Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's All About Grout

Well, I've been absent for the past few days for a few reasons....

The weekend was spent editing my future sister-in-law's wedding (and future bro-in-law, I guess). They were up helping with the bathroom 'redo' on Steve's Dad's house and only so many people can fit in a bathroom so I stayed here and edited away. I was hoping to get things finished and send them off with a lovely DVD by Monday, but that didn't happen. The editing is done, the tweaking, done; rendering of various filters, done; the motion menu, done....but sadly every time I try to export an m2v file, Final Cut Pro crashes. *sigh* I need to upgrade my FCP methinks.

But the past 2 nights have been about grout. Since they diligently tore everything (except the bathtub) OUT of the bathroom and then measured, cut and mortared the tiles, I felt it was my duty to grout the thing. Ay yi yi. A job I thought would take "a couple hours" ended up taking about 5 1/2 and my poor little digits are practically raw from all the sanded grout. eeek. My back's not super happy either but the FLOOR looks fantastic, ifIdosaysomyself.....Granted there are portions I am not happy with and I will be "touching up" in the coming days/weeks but for the most part I have successfully completed my first floor grouting experience.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Website

is ONLINE now!

We launched the official Newton's Disease website last night.

Go - check it out, browse, post, look at pictures...go...seriously - GO!


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This picture was taken Friday, May 19th - that's my back yard all greened up. Steve was airing out his tent that day - we are ready for summer!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Paint: $65; Valance $14.99; Cabinet Hardware: $50 Kitchen "remodel": Priceless

Here are some before & after pics of the kitchen project. This has taken me forever and it's not *quite* finished yet (the flooring needs to be put in and also there is some touch-up work that needs to be done on the painting) but it is close and looks about a MILLION times better. My parents arrived last night and were SHOCKED at the difference. It was very fun to see their surprised reactions. My Mom doesn't even mind the floor as much any more (um, I do). Hopefully this will make life in the R&B kitchen more peaceful and calm and will make the house easier to sell down the road.

Now to recap - Here's the kitchen before:

Kitchen before...

Another kitchen before - ugh.

And Voila! After!

Another after shot!

Friday, May 19, 2006


Oh yeah, and Newton's Disease is officially for sale on - you can check us out under "New Films for May" and also under the category of "Independent." You're able to watch one scene from the film there as well.

Our website is almost complete. Just getting the video & photo elements squared away.

Bike to Work Day

Hey! It’s Ride your Bike to Work Day – well, that’s what I’ve been saying all week but It’s actually “Bike to Work Day” which is much easier to say due to less syllables. Heh. I’m not sure how many fine citizens of Duluth are participating in this annual event but I for one AM! Whoohooo! I always have great expectations of myself biking to work all summer long, getting exercise WHILE saving gas and the environment a little bit, toning my legs and helping out my heart. I like it! But about 2 weeks into my 3-day a week riding I give up. Last year it was due to my chain jumping track and me not knowing how to get it back on and having to push my bike all the way home which really really sucked.

I thought I would have a problem with the 6am wake up but it wasn’t too bad. I figured I could snooze as many times as I usually do since the alarm was set much earlier (and technically it’s 5:45 wake up because I fool myself by setting my clock 15 mins ahead – sneaky huh? I hope I don’t find out!) and the timing should be about the same. Since I got my hair done last night I didn’t need to wash it which saved lots of time. I even ate breakfast before leaving which I have been skipping lately (and eating at work) which was nice. I made it in 12-15 minutes which is a record for me – usually takes closer to 20. So, I was at work a bit early – highly unusual. Of course my building doesn’t have a bike rack so I had to improvise on a railing which took a while but she’s all locked up safe & sound and looking forward to the ride home.

I’m looking forward to lunchtime because instead of cleaning – which I should be doing as my folks are coming up tonight – I get to read for the full hour while sitting outside! Yes! It will be quite a treat. An hour seems much much longer when you don’t drive home. Plus, my lunch is already made so I just get to grab it and go. Hopefully there’ll be some ship traffic while I’m sitting at the canal. That always makes me happy. Enjoy your Friday!

It's kind of hard to tell - but here's the new "summer" look

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Went in for a trim & came out a blonde. :-)

I love it! Of course I'll never be able to make it look like it does now again (too bad my evening plans are cleaning) but I adore the color. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Side note: I saw two guys - probably mid-20's - getting shaves...does that happen these days? They were both getting their sparse facial hair shaped meticulously with a straight razor. Huh. Who knew.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reason it's good to have a big old laundry sink #97

So that when your cat* who's been laying in the wicker laundry basket, on clean washcloths, rags & towels pukes all over it, you can take it to the laundry sink and scrub out the vomit with an old tooth brush over said sink. You can also use the hose attached to the sink to rinse anything extra away.

