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the sparky lipman experience
27 December 2008 @ 04:56 pm
1. was 2008 a good year for you?
Yes, overall it was. While very financially impaired in most respects, by being frugal and prioritizing our spending/saving we actually did quite a lot this year - a week long holiday in Switzerland in January, getting a bike for my birthday in March and relearning to ride by taking hours long treks through tulip fields, my mom and stepdad's visit in April, finally visiting family and friends back home in PA/Philly in autumn, getting married in Love Park and then a whirlwind one day/night honeymoon in NYC, Phillies becoming World Fucking Champions! (seriously, best homecoming present. ever.) and celebrating with the entire city.

3. where were you when 2008 began?
drinking cheap champagne along the Spaarne River and taking photos of the fireworks behind the windmill and their reflections in the water.

4. who were you with?

5. where will you be when 2008 ends?
no plans of yet

6. who will you be with when 2008 ends?
Bas. maybe Poes.

7. what did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
learned and used Light Room, visited Schilthorn, Lautenbrunen, Geneva, went on holiday with my future in-laws twice: first for a week in January with Bas, the second one day/night in Sept in Geneva by myself, introduced Bas to my siblings, grandmom, aunt.

8. did you keep your new years' resolutions, & will you make more for next year
I did finally begin to learn and experiment with/use Light Room, I did lose the majority of weight I had gained these past 2 years and made good progress in eating healthier, being healthier.

9. did anyone close to you give birth?

10. did anyone close to you die?
my grandma

11. did you travel outside of the u.s. in 2008?
Ha. I live outside the US, so yes. extensively.

12. how many different states did you travel to in 2008?

13. what would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
better, more creative, more lucrative employment for both me and Bas.

14. what date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, & why?
October 16, 2008 - our wedding day.

15. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
working hard and saving like mad to being able to afford a trip to the US

16. what was your biggest failure?
not using my time wisely, missing Dale's wedding

17. did you suffer any illness or injury?
the usual colds

18. what was the best thing you bought?
a few times one client gave me a bonus and i saved it and finally bought a decent lens (for the price) for my camera.

19. whose behavior merited celebration?
everyone who is kind, gracious, respectful and giving.

20. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
i was appalled at my stepmother's increasingly bizarro-AA recovery personality and the shitstorm that followed.
i was depressed by my entire family's depressed, unhealthy state of existence.

21. where did most of your money go?
cost of living expenses, US travel fund

22. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
coming back to Philly

23. what song will always remind you of 2008?

24. compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier, more at peace even though weightier concerns for the future than last year.
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner.
iii. richer or poorer? treading water like usual.

25. what do you wish you'd done more of?
learning. creating. blogging/writing.

26. what do you wish you'd done less of?
wasting time. sleeping.

27. how will you be spending xmas?
with Bas' father's side of the family.

28. did you fall in love in 2008?
stayed in love.

29. if yes, with who?

30. if yes, do they know?

31. are you still in love with them?

32. do you regret it?

33. did you breakup with anyone in 2008?

34. how many one-night stands?

35. how many people did you sleep with in 2008?
one. and Poes, but she's a kitty.

36. do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
i don't hate. i strongly dislike the kind of mayor Michael Nutter has turned out to be.

37. did you make any new friends in 2008?
Yes, one.

38. what was your favorite month of 2008?

39. did you miss anybody in the past year?
friends and family.

40. did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

41. what was the worst lie someone told you in 2008?
that they represented "Change" and/or are a "maverick".

42. did you treat somebody badly in 2008?
there have been times my temper has gotten the best of me and Bas was the recipient.

43. did somebody treat you badly in 2008?
some of my clients, Bas' ex-gf

44. what did you want and get?
for both me and Bas to visit PA/Philly/NYC

45. what did you want and not get?
much needed dental work

46. what was your favorite new film of this year?
didn't see any new films

47. what was your favorite TV program?
the office

48. what was your favorite record from 2008?
hmmm... tough one.

49. how many concerts did you see in 2008?

