...the absent-minded ramblings of a sometime diva, hyperactive yarn ya-ya.

My Photo
Name: Cyndilou :)
Location: Texas, United States

Just a little piece of sunshine and rainbow set free to wreak happiness on the universe.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thwarted thrice, then success!

The Road Not Taken
Originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
Well, today didn't go quite as I intended, but I still had quite a bit of fun. Despite the weather report calling for some rain, it was bright and sunny all day - and not overly warm, either.

Of course, I did have an indoor obligation for the first half of the day - rehearsal for the June concerts for Conspirare. Despite missing good sunshine time, the rehearsal went very well. If all the future rehearsals are like this, I will fully enjoy my time spent there -- we got real work done without a lot of need to repeat small sections endlessly.

Due to a small miscommunication, my afternoon plans changed, but since it is such a nice day I decided to run out to the Botanical Gardens to get pictures of the flowers in bloom. Unfortunately, there is apparently something going on at Zilker today - traffic was mad and rather than fight it I turned around and headed further south to a vineyard I thought I remembered how to reach. Once again, thwarted.

It turned out well in the end, though - I kept driving on 71, then swung north(ish) on 620. Just past Mansfield Dam there is a little road called Low Water Crossing. No kidding, that's really the name. It may not be the most scenic spot in town, but it's a rather nice walk across the bridge. :)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Baby needs a new vacuum cleaner

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting this fabulous contest. Have you entered?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I mentioned in the recent past making some warm milk for hot chocolate to help me sleep. Since then, I've gotten several search hits from people wondering if warm milk actually helps you sleep. Well, apparently it has been proven scientifically -- warm milk contains tryptophan -- the same chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Heh, I forgot about this book...

Here's a way to pick up your mood -- wander through Amazon following links for authors you like. Read the summaries of some of the more random results. Rinse and repeat.

Piers Anthony is one of my all-time favorite authors. Ages ago, I added a book he wrote (that I had not previously heard of) to my wishlist on Amazon. The book is The Magic Fart. Now, I've read the Xanth series, Incarnations of Immortality, Apprentice Adept, and several other series and standalones that he has written, but this one tickled me just by the name, so I added it to my wishlist and thought no more of it.

Today I came across it again while wandering via the abovementioned method, and found out that it is a sequel to [WARNING - probably not work safe]this book, which I have indeed read. Think steamy Harlequin meets Xanth meets the Chicks in Chain Mail series. Perhaps I will have to get myself the sequel, just for kicks.

Sounds of Silence


Sorry, that's just the sound of me being in a bad mood after talking to my chiro's office about my insurance coverage. Apparently they are not willing to extend coverage past 10 visits even for a "medically necessary" reason. I am thankful to have health insurance, but sometimes they are so frustratingly dumb about what they will cover -- especially as I think I can get up to 250 PT visits in a year, and that's 90% of what this chiro does. Well, after today, no more chiro, but I'll get back into yoga this week and try at least one hatha class to see if I can keep up.

If nothing else, I suppose I can schedule more time with my primary physician to see what other options I have. Bah.

On another note - anyone have recommendations for a good primary in Austin? I've checked out a few over the past few years and haven't found one yet that I really like. My current is -ok- but she's the one who failed to send me for an MRI and correctly diagnose the herniated disc in the first place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Adopt me!

Originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
In the Austin metro area? Looking for a new canine companion? Check out Oscar and other great dogs at Wee Rescue. I've met Oscar and he is very loveable, active and personable. He'll be at the meet and greet this weekend with his current foster mom.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Afternoon Tea

It has been a contemplative sort of day. I started off with a late breakfast and sad news, then spent some crafting time with friends for the bulk of the day. After we parted ways this afternoon, I was casting about for ways to spend the time until I met up with more friends - one from out of town - for some evening plans (and probably a late dinner).

While I may never make shopping at the *cough* overpriced *cough* Domain a regular thing, I will certainly make a habit of dropping in for tea at The Steeping Room. This cozy little store boasts an amazing selection of loose teas. Today I sampled the white peach tea, which tempted me the very first time I sniffed the leaves. With a heady aroma but a delightfully light flavor, this is the perfect tea for a spring day in central Texas. The food service is also blessedly quick - blessedly because the small size of the shop causes all conversations to reverberate endlessly off the tall ceilings.

