Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Milestone/Bittersweet Memory

I'm in the hat.  Mommy's nervous
about how "close" I am to the edge.
Two years ago today, Stephen visited the Grand Canyon for the first time.  The first time I visited, I was traveling from Florida to California in a U-Haul with Mommy and no cats in 2002.  We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona and rented a pick-em-up truck (yes, Mommy sure did love her a pick-em-up truck!), saw the Canyon, and then returned to our U-Haul later in the day.

With Stephen, we were in the loaded Honda with the furbabies, heading from California to North Carolina.  While we were there, Stephen spoke with his father on the phone to let him know of our progress.

Stephen, NOT close to any edge!

It was the last time he'd hear his father's voice, not in a recording.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yesterday, beginning of the season of Sadiversaries. Today?

Stephen conducts the wine box choir
(or packs books and other media for
shipping across the country)
Two years ago today, Stephen and I sent our possessions in a large shipping container and then hopped into my fully-packed Honda Civic with the two furbabies and began our trek across the country.
Last phone call to disconnect some
utility or other (probably 'nets)
As soon as you're able to get on I-40
from the left coast of the country.
It's so rare that I get a good pic
of the moon!  I keep trying, tho...
Cocoa enjoying the view

It would have been a five-day trip, but the container wasn't picked up right away, and then we still hadn't completely cleaned the place, so Day One was a short-ish drive.  Since Mommy had died on the road, we had planned everything to leave on the 29th, not the 28th.  Not that I'm superstitious (I'm really not).  Just didn't want to get overcome with memories while driving with the cats.  I'd done a little travel-training with them in the weeks earlier, but we ended up doing the cross-country in harnesses (and a little bit of leashing, to start) rather than the carriers, because there JUST wasn't room.  The carriers are there, opened up, under the blanket-tent that's draped across the back seat, so they'd have comfy "beds" to lie in when not exploring the upper deck.  Every night, the blanket got re-tented so they could hide.  Overall, we really enjoyed traveling with the cats, and they really didn't seem to mind.  "Oh, now we live in a thing that moves and the scenery changes.  Huh."

Smokey's not too sure about this
The reason this milestone is a Sadiversary is because we'd made the decision to leave our beloved Los Angeles due to Steve, Sr's battle with cancer.  The film industry was in a lull, or so it seemed, so we figured we'd head to North Carolina, start fresh in new industries (or new regions of the same), help Steve recover, maybe learn a little about the Handyman biz, and "get back to our roots", as it were.  Our schools in North Carolina had prompted our reunion in the first place, so there were some things the state had to offer.  But there was a "leaving behind" aspect, lingering in the dark recesses. And that's sad.

That's enough milestone for today.  Two years ago today, we left California. More milestones to come!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Sadiversary

Permed and Blonde Mommy in one
of her favorite double-entendre t-shirts
Shortly after InnerHippie was born, Mommy came down with flu-like symptoms that were diagnosed as Post-Partum Depression, and then later as "it's all in your head", and then later as Depression, and then later as Epstein-Barr, and then finally as Chronic Fatigue (Immune Dysfunction) Syndrome.  She suffered with fatigue and depression for all of her progeny's lives.

CFIDS has several diagnosable symptoms, and they finally figured out that of the eleven or so symptoms, a patient had to be always exhibiting at least eight in order to reach that diagnosis.  With Mommy's diagnosis came a sense of relief - FINALLY, a name for what was causing her extreme tiredness and sadness!

After she'd lived with the diagnosis for a few years, she learned to manage it, and she learned to avoid sharing her pain with her offspring, somewhat out of a fear of it being hereditary.  ("If I don't talk about it, hopefully, you won't be afflicted with it" sort of thought process.)  She would have good days and bad days, as we all do, but she also had good seasons and bad seasons, and good years and bad years.  When all of her kids were in college and then getting on with their lives, she was having extreme highs and lows.  At some point, the CFIDS diagnosis took a back seat to a Bi-Polar or Manic/Depressive diagnosis.  I, for one, never believed the later diagnoses as legit, and I held a grudge for awhile against the perpetrators of those diagnoses.  She was depressed because of CFIDS, and she was blessed with good days/seasons/years when they occurred.  If you spent a majority of your life in pain or fatigue or depression, wouldn't you be ecstatic when those symptoms abated?  Not "manic" just finally, really HAPPY.

