Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joni & Santa: A Pictorial Retrospective

I actually wrote and posted a similar entry on my blog about two years ago, but I felt it needed some updating to honor my real Santa Claus - my Daddy - who I lost earlier this year.

For nine years, my Mom dutifully dressed me in my finest Christmas wear and took me to see Santa Claus at the Rich's at Greenbriar Mall (and once at the Downtown Rich's when my kindergarten choir performed on the Bridge at the lighting of the Great Tree). Here is the chronicle of those visits.

1963 - So, this is where it all began. My first visit as a 3 month old in 1963. I'm clearly making a lot of noise and irritating Santa, while my brother Steve is a picture perfect boy scout. This picture pretty much sums up my family dynamic from that point on.

1964 - Still making noise and being irritating....

1965 - although, admit it - you'd cry too if Santa was letting everyone see your underpants?

1966 - I can haz a Christmas Tree Candy??? (See? Before Candy = No Happys. After Candy - Happys!)

1967 - Dude! He gave me candy again, and I wasn't even good this year!

1968 - Hey, if my brother can dress up like a boy scout, I can be an angelic little choir girl. (This one is the only departure from the Greenbriar tradition - this one was taken at the Downtown Rich's. Man, Santa really got around.)

1969 - I think that I'm slowly starting to notice that the beard is a fake. But I'm totally digging that crocheted vest over my blouse and the plaid pleated skirt.

1970 - Now this Santa sort of creeps me out. I think he's sort of sketchy looking, don't you? But, on a happier note, my aunt Charlsie made that top/dress for me. It was one of my favorites.

1971 - And this Santa just isn't even trying - I mean, his mustache is below his top lip and his belly is pushed up above his belt like man boobs. Come on dude, this isn't a tough gig - just sit in the chair and make sure your fake hair and stomach stays in place. I'm thinking this guy had thrown back a few too many before shift down at the Happy Hermans mid-mall.

Just after this one, my stupid, mean classmate Ronnie Powell ruined Christmas forever when he told us all the truth about Santa. I hated that kid. Of course, in relaying this story to my childhood best friend Karen, I found out that I promptly came home from school that day and told her what Ronnie Powell had done, thereby ruining Santa Claus for her. Damn me and my gossiping. Sorry Karen :-(

2009 - So here I am last Christmas with the real (and very best) Santa that there ever was. I love you Daddy, and I appreciate all you did to make each Christmas special for our family. It won't be the same without you this year.

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane with Santa, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 of 12 - December 2010

After missing last month (where it was the 15th before I realized that the 12th was long gone), I'm back with a 12 of 12 for December. My day was a little colder than it was for 12 of 12 creator Chad Darnell. Chad ran the Honolulu Marathon today as part of a group that raised over $600,000 for Aids Project Los Angeles. Way to go Chad! Love you and am so proud of you. :-)

So, now on to my 12....

12:30 a.m. - Speaking of men I love - Paul McCartney and Seth Meyers on Weekend Update. This two parts of my dream threesome. LOL.

12:57 a.m. - Love it when he sings Get Back, cause I like to pretend I'm the Jojo he is singing about.

12:20 p.m. - Woke up to a dusting of snow this morning. Just a little on the front porch...

12:22 p.m. - and a little more out back on the north side of the house where it is shadier.

1:15 p.m. - My poor orchid has seen better days. I'm like the kiss of death to any plant.

4:17 p.m. - Went shopping at Pier One for an ornament for our office Christmas lunch ornament exchange. I always like their airplane ornaments, but I went in a different direction for the gift ornament.

4:20 p.m. - and the Pink Pigs were cute. They reminded me of the Rich's Pink Pig from when I was a kid. I should have bought one for myself, but decided to wait. Hopefully, they will still have plenty after Christmas when they are 75% off.

4:23 p.m. - Got some Jingle Bells so that next time I say I'll be somewhere "with bells on" I can really do it.

4:45 p.m. - This is what poinsettias look like before I buy them and take them home and kill them with my kiss of death.

6:11 p.m. - Up to the attic to get down some of my Christmas stuff. One of my friends is supposed to come over and help me with my tree tomorrow. I didn't have one last year because I was so sick, and I'm hoping that putting one up this year will help with the depression over losing Daddy.

