skeptisicm can't be stopped. But no matter what you believe, the facts are that we can always improve conditions, or if every single person just did 'a little' to help out (whatever you can), on a daily basis, It could make a positive global impact.

If every single person on the earth thought "I'm just one person, I can't make a difference", then of course nothing would happen (on a mass scale). Same as if everyone on earth thought "If I do just one thing a day to help the environment, at least i'm doing my part", then globally, something fantastic just happened! So, never think that your efforts to help a certain cause don't make a difference because everything counts, and stacks up to make a bigger difference, somehow, somewhere. We have to try to retain some sort of faith! Faith in ourselves, and faith in our fellow man [even though, I know that is a most difficult task in this day and age].

Sure, I was reminded of all of these things by watching the documentary, but who cares? At least I was reminded. Look what it's doing to not only our environment, but the environment of our very important wildlife and animals. It's scary, and it's so sad. So i'm thinking of ways to help recycle, thinking of ways to reduce energy costs and conserve and possibly make my little contribution to a world-wide change for the better. I think that alot of the climate changes, and the natural disasters that seem to be increasing by the year are touched by these effects that we're having on the environment... I already felt that way even before I watched this.

Give it a chance, just check it out. Maybe if everyone does just 'one tiny thing' to contribute, then we can have more snow days, more Polar Bears and Penguins, less national disasters, more smiles and less suffering... I don't believe it is a lost cause.

Here's a link to check out the documentary if you haven't, or if you are interested. (Was out in May, but is now on DVD).
Learn more about the Documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth"

Great section on how to get involved. Click here to 'Take Action'.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One Is The Loneliest Number

Oh my... doesn't it feel like a ghost town around the ol' blog this week? I'm getting back in the swing, and just in time to get the New Year's holiday--so December and January are very difficult to recover from because of the holidays... I get totally spoiled. But where are the rest of you guys?? Hast thou deserted Aunt Jackie? I'm completely totally and udderly alone... Oh Woe Is Meee!! :)

Actually, it has been rather quiet here in the 'Forrest', but I know that everyone has been busy and playing their very own holiday survival game as well... I really hope each and every one of you had a great Christmas. We're all just holding hands with Father Time, listening to the death rattle and waiting for his last gasp which is this very next weekend... staring baby new year right in the crown!! I can't believe that 2006 has passed by so fast.

Resolutions become all the rage and the talk of the day, which I really don't play much part in--I think resolutions are unbearably useless... Nobody keeps with them anyway. My actions are always geared towards taking life "one day at a time". I do the best I can daily... no failed resolutions to cry over, just a wake up each day that I'm given the gift of a new day and try to keep on the positive. That in itself is hard enough... constant struggle, but you gotta keep going, no matter what obstacles you encounter. Most of the time, when we look back at past troubles, they weren't as bad as we thought, isn't that right?

So everyone try to survive the last few days of the year as well as you can, and i'll try to remember as my Mother always told me, "There are worse things than loneliness." I know i'll see you all soon... Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Still Stooges After All These Years

Before I forget, my music news of the day is Iggy and the Stooges have a new album coming out... This is their first album in about 30 years... Go Iggy!! I will have to check it out.

Read the Rolling Stone Article, "Stooges Back to Destroy" here

Happy Birthday!!!

I know, we just celebrated one birthday, which got more commercialized than anyone really wants it to be, but there are others. Others that are well worth mentioning. Today, I would like to say Happy Birthday to my Sister, Deb who's had one heck of a year... I Love you Deb... and i'm very glad to be your baby sister... My sincere wishes that we all have indeed a better year. You got alot of living to do, so get it started! I'm here if you need me.

Also, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to Barnze across the way at Barnze Towers. You give em hell B, today is your day... have a brew for me (since I don't drink that many), and please accept these warm wishes for a refreshed, happy new year... A fresh start, and a second wind. (Note: I'll be trying to get cracking on that painting soon... I haven't forgotten ya).

Now, cut the cake and eat a piece for me!!!
We can make it anything we want to... You, and everyone else that happens to be a day-after-Christmas baby have a beautiful day.... Love, Aunt Jackie

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On the 12th Day of Christmas...

Your Aunt Jackie gives to you... a dirty santa in a... well, he's really not in much of anything. Shocking, yes, Sexy??? Absolutely-NOT... Funny, of course! Have a good one and i'll see you all soon!

Tis The Night Before Christmas

Well, almost... as I write this, I still haven't slept, still have to cook, and prepare some things... but the hours are drawing to a close. We're nearly through Christmas... You still have to admit, even with the madness that it has passed quickly as usual... and we'll be a bit bummed when it's all over. With the 'goings on' of the next few hours, or really between today and tomorrow, I may not be able to really post alot, so I thought I would leave a nice holiday greeting up in case I don't get back until after the big day... I'll leave one for Christmas Eve, and one for Christmas.

Sincerely, I have enjoyed getting to know each one of you who come here and comment and read, you're a great bunch of people... I hope all of you have a most magical and wonderful holiday, and I wish you the best life can offer in this new year that's upon us... So, I couldn't get my cat to pose, per se' but I still made a greeting out of his pic... Rodney, and me, Mr. X and our dog Sal say "MERRY CHRISTMAS 2006!!!"

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fry Day Videos

Well, I don't know who's working or who's already off for Christmas holidays today, but I thought I would punk up Christmas with a couple of videos that I enjoyed...

My first selection is "The Clash" with 1977

And then on what I find ot be somewhat of a humorous note, I give you Billy Idol with "Jingle Bell Rock". hehe

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mom's the Word

Today was the first day of my Christmas vacation. I am off through the 26th, which is great... a nice 6 day weekend. Of course, time will fly, but I will try to make the best of it... Maybe it won't stack with the rest of the holiday blurs.

Anyway, since I had the time, I went down to see my Mom and Dad today and with intention of helping Mom out with a few things... We went to the store, and picked up things she needed for our upcoming Christmas Dinner, I tried to get a few things myself, but I am not good at shopping. The crowds and the lines and just the stores themselves give me The Willies.

I enjoyed spending some time with her, after the store we stopped off and had some fish, which is one of her favorite things to eat. Had to admit I was a bit peckish myself, so fish sounded good. (Catfish to be exact). Took Dad home a plate (shrimp is his seafood of choice). And I gave them a preview of the family-photo slideshow/DVD movie that I prepared for Christmas... I wanted to see what they thought of it first... I got good feedback... I think it's really going to be something my family enjoys and hopefully will cherish... it includes alot of photos from our family's beginnings up until the present time with the great-grandchildren (my great neices and nephews)... I put in a good amount of work on it... but it was a labor of love.

I'm looking forward to Christmas a little more now, and am feeling some relief... maybe it will spark up a bit of magic after all.

