7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #96: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Mashanda Scott

h1 January 4th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Happy new year to all, and welcome to our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. (Absolutely anyone, of course, is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.)

Guess what, dear readers? It’s the one-year anniversary (thereabouts) of 7-Imp’s up-and-coming illustrator features, in which—on the first Sunday of each month—we feature someone currently studying illustration or someone newly-graduated from the field (or otherwise new to illustration). I have to say, this has been one of my favorite features; I always look forward to hearing from illustration students. I’m not gonna break into an overwrought Whitney Houston tune here (did I really just link to that? Blech), but I do think it’s fun to hear from the voices of the future of illustration. Some of my favorite student or brand-spankin’-new illustrators we featured last year include Ashley Smith, Chris Eliopoulos (a.k.a. “Elio”), Kali Ciesemier, James Hindle, Maris Wicks, and Lauren Minco. (Eric Orchard goes without saying, as we featured him just last month, but really, he rocks.) Remember any of those folks? I hope we see more of them, and I think it’d be fun to follow up and find out what they’re up to now, but, well…then someone would have to add some more hours to my day.

Look, it’s Elliott Smith, but I’m getting ahead of myself . . . Today, we’re featuring Mashanda Scott, who will be graduating from California’s Art Center College of Design in Summer, 2009. Mashanda was raised in the Seattle area but has lived in Los Angeles for seven years now, she told me. “I love illustrating (and am inspired by) album covers, concert posters, zines, books and comics.” Mashanda sent three images that she felt best represented the style in which her work is headed: the opening image of the coffee-drinking canine; the above Elliott Smith image, which I was hoping she’d send, as I’m a hugely huge Elliott Smith fan, heaven rest his talented soul; and Summer, pictured below. I also asked her if we could post the umbrella image, as it caught my eye. A lot of Mashanda’s work seems to be done in cut paper collage, but Summer is acrylic ink, and you can see at her Flickr page that she occasionally works with other media, as well.

Many thanks to Mashanda for stopping by, and we wish her the best of luck. For more information, you can visit her web site and blog.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Well, helloooooo, strangers! I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long, but internet connections were few and far between amongst the rellies I was visiting over the Christmas and New Year’s. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great holiday or two, and got where they needed to go safely. And big-ups to Jules for doing Kicks all by herself, plus TWO Poetry Fridays in a row. Thanks, J. Now, for the kicks, ’cause I’ve got two weeks’ worth to share:

“We can fix it together!!!”1* Okay, seriously, would you just look at that geeky dog up there? Or is it a wolf? I want it to be a wolf, ’cause that’s funnier. And I also love the umbrella.

2* I am very grateful that we made all our flights on time, and only had to brush off a few inches of snow from my car when we got back home. No shovels required.

3* It was fabulous seeing all my rellies (see how I can’t stop using that word, emmaco?) and friends, even though it was kind of a mad crush to fit as many visits as possible in 6 days. I even got to see an old friend from high school that I hadn’t seen in 5 years, and she is still awesome.

4* My nephew is growing like a very adorable weed (pictured left, with his Handy Manny singing dancing toolbox. He loved it, but unless you also really REALLY love the theme song to the show, think twice before buying it for any child you live with. Just sayin’.). He is seriously cuter than I thought it was possible for a human to be. Don’t you agree?

Piper, Eisha, Jules and Ada5* Also great was seeing Jules and her family (pictured left, with me looming over them about to take a bite out of Piper’s sweet head). We had yummy brunch, and her girls gave me a beautiful hair stick that they picked out themselves, and Jules gave me my very own copy of The Royal Tenenbaums because she knows how I love that movie.

6* Then we spent New Year’s Eve with my husband’s sister and her husband in Asheville. They’re just generally awesome to hang out with, and we had an admittedly sedate but fabulous evening playing Rayman Raving Rabbits on their Wii.

7* And since I still have the same nasty cold I spent most of the week with – the kind that has completely eradicated my voice, keeps me up all night coughing, and makes people edge away from me and reach for their lemon-scented germ-killing hand goo – it’s really good to be home again.

Bonus Kick: My Cybils duties are in full swing, now that the short lists are up. I’m a judge for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, and the short list is BRILLIANT. I’ve got some excellent reading – and discussions – ahead of me for the next few weeks. WOOT!

