Saturday, March 24

So anyway

Recently I decided that I would like to learn something new. I like to learn things, even if I never use the information. These days things I learn have a distressing tendency to leave me pretty quickly. This is a new experience for me. I used to have a mind like a ... you know those thingies they put out to catch wild animals. Except I think they've been outlawed as being cruel. Which may be why I can't think of it.

What was I saying? Oh, yes. Learning stuff. The other problem is lack of time. After work I just want to go home and relax. Weekends are usually full of chores and errands. If I have free time then I usually spend it with friends or enjoying doing nothing. I'm really good at doing nothing. Well not really nothing because that would be staring out into space. Which I can be good at also. Except even then I'm usually doing something even if you can't tell. But trust me, my mind is busy. With what? Um ... let me get back to you on that.

I have friends who are writers, and they are always talking about people talking in their heads. I have that. And no they aren't just voices. I have whole story lines going on inside my head. I just don't have the ambition to write them down. Those writer friends talk about the people in their heads bugging them to put it all on paper. Well not on paper, really. Who does that these days? But they put it in their computer. The people in my head seem to be quite content to stay there. I guess they don't have much ambition either.

I guess I don't have much ambition in general or else I would be moved to actually "get out there." Well, I'm not. Out there is too demanding. Out there requires a schedule that you have to stick to which leads to rushing around which feels too much like a job. I have one of those already. And you end up missing TV shows. Not that there's anything good on right now anyway, unless you like basketball. Not a huge sports fan here. I used to go to games in school but that was school spirit stuff. Most of the time I had no clue what was going on.

And speaking of which, where was I? Right, right. Learning stuff.

And I don't even watch a lot of TV either. But I have certain shows I do enjoy and it ticks me off that I only watch a handfull of hours during the week and they've taken that from me.

Huh? Oh yeah. Learning stuff.

See, I don't watch a lot of TV because most of the time I prefer to read. And then there are all those story lines in my head. There's this one in the 13th century. Or maybe 14th? Would it really matter? Its pretty good, if I can only figure out why an intelligent woman would be out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a storm. But I'm working on it.

Okay, OKAY! Geez. So I decided to learn a new language. I took Spanish in school but that was a long time ago. And besides which, what's the fun of learning a language a lot of other people already know? I debated between French and Italian. Italian I thought would be really cool, because who else speaks it? Except Italians, I mean. But then I thought of all the Dorothy Sayers books I've enjoyed and they often have bits of French in them because Lord Peter, that's the character, is both well educated and well read. I'm not sure why knowing French equates with being well read. Anyway I thought it would be cool to learn some French and then when I see stuff like that in books I'll know what they are saying.

So I want to learn French but I don't want the hassle of a scheduled class. Plus which I remember those long ago Spanish classes and they made you learn grammar and other boring stuff. Not that grammar isn't important. Bad grammar bugs me. Bad punctuation bugs me even more. And this deal with text messaging where they type everything lower case and abbreviate everything ... very annoying.

Sorry. Back to learning something. I figured out that what I really wanted was more of a conversational French. I do audio books, downloading and stuff, and I found one that will teach you basic conversational French. And so far its not boring. Also, if I ever get to France I can now order coffee. With milk. Heck, I can even do tea with sugar. I'm still working on bread, cheese and wine. I'll get there.

And speaking of wine, can you tell that I was writing this while drinking a big glass of white? Well I did put the glass down while using the keyboard. Except for those words that only required the right hand.

*sigh* I almost put this under the Midless Rambling category. Put the glass DOWN, McB! And I didn't even have one of those. Categories, I mean. The glass I had. Its empty now. So I guess this blog is done.

Saturday, March 10

On your FM dial ...

I've spent more time than I like to think about sitting in a car the last 6 weeks or so. Really I don't mind long drives as a rule because I'm not a person who needs a lot of distraction and I'm very happy lost in my thoughts, listening to an audiobook or singing along with the radio. Which brings me to the title of this blog.

I don't usually use my iPod in the car unless its a longish trip, like two hours or more. I dislike getting out my iPod only to have to tuck it away, along with the thingie that allows me to listen to it through my radio, when I arrive at my destination. I'm not dumb enough to leave them in full view of anyone who wants to test their carjacking skills. So rather than getting everything out just to put them away again a short time later, I usually just listen to the radio if I'm only running errands and so forth.

As it happens most of my in car time lately has been just under the one hour mark which is why I was searching desperately for a good radio station recently. This really should not have been a problem because my taste in music is pretty eclectic. I enjoy jazz, oldies, C&W ... lots of stuff. Unless its all thumping bass ... can't stand that, makes me feel postal. But it seems like your standard stations these days all have a playlist of about 20 songs, whatever the most recent big hits are, and they play them over and over again. I start out liking a song well enough but if I hear it too often I'm going to burn out on the song. Was radio like this when I was a teenager?

Anyway I was getting desperate and flipping up and down the dial trying to find something that I would enjoy listening to for more than a few minutes at a time. And 'lo and behold I found two stations. One is a smallish station that I lose if the wind is wrong or the road dips. But the other is a fairly big deal, as far as I can tell. They're not based out my my 'home city' which is why I didn't know about them before - no local advertising. But I can get the signal pretty well so I'm happy.

In fact I'm really really happy because although both stations advertise as playing 'lite' music, what they really play, both of them, is a very nice mix of music from the 60s on up to present day including some decent rock, the good stuff before everyone tried to reinvent it. But its basically a mix and includes some of everything. You can go from Billy Joel one moment to Tim McGraw the next. Eclectic ... like me.

In fact the one station, out of Baltimore, has "flashback weekends" which are a blast because they are playing all music from the 60s and 70s which is what I cut my radio teeth on, those being my formative years. Say what you will about the music of yesterday, but you can't beat it for singing along with on an open highway. As a bonus, you can listen through your computer as well. And as my little gift to you, I'm including the link here ...

Go ahead, turn it up and roll down that car window, metaphorically speaking, and enjoy some "real" music for a while.

Thursday, March 8

Because Dee Told Me To

And if you know Dee then, really, 'nuff said. But seriously, I've read several of Lani's books now and they are all GREAT. She's a fabulous and funny author. Read the book, you won't regret it.

The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich

Carly McKay's life is going just fine until she produces a television piece on psychic quilt maker Brandywine Seaver and receives a quilt with an enigmatic reading telling her that everything is about to change. Carly blows off the reading until it comes true. Her boss runs off with all the station's assets, leaving her jobless; her best friend, Christopher, proclaims his (unrequited) love for her, leaving her friendless; and her mother, who deserted the family seventeen years ago, returns, sending Carly into a serious tilt.Convinced it's the quilt's fault, Carly races down to the small artists' community of Bilby, Arizona, to confront its maker, and ends up with an unexpected friend in Brandy - and in Will, the laid-back painter who rents the cabin next door. With quirky new buddies and no more deadlines, Carly starts to enjoy her reimagined life, until her old one comes calling. Now Carly has to decide what parts of each world she wants to patchwork in.. and how much she's willing to leave to fate.