Speaking of magic, it doesn't get anymore enchanted than the 'baby Aunt Jackie' riding on her Inchworm in the kitchen, Mom in the background looking on (probably wondering how the inchworm is supporting my fat little legs and isn't buckling underneath me) haha... j/k. Well, I don't know, now that I look again, the Inch Worm does have a look of fear and pain on his face.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

People in Hell Want Ice Water

Have you ever wanted something, really really bad and you begged with all of your might only to hear the phrase "People in Hell Want Ice Water?" (or any close derivative, similar phrase etc)...
I didn't hear it so much, but Mr. J [who has respectfully requested that his name be changed from "Mr. J" to "Mr. X" because he says it sounds so much cooler]... so o.k. Mr. X--He had a bit more of what you'd call a rough upbringing than I did. I often lived in a childhood storybook, while Mr. X was sometimes in more of what you might compare to maybe say... "Pulp Fiction" or some similar movie. That's o.k., all's well that ends well you might agree.

Oftentimes, when Mr. X would beg for something even as simple as cheese on his McDonald's hamburger he says his mother would stoutly reply "People in Hell Want Ice Water." He in fact states that he heard this numerous times throughout his life.

"Mom, I want some candy."---> "People in Hell Want Ice Water!"
"Mom, I want a quarter for the gum machine." ---> "People in Hell Want Ice Water!!"
"Mom, I want to go to the hospital, cuz I just busted my skull open." ---> "People in Hell Want Ice Water!!!"

He says sometimes he wasn't even lucky enough to get McDonald's at all... and when he would beg to go for a Big Mac, his mother would go into the kitchen and concoct something that she meant to closely mirror if not take the place of a Big Mac altogether: 'The McHomeBurger". Mr. X says that it is very much like the description Eddie Murphy gave in a stand up act once, about the burgers that his mother would make for him. It begins with 2 pieces of weak, plain white "Wonderbread", with a heaped up 'ball' of hamburger meat, which got even smaller when it was cooked, but remained heaped up all the same. Then if it wasn't unbalanced enough, she would decorate it with big chunks of onion, cheese and then "Thousand Island" dressing to imulate the "Special Sauce" McDonald's boasted so highly of... As you can imagine, it turned into a bloody-looking, heap of meat which soaked the bread making it nearly impossible to eat, and even more impossible to pretend was a 'Big Mac'. Still has nightmares I think, some nights I hear him whimpering in his sleep, still mumbling about the cheese and frying pans and 'the bad man'... oh well, let's not get into all that-save it for another story.

Tells me some funny stories Mr. J--Oh, I mean, Mr. X... and as I reflected on them, I found this clip of the movie "Bad Santa", which I thought was befitting of such memories... This is one of my favorite movies, as Billy Bob Thornton is about as Vile as Santa can get.

Here's hoping that you get everything you want this Christmas, and that maybe people in hell get a little ice water... Isn't that what Christmas is all about?? Magic, miracles, giving and receiving and all that?? Here you go... Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Past

Christmas 1983 - Where were you? What were you doing at that moment?

I think I've been more emotional this Christmas than I have ever been so far. I don't know for the life of me, what's gotten into me... really. Found some old snappys while working on my photo-slideshow project. Even though they're just little snapshots of the Christmas trees and some of the presents, the nostalgia still makes me sad... You can just see the surroundings... like the linoleum on the floor, or my Lite-Bright in the background of one, and just the sad little tree... same one Mom would always put up every year... the spirit and the tradition that we put into our holidays as I grew up make it very hard to carry on with new traditions, or special moments... Seems as though my heart is much too full of the love and memories from all the Christmases past, and have left no room for the new... what am I to do...?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Funday is the First Day of the Week

Yes, I've officially changed the name of Monday to "Funday". If you can't beat em', join em... right? Why worry about all of the things you have no control over?? Why let things get to you and stress you out causing mental and physical harm to yourself?? Worrying only hurts you... Everyone else just goes on with their lives... so let's boycott the stress, the guilt and the worry. If you've ever seen "Office Space", you'll know that the main character "Peter", just decided that he was tired of it all and just not going to do any of it anymore... Wouldn't that be great?? We can at least try... Oh, well I'm feeling some better in the way of Holiday thinking (sort of as I stated above). I'll just do what I can do, and the rest i'll leave for someone else to stress over :) Is that person going to be you?? Or will you join me in the ranks of the 'Let it Flow" movement?? It's your health... hehe. Well, i'll see you on the other side! Meanwhile, view a quick clip from "Office Space", and i'll be back in a bit.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Been Swamped!

Oh joyful joyful...
the headaches and strain,
I'm all caught up in the holiday pain.
The errands and duties,
that all are a "must"
have been given to me,
seems it's me that they trust.
Now i'm a bit out of pocket,
hope to be back soon.
Feel like a swamp creature,
from a Christmas Lagoon!!! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remember Memphis Manny?

Alot of folks already know about this, but I thought I would update those of you who might not be near or have heard the update on our visiting Manatee we had back in October. He became known as "Memphis Manny", and he caused quite a stir with his unseasonal and strange surprise visit to our increasingly cooler fall waters of the Mississippi River. They had planned to try and safely transport him back home, when he went missing. They were unable somehow to find him in the search, which I found somewhat odd, thinking maybe that they should've tried harder... Weeks passed and nothing, until just the other day, they found his body on the banks of a nearby lake just south of Memphis. Very sad... I feel sorry for the poor soul, and hope that nothing foul was done to him... I guess they're going to investigate and see how he may have died. If anyone is interested, you can Read the story on the discovery of Memphis Manny's body here.

Rest in Peace Manny. :(

Soundtrack of My Life

Well, we're inching in on a whole new year, as the moments are simply fleeting past... So before you know it the year will be 2007. Go ahead and get a jump on it, practice writing it and all. In my experience, we barely get used to the current year on the ole check books before we have to start all over. At any rate, I ran across a link: 10 Must-Do Adventures for 2007. Hmmm, not that I would have the extra cash floating around to try any of these, but if I could, I think I would give #9 a try (odd enough as 9 is my favorite number).

#9 "Scare Yourself Silly: 2007 marks the 110th anniversary of Bram Stoker's Dracula. To celebrate, the Transylvania Live tour company invites intrepid travelers to spend Halloween in Transylvania with Vlad the Impaler. The tour travels along narrow winding roads deep in the Carpathian Mountains, plunging into the heart of Transylvania. The package includes tours of legendary Transylvanian castles, a Halloween Party in Sighisoara (Dracula's birth place), instruction in the correct way to make a vampire-killing stake, and a visit with Dracula's descendants. Survivor's Certificates are handed out at the farewell dinner that concludes the tour. The 10-day trip is priced at $1,884 (US), per person. Price includes accommodations, meals, activities but not airfare. "

Sounds pretty cool... I'm sure the list has something for everyone's fantasy--or reality, if you are able... so check it out.

