Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big Old Move

I have finally finished moving all the relevant archives from my old blog (RadioGirl Designs) over here, covered the rest of the blog posts over there (I left a lot intact for their comments) with sheets to protect them from dust, and locked the place up. In a manner of speaking.

Now that this is my only blog, I can finally unpack all the boxes, buy some throw rugs, hang pictures on the walls and really get settled in. For a while, anyway. My goal is to get a main site up and running, and publish my blog there, but I'm a big believer in one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.

But in the meantime, can I offer you a cup of tea and some cookies?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

There's NO CRYING in baseball.

The Phillies didn't fare so well yesterday. It was a game of almosts... of loaded bases and full counts and missed chances... but it was still fun in a way that only baseball can be fun even when everything is going wrong. I mean, a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day ... well, I love what I do for a living, but you get the point.

Tonight, they fared even worse, but the season isn't over yet.

So no crying, even though I'm thoroughly convinced that I am bad luck for the Phillies and I must sacrifice my own game-watching pleasure for the good of the team and not watch them anymore, because I think I have "jinx" written across my forehead.

But if worse comes to worse, at least I now have "Schmidt" written across my back (yeah, I know you can't see it, but it's there), so if I never watch another Phillies game again, at least they'll still know I care.

My dad took me out to the ball game. Thanks, Dad!

I consoled myself this evening while watching the Cubs-Mets game (since they don't air many Phillies games here in this neck of the bay) by putting together an Etsy Poster Sketch... and then I scored a Treasury.

Play Ball!

So life ain't all bad. Not bad at all.

(Especially since the Cubs have pulled out in front of the Mets in the top of tenth, which makes me feel a little bit better.)

Mailbox Merriness

Remember the mug I won from Kim and Jason's Lemonade Stand? It came in the mail just before I left for Philly yesterday. Such a perfect mug to start any day.

And the whole box is an Adultitis antidote, from the cartoon to the Kool-Aid (awesome bonus!) to the chalk they included in a little gumball machine globe, for "creating hopscotch, foursquare and marbles boundaries on the driveway or perhaps as the medium for creating sidewalk masterpieces."

A box full o' fun... thanks again, Kim and Jason!

A wonderful package to find on your doorstep

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Last Innings

I love baseball. I know very little about the sport, relatively speaking, for such a passionate fan of a sport in which history and statistics are as important as the game in front of you. And I have a terrible memory for players' names, so I'm quite incapable of holding an intelligent discussion about even the game in front of me.

But still, I love the game, I love the history, I love the stadiums, I love the sound of a ball hitting a leather glove, I love sipping a beer on a summer afternoon at the ballpark.

Or on an early fall afternoon, as the case may be: I'm heading on the briefest road trip ever -- 12 hours roundtrip in two days -- to Philadelphia, to see the Phils play the Braves tomorrow (thanks to my Dad, who rocks).

I am extremely superstitious, though -- call me silly, but I can't help it -- and harbor the belief that I am bad luck for them, because it seems whenever I watch the Phillies play, everything falls to pieces and then when I walk away from my seat or from the television, they get it back together. So I'm tempted not to go, because they're so close to the playoffs.

But not that tempted.

Actually, I'm so excited, I can hardly breathe.

Just after Mike Liberthal's grand slam, July 30, 2006.

In other news... I'm not the hating type, but I hate the Yankees, in the, you know, good old sportsmanshiply way of hating a team, mostly because their fans are so smug, although people probably say the same thing about USC fans, and so I know that most Yankees fans are probably nice people, just like most of us USC fans are nice people. (Unless you are a UCLA or Notre Dame fan. But that's neither here nor there.)