So at the beginning of 2006, after a pretty rough winter, she called me.  She said that she was tired of being tired, and tired of complaining about being tired.  I told her that she shouldn't worry about what others thought of her anymore; that she was old enough to live for herself, and if she was tired, she had a right to complain about it.  I also told her that she could strive to be happy; that on a daily basis, if all she managed to "accomplish" was unloading the dishwasher or taking a walk with a friend or hanging a load of clothes on the line, then she'd had a successful day and could celebrate that success.  I told her to make 2006 the Year of Lois, and I gave her the whole year to make it happen.  She would have until her birthday, on December 28th, to decide to be happy, even if she was tired.  She accepted my challenge, and we both left that phone call feeling better.

Summer came, and with it, a "good" season.  In August, she called again, to tell me how healthy she felt, and how happy that made her.  I congratulated her on achieving her Year of Lois.  She and Daddy were moving again, so there would be some stress on the end of her summer, but he'd finally bought her a house she could make her own, in exchange for it being on a private golf course.  They were both happy, and that made the rest of us happy for them.
Clockwise, from top left: InnerHippie,
me, Mommy, HER Mommy,
Brett, and Uncle Aardvark
(Mommy's baby brother)

In late September, her family suffered the loss of a third brother.  She'd already lost two in earlier years, and with this loss, she had one brother and four sisters left.  In her birth order, she'd been "seven of nine" and she'd always jokingly complained about her birthday: "3 days after Christmas, when everybody's broke, and to top it all off, I have a twin!"  Her family was all based in New Jersey, once her mother had died all those years ago, so visits were pretty easy to accomplish, if she was the one not staying home.  Mommy was never one to stay home - her life was always an adventure - and if there were a reason for her to hop into her pick-em-up truck, she was in it, and on the road again.  So with Charles' death, she hopped into her pick-em-up truck and was on the road again.
Standing, is Uncle Charles, I think.
Seated on the right is his lil sis (Mommy)
She spent about three weeks with her siblings, taking pictures with a disposable black-and-white (film) camera.  She found a porcelain doll that reminded her of her granddaughter, my niece, and added it to the growing collection of treasures in the back of her truck.  On her return to Florida, she spent a night or two with her only son, my baby brother.  She called me to see if she should find a way to make California part of her route.  I declined, sadly, due to being swamped (finally) with industry work, and not feeling like I'd have the time to entertain her (not that she ever needed us to entertain her).  She was a lark, and my brother was (at that time) more of an owl, so they'd had a little tiff over her departure time, but the last thing she said to him was, "It's going to be a beautiful day; just look at the sky."  And she headed out.

Just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, on a dry stretch of highway on a beautiful day, her truck stalled.  She got it to the far-right lane and turned on her flashers, and two other vehicles saw her, swerving to miss her, and had their own accident in the median.  They then witnessed the woman who, according to the police report, was "reaching for my coffee or cigarette and didn't see her" SLAMMING into her, sending the truck flipping into the ditch.  All of the new treasures flying out; the truck caught fire; Mommy's neck was broken on impact.  This was a Saturday; Daddy called Brett later to see if he'd heard from her and what time she'd left, because she hadn't made it home yet.  We all found out on Sunday.
Mommy in some doorway in St. Thomas, on vacay with Daddy (and all the kids at home, alone?-ish)

SILVER LININGS: Mommy had had her Year of Lois.  She'd felt healthier and happier that summer than she had in a very long time.  She'd just started making a new house feel like a home.  She'd visited with her five living siblings and her only son, the baby of her three offspring.  Her black-and-white photos were processed with the utmost care, and we all have copies.  Brett found a doll like the one she'd acquired, and he bought it for Rachel's Christmas.  Her wedding band and her gold name-in-Arabic necklace survived the fire.  Mommy may have had a moment of fear when the truck stalled, but she didn't suffer the flames.  She was singing with the Heavenly Choir before the witnesses could even process what had happened.  And in Heaven, there is no Chronic Fatigue or Manic/Depression.
My Beautiful Young Mommy

I miss her.  It's been eight years, today.  I have more good days than bad, but you know.  If your parents are still alive, won't you please tell them how much you love them, for me, in honor of Lois?
One Easter, I think, in Miami
Daddy & Mommy in '79, I think, pre-
(or possibly post-) Virgin Islands trip

"Happy" Sadiversary.

Monday, October 27, 2014

WHAT a Night!

So I have this new gig at a restaurant, right?  And I've been filling my "off" days with other work-for-pay, making today day ten of consecutive work-for-pay days.  A lovely, lovely thing.