Last night, I was dabbling around wasting a bit more valuable time, and I ran across a random blog where the girl created a 'Soundtrack of her Life'. I had been thinking on this myself, just in the idea that if my life had a soundtrack, what music might I compile to go on it... I love soundtracks... and music, so I gave it a couple of shots... The way I did it, was to list some categories/questions and then put my Media Player (insert mp3 player, other) on "Shuffle", and then try to use each random song in the field next to my 'category'. I'm sharing the first one, which I didn't quite tweak as much (cheat if you will), and it was a bit more whacky... Here is one result. I give you the Soundtrack to:

"The Aunt Jackie Diaries" :)
Waking Up: The Most Wonderful Day of the Year (standard christmas)
Early Childhood: With My Own Two Hands (Jack Johnson/Ben Harper)
First Day at School: Bad Connection (Yaz/Yazoo)
Falling In Love: Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC)
Fight Song: Broken (Jack Johnson and Friends)
Breaking Up: I Stole Your Love (Kiss)
Prom: Waiting for A Girl Like You (Foreigner)
Life: No Rainbow (Deadboy & The Elephant Men)
Mental Breakdown: Winter Kills (Yaz)
Driving: Got To Choose (Kiss)
Flashback: Holding Out For A Hero (Bonnie Tyler)
Wedding: Wrong Turn (Jack Johnson & Friends)
Birth of Child: Poor Twisted Me (Metallica)
Final Battle: Fire (Jimi Hendrix)
Death Scene: That's The Way I Wanna Rock-n-Roll (AC/DC)
Funeral Song: I Would Have Loved You Anyway (Trisha Yearwood)
End Credit: What the Stars Have Eaten (Dead Boy & The Elephant Men)

(remember this was mostly random & I mainly used her category ideas, but it was indeed from my media collection hehe--no making fun!!! Plus i'll probably do this 100 times before I get one I am 100% satisfied with. It's just for fun though)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's Like A Heatwave

12 Days
9 Hours
22 Minutes

'What's with the countdown?' you ask... Well, it's how long I have until Christmas. Less than 13 days until Christmas [as I write this]. Why then, do I still see no snowflakes? Why then, are the temperatures dancing around in the mid-60s? The only thing I want to see in the 60s in December are maybe videos from The Doors or Jimi Hendrix (a few others perhaps)... but NOT the temperature. What do I have to do to see some freaking snowflakes around here??

I guess I may as well stop with the whining... I know what i'm bargaining with living in this area of the country. If I want a blizzard, I should be in Colorado or Alaska :) Ok, so enough of that. I've got to stop being a Holiday mood-killer.

I have yet to send out my Christmas cards, mostly because i'm still trying to locate them within the chaotic realm that I call home. Come to think of it, I've only received a couple cards in the mail myself, so I guess everyone is running a bit behind schedule (whatever 'schedule' is). Still haven't finished my gift shopping, still haven't gotten all my little projects complete. But I'm still full of high hopes... never giving up on my procrastinating, impossible self... I think I can, I think I can (heard that before).

Not much else to tell today, Mr. J and I went for our evening workout yesterday after running yet more errands, and we did chest press (with barbells), Deadlifts, and rows so my muscles are quite sore today, but I have a feeling they'll be even more so' tomorrow. I happen to enjoy this muscle pain, there's something satisfying about knowing that you worked out well and have burning muscles to show for it. I'm still having problems going to bed early enough, and getting up early enough to go walking before work in the morning. I know I need to knuckle down and change my sleep patterns, but insomniac habits die hard. Anyone with good suggestions is welcome to offer up some pointers on sleep habits!

I'm off to... well, not sure really... but whatever it is, i'm off to it... You guys stay safe and keep those smiles taped on securely! :)

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
-Dr. Seuss (from 'The Grench That Stole Christmas)

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Mean Monday Cloud

I've had a cloudy head today, just a tiny headache really, maybe some caffeine will rid me of that... a bit later. Do you ever just feel like your head is spinning from so much to think and do? Probably all part of my self-diagnosed A.D.D., but I just can't seem to concentrate much on the things I need to do most. Feels like the world is on 'high-spin' cycle and I need it to slow down just enough for me to bail. That's right, jump off and take a backseat so I can watch from afar for a while. The hustle and bustle never looks as exasperating that way. If you've ever been extremely far up in the floors of a tall building, or atop a large structure, looking down and observing as the rest of the world goes about their business, it's a peaceful feeling... like you're removed from it... sort of. Like the part of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where they're looking down on the city from a window of a skyscraper, stating that the city looks so peaceful from up there, it's true. Everything looks like busy ants... I'm thinking more of a distance like the moon, maybe kicking back in a recliner, maybe some of that hot cocoa i'm always blabbing about, listening to some relaxing music or perhaps bouncing around in my astronaut suit enjoying the merits of being 'weightless' (that's a good one)... and simply seeing the earth from the moon, getting a distorted image perhaps of the earth being peaceful and quiet... the buzzing is just getting to me. I feel like I have too many things to do and I can't stop freaking long enough to concentrate and take it 'one at a time'. Hopefully, someone understands what I'm trying to convey... I know it sounds a bit looney. That's alright, the world needs lunatics like me too.

On the subject of Mondays then, since it is still Monday in my little world, I have to share with you this photo sent to me by a friend (Hello Kim). I found this to be quite humorous, and it sums up how I usually feel on Mondays... and gives me some way of excusing myself if I happen to hide under my covers and miss that day of the week altogether... So I give you, "The Mean Monday Cloud" She sent it to me, including the following caption:

Go back in and have another cup of coffee.
It is probably not going to be a good day!

My sincere wishes to you all to have a glorious, cloud-free week :) xo, Aunt Jackie

*Oh, and from the previous clips, I thought anyone who hasn't seen "A Christmas Story", should go and check it out. Rent it, watch it on T.V., no worries, it will be everywhere at some point during the holiday season. But I highly recommend that you at least watch it once... Most of you will be suckered into watching it many more than that. Click Here to check out the movie, "A Christmas Story". Nana forced the grandkids to watch it over the weekend, and that's exactly why I have so many fond childhood memories of my sister-she always knows just how to brainwash us "kids". :)

Duck the Halls n'Stuff

This is from "A Christmas Story", from the scene where the turkey had been ruined, and they had to go out for chinese for their Christmas Dinner. The singing is funny, as well as their shock when faced with the main course. Of course, kids keep laughing. :)

Now this is a more serious scenario (lol). Kids, always the pranksters, always daring each other, doom a fellow classmate (same movie). I'm sure we all remember the 'double dog' and 'triple dog' dares... Enjoy.

Friday, December 08, 2006

O' Christmas Family Tree

I'm still sitting here brainwashing myself (or trying to) with the 'soothing sounds of Christmas'. I know what you're thinking, "Jackie, it shouldn't be that hard to get in the spirit." Ok, well maybe it shouldn't be. It is somehow.

As hard as I try to continue with my childlike spirit and immaturity, I struggle in matters of Childish heart... If I listen to the music, all it does is remind me of my Mother and make me wish I was still at home, lying on the floor in the Livingroom under the brilliance of the Christmas tree lights, listening to Mom's Christmas albums on her old stereo, she had em all and they stayed on rotation, playing... as I said, she always has music playing. I could lie for hours staring at the lights, listening to the music (Rockin Around The Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree, Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy, Silver Bells... etc).