6:15 p.m. - Speaking of Daddy, since we had a shared love of aviation, most of my ornaments are airplanes and a lot of them came from him. I have about 30-35 different airplanes for my tree, along with all of the Delta ornaments designed by Christopher Radko.

6:16 p.m. - I also have a lot of red cardinals for the tree, which you can see among the ornaments in this photo. Dad's mother (Nanny Bug) use to have red cardinal ornaments that clipped on to her tree and I found some like them a few years ago in a retro shop and I bought them all. I figure that the fly like airplanes do, so they still work with my theme. Also, the little red airplane in the middle is one of my favorites from Dad because it reminds me of the Red Baron airplane (Yes, it has stars instead of the crosses, but we both got the same Red Baron vibe from it.) It was a great call back to my youth when Daddy gave me my very first 45 record - The Royal Guardsman's Snoopy vs. The Red Baron - along with my first record player, when I was about 4 years old. I bet I played that song 1,000 times and Daddy never complained. He'd even dance with me during the instrumental bridge. Damn I miss him.

So, there we go. If I ever get the tree up and finished, I'll try to follow up with some photos of the finished product. Hope you all enjoyed, and Merry Christmas (and happy 12th) to you all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

12 of 12 - October 2010

For October's 12 of 12, I thought I'd try something a little different. Having been recently accused of having an addiction to my iPhone (it's not an addiction, I can quit any time I want to, I just don't want to, please don't take my phone from me, I will die.....) I decided to do a 12 of 12 made up completely of screen-cap photos of my iPhone.

1:15 a.m. - Great thing about the screencaps is that I'm not having to guesstimate the time of the photos. This was taken in the middle of the night when I woke up for no reason. I always wake up or look at the clock at 1:15. It's like my version of the Amityville Horror where the guy would wake up every night at 3:15 a.m. which coincided with the murders. I'm not being haunted by a murder, but I'm definitely being haunted by something.

6:00 a.m. - There goes the freaking alarm, only about 2 hours after I finally fell back to sleep.

6:09 a.m. - I could have pretty much taken this same photo every 9 minutes for the next 45 minutes, because once the alarm goes off, I can sleep like the dead.

8:01 a.m. - Checking Facebook. Look - a fellow 12 of 12er (and Words with Friends friend) likes my Status update.

10:27 a.m. - I guess technically it is Mom Home now, but I can't bear to take Dad off of the phone. Plus I love looking at the photo of the two of them when it rings. At least Mom waiting until after our daily 9:30 meeting today to call me about whatever calamity has occurred or thing I forgot to do for her. Usually, she calls me about 5 minutes into the meeting and when I don't pick up, she keeps calling. I love that she use to fuss about my Dad doing the same thing and swore she would never do it. She did have good reason today, so I'm giving her a break.

1:01 p.m. - Responding to an email. I thought about explaining the perfectly clean, nice and polite suggestion that a friend made which led to this response from me, but I figured it would be more fun to just let everyone come up with their own image/idea of what it was all about. So enjoy. (Muwahahahaha/Bom-Chika-Bom-Bom)

4:07 p.m. - Making a move in a Words with Friends game. My Georgia friends won't like it, but my Florida friends will.

6:02 p.m. - Call from BFF Tony. We mourned the end of the Braves season.

6:36 p.m. - Call from the doctor's office with some results we've been waiting on (no I'm not pregnant, yes I'm sure.)

8:21 p.m. - Back to Words with Friends. Win some.....

9:26 - Lose some.

9:54 p.m. - Trying to figure out the name of a song I heard on the way home earlier - I for sure thought it was an old 80s song, but it was a Killers song from only like 3 years ago. I guess it just felt 80s cause it was smushed between a Police song and a Simple Minds song on the radio.

11:17 p.m. - Downloaded a bunch of horror classics this month on an e-book app. Currently rereading one of my faves - Bram Stoker's Dracula. Will probably read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein next. (Maybe starting to figure out why I can't sleep at night.)