THIS WEEK, my restaurant gig had me scheduled for five eight-hour shifts.  In this economy, at this particular location, there is not any single employee other than the floor management and probably the head chef who are scheduled for 40 hours in a week.  But my schedule had me training today and Wednesday, and then off-to-the-races on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday!  Woo Hoo!

Then I get a call from my background acting service - "we see you're available tomorrow but not Wednesday, and there's a request for YOU; it's one show that wants you for both days.  Can you make it?  Call us back IMMEDIATELY."

So I call the boss lady to see if I can (basically) skip my last day of training and just jump into the fray on Thursday.  She's like, let me see if the floor manager thinks you're ready; I'll call you back.  So I wait, and Stephen and I rearrange our bedroom in the hopes it will change the noise we hear from next door.*

Then the boss lady calls back to say, no dice on missing one last training, but if you can find someone to "cover" the shift you're scheduled for on Thursday, then you can TRAIN with that person.  I'm like, okay, I think I have the person who'll do it.  She's like, cool, if that person is cool with it, then have him text ME to let me know.  I'm like, cool.

So I call the dude I want to train me (because I know he'd love another shift if he can get it, and frankly, he's been my most consistent trainer).  Get his voicemail, probably because he doesn't yet have my digits in his phone.  Leave an urgent message and send an urgent text.  Call the acting service to leave a message saying "don't give up on me - I'm just trying to cover my shift!"  Dude calls me back and just wants to clarify that this is kosher with boss lady?  YES - send her a text - YES, I'll take the shift!  Cool!

Call the acting service back; leave a message - it's covered, I'm good to go, please call me back to tell me I've got the gig!

... too late; they booked someone else!  AARGH!  So now I have the next two days off and have killed my "consecutive working days" streak, AND I may have left a bad taste in boss lady's and floor manager's mouths, since I've only been with the company just over a week.  All of this happened in less than 30 minutes.  Wow.

It's crazy how I wasn't working so much when I wasn't working... and now that I'm working, I'm working so much that I have to try to manipulate the laws of time.  If you have a gig for me for the next two days, call or text me ASAP.  I'm available.

*A post for another time

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Because, Reasons.

I made key lime pie ice cream and coconut chicken quinoa w/veggies this evening.
Because reasons.  

"The ice cream was delicious; nobody ate it, and they all lived happily ever after."
Because reasons.

I get to be at work at 7 a.m. so I should really wind down. 
Because reasons.

You don't get it, but I'ma post it anyways.  BECAUSE REASONS.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome, Slovakia!

What a lovely surprise!  Please stay awhile (browsing through the archives), and then return with friends!

Friday, October 24, 2014


and for good reason.  Since starting my new job last Saturday, I have worked for pay every single day, and will continue to do so for at least two more days.  Don't yet know my work schedule for next week, but there's a pretty good possibility that I could be working for the next four days (or more!) rather than just the next two.  And if I keep booking "industry" work on my "days off" from the job, it's entirely feasible for me to work for pay all the way up until Thanksgiving!

Stephen just reminded me that it's Foto Friday! Oh, well.
I'm not complaining, per se.  I often "complain" about postal/bank holidays, because I haven't worked for pay nearly enough to "deserve" to celebrate a long weekend.  So continuous work is a GOOD thing.  I am blessed.

I'm also just tired.  And with that statement made, I shall head off to bed. G'Nite!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's not true... It didn't work...

The "cat circle" is a lie, a myth, a falsehood.  There is nothing that will trap a cat better than a nearly-empty cardboard box or paper or plastic bag.  NOTHING.
"What's the deal with my shoelace, Mama? It looks fishy to me, and I ain't goin' near it."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

emelle, you're needed... Rush Call to Set, STAT!

Since I wasn't booked for my new job, I saw a post that sorta "fit" me and responded:

A Mom, Her Son, and His Co-Star
Carpool Group Selfie (Clockwise from ME: Young Actor,
Young Actress, Co-Director, Driver/PA)
Young Actor, "Studio Teacher", Young Actress On Set

I love it when that happens!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rescue Me! (Sing it if ya know it, kids)

THIS post is actually a response to this post, but I liked what Holly triggered so much that I decided it would be tonight's outing.