Bonus-Bonus Kick: Literal Videos by Dust Films. My favorite is their take on “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears:

Bonus-Bonus-Bonus Kick: I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and it’s… hard to describe. I thought it would be more of a shoot-em-up western, but instead it’s slow and lyrical, and some of the images are astonishingly beautiful. Casey Affleck is so amazingly creepy, too.

Jesse James, about to rob a train.

There’s plenty more kicks I could share, but I’ll stop now and let others have a turn.

So, how ’bout you, Jules?

* * * jules’ kicks * * *

1). When you have wee kids and it’s not always so easy to get out and party like it’s 1999 on New Year’s, well…I’ll speak for myself here: It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to New Year’s Eve this year. I was just afraid I’d be so bored I’d fall asleep early. But, as my husband and I sat on the couch with our wee girls on our laps (we let them hold out as long as they could) and we were dancing to top-40 rap and goofing off and drinking sparkling grape juice in wine glasses and such, I thought, there’s no other place I’d rather be. And that’s even with the painfully mediocre music of Click Dark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve playing on television.

2). The Cybils shortlists are up. And this is way overdue, but I owe a huge shout-out of thanks to my fellow Poetry panelists, Kelly, Elaine, Bruce, and Laura. Whew, they are smart as hell and have excellent taste, each and every one of them. We now pass the poetry shortlist on to John, Gregory, Sylvia, Jama, and Liz.

2½). Finding and then catching up with my best friend from ninth grade on Facebook. She hasn’t changed a bit and is like a big ‘ol ray of sunshine.

3). I’m a bit slow in getting to it, but “Viva la Vida, or Death and All His Friends.”

The sun'll come out tomorrow4). I’m a bit slow in getting to it, but “30 Rock.” I gulped down Season One in a few days this week. I love it so much I’m gonna take it behind the middle school and . . . well, if you’re a fan, you know the rest.

5). My four-year-old and I came up with our own secret handshake.


7). The Rumi poem Andi/cloudscome shared at a wrung sponge this week. I’ve been thinking a lot since I read it about how things in this world blend. Not to mention the Muppetized “Jabberwocky” that Kelly Fineman shared. Just…just…surreal. Who knew that existed?

BONUS: I happen to think that Sun Pours Down Like Honey, which I stumbled upon this week, is the best blog title I’ve ever heard, with apologies to Brimstone Soup. We’ll let Eisha keep Brimstone as her favorite, but I claim Sun Pours Down Like Honey. See? I said it again, ’cause it’s so lovely. Sun pours down like honey. Ah.

Another bonus, in case you can’t get that Whitney Houston song out of your head and because my adoration for Chris Martin seems to grow daily and because who doesn’t need a little revolution on a Sunday morning? Coldplay detractors, or People Whom I Don’t Understand, look away.

* * * * * * *

What are YOUR kicks this week?

30 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #96: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Mashanda Scott”

  1. Some of my kicks from the past week:

    1. Toasting sparkling grape juice to the New Year with my family. We are only all together during Christmas and New Year’s!

    2. The New Year, in general. A clean slate. A fresh start. 😀 Yippee!

    3. All the authors of the Class of 2k9 and their books. :o)

    4. The Cybils shortlists. Even though they are bad for my wallet. They make want to go out and buy all the books that are finalists!

    5. Still being on holiday break. No work. Lots of time to sleep, read books, spend leisurely time online. Lots of good food to eat. Woot!

    6. I finally watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 with a good friend. I think the four lead actresses are GORGEOUS.

    7. This. I really like the coffee-drinking dog/wolf by Mashanda Scott because I love coffee and the dog/wolf reminds me of werewolves. I *heart* werewolves. I really like how you two share your kicks every week and readers share theirs too. It’s so good to start a new week a positive note. And this is my first time to share kicks. Heeheehee.

  2. Happy New Year!

    Love that wolfie guy with the bow tie drinking coffee. And polka dot tablecloths are my favorite!

    Good to hear from Eisha again; glad you had safe travels! Handy Manny cutie pie :)!!And what a great pic of the 7-Imp beauties and those munchkins.

    Hello, Tarie!! So good to hear your kicks :).

    As for me,

    1. Had a nice holiday, and enjoyed my blog break! Relaxing, delicious, inspiring.

    2. Got some new headphones for Christmas and am lovin’ Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs. I like some of the outtakes more than the released versions of his songs.

