Sunday, July 30, 2006

I Want Another Night Like "This" One!..

Yes, it has been a long, hard drought. Who'd have ever thought last December that we'd be sitting around like this, still waiting for something... come August?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, that's for sure.

However...

It's now down to the wire. It's done! Fini! Now it's just a matter of when he will choose to share it... or when someone else will decide to leak it. And when they do, will we have the strength to not succumb?

In regards to the pics from the photoshoot, this was his subtle plea to us:

Knowing my luck, someone will probably leak them sooner or later and you'll see them before you're supposed to anyway! For the sake of the excitement of surprise, let's hope not!

"Knowing my luck"... Ha ha. He is so cute!

Suddenly I am taken back to an evening in February 2004. Anyone who was around that night will remember the absolute joy and magnificance of the occassion... as well as the carpel tunnel pains that kicked into overdrive as we attempted to click on that link faster than was humanly possible.

Mind you, at the time, we were already in the midst of a "feast."

But no problem succumbing... none at all.

So Clay, yea, I guess you should pretty much count on your "luck" running out on you this time around as well...

Every morning I wake up and think to myself... Will "this" be the night??? Because you just never know. And there are so many potential leaks sitting out there right now just waiting to be sprung and we just KNOW that at least one of them could possibly be headed our way at this very moment. Ah, the sheer anticipation of it all! It's just one of those many things that makes it so great to be a Clay fan.

Anyway, before it all hits the fans *g* I just wanted to revisit this picture one.more.time. Just for nostalgia's sake. Even though I'm afraid the only element of surprise I can offer you with this one is to make it "clickable"...





Somebody named it "George"... just to help keep the secret. I like the name. Works for me.

And while we're on the subject of George... oh, what the heck.. .why not...




But ssssshhhhh... cause it's sooper secret.


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Friday, July 28, 2006

When I See Him Smile...

I Eeeeeee!

He blogged twice today and gave us our first "specific hint" in regards to album content. It was offered up as a "thank you" to the "Claymates" who in one day donated $47,556.96 towards UNICEF's work with the children in Lebanon. That equates to 17% of the total monies donated to UNICEF towards this crisis.

I wonder who tossed in the $6.96?

He went on to say how these donations would provide 195 emergency health kits for 194,906 people for 3 months as well as helping with education of 20,338 children with the gifts of 254 school-in-a-box kits. I'm gonna trust him on this one.

I am SO proud to be a fan today... a "Claymate" as it were. And I guess just due to the fact that he finally feels comfortable saying that word ... it's probably the very least I can do to just try my best to be an AMAZING one... though I'm not gonna like it much...

Anyway, if ya wanna channel teacher Clay and do the math, the donations equate to either one or a combination of the following:

  • 4,756 "Claymates" donated $10 ea.

  • 2,378 "Claymates" donated $20 ea.

  • 953 "Claymates" donated $50 ea.

  • 475 "Claymates" donated $100 ea.


  • Keep in mind that the greater majority of his fans probably didn't donate just because they weren't able to, which is "absolutely cool." And those that did probably wouldn't have without his... inspiration... simply due to the fact that they most likely wouldn't have been aware of it.

    So my thoughts, any way you calculate them, are that I don't really see a problem with him going triple platinum right off the bat this time.

    He said... "Holy Moly."

    He said... "I love you guys!"

    Geesh.. why does he always call us guys?...


    When I See You Smile...


    Sometimes I wonder
    How I'd ever make it through,
    Through this world without having you
    I just wouldn't have a clue

    'Cause sometimes it seems
    Like this world's closing in on me,
    And there's no way of breaking free
    And then I see you reach for me

    Sometimes I wanna give up
    I wanna give in,
    I wanna quit the fight
    And then I see you, baby
    And everything's alright,
    everything's alright

    When I see you smile
    I can face the world, oh oh,
    you know I can do anything
    When I see you smile
    I see a ray of light, oh oh,
    I see it shining right through the rain
    When I see you smile
    Oh yeah, baby when I see you smile at me

    Baby there's nothing in this world
    that could ever do
    What a touch of your hand can do
    It's like nothing that I ever knew

    And when the rain is falling
    I don't feel it,
    'cause you're here with me now
    And one look at you baby
    Is all I'll ever need,
    you're all I'll ever need

    Sometimes I wanna give up
    I wanna give in,
    I wanna quit the fight
    And then I see you baby
    And everything's alright,
    everything's alright

    So right..

