Candy Man

This video has it all-- singing servicemen, swing dancing, vintage clothing, great lyrics and Christina's pipes. Right now its my number one favorite song. I LOVE IT! I can't get enough of Christina--except for when I am listening to Beyonce. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Aaah. A list.

I stole this from another blog, like all other lists. Occasionally I feel like I've never read anything, that there are ages of literature that I'll never grasp. But then a list like this comes along and I start to feel pretty good about it again!


**Instructions: in bold=have read the book; in italics=want to read the book; with crosses=own the book; with asterisks=unfamiliar with the book.**

1. †The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. †Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. †To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. †Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. †The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. †The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. †The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. †Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. †Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. †Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. †Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. †Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. †Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. †Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. †The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. †Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. †The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. †Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. †The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. †Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. †The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. †East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. †Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. †Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. †1984 (Orwell)
35. †The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. †I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. †The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. †Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. †The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. †Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. †The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. †Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. †She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. †The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. †A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. †Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. †Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. †The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. †The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. †Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. †The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. †Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. †One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. †Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. †The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. †Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. †Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. †††The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. †Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. †Emma (Jane Austen)
86. †Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. †The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. †White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

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Parenthood for my brother.

It's true. He and Beth had a puppy. Her name is Belle and I decided that you'd need to see her. Mostly because I'm in love.





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The Power of Amber


I know I have mentioned this before but I LOVE that my parents named me Amber and that amber is a preservation agent. My parents may have been inspired.
I also love that amber captures and binds it victims thus, immortalizing them for eternity. I think that must be the real reason men are afraid of dating me. They know the power of amber.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- A miner in Chiapas discovered a tiny tree frog that has been preserved in amber for 25 million years, a researcher said.
If authenticated, the preserved frog would be the first of its kind found in Mexico, according to David Grimaldi, a biologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History who was not involved in the find.
The chunk of amber containing the almost 0.4-inch frog was uncovered by a miner in Mexico's southern Chiapas state in 2005 and was bought by a private collector, who lent it to scientists for study.
Only a few other preserved frogs have been found in chunks of amber -- a stone formed by ancient tree sap -- mostly in the Dominican Republic. Like those, the frog found in Chiapas appears to be of the genus Craugastor, whose descendants still inhabit the region, said biologist Gerardo Carbot of the Chiapas Natural History and Ecology Institute, who announced the discovery this week.
Carbot figures the frog lived 25 million years ago, based on the geological strata where the amber was found.
Carbot would like to extract a sample from the frog's remains in hopes of finding DNA , but doubts the stone's owner would allow a small hole to be drilled into the chunk of amber. "I don't think he will allow it, because it's a very rare, unique piece," said Carbot.
Grimaldi called the idea of extracting DNA "highly, highly unlikely," given that -- as other scientists have noted -- it tends to break down over time.
But George O. Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University who founded the Amber Institute, said extracting DNA is theoretically possible.
"If it's well-preserved ... and none of the frog has been exposed to the outside, where air could enter in and oxidize the DNA, it could be possible to get DNA."
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Since we're onto Literary Adventures...

...I decided to spend some quality time at Barnes ampersand Nobles tonight. I came home with

*Mitchard--The Breakdown Lane (Fiction)
*Douglass--Beyond the Hanging Wall (Fantasy)
*Vincent--Self-Made Man, One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man (Memoir)
*Beckmann--A History of PI (Reference)
*Lewis--Instant Word Power (Self-Help)

How weird am I?

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Last One...

at least for a little while. I have really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite poems with you. I hope you have too. I was going to post a poem that a friend wrote about me while in Galilee but decided against it. For now, I share a poem that my father used to read to me as a little girl. Edgar Allen Poe is his favorite, and if for no other reason, he will always be one of mine too.

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love
I and my Annabel Lee
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

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White Bee

White bee, you buzz, in my soul, drunk with honey,
and your flight winds in slow spirals of smoke.
I am the one without hope, the word without echoes,
he who lost everything and he who had everything.
Last hawser, in you creaks my last longing.
In my barren land you are the final rose.
Ah you who are silent!
Let your deep eyes close. There the night flutters.
Ah your body, a frightened statue, naked.
You have deep eyes in which the night flails.
Cool arms of flowers and a lap of rose.
Your breasts seem like white snails.
A butterfly of shadow has come to sleep on your belly.
Ah you who are silent!
Here is the solitude from which you are absent.
It is raining. The sea is hunting stray gulls.
The water walks barefoot in the wet streets.
From the tree the leaves complain as though they were sick.
White bee, even when you are gone you buzz in my soul.
You live again in time, slender and silent.
Ah you who are silent!

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Sharing the Love...

If there is one thing Steph and I agree on its Pablo. During a phone conversation this evening, I mentioned my plan to post a Neruda poem in honor of love. With Valentine's Day less than forty-eight hours away, I thought it would be fitting to share a love poem every day until the holiday passes. Stephanie agreed. I hope you enjoy this; its one of my favorites.

