jamie is cooler than me

July 28, 2008

she always finds these awesome things to do online, and this mosaic is no exception.  here’s how to do it, followed by my example:


This is how it all works:

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page of results, choose your favorite image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name? (shannon)
2. What is your favorite food? (shrimp)
3. What high school did you attend? (smoky valley high)
4. What is your favorite color? (red green) i can never decide between the two
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (ewan mcgregor)
6. Favorite drink? (diet coke)
7. Dream vacation? (ireland)
8. Favorite dessert? (turtle cheesecake)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (happy)
10.What do you love most in life? (knowing who i am)
11. One word to describe you. (determined)
12. Your Flickr name. (i can’t remember it)









one of my images didn’t come up, but this seemed so appropriate i used it as is.


cosmic bowling with cosmic billing

cosmic bowling with cosmic billing


jamie and erin rockin pg and cow gear at maj-r thrift










jamie models the newest in hairdresser smock couture from vera wang


headband from hell

headband from hell


only 10 ww points for the whole thing!

homemade flatbread pizza: only 10 ww points for the whole thing!

the dark knight

July 23, 2008

ok.  e, b, j, a, and i went to see the biggest blockbuster of all time yesterday.  the bat flick.  you know the one i’m talking about.  i’m not going to talk about the plot, so you can keep reading.

as an action flick, this movie rocked.  the blow-em-ups and chase scenes were intense, and yet again i found myself scared by the bad guy.  basic response to a well done picture.  there is, however, a big ol’ butt coming here.  because heath ledger is SUCH a better actor than anyone else in the cast, i felt the film was flat in several places.  normally i am a huge maggie gyllenhall and aaron eckhart fan, but as rachel dawes and harvey dent they were just ok.  i didn’t feel connected to rachel’s sense of justice, or her dedication to bruce wayne–i am shocked to say i believed katie holmes more in batman begins than gyllenhall here, but it’s true. it may be because stepping into a role originated by someone else is difficult on its own, but the character seem to have undergone a rewrite that just didn’t do it for me.   as for eckhart, he has it in him to catch fire on screen–thank you for smoking was irreverent, passionate, and surprising.  as harvey dent, however, he is a pretty boy making good.  not much else.  when the plot calls on him to hit emotional highs and lows it just didn’t quite get there.  it was sort of like riding a kiddie rollercoaster: you get to do some twisting and turning, but the rises and falls weren’t what you remember from the big kids’ ride.

as for bale, freeman, caine, and oldman…they are incredible actors.  brilliant, agile, surprising–they give you things to think about that have nothing to do with the lines.  their choices, as actors, keep you engaged.  i have seen so many of the films made by these men, and rarely been disappointed.  and here i was satisfied, though not impressed.  they are good, but they weren’t good enough to outshine the film’s true star.

heath ledger did things that had to have frightened him as a human being to so fully immerse himself in the joker’s role.  he was alternately terrifying, confusing, deluded, and even vulnerable.  there is a  moment when his reflection on the state of the city makes him seem to be the sanest man in gotham–a tough trick for a character meant to be reviled through 98% of the film.  there aren’t words to express how good he was in this role.  i understand and support the oscar buzz surrounding this performance, and couldn’t help but feeling heartsick as i left the theatre, knowing there wouldn’t be decades of work to watch from this talented man.  

are their letdowns in the film?  yes.  are there anomalies that may take you out of the story?  yes.  should you go see it anyway?  yes, because ledger is at his best when revealing the dark things that live in each of us.

so this is me.  cancer.  the crab.  the description on this little inset is mostly right, though i do not think i am nicer than everyone else, i just wish i was.  and they need to add partly neurotic, analytical, and too much.  

today i am 32 years old.  i entered this big beautiful world at 7:07 pm on 7/17/76 and i have been trying to make my way in it ever since.  

32 observations/things i believe: 

1.  i am now chronologically double the age i am mentally (everything i loved at 16, i still love: violent femmes, supreme pizza, diet coke, jennifer johnson, snl, theatre, etc.)

2.  i have been a tax paying employee for more years of my life than not–got my first on the books job at 14.  thanks, jud and connie.

3.  it took me 32 years to get it, but i now understand what it means to love yourself enough to tell yourself the truth.

4.  there comes a point in life where you have to choose not only to compromise, but to concede; if the person you’re arguing with–and their presence in your life–is more important than the subject of said argument, you have to be ok with conceding. because who really cares if the couch is red, or if it’s brown, as long as you get to sit on it together.

5.  when the universe send you a signal, you will only see/hear/feel it if you have learned to quiet yourself and watch for it.

6.  hope is more powerful than any prescription drug.

7.  i believe in a thing called love, just listen to the rhythm of my heart.–the darkness

8.  for every time i think something negative about myself, i try to think of two positives.

9.  the older i get, the less sure i am that marty and willie were meant for each other in beautiful girls.

10.  the definition of horticulture: you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.–dorothy parker

11.  i was born into the greatest family i have encountered.  there isn’t one person i know whose family is as supportive, funny, close, or as happy to know each other as mine. 

12.  my mother is the strongest person i know, and i learn from her everyday.  she knows when to laugh at herself, and when to laugh at the rest of the world, and those are valuable gifts.

13.  one man’s trash is another man’s salvation.

14.  i believe in telling the truth, even if it is the hardest thing to do.

15.  to have one good friend in the world, some would consider themselves lucky.  i have several.  i am blessed.

16.  ani difranco has a song for every color of my crazy rainbow.

17.  it is never too late to have a happy childhood.–tom robbins

18.  lelaina and troy were right for each other in reality bites.