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    Sunday, July 23, 2006

    Angels Among Us...

    Are there?


    I've always believed in angels because otherwise how would we even be able to go out that door every day with all the crazy sh that happens on this spinning ball of a world we live in and still make it back in one piece? And personally, there have definitely been times when I have been touched by them and felt their presence.



    I truly do believe that angels have the authority to intervene on our behalf... but only when their doing so would result in offsetting of a misdirected calamity... and thus allowing destiny to continue on course as intended. These occurences are somtimes referred to as miracles even though, more often than not, they simply slip by us unnoticed.




    But the question I have right now is one that's been nagging at me...


    Would a mere mortal have the ability to thwart the work of angels, the laws of destiny, the hand of fate... and thus alter, forever, the blueprint of things to be?


    Would a mere mortal have the capacity to set that ball spinning off course?...


    Even IF that mere mortal happened to be DIVINE and a "heavenly" creature himself?



    So you all know what I'm talking about, right? The silly words to that song! I mean seriously?

    And besides... Do angels fight???

    heh..

    But the imagery is fun. I can just picture his "get up." Would he fight with a sword?... or just with his shear talent for negotiating? Hopefully he'd have bangs hanging in his eyes with little beads of sweat dripping off the tips, exhausted from battle... because that would be, well, it would just be hott!

    Even though I can't really picture him fighting. *sigh* Particularly after the pulling out of the underwear from the corduroys merited such inaction... and besides, I think he long ago realized long ago that all he needs to do is stand still to assure that all the critical fights will be fought FOR him.

    The previous portion of this blog has been brought to you by Stream of Conciousness Inc.

    But seriously... I have to admit I have never clicked on a link faster than I did when I saw 1000 Days! Gah! last week.
    Ha.. fooled ya!

    Geez, and honestly?... for the first few seconds there I actually thought it was something... Official. I mean I'm sitting there all googly-eyed and thinking... Aawww how cute!.. he's got kissy angels... and suns... and moons... and bunny rabbits!...or were they kittens or puppies... but honestly, my mind was completely removed from my brain there for that moment in time, even though I'm sure I wasn't all alone. Some of you thought the very same thing... didn't you? Right? *looks around* Oh come on now... you did!... No?..

    *covers face*

    It was just SO good to hear something new from him and with my volume turned up full blast it just felt to me that he was in the room somehow. Maybe it was just the breathiness of that first phrase and the air hump at the end that immediately transported me into the land of the microphone... imagining what it must be like to be her. And even after he "da dee da DA... da dee da DA'd" me to death over a fairly mediocre and droning mix for the next four minutes, I was still toast... whimpering and begging for more.

    For a few days there were some very diverse reactions and some energetic opinions as to whether or not this song would make the cut. Many have said it would... and it only makes sense. A Thousand Days... A Thousand Different Ways. Personally, I think it will happen even though we now know for sure that it won't be that version. And how do we know that? Because just today he shared that he was listening to "a really bad bootlegged version" of the song. And why does this make me SO happy! Probably because I can just picture him rubbing his hands together with that mischevious grin and saying "They have no idea what they've got coming."

    I cannot WAIT to hear what we've got coming...

    I just want him to bring it and bring it soon. The voice front and center as we've never heard it before. And even though idea of that seems impossibly impossible, he has surprised us time and time again. I just want to be so "shocked and awed that the angels have to be called in to resuscitate. And I'm just thinking this could happen! And plus I'm due a "sick" day.

    Cover photos have been shot (as of today) and so now all we have to do is... wait.

    Hopefully just a couple more spins...

      
    And then... SPINS!

    I am SO ready.

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    All These Dang Words!...


    We have an album title!.. sort of. And we stayed up all night trying to figure it out. Clay says that we're close but that some of us need to get together and mix our words together. He also says that the title of this album covers so many bases and that it has multiple meanings when it comes to expressing what the project is about.