The temperatures this week have been pretty cold too, so that is helping some. As I said yesterday, snow would REALLY make me feel happy I think, but the cold is good... Still why isn't it all enough? I can't get my shopping done, I can't get in the mood 100% (or even close). I only get sad thinking about how Christmas used to feel, how it was always so happy, waiting for everyone to come home to Mom and Dad's and laugh, feast, exchange gifts (even if they were simple ones). I would usually end up playing the piano while my neice, Ginger and I would sing songs and my sister Jeanne would join in. Smile on everyone's face it seemed.

Now, I feel bad because I think my parents are missing everyone being around as much. My Mom especially, has lost a few people in the last couple of years, her mother (my Grandmother) passed nearly 3 years ago and there were some related bad family blood that came with it; Then, my Aunt (her sister) passed on due to cancer, about a year and a half it's been. A couple of my cousins were lost as well to cancer. Then her neighbor that she used to quilt with, Miss McDaniel, was placed in a convalescent center by her son, and then her other neighbor down the road passed away this last year. Well, all that combined with the strain of worrying with my father in his diabetic condition and related episodes he has had, even though he's doing better. Guess it's all taken it's toll. I feel like she is depressed more, and really isn't feeling much of the spirit herself. I've always counted on her to stay uplifted-she was always able to. Now she really needs us to help her stay afloat I think... Just seems like she (they) are more lonely, and the family is floating further and further away, into their own little universe of sorts. Nothing is the same... nothing will be the same again. I know-Change is imminent, I guess, it is the only thing we can truly count on... right? But still, it doesn't make it hurt any less. And it doesn't make this damn Christmas music any less painful. Why the hell am I listening to it again?

I want to go home and help Mom and Dad make fudge and decorate the tree and force her to put on her christmas albums... Adulthood sucks. Why don't parents tell this to their kids? All they say is "You have your whole life ahead of you, the best is yet to come!!" --who determined that?!?-- In reality, we just hurdle towards death in bodies on the decline graced with pain and impending old age... It's very scary.

I want my Mommy. :(

[I give you O Tannenbaum, to a video from Charlie Brown's Christmas. Be Merry for me]

Quotes of the Day

Be happy, it is Friday, right? I'll get it started today with a few quotes that I thought merited posting... i'm sure there's somethin for everyone :)

"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet."
-Rodney Dangerfield

"When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it."
-Bernard Bailey

"I hate music, especially when it's played."
-Jimmy Durante
(This one of course, is not for me-but Durante was somewhat of a funnyman)

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."
- Oscar Levant

"It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all."
- Samuel Butler

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Praying for Snow

Dear Readers:

I can't seem to make it happen. I've been praying and praying. We're having "little bouts" of cold spells followed by warm trends, which are simply perfect... that is-if you want to catch your death of flu. All we need is at least one beautiful, glorious face-cracking snow. What's the deal? We live on a river bluff, basically. Seems that treacherous weather always passes us by, tornados aren't so bad, really detrimental conditions, but in the case of snows it greatly dissappoints me. I am a Winter baby! I need to go outside and build a snowman and have a snowball fight... I'm going to throw a tantrum if I don't get it. So if anyone out there knows a reliable magic spell for snow, i'll partake of it [Can I do that without it turning into grey or black magic? Can I get away with an innocent little snow spell and escape Karmic debt?]. If so, then HELLP!! :)

I've also been sousing myself in all of those classic Christmas movies like "A Christmas Story", and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer", "Bad Santa", etc...etc... in an attempt to breathe in some sort of Christmas spirit. At present, i'm avoiding 'The Grinch that Stole Christmas' in fear that I will become even grinchier myself [which may not be possible at this point]. Too much to do, and too hard to get in the spirit. I'm really trying everyone... honest I am.

Ok, to illustrate my feelings, I will show you the following photos.

Where I live:
Where I want to live:

Praying Desperately for A Blizzard

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Errr... Wednesday

Hope you're all doing o.k. this week. Not feeling that great today myself so i'll be back around maybe tomorrow. It's Hump Day! Half way there, I know... Don't worry It'll be over soon. Hang in there guys.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If I Was Your Girlfriend

Understandable that everyone has extremely varied music tastes. As for myself, my mother is a huge music lover. She always had music playing all over the house. Even put a radio in my crib when I was a baby, hoping to influence me, maybe give me some talent or inspiration as she hoped that I would become the next big sensation.

I never hit the 'big-time' per se, but the efforts didn't go in vain-I am a piano player, love to sing and happen to have extremely varied music tastes. Quite ecclectic tastes, in fact, ranging anywhere from Louis Prima, or Dean Martin to Al Green, Marvin Gaye to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Lamb of God, Six Feet Under. Basically, too many to name. My moods vary daily... Today, I'm feeling a little "Prince-like". I think he's a great musician and showman... and I love the following song, "If I was Your Girlfriend."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday's Musical Challenge

It's Monday, so I thought i'd bring you something to take your mind off of it. A puzzle... a challenge, whatever, maybe you'll like it. Maybe you'll do better so far than me. Now, you should click and enlarge the thing so you can see more detail.

This is kinda tough, I know a few of the bands are in your face and really easy but some I can't do... My friend Jessie sent it to me, and I know it's been floating around so if it's overload, sorry, but I thought it might be a good Monday time-waster. If you can find them, there are supposed to be 74 bands in this pic... See what you can find. Good Luck, Happy Monday and Happy Hunting!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Tale of One Christmas

Ok, it's storytime kids!
(Originally written December 20, 2004)
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope it was the winter of despair..." (Dickens-Tale of Two Cities)

Waking up early wasn't hard as the excitement filled the air. It had been nearly impossible to sleep the night before, with the impending mystery of Christmas morning upon me. Most of the night was spent tossing and turning (without benefit of any dancing sugarplums)... forcing myself to remain in bed so that he wouldn't pass me by! "How long could the night be!?!" I wondered, frantically.

Just like clockwork, I sprung forth at dawn to go and see what wonderful gifts that Santa had brought for me. For a child about my age, lo and behold there was a 'Ripley's Believe it Or Not' type Christmas morning waiting for me... Under the tree, gleaming forth was a Go Cart (and a few other things I'd asked for-but a 'go cart'? Under the tree??). I couldn't believe my eyes! How it had gotten under the tree, I wasn't sure. But it was there! That's all that mattered. I'm certain upon looking back that I caused an Earthquake throughout the house trying to wake my parents.
The outdoors wouldn't, couldn't wait! I must get outside right this second and begin making tracks all over the ten acres that we called home. Dad could no sooner get the go cart outside and get the tank filled with gasoline than I seized the vehicle (which to me, became my car in many imaginitive childhood episodes).

All over the pasture and the yard... Up and down the driveway countless times. Nobody could make me come inside on this particularly magical Christmas day. I stop here and there very briefly only to exclaim "This is the Best Christmas I've Ever Had!!!" This childlike ecstacy must have gone on for a couple of good hours while my equally-energetic companion, "Midnight", a catahoula curr-mix dog followed along in innocent canine glee. Most of the places I drove the cart, he was right there, circling me and making doughnuts around my path. Just then, he made one wrong move in the opposite direction and as I was turning, 'KAPLOWW!!' I hit him (or he hit me--I can't remember exactly).

