Showing posts from February, 2011

Should have done this in January....

Favorite photos of 2010? Too many things to choose from over the last year. But here are my favorite photos/moments....

(Donna, me, and Beth at Avatar. I didn't like the movie, but I always have fun with them and they are two of my closest friends...including the person taking the photo, Donna's husband, Mac. Thanks for including me and I love you guys!)

(My birthday party back in August. It had been such a hard summer, caring for and watching my other grandmother die. This is me with my dad's mother, Jean, who made sure that I had a fun night after all of the sadness and stress of the summer.)

(Another image from the party. This is me with Claire, close family friend and coworker. She is off to do wonderful things after graduating in May. I will miss you, Claire! Who else is going to put up with me on my bad days? Certainly not my dead husband/ghost office mate, Andrew. He has already abandoned me. Is there divorce in the spirit world? And what about the living men who baffl…

Not finished with my update below about "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great," but...

...I always am so amused by the quotes people choose to place on the back of classic novels...teaser quotes to draw people in and convince them to buy the book. For example:

From the back of the Penguin edition of Dickens's unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood:

"In the wakeful misery of the night, girded by sordid realities, or wandering through Paradises and Hells of visions... I loved you madly."

Gorgeous? Absolutely. A bit misleading?...uh, yes. In the book, this is spoken by a drug-addicted man to the novel's young heroine.

The full quote and a bit more:

She would have gone once more -- was all but gone -- and once more his face, darkly threatening what would follow if she went, has stopped her. Looking at him with the expression of the instant frozen on her face, she sits down on the seat again.

'Rosa, even when my dear boy was affianced to you, I loved you madly; even when I thought his happiness in having you for his wife was certain, I loved you madly; even …

Buried by books, consumed by knowledge: A long post that eventually ends up with my thoughts about Wood's "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great"

This is how I feel.

Well, that is partially true, anyway. I have been reading so much this weekend that I feel a little disoriented. This happens to me every now and then. I get absorbed totally in a novel or a subject and I obsessively devour everything I can find on it during a relatively short amount of time. The most devastating example of this happened when I returned to school after working full time for two years at Southern Living magazine. I took a year and a half to finish my English degree; however, that was only because my advisor had me under the wrong catalog and told me that I had to have both a major and minor again (really, all I needed to do was finish my English classes). So, I was taking a mixture of five English and history courses for a full year until the university realized something was wrong. Once a special committee had been formed to figure out what to do with me, it was decided that, because I had graduated with my first degree so recently, I did not need …

Don't Fence Me In

That song makes me laugh...but I feel that way right now. I am longing for some freedom and travel. Where in the world would I go? I can't go anywhere at the moment because of the dissertation/job/money situation...but one day I will venture back out into the world and enjoy myself!

The plan, when I finally graduate, is to reward myself with a nice trip to northern England and Scotland. My family comes from these areas and I really want to spend some time finding out where my family originated (this group came to what would become the US in the 1630s). But where else would I love to go? Let me start a list...(in no particular order)

1. Jordan
2. Greece
3. Egypt
4. Japan
5. Russia
6. Malaysia
7. Argentina
8. Morocco
9. Australia
10. Spain
....and so many more!

I guess I better find a job that pays well! Or, I will just live in poverty and save all of the money that I can so that I can travel!

Blast from the past:

"Hands Clean"...Heard it today for the first time in years. Reminded that I could have written that one myself.

I am trying to "tweet"....

In my rebellion against Facebook, I am trying to "tweet" more often...mainly because I have finally found out how fun it can be. I originally associated twitter with narcissists who wanted me to know their every move, including the fact that they were just walking down the frozen food aisle or that their shoes just came untied. However, I am pleasantly surprised to be able to indulge in a bit more fun with friends and silliness on Twitter. So, if you want, follow me!

Susie's Twitter Page

Words that make me happy...

"...the moon
Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky
With one sensation, and those wakeful birds
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
As if some sudden gale had swept at once
A hundred airy harps!..."
--Coleridge's "The Nightingale" (1798)

Just needed something to make me feel a little happier. To me, this is one of the most glorious moments in poetry. I never tire of reading it.

Bonnie Wright in Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Inspired Photo Shoot...

Go see the images here of Bonnie Wright (who plays Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter movies): Bonnie Wright.

These images are incredible. Wright is a beautiful girl, of course, but the texture of these photos and the intent behind them are amazing. I love the work of Dante Rossetti and these photos are a tribute to his paintings, according to the site. Anyway, very interesting and beautiful work.

Feeling incredibly vulnerable to life

That is how I feel right now. I am so nervous and tense about my job/financial/school situation for the coming year (I lose funding in May). I know that one way or another things will progress and I will finish, but I am starting to lose sleep over it all. And today I heard that one option for funding has collapsed, so now I am doubly nervous...and all of this was relayed to me ten minutes before I had to teach my second class...on my favorite day of teaching the entire semester: the day I get to teach Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott." So, I sucked it up and went into class to teach...because that is what I do and who I am. Inside I was panicking. Running possibilities and numbers and situations in my head while trying to teach four different interpretations of the poem. I think I handled it okay, but I was extremely upset because it really is the most fun thing to teach. Still, at least I can be proud of myself for holding it together. It took about twenty minutes for m…

Deadly Vows

I have been waiting nearly a decade for this book:

I think that the last one came out in 2003...and it ended on a cliffhanger. With the rise in popularity of paranormal fiction, the author's contract on this series was suspended. And now it is finally here...yet not...because I had my hands on it two days ago in the bookstore and I couldn't buy it because it was put out on the shelf too soon! NOOOOO!!!! Anyway, it was kind of perfect because it was just more one more obstacle in my way before finding out what happens. Anyway, the book should be out next week!