    This fandom is creative, no doubt. Some of the more brilliant guesses have been:

  • A Tall Dorky Warbler

  • A Thousand Days Waiting

  • Are They Done Whining?

  • All This Damn Waiting!

  • All These Dang Women!

  • Aiken Thrills, Dames Whimper

  • Ah Truly Despise Water

  • Ack! This Damn Wig!

  • Aiken, The Donut Worshipper

  • And They Died Waiting

  • Avalon Tunes Done Well

  • Ah'm Tweakin' Da Work

  • A Terrible Dancer, What?

  • Aiken Tries Doo Wop

  • Aiken Takes Down World

  • All Ten Decades Worth

  • Always Tie Down Waldo


  • Some of the more practical guesses have included:

  • All The Dreams Within

  • Aiken: Thoughts, Dreams, Wishes

  • At Times Dreams Wait

  • All Things Deep Within

  • All The Different Ways

  • A Timeless Dream Within

  • Always Try, Dream, Wish

  • Across Two Different Worlds

  • All The Dreams Waiting

  • A Thousand Different Ways ~
  • ~ as of 7/18/06!

    He has told us to expect love songs, yet none of these flowery titles seem to suit this project somehow. I feel that there is something missing here, an angle we haven't thought of yet. Something deeper. An angst in him that he wants to share, but in a cryptic way.

    So I'm going to venture one guess, and one guess only... even though it's as far from a practical guess as one could probably get.

    He said it would cover many bases and have multiple meanings and that it was of importance to him. I just glanced at the coverpage from LTS and reread the reference from Exodus 14:14 which reads "The Lord will fight for you. All you have to do is stand still."

    To me that translates that after you have done all you can and the very best you can... the Lord will pick up the slack. There is also another scripture from somewhere I can't recall that reads "After having done all... Stand" which has always been one of my favorites. At least one to strive for. So this is my singular off-the-wall guess.

    After The Doing... Wait.

    Yeah dumb... and most likely not. But I'm still not giving up on this angle. I think it will somehow end up relating back to something we've heard from his mouth or pen before and we'll all end up going "duh."

    But honestly?.. My favorite guess so far has been...

    Aiken Truly Did Win.

    Even though we can assume that's most likely NOT the title, it would still allow the acronym to fall into the genre of multiple meanings.

    And then of course there was All That Damn Wine... which made me laugh so hard last night that I got a serious attack of the hiccups...

    Anyway, it's just all so exciting that we will SOON know the actual title and that it will SOON be a part of our lives and it'll be wrapped around our ears... and all of this guesswork will have become a thing of the past. And when we SOON see the acronym ATDW we'll know. We'll just KNOW.

    Funny when you think about it that way. I wonder what in the world we ever would have done with...



    I mean seriously...


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    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    On the subject of droughts and finding the spring within.

    When I walked out of that arena in Pensacola, Florida last December, the fact that I wouldn’t see him again for probably another nine months never entered my mind. Seriously, why would I have even given that notion the time of day? I mean, nine months???

    Sometimes I think there is wisdom in the fact that we can’t see into the future because if we could I probably would have wanted to stay in that arena forever. And trust me, I couldn’t wait to get out of that arena…

    I’m sure we all thought we’d be out on the road again, meeting up with each other come May… or at least July. Because for many of us home had pretty much just become the most convenient place to toss our underwear into the wash, letting it air dry off the antenna on route to the next venue. But nine months???

    Do you realize how much underwear can be dried using the conventional method in that amount of time? Heck, mine were all dry by the second week of January.

    The Drought of ‘06

    It was a time of unoccupied minds. There was little happening to keep our minds off of real life or to distract us from all those pesky little household chores. Let me rephrase that, there was nothing happening… nothing at all. Nada.

    And how many times can you clean your house anyway?… and does it really even NEED to be cleaned in the cosmic scheme of things? I mean, afterall, it’ll only get dirty all over again and then you have to waste your time revisting that redundant task. Besides, I’ve discovered that zero velocity = zero dust, and in the past a bottle of glass cleaner and a dust rag near my computer table have pretty much sufficed as my housecleaning supplies anyway. I was hoping to keep it that way. But with not much to work with I knew I was gonna have to get creative.

