Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rest in Peace, "Ma P."

One week ago today, my friend Mary Planten passed away. I was blessed to have interviewed Mary in January of this year; the story appeared in the February issue of Main Street Magazine. Despite the fact that she was an amazing 108 years old, I would never have realized that our nearly hour-long chat that one afternoon would turn out to be Mary's last interview - and the last time she and I would see each other. 

Click to enlarge

With 108 years' worth of experience under her belt, Mary Planten's was a life well lived - and she was equally well loved by all those who came to know her throughout the years. When I spoke with the social worker at the Holland Christian Home prior to interviewing Mary back in January, I was told of a Record staff writer who had interviewed Mary several times over the years, and who, when hearing that I wanted to share Mary's story with the readers of Main Street Magazine, had kindly stepped back and given me this very chance. I was touched by his gesture.

As I'm sure Jay Levin quickly discovered during his first meeting with Mary, I was amazed to find that "Ma P." had not just one, but many wonderful stories to tell. From cruises around the world to attending the 1965 World's Fair (where she was matched with the Australian pen pal she eventually met years later), Mary had so many amazing things to share that when she suddenly paused near the end of our conversation and said, "I must be boring you, I'm talking so much!" I was dumbstruck. I told her I could listen for hours. And I wasn't lying one bit!

I was surprised not to find an obituary in the newspaper in the days that followed her passing a week ago on April 6. But this morning, when I picked up the Sunday edition of The Record I found something better - a lovely tribute to Mary's life written by Jay Levin. After I read the article - which was featured on the front page of the Local section and continued onto another page inside - I wrote Jay an e-mail explaining who I was, and not only did I compliment him on his wonderful article but I also thanked him for allowing me to share in what was essentially Mary's last interview. Both he and I were very blessed to get to hear Mary's stories and have the chance to share them with our readers.

Read Jay Levin's touching article by clicking here.

Now Mary is in heaven, finally reunited with her husband, Frank, and their children who left this earth so many years ago. And for all of us who were blessed enough to get to know "Ma P.," we will remember her stories, her wit, and her smile for the rest of our lives.

In Memory of Mary Planten
1905-2014

At the Park

Today it hit 78 degrees! Clear blue sky, sunny, and warm...it was too nice of a day to just sit around inside the house, so my dad and I walked through the newly renovated Goffle Brook Park, which is nice and close to where we live.

Here are a few of the photos I ended up taking today. You can view my entire album on Flickr by heading over here.


Underneath one of the bridges. Cute, huh?
Same bridge. We were being watched! Wonder what these two were thinking...

Beautiful, isn't it?

I'm so glad that spring is finally here! I came home and opened up some windows, and now I'm enjoying the breezes coming through as I write. Yay :)

'till next time, friends!





Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tale of Two Cars

I got a new set of wheels this week!



It's a 2014 Nissan Versa Note S hatchback, and I'm leasing it for 3 years. It's cute, it's spunky, it's got some great little features that am just in love with...oh, and it's the perfect car for a Doctor Who fan like myself because although it looks little from the outside, it's bigger on the inside. The leg room in the back is unbelievable!

But the absolute coolest part about this car? I literally bought this thing off the showroom floor. Seriously! This was parked inside the building; I saw it, fell in love with it, and a few hours later the salesman was driving it out of the building...for moi



I'll admit, though, that I was a bit sad to see my old 2001 Chevy Cavalier leave me. I mean, yes, I'm sentimental to a fault sometimes, but 13 years is a long time to own a car! I bought it new, and we shared a lot of miles and memories together. I can't help myself, y'know? 

This photo is from 2007, several years before it suffered "the Jaws bite" when my sister drove into a snowbank. ^_^

My two cars hanging out together! I owned the both of them together for exactly five days.

Luckily I'll still be able to see my old car! While the Cavalier wasn't eligible as a trade-in because of its age, I sold it to my sister! It's nice to know it's still in the family. ^_^ Jen picked it up this very afternoon. It felt weird handing her the keys and watching her start it up and drive away, but it made me happy that she was happy - and I have to believe she'll take good care of it. After all, I know where she lives and even told her "I'll be watching you!" LOL. :)

So now I shall embark on a new journey with my brand new Versa, which I've already dubbed my "girly TARDIS." While this little blue car can't travel through time and space, it will surely take me on all kinds of fun adventures - with companions in tow, just like the Doctor! Time to make some new memories...

