Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Among the Living

I have the afternoon to myself, so I thought I'd pop in to say hello. I need to pop "over" to everyone else's blogs to say hello, actually. Andrew let Eler Beth tag along with him this afternoon to the mall and some other places, and Thomas is at work, so I have some time alone. I haven't had much of that lately.

I ran some errands and had lunch by myself at a little cafe downtown called Perkfections. I ate outside where I could people watch. Then I went across the street and up just a few yards to JeffBook, one of my favorite local book stores. I found a lot of treasures there, but managed to come away with only a few, among them a small Bible printed in 1826 and in remarkably good shape, a book by James Lane Allen called Flute and Violin and Other Kentucky Tales, published in 1899, and some P.G. Wodehouse.

Let's see. What has been going on here? Well, Thomas and I were both sick with a head and chest thing that we just could not seem to get rid of. We both went to the doctor, we both took two rounds of antibiotics, we both had pneumonia ruled out with x-rays, and we have both slowly recovered. Allergies are horrible this year!

It finally stopped raining log enough for us to get the yard cut and weeded. I was afraid I'd lose a pet or a loved one out back, the grass was getting so high!

Eler Beth got a new pet -- a flying squirrel. He is adorable, and she tells all about how we surprised her with it in her blog.

Thomas and I went to see Star Trek a couple weeks ago, and it was SO GOOD!! I raved about it to everyone I saw for a good solid week after seeing it. I really loved Karl Urban's portrayal of Bones. (He also played Eomer in LOTR and Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy.)

The first episode of the History Channel Expedition Africa series for which my nephew received an Emmy nomination for his work as Sound Supervisor airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. (I'll be throwing that into conversations for a while, you know! lol) The DVD is already available for sale on the web site, with some behind-the-scenes footage that I'm really looking forward to seeing. I still have something to tell about Jacob's experience while he was in Africa, but I'm not allowed to tell it yet! Oooh, I can't wait!

And my brother has surgery next week. I've written about him and his health problems before. He is having bypass surgery because of blockage. We were worried that they would decide not to do the surgery because his arteries are in such bad shape, but the doctor finally decided that there was more risk of his losing a leg from the restricted blood flow than there was of having something happen during surgery. My sister who lives in Florida is flying up for it. I will pick her up at the airport on Tuesday, then Wednesday morning he will have the surgery. Hopefully all will go well and he will be out of the hospital by Friday. She, I, Mom, his daughter, and two of my other sisters will all be there, so he'll have plenty of good vibes around him. (I wonder if he ever thought of his six sisters as being a source of "good vibes"? Ha, probably not!)

Well, that was a quick catch-up. I must go now. There are books and blogs calling my name. Can you hear them?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Nephew Has Been Nominated For An Emmy!!

I've been sitting on this news (and some other news that I can't write about yet), and now it's time to announce it.

Remember my writing about my nephew Jacob? He is my eldest sister's youngest child. He works for Adrenaline Films as an Audio Technician. He is only 23 years old. If you go to Adrenaline's web site and go to the Production Team at the bottom of the page and scroll over, I think he's about the 10th one to the right. I have written on Dusty Pages about his working on the Survivor China crew, among other things.

Well, on Sunday May 31, The History Channel is going to premiere its Expedition Africa series with the Stanley and Livingstone story, at 10pm/9 central. Jacob was the Sound Supervisor on the crew. At the time he was 22, which made him the youngest sound supervisor EVER in the US. And he, personally, yes, he, Jacob F. Smith, has been nominated for an Emmy for the work he did on that show. Isn't that cool???

Jacob has always been interested in being a sound engineer. In middle school he set up his own sound studio and he worked with a local guy who did all the school plays, as well as weddings, concerts, etc. So by the time Jacob got out of high school he was already a pretty good audio engineer in his own right. He decided what company he wanted to work for after he got out of college (one he knew could actually TEACH him something) and then bombarded them with resumes, trying to get them to let him intern with them. He finally got a meeting with the president of the company, who told him that they were actually more interested in HIRING him than in having him intern there.