I was surprised to see that Harlequin took over the publishing of this new edition to the series. The stories began as a mystery series and eventually ended up in the romance section, though there really is a decent mixture of romance and mystery in the books. Oh, well. I don't care who has it! I am just glad to find out (soon) what happens!

Firooz Zahedi's photos of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran

Vanity Fair magazine has an interesting Web Exclusive article and slide show of Firooz Zahedi's photos of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran, taken in 1976. There will be an exhibit of the photos at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art beginning February 26.

Firooz Zahedi Photos of Elizabeth Taylor.

Also available is the article (basically a synopsis of Furious Love) about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, titled "A Love to Big to Last".


Yes, we had snow last night! And this time it was enough to give a covering of the ground. It is the perfect kind of snow for us: just a little and not cutting electricity or making the roads bad. It started last night, so I took Casey out around 9:30 or 10 (no photos of that). We met up with the little girl who lives next to us, so we had a snowball fight! Anyway, it was still around this morning...So, of course, this means that Casey gets his "snow day" photo!

But first...

Here are some photos from in front of my house:

(A tree in front of our neighbor's house.)

Now for the snow photos of Casey...

(Casey resting after his fun in the snow.)

Of course, because the roads were fine, I had to go to work...

Still, a great day!

I almost choked...

...when I saw that Kim Kardashian interviewed Elizabeth Taylor. WHAT? Could they have chosen anyone LESS fit to do this? And her questions??? Good grief. I mean, not many people get to do this and this is what she asks? But, Elizabeth's responses clearly, without Kardashian knowing it, put her in her place. Still, I do wonder if they actually talked face to face because the interview doesn't flow at all. It is more like a typed list of questions was sent to Taylor and someone typed up the answers...

Here is a link to the interview:

By the way, I love this part of the exchange:

KK: Do you think if Richard Burton were alive today, you'd be married to him?

ET: It was inevitable that we would be married again, but it's not up for discussion.

NOTE: The bold is my emphasis because I LOVE it. Thank you for stopping that line of questioning when it starts, Ms. Taylor.

By the way:…

My arms hurt!

I both love and hate weights. arms feel like they are about to fall off...and I am by no means doing anything strenuous! I must be feeling extra tired from all of the typing that I have done today. Hooray for dissertations. Not only do they kill you but they also give you killer finger muscles, carpal tunnel, and moments of insanity. Nice to know that I chose that route in life. Graduation can't come soon enough.

How NOT to say "Happy Valentine's Day" to your significant other:

Okay. I have seen this ad and heard about it on the radio, too.

"The perfect Valentine's Day gift for your girlfriend/significant other/wife/mistress/whatever."--My quote...not theirs. I just feel the need for sarcasm.

I don't know about you, but the first time a man gives me footed pajamas on Valentine's Day or on any other occasion will be the last time he darkens my doorstep. These are great...for a two-year-old. But I am a woman grown. If you feel the need to buy me night wear of any kind, know that this would be a deal breaker. I am just putting that out there. I mean, does this really put anyone in the romantic mood? Because if it does, there are some serious issues at hand. I want to feel feminine...not like the kid in The Christmas Story who receives the Easter bunny outfit. My pride alone demands more than a cheaply made pajama outfit that should be put on a child. If this came my way, it and the man would be returned to whereve…

The Beast Within, from Madonna's Girlie Show Tour in 1993


Does anyone besides me remember this one? I just came across it on YouTube and I am so excited to find it. This is an interlude in the Girlie Show and doesn't actually have Madonna participating, but I remember being totally blown away by it when I saw it for the first time. Her concerts back in the day were the most amazing things to watch and I was totally enthralled by the Blond Ambition Tour and the Girlie Show (but I liked the Blond Ambition Tour better...sometimes the Girlie Show just was nuts). (As anyone who knew my my junior and senior year in high school can attest, I was a total Madonna fan!)

Anyway, this video is explicit, sexual, and violent and contains material that some of you might find objectionable. (Just putting that out there so that there are no surprises!) The dance/choreography is set to Madonna reading from the Book of Revelations. It was highly controversial for its time (as were most things she did in the tours), but I can'…

The September Issue

My latest Netflix selection:

The September Issue

I found out about this documentary of the editor of Vogue magazine while browsing documentaries on the Netflix site. I have been fascinated by the magazine business since I was about nine years old and I started a tabloid about my neighborhood (all made up and intended to be one ever saw it except my parents). At age thirteen or so, I received a free sample of Sassy magazine in the mail--still the best teen magazine ever least during Jane Pratt's days there--and decided at that moment that I was going to work for a magazine.

I finished high school, filled out college applications, and listed journalism as my major (and I completed the "magazine journalism" track at UA). Three weeks after school ended (and after a very interesting interview and offer from Disney to be Cinderella...which I turned down), I ended up at as an intern at Southern Living magazine. I first interned in the features department…

One of those days!

I have been writing all morning and part of the afternoon. Unfortunately, it is one of those days when writing is just not coming easily! Each stroke of the keyboard is torture.

On a different note, I am through with the second book in the Donati saga (Dawn on a Distant Shore). It wasn't long and had much larger type than Into the Wilderness, so the reading time was short and sweet. That being said, it wasn't my favorite book. I have heard that books two and three are not great, but that book four is excellent! Still, I have high hopes for book three (Lake in the Clouds) because I love the character of Hannah. It is much longer than Dawn on a Distant Shore and the type is it could be a while before I have an opinion about it!

Meanwhile, the weather here is so dreary...rain, rain, rain. I am so ready for spring. I think Groundhog Day is tomorrow...right? Let's hope for a quick end to winter!