Devastation seized me and stole the 'Joy to the World' that had been mine that sunny day. I stopped the cart, cried and screamed "This is the Worst Christmas I ever had!!!" At that moment, I guess it was. I was so obliterated that I had run over my poor Midnight.

He was just fine, though, and as always, my Mother came to his aid with her natural healing abilities. So many beasts, fowl and humans have regained their health by her hand. The dog suffered a broken leg, which soon regrew with a bit of mom's doctorin' and homemade 'stent'. In fact, he was chasing me around again in no time.

Many Christmas's have come and gone since then... Many Joys, Ringing Bells and Silent Nights now past. However, when the wind blows cold and I see children playing in countless yards on any given day in December, I always envision that perfect and yet heartbreaking day that I (one lucky little girl who was given perhaps a bit too much automotive power) experienced in one day, the Best-and yet-The Worst Christmas in the whole wide world.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Night's Alright For Alot of Things

Getting a late start today, I wanted to get around and get a few Seasonal things done and clean up around the house, but so many things are pulling at me. I sincerely detest the telephone... Everytime it rings I tense up wondering what the hell is coming out of the woodwork next... Sounds negative eh. Well, I am pretty reclusive and avoidant of the human race by nature, but whenever I get where I'm going, i'm usually alright. I love my privacy though, and I have to have some quiet time or I get pretty evil :)

In honor of Saturdays and all, I have decided to throw in a little video of "The Who" doing Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright For Fightin." I like both, but they did pretty good on this one... enjoy, and before the day is over i'm going to give you a little 'Aunt Jackie Christmas Tail' (Does she mean Tail or Tale?? Hmmmm hehe wait for it).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snowed Under?

This isn't my pic, but it was nearly the only one I could find of anything related to Memphis and snow today. You see, we were sort of "promised" some severe weather and I half-expected I might be lucky enough to see snow today, but no such luck (let's not talk about luck again). The picture that you see above is a shot of Court Square in a bit of snow. It was cold enough this morning, but no precipitation fell, so here I am with a dissappointed tear in my eye. :)

Oh don't weep for me, i've had alot of fun in my life so far, and hope to have much more. Although, we sure seemed to get alot more snow around the area before I was born up through childhood, even in high school I remember some fond 'snow days'. Once I remember my Dad rigging up a 'system' to the back of his tractor, where he hooked my sled to it, and he drove us all around the snow. Then, with frozen faces we went back into the house where my Mother made some of her REAL hot cocoa with the cocoa, sugar and milk... Steamy hot cocoa sure took the chill off long enough that I'd go back outside for more. What happened to the snow? We never get snow anymore around here... I'm tempted to move to Alaska!!

Awareness Is Good, Right?

Sometimes we wish there was a little more awareness... but it's not gonna happen, let's just face facts. Still, i'm always willing to do my part... put in my 2 cents worth of "useless trivia". I know, you haven't had your dosage of useless Aunt Jackie facts in a while... I've had some half-way original and entertaining thoughts, but for the last couple of days I've been at a loss and otherwise busy getting work done. That's right, me... it is hard to believe eh? :) So let's have some awareness... The United States, being probably one of the most over-indulgent nations, maybe even the fattest-I'm not sure(?). However, once overindulgence takes over, then the time comes that a group of concerned do-gooders must step in to attempt to make others "aware" of an issue or problem. Today, is one of those fine days in the U.S. I give you: National Methamphetamine Awareness Day [my question--do I get a day off for this? And are there any free samples? ha-ha... kidding!].

Also, be aware that today's date, November 30th is special for many reasons... #1, Dick Clark (1929), American television host & Billy Idol (1955), British Rocker were born on this day. However, it would seem that they switched musical tastes almost to hear samples from Billy Idol's [Nice Day for a White...Christmas??], which threw me for a loop-and maybe into a bit of shock. I like Billy... don't get me wrong, but watching his classic 'twisted lip' as he attempts to ring in the spirit just leave me a bit unsettled... Come on Billy! Put back on the Leather and give me a 'Rebel Yell'.

A couple of other monumental events that happened on this day:
So today is the last day of November... it has slipped away all too quickly, once again for me... Time just keeps on slippin into the future (for lack of better phrasing)... It's scary really... Just 31 days left in 2006. To me, it seems like it was just 1996 or even 1986... where did it go?? Then again, what will a whole new year bring, and just how fast will it seem to pass off?

Finally, tomorrow's Friday, so I hope to have some time to put up maybe a story for you guys... Hope that you're all doing well, and those of you who have been 'under the weather', get back in tip top shape, Aunt Jackie's orders! Speaking of weather, we've been told to expect a bit of wintry condition, but in Memphis, that could mean wear a bikini tomorrow, so we'll see (i'm in the midst of invoking a blizzard myself). Until tomorrow... xoxo

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Far Would You Walk?

This one's for Chelly-I was reminded of the movie "White Chicks" starring the Wayans Brothers, and in it there is a scene that makes me laugh every time I see it. It's the scene where one of the Wayans brothers, dressed like a white girl for undercover is on a date with Terry Crews, who won 'her' at the auction. So as he is trying to 'turn off' Crews in the scene by playing a song that he thinks will disgust him, all of his attempts backfire. Watch and laugh (if you have seen this movie, it will be funnier).

Plumbing and Headlights and Headaches, Oh My!

(Meanwhile... down at the Plumbers Local 667th...)

Is my time valuable? (don't answer that-lol). The answer is invaritably, "Yes!" Therefore, when given the choice, I always opt to "do it yourself" rather than bother with the pains of a plumber (plus, you know with their 'crack problem' and all, I really prefer to stay away from the stuff). ;)

Really though, I spent the better part of a valuable afternoon 'attempting' to go and find a stem for a particularly antique faucet that goes on my Clawfoot Bathtub (which I can't live without now), only to find that this particular stem was about as easy to get my hands on as the Hope Diamond. Yet I wasted alot of gas driving all over our fair city trying to score this 1 tiny piece of hardware... the only thing standing between me and a luxurious, wonderful, skin-scalding bubble bath. In the battle, so far I lost, it won, and we had to order a whole new faucet to replace the old one, which will take possibly over a week now to arrive. Antiques? I'm not very impressed at the moment. Had a nice long day of it with errands and then finally a cell phone upgrade, and still didn't get it all done. I intended on having a headlight fixed but didn't get to that part, and feel virtually unaccomplished.

So here I sit, merely one headlight, unable to have a soothing soak and a brand new cell phone that I have not yet learned to operate... and a headache :) But i'm having a nice big slice of organic roasted vegetable and goat cheese pizza, which is making it alll better. I love goat cheese! Can't get enough of the stuff lately... wonder what that's all about? Until tomorrow then, when maybe i'll have something more entertaining to share.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Top 10 - Things To Do In An Elevator!

  1. When there's only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn't you.

  2. Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.

  3. Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.

  4. Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you're on.

  5. Hold the doors open and say you're waiting for a friend. After a while, let the doors close, and say, "Hi Greg. How's your day been?"