So, that's my day with my addiction, I mean my phone. Hope you enjoyed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

12 of 12 - September 2010

Sorry all - I needed to take down my September 12 of 12 post. Not sure if I'll be reposting anything in it's place or not.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

12 of 12 - August 2010

Happy 12 of 12. Check at Chad Darnell's blog for the master 12 of 12 list with links to all the other 12 of 12ers. And remember Chad's name, cause he's gonna be an Academy Award winning screenwriter one day soon. :-)

My 12th was spent once again at the doctor's. I've got to stop letting them schedule me on the 12th, cause I have way too many photos of the hospital, x-ray machines, blood, needles, etc. in 12 of 12s past. I don't want to see them anymore, and I'm sure no one else does either. But unfortunately, this month, that's most of what I got.

So let's begin.

6:55 a.m. - View from my bed. Looks like the sun is creeping up on me again. I rarely sleep anymore, but I try. Of course, most of my good sleep comes about 15 minutes before the alarm goes off. Trying to get in a little early today since I'm only working a half day and have tons of stuff that has to be finished before I go.

7:15 a.m. - Getting prepped for the doctor. They can never get a good vein when they take my blood, and I'm already squeamish about it to begin with. I've even passed out a time or two (or 7) when they've stuck me, so I've learned all kinds of tricks to try and make it go easier for me. Trick #1 is to start drinking lots of water 24 hours ahead of the appointment. (This has the added benefit of also helping if you have to give another type of sample as well.) So, here are a couple of bottles to get me started (plus 2 more I left in the fridge at work.)

7:17 a.m.- Trick #2 is to take something to focus on that makes me happy so that I won't focus on them sticking me. I've used a lot of things over the years, but this is one that has helped me the last few times. It is a photo from a friend that has special meaning to me. I had it made into a wallet size so that I can whip it out whenever they start tying the little rubber thing around my arm.

7:17 a.m. - Trick #3 - Previous lab results. I get copies every time I have blood work done, because if it has only been a few weeks, some of my doctors will take this in lieu of doing it over again. This works once in a while. It didn't work today.

12:48 p.m. - Piedmont Fayette Hospital, oh how I hate you. It's a nice hospital and all, I just hate being there since that's where Daddy was through most of his final illness. But all of my doctors are in this building, so what can I do?

12:55 p.m. - Kind of a weird reflection thing going on between the two sets of windows on either side of the glass doors going into the doctor's office.

1:12 p.m. - Trick #4 - Have them use a butterfly on you instead of what the smart-ass technician referred to as a "grown-up" needle. The butterflies are a little easier for them to fish with when my vein inevitably runs and hides. Looks like they found one on the first try.......

1:30 p.m. - Yep - just looked like it. That one blew out before the first tube filled up. Ended up with two sticks in my arm...

1:37 p.m. - before they ended up going to my hand, which still hurts hours later. Seems that none of my tricks worked today. And it just got worse after that. I'll just say that blood was not all they wanted from me today, and the next set of photos would have involved longer needles, my hip and me weeping uncontrollably. Needless to say, the camera got put away and I need to have my photo from Trick #2 reprinted cause it got crumpled pretty badly.

4:00 p.m. - Finally getting ready to flee from the torture. View of the hospital parking lot from the 4th floor. Can you spot my car/truck? You know, from this distance, you can't even tell that it needs to be washed.

4:10 p.m. - Passed the lake on the way home and stopped for a few minutes to get out and kind of meditate on it all. Of course, the heat, combined with my light-headedness, was not a good combination so it didn't last long. So I went home and took a nap.

9:00 p.m. - Woke up and went upstairs to try and finish cleaning out the guestroom closet. This baby was completely full 2 weeks ago. But I've lost 50 pounds in the last few months (which made me happy, but not my doctor for some strange reason) and so I went in and tried on just about everything up there in the last few weeks. Ended up donating about 100 items. Now all that remains are all my winter coats, my concert t-shirts from the 80s and 90s, a few other keep sake clothing items and my Dad's flight jacket. Now I can actually have a guest stay with me and have room to hang their clothes. And for the record, that little black spot on the wall of the closet? It isn't really there. I went back up there and the wall is completely white. I cleaned my lens and took the photo again, and it was still in the photo. Too strange.

So, guess that's it. See you next month, if not sooner.