    3. Noshing like crazy — dim sum, lunch with writer friend (great curried chicken salad), French restaurant, new Italian place.

    4. A student from Sweden commented on my blog! I just wish I knew Swedish so I could read his.

    5. Gearing up for Hawaii Month on alphabet soup. Coconuts, palm trees, hula, and old friends are involved.

    6. Shelf-love! DH put up new pantry shelves and yet another bookcase for me. Feels so good to have a place to put stuff.

    7. Saw “Dear Frankie,” and loved it.

    A clean slate, a fresh start. Hope 2009 is a good year for everyone!

  3. Do you suppose all wolves would be civilized if they drank coffee? Or does the civilizing effect only work on addicts like me? (I’m also intrigued by how she has so many cool styles to play in. The guitar player looks eerily like my husband in his youth.)

    My biggest kick this week is how many bloggers (including 7-Imps!) have responded to the call to help out Flying Horse Farms. I’ve been adding links to the original post, but I’m going to pull them all out and feature them in a new one, along with some fabulous pictures Emily sent of her riding and caring for horses.

    My other kicks would be: my son submitted three college apps (hallelujah) and my daughter and I watched lots of freaky cool animal footage in her Planet Earth DVD series while we munched on the homemade Chex mix she had baked. Man, the original stuff is greasy and yummy and perfect for TV munching. Also, the Planet Earth “behind the scenes” bits were hilarious and fascinating. Who knew wildlife photographers had such a wry sense of humor? As they struggle through the ice fields, a cameraman turns to the lens and says in a dry British voice: “The original explorers named their sleds things like Intrepid. I’ve named mine: &$#@!!!

  4. Happy 2009~ Mashanda has a great sense of funny, that wolf drinking coffee. I love the umbrella…appropriate for herre the last few days. First the snow, now the flooding (thankfully not a issue at our house but others…)
    Eisha, what a great couple of weeks for you! Jules, love the secret hand shake and how lucky you were to be on the poety panel. Tarie, welcome, and Jama, you remind me of a shelf we need to get put up.
    My kicks:
    1. The new year. It is a fresh start.
    2. A project I am working on to submit for a juried art show (my first). Just organizing and reveiwing my haiku has been fun.
    3. No Country for Old Men. I was prepared to not like it but was surprised at how much I got caught up in it. So intense!
    4. An impromptu babysitting gig with Chuck and our our almost three year old granddaughter, chuck spent a lot of time protecting us from monsters.
    5. The NFPB panel and our shortlist of books. The judges have their work cut out for them.
    6. Talked with my friend from high school. Her daughter has been accepted to Lesley College in Boston.
    7. Poignant kick: a pedicure and time with my friend who leaves tomorrow with a moving van to Arizona, thus becoming a snow bird.
    Here’s to a great week and a great year.

  5. Hi, everyone. So glad you like Mashanda and her distinguished canine (“dog” is in the title of the .JPG she sent originally, and her Flickr page says “Civilized Dog,” but I guess you can hold out hope it’s still a wolf. Why not, right?).

    Tarie, welcome again! So good to see your kickin’ kicks. I agree that kickin’ is a great way to start the week. Congrats on time off and lots of time for sleeping and reading — and, best of all, getting to see your family.

    Jama! My, sounds like you ate very well over the holidays. Yum. We missed you but are glad you got a break. And what is “Dear Frankie”?

    Sara, my husband (I guess I’ve used his name before, der. And, you know, our domain name does begin with “blaine.org”…) Right, so Blaine and I have watched the behind-the-scenes footage of some of Planet Earth, too. We need to finish the DVDs, but, yes, I remember those Planet Earth folks being very funny. …and, Sara, I also like that “Summer” image of Mashanda. She tells us a lot about those characters in such a small space. And captures the feeling of summer well.

    Jone, if the zombies ever come, I’m coming to your place so Chuck can protect me from them. Continued luck on kick #2, Jone, and sorry your friend’s moving away. Have fun with her today.

    Happy new year, all!

  6. P.S. Eisha, that video is very funny. Yes, I like his mullet, and I want a magic, floating chair.

    The words “literal video” made me think of those SNL skits with The DeMarco Brothers. There’s one where they audition for Paul Simon (as dancers), and they interpret literally the lyrics of some of his songs from “Graceland.” It’s terribly funny. Can’t find it online. Ah well.

