Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Favorite Montages of 2007

I love montages!

Not only because a really well made one can be so incredibly enjoyable/soothing/healing and just so much fun, but because I totally recognize all of the time and hard work that goes into making one.

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to making one this year simply because of all the time and hard work that goes into making one... *g*

But I have thoroughly enjoyed all those that we have been blessed with this year... and I thank each and every one of you who has sacrificed your time to bring them.

At the end of each year I always try to come up with a collection of my favorite montages. There's no rhyme or reason really. Some are more elaborate than others... some include video techniques that I could only dream of incorporating. Others just have a way of putting the right pictures/clips with the right songs perfectly. Anyway, I guess I just I base my "favorites" simply upon their ability to move me, touch me in some way or make me smile.

But anyway, here you have it... my gamut. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have!


The Many Facets of Goldarngirl...sung by Sheena Easton


Anyway... by Windtalker... sung by Martina McBride

Thought Provoking:

Falling Slowly... by dreamlarge... sung by Glen Hansard & Marketa Inglova


Black Velvet... by cindilu2... sung by Alannah Myles


The Luckiest... by Windtalker... sung by Ben Folds


Happy Birthday Clay (Movie of Your Life)... by dreamlarge... sung by Spencer Day

...and Just Plain FUN:

Born With A Smile... by Sylvie... sung by Bobby Rydell

Again... thanks SO MUCH to all who share. I wish I could have included them all!

Favorite Montages From 2006... you'll have to scroll down a bit to see these since they're preceeded by a really long-*ssed blog... But they're really good too! And what else did you have to do tonight?...

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Prospero año y Felici...yada yada

I've been reading some stuff lately. Ok... I've been reading A LOT of stuff lately and for a long, long time in fact. And frankly?... I haven't been inspired to add ANY of those reads to my Book Club... People like to talk. And they like to talk a lot! I guess it probably makes them feel they have a 'connectshun' in some way 'or another'... I guess. If you're wondering what I'm rambling about... please don't ask me to point you in any particular direction. If you wanna read the shyte badly enough... it's all out there. Plenty of it. But how silly it all is. Hey, I work in H.R. so trust me I've seen it, and pretty much ALL of it. There are people out there who are just... well, funny, ya know? That's all there is to it.

And I don't mean funny "haha"...


I'm just gonna keep on enjoying all the things about the man that 'make sense' to me...

And now on to a brand spankin' shiny New Year...

Por Favor and Muchas Gracias!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas...

Only twelve? I don't think soooo. But *toots pitch pipe* and *clears throat*... anyway.

On those "twelve days"(ha) of Christmas our boyfriend gave to Weeeeee...

(stuff like...)

Twelve Drummers Drumming ~

Ok, so that wasn't Christmas exactly... but it kind of was...

Eleven Pipers Piping ~

Ten Lords A-Leaping ~

Nine Ladies Dancing ~

Eight Maids A-Milking ~

Seven Swans A-Swimming ~

Six Geese A-Laying ~

Five...'Golden'...Riiiiiiiiings ~

Except that, um, there are ten of them, so oops! But anyway...

Four Calling Birds ~

Three French Hens ~

Two Turtle Doves ~

**cues little drummer boy for the 'ba dum bum'**

...And A Partridge In A Pear Tree ~


But seriously...

Wishing you ALL a beautiful, safe and very meaningful Holiday!

And with that, I'll leave you with this.

The reason we celebrate in the first place...

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Clay Does The Heart(land) Good...

As Clay wraps up his 21 city tour (well, really only 20 since he loves Minneapolis so much) I thought I'd take a minute to reflect on not only how grateful I am that he does these each and every year but also what I'll ever do with myself if he ever decides to stop! He has become such a holiday tradition for me and for so many countless others.

I'd have to go back to burning candy probably...

...and erecting christmas trees.

Wrapping packages...

...lots of them.

Fumbling with decorative lighting...

...and all those pesky wires.

Sending out Christmas cards to people who don't even remember me...

Braving those icy roads to the mall...

...the 'musak'...

...and all the good cheer of the holiday shoppers...

And of course... cleaning my house. shut up!

So nope... I think I am just MORE than content with the 'present'...

Clay will be spending his Christmas 'vacation' this year in Mexico with UNICEF kids.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

We Are SO Lucky!

Is it too early to give thanks?

Because seriously, what other object of affection does THIS within a span of two weeks time? I ask you gurrfriend!

Not only did he appear as a special guest in a tribute to pop icon Neil Sedaka...

...Produced by music industry legend David Foster...

