Thursday, August 30, 2007

Busy as a bee

I basked the company of some dear friends who came to visit last week. They are a story unto themselves, and one I always love to revel in. We visited some gardens here in Denver, and I captured these shots.

I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Excuses, Excuses!

"You is missed!" Jon told me. Thank you Jon. I have missed everyone here too. I've only been gone a week though! Or so... but in the blogosphere that is a LONG time. Isn't that funny? Sorry everyone.

Here are my excuses, choose whichever you like and use that for me.

1. I work 40 hours (+) a week (including this last weekend)
2. I am out of state two weekends a month
3. School has just started again and I am double majoring in photojournalism and aviation
4. Homework (yes, this does get it's own number)
5. I am writing a second novel
6. I have a nasty cold (way under the weather)
7. Taking class for work (aside from the double major)
8. I had out of town guests for 4 days
9. I hosted a birthday celebration for one of my best friends
10. In between all of this and trying to read the entire Harry Potter series in 2 weeks (now on book 5/Order of the Phoenix) I have only slept when I had a shot of Nyquil. I hadn't read any HP (or seen the movies) and when the last book came out some of my friends were horrified at my lack of upkeep and immediately loaned me the entire set to read and catch up. Now all the conversations about HP make sense.

So... buffet style excuses, please take what you like, share with others and leave what doesn't work for you.
I'll be back as soon as I can to visit. Meantime, please know that I MISS BEING HERE! And I will check in as often as possible.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore (who has kindly agreed to watch the place while I dash about)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

For Love Not Money

It's the first day of school. My friend Rose has just gotten her teaching degree and is starting her career as a teacher. She's teaching English this year. We were talking about her upcoming work the other day and she was telling me about her class room and her ideas for different things throughout the year.

"I have to be creative to make it all work though," she told me, "But I can do it!"

"You're pretty clever... I have no doubts about your ability." I replied.

"Thanks, but that's not what I meant. I don't have a very big budget for the year, so I'll have to think of ways to make it work." she sounded tired.

"How big is your budget?" I asked.

"Forty dollars."

"Forty dollars? A month?"

"No. For the year."

This was the point at which I became incredibly irate and went on a tirade about how the government can spend billions of dollars on war, missiles, guns, bureaucratic nonsense, and all kinds of other WASTE... and our children are getting an education like this! I will spare you the details of my rant, as I am sure you get the picture.

$40 lousy bucks, for the year. In the presidents own home state of Texas. No child left behind... was he talking about no child left behind the platoon? A child who doesn't have the knowledge or understanding to change the direction of war and politics?

The fastest way to control a countries people is to stupefy them. Then the only people who have a good education are the leaders... and they only serve themselves. There are exceptions to the rule, but we've seen so many of those good, strong people be assassinated, they don't usually make it far enough to change what I would call a rapid decline in morality, education and the welfare of the people of this country.

I have suggested to her that she look for support in any form from local businesses and parents. But it leaves one wondering about the future of a country that does not support the education of it's children... the same children who will be running this country and caring for us when we are all old.

The seeds we sow today will determine the harvest we reap tomorrow. I shudder to think of it.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Schmoozing with His Majesty, King Elvis... 30 Years Later

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. The King of Rock and Roll... the swooner, crooner and living legend who sings with angels now.

If there was anything you ever wanted to know about the king, you'll find it here. Thanks to them for the photo, too.

After you read that and learn everything about him, you can take an Elvis quiz here.

Elvis always makes me smile. He one upped me once, posthumously of course.
I was chatting with a little girl in the second grade who said she was a bit behind in her studies at school. She had a couple of chapter books to read before she was all caught up.

I looked at her seriously and said, "You have to read those and catch up! Reading is very important, it makes you smarter."

Without missing a beat, she looked at me and replied, "I know, Scarlett, you read all the time and you're the second smartest person in the world."

Everything in my head came to a grinding halt. Back handed compliment. "Uh... thanks, but who do you think the smartest person in the world is then, if it's not me?" the sting was smarting a bit.

She looked at me as though I'd just falled off of the turnip truck. "Well duh! Elvis!"

I was now dumbfounded. "Whahuh?"

She hopped off my lap and walked around me, saying with casual indifference... "He's dead and he makes $40,000,000 a year."

I just sat there. She had a point. How can you argue with a second grader about that? I'm not going to be making 40 million a year when I'm dead. Probably. How did she know that? Dang! She's right!
But... I'm still the second smartest person in the world.

So that's something.

I'm also a schmoozer... apparently. Absolute Vanilla has awarded me the Schmoozer award!
Thank you Vanilla!

It goes like this:

"Schmoozing is the natural ability 'to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection'. Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

And so it is with a bit of smiling, winking and elbow rubbing that I pass this along to some other schmoozers who really get around in a great way! I know... it's supposed to be 5. I'm a rule bender by nature though, and these are some serious schmoozers. I didn't name everyone on my blogroll this time... though, so it's closer to the guidelines. Who wrote those guidelines anyway?