  7. Thanks for all the love and support! 😉

    your pal,

  8. Happy Anniversary! Such a noble thing to do, featuring new talent, especially these days when they could use all the help they can get.
    Mashanda looks so promising and talented as she searches for her visual identity.

  9. When did wolves become so civilized? In the next installment is he asking for Grey Poupon?

    BTW— absolutely love the mixed beatnik.

    1) HBO’s True Blood series about vampires; based on the Sookie Stackhouse series.

    2) Foggy mornings for great black & white photographs

    3) Pasta Trio

    4) Celebrity Expose’s fine investigative reporting (insert eye roll)

    5) Year of the Ox

    6) Restaurants that serve water withOUT ice

    7) Semicolonoscopies

  10. 1. FROST/NIXON – wowza. Best acting I’ve seen in, like, forever. Love-love-loved it.
    2. LAMENT by Maggie Stiefvater. Color me happy.
    3. Two shout-outs in one 7-Imp post. I’m overwhelmed.
    4. Bought GRACELING after seeing it on the CYBILS short list (I’ll be reading it with/before Eisha!)
    5. Lovely email from writer friends. I love my writer friends.
    6. New story idea percolating. Still sooper-sekrit for now, though
    7. Rediscovered my October Project obsession. I wish they hadn’t broken up, but man, do I love their work.

  11. Elio, any time you want to stop by and update us with new illustrations, we’d happily post.

    Thanks, Douglas. I hope everyone saw your Dinothesaurus sneak peek on Friday.

    Jeffrey, I love you something fierce for putting semicolonoscopies. My inner grammar geek did a coffee spit-take. Have you been doing grammar surgery of some sort in your life? And, er, who is the mixed beatnik? I’m slow this morning. Less than half of my mug of coffee thus far this morning. Not enough to make sense of things.

    Kelly, blast from the past — I used to listen to the October Project, too. Wild. I forgot all about them. And, hey, I remember when Maggie stopped by here. Isn’t Lament about homicidal fairies?

    Must. see. Frost/Nixon.

  12. Happy one-year anniversary, Seven Kicks and several kickers!

    Howdy, Mashanda. Thanks for sharing your art with us. I like the happy wolfie puppy.

    eisha: Welcome back! Glad that you had happy holidays. I am drinking Kern’s for Kids strawberry banana 100% juice right now, and Hanny Manny is on the carton. Tell your nephew that he gets points from me for wearing argyle.

    jules: That sounds like a great way to kick off the new year. I’m watching the Tears for Fears Literal video now. “Check out my cool new sweater.” Hee hee. I really like the Literal video for Take on Me by A-ha. Have you heard the song Like Blood, Like Honey by Holly Brook? That is also the title of her first album, which is fantastic from start to finish. And if the zombies come, just grab Soulless by Christopher Golden and you’ll know what to do.

    Tarie: Best wishes to the Class of 2k9!

    Jama: Aloha.

    Sara: I doubt that Gmork drinks coffee. Woo hoo for Flying Horse Farms, and good luck to your son with his applications!

    Jone: Good luck with the art show. When is it?

    Jeffrey: I have yet to read the Sookie books. I’ve meant to for years.

    Kelly: Per-percolate that secret story forumla!

    My seven kicks from the past week:

    1) Best Books of 2008 list
    2) Costumes (I had a fitting on Monday, and the pieces are BEAUTIFUL – especially the dresses they made from scratch!)
    3) The new issue of readergirlz
    4) Moderating
    5) Taking it easy
    6) Setting the stage (Our set is GORGEOUS. Extremely impressive.)
    7) Actually being social

  13. Eisha, thanks for sharing the literal version of “Head Over Heels.” That was a kick in itself. Jules, I refuse to click on that Whitney Houston link. If you were TadMack, I would suspect you were trying to tweak my nose after putting ABBA in your head. I want to see that SNL skit where “Graceland” is interpreted literally.

    I was too sick with fevers and chills to write kicks last week. That’s pretty sick! I’m better now, thank goodness. Here goes:

    1. Despite so much having been cancelled and postponed, friends ventured through the snow to have Christmas dinner with us.