    Getting Creative

    By the end of January I had pretty much figured out MySpace. I realize now that it’s not that difficult, but at that time I think I was probably still struggling with paragraphs and wondering why all I ever got were little red x’s every time I’d try to post a pic.

    I’d always wanted to learn how to make montages. I’d gotten through many two and three month "droughts" in the past by enjoying the creations of some of the more technically savvy folks and I had some ideas, but seriously no clue. And then one day, purely by accident, I discovered that Windows Movie Maker was installed on my computer... and my house hasn’t been cleaned once since. But like I said… it hasn’t needed it.

    Making Montages

    Over the course of trying to make them I’ve discovered many things:


    • Making them is NOT EASY. Oh, the program itself is easy enough to figure out and once you’ve made one… you’re pretty much a champ. But that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

    • Finding a song is the easy part. Coming up with a concept and creating a “feel” for your montage?.. not so much.

    • Just because all those video effects, transitional doohickeys and fancy fonts are available to you doesn’t mean that you have to use every one of them. I am guilty of this, but only because it was so much fun.

    • Once you’ve finally come up with a concept and have pinned down in your mind all the pictures and clips you want to use, it doesn’t serve you to your best advantage time-wise if all your files are labled "Eeeeeee" and "HottPicsofClay" and "OMG!" Organization is key.

    • Even though looking at "pretty" and "hott" pictures of Clay is preferable to doing housework regardless… picking them randomly out of a hat is still probably not the preferred method in this case.

    • "Writing is rewriting." Same concept.

    • A good montage cannot be created over a lunch hour. In fact making one can save you a week’s worth of grocery bills.

    • Sometimes the end result will elicit rave reviews from dozens and kudos from your closest friends… or sometimes maybe just one nice comment from someone you don’t even know, who took the time to tell you they enjoyed your effort and how it touched them somehow.

    • And sometimes… a labor of love can be it’s own reward.

    • It’s all good.


    Rave Reviews and Kudos

    There have been so many incredible montages created during this drought from all levels of expertise. I’ve enjoyed each one of them immensely! I wanted to choose a couple to include here and it was difficult to pick my favorites, but I did anyway. Each one of these moved me in a different way, but mainly by the creators’ abilities to combine visual and audio in such an effectual way as to make me watch them over and over and over again, just to make sure I really loved them as much as I thought I did…

    There are FIVE… and they are listed in no particular order. I just did what any card carrying Clay Aiken fan would do and drew their order at random... out of a hat.

    "Beautiful"... montage by MrsLoki... sung by James Blunt


    "All Will Be Well"... montage by Good Baby Brush... sung by The Gabe Dixon Band


    "All Time Love"... montage by Sylvie... sung by Will Young


    "Back For More"... montage by Cate... sung by Clay Aiken.


    "Life Uncommon"... montage by HockeyDonna... sung by Jewel.

    In Closing...

    DO check out other quality montages and lots of other stuff over at



    And okay… here are mine too… geesh.


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    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    X.J.Q.Z!... So what would U do?

    Seriously!… I mean what were the odds??? Perhaps I need to get my butt into this game afterall.

    **The Claynation is frazzled!!!... with only four days left! The pandemonium began at 8:36 pm on July 4th... in lieu of fireworks.

    The quest? To uncover the N.A.N.A. (New Album Name Acronym)

    So we know now that it won’t be S.O.O.N. But we also know that it won’t be M.A.M.A…

    And how do we know that? Because he’s finally given us a C.L.U.E.

    (But it’s sooper secret…)

    He’s been very clear on how we should submit our entries. We need to post them, not only on his blog, but in the "Official” way as well, as that is the only way it will truly count. So hopefully nobody will get so caught up the "Penpal" thing that they forget to follow the rules to the utmost and end up completely blowing their chances. "Chances" HA! Freakin’ L.U.C.K. is more like it.

    And are we even sure there will actually BE a winner? Even though something tells me there will be, because he truly wants one! Can you tell? So yes, I feel assured that there will be even if he has to change the rules or lessen the odds another half dozen times in the meantime…

    ‘Cause afterall, it IS his G.A.M.E…

    Either way, at least we'll know the album title soon enough... and seriously?...that's good enough for me. Because when I really think about it, I don't know if I would be able to actually survive a personal phone call from him. I mean, on paper it sounds like da bomb and all... but in reality I think I would most definitely C.R.A.P.