50. did you have a favorite concert in 2008?
i wish...

51. did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2008?
i hardly drank at all.

52. did you do a lot of drugs in 2008?
smoked weed in the beginning of the year, then quit for 9 months. when i returned backed from Philly, i started smoking weed again.

53. what did you do on your birthday, & how old were you?
went out to dinner with Bas. i turned 38.

54. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
having a few good friends nearby.

55. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

56. what kept you sane?
Bas, Poes

57. how much money did you spend in 2008?
as much as i earned.

58. what are your plans for 2009?
establish and create a homebase, learn more, create more, blog more, live more juicy
the sparky lipman experience
08 December 2008 @ 06:26 pm
this is the most gloriously fantastic wig i have ever laid eyes on!  i am beyond entralled with it and wish like mad i could even remotely afford to buy it.

santa, pleeeeeeeeeeeease!!!
Tags: , ,
Current Mood: hungrydrooling
the sparky lipman experience
23 November 2008 @ 07:49 pm

baked this tonight. my first attempt and it turned out well. made a cream cheese icing which i slathered on top, but it tastes a little too sweet to me.

the sparky lipman experience
21 November 2008 @ 08:40 pm
the scene:  winds bellowing, shaking the house, lashing the windows with hail.  pelting the house in some kind of fury.  john coltrane "crescent" playing in the attic BR, me at my desk staring into laptop.  i am stoned.  downstairs, hubby watches his favorite Dutch television programmes.  he is sick.  further downstairs, on the ground floor, ingredients patiently wait to be transformed into a dinner of Curry Lentil and Vegetables served with garlic Naan bread.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
the sparky lipman experience
25 June 2008 @ 11:10 am
from Fortune Magazine:

John McCain
U.S. Senator (R-Arizona)

Executive summary: It's a game of pinball, and you're the ball.

The hardest thing to do is to establish priorities. This morning we had a committee meeting on telecommunications. At the same time, I had to bounce over to the Armed Services Committee. Then I just met with Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, who worked with me on immigration. Later I'm going to meet with a group of people on lobbying reform. And then I'll be meeting with a Congressman who wants me to help him out on something.

The key is deciding what are the most important issues to focus on. Priorities come from the constituents, and a lot of it is instinct by now. I've been in this business a long time.

I read my e-mails, but I don't write any. I'm a Neanderthal -- I don't even type. I do have the rudimentary capability of calling up some Web sites, like the New York Times online, that sort of stuff. No laptop. No PalmPilot. I prefer my schedule on notecards, which I keep in my jacket pocket. (great... it's the year 2008 and the Republican nominee is a self-described Neanderthal who doesn't really "get" modern technology)

But my wife has enormous capability. Whenever I want something I ask her to do it. She's just a wizard. She even does my boarding passes -- people can do that now. When we go to the movies, she gets the tickets ahead of time. It's incredible.
(translation: my wife is a tool. whenever i want something i ask her to do it and wifey snaps to attention and obeys my command. and gives me her money too.)

My most valuable resource is my chief of staff and writing partner, Mark Salter. We've been together for 17 years. I cannot imagine my professional life without him. When we're writing a book or speech, he'll come in to the office in the afternoon or evening with a tape recorder. We talk about the outline, then the details of it, then get into the minutiae. He writes most of it, and then we go over it together. (am i wrong to feel a bit disturbed by the phrase 'valuable resource' as a description of a relationship, a partnership, another human being?))

It's the perfect partnership, with him doing most of the work. He's a remarkable man. I gave a speech on the floor of he Senate to wrap up the debate on the torture amendment. It was the only time when there was total silence on the floor of the Senate. We wrote that together. (apparently the perfect partnership is one where the other party does most of the work. see wife above.)</>

I rely on staff to take care of things that I know they can, usually back in Arizona. We've got very talented, experienced people who take care of constituent issues. People don't care if I personally get involved, or if I put somebody who is a hell of a lot smarter than I am on it. But if something is important for me to pay attention to, like immigration issues, which have grown for us since 9/11 -- I focus on it. (um, wait... people don't care if he personally gets involved with issues?)