19.  a john hughes movie, a diet coke, and some chips and salsa can get you through almost anything.

20.  if anne sexton were alive, i would try to find her house so i could sit on her porch drinking kir royales, smoking parliaments, and listening to her buzz about poetry and the world.

21.  i believe all people have the capacity for goodness within them, but they must be helped to nurture that goodness; that nurturing is the responsibility of everyone.

22.  knowing who you are may not make you popular at 13, but it will make you happy the rest of your life.

23.  going to graduate school was the most impulsive choice i’ve ever made, and the best.

24.  the world owes me nothing, but we owe each other the world.–ani difranco

25.  bonsai, motherfucker.

26.  doing what’s right and doing what’s easy are almost never the same thing.  i have to live with myself, so i have to do what’s right.

27.  trusting my heart has never led me astray.  

28.  i believe in admitting you are smart, capable, and talented.  the people who don’t accept that, or are put off by that admission, are insecure and afraid of embracing their own gifts.

29.  curling up with a good book is better than any expensive night on the town.

30.  when you find the person who loves you exactly as you are, you have found everything.

31.  giving back a part of yourself, using your talents to help others, creating art, and making the world a better place are what life is about.

32.  i am loved.  i am thankful.  i am 32, and ready for the rest of my life to unfold.

the cliff

July 12, 2008

for awhile now it has felt, in my life, like i have ben walking down a long road only to find myself standing at a cliff.  the view is gorgeous, there is no reason to turn back, only a deep rooted desire to move forward, but there is no bridge, no net, nothing to catch me if i fall.  i have been walking this direction for so long that now, having arrived at my destination, i am completely floored as to what to do next.

you see, i have my dream job.  i have my dream life.  my husband greeted me at the airport holding a sign–like the ones limo drivers hold up–that read “chips.”  this is an inside joke that made me laugh til i had tears in my eyes.  i was so happy to see him, so happy to be home, so happy to know that as long as we are, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.  we have been through unemployment, graduate school, more unemployment, law school, student teaching and again, more unemployment.  but now we arrive at the goal: both of us have jobs lined up for the fall, me still at lhs an alex, well, more on that once he officially signs on the dotted line.  but we will not have to worry about money, we will go to bed at the same time and eat breakfast together and generally embark on the life that we’ve been inching towards for six years, the last two of them as married people, and i am a little freaked out at what this adult turn means for us.  i don’t think it will be bad at all, but the change hat is going to happen, the shift in the tide, will be a BIG one, and i pray we won’t get swept away by it.

so here i stand, ready to fall if necessary.  i am not afraid, because we are holding hands, holding our breath, and holding out for something beautiful.  it is coming.


and, on a less serious note, at the bar last night i came up with an impossible to choose from trio for the game “cliff”.  could you choose?




















July 8, 2008

so here i am at the ft. lauderdale airport waiting to return to kansas.  lovewell this summer was absolutely incredible.  the show, the students, the staff.  i am fortunate and blessed to have been a part of this experience, one that takes to heart the idea that anything–everything–is possible through creativity, collaboration, and understanding.

i am going to try to read more, listen more, and just be more. i have lived 25 days without watching television, bitching about my job as a teacher, or feeling bad about my appearance.  these things didn’t happen because i was involved in a process that took the focus off of me, and turned my focus instead towards the learning process as it applies to the creation of a new work of art.  i’m not sure how. exactly, to bring this into my daily life, but i am sure that it is necessary.

when you know where you are, it is easier to determine where you are going, and i am happy to say after nearly 32 years, i know where i am.  spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally…i know where i am.  there are things i would like to change, as all of us would, but i am not afraid to change them anymore.  

i was reading dorie’s copy of one of the post secret books while attending a 4th of july throw down at the spangler house and stumbled upon a secret that looked a lot like my own.  the person who had written it said they were afraid to do something because of what might happen to them, and that is my secret.  i have been afraid of getting healthy and losing weight because i fear that, if i look like my old, thinner self, i’ll revert back to the behaviors of that self.  and that incarnation of me was destructive, egocentric, and afraid of so very much.  and i don’t want to return to that life.

the great thing about perspective, though, is that when you have it, you have no need to be afraid anymore. it is no longer about what i fear will happen if i do lose weight because fear is not in control any longer. the facts is: if i stay unhealthy, i am a less appropriate role model for my students, i run the risk of health issues that could limit or hinder my time with my husband, and i continue to live in a state of fear.  

i will not do that anymore.  here’s to a life without fear, and a heart full of hope.

thank you, universe

July 6, 2008

my horoscope from freewill astrology this week is as follows:


Verticle Oracle cardCancer (June 21-July 22)
It’s Beautify Yourself Week, dear Cancerian. A conspiracy of cosmic proportions is preparing the conditions necessary for you to capitalize handsomely on this opportunity. At this very moment, there is beauty behind you and beauty in front of you. There is beauty to your left and beauty to your right, beauty above you and beauty below you. All you have to do is inhale, drink in, and otherwise suck up this lushness. It will interact synergistically with the splendor that is also welling up in you, and you will transform into an almost unbearably gorgeous work of art. 


i am humbled by this because i have been feeling all week like something is coming, on it’s way, bright and brilliant and beautiful.  i have no idea what the universe is preparing for me, but i have to acknowledge that there is a force at work, a big booming force moving through time and space to bring me a gift.  i can feel it approaching.  on a metaphysical level, you must recognize and honor the energy and momentum that builds up around you and buoys you to your next summit, or crevasse.  i feel poised to take to the sky…my wings are rusty, but ready.