    So many things I've loved about these latest blogs. First of all... just the fact that he's blogging again and that he seems to be so caught up in it and well, just that he’s B.A.C.K.

    But I just have three questions...

    • Does he actually think we "snoop?"
    • And why does he always call us "guys?"
    • And does the latest "hint" mean that if we pull out a consonant on our first pick that we're suppose to toss it back in??? Random "lotto strategy." He's funny.

    I haven't submitted any guesses yet. Perhaps I'm one of the lucky one's who didn't jump the gun... Maybe because I'm one of those one’s who has to think things over and ponder them to death first. And then, after receiving the first hint, had to go out and purchase a Scrabble game just so that I could create my own little scrabble-tile lottery and then after drawing letters at “random” as per instructions kept tossing them back trying to come up with something that could actually make sense? Which has still yet to occur. Anal some? Absolutely. And still unsubmitted...

    I'm thinking that if somebody could find the time to go through all of the thousand-whatever posts and plop all of those letters into an Excel spreadsheet... and then sort them by first and last and THEN by second and third ... there'd definitely be a way to figure this out. But anyway...I'm sure "somebody's" probably already done that, right?

    He said:
    • "I can not WAIT."
    • "I anticipate..."
    • "long and hard..."
    • "I REALLY love it..."
    • "Respond to me..."
    • "MIssing you..."
    • "The time is drawing nearer..."
    • "I'm pumped..."
    • "Leave me a note..."
    • "I want to see..."
    • "I've been looking..."
    • "Multiple..."
    • "So many bases..."
    • "Keep it up."
    • "Tension mounts!"
    • "I'm excited!.."
    • "It’s FUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!"

    I’m thinking that maybe WE should "up the ante" ourselves and suggest that he "randomly" choose one of the above to say to the winner over the phone. Or maybe we can just change the rules later… and let the winner decide...

    Ha, I am looking at some of the things he said up there and almost giggling, yet... Nah, pretty much just giggling.

    Our boyfriend is a ding-dang riot.

    But adorable too.

    elouai's doll maker 3

    And he SO knows it…

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    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    O'er The Land of the BBQ's...

    You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
    ~Erma Bombeck


    I appreciated that quote because I've often given pause to the question of why we, as Americans, always wish each other "A Happy Fourth!" Perhaps for the same reasons we always wish each other "Happy Easter" or "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Merry Christmas."

    Why not "Happy Martin Luther King Day" or "Happy Veteran's Day" or "Merry Labor Day?"

    "Happy Valentine's Day" and "Happy Halloween" on the other hand make perfect sense. As does chocolate.

    But "Happy New Year" and "Happy Birthday" anymore?... not so much.

    I don't know what caused me to reflect on this. Perhaps it started with Berkeley's blog and how the last line of "The Star Spangled Banner" ends with a question mark.

    Don't get me wrong, I am extremely thankful for all of these traditions and they make me "happy" usually. They bring family together, they take us away from the routine and mundane for a day or two and provide us with an opportunity to try out some new recipes, to pick up the phone, to shop for that perfect outfit, to spend money that we don't have... and all the while supporting Hallmark. Trust me, I am taken in by it all just as much as the next one.

    But today I thought I'd try to think, just for a moment, about some of the true struggles and sacrifices, which were endured by real individuals.. just so that I could have this "day off."

    And I found this wonderful collection of quotes to help get the juices flowing.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    And just one little personal story because right here, right now seems like the appropriate moment...

    In 1980 I was dancing in "A Chorus Line" at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. One night, early in January, we were blessed with the amazing opportunity to perform for the 52 Iranian hostages who had just returned to the United States by way of New York.

    I don't know if anyone is familiar with the big "finale" of the show but at the climactic moment the back partitions turn to create a golden sunburst. Anyone who's seen it will appreciate it's impact. But on this night, instead of the sunburst, a HUGE American flag dropped into place. None of us were expecting it and I will never forget attempting to finish that gruelling number with such weepage building in my chest. I vaguely remember seeing the lights reflecting on the tears of that entire audience. And it's not that easy to see the audience typically, but this night I did. It was a moment I will never forget.