    2. I’ve been having such a good time with the doll-making books Making Flower Children, by Sybille Adolphi and Feltrcraft by Petra Berger that I spluged and ordered Adolphi’s
    Im Märchenland (In Fairyland). I hope that the patterns will be clearer than my rusty understanding of German. Fortunately, my mom and a few friends are fluent in German.

    3. After a couple of postponements, I’m finally having a meeting with the woman who will film my promotional storytelling video.

    4. My husband gave me a blank ournal illustrated by Nikki McClure (it’s called Things to Make and Do), and then added illustrations of his own. My favorite is his sketch of Big Ben and other buildings with the caption, “Until we explore London together.” I told him that I want to go to England for my 40th birthday. I’ve been wanting to go all over England ever since I was six years old, but I’m not much of a traveler,and so I haven’t made the actual planning a priority. I’m an English major! I need to visit the Lake Country, the Yorkshire moors and Cornwall at least once in my life.

    5. School resumes for my daughter tomorrow. With sickness, a week of snow days and two weeks of vacation, it’s been FAR TOO LONG.

    6. I made three times as much with my storytelling business this year as I did last year– but still made so little that I didn’t have to pay any taxes.

    7. Recovering from a long spate of colds and coughs is a kick.

  14. Ah me, ah my… nothing like reading 7 Kicks times however many 7 Impers have posted to start off a week feeling already fulfilled, eh? I feel like one of those bloated uncles in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, sitting around the living room and patting my stomach just before nodding off. Or something like that. Heh.

    The wolf-dog is great, and who’s to say he’s not some genetic hybrid? I mean, he’s drinking COFFEE. But I seriously heart the umbrella. Talk about singin’ in the rain, as I shall be in a moment…

    Great to see you back, Eisha, and glad it was a good (however exhausting) holiday! And also happy to see the photo of you and Jules together with the littles — not least, because you BOTH look like Goddesses of Good News in this picture!

    Some kicks:

    1 – New Year’s visit from a dear friend we haven’t seen in ten years. Good gosh, that feels like about five kicks right there…
    2 – 1/1/09 dinner: shrimp, lightly coated w/olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled on skewers juuuust long enough, plus greens and black-eyed peas and cornbread and chocolate mousse w/raspberry sauce for dessert, kickin’ friends and family and conversation… Talk about being in a sunny-field frame of mind for the New Year.
    3- That’s Entertainment: Love that movie. When we went to Borders to indulge in their DVD sale (and a gift card), was thrilled that The Missus agreed w/me. A lot of it is LOL material because it’s just plain funny, but there’s also, well, smile-out-loud stuff like the Kelly/umbrella number.
    4. Geek thrill: FINALLY pounding into oblivion a persistent pernicious virus on The Stepdaughter’s PC. This is why people bring their computers to me, which feels great to have confirmed even though I sometimes wish computers were self-healing.
    5. Sara’s books-for-kids-who-love-horses campaign. Amazing how it’s seemed to bring the horse-lovers out of the woodwork; it’s like discovering the existence of a previously unsuspected cult. Or, all right, a little like one of those body-snatchers movies, too. Still…
    6. We didn’t get to do our annual 12/23 dinner date this year, and we also had to postpone the postponement scheduled for last night. BUT I’ve decided that a kick in the bank can be as good as one already spent, so to speak. So that’s on the kicks list even though it won’t be cashed in for a few weeks.
    7. Culinary guilty pleasure: Firehouse Subs. OMG. One of the few fast-food franchises whose actual food puts their photos of it to shame.

    …and hey, I also think it’s pretty kicky to have TWO Cybils judges hosting this joint, wot?!

  15. Eisha, in return for rellies maybe you can explain hair stick to me. Glad you had a lovely break (except for the cold, ick).

    Jules, your NYE sounds wonderful.

    Sara, I agree the Planet Earth behind the scenes bits were fascinating – I think that’s the one where you see that poor guy living in a hut in the Himalayas on his own for WEEKS trying to a good shot of a snow leopard, and it not happening. Well, there’s a kick right away, that there’s people willing to do that to show us cool animals and that it’s not me sitting a freezing hut.