Still, the quality of the food and above all the tea makes it a place worth stopping for a quick cup in the afternoon. Now I only wish I'd purchased a few ounces of the white peach to make at home. Perhaps next time.

RIP, Jay

I just found out that one of the TCC baritones passed away yesterday. He was in his late 60s or early 70s, I think, and suffering from an illness which we found out about only recently. I remember him as a very vibrant man (we were all surprised on the Wales trip whne he told us his real age) who had a beautiful voice. So rest in peace, Jay - teach those angels some Broadway tunes.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More on South By

I have lived in Austin for quite a while now - I came here for college and never left. In all of that time, though, I've never gotten a SxSW wristband or badge. Part of that is due to frugality -- I can't see spending that much money for even a wristband when we've got live music here all year -- and another part is due to the fact that I just don't like crowds.

One of my biggest reasons, though, was the smoke. It continues to amaze me how much people like to smoke in venues - and that bands would continue to perform in those conditions, knowing how terrible the smoke is for their voices. The one and only time I went to a SxSW event (the first year I was old enough to drink!) I wheezed for three days afterward. Now, however, Austin has a fully non-smoking environment. Finally, I can go out and enjoy myself and not come home reeking like a two-dollar hooker. Well, unless someone spills their beer on me, I guess (or unless I drop my camera in my beer and have to use my sweater for a quick mop up - see yesterday's note).

Last night's show was absolutely amazing, and oh so much better than the times that I used to go see the Spankers at Antone's, where the smoke was so thick you would have sworn the fog machine was permanently stuck on high. The one thing that could have improved the experience for me would be if Guy had shown up as well. Ah well, it's still April at my house. Heh.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Adventure ends in spanking

Today started off innocuously enough - got up at 0-dark-thirty to get ready for work, went to work, went to my chiro appointment...

...and then, I met up with a friend to go see a movie. We saw Music and Lyrics, which I found rather funny. You can't tell me they didn't model Pop! off Wham! Hugh Grant looks definitely older in this film, but pulls it off very well and reminds me oddly of Peter Tork. Peter, however, never lost it when it comes to songwriting. :D Unfortunately, my friend did not enjoy the film as much as I did, which means I pretty much have to go with her to whichever movie she wants to pick next. Ah, well. It was still fun to hang out.

Imagine my surprise then upon coming home and checking my email to find that a Spankers show was going to start in just over an hour. I haven't seen the Asylum Street crew since their 10th anniversary show a couple years ago. Sadly, most of the friends that would have come see the show with me are either out of town or not feeling up to it, so I actually went to the show by myself. Although Guy Forsyth was not with the crew this time, Whammo and Christina did a fabulous job, as did Charlie and Nevada and the other guys. They played some songs from their new kids' album (yes, they made an album with no cursing or drug references!) as well as a lot of my other faves -- Stick a Yellow Ribbon on Your SUV, Winning the War on Drugs, Hick Hop and more.

One thing I learned this evening: my Olympus Stylus 710 is indeed "all-weather" as advertised. It fell in my beer, but still took pictures just fine after I dried it off. (Okay, so I was trying to use my glass as a tripod. Bad idea.) The beer was just fine, too.

After the show, I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of the band members and some other hangers about. Heh, I even sang a Faire song for Nevada and a couple other gentlemen. We were having a conversation about ways to say Cheers in other languages, and the topic drifted to beer drinking songs. I mentioned knowing a few and then was requested to perform one. Lots of fun, but now I am tired and must go to bed.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Remember that pic?

Remember the pic I posted last week of the red beauty my shoulders had become after an STM treatment? It's back - in spades. I had my seocnd "hard" treatment yesterday, and this time he went lower down my shoudlerblades. In the mirror I look like an angel who has had her wings shorn off. Thankfully it doesn't hurt as much on the surface this time, and I have noticed a difference in the amount of tautness in my shoulders, so I'll stick with it.

Last night I was supposed to have gone to a party hosted by one of the companies presenting for SxSWi. Instead, I hung out at Chili's with a few friends from the chorus after our rehearsal. For some reason all day yesterday I was several hours behind myself, but after a grueling rehab session at the chiropractor followed by a three hour rehearsal, by 10:30 last night I was bouncing off the walls. I probably still could have made the party, but I decided getting up for work on time this morning was more important. :D

Perhaps I'll make one tonight... Heh.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More knitting fun

The bloggers and podcasters were hanging out once more at Hill Country Weavers this morning. Lots of fun conversation, crafting and mimosas were had by all. Wanna see?

