Hopeless Romantic That I Am

I can honestly and proudly admit I am a hopeless romantic.  Give me a love story, granted, a good love story, and I’m hooked.  I see romance in all forms of life.  My daydreaming plotting  is filled with romance, and when I have to get down to brass tacks when it comes to writing, yes, I want to write a great romance story.  Or love story.

So, I have been quite hooked on Mumford & Sons‘ new song “I Will Wait’. Whether or not it is actually a love song, I am going to take it as one.

First, I have to credit Timothy of The Creative Juicer for introducing me to this song.  I highly recommend his post, Musical Musings – I Will Wait, to give you the perfect reason to listen to this song. I can’t, and won’t try, to even explain how brilliant this song is. Just read Timothy’s post.

Well, the first part of the song that got to me and like Timothy, gave me chills, was the line

Like a stone And I fell heavy into your arms

For me that is like just uber romantic, because a guy is saying this.  Most of the time in love stories, it is the girl that is talking about falling in love.  Falling into her man, falling period.  It’s women that fall.  But…. here you are seeing it from a guy’s point and I think that is just really quite something.  Magical.
See, I told you I was a romantic and could find it just about anywhere.
Now, the rest of the song is great but the chorus is what I like best.  I like the first quiet chorus, then the second louder one. I just love the repetition of
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Over and over. I believe love waits.  True love that is.
Right now this is MY song.  Okay, from Timothy’s post, it’s kind of his song as well. We are sharing I guess.  This song is perfect for me right now as I wait for something, or someone to happen.
I have the song on frequently and while I don’t have all the lyrics down, I think I might before long. (it would probably help if I got the British accent a bit more and could understand what is being sung. Thank goodness for lyrics sites.)
Well, I hope you all check out the song, especially if you are a Mumford & Sons fan.  But, even if you aren’t, it’s still an incredibly good song.  I’d have to say one of their best.
And this is one romantic who will probably keep listening to it obsessively.
Signing off
~Kate

Writing Letters

Letters straight from the heart

Okay, so I’ve never quite understood this thing in books and songs where someone writes letters but never sends them to whom they are writing to.  I’ve always thought that was so strange.

Not any more. I completely and totally get it.

Last Friday I met someone whom I spent maybe forty-five minutes talking to.  He is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and well, he is just really, really cool.  He’s a recovering artist and he was really interested in the fact that I write.  We left each other with the promise that when he finishes the trail in September, he plans to come back this way and he wants to call on me.  Or call me.  Or something that sounded equally cool.

And I can’t contact him until then.  I mean, I have his number….. but he is on the trail. You look up the PCT and see how good cell reception is.  Ha ha.

So, until then I have to wait.  And here I thought I went nuts before waiting for someone to call.  Nothing like this.  Mrs. Day said it took Walter 4-5 days after getting her number before calling. I have to wait over a month.

So, I am writing letters.  One a day for every day he’s on the trail.  They are to him, of course, but it’s all a one sided conversation and me asking questions that I hope I will be able to ask in person.  Maybe someday, depending on what happens, I can give them to him.

I think this letter writing thing is more of a journal type thing for me.  I’m using my good fountain pens, in brilliant red and sepia inks.  They seem very writer-esque to me.  And I am so a writer.  I thrive in the writer’s sphere.  I think.

Well, the letters make me keep thinking of Michael Buble’s song ‘Home’. Some of the lyrics are

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that”

So, has anyone ever written letters that they’ve never sent?

Signing off

~Kate

Stories

Pacific Crest Trail logo

Pacific Crest Trail logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every once in a while a story touches you and you just can’t help but want to tell people about it.  The other day was one of those instances.