But then... he also remembered to take a moment to kiss us!

And then only a week later he took us back to the classroom (Such a rarity! *g* Unfortunately no corporal punishment was involved...) and proved to us that, though he MAY not be smarter than a fifth grader (as if) he is still definitely smart enough to know when to take the $300,000 for the Bubel/Aiken Foundation summer camps and run!

And wasn't it only the very next week when he "slipped and slided" in that very sweet, humble and self-deprecating way of his for us (after blowing the roof off in his soon to be nationally televised version of "All Is Well?")

But only after hugging... (oh gawd)

THAT BLOND? (!!!!!)

**lalalalalala... I can't HEAR you!** **Sticks fingers in ears and squeezes eyelids together tightly!**

And yet, HaHa!... wouldn't ya know that he'd still figure out a way to make it up to us somehow?...

And I guess, after that, he figured that we'd all just be so spent by the quantity of him, that he'd allow us to just sit back, relax and enjoy taking in this...

Yes, he is such a grand boyfriend... and we ARE so lucky.

Thanks to all who provide the Clack always, and in this instance, particularly to dreamlarge for having such the eagle eye when it comes to these sorts of things.

And to MBlovesClay for scoring the original video.

Submitted as a Main Page at LBFCA... 11/11/07

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Best of Times... The Worst of Times...

The Best...
The note of the century is NAILED and witnessed by a mere 3,400 in Merrilville, Indiana.

The Worst...
A hand is placed most inadvertently... and within seconds is witnessed 'round the world.


And isn't THAT just the sort of thing that 'scary things' are really made of?...

In the meantime...

**dodges kitchen knives and other various and sundry sharp flying objects**


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rich in Irony… not to mention Sodium Nitrite…

So anyway… I just have to share a funny little story here.

You see, I’m kind of on this funky budget these days (and have been for the past four years, four months and like four days… coincidental? possibly...) But at any rate, my weekly trips to the grocery store have become pretty much non-existent.

And my mother likes to worry about me because, well, that’s just what mothers do. But just a few weeks ago I assured her once again not to… because I still had quite a plentiful food supply in my basement and how one night, even though the thought of it almost made me want to toss my four-year-old cookies, I made myself open one of the twenty cans of Spam that were just sitting there amidst the twenty cans of Vienna sausages, fruit cocktail and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. (Because that's just the kind of things people have sitting in their food storages, right?… for all of those nuclear holocausts and whatnot still to come?... yet never thinking you’d ever actually be forced to eat them.)

And then I told her how shocked I was that how thrown together nice portion of canned carrots and applesauce along with some homemade Bisquits that I had really actually ENJOYED the Spam... alot! Well, she thought that was the probably one of the funniest thing she'd ever heard and told me that I should definitely consider writing that one down in my blog..

Except that I’m a procrastinator at heart and probably needed a much more persuasive motivation…

Irony Rich Ingredient #1:

Clay Aiken, who became a music superstar following his success on the American Idol television series, will join the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, making his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin, at the Shubert Theatre, New York, from January 18 to May 4, 2008.

Tickets are available online now at or by calling (212) 239-6200/(800) 432-7250.

And then of course I just HAD to “photoshop” something for those who could not wait…


Now, not to allude to the fact that I’m making any plans AT ALL to travel to New York to see this silly show (mother) because heaven knows the hotel taxes in New York City alone would set me back another six month’s on this Spam diet.

(How lucky though that there’s pretty much six months worth of variety…) out there. But shhh.

Irony Rich Ingredient #2:

I wonder if he will shower in the same shower stall that I use to shave my legs in... or nap and dream on the same cot that I once did on matinee days. And now, I almost wish I would have left all those fangirly Clay Aiken pictures and messages of endearment taped to my dressing room mirror for him to be able to see years later… except that there is probably no way I could have done that... since I don't believe he was even born yet. Ok, so maybe he was five...

Still though, I am rather upset with myself right now for not being able to see into the future. Because seriously… what a missed opportunity THAT was.

Thanks to whichever Broad it was who 'Photoshopped' the Shubert Spamalot marquee. Mine was just shot through a dinky little Kodak instamatic on an overcast matinee day sometime back in October of '83.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two Bits of (Good) News...

First of all...

I'm finished with my CO162 class (Intro to Desktop Publishing aka Adobe InDesign)... and it was FUN!... Although I couldn't, for the life of me, figure it out in the beginning.

But now I've got another class under my belt and only about another eight to complete before I get my Graphic Imaging degree. Now if I were in my 20's that'd probably be in the spring. But since I'm NOT, I'm more than likely looking at somewhere around 2010... of course if the planet is still in existence by then.

