Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My 7 seconds as a Superhero

I was seven years old.

when my mom and dad took me and my younger sister, The Bug, to Mexico City.

I don't remember a whole lot about this trip, except seeing panda bears in the zoo...

and the lobby of the hotel we stayed in, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico.

The lobby had antique bird-cage looking elevators and a Tiffany glass ceiling.

It was very memorable.

These pictures above were all taken by my mom in 1984.

Below are recent photos from the hotel's current website:

It was built in the 1800's and is located in Mexico City,
right off the main square, Zocalo Plaza.

When you enter from the street, this is the first thing you see:

This lobby is where my story takes place.

My parents were checking us out of the hotel,
and I was sitting on that round red settee thing (the same one in the photo!) with our bags...

and my mom's purse.

A young man came and sat near me but I wasn't really paying any attention to him.

I was probably practicing the few Spanish phrases I knew, in my head.

Como se llama?

Me llamo Rhea.

Donde esta el bano?


De nada.

Then I heard a strange swooshing, dragging sound.

I looked over and saw that my mom's purse, which had been next to me,
was now next to the young man.

I looked at him.
He looked at me.

I reached over and grabbed the purse back.
And the guy took off.

I saved the day!!

My 7 seconds as a superhero.

I'll never forget that hotel.

Here's one more look at that incredible ceiling.

Have you ever thwarted a crime?
Have you ever been to Mexico City?
Do you know any Spanish?

Como esta usted hoy?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Darn Good Idea

Remy and I were in the car the other morning with Annie,
and Remy was playing with Annie's orange leash.

Little did I know he had big plans regarding that leash...

Remy: I'm going to use this leash to catch a chicken. See, I can put this around its head like this.

ME: What are you going to do with the chicken when you catch it?

Remy: (giggles like a maniac)

Remy: I don't know, sell it.

Me: Really? For how much?

Remy: For a million dollars!

ME: For a chicken? It'd better be a special chicken.

Remy: Well, it'll lay golden eggs that sing.

ME: That IS a special chicken. What are you going to do with that million dollars?

Remy: Buy things.

Me: Yes, but what things?

Remy: I don't know. A car.

Me: But you can't drive yet!

Remy: (more giggling)

Remy: I'll buy the world. From God.

Me: Huh. You think you can get the world for a million dollars? That's a good deal.

At least he thinks big, right?

I'm keeping my eye out for special chickens now...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

You only thought you knew me...

Earlier this week I posted about my new Texas Word Tangle car decal
that I got from Monogram Chick.
I'm totally in love with it and with Monogram Chick's products.

Monogram Chick

And, when I found out she tagged me on her blog, I decided to participate.
So, here we go.

7 Weird/Random Facts About Me:

1. I read really fast. I think it's because I grew up on a ranch without TV and spent a lot of time reading.

2. I peed in the ruins at Pompeii, (you know, the city completely covered by a volcano eruption in Italy), because we were on a tour and couldn't find a bathroom. That's probably illegal or defacing history or something like that. But, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

3. I was involved in the theater when I was a child. I was an orphan in Annie and Greta, the youngest Von Trapp child in The Sound of Music.

4. I saw my first Shakespeare play in England in a huge park. It was A Midsummer's Night Dream, and it was completely magical.

5. I received my first massage and snow skied for the first time, all in the same week, when my family visited Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts when I was about 14 or so.

6. I saved my mom's purse from a thief in Mexico City when I was around seven years old.

7. In 5th grade I won the school science fair for making fossils, and I was the second fastest runner in the school. That may have been me in my prime. It's been all downhill since then.

and now I'm tagging some new friends:

1. Marlene - Country Girl on Chesapeake Bay

2. Jen - Steenky Bee

3. Jennifer & Sandi - Minnesota and Texas

4. Carrie - Life in the Slow Lane

5. Gingela5 - My Dogumentary

6. Justine - Justine's Froggy Bloggy

7. Scargosun

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

My sweet, sleeping beauty, Annie

This is how I want to spend MY weekend.
Annie has the right idea.

Grab a camera and join in the fun. Camera Critters.

Camera Critters

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chicka Chicka Bow Wow

Why don't animals dance?

They can hear the music.
But they don't seem to get the urge to bob their head
or shake their hindquarters?

I twittered about it, but no one answered me.

Oh, yeah, did I tell you I'm twittering now?
Or tweeting?
Or whatever you call it?

I'm TexasRhea if you want to follow me.

So, yesterday I found out that like NO ONE knows how to play chess!
I was dumbfounded.
That's such a strange word.
I like it.

Anyway, I think I need to start an online class to teach EVERYONE how to play.
Chess rocks, people!

And, oh yeah, I'm giving away a book.
Normally I take photos of my kids drawing names out of a hat...
But this time I'm lazy, and I used the random number thingy.

So, the winner is...


She won this book:

This has been a tough week for me.
I didn't get the job I wanted, so I'm still job searching.
We've had lots of football practice and soccer practice
and some family drum workshop...don't ask.

Now my mother-in-law is visiting for the weekend,
which means I might go on a date with my husband,
which hasn't happened in months.

My creativity collapsed, and I didn't know what to write about today.

And, that's why you got this instead.

Saturday both boys have 8am sports games,
and I have a 6-hour long writing workshop...

And, I have nothing planned for Sunday,
besides driving my dad to church
and helping my eleven-year-old with two projects due Monday.

How was YOUR week?
Why don't animals dance?
Do you Twitter?