*Also puked on in the last week: our bed/comforter - soaked through to the mattress pad, the guest bed/comforter also soaked through to the mattress pad, the living room rug, the dining room rug (3 times), the bass drum pedal for Steve's drum set, the brown chair. Not one puke on wood or vinyl flooring. Figures. I'm getting a little worried about Mr. Iko much puking for one cat.... :-(

Stalling Again

I have a work out & some painting in front of me, but instead I read blogs on the internet. Why can't I get motivated? I have TWO DAYS people to get the kitchen looking finished enough so it actually is the SURPRISE I want it to be for my parents. And that's without the floor because we haven't bought it yet let alone installed it. Pffffffffffffffft.

SO - Steve's on the road tonight and I have big productive plans:

Paint the 2nd coat on the window trim.
Paint the 2nd coat on the soffet (how do you spell that?!?!)
Enter remaining names/addresses into for invite list
Start a new knitting project? No CLEAN, dammit, clean.
Read my book.

So far I have...

sat outside and read my book
ate some triscuits & cheese
laid on the couch to read my book
read blogs


Tomorrow I have my meeting with the Mentor Duluth people FINALLY! It's an hour long interview/screening to see if I am okay material to hang out with kids. I hope I pass. I think I will. After that I'm getting my hair cut and then I'll be frantically finishing everything that I am not doing right now that I should be.


Oh - and Dateline's To Catch a Predator is on tonight to which I am hooked. That and Tiara Girls on MTV. I'm so embarrassed that I admitted that....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Operation Clog Buster

I was skeptical, I'll admit it. Last weekend when the great clog of '06 occured I was pretty sure that ginormous plumbing bills were looming over my future existence. The usual methods of unclogging were either not working (snaking the pipe) or not an option (using chemicals) so I kept going back to thoughts of money draining from my account.

But last night, after 24 and after Steve's Dad and his SO left, Operation Clog Buster began. Steve rigged the garden hose from the outside spigot through the kitchen, dining room and upstairs into the bathroom. We had tried this in '05 when we had plumbing problems (or was it '04? anyway...) with no success and a huge mess. Needless to say I was apprehensive.

Steve borrowed the "clog buster" device the last time around and it didn't work. For those of you who are non-homeowners or who are blessed with decent drains, the clog buster is this black plastic thingy that makes a hose have incredible pressure. The black thing blows up a bit and seals off the opening where you're inserting the hose so no water can back up and everything is FORCED the way it should go. It also sort of looks like a creepy black odd looking penis...there I said it. I can't help it. Anyway....

Steve was inserting the clog buster under the bathroom sink. He had removed the piping and was just putting it right in the drain hole (why does that sound dirty to me now?) I was at the tub making sure water didn't back up and spray all over tarnation.

The first time the water went on there was backup in the tub - not a lot but a little nasty, stinky, stale, blackish yuckiness....coming from the drain as well as the overflow drain. Gross. I had to remove my Mickey Mouse watch.

The second time we started the backup! In fact no odd smelling or sounding gurgles from either drain...and the water kept coming. I was envisioning big flooding puddles somewhere else in the house but all appears to be good!

We ran water into the tub and the bathtub-whirlpool-thingy appeared and THE WATER DRAINED! It went right down! No waiting, no stopping, no stalling - it just disappeared into the vast underground abyss that is our plumbing/sewer system.

We were giddy! And so excited! We were SUPERHEROES in our own house!

Things that are "cool" change throughout your life. For instance - 10 years ago, unclogging a drain would not have seemed COOL to me. Now it is one of the coolest thing ever. And saved us money to boot.

Taking a shower this morning was heavenly - no standing in scumy ankle-deep water, no un-ending humidity due to said standing water, no sump pump needed (seriously) to empty out the tub, the wet-vac has been retired to it's previous home (in the basement) and all is right with the world.

Now, if only I could finish that kitchen...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weekends Go By Way Too Fast

Sunday evening yet again....things checked off the "to do" list....

* Went to see The Triplets of Belleville which was awesome. I am so impressed they played it here. Granted it was at The Playground - which is an offshoot of the local community theatre and strives to bring things like foreign & independent films to Duluth. Thank god.

* Laundry

* Grocery shopping, Target run

* I went to Michael's for their "wedding event." What a joke! The event consisted of a table pushed off to the side which had a few place setting & favor ideas on it. They also had a couple of brochures showing different invitation designs. Um...WTF? I was really hoping that there would be creative people there showing a few cool ideas. What I ended up with was a couple of invite kits which I could've bought on ANY day at Michaels. It was a tad disappointing.