  6. Drop a pen and wait until someone goes to pick it up, then scream, "That's mine!"

  7. Bring a camera and take pictures of everyone in the elevator.

  8. Move your desk into the elevator and whenever anyone gets on; ask if they have an appointment.

  9. Lay down the twister mat and ask people if they would like to play.

  10. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on, ask them if they can hear ticking.

*Thanks to Narayana for this contribution

Monday, November 27, 2006

Spinning Myself into a Blissful Stupor

I just realized, I don't spin anymore. You know, the kind of spinning we used to do when we were little kids. Just spin yourself out of control until you collapse to the ground so dizzy you can't see straight and then look at the horizon and watch everything in sight rotate, and it would just take your breath away, and your stomach along with it. Then lie there until you were stablilized and had 'come back down to earth', then do it again... Why would we willfully choose to induce this 'vertigo'? It was liberating... it made us laugh. How many REAL 'natural' highs like that do we get in our life? Not really that many (well, I guess it depends on the person and how we see things). Let's see theres the spinning thing, sneezing, first kisses, successfully humiliating someone who's publicly made a fool out of you (that's right, revenge!), and Ice Cream-it's natural, I buy all natural, so that counts. There are a few others. Not like that time little Billy Stanford got in trouble for snorting the dust from the chalkboard... that doesn't count.

Another thing that I don't do anymore that maybe I should? Lying out in open fields and staring up at the clouds, making things out of them-you know, faces, works of art, monsters... whatever. It gives you perspective and keeps you in touch with your inner child. And playing with Play-Doh or Modeling clay. Nothing cleanses the soul like a cold blob of the stuff that you can mold into simply anything you want to... you're the master. Sculpt at will! Either that or going outside barefoot in the grass.

How many countless hours did I ride around in my car wasting gas when I was younger? Just riding and listening to the radio, letting the world cruise by right alongside of me. I can't really do that now, because i'm far too concious of rising gas prices and am too filled with road rage to enjoy the ride, but I should. I really should.

This year, i'm writing a letter to Santa! I'm gonna ask for the following things: a Lite-Brite (go-on click it, you gotta!), an Easy-Bake oven, a Play-Doh 50th Birthday fun pack, the game 'Candyland', an Etcha-sketch and some 'Weebles' (if you remember these, Weebles Wobble but they don't fall down!), as well I am requesting that he deliver me a REAL time machine, a live pony (not a dead one), and force 100% of the world population to be just 10% more courteous to their fellow man this year in my honor (just 10% i'm not asking much am I ?). Oh and some new clothes too, and a magic wand... and world peace... o.k... that's all. Alright so the world peace part was just a joke meant to take a small 'pot shot' at the Miss Universe-type pageants [So sue me-WAIT no, don't do that either I was kidding... everyone's so quick to drop a lawsuit these days. Really don't sue me. Please! (pretty please) I have enough to deal with and besides, i'm broke... dirt eating, brick-doll having broke].

All this in my continuing effort to fuse my adult self with my child self, get in touch with my higher concsciousness, and make my world a bit more magical. Well, I must run for now, I have some clouds that need busting, and later i'm going to make some really awesome mud pies. :)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Riding the Long Holiday Tunnel

<-(For the stress of the holidays) But, Don't get me wrong, the holidays aren't all that bad, especially with the days off and all. Just getting over Thanksgiving sort of--and I haven't had much time to get on the computer since then, so much family stuff going on after mine, then my in-laws stuff, I've had no chance to do some of the things I had planned... Slept late yesterday, and didn't get to go with 'Auntie Tamra' to the after-thanksgiving day hell-sales, I just wasn't able to function and then we had my in-laws by afternoon anyway... so if you're reading this Tamra, sorry I haven't had time to call and i'll e-mail you soon. As well to my neice Kristie for missing her After-Thanksgiving Waffle Breakfast! :(

Anyways, Christmas is creeping right upon us and can really throw you for a loop if you're not careful, so hopefully everyone will get all they need done and get everything from Big Bad Santa Claus that they've asked for [And hopefully nothing that you DIDN'T ask for-muuhahah].

Well, i'm off to grocery shop and try to get in a quick work-out, so i'll be back later when I have a bit more time... Hope everyone's safe and happy this weekend!! AJ

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Go Stuff Yourselves!!!

Or at least stuff someone you love :) I'm between feasts here, as my Mother had quite the spread-I should have some pictures from The Ruddicks soon hopefully, as my neice's hubby was snapping many a'photo. So far, the day is pleasant (no not pheasant), but we still have more on our eating agenda [stuff to the gills am I]. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day... and on behalf of Aunt Jackie and her entire family, we wish you a very...
Even if you don't celebrate it, hope you have many things to be thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chicken Run II (Fowl Revenge)

This Chicken is mad and he ain't gonna take it no more!!!
Hey, the kid deserved it anyway! rofl

"Karate will not do you any good my little pretty!!!! Heeeheheheheheeh"

Flocks of Turkeys Running for the Hills!

However, This one ran straight into a Bush... {Doh!!}

Thanksgiving here in the U.S. is just a day away... (counting down to Mom's Dressing!), and now that my wonderful lunch (below) has digested, and i've pretty much finished up my Tuesday, I had one more song I would like to reflect on-I get stuck on this song every once in a while--it's "Love is A Stranger" by The Eurythmics (Annie Lennox). There's just something about this song, if you've ever felt an obscession, a passion, a heated love (or something like it) for someone, you can understand what Annie is singing about. I know I do, and really just love this song... Hope you enjoy it--I'll be around tomorrow with maybe some funny Thanksgiving-related stories for you guys.

[*Note: as this is sort of 'vintage' footage, the quality isn't that great, but it was all I could find.]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Out To Lunch

Well, not literally now... was earlier... maybe mentally yeah! Speaking of lunch, tried out this Mediterranean place here downtown called Meditrina, was delish! I got this 'Meze' plate, which had olives, almonds, lentils, pita bread, hummus, some other sauce... yummy!! In the spirit of Barnze, I thought I'd make your mouth water here with a phone-snapshot of my plate. I'm about ready for an afternoon coffee now, maybe i'll be back in a bit with a few more words. Happy Tuesday! [Thanksgiving is almost here, nice little vacation].

Monday, November 20, 2006

What's Luck Got To Do With It??

Or maybe I should ask the question "What's Luck Got to do with US?", and by US, I mean My Dad, My sister (some of you know her as "Nana"), or me. Luck has nothing to do with US... not often. My Dad used to love this insane 'rednecky' show that came on t.v. called "Hee-Haw", and would always go around singing one of their main songs which quipped "If it weren't for bad luck, i'd have no luck at all..." I don't know if you can really call it bad luck, as I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that sometimes the supposed 'bad lucks' happen to deter us from even worse fates. So maybe we should refer to it as "Strange Luck", or just Uncanny episodes, which are what ensue anytime the three of us try to do things (mostly good things) [which is why I usually stick with evil hehe].

Nana and I were discussing this just today, when she told me of her latest episode, her 'dirty laundry' du jour, which I intend on airing in a few minutes right here for you. We were discussing how we have these ill-fated episodes, sometimes just fall into them when we call ourselves trying to the right thing, or at least we mean well... but it never pans out.