This was actually shot early on, so there's a few people not included. It was great to meet the local (and a few not-so-local!) bloggers as well as some other friends that came along. Part of the great conversation included a little mini-interview of Rhonda of Knitting Newscast (the question was asked by Jo of half-a-sheep).

Thanks to all who came - it was a blast!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What unites us

Crafty geeks :D
Originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
So today I woke up thinking I'd get some cleaning done and perhaps go walking, then run some errands before heading over to the LYS for the knit night with other craft geeks.

Yeah, so much for planning. On the other hand, I really did do those things, albeit somewhat differently from the plan. First off, I was supposed to be out of town this weekend, but my visit got pre-empted. I also got a little less cleaning done than planned, because I lifted a little too much and made my lower back unhappy. In order to get some exercise to stretch out the spasms, I decided to head downtown to photograph some of the SxSW craziness that's already getting started.

Plans changed on the road, and I ended up heading over to the Domain, the new upscale shopping center in town. I got a few pics, 3 makeovers and a couple of blisters from walking in the heat with no socks. For those interested in checking it out, the shops are very nice - a L'Occitane, Tiffany's, Neiman Marcus, and all sorts of stuff in between. Best of all (to me) there is a tea shop - The Steeping Room.

After that, I headed back home for a nap. Oh, my demanding life. Heh. I did get a little more done at home before heading over to the yarn shop for KNITTING and BEER!!!

Several bloggers are in town for the interactive portion of South by Southwest. Some of them came over to the LYS for a couple hours of crafting and drinking. Sadly, my memory for names is crap, but I got a list of who was there --- so, hi again and thanks for coming!! Shout outs go to Kathy, Julia, Amy, Jo, Cinnamon, Ann, and Christine. To anyone I forgot -- many apologies!!! Thanks again to Suzanne for letting us all hang out - and thanks again for hosting tomorrow morning as well. Yes, 11 am at Hill Country Weavers - more knitting and crocheting fun!!

By the way, someone there gave me an idea...video podcasts. I have a nice PnS with video capability - this might be fun. :D

Calling all Austin-area knitters and crocheters

Live in Austin? Plan to be in town for SxSW? Most of all, are you crafty? :D

Well...tonight at Hill Country Weavers there will be a get-together for those in the area who are interested in hanging out with a bunch of other craft-bloggers - starts at 6:30 pm. Tomorrow is Second Sunday, and the theme is Meet the Bloggers, so once again you knit and crochet fiends are invited out to Hill Country Weavers to share in some fun conversation and crafting time - this event begins at 11 am on Sunday the 11th.

Hope to see some of y'all there!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Just because, a meme

As seen at Ma Hatfield's blog:

"It’s been alleged that if you’ve seen over 85 movies you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own blog, paste it in and put x’s by the ones that you have seen. Add them up, figure out whether you’ve got a life or not, and post it."