My point is that, regardless of how I feel about the Yankees, I am choked up about the last game at Yankee Stadium and not a little bit disappointed that I never made any effort to visit the stadium. Let this be my lesson to see more things, just for the sake of seeing them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Word Play

I am a big fan of cutting words and pictures out of magazines and gluing them in a notebook, then using them to jog my creativity while making maps... sort of like an art journal, but I don't do any decorating of the pages, I just glue the words in, in random arrangements, to jog the little a-ha parts of my creative brain. It isn't pretty, but it works.

But it's nice to know that if the glue stick runs out, I have other options. Check out Wordles. So pretty, I want to frame them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast! The Merriment is Upon Us!

Here's wishing all ye pirates, rogues, swashbucklers, buccanneers and other nefarious (in a kindly way) sorts a cheery and rewarding Talk Like a Pirate Day! May it bring lots of plunder (the not-so-cruel kinds, like chocolate and popcorn) and celebration.

I am delighted to share that me treasure map of the Island of Intrigue has been featured on the illustrious Cuteable, in honor of the day's festivities. Huzzah! Huzzah! (And a big thank you to Cuteable's Lynsey.)

And my special is still sailing on, through Sunday the 21st: Buy any two treasure maps from me shop -- prints or originals -- and receive a free print of "Sea Monster Breath."

So stock up the ship...

... grab the treasure map...

... snatch up the parrot, tap the barrels of grog, raise the sails and head on out in search of adventure and fun! Cause we're all about the happiness of make-believe piracy here in these parts.

For more pirate-y goodness:

Read all about Anne Bonny, one of the better known female pirates.

More talking like pirates.

Pat Croce's Pirate Soul Museum, one of the destinations on my must-see-sooner-or-later list.

Discover your Pirate Name. My pirate name is:

Red Bess Flint

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Ahoy again, me hearties! Shiver me timbers! I just had to come back to share the news!

You can now search Google in Pirate-speak.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ahoy, mateys, avast!

That's right, it's one of me favorite holidays of the year! Friday, this Friday, just four short days from today, is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

And all you swashbucklers, buccaneers, privateers and, yea, even landlubbers can celebrate all week long! The Interimaginational Institute is offering a very special special: anyone who purchases two or more treasure maps (prints or originals) from September 15 to September 21 will receive a FREE print of "Sea Monster Breath" (No need to add this print to your cart; it will be sent automatically with qualifying orders).

So stock up on treasure maps, load up your ships, buckle on your swords, grab the parrot, raise the sails, pour the grog, and get ready for big adventures!

AND, me hearties, you'll be able to take your pet sea monster with you, although you mighn't want to let him get too close to the parrot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yipppppeeeee! I won!

One of the neatest sites I've stumbled across online is Kim and Jason's Lemonade Stand, a fantastic gift shop (I'm already making my list for Christmas shopping*).

And they not only run their Lemonade Stand, they write a charming blog, send out a great daily newsletter with fun quotes and a sweetly funny cartoon strip drawn by Jason (which he started as a way to woo his wife, Kim), and offer great downloads, including wonderful ideas on how to escape Adultitis. What's Adultitis? See here. It's a far-too common affliction in our modern society, and it is very important that you have yourself screened regularly.

And every Thursday, they offer a giveaway on their blog, and this week... I won this mug! I am so excited. It's not only one of my favorite quotes, but I love, love, LOVE coffee mugs, and I will be so delighted to add this one to my collection. Thank you, Kim and Jason, so much!

And now, I am heading off with Al to conquer some Adultitis with my first scuba diving lesson... funny enough, for someone as in love with the ocean as I am, scuba diving has never been at the top of my list of things to do, but Al has talked me into trying it, and if this first free lesson goes well, then I'll be signing up for the real lessons. Wish me luck.

*One of the greatest things I'm learning, since going into business, is how to plan ahead (with anticipation and excitement instead of panic and dread) for things like holidays, such as Talk Like a Pirate Day... I'll be celebrating this terrific holiday with a special on treasure maps in the Interimaginational Institute, so check in soon!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Leeches, Wet Tar, and Other Fun Things

I actually think I'm doing a darn good job of paring down photos from my trip, but it's taking some time. You can check out a few more Mystic Seaport photos on my Flickr stream, although they haven't been captioned yet. (UPDATE 13 Dec 2009: I am downsizing this Flickr Account and so these photos are no longer available - sorry!)