Rel at Under The Microscope
Seamus at Shameless Words
Diana at Piffle
Christina at Single City Chick
Chesca at Exskindiver
Ally at Crazy Dust In My Coffee
Jelly Jules at Thinking About...

Keep on schmoozin' y'all.

Rebel Scarlett & Viaggiatore (V! Why are you covering your eyes with both paws? What are you shaking your head for? V! Was that a groan?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

50 Pearls of Friendship

This is my 50th post. Funny, seems like 100... maybe it's all the comments. I recently found myself discussing friendship with a young girl who was focused on many friends as opposed to good friends, and I explained to her that there is a big difference between the two.
That conversation inspired me to write a special list of 50 pearls of friendship for this special post.

As far as friends... remember that many friends are like grains of sand on the shore... coming and going, always sifting to and fro... but good friends, really truly great friends, are like pearls; you have to search for them, seek them out, and then hold those precious ones close to you always. Each one is rare... few and far between, and worth more than a thousand grains of sand.

To my very dear friends, each a precious pearl I wear around my heart, thank you...
Love and Light always.

1. My sister, my best friend... she has made her own necklace of pearls for me.

2. Stealing off to Wendover, just for Thanksgiving in a rental car and writing 'Friends Forever' in the wet sand of the desert on the way... and JoeBobHenryJoeBob...

3. Playing at Disneyland, and the beach, and the mountains, and turning circumstance into sisterhood.

4. Playing in miles of bubbles that mysteriously made their way into so many fountains courtesy of the Bubble Bandit Brigade.

5. Holiday dinners filled with laughter, love and wonderful moments.

6. Birthday cakes and hugs and tons of presents.

7. Flying out of the country to play in the sand and surf and soak up the sun together.

8. Midnight phone calls and awesome messages on my voicemail that I keep just to listen to when I need to hear your voice and be cheered up.

9. Holding me while I cry myself to sleep.

10. Letting me rant and rave about it for the hundredth time and still being supportive.

11. Dinners out and dinners in.

12. Books read and discussed and shared.

13. Painting together.

14. Singing together, in the car... on the car... on stage... in the kitchen.

15. Helping me with all my harebrained schemes and ideas.

16. Staying with me when you come to town; it's so good to see you.

17. Laughing until we cannot breath.

18. Calling and emailing me and keeping me afloat with laughter and love.

19. Making me special dinners and wonderful memories.

20. Opera in the snow at night.

21. Forgiveness... both giving and getting it.

22. Going to concerts and shows together.

23. Eating anything I try to cook, and letting me try to bbq before you saved us all.

24. Being forgiving and gracious when I am late.

25. Going on road trips with me.

26. So many wonderful hugs and kisses.

27. Helping me move.

28. Explaining things to me that I do not understand, and then putting up with me when I react.
29. Secrets.

30. Hand holding.

31. Desserts together.

32. Traipsing around towns and cities together.

33. Sharing a good bottle of wine.

34. Meeting me in another country.

35. Showing me things you know I will love.

36. Sharing tea and tea time.

37. Game and movie nights.

38. Tango dance lessons.

39. Letting me show you all the planets and stars in the heavens AGAIN and AGAIN....

40. Reading what I write and giving me honest feedback.

41. Sending me postcards constantly because you know I collect them and I love them... and you support my habit.

42. Sending me goodie boxes because I love surprises.

43. Teaching me to drive a standard... I swear, you have the patience of Job.

44. Inviting me to come along - everywhere.

45. Letting me go as far as I can and then taking over when I have neither the strength nor capability to do it on my own.

46. Understanding.

47. Weddings and babies.

48. Inside jokes.

49. Loving me in spite of myself

50. Keeping the flame of friendship strong and bright because there's nothing like it in the world.

These memories are shared between different friends, except for the few specific ones that had to be included, and those are just a brief sparkle in the deep, strong friendships that are shared with the people who experienced them with me. If you look carefully, you will find pearls of your own within my words, and those are for you to take away when you go. Keep them in your pocket and touch them sometimes to remember why life is so wonderful and so precious.

Much Love,
Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Everything I Sing To

There's a fun new project on the web. Project Playlist. Create a free account, and you are off. Search through their files for any music you want and put it on a 'playlist'. You can put 75 songs on each list, and then you begin a new list. This is a good thing because I just finished my 4th list. If I spent more time on this site I could make 75 lists of 75 songs.

Depending on what I'm in the mood for, I'll pick a list, hit play and go about whatever it is I am doing, singing along with some of my favorite songs while I clean the house, relax on the deck, write, paint, dance, websurf... there's always music for it... always a song to sing in the background.

I don't get commercials... dj's... weather and traffic reports... I don't have to come back to it to change cd's or skip songs I didn't want to hear... I LOVE IT.

Please step into my parlor and taste any of the 75 flavors that suite you.... I think there's something for just about everyone... but I am not done making my lists yet, not even close. Cick on any of the links below. They will take you to the first page, if you click on 'View Playlists' under my picture, you can listen to any of them. There is a tiny white scrollbar on the right side of the lists, if you want to move down the list to see the whole thing.