Anyway, here are a couple of my final projects which included filling text with graphics. We actually only had to do one but I couldn't decide between the two. And I'm one of those anal, extra credit sort of people anyway...

And they are OF COURSE clickable.

Some of the other final projects we had to do included a graphic travelogue brochure as well as a five-star restaraunt menu which, amusingly, ALSO featured Clay as the subject... They pretty much "wrote" themselves...

It's just always so funny to see my Professors' reactions when I turn in these final projects...

Oh yes!... And the second bit of good news is that Clay will be introducing himself on this weekend's American Idol 2 Rewind and we'll get to see him all over again... for the first time. So don't forget to watch!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Christmas Memory... in October.

AKA... "No More Trees Torn Apart"...

So, Clay has announced his latest contest! And we should all write down our favorite holiday memory in twenty sentences or less and submit them. The winners will then be invited to present their special and unique memories on stage during his upcoming Holiday tour.

Is this for real?

And more importantly… do I even have one?

Growing up... Christmas in my home was always magical. My mother spared no expense or effort in providing my sisters and I the total experience of the season. Christmas mornings were like Disneyland, only better. Presents would cover every square inch of carpet and furniture; the spread of candy and goodies on the dining room table would go on for miles. And of course there was always music. Thinking back, I’m not sure AT ALL how she afforded it. She was just (for all intents and purposes) a single mother living on a modest teacher’s salary in the 60’s. I can only imagine how much she, herself, must have had to budget and sacrifice during the year to be able to make that happen for us each and every Christmas and sometimes the memory of it all humbles me greatly.

And here I am only sacrificing sentences…

Because as wonderful as those memories are to me, would they be worthy of a public presentation or even at all interesting to anyone else? Probably not.

But hang in there… Because the year after I moved away from home, mom met ‘dad’… and two peas in a pod were never better paired. I don’t know if it had something to do with them both having grown up during the depression or them both having to raise up children pretty much on their own or what. Or if it was just that once having finally met their soul mate all of those latent, frugal tendencies just kicked into overdrive. Who knows? But you could definitely call them penny pinchers nowdays… or even tightwads if you must. Though that's not neccessarily a bad thing... since they've also been around the world a couple of times...

Still, neither of them would ever hesitate to help out anyone in need, or volunteer their time or money to their church or to charities at all. But at the end of the month, when the money's gone from the “envelope” it’s gone. Even though, more often than not, it’s gone on others long before it’s gone on themselves. I don't get it at all, but somehow they've cracked the code.

Now be patient, because this is where the story starts to get good... and maybe starts to explain itself.

In the early 1980's they somehow decided to start saving trees. Now, I'm not talking about recycling paper or printing double sided, or anything like that... I'm talking about saving whole freakin' conifers!

Mind you... this all happened several years after I'd left home...(thankfully).

I think the idea must have first sprung up a few days after Christmas in maybe 1982 or something... when they went to toss that Christmas tree out onto the curb and then said to themself... "Self… (because they are ONE you know)... this tree still looks just perfectly fine! Do you think we could maybe save it and try to use it again next year?”

And so the tradition began!!! It was wrapped up in plastic and hoisted upside down among the rafters of the garage that I grew up in (except that I actually lived in the house when I use to live there.)

I think it must have been the next year or the year after that when I came home for Christmas and they were so very proud of their tree! And you'd have to admit it still looked beautiful! I mean, you couldn't even tell! It was pretty darn perky from being hung upside down for all that time and all! And all they'd had to do, really, was to spray a little refresher flocking on it each year and add some tinsel and ornaments... and voila!

Except that, unbelievably, this went on for the next couple of years as well... until, it must have been around Christmas of 1987, I think, when they finally decided to go visit a branch of our family who lived out of state.

(I can just imagine the conversation...)

"What do you think? Will it last till next year?"

"Well, it might... but again, maybe not."

"And it could also prove to be a fire hazard as well don’t you think?.. while we're away?"

"Very true. Maybe we should… dispose of it?."

...And so they did. And so here’s this Christmas tree just ‘disposed of’ on the curb outside their house... the week before Christmas!!! I mean, can you just imagine it? Seriously… just stop and close your eyes and think about it. Because I can hardly even write this story without tears of laughter streaming down my face!.. let alone imagining verbalizing it in front of a cast of thousands.

But... it gets even better!