Monday, July 12, 2010

12 of 12 - July 2010

Here we are with July's 12 of 12, and pardon me, but this as been the most f....ed up day. It was sunny, it rained, it was sunny again, then it rained again. It was even sunny and raining at the same time. And as the weather went, so did my mood - up and down, up and down. I woke up happy and by the evening I was curled up in my childhood bed in the guestroom bawling my eyes out. As soon as I post this baby, I'm taking a Xanax and calling it a day.

So, for those new to the 12 of 12, it is the brainchild of Chad Darnell. Check out his blog and the links to other 12 of 12er's around the world.

4:05 a.m. - I never sleep more than a couple of hours, so I was up at 4:00 in the morning watching videos on YouTube. Close up screen shot from a video I'd sent to a friend earlier in the night.

6:50 a.m. - Grabbing my water for work. I hate the new thin plastic bottles that Aquafina uses now. Yes, they are supposed to be better for the environment, but the problem is that when you grasp the bottle to twist the cap off, the weak plastic collapses in your hand and the water comes spewing up out of the top as the cap loosens and half the water ends up on you.

12:45 p.m. - Lunch time trip to the post office. I went to the post office last 12 of 12 too, but it was the 24 hour post office down the road from this one. It occurred to me that technically, the 24 hour post office is called that because they are open 24 hours a day, every day, but really the service is so slow there that it kind of feels like you've been there for 24 hours when you finally get finished, so that could also be the reason. .

12:57 p.m. - So you know how the part of the post office with the boxes always sounds so echo-ey? Well, last week my friend in TX was telling me that he was all alone in the empty post office on a Sunday and it was echo-ey so he started singing a Christmas carol (Do you Hear What I Hear?) to enjoy it. So, as I was leaving the post office and got to the part with the boxes and I remembered that story, so I started singing the same song. Only, I wasn't alone. There was a guy ahead of me and a lady coming in the door. They both looked at me like I was a nut, and the guy kind of hurried out the door (to get away from the crazy lady) but the lady started laughing with me and commented that someone just breaking out in song was sort of like an episode of Glee. :-)

12:58 p.m. - Outside the post office, snapped this close up of the tree in front of my car. See how pretty the sky is behind it?

4:16 p.m. - Yeah, well, that didn't last. Started raining, thundering and lightning over my skylight. Got a little bit scary, it was coming down so hard. And of course, that was right about the time I was getting ready to leave for an appointment with my physical therapist downtown.

4:35 p.m. - Stopped in the hangar on the way out and got a unique perspective of the nose gear on the Spirit of Delta 767 from underneath. Liked the way the overhead light made everything red.
4:55 p.m. - On I-85N heading into Atlanta, just south of the capitol building. Weird thing about this photo is that while the sun is shining, it was actually still raining. (My windshield wiper had just cleared the rain from my windshield.) I always get a little creeped out when it is both sunny and rainy at the same time. It feels wrong.

4:58 p.m. - Almost at my exit and the rain is about gone again. Got the Georgia Pacific Building, the Peachtree Plaza Hotel, SunTrust Plaza and the AT&T building among others in that shot.

6:37 p.m. - and an hour and a half later, we are back raining again. Some of the same buildings in this shot. As I took this photo, "In the Air Tonight" came on the radio. Now that song, especially when the sky is all black and ominous, scares the crap outta me.

6:39 p.m. - No idea what I was trying to capture in this photo, as I tend to just snap without looking when I drive and hope for the best. But I liked the Coca-Cola sign as a little logo in the lower half of the shot of my rain soaked window.

7:47 p.m. - I was already really upset over a couple of things that had happened earlier in the day, and then got a bit shaken up by almost getting hit by a tanker truck right before my exit on the way home, so I went upstairs to my guestroom, crawled into my childhood bed and under the quilt that my great-aunt made for me and cried for about 45 minutes. When I finally settled down, it was sunny again.

9:05 p.m. - and finally my bonus photo - a recreation from last month's 12 of 12. The hat from the photo of the photo that my friend in TX (yes, him again) sent me to make me laugh. Well this month, he sent me the actual hat. So here it is again, covering my wet head.

Guess that's all for today. Hopefully I'll be taking a Xanax nap within the hour. See you next month.