"Daddy!!" I said, "We get it from him, don't we? He was always fooling around and having the most comical episodes, and somehow, we've inherited his curse!"

"Maybe so..." Nana replied, memories of all our family's comedic events flowing back to her... too many to name, and wishing we'd gotten it all on tape somehow, so as to look back and get a good laugh one day. "Maybe we did get it from Daddy."

Is it bad luck? I don't know, you be the judge.

The best Dad in the world, who would never have led any of us into danger, long before I was born, took my other three (future) siblings on a camping trip. They aimed to 'rough it', and Dad was going to show them just how it was done. As the time came near to bed down for the night, Dad urged them all to go and brush their teeth with their fingers (the primitive way) in the nearby "fresh" lake water, which he swore to them was 'just as clean as the water at home'. They trusted him, and headed to the water to try out his suggested method. Brushing along, they look up and lo-and-behold, a nice-sized turd floats by. Needless to say, the brushing ceased immediately.

My parents were also big into horses, cattle and my father owned this old bullwhip, which she told me they were out in the yard playing with. Daddy comes outside, and once again in an effort to 'show them how it's done', takes the whip and brags about his accuracy. He points out a particular leaf in the tree and tells them to watch as he 'hits his mark'. [He always wanted to show us how great he was at everything, and he was, really he was]. So galliantly, he takes the whip and catapults it into the tree towards his target, only to snag the nearby hornets' nest which came crashing down on him inflaming an angry mob of hornets. My sisters left him for dead with the swarm, and Dad, well he proved that he could hit a hornet nest with enough force to make it fall, and in the end it was the Hornets who made their mark of accuracy all over poor Dad. In fact for days his neck was swollen as wide as his head, and he was unable to work for a few days (which didn't dissappoint him very badly at all, as he did enjoy a good vacation).

So it trickled down through the bloodline, as we've managed to deduce. I don't understand why we didn't see it sooner, as we reflected upon some of our own episodes (of course too many to mention, so I can only touch on a couple).

My very own stories, seem to pale in comparison with the magnitude of my father's, but I'll give up one of my own grown-up stories. About 10 years back, I visited some friends in Tampa, who I hadn't seen in some time. I scheduled this trip on the weekend of Mother's Day (which Mom still hasn't forgiven me for-it was the only Mother's Day I ever missed before or since). I was extremely excited to go, as this was my first time actually flying. Quick flight, just about an hour as I sat next to a nice man who allowed me to peek out the window, and no sooner than we were all the way up it seemed the plane descended. My friend picked me up at the airport. She had a couple of errands to run, and so we rode around in the hot Florida humidity in her non-air-conditioned Tercell. No matter, this is gonna be some fun trip and I was pumped... sweat and all.

That evening, we plan to go out to eat and have some fun, this time her boyfriend is with us so I am riding in the back seat. The air has cooled a bit as it is now dark, so I am not sweating nearly as bad as I was earlier... They wanted to stop by and check out a house that they were thinking of buying, so I agree. Some time passes, and I begin to notice a stinging sensation on my legs. *Slap**Slap**Slap* Hmmm, wonder what that is... Maybe that's the end of it. No such luck. More stinging, more biting... So I look down and there are ants crawling all over my legs. [Seems that her neices/nephews had been riding in the car earlier with some sweet concoction that melted all in the back seat]. Lucky me!

I was intent on keeping my spirits up and having a good time, however. Fast-forward to the next day. My friends both had to work that next day, but had planned to take the rest of the week off to visit with me. For now, I was alone in the apartment. 'What to do?' I wondered... They had a video game console, and he'd showed me the games he had, so I thought I would give it a try. I turned on the console, reached down and picked up the controller and got ready to start the game. I took a couple of steps backward, intent on finding a comfy spot on the floor to park myself, misjudged, lost my balance and fell through their glass coffee table. The glass shattered and I had cuts all over my legs. I wasn't sure of the damage, so I went to the bathroom and tried to wash my legs to see how badly I was cut ("Boy this sucks!! Why me?? WTF?!? All I wanted to do was have a nice visit with friends, a trip to Florida!) So, as I get the bleeding under control, I called my friend at work. "Hello?" she says.

"...h-hi, it's me. Listen, I don't know how to tell you this, and I feel really bad about it, but as I was about to play video games, I stepped back, lost my balance and shattered your glass coffee table... I got cut up pretty bad and..."

"Oh my god, are you alright?? Don't worry about the table, it can be replaced-do you need to go to the doctor?"

"No, I'm o.k. I think--the bleeding is under control, I'm bandaged up some but i'll be fine."

"Ok, well see you when I get home... ok?" She says.

"Ok." I reply... "I'm really sorry!"

Well, needless to say that I wasn't very comfortable at all with the cuts on my legs, but still tried to go enjoy a few things. We went to Disney with her brother and his kids, wherein we all got separated and it took us until nearly closing time to find them, so that was the last exhausting straw that broke the camel's back (so-to-speak). I had worn thin from my enthusiasm from the trip and elected to pay extra for an early ticket home. In fact, I was afraid if I didn't, I might not survive the rest of the week. She didn't protest either, and stated that maybe that would give them some time to be off and relax. Went home, apologized to my Mother for missing Mother's Day, haven't missed it since.

I have some others, but I will save them for a rainy day.

On to my sister, Vickie ("Nana"), who is my eldest sister. She gave us many fond memories of her very own episodes. Her two daughters and I (only a year apart, each of us), always loved to go to the store when we were very small. It seemed we were always going somewhere, but never got to go to the stores. In fact, my neice Kristie and I remember pretending to "steer" the car with our bodies, hoping--PRAYING that it would miracalously guide the car into the nearest grocery store or convenince store so we could get ice cream or candy. On this particular day, we were excited to be going to Kroger's grocery store (always a big event). Something was very wrong, though. Vickie had stopped the car, but she wasn't getting us ready to go in.

"Come on Vickie!!!" I plead, "Let's go in!" My neices were excited too... (pause)

"No, i'm sorry we can't go in" says Vickie, frantic... "We're going home."

"BUT WHY!?!?!?!" we all cry in our most annoying adolescent voices.

"I Peed My Pants!!! OKAY?!?!" [Silence... sad faces... it was no use, the party was over]. So much for bladder control, and so much for our big trip to the store.

I guess it's something we're blessed with for life, as she just told me today of her very latest episode. Now, i've told you before that our family is not big on drinking. My Mom has a glass of red wine once in a while "for medicinal purposes", and that's about it. When we do any drinking, it usually ends up resulting in some type of episode, whether it be the fault of us or those we're drinking with.

Oh, it's harmless enough but I got a giggle when she told me. Seems that she and her husband had done some "Marguarita" drinking over the weekend, and as she slept late she got up (I guess still slightly affected by the alcohol, and a bit giddy), she went to the window and saw my brother-in-law (her hubby) out in the yard working. Feeling saucy, she thought she'd give him a thrill and 'flash him some boob'. He got an eyefull he did (as much an eyefull as she could give him, as she's not extremely endowed in the hooter department). Unfortunately, so did their neighbor who was up in the shed, and at the window. Her husband later asked her "Did you not know he was there?" [Ahhh perhaps her very own version of Grandma's Gone Wild?? Sounds like a seller].