He hit the ground running, and they have kept him busy from the beginning. He has worked on several reality shows and a couple of movies among other things. When he went to work for them he was surprised that they didn't have a post-production studio. So he put together a presentation and pitched the idea to them. They now have a post-production studio.

He does have a very natural ear, an innate talent, for knowing what sounds right and how to get it. We are all very proud of him. Yes, I am a very proud aunt!!

What I'm still sitting on I have to continue to sit on. It may be on the DVD in the Behind the Scenes part. I won't know until I see the DVD. But I'll tell as soon as I can. I'm also going to see if I can do an interview with him when the time is right (read: when he can ethically talk about the project) for my blog and also for his mom's local paper. So if you watch the series and a question occurs to you, send it to me and I'll include it. I am looking forward to watching because I think it will be a fascinating series.

So please mark it on your calendars if you have The History Channel. In the meantime go to the link above and watch some of the trailers for the series. This is, or was to date at least, the largest production ever done by The History Channel. They have not hired a production company for the other series they're doing as part of their "Expedition" series (one of them is on Genghis Khan) yet, but I hope they hire Adrenaline to do those as well.

And if he wins the Emmy? I don't know if he's allowed to tell anyone one way or the other before the show airs in September. Probably not. But even if he doesn't win, what an honor to be nominated! And how great is that going to look on his resume!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And That's Why!

I love some of the words and phrases that young kids come up with. We hang on to them in this house for just as long as we can because we think they're precious. That's why when Andrew said "ball bearian" instead of "ball bearing" we didn't correct him. And that's why Eler Beth pronounced it that way, too. When Andrew would ask me if I would do him a "favorite" instead of a "favor", I didn't correct that either. For every cute word or phrase they came up with, they would usually correct themselves in time, just from hearing us use the correct word or phrase. I think the "ball bearian" one was the only one that survived to kindergarten for both kids. (And in case you're wondering why a small child would even know what a ball bearing is, Thomas has always had various sizes of steel ball bearings in his possession for one reason or another, and on rainy or cold days, he and the kids used to build these elaborate track
s all through the house or apartment for the bearings to travel upon.)

I recently was going through some boxes and found evidence of one of our favorite Eler-Beth-isms. It's one that Thomas and I still use to this day, although Eler Beth can't remember saying it. From the time she learned to talk until she was about three she would say it. The phrase is "that why."

What I found down in a box on a top shelf of a closet was another smallish cardboard box, holding a few sea shells and some fossils. But apparently at one time it had held "school stuff". I know that it had held "school stuff" because it said so on the box. And since the instruction written on the box was in my own handwriting, and since Eler Beth's signature was in her pre-school handwriting, I know that it dated from before she could write much more than her name, so the "school stuff" would have been things that she considered "school stuff", things that we were working on at home. And from the "that why" that was part of the instruction I k
now that she couldn't have been much more than three years old when she dictated the instruction.

When Eler Beth said "tha
t why", she meant "because." For example, instead of saying, "I'm ready for lunch because I'm hungry," using the Eler-Beth-ism one would say, "I'm ready for lunch, that why I'm hungry." Or instead of saying "I need to go to the store because I'm out of bread", one would say "I need to go to the store, that why I'm out of bread." And when you think about it, it does make since. At two and three years old, she didn't understand or know (or accept) the word "because" for some reason, but she certainly understood the concept of "because", didn't she? For what else does "because" mean if not "that's why"? Why do my joints creak when I get out of bed in the morning? Because I'm getting old, that's why. Why do I hate buying gas for my car these days? Because the price of gasoline is so high, that's why. We don't use "that why", Thomas and I, all the time, but we do occasionally toss it into our conversations to add a little bit of spice and nostalgia.

And what was the precious message on the box that my little one had dictated to me all those years ago? It was this:

"Nobody don't touch this box, that why it my school stuff!" And it was signed with a very wobbly "ELER".