Wanderlust Scarlett's Playlist: Andrea Bocelli, UB40, Simply Red, Maroon 5, The Police, Spandau Ballet, Matthew Wilder, Mike & the Mechanics, Madonna, Crowded House, Chicago and Peter Cetera, Rod Stewart, Prince, Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears, Pat Benatar... much more.

Scarlett's Lost in the 80's: Poison, Def Leppard, Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, Scorpions, Van Halen, The Cars, Rick Springfield, Foreigner, Huey Lewis & the News, Naked Eyes, Men at Work, Thompson Twins, Mr. Mister, Aha, Cindy Lauper, Bruce Hornsby, Berlin, Tracy Chapman, Steve Winwood... and more.

Scarlett's Old Jazz: Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima, The Ink Spots, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday, and probably one of the best gems on the list... Miss Celie's Blues (from The Color Purple).

Scarlett's New Jazz: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Harry Connick Jr., Etta James, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Sade, Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole, & Jack Johnson... just to name a few.

Hope you enjoy, and if you make your own list, let me know! I'd love to come by your place and sing a while!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Friday, August 10, 2007

My theme song - Born to be WILD!

Ally at Crazy dust in my coffee has a new game up:

I'm Born to be wild! Who knew? ...anyone who knows me!

Thanks Ally!

Your Theme Song is Born to Be Wild
by Steppenwolf

"I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under"
A total independent spirit, you can't be held down or fenced in.
You crave the feeling of wind on your face... and total freedom.

Viaggiatore's Song:
Your Theme Song is Beautiful Day by U2
"Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away"

You see the beauty in life, especially in ordinary everyday moments.And if you're feeling down, even that seems a little beautiful too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

OutRAGEous Mortality Check

I am completely astounded.


...but somehow not at a loss for words, just comprehension.

I am very glad to be sitting here typing this away, healthy and happy as you please.
But it is by nothing short of the grace of God that I am doing so.

I was forced off of the highway -off of the LEFT side of the highway (that would be the fast lane)- by another driver who was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and trying to squeeze his car into the tailpipe of my car. I have no idea why he was angry with me, but there was not a shred of doubt about it when he got into the right lane beside me and pushed me off the paved highway into the dirt on the side of the road... at a brisk 80 miles an hour.

Thankfully I am a good driver. I did not wreck. I was able to get back on the road and continue on my way.

But all the way, I wondered... HOW?!?!
How could someone DO that? At what point does someone sink to a level where human life means nothing? I could have been killed, or seriously injured. I have a family, friends... I have a LIFE! How much does someone have to lose, how hateful does someone have to feel within themselves before they are indifferent to the precious gift of life?

I am dumbfounded.

He sped away as soon as he had gotten me off the road... and disappeared up ahead, he was going so fast. I didn't see him anywhere.

And I am left to wonder at this brush with my mortality... because I lose sight of it in my daily habits and lifestyle. I get caught up in the all the activities I'm doing, and people I keep company with, and goals I have. I forget that this priceless time we have here is so fleeting, that every single second counts. That there are no guarantees.

It is what we make it.

So I am going to take this evil deed, turn it around, and pay it forward positively. And I'm going to ask you... who are reading this, YOU... to please go do something kind and considerate for someone else today. Something unexpected and very good. Make a difference to someone else that will bring a smile to them.

Maybe we can win over those souls who believe that there is nothing worth living for.

With love,
Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Dragon Boat Festival of Denver

Midway through summer, for the seventh consecutive year, Denver has enjoyed it's annual Dragon Boat Fesitval. This is a wonderful celebration of unity in diverse culture. I for one, never miss it! Come with me, and I will give you the grand tour...

We begin with the Asian marketplace in the park

Philosophical Advice

The outdoor food court. Yes folks... those are Monkeyballs. Yours truly wasn't quite up to trying something that exotic... but that booth did have the longest line, and all the guys in the line kept yelling... "MONKEYBALLS!!!"

Buddha was there

Rice paper parasols with painted dragons...

Lucky golden pig

A lady with an elephant parasol

Proper head gear



Dragon Boats and drums... all lined up and ready to race!

And they're off!

Racing to the shore

The end of the day

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thinking Thoughtful Things



Pronunciation: 'thot-ful
Function: adjective

1 a : absorbed in thought : MEDITATIVE b : characterized by careful reasoned thinking

2 a : having thoughts : HEEDFUL b : given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others


I have been gifted with the Thoughtful Blogger Award by two wonderful bloggers who host two of my favorite blogs. Sognatrice at Bleeding Espresso and Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) have graciously bestowed this lovely award to me for being a thoughtful blogger, which is what most of us are, I believe. Thank you both, that's very nice.

It is with thoughtful consideration that I wander through my list of friends on other shores. Instead of choosing 5 bloggers (as has been done by others), I will do the most thoughtful thing I can think of, and give it to all those on the list. I don't want anyone who should get it to be left out.

If you've already gotten it, consider yourself twice as thoughtful, and thank you for being so.

"Yes'm, old friends is always best,

'less you can catch a new one

that's fit to make an old one out of."

--Sarah Orne Jewett