Have a great weekend everybody!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dear Me, I Think This is Going to Be...

A SEVEN SNIPPETS SUNDAY!

I haven't done a Seven Snippets ANYTHING in FOREVER, but tonight I just happen to have enough little tidbits to share that warrant me bringing it back! I really do need to get back into blogging again like I used to...

So tonight I have something to share - many little somethings, actually - and I'm TOTALLY in the mood to write!

So...welcome to

I hope Andi doesn't mind that I gave her original logo a makeover...just for today

Snippet #1: CHRISTINE MCVIE HAS COME BACK TO THE MAC!!!!


My little Fleetwood Mac-loving heart is swelling at this news! It's been my dream, ever since I became a fan at the age of 11 to see the original five perform onstage together. Well, 24 years later...IT'S GONNA HAPPEN!!! Read the article here.

Snippet #2: Season 3 of "Call the Midwife" has FINALLY begun here in the U.S.!!!



Yes, my favorite British show (next to Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, of course) is finally back! I hated having to wait several months after watching the Christmas special in December to see Trixie, Chummy, Jenny and Cynthia again; I didn't even care when my British pals on Tumblr invaded my dash with spoilers galore! But it's okay now because they're back and my life is complete again LOL :)

Snippet #3: The song "Love Love Love" by the band Of Men and Monsters has become my new favorite song.



Yes, I have a habit of discovering new music after it's not actually new anymore - but it's new to me! I found this gem this past week, attached to a beautiful Sarah Jane Smith / Fourth Doctor tribute video and immediately fell in love with it.

Snippet #4: I want this handsome little guy to be my new best friend.

Photo Credit
I found this handsome fella thanks to my blogging buddy Kate, who posted his photo on her blog first. Now, maybe it's just the book nerd and cat lover in me, but I think he's rather "dishy" - don't you? He kinda looks like David Tennant in those brainy specs, now that I think about it...and you know I love DT! :) 

Snippet #5: Tinney Davidson and her seemingly small act of kindness made a much bigger impact than she would have ever believed!


CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO STORY!
(I'd have some Kleenex handy if I were you...just sayin')

Snippet #6: BUBBLES IN THE SUNSHINE! :)

Photo Credit
The other day I fell in love with this beautiful photo posted on Facebook by my fellow Chiffonhead, Sherry - so I asked her if I could use it as my cover photo...and she said YES! :) With spring finally, well, springing around here, seeing the sunshine and free-floating rainbow colored bubbles in this photo just made me want to run outside and twirl like the Stevie lovin' girl I am! :)

Snippet #7: I gave my Pinterest account some much-needed attention.

A week ago I deleted my Goodreads account - and since I already had a Pinterest account, I decided to transfer my reading lists there instead. Now I have three new separate book lists:
I also was inspired by my blogging buddy Kate (the same Kate who introduced me to that handsome bespectacled cat in Snippet #4) to create a pin board containing all of my favorite personal photographs that I've taken over the years. I don't want to make it sound like I'm bragging, because I'm definitely not trying to - I've just noticed over the eight years I've been taking photography more seriously, I've realized that some of the photos I take are really good! In fact, I'm planning on showing some of my photos in a gallery exhibition at the Riverdale Library during the month of May - just like my buddy Laura did with her artwork! It'll be my first serious photography "thing" and I'll admit I'm nervous; this means I'll have an opening reception with refreshments, just like Laura did - but it will be exciting! And maybe, just maybe, I can sell even a couple of photographs. You never know...

WAIT!
I have ONE MORE SNIPPET!
Yes. An 8th BONUS snippet!

Snippet #8: Doctor Who / Frozen mash up photos.

I am in charge of creating advertising and press releases for our programs at work, and over the last six months or so I've learned a thing or two. For instance, you can tweak your search results in Google Images to give you images with transparent backgrounds - which are PERFECT for creating cool flyers because you can layer images on top of each other and make it look like they were that way all the time! Of course, it took me this long to realize that I can have just as much fun with this sort of thing at home as I do at work - and it dawned on me the other night that I could easily take Olaf, my favorite little snowman from Frozen, and insert him into images from Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures!

I aced my first attempt with flying colors - this immediately became my computer's new desktop wallpaper!




Then, after one mediocre first attempt and a decent second attempt...

Don said this looks like Olaf is gearing up to smack Sarah Jane in the behind...and it really DOES!

