Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend Reading List

Glen has two shows in Nebraska and will be there until Sunday, so I'm a bachelorette for the weekend!

I'm planning on getting some yard work done today while it's nice out. It's supposed to rain Saturday and Sunday, so that means I'll be doing an awful lot of reading:

The plan is to finish reading Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson first, since I'm almost done with that.  I really enjoy his books, they strike a great balance between being informative and entertaining. 

Up next is The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch) by Caroll Spinney.  This one's an interlibrary loan (no renewals!), so I want to make sure I get through it first, but it looks like it should be a quick read.  And as was the case with Kevin Clash's My Life as a Furry Red Monster, this one will probably make me cry.

Finally, I'm going to read the latest novel by Sophie Kinsella, I've Got Your Number.  As someone with a bachelor's degree in literature, Sophie Kinsella novels probably fall under the "guilty pleasure" category.  I don't read a ton of chick lit, but I can't resist anything by her or by Marian Keyes.   Even when I'm convinced that the premise of one of her books sounds ridiculous (see: Twenties Girl) I get completely sucked in and I can't put it down!

As you can see, when it comes to books, I don't like to pigeonhole myself.  ;-)

What's on your reading list?

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Concert at "Carnegie Cave"

How was everyone's weekend?  Mine was about as close to perfect as I could imagine.

Friday was so incredibly nice that I couldn't resist taking a couple of hours of vacation time to leave work early and take Elvis to the dog park.  The sun was shining, it was just warm enough that I didn't need a jacket, and there were lots of dogs there for Elvis to play with.  This particular dog park sits on top of a hill and the view is amazing:

The next day, we got up early and went to New York City for the 12:30 show of Jim Henson's Musical Worlds.  I grossly overestimated how bad traffic would be going through the Lincoln Tunnel on a Saturday morning, so we had enough time to wander around Central Park for a bit before the show.

 When we arrived at Carnegie Hall around noon, this sight made me feel positively giddy:

The show was absolutely amazing.  I had to fight back tears when the New York Pops opened with a medley of the themes from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock.  I got chills when the entire audience joined in the clapping parts of "Fraggle Rock."  

I really enjoyed the way they integrated the Fraggles into the show.  Uncle Traveling Matt (Dave Goelz) was taking Red (Karen Prell) and Wembley (Steve Whitmire, who I didn't realize would be there!) on a tour of Outer Space.  According to Traveling Matt, "Carnegie Cave" was a Doozer contruction that was completed six weeks ago, and was meant to me a summer home for Ma and Pa Gorg.  They sang a medley of songs that included two of my all-time favorites, "Follow Me" and "Let Me Be Your Song."  I may have teared up a bit. 

Unfortunately, from our seats in the second tier I wasn't able to get particularly good shots of the Fraggle Rock, Emmet Otter or Sesame Street characters, so I won't bother sharing them here.  But I did get a fairly good shot of the Muppets, along with John Tartaglia (he's the one in the green pants) and a bunch of the human members of the Sesame Street cast:

And here's a shot of the Muppet performers during the curtain call:

Oh, and remember when I posted video of the performance of "Just One Person" from Jim Henson's memorial service? 

Well, they performed it on Saturday!  I missed the first couple of verses because as soon as they started singing, I started crying, and it took me a moment to compose myself. ;-)

Between February's Pete and Pete cast reunion and this past weekend's Muppet performance at Carnegie Hall, I don't think I've ever been so grateful to live just a short drive away from New York City.  2012 definitely seems to be shaping up to be the year of once-in-a-lifetime chances to revisit everything I loved about my childhood!  Maybe this means they'll finally release Salute Your Shorts on DVD??

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gardening + Jewelry = A Match Made in Heaven?

Since warm weather decided to make an early appearance this year, I've already managed to fall horribly behind on my gardening.  The amount of weeds in my yard is absurd.  But at least some of the pretty stuff is also growing.

Here's the blue flax:

The clematis is already a couple of feet high:

And the cherry tree in the back yard is in full bloom:

And so far all I've managed to do is clean out our pond and replace the filter on the pump.  Funny story about that, by the way: I assumed our fish were all dead.  Imagine my surprise when I dumped a bunch of  decaying leaves on the ground next to the pond and found a little orange and black goldfish flopping around!  I returned him to the pond.  No idea if any of his buddies survived, but I will have to pick up a few more, just in case.

Anyway, this year it looks like I'll be merging my love of gardening and my love of jewelry, starting with the cherry blossoms.  I've decided to start pressing the flowers that grow in my garden, and using them to make pendants.  I've used pre-made pendants with pressed flowers to make necklaces such as this one, and they always seem to attract a lot of attention (and sales!) at craft shows. 

I think it will add a special something to my pieces if I can say I grew the flowers myself, as opposed to simply buying the pendant as-is.  I'm definitely planning on using the cherry blossoms and the blue flax.  I might try the rozannes for big, chunky pendants.  I haven't figured out which annuals to buy for my gardens this year, but whether they will look good on a pendant may factor into my decision.  Anyway have any suggestions??

Also: I finally did inventory!  I don't know why I insist on waiting so long.  I've procrastinated so badly on doing inventory for all 3 tax seasons that I have had this business.  And all 3 times, it's taken me no more than a couple of hours.  I just dread it so much!  But now I can finally finish up the 2011 tax return and really start moving ahead with projects for this year!
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