Where I live we are very near the Pacific Crest Trail, and it is a common site to have hikers come down from the trail to our town to resupply and well, just take a break from the trail.  On Tuesday Mrs. Day and I were setting up our produce stand in town and this one woman hiker came over to check things out.  She looked around then went ecstatic when she saw our bowl of origami paper stars.

stars 3Mrs. Day and I spend the quiet times when we watch shows, and the winter, folding paper stars.  It’s not really for any reason other than it’s sort of relaxing and it keeps Mrs. Day awake.  Me, it keeps me from picking my nails.  We just use magazine paper, the ads, and have fun.  We have folded a lot of stars over the years.  Thousands of them.  Picture those big ice cream tubs.  Two or three of those full, not counting the ones we’ve given away.Well, this woman was thought the stars were so cute.  Mrs. Day asked if she had ever heard the Perry Como song “Catch A Falling Star”, because that is how we always think about the stars. A handful you can have in your pocket.  The woman hadn’t, but she said that she and her husband always look at the Perseid meteor shower but he’s in Kuwait.  She teared up while she told us this.  Her husband is in Kuwait for three years, and he comes home next year.  So she is hiking the trail this year.

Well, it was just so sweet how the stars made her think of her husband ( she pulled out one star that had a flag design on it) and just her little story was nice.  When she left, I couldn’t resist and filled a little box with about twenty or so more stars, added a note that included the first stanza of “Catch A Falling Star’.  I tucked it into her backpack which she had left at the Post Office while she went about town.

I hope she got it, and I hope the stars keep her thinking about her husband and when he will be home, though I’m sure she didn’t need stars to do that.

Well, that little story about her just touched me and I think it will linger with me over time.  I thought it was so sweet how she wanted to tell about him and teared up. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your partner gone to the middle east for such a long time.  On the plus side, at least he’s in Kuwait and not Iraq or Afghanistan.

Signing off

~Kate

Help Me Name My New Blog

Okay, so I didn’t want to have to do this, but I am going to have to start another blog. (there are sighs included here)  Reason?  Well my snapixel account will be discontinued on the 31st of this month.  The site is closing and I like to showcase my photography for people to see.  I do have a Deviant Art account, but I don’t like the layout there very well.

So, I going to start a wordpress picture blog.  What I need help with is a snappy name. Something that fits with what I do.

So, dear readers, what should I call my blog?  Check out my photos HERE and see what you think.  Comment below with your suggestions for a name.

Signing off

~Kate

Things I’m Loving Right Now

Maybe because it’s late summer, or maybe it’s just August, but it seems that I kind of have a ‘fall in love with…’ moment every time this year.  I almost pulled out Poemcrazy yesterday, then decided that I needed to finish other books before I get lost in words and thought again.

Things I’m loving right now are as follows.

Cutest couple ever!

Paige and Evan from Royal Pains. I swear they have got to be the cutest couple ever. And I thought Chuck and Sarah were cute, but nothing tops the sheer scream factor cuteness of Paige and Evan. If you haven’t seen Royal pains, then I assure you, it is a really fun show, though if you were to just get started now, you might be a bit lost. All I know is I want Paige to be my best friend (if I lived in the Hamptons)  and I so want to have a relationship like the two of them.

Such a cute ‘non’ couple!

Annie and Auggie of Covert Affairs.  These two are so cute and they aren’t even a couple yet.  Though trust me, they should be.  Super cool Annie and adorable geek Auggie with his really gorgeous body…. The cool nerd.  I’m a big fan of Covert Affairs, but this year is so much fun.

Lovely man.

Jeremy Renner.  I usually don’t get too gaga over actors, but occasionally there are a couple that I just love. This guy I first saw in a very short lived drama on ABC called The Unusuals.  Loved him then, love him now as possibly the new replacement for Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible character) as William Brandt. He’s the new guy in the Bourne films, and just an all around gorgeous man.  It’s doesn’t hurt that he hails from my neck of the woods, Modesto, California.  In fact he was in high school while I was growing up there…. I have to use him as a character for something!

The Lumineers

The Lumineers.  This band is so cool. Folksy and  really fun to listen to, my first introduction to them was their song ‘Ho Hey’. Now I’m recycling ‘Flapper Girl’ and ‘Stubborn Love’ over and over on my Creative Zen. It doesn’t hurt that ‘Stubborn Love’ was used on Covert Affairs.