Still haven't finished painting the kitchen (I think I'm in a funk about it and just can't get it finished!!); haven't finished knitting the prayer shawl for my friend; haven't finished editing Steve's sister's wedding (although I did make progress today); haven't fixed the plumbing issues that we're having (actually made it slightly worse today) - you get the idea.

I think 3- or 4-day weekends should be mandatory.

On another note HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you Mothers (or soon to be Mothers, Donna, I'm looking at you...). We went to brunch with Steve's Mom and I ate WAY too much omlette than I'm sure is allowed on my diet. Sheesh! The mimosas were divine.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Not Happy

There is someone in my life who is never happy. I should rephrase that – that’s a bit too strong. Who’s rarely happy. Even when there are good things to be excited and happy about, he’s always able to find the darkest part of the cloud and sit under it. I know this. I have known this for 10, 12 years! And yet it still affects me.

I am (as the blog insinuates) naturally optimistic. I can’t help it. Even when I’m sad or crabby or ornery or down it doesn’t last long because I usually tend to forget what I was sad, crabby, ornery or down about. Usually. It just has a way of slipping down the ladder of emotional priorities as something more lovely comes along. Like….the way the sun sparkles on the water. Or the fact that my favorite tv show is on that night…or getting a friendly email out of the blue, or seeing my honey when he walks through the door at the end of the day. Silly little things that wouldn’t make everyone – particularly the glass-half-empty types to even have a glimmer of a thought of changing their attitude. Ah well, that’s them and I’m me. Right.

Anyway – this friend….to hear the sadness, orneryness this grumpiness this disappointment in his voice is enough to slay me! And I know that is just stupid. I know that whatever the outcome is…whatever the answer….whether or not 12 dancing elephants come to deliver the news where sparkly fringed outfits holding 12 beautiful dancing acrobat ladies that he would be sad, disappointed, grumpy, you get the idea.

So why does it bug me? Why do I have to be affected?

I’ve tried very hard in the past couple of years to shed my co-dependent tendencies (the unhealthy ones, at least) and to protect myself, my life and what I feel like I’ve built up for myself WITHIN myself…so when someone breaches the protective outer shell, it gets to me.

That being said…two years ago I would be a puddle on the floor trying to mimic this same sad, depressed, grumpiness that was presented to me and now I approach it with a bit of indifference. Well, if you can be indifferently bugged, that is.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The first box of DVD's!! (picture courtesy of my camera phone....sorry!)

The Arrival


Newton’s Disease has officially been born! That’s how I feel. I feel as though these 6 boxes of dvd’s and 1000s of postcards are my babies! I was thrilled to hear they arrived, rushed right down to ogle the boxes and to lovingly stroke the dvds. Yes, I did. To see so many of them each with the title, our artwork, our “blurbs” our bar code!!! *sigh* It was a moment which left me feeling proud and plastered a big smile across my face.

This has been the hardest task of my life. It has consumed 3 years and thousands (upon thousands) of dollars (thanks Citibank!). It has made me laugh, cry, tear my hair out, throw things, yell, smile, sigh, bleed (probably….), wish I had never started it and anxiously await starting the next one. Roller coaster? Yes. No other way to describe it. I learned how to solve problems, keep finances in order, negotiate (sort of), cajole needed things from cast & crew, prioritize, organize and fully appreciate everything that goes into a feature film. I also picked up a few editing hours along the way (I am the editor, after all).

I don’t know what’s next….selling a few would be nice; getting in a festival would be lovely; being picked up by a distributor would be fantastic and having someone pay a lot of money for it and hire us to make another would be excellent.

Then again – to sit in one theatre anonymously while people watch and laugh and are inspired to TALK about it would be the best. That’s all I ask for. For people to not throw rotten tomatoes at the screen and to hiss and boo that would be the greatest reward…because while I think my baby is beautiful, I’m not sure how the rest of the world will receive it.

THAT’S the hardest part.

We’ll soon be for sale on Newton's Disease and also on FilmBaby or you can leave me a comment and I’ll send you one directly. Or if you happen to see us at a local film festival or someday in a small art house theater in your town, check us out.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Okay - I've been delinquent in posting. No's a recap:
The weekend:

Friday night painted the kitchen - we decided to change the background color BACK to the original color that we were going to use so yes, re-painting was involved. Stayed in - had a few beers and listened to some good music and relaxed. Very mellow.