Have I told you the whole story of my furbabies?  I think I've shared snippets.  If I've told it before, well then, tough noogies sorry, I feel like tellin' it AGAIN.  Here's what I had to say on Holly's site:

Both of my furbabies are feral rescues!  I was living in a single-bedroom duplex that had a small crawlspace, and the feral momma had apparently had her litter there, under my apartment, maybe four weeks prior to my discovery.  My neighbor had attempted a rescue when he heard them crying, but not being of the right "animal person" frame of mind, he didn't ask anyone for help in doing it right.  He went to the local pet supply shop and bought weaning formula, and started "taking care" of them in the absence of their momma.

The evening I discovered them, he was rolling his trashcan from the curb as I was pulling into my driveway, and I saw these two tiny furballs following him.  I had locked myself out that day, so when he helped me break into my place, the babies followed both of us in.  I had already inherited from my former roommate a 23-pound cat (Miles), who had no interest in the twins.  The neighbor hadn't approached me about them, either, because of Miles.  He retrieved the formula for me, and while he was gone, my little girl who would end up being known as Cocoa marched right up to the big boy!  He immediately went to higher ground where she couldn't follow, while my little boy Smokey stayed right at his new momma's feet in the kitchen.

Mixed up the formula according to the directions and the neighbor discovered, to his horror, that he'd been severely malnourishing them (too much water, not enough nutrients), and the babies he'd buried since his "rescue" had died at his hands.  The feral momma was probably only out hunting and would have returned to feed the litter, had he not intervened.  But my Smokey and Cocoa were the fighters - they needed to find me, and I'm so grateful to have gotten home when I did that day!

I'll always "rescue" now.  There are just too many out there in need of us, not to rescue.
The babies at about six months old.
When they first rescued me, they each fit
in the pockets of my bathrobe.
Sadly, I can't find any of those early pics.
At six months, they both still fit on my lap.
Miles. I used this pic to help him find a new momma,
since he had picked his first momma (shelter rescue),
but he never picked me.
Since I didn't have a couch when I lived alone, this twin bed
made "do".  This was Miles' safety zone when Cocoa first
introduced herself.  By the time he'd found Sherry, the twins
had taken over this space amongst the stuffed animals.
Miles and his new momma, Sherry.
She lived alone and knitted blankets to
supplement her disability income, and
Miles made his way RIGHT INTO
both her heart and home. A good match.

Friday, October 17, 2014

emelle's got a jo-ob, emelle's got a jo-ob (yes, that's what sing-song "looks" like)

Hey, did I mention that
a JOB?

Are you TOTALLY as "psyched" as I am?  You're NOT?  What is WRONG with you? Get with the program, already! I AM NOW GAINFULLY EMPLOYED!!!!!!!!!


No, I'm not the least bit excited; why do you ask?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

View from the laptop

Brilliant, right? I can't see through Cocoa to "aim" the camera, and she doesn't know how to do it for me!
In other news, I may be BOOKED for tomorrow. <sigh of relief>

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Welcome, Iran!

I love it when a new patch of green shows up on my map, and being terrible at geography, I now know where Iran is located!  Thank you for joining me here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Be honest now...

When one of your friends shares a quiz on Facebook (and their answer seems a bit intriguing), do you:

  1. take the quiz right away and share your answer
  2. open the quiz but move on down your newsfeed
  3. skip the quiz until someone you respect more takes it first?
And then, when you're taking the quiz, do you
  1. answer every question honestly
  2. answer every question DIShonestly, in an attempt to "skew" the results
  3. quit the quiz because the answers are just so damned stupid?
Finally, do you think that by answering my "quiz"
  1. I'll be able to categorize some part of your personality
  2. it makes you a better participant
  3. it will make me like you more than I already do?
I've answered the first question all three ways; I've answered the second question all three ways; I refuse to answer the third question on the grounds that it will skew YOUR results.  "These results are not typical; your results may vary."
Which Awkward Teenage Phase Did You Go Through?

Monday, October 13, 2014

With the changing weather comes...

a new outlook?  Maybe.  As you probably know, I've been filling my days of late with sitting in audiences, and in exchange for my laughter and other positive energy, I get paid some cash at the end of the taping.  It's nice to have money in the wallet, because I can stop and pick up groceries on my way home, and that usually means finding a treat or two, while I'm at it.

But I'd love to have a paycheck again, so I also find places to drop off or email my resume.  Today, I applied for three Script Supervision gigs, a PA gig, and an audience-wrangler (different kind of PA) gig.  Yesterday, I did a little audience work as well as applying for an audience-wrangler gig. I guess Saturday was somewhat off, because I only tried to get on a show in the audience but failed, and then checked in with the dude at Costco.  Friday, as I've already told you, was productive and lucrative.