    Later, we got the chance to meet each one of them individually in the greenroom. I remember them being ushered in and, though my first reaction was how grossly thin and haggard some of them looked, I was so moved by the complete expressions of joy and gratitude on their faces. I think that was probably the first time I ever actually stopped to ponder the blessings I had been given or how thankful I was to be able to live and breath so freely.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    **Sorry... this was the only picture of Old Glory I could put my hands on at the moment. *g*

    Anyway... a very "Happy" Fourth to all!

    And now if you'll excuse me... I think there's probably some potato salad out on there on porch that's about to go "iffy."




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    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    NANA... WATO?

    So here we are yet in the midst of another contest. Another challenge of sorts. The quest to find the New Album Name Acronym. But we, as Clay Aiken fan's, have become very good at these. In fact we'll embrace any and all challenges or invitations he tosses our way. We have a very successful track record.

    But this new one. Hmm... I find it interesting, especially since there was such a wealth of "between the lines" potential in that OFC announcement.

    First of all... and I realize this isn't rocketscience... but I gleaned from it that there probably won't be a CD or tour announcement this summer. I think we should probably expect to hear something on or right around September 1st. I'm sure they realize that no respectable card carrying Clay Aiken fan is gonna just whip out said "card" and frantically type in those 16 little digits without being handed some substantial news first. So we get the summer off. With no stress. Bwah! I thought that was cute... and imaginative.

    Second of all... I think we can deduce that there is no title, of yet, for the album. I don't believe that what we are being asked to do is "guess" the new title, but actually "name" it ourselves. Again... brilliant! He has complete faith in us, that's apparent. But no complaints here, because it's just good to know that we'll at least have the album title come July 15th.

    And of course I'll submit my guess and try to make it a good one but since I only get ONE chance I probably won't use WATO... cause that probably wouldn't market him to his best advantage. But seriously... What Are The Odds?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    I remember submitting my Clay "pun" and thinking it was fairly creative...

    Multipliclaytion = The math skill needed to be able to calculate the fact that you are twice his age.

    Yeah, ok... I truly understand why that one didn't win. But I had another one too...

    Baiken and Claygg's = The dish that anyone of us would like to be serving to him right this very moment.

    I didn't submit it because it just felt too corny. *g*

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    And let's see? Other challenges?...


    • Well, on 7/25/05 he asked us in so many words to come support him at the GMA Summer Concert Series. So we came.


    • On 8/2/05 he teased us about the name of his upcoming album and asked us to be patient... We were.


    • On 9/29/05 he hinted that there might be some album info "forthcoming" in the next few weeks and asked us to talk amongst ourselves. We did. H*ll, we still are...


    • On 10/2/05 we were introduced to the creator of some of his artwork from his home in Chatsworth and his good friend. We all peeked.


    • In November and December of '05 we obediently yet unintentionally sent the stock prices for 3M black electrical tape through the roof.


    • On 11/19/05 he asked us to continue to support his friend and ex-backup singer, Jacob Luttrell, and to keep him in our prayers... or at least that's what I gathered from it. I think most of us have.
    • Oops, link's dead now. Oh well.

    • On 1/17/06 some of us dug out the bibles and blew the dust off of them in order to read Isaiah 51:7 first hand.


    • And then on 1/23/06 we circled our wagons. Now I realize this wasn't a request or a challenge. In fact, it was probably the last thing he expected. But he gave it all back to us just by uttering two words. Not a problem darlin'. Services happily rendered.


    • On 1/30/06 he coined the famous phrase "QUITE soon" and of course we believed him again.


    • Now on 2/14/06, and this is a departure, instead of asking us to do something he actually asked our permission. He wanted to know if "we were OK" with him taking each one of us as his own personal Valentine. Of course we all said "sure."


    • During the first few days of March we pulled out our Atlas's and took a refresher course on the geography of Eastern Europe.


    • On 3/14/06 a rerun of Scrubs nearly rivaled the Neilsen ratings for Idol. A subtle request at best... but we picked up on it.


    • Sales for the book The Kite Runner" soared during the first week of April. All due to one little "suggestion."