Because just a couple of days after that, while driving home from their Christmas visit and heading up the road to the house, that they happened to spot this perfectly good, yet discarded, Christmas tree just laying there so 'disposed of' alongside somebody's curb. And so they did what any frugal and environmentally responsible individuals would do... they just got out of the car, walked right up to the door… and knocked.

And if you only knew how really classy and normal they are... normally... this story would just about kill you even more!

So there you have it, my favorite Christmas memory! And you know what? I feel like I just won the lottery or something. Because one of the rules of the contest was that it had to be limited to twenty sentences and this was way longer than that! Even without the... ellipses! So I guess there is just no way I'll be able to submit it and hope for any opportunity at all to be up on stage sharing this very "special" story with thousands upon thousands of... riveted fans...

However... on the off chance that he decides to add O Christmas Tree to the set list, I guess I could maybe still be in trouble…

...being how he likes to bend his own rules from time to time and all.


My parents are treating (all 20 something of us!) to a cruise for the new year. It’s been in the planning stages for many years and I can only imagine the budgeting that’s been going on there! I guess some things never change. But I know how important it is to them to have us all together in the same place… for perhaps one last time perhaps. They’ve even reserved a meeting room for one of the evenings where we can all get together to reminisce and share all of our old childhood stories and memories.

And so now, thanks to this, at least I have ONE pretty good one to share so far…

That's not exactly my mom, but I still had to do a double-take...

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jannet's Book Club...

...(or at least books I wish I hadn't ALREADY read and could still look forward to...)

I've never really been much of an avid reader... there always seems to be SO much else to do...

But in 1963 I DID read "Charlotte's Web." And in 1967, "The Little Princess." Both of them much more riveting than I think Disneyland could ever be. And then, believe it or not, in 1969 I read "Gone With The Wind" and was so moved by it that I actually sat down one day and began to scribe it out longhand, just to retain the beauty of the writing in my mind somehow. But after two weeks or so, having only made it to page 10 or so out of 689, my fingers finally just gave out and gave up.

And then my good friend, Thom, just reminded me of a book that I pretty much wore the cover off back in my college days... Sheila Levine Is Dead... And Living In New York by Gail Parent. And I loved rereading it! Some of the most quick-witted lines ever written on a page!

"The Stand" in 1979 was pretty good as well as were several of Stephen King books which came shortly before and after... and I had some time to read them between matinee and evening performances on Wednesday's and Saturdays in my little loft in Shubert Alley. But then... I ended up having kids and it was a long, long, LONG time after that before I ever read a book again!

Until, I read "The Bridges of Madison County" in 1992... which I totally related to!... and which probably ended up being the catalyst that changed my life as I knew it. But looking back, I'm absolutely sure it was for the best. Still, I guess you have to be very selective in what you choose to read at times. The mind can be a powerful trap, ya know?

Anyway, until this year, I think that was my last fling... with the novel. And then suddenly it just flared up again in full force, probably having something to do with discovering the fact that reading is the ultimate free means of entertainment and an escape from any and all of life's other addictions. And it's relaxing and pleasurable as well!... without being too terribly sinful or blatantly slothful... of course, provided you've attended to all of your other responsibilities first. So basically, reading works for me on a guilt level with which I'm fairly comfortable.

Here's my list of favorites reads and trust me, I've read a ton. Not sure what made me choose one book over another except that to make my list a book probably had to have accomplished at least 6 of following 8 requirements:

  • Kept me rivited from the first to the last and final page
  • Made me think really hard about things
  • Made me cry a little
  • Kept me up all night
  • Made me feel really thankful and fortunate that I was only reading it
  • Made me succumb to the tempatation of sneaking in multiple peeks at work
  • Scared the h*ll out of me
  • Or just moved or touched me in some way beyond my ability to express it...
So here they are... in no particular order. I realize the common thread is a fairly dark premise... but they are each so very, very hopeful in their own way... at the same time.

Kind of like me...

Click on the book title for further details and editorial comments and then decide for yourself if you think it might be of interest to you. But like I said... wish I could just take each and every one of them back back to bed with me and start all over again.

Diary of A Young Girl (Uncensored and Unabridged) by Anne Frank

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Black Wave by John & Jean Silverwood

Somewhere In Heaven by Christopher Andersen

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

Tweak... Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Long Walk by Stephen King

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Messiah of Morris Avenue by Tony Hendra

Derailed by James Siegel

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

Cell by Stephen King

False Memory by Dean Koontz

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoesseini

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Loverboy by Victoria Redel

Hope you enjoy them at least half as much as I did! And please feel free to include your recommendations in the comments section. Got a couple of leisurly vacations coming up...

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