Thick books.   I know, it’s a bit counterproductive to read thick books right now when I actually have no time, but I can’t resist for some reason. Right now the book I’m carrying everywhere with me is  Van Gogh : The Life by Steven Naifeh.  I’m not very far into it, but it is super fascinating.

And lastly, poetry books. Particularly the ones I picked up a week or so ago. Right now it’s Bronte and Byron I’m reading.  In Byron it’s Don Juan and I love it.

So there are a few things I’m loving right now.  They are giving me inspiration and it’s kind of cool.

Signing off

~Kate

Swan Song – Michael Phelps ends career with gold in 4×100 relay

Michael Phelps ends career with gold in 4×100 relay. ( <—  Original post with video)

https://i0.wp.com/i.usatoday.net/sports/_photos/2012/08/04/Phelps-golden-one-last-time-I020KJGL-x-large.jpg

By Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Sports
Michael Phelps celebrates with the 18th gold medal and 22nd overall of his storied Olympic career

     

LONDON

As if 22 medal ceremonies over the last three Olympics weren’t enough, Michael Phelps was summoned back to the pool deck for one more accolade.

This time, he received a trophy rather than a medal, an award that sought to sum up a career like no other.

”To Michael Phelps,” it said, ”the greatest Olympic athlete of all time.”

Too bad it was silver.

Gold was the only color for this guy.

In a final race that was more a coronation than a contest, Phelps headed into retirement the only way imaginable: with an 18th gold medal. Reclaiming the lead with his trademark butterfly stroke, the one seen in his Olympic debut as a 15-year-old in Sydney a dozen years ago, he capped off a mind-boggling career with a victory in the 4×100-meter medley relay Saturday.

”I’ve been able to do everything that I wanted,” Phelps said.

When it was done, he hugged his teammates, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian, before heading off the deck for the final time in his hip-hugging swimsuit. He waved to the crowd and smiled, clearly at peace with his decision to call it a career.

And what a career it was!

”I was able to really put the final cherry on top tonight, put all the whipped cream I wanted and sprinkles. I was able to top off the sundae,” Phelps said. ”It’s been a great career. It’s been a great journey. I can’t be any more happy than I am.”

Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark, too. He can be quite proud of his final Olympics as well, even though there were times he had trouble staying motivated after winning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games four years ago.

The 27-year-old could surely swim on for another Olympics, maybe two, but there’s really no point.

”I told myself I never want to swim when I’m 30,” Phelps said. ”No offense to those people who are 30, but that was something I always said to myself, and that would be in three years. I just don’t want to swim for those three years.”

He hugged his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, who was teary eyed as he whispered three words that said it all, ”I love you.” Their partnership was formed 16 years ago, when Bowman took a gangly, hyperactive kid with an extraordinary gift and helped turn him into a swimmer the likes of which the world had never seen.

”Bob and I have somehow managed to do every single thing,” Phelps said. ”If you can say that about your career, there’s no need to move forward. Time for other things.”

Bouncing back from a disappointing first race in London, a fourth-place finish in the 400 individual medley, Phelps wound up with more medals than any other swimmer at the games: four golds and two silvers.

Sounds familiar.

”Honestly, the first race kind of took the pressure off,” Bowman said. ”If it’s not going to go too well, we should at least have fun while we’re here. That helped us relax a little bit, then he started swimming well in the relays and he picked it up again.”

Grevers had the Americans in front on the opening backstroke leg, but Kosuke Kitajima put Japan slightly ahead going against Hansen in the breaststroke. Not to worry, not with Phelps going next.

He surged through the water in the fly, handing off a lead of about a quarter of a second to Adrian for the freesytle anchor. The Americans won going away in 3 minutes, 29.35 seconds, just off their own Olympic record from Beijing. Japan held on for silver in 3:31.26, with Australia taking the bronze in 3:31.68.

The U.S. men had never lost the medley relay at the Olympics, and they weren’t about to now on the final night of swimming at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, on the final night for such a momentous athlete.