    • But on 5/17/06 his challenge to refrain from eating mexican food fell flat as a flour tortilla. I tried... but lasted only an hour.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    And speaking of chimichangas...

    I think my very favorite challenge of his to date was presented to us on 9/16/05. Remember during that annoying mini-drought of '05? Those painful two months we had to wait between tours? Nick had the camera *right* and so he had absolutely no pictures at all to share with us? So once again he shared with us two words... "Draw Some." And so we did.

    I have a horrible fear of stick figures because I think they are creepy yet even a greater fear of trying to draw something more complicated. So even though I'd never drawn anything in my life I still, reticently, took the bate.

    This is how it turned out.

    I'm thinking right now about how fun it might be to draw new Clay. May I suggest that we "draw some?"

    **Even though I somehow I doubt that my voice will speak with the same authority...**

    For those of you who didn't feel motivated to click on any of those links, perhaps I can at still share with you my inspiration... by way of Spotlightlover.




    geesh... now I completely forgot what I was talking about...

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    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    With Clay it's easy to let things slide... but don't.

    This has nothing to do with Clay or anything much of anything in my real life. But it happened and I saw it so now somehow it's a part of me.

    I don't know these people. All I know is that they've always kept their yard and home in shambles. Ten years ago I remember how they had a Charlie Brown christmas tree in the front. It was pathetic and sad. I wondered for the longest time why they kept it. It was bent way under another tree and so scrawny that it could have been removed quite easily, with hardly an effort. About a year ago it WAS removed and I remember finding myself missing it somehow. I know. Weird. But that's what gives weight to my sadness. Imagining them making that one cognitive effort to improve their landscape.

    I wish I'd taken a picture of the house pre-yesterday because it was truly something to behold, but the opportunity has now escaped me. But it was the classic and preverbial eyesore... trust me... the yard, the house and all. Even though it somehow feels irreverant to be almost glad it's gone. Still, I can't imagine I'm the only one in the neighborhood who feels that way.

    I've driven by this house every day of my life for the past ten years. I think it must have been at least that long ago that I was tempted to slip a little note into the mailbox that said.. "Do you have any idea how your lack of interest is affecting the ambiance???" or "Get a job!"... or something like that. I'm really glad now that I never did.

    But I'll miss seeing the skateboard ramp in the driveway and the plethora of testosternone hanging out around the front yard at any given moment. I'll miss rolling my eyes at the redundancy of a lawnmower sitting in the middle of a lawn which hasn't been mowed for months and being so grateful that I am fortunate enough to live the next street over. I'll stop wondering how a garage door can hang on it's hinge askew for eight years straight or why anyone would opt to fill that garage with so much junk that their kazillion cars have to be parked on the street... the lawn... or wherever. Most of all, I will miss the American Flag window treatments.

    I don't profess to understand other's priorities.

    I have a clear vision of driving past it just yesterday and reminiscing about "Charlie Brown" and somewhat fondly remembering. That's what's weird. Last night I heard sirens. Today I now realize where they were headed. When I think about it really?... I don't know why I'm so surprised. In my mind I think I've always known that this house was an inferno waiting to happen.

    So why am I feeling so affected by this? Perhaps I'm imagining what it would be like to experience the loss of everything. Even if everything wasn't anything I cared about or took the time to take care of. Still, just to know that I'd slept in there somewhere comfortably and peaceably at one time... or laid on the sofa, albiet sloshed, but watching whatever on TV, perhaps even AI at one time. Anyway... just rambling.

    This morning it was just a shell of what it use to be, which really wasn't that much to begin with, yet somehow it's still really hard to look at. I didn't want to rubberneck too much while driving by but in a glance I could still see the torched remains of old glory. By this afternoon they pretty much had it all boarded up... a safety precaution I guess.




    Tonight I checked my smoke alarms and found them to be defunct so I replaced the batteries. I don't check them as regularly as I should. I also made sure that all my most precious things were stored safely and in a place where I could readily grab them at a moments notice. I also swept my garage. I think that sometimes we get smacked awake by other's misfortunes.

    I truly hope that there were no fatalities. I haven't heard. It happened about 8:00 PM on Friday night. So hopefully everybody was out bowling or playing bingo or something... Hopefully.