...I edited one more that came out as fantastic as the first one - and became the wallpaper on my cell phone!















Can't you just see it? Olaf and the fourth Doctor, heading off in Bessie for a bit of mischief, which these two would indeed get into very quickly! The expression on the Doctor's face, however, seems to say, "I've traveled with a scientist, military men, a journalist, a talking robot dog...but a talking snowman? Really?"

^_^

Honestly, Olaf should have been around when the Doctor and Sarah went to Antarctica in Seeds of Doom. He would have been right at home - and wouldn't have been in danger of melting, either! ^_^

Well that's that then. 'Till next time, my friends!


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

INTERVIEW: David Meece, musician and all around awsome guy!

David Meece, Singer



 I have been a fan of David Meece for over two decades! I have recently gotten into classical music and I wanted to ask him about it! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's a Wonder My Eyes Don't Hurt More.

So as you know, my GoodReads account is no more. Instead, I spent the last two days transferring my reading lists for 2012, 2013, and 2014 to Pinterest.

It's a lot nicer to look at if you ask me.

And I've learned something about myself. Not only was I crazy to have painstakingly uploaded graphic images of each and every cover of each and every book I've read for the last two years to three separate boards on my Pinterest account, but this only reinforces that my literary interests are indeed wide and varied.

BUT.

There's no denying the fact that I am definitely attracted to kids' and young adult books. Make fun of me if you will - and I have endured that from a few folks, unfortunately - but I'm getting a definite vibe here, folks.

Which is how I know I need to pursue this writing idea I have. A children's picture book about a very special dog whom I happen to be smitten with. If you've been lucky enough to meet this dog or have endured my shoving a bunch of photos of him into your face, then you'll understand why I chose him as the subject of my book.

My book. Yeah. I'd better get on that. :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Well, that's that, then...

I've ditched my GoodReads account. Yep, and guess what? I wanted to. Since 2012 I've actually been keeping track of all the books I read in a little lined notebook anyway, and it's just another username and password to keep track of.

So it's gone now.

At any rate, I'm seriously lacking in my reading goals this year. In 2012 I read over 100 books, and last year I came very close to the same number. But this year? OMG, forget it. To date, I've actually read a total of FIFTEEN books, and I've been plodding along with one book that I thought I'd love for over a month. But it's at the point where even though my enthusiasm for it has waned significantly, I'm more than halfway through it so I might as well finish it now.

I do hate it when that happens.

Let's see. What else?

Oh, right. I updated my Amazon wishlist tonight with a few more things, and I'm drooling over these journals from Barnes & Noble that I seriously cannot afford to buy but really, really want. Is it too early to start planning for this Christmas? ^_^

On the Doctor Who front, Don got word that his favorite Doctor (the 8th, played by Paul McGann) is on the roster for this year's L.I. Who, so we're definitely heading back to Long Island this fall! I seriously can't wait. Initiation to the Con circuit last year went much better than I had expected; I observed and came out unscathed, and now I know what to expect. I've actually befriended a couple of cosplayers on Facebook and Tumblr since then; both were in attendance last year (Don even took a photo of one of the ladies, who was completely in costume, even her face; she actually remembered us!) but we obviously didn't know each other then, so it will be cool to have someone to hang out with in addition to Don.

All I need to do is figure out how to make my outfit happen. Last year was older, Sarah Jane Adventures Sarah Jane, so this year I'm hoping to recreate one of her classic Who outfits. My favorite would be this one, from Planet of Evil (I especially wish I could find a replica of her adorable watch-bracelet!), but it might be a little difficult to recreate that - and since it IS going to be November, this one from Revenge of the Cybermen might be a tad easier to accomplish AND practical for the colder weather (You can envision me in camo, right Tiffaney?

Speaking of Sarah Jane, I pumped out a new video the other night that I'm really, really proud of! Check it out:



Oh! One more thing I want to share. Our TARDIS party at Thursday's meeting of the Doctor Who Club at Secret Studio!

Dianne, our fearless leader and awesome store owner, made this TARDIS cake:



 Here's a better view of the front, which is edible paper.

 


The cake itself was a mix dyed blue and she added shredded coconut. It was delicious! 


 


Dianne also brought her remote-controlled Dalek to show us. He was pretty neat - and he didn't even threaten to exterminate me when I took his picture! ^_^ 





Well, that's that, then. 'Till next time, see you on the flip side, folks!