We decide on a case-by-case basis about whether to do the Sunday shows, if it would have some value to get my viewpoint or knowledge out there. I'm going to do Jon Stewart again, and "The Colbert Report." That's good stuff, an interesting audience for me. (translation: i'm trying to be a little more "edgy")

You lose battles in politics. I do get good and angry. Really angry! By God, I'm not going to let them beat me again. I don't like to lose. After the 2000 race for the presidential nomination, I spent at least ten days -- and in many ways it was the most wonderful experience of my life -- wallowing in self-pity. It was really fun. Freeing. (whoa. the most wonderful experience of his life was 10 days of wallowing in self-pity?)

Then I just woke up and said it was time to get over this. The people you represent don't want you this way. You're still their Senator. And besides, America doesn't like sore losers. I also don't hold grudges. It's a waste of time. What's the point? Frankly, the sweetest revenge is success. (sheesh, this guy has one hell of an ego problem.)
the sparky lipman experience
27 June 2007 @ 06:53 pm
i just came home and checked my email and there was a Flickr message from a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra wanting to obtain copies of the photos i took of them last summer in Philly.  i wish they were of better quality - it was my first time using my DSLR and it was nighttime concert footage with no tripod (i really didn't think i'd take any photos at all that night because it had been raining tough all day).  but still... i am pretty damn excited to have my idols wanting my photos for a future compilation!
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
the sparky lipman experience
14 June 2007 @ 07:49 pm
i don't watch Grey's Anatomy because i find it ridiculously inane.  i also find it ridiculous that there is objection to Isaiah Washington being canned from the series.

"If he's being let go because of that incident, I'm not sure the punishment fits the crime," said Vic Bullock, executive director of the Hollywood bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

i sincerely doubt the NAACP would take a similar stance in defence of an actor who made a slur using the word "nigger".
the sparky lipman experience
30 May 2007 @ 06:52 pm
it got kind of overcast and nippy outside, so i'm indoors right now and posting again.

Bas has off on Sundays and Mondays and every other Monday i am free, which happened to occur this week and that coincided with a photo festival.  so this Monday we spent the day together travelling to Naarden and walking around the village attending the various 23 photo exhibits.  while worthwile just for excursion's sake, the art left much to be desired.  i am amazed at what boring, trite and sloppily presented shit gets into such expositions.  i saw so very little that i considered decent and next to none that i considered innovative or, hell, even relevent.  Bas felt the same way, so i know it wasn't just my PMS making me extra-scathingly critical.

it was a similar (though more intense) feeling as what we both experienced when viewing the World Press Photo exposition - artists are making photographs that cannot stand alone.  what i mean by that is, without reading the accompanying "story" presented with each collection one finds nothing - not even pure aesthetic value - in the work.  and even in reading the description or abbreviated artist's intention, it is clear that the image or images are failing to communicate what it is they are supposed to.  and the presentation/display of most works was appallingly amateur.

the best part of the day was getting caught in the rain as we were walking in an outdoor exhibit across the grassy tops of the fortress, along muddy foot trails and pausing to smooch underneath the semi-protective canopy of the occasional tree.

yesterday i spent the morning lost in a sea of emotional turmoil and then talked myself out of it and gave the downstairs a much needed cleaning, did 3 loads of laundry and went grocery shopping.  i also managed to break a dinner plate and slice my thumb pretty good - it bled for hours (in fact, today it started bleeding again).  by the time Bas came home i was feeling much better and we made a delicious dinner together of eggplant sauted with fresh garlic, onions and sun dried tomatoes and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg and served with couscous and topped with lots o' feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.  mmmmmm.

today... after this morning's client cancelled, i found myself taking a stroll around town and popping into an antiques store that has the most adorable Art Deco tea set ever in its window.  i've passed it countless times and have always wondered if it was any kind of affordable, so i stopped in to inquire.  alas!  it is not... however, as i was standing around waiting for the Dutch proprieters to stop talking to each other and actually help out their sole patron (me), possibly one of the most wonderful brooches caught my eye.