Saturday I woke up sad. Don't know why I was in such a downer mood but I was and had a hard time shaking it. Feeling bad about my lack of a social circle here in town (my friends now seem to be all long-distance which really blows) and feeling fat. Steve & I painted in the kitchen and got lots done. It looks great. He went up to take a shower and the tub wouldn't drain. This is strange since I had just taken one before him and had no problem. THe only thing we can think of is that there was a hair ball in the sink and when he cleaned out the sink stopper thingy more water than usual got flushed down the pipe and made something clog it up. We snaked last year and have been using a hair catcher-thingy in the tub ever since so I think the sink is the culprit. Snaking didn't work this time and we're afraid to use chemicals so we are having a 1/2 working bathroom at the moment (toilet is fine) until we can get to it. We'll probably have to go in through the kitchen sink (which drains fine) and go up. Ugh.

Saturday night we had dinner at Steve's Dad's. It was a very pleasant evening and so nice to get away from the plubming problems. We ended up going to a couple of bars that night after dinner - Dub Lin's which is an "Irish themed" bar downtown - brand new. It's nice enough but the crowd is a bit young. I felt old. And fat. Then off to Red Star which is a trendy martini bar and more my speed (more my age). And they play great music, make great martini's - it's just better.

Sunday got up and decided to have a hearty breakfast and ignore the plumbing issues. That's a great way to make things go away! ignore your problems! ha. We hiked for 2 1/2 hours at Hartley Nature Center and it was wonderful. Definitely what we both needed. After our hike we rushed home to finish preparing dinner (his Dad & SO were coming over) and cleaned up the kitchen & living room to make it's a great way to get a lot of "crisis cleaning" done in a really short amount of time.
Dinner was: pot roast, potatoes, carrots, salad, beer bread and a whipped chocolate cheesecake that T brought. It was a pretty good dinner although I wasn't pleased with the toughness of the meat (even though it had been in the crock pot for 8 hours Hmph). We also had a lovely Atelier from Beckman's (my favorite vineyard) and I ended up drinking WAY too much wine which made Monday pretty unbearable. I also bought several songs on iTunes as I broke my cardinal rule of no iTunes surfing while drinking wine.
Yesterday sucked. Hung over and feeling crappy all day. What is my problem?! I came home after work and promptly hit the couch to "read" (which really meant sleep). I got up and moved into my bedroom for some more sleeping....then finally got up, ate and painted a little bit. The rest of the night was spent watching 24 (sooooo goood!!!!) and No Reservations (on Osaka) and went to bed early.
I woke up today loving life because I felt SO MUCH BETTER.

And a recap of the past few days.

Tonight I hope to get more painting done, maybe do a little editing (I'm editing Steve's sister's wedding), perhaps knit a bit? We'll see. There are always so many things to do.

OH! and I'm looking for wedding invitation ideas and am open to suggestions. I would like to make them - either buy the supplies or buy a kit. I like to be crafty and thought I MIGHT be able to save a little dough this way - I don't know though...My wedding is in the fall so I'm looking for autumn-y colors (chocolate browns, oranges, golds, greens - etc)....HELP ME!! I had an invitation all picked out but haven't been able to find the right I'm moving on to new ideas as I'd like to get this off my "to-do" list!


Thursday, May 04, 2006


Steve & I enjoyed our second annual Lion's Pancake Dinner today. We feasted on such fine delicacies as pancakes! and sausages! and well, okay - that was it. I saved up some calories from earlier in the day so I could throughly enjoy. And I did.

Afterwards we lugged our pancake-heavy-bellys up Chester creek and got a good 40 minute hike in. I feel much better now.

I'm hoping tonight that I get some good sleep because the last few nights have been tough. Beavis likes to get in and out of bed about a 24-56 times per night which is highly annoying. He's also taken to walking on my head, which also is not appreciated. I could just kick him out but I do love it when he's a GOOD sleeper. Perhaps I should value my own rest a little more.

Friday tomorrow! whooo! I just finished the 2nd skein of the current prayer shawl that I'm working on and hopefully this weekend I will find some time to crank out the third skein. I probably won't use the whole thing so the end is near. I'm anxious to send the care package off to my friend. I'm also planning on, guess what? PAINTING THE KITCHEN this weekend. We might be re-doing one of the colors (argh) so there's that to deal with. Oh and I bought all 26 handles for the cabinets and drawers today and that will be a fun task to get those all on. It will be SO NICE to have handles again!!

For now.......
bed is calling....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Coat III

Just finished the 3rd coat of the upper cabinets.

I'm tired & my back hurts. I shouldn't save the two cupboards above the fridge for last but somehow I always do. Stupid.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll paint more trim.

I just set up my computer this past weekend (it was at my film partner's house for the past year and a half) downstairs so I can start editing Steve's sister's wedding...I'm trying to get it done before their 1st anniversary - lordy....I need to procrastinate less and DO MORE. to do that....