How momentous? The governing body of swimming, FINA, broke with Olympic protocol to present Phelps with an award recognizing his entire body of work. While a video montage played on the board, he made one more victory lap around the pool, even stopping off again at the medal podium he spent so much time on during the Olympics.

”Wow,” he said. ”I couldn’t ask to finish on a better note.”

Phelps kept a journal during his last Olympics. He was asked what he would write in it on this day.

”I could probably sum it up in a couple words: I did it,” he said. ”I haven’t written too much this week. I’m kind of taking everything in.”

One of the moments he’ll remember: All the swimmers from the other relay teams lining up to shake his hand behind the blocks once he was done.

”It’s kind of cool,” Phelps said. ”The best part of the Olympics is you have people coming from all over the world competing in the best sporting event ever. That’s just something you don’t see every day.”

We may never see the likes of Phelps again.

Of course, he was peppered with questions about a possible comeback, in a year when Ian Thorpe and Janet Evans both failed in their attempts to make it back to the Olympics after long layoffs.

”I don’t think so,” Bowman said. ”We’ve had a great end to a great run and there’s not much more he can do. I guess if he finds after a few years he’s searching for something and thinks he can find it in swimming, he could look at it. But I don’t think he will. I think he’s ready to explore other things. He’s done all he can do here.”

Phelps wasn’t the only star of the night. Missy Franklin capped off a brilliant Olympic debut by helping the U.S. take gold in the women’s 400 medley relay — with a world-record time, no less.

T

The 17-year-old Franklin, who will begin her senior year of high school when she gets back to Colorado, seems destined to be America’s new star in the post-Phelps era after taking four golds, tying Amy Van Dyken at the 1996 Atlanta Games for the most by a U.S. female swimmer. The youngster also picked up a bronze while swimming seven events — the same number as Phelps.

A definite bit of symmetry there, though Franklin doubts anyone can ever replace Phelps.

”I don’t think his shoes will ever be filled. They’re so huge,” Franklin said. ”Hopefully I can make little paths next to him.”

And let’s not forget Allison Schmitt, another swimmer with ties to Phelps. They trained together over the past year in Baltimore, becoming fast friends with all their goofy antics. But they sure took care of business in the pool, with Schmitt winning three golds, a silver and a bronze in London.

The Americans dominated the medal count at the pool, finishing with 16 golds and 30 medals overall.

Franklin grabbed the lead right away in the backstroke, Rebecca Soni stretched out the advantage in the breast, Dana Vollmer cruised through the fly and Schmitt finished it off in the free, pulling away for a time of 3:52.05, beating the mark of 3:52.19 set by China at the 2009 world championships.

It was the second world record of the night and ninth of the Olympic meet, proving that fast times are still possible even without banned high-tech bodysuits.

China’s Sun Yang sprinted to the finish of the sport’s most grueling race to crush the world record he already held in the 1,500 freestyle, putting his own stamp on the games with a stunning time of 14:31.02.

That beat his mark from last year’s world championships by 3.12 seconds.

Sun captured his second gold of the meet, adding to a gold in the 400 free. He also tied for the silver in the 200 free, and was part of the bronze medal-winning team in the 4×200 free relay.

For a brief moment, it appeared Sun might not even get a chance to swim the race. Hearing a whistle in the crowd, he dived into the water before the starter’s gun, while everyone else remained on the blocks. Yang glanced at the starter with a confused look, got back out of the pool and waited to see if he would be disqualified.

”I could not hear the judge because there was noise in the venue,” Sun said through an interpreter. ”I thought I was going to be disqualified. I have done well because I was in very good shape. I really wanted this gold medal.”

The starter gave him a do-over, which essentially decided the gold medal. No one else was close to Sun, who was going faster at the end than he was at the beginning, leaving everyone else to fight for silver.

After looking at his time and catching his breath, Sun was overcome with emotion. He climbed on the lane rope, splashed the water, pointed toward a group of supporters waiving a Chinese flag, and broke down in tears.

Canada’s Ryan Cochrane took second in 14:39.63, while defending Olympic champion Ous Mellouli of Tunisia settled for bronze in 14:40.31. Mellouli will get another chance for gold when he races in the 10-kilometer open water event at Hyde Park.