(X) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(X) Grease
(X) Pirates of the Caribbean
(X) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(X) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(X) Neverending Story
(X) Blazing Saddles
(X) Airplane
(X) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
(X) Napoleon Dynamite
(X) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
(X) 50 First Dates
(X) The Princess Diaries
(X) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(X) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(X) American Pie (does it count if you only watched a few minuted before turning it off in disgust?)
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
(X) Harry Potter 1
(X) Harry Potter 2
(X) Harry Potter 3
(X) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(X) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(X) Lilo & Stitch
(X) Finding Nemo
(X) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
(X) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
( ) I, Robot
( ) Robots
(X) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(X) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(X) Never Been Kissed
(X) Meet The Parents
(X) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) King Kong
(X) A Cinderella Story
(X) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(X) Dumb & Dumber (see note under American Pie)
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
(X) Surviving Christmas
(X) Flubber
(X) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(X) Practical Magic
(X) Chicago
(X) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
(X) The Whole Nine Yards
(X) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(X) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(X) Nightmare on Elm Street
(X) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(X) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number SlevIn
(X) Ocean’s Eleven
( ) Ocean’s Twelve
(X) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
(X) Bedazzled
(X) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(X) Ice Age
(X) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
(X) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(X) E.T.
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(X) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
(X) Rush Hour
(X) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(X) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
(X) Calendar Girls
(X) Sideways
(X) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(X) Ever After
(X) Wizard of Oz
(X) Forrest Gump
(X) Big Trouble in Little China
(X)The Terminator
(X) The Terminator 2
(X) The Terminator 3
(X) X-Men
(X) X-2
(X) X3
(X) Spider-Man
(X) Spider-Man 2
(X) Sky High
(X) Jeepers Creepers
(X) Jeepers Creepers 2
(X) Catch Me If You Can
(X) The Little Mermaid
(X) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(X) Shrek
(X) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(X) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
(X) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
(X) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(X) Lord of the Rings: Return Of the King
(X) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(X) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Base-ketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(X) Elf
(X) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
(X) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(X) Monsters Inc.
(X) Titanic
(X) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
(X) Dawn Of the Dead
(X) Hook
(X) Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
(X) 28 days later
(X) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(X) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill Vol. 1
(X) Kill Bill Vol. 2
(X) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
(X) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
(X) Army of Darkness
(X) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(X) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(X) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(X) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(X) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(X) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks: Caravan Of Courage
(X) Ewoks: The Battle For Endor
(X) The Matrix
(X) The Matrix: Reloaded
( ) The Matrix: Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
( ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal


Looks like I've seen just under half of the 238 movies above (about 112). Now, considering that I sing in two choruses, knit with friends usually once or twice a week, am active in my church, etc. I would argue that not only do I have a life but that I manage to cram quite a lot into it. With that disclaimer, though, I have to admit I own around 400 movies, which usually make it into rotation when I am on the computer some evenings.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Want a whiff?

066/365 - New landscaping
Originally uploaded by Cyndiva.
It's getting warm outside. Warm enough that when the landscapers decide to fertilize the courtyard (and build a new path, BTW) the smell hits you like a wall of bricks. Whoof.

Monday, March 05, 2007

New chiro, new challenges

064/365 - Owie (by Cyndiva) Yeah, I have a new owie. Or two. Today I started treatment with a new chiropractor. For the last couple weeks my lower back has been achy again - not anywhere near as badly as in October, but enough so that I felt I needed to seek a chiro rather than just doing yoga on my own. A couple weeks ago I found one that seemed like a good choice - and of course, his office is all the way across town - and today had my first full session. Along with the electrical stimulation (yay!), stretches (argh) and adjustments (oof), he tried something on me called STM. Apparently not only is my lower back tight enough to cause a herniated disc, my entire spine is wound very tight and the muscles in my shoulders are stiff as rocks all the time. Part of this I knew, but I didn't know it was that bad. Truthfully, it isn't bad enough to cause more immediate pain, but something that needs to be addressed so that I can be fully functional AND pain-free. This STM, though, is not so fun - it involves working the muscles that are basically fused until they release and the fused fibers in a couple cases break down. My explanation is over-simplified, but I looked up more info on the procedure and it sounds like it may really help in my situation.

I still am not so sure about the spinal adjustments, though - I get so nervous that something will go wrong that I find it hard to relax. Several people I know who have had herniations or similar issues swear that chiropractics helped though, so I'll at least give it a chance.

Trying something new

The folks over at my favorite tea dealer distributor have something going on that I've been wanting to try since a friend posted on her blog about it. It's called TeaChef, and you can get a sample of their tea of the month to add to a recipe and submit to the site. I don't normally think of tea as an additive to my recipes, but after browsing the site (and checking out the faboo milk tea fudge my friend submitted) I want to give it a shot. Could be fun...

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Great weekend - friends in from out of town, ate way too much, had a lot of fun. Now I need a nap. :D

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Texas Independence Day!

That is all. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

UFOs and more

February was designated as FUFO month. My plan was to finish all or most of at least five unfinished projects. As it turns out, I finished 3 UFOs and worked on another, started and finished a baby hat and started a baby blanket. I also set aside a couple to visit the frog pond, so I think the experiment was a success.

Next week, rehearsals start again for TCC, for the May concerts. After that will be Elijah at the Victoria Bach Festival.

Tonight, it's movie night - a Robin Williams festival. First up: RV, then Man of the Year. RV is a bit...odd...but still a bit funny. I'm off to finish watching.