    1. Having a wonderful holiday and making it back again safely! We ended up travelling through Germany into Austria, on to Venice and back home through France. None of my fears about being snowed in or the performance of our small and aged car came to pass.
    2. I’ll try to blog more later this week, but one lovely event was that it started to snow just before the fireworks in Venice on New Year’s Eve. Very pretty! And lots of fun walking home in the snow, I haven’t walked around when it’s snowing like that before.
    3. And because no list would be complete without mentioning food, we ate lots of good food on the holiday like potato dumplings and Gluhwein and champagne and delicious French bread.
    4. Going further back in time, we had some local work peeps around for drinks Christmas Eve, and my first attempt at cooking a steamed pudding (sticky toffee) in a bowl with greaseproof paper was a success
    5. Our local freerange chicken farm did very well at Christmas – it was very festive queuing with people there to pick up their geese and turkeys and chickens. And there was a cheese seller halfway along the line that was doing well too – I helped out by buying some yummy cheddar in a black wax and some soft goats cheese (OK food has taken over my list once again. Seriously, I’m actually not that greedy)
    6. A lot of the washing and tidying that is necessary after a holiday has been done, which makes me feel more organised for the start of a new work year
    7. I’m enjoying a nice glass of French red wine I brought back from France and catching up on everyone’s best book lists of 2008, while planning my own list.

    Happy 2009 to everyone!

  16. Happy New Year, all!! My kicks:

    1. Cybils shortlists are up, and are fantastic.
    2. I saw lots of family members and friends over Christmas week (and surviving various snow-related travel difficulties). Plus I got to see lots of the kids in my life reading books on and around Christmas. Bliss!
    3. I spent a quiet, relaxing four-day weekend back at home with Mheir over New Year’s weekend. Wine, movies, books, chocolate… Plus he got me…
    4. … a chocolate truffle-filled book for Christmas (you have to see it to believe it), and a bamboo tray specially designed for reading books in the tub. And a Red Sox mug. It’s so nice to be understood.

    And really, that’s quite enough kicks for anyone. Happy New Year!

  17. Welcome back Eisha! Happy anniversary kickers! or is that kickees? kickapoos? You always give me such a lift in any case. I so look forward to all these happy things every week. I love the umbrella happy dance this week. And what a thrill to see my name mentioned in your kicks! 🙂 I am another one delighted with Sara’s Horse Farm camp library project. Brilliant!

    My kicks:
    1. Making gluten free chocolate chip cookies with my 6 yo on Sunday afternoon.
    2. Knitting a navy blue tie for my 21 yo hard working son with a full time job.
    3. A 3 yo who still loves his 2 hour nap.
    4. Reading Mary Pope Osborne’s “Midnight on the Moon” with the short boys at bedtime.
    5. Playing with Sara Midda’s “How to Build an A” and the accompanying shape blocks. Cool Beans!
    6. The Cybils short lists – my reading for the next couple seasons!
    7. Going back to school tomorrow and getting back on schedule. Enough with the lounging already!

  18. Little Willow, your best books list is, as usual, way impressive. And, as always, BREAK A LEG. I just saw some good theatre with my girls. Woot!

    Farida, you already know that I’m okay with you putting ABBA in *my* head, right? And, yes, I wish I could find that DeMarco Brothers “Graceland” bit. It was so funny. All I can find of them online is one with Bon Jovi, them auditioning for Bon Jovi, and it’s only mildly funny. I’ll keep looking.

    Congrats on feeling better, making a living as a storyteller, and progress on your promotional video, which I’m looking forward to seeing. Extra special emphasis on the feeling-better bit, since sick sucks.

    John, Firehouse Subs must not be in the South, but yum to their photos. I’ve gotta see the movie in kick #3. Never have. Can you believe it? And I love kick #5. If there are gonna be cults, I think that’d be a good one. Oh, and seeing a friend you haven’t seen in ten years? Excellent.

    Emmaco, holy….wow…just…just….wow. Your kicks are delicious and wonderful. All of them. Where do I begin? Germany, Austria, France, VENICE. And really good French bread. And goat cheese. Mmm. I’m glad you had such fun and safe travels with fireworks + snow.

    Jen, you WILL be posting about this chocolate truffle-filled wonder, yes? Must see. And, yes, sounds like Mheir’s the only guy for you forever and ever amen for all eternity; he gets you.

    Andi, I wish my three-year-old still liked naps. Congrats. Good luck returning to work; I’m glad you enjoyed your lounging while it lasted.

  19. Farida: Oh, yikes! Feel better. Rest up. Drink plenty of liquids.

    JES: Gene Kelly was brilliant. Singin’ in the Rain is my favorite movie musical. When it rains, I sing in it . . . though I sing all of the time, no matter what the weather. 🙂

    emmaco: Your travels sound fun. Mmm, cheese.