In a night featuring the long and short of swimming, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the women’s 50 freestyle to complete a sweep of the sprints.

Having already won the 100 free, Kromowidjojo clocked an Olympic-record 24.05 in the furious, one-lap dash. Defending champion Britta Steffen of Germany went 24.06 in Beijing four years ago in a now-banned bodysuit.

Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus touched in 24.28 to take the silver medal and another Dutchwoman, Marleen Veldhuis, finished in 24.39 to take bronze. Steffen, who swept the sprints in Beijing, finished fourth.

But this night was all about a fitting farewell for Phelps.

He and his relay mates unfurled a banner that said, ”Thank You London.”

The crowd said thank you right back, chanting ”Michael! Michael! Michael!”

Later, as Phelps was getting up to leave one news conference and hustle off to another one, the other three American swimmers were asked if they thought he would really stay retired.

Phelps wouldn’t even let them answer, saying very emphatically, ”Yes! Yes!”

”I’m sure he’s going to be around,” Grevers said, ”but not in the pool where we like him best.”

If there ever was a greater athlete than Michael Phelps, he isn’t in my era.  The end of one of the best times in Olympic history has come to an end with such a giant splash, no pun intended, with the final gold for this incredible swimmer.  I’ve watched him compete through the last three summer Olympics, amazed that someone could achieve all the things he has.  There are no words to describe some of my feelings of pride that this man is a part of American history. Not just world history, but ours.  He belongs to us, all of the United States, as someone to admire.  Yes, he has had his indiscretions through the years, but he cleaned up his act and went on to become the only athlete with 22 medals at the Olympic games.  I say that counts for something.

I shall miss him in the future Olympics, but at the same time, I look forward to the new generation of athletes.

Congratulations, Michael Phelps.  You’ve made us all proud.

Signing off

~Kate

London Olympics: Michael Phelps sets record with 19th medal – latimes.com

London Olympics: Michael Phelps sets record with 19th medal – latimes.com.

Relay team

(Michael Phelps, second from left, and American teammates Conor Dwyre, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens pose for photos with their gold medals after winning the 800-meter freestyle relay on Tuesday in London. (Daniel Ochoa De Olza / Associated Press / July 31, 2012)

By Lisa DillmanJuly 31, 2012, 1:35 p.m.

History unfolded in 6 minutes and 59.70 seconds.

With a little help from three of his friends, Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian of them all, winning his 19th career medal, breaking the standard set by legendary Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina.

No. 19 came in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay and the color was gold. Phelps had the responsibility of swimming the anchor leg and the outcome was virtually assured as he had a 3.8-second lead when he hit the water.

The United States finished first by almost that same margin. France took the silver and China the bronze.

Swimming the first three legs of the relay were Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens.

Incredibly, Phelps has 15 gold medals, two silver and two bronze in his legendary Olympic career, which started in 2000.

One of the silver medals came earlier on Tuesday night at the Aquatics Centre when Phelps was edged in the 200 butterfly.

He praised the winner Chad le Clos of South Africa and then paid tribute to his relay teammates.

“The 200 fly didn’t go the way I wanted,” Phelps said. “I was on the other end of that finish four years ago.”

 

So I was totally and completely jazzed to have Michael Phelps win the gold in the 800 meter relay. Totally and completely psyched. I remember him winning in ’04 and ’08. I’m super happy and excited he swims for the USA. And I’m thrilled beyond belief that he’s gotten all those medals.

USA is the greatest country in the world. Yeah, I’m biased. I live here.

Signing off
~Kate

Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, and Kyla Ross of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning the gold medal in the artistic gymnastics women’s team final in London, England

http://www.bing.com/az/hprichbg?p=rb%2fUSWomensGymGold_EN-US8856745487_1366x768.jpg

So, could anything be more exciting than this? Well, this is pretty huge! Though you can see the next post and decide. Can you tell I am an Olympic junkie?

Signing off
~Kate