I wanted to share this story with you, "that why" I knew you'd enjoy it!

Eler Beth at about the age when she would have said "that why". She was posing so prettily here, and then just when I got ready to snap the picture, she scooped up her skirt! What a meanie-mite!

I had to include the picture, that why she's so cute!

(I cropped the picture so that those of you concerned that the other one might embarrass my little one can rest easy now. lol)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why I Love Blogging

I hope I can get this in while it's still May 1!!

CUPIDS CHARM is having a party for bloggers to tell why we love blogging, and I didn't want to miss it!

But I have been sick this week, and my desktop died on me, too. I thought it had a virus, but it turns out the motherboard was bad. My computer geeks rebuilt my hard drive and replaced my motherboard and saved all my documents, pictures, and videos, and they did it all for $320.00. I got it back this evening and have been trying to find time to get it set up and do a bit of catch up. Andrew is using my laptop, and I haven't really felt like getting online most of this week anyway. But I just now checked my email and found where someone had dropped by via the Blogging Party, and I thought, "Oh No!" Today's the day!

So this isn't going to be as eloquent as I had certainly wanted it to be, but if anyone is interested, here is why I love blogging.

I started four years ago with AOL Journals, just pretty much on a whim. I have always loved to write and have always kept a diary or journal of some kind, and when I saw AOL Journals I thought it might be rather fun and a way to be creative. I really didn't think much about connecting with other people when I started. But a month or so into my Dusty Pages journal I got a comment. And then I was REALLY hooked!

I started visiting other journals and leaving comments, and then started getting comments in return. And before I knew it I was creating actual friendships with people I'd never met in real life. They were, and still are, real to me. My husband and kids have always been supportive and have never scoffed at my J-land (now Blogger) friends. They know many by name or by journal/blog name, are aware of where many of them live and even know some things about their lives. Jokingly, Thomas and I refer to my online friends as my "imaginary friends"; but there is nothing imaginary about them.

Pam, His1Desire, was an early read of mine, and I cherish the comments she left in some of my early entries. When she died I was as devastated as if she'd been a real-life friend that I had spent time with in the flesh.

I love blogging because I can write whatever I want, whenever I want, and I can address my entries to anyone or to no one. Some entries may be just a telling of my day's events, and they may be of no real interest to anyone but myself. But someone is going to comment on that entry, just to tell me that they're glad to hear from me or glad to hear I had a good day.

If I'm feeling like complaining I can do it here and get support or advice. If I feel like blowing my own horn or bragging on one of my kids, I'll get congratulations and a "way to go". I can tell funny family stories and really feel like I'm calling up my sisters and brothers and cousins and having a good laugh.

And that brings me to real family. I have a large and very close family. I really love my sisters to pieces and there is nothing they would not do for me or vice versa. But my blogging is really not for them. We have a family web site where we keep up with each other, and they know I have a blog. But they don't read it. It really isn't for them. They and I share a history that means that we love each other, hate each other, forgive each other and hold grudges with each other, all at the same time, if that makes sense to anyone. Does that make sense? Sometimes we bind each other to our relative pasts. And sometimes I want to write for myself and for someone who can't bind me to that past. Actually one of my sisters, Barbara, is welcome to read anything I write here, because she and I can have the type of conversations that blog posts might initiate between us -- and we DO have those conversations. She'd give me the same kind of feedback I'd get from my readers, and still allow me the freedom to be who I am at that moment and not compare that "me" with any other "me" they've ever known.

I guess what I'm saying is that blogging lets me be myself, but it's the "myself" that I want to be right then, and it's that "myself" that will be accepted by my Blogger friends at that time, no strings attached, no hurt feelings, no teasing that might actually hit a nerve. It's like a second family.

I have met one Blogger friend in person and truly enjoyed the privilege. I hope I get to meet some more in person. In the meantime, I love inviting all of you into my little blog "home", and I sincerely appreciate being invited into yours.

Well, look at that! I just almost got this in before midnight! Thanks for letting me share!