i knew it had to be mine.  and can you blame me?  i mean, just behold its splendor:

if ever a piece of jewelry said "Jana Shea" it was this sweet find.  i love not only the deer (reminiscent of the infamous KU cyborg deer) but the wreath of tiny pewter pine cones!  and i don't feel guilty at all about the indulgence because the asking price was an unbelievable 10 euro in a store with ridiculously high prices on everything (granted all antiques, but half the stuff was far from high quality as far as antiques go).  so i snatched that beauty up.

can't believe they didn't know its potential value.  while i'm certainly no expert, i do love vintage costume jewelry and do know what to look for.  i believe it is a "Miracle", a piece manufactured by A. Hill and Company (Birmingham) Ltd. circa mid 1940s or 1950s.  it's not worth a fortune or anything, but it is a collectible and will increase in value - not that it really matters to me or anything, just makes it all the better of a purchase.  (btw, not sure if the stones are real or not, as the company used both real semi-precious stones and high quality glass in its designs.)

but... i am thinking about soldering a small jump ring onto its back and turning it into a pendant.  because wouldn't this 2-inch diameter brooch look fantastic as a pendant?  oh, it so totally would!  ...and guess whose bf just happens to have a soldering gun at the ready?
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: billy paul - "me and mrs. jones"
the sparky lipman experience
18 May 2007 @ 05:03 pm
yesterday was some kind of national holiday (oddly enough a religious one - Ascension), so not only did Bas have off work but my Thursday client cancelled because they had company over.  it was a very relaxing day.  Bas really needed the rest and so did i, so of course we slept in, cuddled and horsed around the house.

then we went for a lovely walk and stopped for some gelato... mmmmm.  on the way back, we passed a police cruiser that suddenly began to drive backwards.  about a half a block up the road it stopped next to a parked car with its hood up and a Dutch guy tinkering around the engine.  over the loudspeaker one of the cops started laughing, "heh heh heh heh".

Bas and i had a good chuckle about it (by the time we walked up to them, the police and the Dutch guy were having a very relaxed, friendly conversation - maybe they knew each other?  the type of laugh seemed to indicate that).

once back home we watched a movie together and Bas kept making me giggle by pretending we were on a "date night" at the movies, with him sitting next to me and being very ridiculously obvious in trying to cop a feel or "stretch" his arms so they just happen to be resting around my shoulders, etc. etc.  later on, he cooked us dinner (hamburgers for him, veggie burgers for me).
Current Mood: lovedloved
the sparky lipman experience
14 May 2007 @ 04:07 pm
yesterday, Bas and i spent the afternoon in Amsterdam viewing art.  we first had a late breakfast at Village Bagel and then went to see the James Nachtwey exhibit at the Foam fotografiemuseum.  afterwards, we walked to the Joods Historisch Museum to see a Robert Capa retrospective (as well as taking in a Eva Besnyo exhibit) and then following that, made our way to the Oude Kerk in the Red Light Distict to see this year's World Press Photo exposition.

it is so refreshing to have a partner who eagerly attends exhibitions and who engages in intelligent and inspired conversations about what we've seen.  we not only saw art most of yesterday but talked about art most of yesterday.

today, we both woke up feeling out of sorts.  i'm not sure if it is the change back to shitty weather or fighting off a bug or what.  i feel migrane-y, very dizzy, nauseated and extra emotionally sensitive.  it had been happening over the past few days yet nothing i couldn't deal with, but today i feel so wiped out by it.  i'm sick of feeling sick.  the past few weeks have seen Bas, me, and our kitty in various states of illness and incapacitation.

i think i need to find some miraculous dose of energy and scrub all the germs and allergens out of this house.  and maybe i need a good detox too.  or something...


the reason for the recent "out of sorts" feeling is that the water supply had been recently contaminated with e.coli... and we didn't find out until Tuesday evening.  so now we have to boil our water for an undetermined time period (prolly a week).
Current Mood: nauseatednauseated