I feel like I'm constantly on the lookout for leads.  I feel like something is going to "hit" VERY SOON.  I got in the pool today, and it was really freaking cold but I knew that, if I'm not working, I can at least try to exercise a little bit.  While I was doing that, I was thinking about two of the gigs I might be up for, and what it would mean if I were actually "picked" for both and had to choose.  Which one would be better for me and for us in the short run?  Will that gig also be the better choice in the long run?

I dunno, but I'm probably going to have to discuss that with Stephen.  IF.  IF they both hit; IF they both ask for me; IF I really am the one who gets to choose.  Until then, I'll just keep plugging along.  I'll keep throwing my name in the hat.  I'll keep showing up to sit in audiences, and when I'm not doing that, I'll keep dragging my lazy butt downstairs into the ice water.
This pic epitomizes how I feel about fall... sad? forlorn? withered and cold? I don't see the beauty in the changing leaves, and I definitely don't love the "earth-tone" color schemes or the preponderance of all things PUMPKIN or whatever else it is that other folks LOVE about fall.  How do YOU feel about it?

Enjoy your spring and summer, southern hemisphere!  I'll be up here, hoping for a mild and short winter!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Another productive and somewhat lucrative weekend...

Yesterday (yes, I am counting a Friday as a "weekend" day), I attended an open call for a movie that will shoot here through the winter.  It's set in 1950 on a film set and takes place over the course of a single day... which means that if I get picked to work it as a member of the "film crew" (in the BG, of course), I will have a fitting, and ONE costume, and will likely get to work it for most of the winter.  That will be a great gig.  Looking forward to them loving me!

After that, I went to see if I could get in to watch the first taping of "Celebrity Name Game," Craig Ferguson's new game show, which I've been privileged to watch on several occasions now.  I did get in, and since I was already booked for the afternoon taping, I got to "work" all day.  Big fun.

Today, I had a delicious walking-and-sampling lunch at Costco, and reminded my next potential boss of my existence.  He may be calling me this week for an interview.  Cool.

Tomorrow, I'm booked in the audience of the game show again.  If I'm up early enough, I'll see if I can't get in for the first taping again.  As well, I'll be bringing my resume to hand (in person) to the guy who runs that gig. 

 Potential gigs!  Productivity!  Awesomesausage-with-extra-cheese!  Woot!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Friday Foto

yesterday, while at work, my husband "doodled" this spaceship and planetoid... just to kill some time during his break.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throw (One) Back Thursday

The bereaved husband of my friend, Ms. F., came over today to swim a little, learn to float a little, tread a little, talk about his loss, and tell me the whole story of "how they met" and "how she left".  In the meantime, he drank the single beer he'd brought over, I had a little wine, and we ate some healthy munchies to absorb that small quantity of alcohol we threw back.

It was a nice little visit, and he's very grateful for the friends who are taking care of him right now.  He's following the guidelines that have been put in place for him by "the coven", which primarily consist of living his daily life in ten-minute increments (or, "The NOW") and allowing his feelings to be, whatever they are.

We cried a little.  We laughed a little.  He showed me photos in his phone, and he allowed me to take these photos.
We hugged a little more than a little.  We made "plans" to stay in each other's lives.  He was hoping to see Stephen today, but he left before Stephen made it home, so that other members of the coven can take him to his next meal.

Not a bad Thursday; certainly better than last week!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wacky Wednesday

Robert Downey Jr. tweeted "100th tweet!" TODAY, and this is what my account is showing me:
5 away from 100 (tweets FROM ME), and I should be following original Star Trek,
Nichelle Nichols (from original Star Trek), and Robert Picardo (from Star Trek: Voyager).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Two gigs in as many weekends, and looking for the next one!

It's a never-ending cycle, in the film business, this "business" of looking for your next gig.  That statement is in no way meant to be a complaint.  I love the film industry.  I love the temporary nature of the job.  I love that every set is the same, no matter how different they are.  I love being given a chance to do a good job, and contribute to a good piece of entertainment.

I would love even more to have someone else out there marketing me, so that I could just be informed of the wheres and whens of the next gig, rather than having to "apply" so often.  <<< That is probably the primary reason you get actors and writers and directors, even, who become producers.  It is probably also the reason you get producers and actors who become writers and directors.  Everybody thinks that "in that position, I can write my own ticket," as it were.  Grass is always greener, don'tchaknow?