She replied frantically "No!! If I knew he was there, do you think I would've done that?!?" Everyone got an asthmatic cackle out of it needless to say, and she stated that she later went out to investigate the location he was standing to see if there was a 'good view from the window'. Indeed there was a very clear view.

I jokingly asked her if that was her "Signal" letting him know that breakfast was ready, and she laughed... Guess she'll know the truth if the neighbor begins to visit more frequently... or if he happens to stop coming by altogether!! :)
Or if he happens to make a wrong move, she can always just 'Bust him one (or two)' [or maybe not]...

Maybe you should all wish the three of us luck... then again, maybe we've already had enough!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One More for the Road

Sunday is drawing to a close for me, and once again the weekend has passed too fast. In remembering songs that evoke and stir pain in my heart, I also include Iggy Pop with "Candy". I'm sure i'll have more to say tomorrow... :)


Floating on a Cloud

I'm feeling rather emotional this weekend, which is "me" anyway, no use in hiding that. I've had lots of weird feelings passing through my mind about past moments and many good times (the best) that i've had, times I truly treasure. Jimi Hendrix is one of my absolute favorites, and a song that means so much to me on so many levels is "Little Wing", the lyrics, the song, what it has brought to my life I can't really put into words here, but it's very moving, has alot of meaning. I thought I would share it here, as I really can't sort my thoughts out well enough to put anything else up this weekend, so I'll listen to this song, and daydream about emotions, passions and wonderful times past...

Well shes walking through the clouds
With a circus mind thats running round
Butterflies and zebras
And moonbeams and fairy tales
Thats all she ever thinks about
Riding with the wind.

When Im sad, she comes to me
With a thousand smiles, she gives to me free
Its alright she says its alright
Take anything you want from me, anything

Fly on little wing,
Yeah yeah, yeah, little wing

Friday, November 17, 2006

Close Call Left Me Wondering

All I needed was another thing to make me worry about loved ones, or to obscess over death-related matters. Yesterday, Mr. J makes the "mistake" (as he put it) of telling me that he was 'nearly' struck by an 18-wheeler (large commercial truck). It seems that the light turned green for him, the truck ran the red light and they swerved to miss each other. He said it was so close that he could feel the wind even in his truck. We've discussed the bad drivers around Memphis, and that is no lie. I can understand that a truck of that size is unable to maybe stop at a red light if he is very close, but odds are he was probably plowing down the road at death-defying speeds when this happened.

Also, Mr. J has to be aware that people run red lights all the time, and to watch more closely before he begins to drive. He really could've been killed! It could happen anywhere anytime, I know, but the fact remains... it scared me thinking that I could have had a call in the middle of the afternoon to learn that my "Mr. J" was no more... Life is so fragile, and something can happen and take it away so fast (your own life or someone you care for). There isn't anything we can do about that fact, because what is meant to be will be. Most of us have in fact, already experienced losses, and that's been painful all on its own, maybe some are still dealing with recent losses too.

So, we can do this-we can be prepared, and always make sure that someone knows how we feel, how much we love them, care about them and how important they are in our lives. It is easy to argue and leave the house angry (which I never do), but my advice is to make sure that you feel that the last words you say to someone, you can live with-You should be able to have as little regret as possible 'Just in Case' (anything can happen). Not to think or live morbidly, just to live freely and not be afraid to let people know how you feel. It might make all the difference. Do it "just because", and not even 'just in case', just because it's better anyway to treat each other well...

Have a safe, wonderful Friday and please be very aware of everything going on around you... it's a danger-zone out there!!!

Aunt Jackie

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Holy Smoke! Today is...

That's right... today, November 16 is The Great American Smokeout. I had forgotten all about that really... just happened to run across it today.

Now I want you to remember, Aunt Jackie is a "live and let live" kind of girl, but i've never been a smoker... even though my parents have always been pretty heavy smokers (maybe not as bad as this guy)... Somehow, I just never picked up the habit. So i'm not a big fan of smoking. Mr. J quit smoking a couple years ago, without my heavy prodding-I let him make his decision, and he wanted to quit for better health. I supported him, and tried to help him stay the course, but I did not force him (as I said, I am all about 'live and let live'). But i'm so glad he quit, and he is too-he's got so much energy! The house smells so much better, he smells great (except on rare occasion) and I wish everyone I cared about that smoked could quit too.

Even though advertising has historically romanticized smoking, even making it beneficial or "sexy", we still know facts, we all know the statistics about smoking, we know what it can and can't do (or what research has shown anyway), which can change all the time [you know, the cancer thing, the aging thing, and just making you undesirable to kiss *wink*].

If you are a smoker, and you want to quit for whatever reason, then do so! I know it is very hard... and I know that a non-smoker does not understand just how hard it is... but someone you love or that loves you, would probably love to see you quit, and maybe it would make all the difference... At least give it a try.

After all, you don't want to end up looking like my 35 year old coworker here, do you?? I didn't think so :) Have a safe and happy one, and feel free to read more about the History of the Great American Smokeout here.

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act [please help]

Aunt Jackie & Aunt Tamra Need your Help! Normally, I don't try to prod you too much about serious matters on my blog, but this is important to us. You may or may not know what a big animal lover I am, but Tamra and I are greatly concerned with animal rights and cruelty. You've probably seen some of the related links to the right. However, those that have been fighting to continue helping stop fur farms, labs, puppy mills and many such similar entities, are being stopped in their tracks by the AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act).

Well their bill was passed just the other day (read here), The bill defines the 'causing of' any business classified as an "animal enterprise" (e.g., factory farms, fur farms, vivisection labs, rodeos, zoos and circuses) to suffer a profit loss, as a "terrorist" act. There is a chance to help, and I would love if any of you wouldn't mind taking a moment to sign a petition for me (Aunt Jackie) I signed it as well... your signature might help make a difference. I know everyone's busy, but it won't take but a couple minutes of your time.

You can read all about the AETA before signing here (as well as the article above):
The Animal Terrorism Act (S. 3880 & H.R. 4239)

Then you can sign at the following link:

Animals Matter, please help by signing this petition!

They can't speak for themselves, our voices are needed. They need our protection. Thanks for listening, and for helping if you can... A.J. (See the Care2 page on this if interested AETA Passed - Where do All the Protestors Go?)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Word of the Day

Word verification words aren't always notable, but one that I just ran across today I thought was pretty good. "Furmpeyn"... hmmm, I could make some things out of that. "Doc, I got a furmpeyn in my chest, right about here." Or perhaps, "I was at the grocery store, and I ran into this Furmpeyn man (literally) with my basket, and he cussed me out!!! Good thing I don't know the language, because he'd have been in for it!" And of course I can't ignore the f... "Honey when you get home tonight, you're so getting furmpeyn!!!" [What?!? o.k. so I got bored--i'm sure you can come up with a few too] :)