Body of a Woman
Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant's body digs in you
and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.
I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.
But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!
Body of my woman, I will persist your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!
Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

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Invitation to Adventure



Today I got the invite to the union of Jill and Corey! I'm so excited about the drive down to UT. I think I'm going to take the Friday before off and meander down. March is going to be awesome! Boo, St. Pat's day, Jill/Corey and impending spring! Love it!

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Oh, Alanis.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Actually, that would take far too long. So, instead, I'm just going to post an awesome vid and talk about Valentine's Day.

For me, this Valentine's Day and last are the perfect examples of how my life changed. Last V-Day I spent with a ton of friends at a great restaurant ignoring the fact that the man I adored didn't mark that day with me. That's ok. We weren't really dating at the time. I understood. And I had my friends to entertain me. We had a great night and I, honestly, thought we'd probably be doing it again this year.

Instead, I'm going to spend the evening watching Bill Cosby be Himself with some fantastic dinner I make for me. Quite different? Yes. It's true. I am quite the loner now. Montana is providing me all kinds of time to get to know things about me that I hadn't previously discovered or had forgotten. One of those things is that I'm a homebody at heart. I've also learned that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. And that, while my friends drive me to be better, at the end of the day I'm left a lone woman who's in charge of her own direction. So, tonight as I was avoiding sleep I found this video again and thought, "You know, I really am good."

Thanks, Alanis.



That I Would Be Good lyrics

that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy

that I would be good even if I lost sanity
that I would be good
whether with or without you

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99 Days...

are all that remain in the countdown to graduation.
"What's that you say? Is that the White House?"
To which my response would be, "Affirmative. That is indeed the White House and those chairs you see were for last year's commencement ceremony."
One of the benefits, and there are many, of graduating from The George Washington University, lest anyone confuse it with Georgetown, is sitting on the Mall with the sun glaring down on you in May, listening to a speaker (last year it was George and Barbara Bush) offer counsel about surviving in the big bad world.
The one thing I personally look forward to is wearing my new dress I specifically bought for this occasion.
I have been discussing how I am going to personally celebrate this achievement with Steph and Kim. I think Captain Pell's may be in the plans, in addition to, the Monumental Celebration at Union Station. Man, I love living in DC! However, if I have to move in June I think spending an evening dancing in Union Station would be the perfect culmination of my time in Washington.
This is one adventure I can't wait to complete.

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Love Is...


timeless. I saw this image today in the Washington Post Express. Naturally, I was intrigued. Like many individuals I struggle with understanding love and how to recognize it. I think I have a pretty solid understanding of familial love but romantic love is still a mystery to me.

I have always been intrigued by how love is defined cross-culturally. During their courtship my parents clipped cartoons out of the funnies and gave them to one another. Last year for Valentines Day I bought the Love Is book; a compilation of the cartoons I had seen in my parents album. The cartoon depicts a naked couple doing acts of service for one another. Across the top of the cartoon is always written Love Is... followed by an action.

Some people express their love through gifts, compliments, gestures, while others show love through physical affection. Some people believe love grows from friendship while others would argue love is impulsive, inspiring, and passionate. I have experienced both types of "love, " and honestly they were both wonderful. There have been times I have wondered, "would I die for love?" and I am not sure that I can answer that question honestly.

Anthropology has been defined as the study of man. Seeing this photo today made me grateful for my educational and professional training in anthropology. Although scientists may never be able to explain why or how this couple died, they have given the world a powerful symbol of love and its influence over "man."

From CNN:
The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides, were probably buried at the same time, an indication of a possible sudden and tragic death, Bondioli said.
"It's rare for two young people to die at the same time, and that makes us want to know why and who they were, but it will be very difficult to find out."

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UK's Most Loyal Fan

A few months ago, Lauren, my brother's fiancee, sent me an email saying she had gotten tickets to a UK men's basketball game. Those who are familiar with UK basketball realize how difficult it is to find tickets to home games. Kentuckians will donate $100, 000 or more to the university in hopes of getting season tickets. They don't. The joke, which is not really a joke, is people have to inherit UK basketball tickets.
So imagine my excitement when I heard Lauren, who works for UK's College of Pharmacy got TWO tickets for a MEN's basketball game at RUPP ARENA. That is HUGE. These tickets are also close to the floor so hopefully Daddy and Josh will get some good photos.
I snapped this photo while my dad, who looks like Colonel Sanders or Santa, was opening the tickets. He had no idea. The look on his face said it all. My dad only gets excited about six things, buying property, money, UK basketball, golf, vintage cars, and Home Depot. Lauren was so touched by his gratitude she cried. This made me cry. I have since concluded my family is a little more hillbilly than I would like to admit. I mean, who cries over basketball tickets?
The UK Wildcats will be hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks tomorrow night. Our prayers go out for Tubby Smith and his Wildcats. Damn I wish I had a tv with ESPN.
Go Blue!!