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

En Passant

It's origins go back two thousand years ago to India.

Each piece has a special stylized ability to move.

It's a game of strategy.

What am I talking about?

The Game of Chess.

My father taught my how to play when I was 10.
I became a chess dork and participated in some tournaments.

I passed on the love to one of my sons...and will teach the other son soon.

I used to play online at Red Hot Pawn, which was a lot of fun.

In the game of chess there is a move called en passant, a surprise move where the conditions have to be just right for a pawn to move in a unique way and capture a piece by moving past it.

And, as a surprise, I'm going to try to pass it on two of my loves (books and chess)
to YOU...

I'm giving away this book I just finished reading.
It's a book of strategy, historical fiction, romance, mystery and intrigue.

Katherine Neville's debut novel is a postmodern thriller set in 1972 ... and 1790. In the 20th century, Catherine Velis is a computer expert with a flair for music, painting, and chess who, on her way to Algeria at the behest of the accounting firm where she is employed, is invited to take a mysterious moonlighting assignment: recover the pieces of an old chess set missing for centuries.

In the midst of the French Revolution, a young novice discovers that her abbey is the hiding place of a chess set, once owned by the great Charlemagne, which allows those who play it to tap into incredible powers beyond the imagination. She eventually comes into contact with the major historical figures of the day, from Robespierre to Napoleon, each of whom has an agenda.

The sequel is due out in a couple of weeks:


Leave me a comment
tell me if you know how to play & who taught you.
What your favorite move? Or favorite piece?
If you know nothing about chess, then just say hi.

This giveaway ends tonight at midnight, Pacific time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Ode to my 35mm

I fell in love with photography in high school
(and maybe perhaps before that)
when I took my first photography class.
I loved it.

A few years later I took a college photography class as well,
and as I was cleaning out a box today, I found some photos from those days.

I didn't have a digital camera in high school.
I had my trusty old Olympus 35mm that my mom gave me,
along with her passion for photography.

I decided to scan the photos I took in 1996, 12 years ago, to share with you guys.
These were taken on film, hand developed by me in an actual dark room.
Did you know we had to go into a tiny, blacked-out closet
to take the flim out of the camera and roll it onto a special canister?
It was hard to do it properly in the dark, let me tell you.
Then you had to measure chemicals and time how long to leave things.
You put your negatives onto contact sheets...I'll show you.

Ooops, this isn't a photo.

This is one of my artistic attempts are NOT drawing a stick person.
My boys are always laughing at my pathetic stick figure people,
so I decided to go all plump and freaky.
Remy insists he can't color unless I color with him.
So this is what I produced the other day.

And I found that I could mess with my drawings when I uploaded them to Picnik.

See, I inverted the colors on this picture. Isn't that cool? Why can't I DRAW like that.

Ok, sorry for that detour, onto the real photography.

Here we had contact sheets we just exposed to light...with feathers on them.
So, it's not a photo as much as a dark room exercise.
Made for a cool effect.

Here's an example of my contact sheet of negatives.
From this sheet we would use little magnifying glasses to inspect the pictures
and decide which ones to enlarge.

Here's a better close up of my contact sheet.
I can't believe how long ago this feels like.
Ancient history.

Then I would enlarge and print out photos...all in the dark room.

Here are some I enlarged and still had in my photography binder that I just found.

There was something so magical and fun about taking photos
and developing them in the dark room.
I miss those days.

But, now photography is a lot easier, with computers and editing software.

I'll never forget my 35mm though.

The Art of Illustrations...or my Pantyhose is choking me

As I helped Donny with his homework tonight...wait, let me clarify...I don't help him with his work until he has attempted it on his own and is stuck, then I swoop in to help him work things out, so that he has the FULL learning experience.

Why do I feel the need for disclaimers like that? Because I know people judge. And, I worry too much sometimes. I wear worry like pantyhose, it's hot and a fits too tight, but it's going out of style and I'm ashamed. I want to tear it off, but then I feel bare without it. Naked. Nekkid. neck kid. Weird word.

Ok, moving on.

Anyway, my son Donny was doing a science packet on energy. He's in sixth grade.

Here's the one we had problems with, up close. Our problem? We couldn't tell what the heck that was a picture of?! Can you?

And I swear, this photo is exactly what it looks like on the paper. We didn't mess with it at all. It's blurry and indecipherable. What the heck??

Then Remy, my six year old, drew a picture, his special brand of art work. Now YOU get to figure out what's going on in this picture.

I had to angle the picture sideways to fit it in the scanner. It was an extra-special, wide mutant piece of paper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Out of the Box - UPDATED

(Info about Monogram Chick giveaway at the bottom of this post!!!)

So, I need your advice.

Well, I already did it, so it's too late to advise me against it.
But I'm up for discussion.

I've posted about what people put on their cars...
and discussed what I might be willing to put on mine.

Well, I did it. I put the first sticker on my new-to-me car I've had for four months.

I got a car decal from the Monogram Chick.

Monogram Chick

And, I didn't get my initials.

Wanna see what I got?

Yep, the name of my blog.
On my car.
for all to see.

Do you think this is a good idea?
Or a bad idea?

Will all my neighbors Google it?
Will the ladies in carpool?
The stranger behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru?

Isn't it CUTE though?
Look at the pretty aqua color!!

She designed it JUST for me.
I love it!
It makes me happy to see it.

Tell me what you think of this BOLD move.
Or Stupid?

It's possible no one will notice...

Monogram Chick

I just realized she's having a giveaway!! You have to check it out.