And until I've posted more (I know you'll be waiting anxiously...), you can ponder the fact that leeches are still used in modern medicine. And if that's not eeky enough, visit The Daily Monster to see some more unusual creatures (so awesome).

And I just had to come back to tell you if you want to read The Longest List of the Longest Stuff at the Longest Domain Name, go, well, here.

Also, some parting advice, should you ever visit Mystic Seaport yourself, the "wet tar" signs are not historical artifacts. They actually are warnings that, indeed, the tar is wet. I did not find this out through personal experimentation, but from a guide who, laughing and watching people touch the wet tar, shook her head and said, "The surest way to get people to touch wet tar is to put up a sign saying 'wet tar.'"

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Kept Waiting, and Waiting...

But I still missed the storm.

She was weak. As in, like so weak, if I hadn't know there was a tropical storm passing overhead, thanks to the news, I wouldn't even have known there was a storm at all. I saw a lot of wind, only because I kept looking out the window to see if it was windy, but we got almost no rain at our house. I do think a leaf blew off the third tree from the driveway.

I've seen much worse on a normal summer day here in Virginia, normal here meaning torrential downpours, actual waves going down our street, and the patio umbrella ending up in the neighbor's yard (for those people who might have a particular interest in our replacement patio umbrella, we did take the precaution of putting it in the garage, so it has survived to shelter us again and we are still grateful to you for providing said umbrella).

But thanks to our housebound-ness due to the anticipated storm, the pantry is sparkling clean, down to the corners behind the molding. And I took this opportunity to clean out old hurricane supplies. Call me crazy, but it would take one hell of a storm to get me to eat a can of mixed greens that expired in 2006.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back in Time to Batten Down

Okay, in spite of the fact that I stocked up on water yesterday and non-perishable food products, especially Pop-Tarts, which are easily portable and don't require cooking to be enjoyed, I really wasn't expecting this impending storm to be worrisome. I went shopping because the pantry was empty and we needed to fill it.

So should it concern me that they're canceling events around us? Should I be worried?

See, if I had started out by being worried (other people, specifically my spouse, have been known to call me paranoid), then Hanna would certainly have dissipated by now. So clearly it's my fault that the storm is heading this way, because if I had just worried a little harder, it would be down to about 5-mile-an-hour-winds by now. I'm sorry, everyone in the path of the storm, I am really sorry.

So my transition back to work has been proceeding more slowly than expected, pretty much because I've been cleaning the house, doing laundry, and battling crowds -- crowds -- at the commissary, while looking at empty water shelves. Yes, that was disconcerting. I have never seen that happen before, and it's not like we haven't had storms since I've been here. But that water was going fast. I am so glad I went shopping yesterday instead of procrastinating, because today, the stores must just be mayhemish.

This all does mean I still have a lot of emails to answer and blogs to visit and people to contact, and if you're one of them, please bear with me while I bring my brain back around.

Today, I am getting reacquainted with my artist self, drawing up new maps, reminding myself what it is that I do, after all, and putting first things first. I love drawing on gray days, because it feels so cozy. There might be tropical temperatures and humidity outside, but looking out the window, it feels like fall to me. Hot chocolate just might be in order.

Maybe Hanna would like some too, since she's apparently coming to visit. Then again, maybe she'd prefer some whiskey, as my new Mariner's Miscellany suggests the gods and goddesses of the sea prefer stronger beverages, and if a tropical storm/hurricane trainee isn't a goddess of the sea, then what is? But since I think we're all out of whiskey she'll have to settle for hot chocolate. If she's a courteous guest, I could throw in some marshmallows.

Ike, on the other hand, he's not invited.