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All out of love - Air Supply

Here's my contribution to 80's week. My favorite karaoke song!

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Music

Have you ever noticed that waves of emotion come unbidden to smash you on the beach of reality when you least expect them? For me, that happens only with music. At times in my life I know I should cry but I can't seem to start, I find the saddest song I can think of and listen to it over and over again. I find that there are some that make me think of my childhood. Some make me think of lost lovers and friends. Often I find songs that speak to me about the roads I've chosen not to take in life. Frequently they are just songs that speak to general saddness.

I find that if I stay too long in these minor chorded mirrors I lose touch. So, generally, I listen to one or two. Cry. And then I have to get up and do something else with my life. And that's when these guys come in handy.

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February: The Christmas for Lovers

During church I had a conversation with three other single women about the upcoming holiday. Valentine's Day, I expressed to these women, is the "Christmas for couples"
Allow me to explain. Women plan for Valentine's Day way in advance, much like they do for Christmas. Men, on the other hand, wait until the last possible minute to purchase cards, candy, jewlery, etc. Each of us had been in a candy, card or flower shop on the fourteenth and had noticed the same trend.
One of my favorite things to do when I meet a married man or woman is ask, "how did you meet your spouse?" Their stories always inspire me with hope that MY story will be just as romantic if not more so.
Although I am facing another Valentine's Day alone, I have hope that each year brings me closer to a time when I can look forward to the holiday because I am sharing it with someone I love.
Happy February!


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Times when I think everything you've heard may, in fact, be true.



Today I attended the Third Annual Trade Show of People Who Build Things in Missoula. I captured a few images. The one above is my Come See If It's Really Like That bid. The one below is just plain fantastic.

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My Current Theme Song



Please note that the images are just to make you happy while you listen to this awesome song.

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Gabriel?

I have always been attracted to two types of men--A) those with dark hair and blues eyes, i.e. Chris O'Donnell or B) French blondes; blonde hair and brown eyes. Ladies meet the latter.
Although he's had roles in movies like The Good Shepherd and Behind Enemy Lines, my first introduction to Gabriel Macht occurred last night via Because I Said So.
Gabriel played opposite Mandy Moore (Millie Wilder) as one of two love interests. The other love interest had dark hair, blue eyes and was an architect. Does it get any better? Yes, actually. I left the movie feeling a little like Johnny, Gabriel's character, prior to his decision to take Millie back; betrayed. Save, Gabriel and Diane Keaton, the movie was not worth the eleven bucks I shelled out for it. But, as Tara said, "The company was good and that made it worth it." I couldn't agree more.
I sincerely hope 2007 will bring more movies with Gabriel Macht our way. In the meantime, I will softly hum the tune Bring Me An Angel, because if angels look as good as this man--whew, no wonder they call it heaven.

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My Mental Esoteric Fortune Cookie

People receive inspiration in various ways and in diverse places. I have often heard people say, "Some of my best ideas have come while I was on the toilet, in the shower, or while stuck in traffic."
I have had many experiences with inspiration. I have experienced it through feelings or impressions and as clear distinct thoughts or ideas. Being the skeptic I am, I quickly question the source of the feeling or thought. "Was that thought the product of my own desires or was it's origin divine?"
Over the past year I have received inspiration that has caused me serious reflection and great uneasiness. Not that the impressions are warning me something negative is about to transpire. The uneasiness is more a result of self doubt. "Am I misinterpreting these feelings?" I often wonder.
I also struggle with questions about the timing of the inspiration I receive. "Why now instead of later?" Questions about timing are especially pertinent when the inspiration received involves another individual. "Why didn't they receive the same prompting or inspiration at the exact moment I did?"
For me inspiration often comes when I am not expecting it. I may pray for guidance or direction for weeks only to receive an answer, through inspiration, months later. This can be very frustrating at times; waiting for inspiration. However, when it comes, in that very moment you have that feeling or experience that thought, the frustration is immediately replaced with gratitude and humility.
This morning, while soaking in the tub, (I love taking baths) a thought came clearly into my mind. I described it later to Steph, as my mental esoteric fortune cookie. The thought was simply this, "Something big is on the horizon."
This caused me to pause mid-lather and question, "What's about to happen?" "Why is it big?" "Who's it going to happen to?" "Was that me or is God trying to tell me something?"
Fourteen hours later, I'm still uncertain. I do know instead of saying "Something big is on the horizon," my mind would normally think, "Something big is about to happen." I usually don't say "on the horizon." Also, when I bathe, my goal is to not think about anything. So, my determination is the thought was inspiration.
As to discovering what "big" thing is "on the horizon," well, I think that requires standing still and waiting for the answer to be revealed. Here's to patience and to whatever big thing is on the horizon.

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