I don't want to write or direct or produce my own stuff.  I watch those folks venturing into the "greener pastures" and having as hard a time at it as I'm having over here, in my greenish field with the occasional wellspring (of work).  There's plenty of money, and there's plenty of appropriate work, to go around.  We can all be busy, happily "creating" entertainment.  It's just a matter of finding that work, or the funding, or whatever.

When I first started in this biz, I was told "It's not what you know, it's who you know."  I found that to be a falsehood almost immediately.  It helps to know the what, as well as knowing the who (not "The Who", although I doubt knowing "The Who" would hurt).  But really, it's "who knows you".

I interviewed today for a seven-day gig that's going to pay me a reasonable salary for my expertise.  I think, as long as my schedule allows, that I've actually been the only Script Supervisor to be interviewed, and that I've actually got the job.  The only problem is that it's not slated yet; the plan is to shoot... in FEBRUARY of 2015.  GREAT!  I've booked seven days in February, at a reasonable wage!  Woo Hoo!  But now what?

Beyond that, I think they were impressed enough with me that I'll be able to help them crew it up with folks that I know and like working with.  I get to be the "who" in the "who knows you" equation!  Sweet!  Here's hoping I'll be able to bring a buncha fine folk with me into a fun, creative production environment, and we'll all love working together so much, we'll want to always have the same people on board, no matter how big or small the project, no matter how long or short the shoot.

Kinda like what I've had over the last two weekends!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Photo Phr(aye!)day

Cocoa, dancing in her sleep again, and waking to the picture-taking but not changing her pose.  Silly girl.

Fragile Storm scout - Day One of my involvement

Lance and Mackenzie working stuff out in rehearsals

Fragile Storm BTS selfie goofin' (Carly - me - Lance)

Fragile Storm BTS (Tina - Lance - Jody, with Dawn - Lauren in BG)
What the camera sees at the opening of a very cool shot -
yes, I moved slightly in taking the pic, but those
pill bottles are indeed OUT of focus!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Got a phone call this morning...

(preliminary warning of what would likely be the case)... And just found out on Facebook.  I'm just copying and pasting Ms. F's husband's post, because I have no better words of my own:

"It is with great sadness I must tell you all that my dear wife Florence has passed away at the age of 71.
My heart is broken."

The FABULOUS Ms. F.  My friend, who would probably find a reason to HATE this picture.
I don't care.  I miss you already, Flo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Five Years Ago (Yesterday)

I married my college sweetheart.  We'd dated for four years, on-and-off, give-or-take, and then went our separate "merry" ways.  For twenty years, give-or-take. So YESTERDAY was our five-year wedding anniversary, and our TWENTY-NINE year anniversary of having met, or started dating, or something, give-or-take. (Shout-out to @simonpegg over at Twitter for the #orsomething idea).

Year one, as we all know, is paper.  We may have actually exchanged cards that year, even though I'm not a big exchanger of cards.  Or we may have exchanged cash.  Who can remember?

Year two, we think, is cotton.  We bought matching purple Hanes t-shirts, because they were cheap, and we both love purple.  Stephen wore his to work and to dinner last night.  Mine is still "packed" with the rest of my t-shirts, because we have yet to acquire a chest of drawers, and we've both run out of shelf space on which to organize our shirts and shorts and whatnot.

I dunno what years three or four are.  For year three, we were planning our move to NC.  In year four, I had just lost my TJ's job and was apparently down in the dumps,  Stephen says he picked wildflowers and made dinner for me.  I only vaguely remember.  Apparently, I was down in the dumps after having lost my job.

Year five is wood.  We went to dinner at an Irish pub and were surrounded by beautiful dark wood.  I ordered corned beef and cabbage, since an Irish pub is about the only place I ever get to have it (he doesn't care for it enough for me to prepare any for Saint Paddy's Day or any other time).  There was WAY plenty on my plate, so I got to bring home my leftovers in a cardboard take-out box.  And we paid with some gift certificates we'd received in exchange for a little work he'd done shortly after our arrival back home in Burbank.  So, surrounded by wood and paying with wood pulp and carrying it home in wood pulp.  Yay for wood in year five!

Here are the few pics I managed to snap of our celebration.
First subway trip since our return - there's a sign above our
heads that says "North Hollywood" - end of the line!
They're always updating the rail maps
Stephen's thrilled to "model"
the drink menu

Meal menu & malt vinegar - mmm

me, TRYING to show you my wood-pulp encased meal. Fail.

this is the BETTER of the two pics of this ambience. ;)

See that lettering?  Stephen did that.

Upstairs, and outside the main entrance
(yes, the pub IS underground)