Lisa Lately

Random musings about life, family, and crochet

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Name: Lisa
Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a perfectionist. What more do you need to know?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

I’ve just finished a killer six-week project that is due first thing Monday morning. As it turned out, I really could have used another three weeks to work on this at a more reasonable pace. For this job I had to put in longer hours than I normally work each day, plus I had to work on the weekends. But I just finished the last bit, and now I’m one happy woman to have that beast off my desk.

I believe I’ll sleep in late tomorrow morning. Oh, wait. It is tomorrow morning. No wonder I’m so tired!

Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday to my daughter!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Psychedelic Disney

My Family, Walt Disney World, October 1999. Posted by Hello

I was reading through some of the help files for Blogger and decided to try publishing a photo just to see how it works. I downloaded the Hello program suggested by Blogger, and it looks like it's worked pretty well. My picture showed up, at least!

I looked through my photos to find one to publish here, and found this photo we took at Walt Disney World in October 1999. I believe it was at a Kodak display, but I might be wrong about the company. Anyway, after we took the picture, we got to play with the display and distort the photo, then we could e-mail it to ourselves. The nondistorted photo is pretty decent, too, but I like the psychedelic look better.

I'm not a fan of amusement parks, and so I was definitely not interested in WDW myself, but I was willing to go because I knew my husband and daughter would really like it. I was quite surprised when it turned out to be the best vacation we've ever had. I wouldn't want to go to WDW during a busy time, but October was a nice time to go.

We stayed at the Beach Club right outside Epcot, and our accommodations were great. We had easy access to Disney's transportation system, and we had Park Hopper passes, so we could come and go as we liked to all the various theme parks. Our favorite park by far was Epcot. We went there nearly every day.

The only dim spot in our vacation was that our daughter got sick at the end. We had tickets to see Cirque du Soleil, and she was too sick to go. My husband coincidentally was going to attend a seminar at WDW a couple of weeks later, though, and we found out that we could exchange two of our tickets for when he'd be back. So the two of them stayed at the hotel while I went to the show alone.

Cirque du Soleil was spectacular, but I really missed having my family with me to ooh and aah with. Seeing a show like that alone was definitely weird. My husband got to see the show when he returned for his seminar, and he also saw it alone. Our poor daughter missed out completely. But we made it up to her a few years later: Cirque du Soleil appeared in Columbus, Ohio, just a few hours away from us, and we took her to that show.

Well, I didn't know what I would write about today, but I sure didn't expect it to be about a vacation from five years ago!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


The town we live in has a great system of paved walking paths. One of these paths passes right by our house. Every few years I get on an exercise kick and walk the paths. I like to walk first thing in the morning, when it's not too hot. I live in Indiana, where the summers are hot and humid, even at the crack of dawn. Come August, when it's really bad, I open the front door and the thick air hits me in the face, then I wimp out and fall out of the habit of walking.

I got on another exercise kick this year. I started walking in May, during nice spring weather. We had an unusually mild summer, with little humidity and only a few days over 90°
, great for walking. So I was able to keep walking right through the summer into the fall. Then we had the most beautiful September on record--bright blue skies, temperatures in the 70s, no rain. It's only now starting to get cold, and I hope I can manage to not let the cold chase me indoors.

I walk fast. Really fast. I don't walk fast on purpose; that just seems to be my natural gait. When my daughter was younger, she used to say I had my rockets on. But now she's the only one I know who can keep up with me. I must have trained her right!

The walking paths are really popular, and I see a lot of regulars while I walk. One of the more interesting walkers is an older woman, maybe 70 or 80 years old. I first noticed her in the middle of the summer. She was wearing a trench coat, gloves, and a knitted hat and was carrying a small gift bag. I saw her again a few days later, and she was dressed the same way but carried a small folded umbrella instead of the gift bag. Since then, I see her several days a week, and the only thing that changes is the gift bag or the umbrella. She's always friendly whenever we pass each other. Now that it's getting colder, I don't wonder about her warm clothing the way I did in the middle of the summer. But I still wonder what's in the gift bag!

Monday, October 25, 2004


I'm self-employed and work at home in my basement. I always have music playing all day. I would go in spurts of listening to CDs for a few days, but that gets old fast because my CD player holds only five CDs and after I've heard them a few times in a row they get boring. And I'm too lazy to get up and put in new ones. So usually I'd just end up listening to the radio. But I don't get great radio reception at my house for the station I prefer, so that doesn't work great, either.

So I downloaded iTunes back in June and then copied all my CDs into my computer. That took about a week and two CD drives. I actually burned out the CD drive on my computer and had to buy a new one! But I now have all 2,866 songs in my computer.

If I'm in the mood for something in particular, then I go ahead and listen to that, of course, but I've frequently
just been listening to my music in alphabetical order by song title. That makes for a rather eclectic mix. It also takes several weeks to play through the whole library. The thing that surprises me sometimes, though, is how often back-to-back songs will be by the same artist. For example, "Going to California" and "Going to California" and "Going to California" and "Going to California" by Led Zeppelin. ;-) Okay, not counting multiple versions of the same song, I have "21 Years" followed by "29 Palms" both by Robert Plant. Or "Across the Universe" and "Act Naturally" by the Beatles. Or "Post" and "Postcard Blues" by Cowboy Junkies.

Now playing on iTunes: Joan Osborne Relish. Great album.

Because all my music is now extremely convenient, I've been listening to stuff I hadn't heard in ages -- you know, those albums you buy, listen to a few times, then forget about. Some of it deserves to be forgotten, but not all of it. My favorites still rank pretty high on the playlist; I generally have a Led Zeppelin day or k.d. lang day once every couple of weeks. But now I'm also getting to listen to that great Chris Whitley album Living with the Law. And the Laura Love Collection. How could those have fallen out of the rotation?

One of the features I've found useful on iTunes is song ranking. You can click on a song and give it one to five stars, or leave its ranking blank. Well, I don't want to get into the nuances of whether a song deserves three stars or four, but the rankings are still really useful for me. As I play through my library, I'll rank the songs I really like with five stars and the songs I hate with one star. Then I set up two playlists: the Top Rated list (all five-star songs) for when I want to hear one good song after another; and the No Crap list (no one-star songs) for when I want to hear everything, but not the crap. One disadvantage to listening to the Top Rated list, though: It's always playing something too good to turn off!

Another thing I really like about iTunes is the free music download every Tuesday. The iTunes store offers a specific single every week. I've gotten some really cool stuff for free: "Staring at the Sun" by Simple Kid, "Letter Read" by Rachael Yamagata, "So Far So Good" by Thornley. I've gotten a few duds, too, but I won't mention those.

I've also bought a bunch of songs I just love: "Holding Back the Years" by Simply Red, "Lovesong" by the Cure, "Loser" by Beck, "Under the Milky Way" by the Church. And then I have the guilty pleasures: "How Much I Feel" by Ambrosia, "Lay Lady Lay" by Bob Dylan, "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent. Lots more. Lots and lots more.

I enjoy going to iTunes and reading through the various playlists that people upload. They always make me want to buy a bunch more songs!

Now playing on iTunes: Mindy Smith One Moment More. I really like this album. She does a killer version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" (great song) and even has Dolly singing backup! Okay, I just had to go to iTunes and buy Dolly's version.

Well, that's it for today.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

First Post

So, I've decided to start a blog. Why? Well, that's a good question. I belong to several online lists, where I'm a great lurker. In fact, I have posted notes on only one list I belong to, and that's only to answer people's questions, never to start a conversation myself. So I'm really not sure why I decided to start this blog. I don't know what I'll talk about here or what it will become. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see what develops.