    Jen: Yay for relatives, and yay for bookish folks.

    cloudsome: Hurrah for happy things and upbeat kickers! Mmm, gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, those sound delicious. I had some vegan gummy bears today.

    Jules: Ooh, what did you see? Thank you re: list and re: limb.

  20. Tarie, thanks for kicking with us! And yay for the Class of 2K9 and the Cybils Shortlists!

    jama, noshing like crazy is what the holidays are all about! And I’m jealous of your new shelves.

    Sara, best of luck to your son, and you MUST tell me what the photographer really named his sled. No, really. Tell me.

    jone, I hope those pics you just posted on facebook are the ones you’re submitting with your haiku. They are gorgeous!

    jules, I remember that skit! Hilarious! Also: “Business in front, party in back…”

    Hey, elio and douglas! Thanks for dropping by, and Happy New Year!

    Jeffrey, I’ve been wondering about that series. Thanks for the rec!

    Kelly, I liked Lament too – good stuff. We’ll have to chat about Graceling when I get to it.

    Little Willow, sounds like your production is going to be a pretty one. Break a leg! And yeah, the “Take on Me” literal video is hilarious too. “Pipe wrench fight!”

    Farida, so sorry you’ve been sick – sounds like you had it BAD. That journal sounds like the sweetest gift ever – maybe you oughta think about keeping your man around for a bit longer.

    JES, congrats on conquering the evil virus. You are a PC jedi master! And yu-u-u-um for black-eyed peas and greens.

    emmaco, sorry, there’s probably a proper name for them but I don’t know it. A hair stick is a shortened chopstick-like thing used for holding one’s hair in a bun. Mine is purple and flowerdy, and utterly perfect. And as usual, your kicks have made me very hungry – lordy, that cheddar sounds beautiful, as does the sticky pudding thing.

    Jen, that Mheir of yours is something else, too. What wonderful gifts! And what a blissful weekend.

    cloudscome, we love your visits too! And I especially love that you use the phrase “short boys” to distinguish your younger ones.

  21. Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary to 7Imps!

    I LOVE the civilized dog/wolf/hybrid drinking coffee, he looks so dapper and charming in such a cute geeky way.

    Eisha, your nephew is adorable! Glad you had great holidays.

    Julese, your girls are adorable! That is such an awesome photo of all four of you.

    Jama – mmmmm, dim sum. Yum!

    Jone – love all your photos of the snow! (Of course, we may get more since its snowing big fat cornflake size snowflakes right this second.)

    Little Willow – yaay for the great costumes! I thought of you this week as I put some pics up of 2 of our regular squirrell visitors.

    JES – ANYTHING with Gene Kelly is almost always loads of fun! And yaay to catching up with old friends.

    emmaco – Wow! Your description of New Year’s in Venice just reaffirmed a long-held belief of mine that Venice is a place where magic happens. It sounds like it was breathtaking!

    cloudscome – that Rumi poem is lovely.

    I was awol last week, so here are this weeks:

    1. The New Year.
    2. Celebrating New Year’s with the BF and friends by playing Guitar Hero and SceneIt! We had never played before, and they were really into it, and we all laughed a lot!
    3. Getting spa gift certificates from the BF for Christmas. Ahhhhh, I can feel the relaxation already.
    4. LittleBigPlanet, a PS3 game the BF got so we would have a game to play together. We laugh the whole time, its really fun and quite clever!
    5. So many awesome dogs (and cats, and bunnies) got adopted over the holidays at the shelter where we volunteer. It was nice to know they were at HOME.
    6. A one- week vacation is coming up in two weeks! Yay!
    7. 7Imps and all the Kickers! I am always smiling on Sundays knowing I can come and read other’s happy things. It does make the week start right!

    Happy New Year!

  22. Seriously, great stuff from Mashanda!
    I love her to pieces. She is an unstoppable force.

  23. Ahhh, there’s nothing like a three-year-olds. . .

    1. My naked three-year-old running away from me to avoid getting dressed and “tooting” with every step

    2. Celebrating Ma’s 85th birthday with her favorite childhood birthday meal: baked beans, hot dogs, and banana splits—the baked beans tasted like ginger snaps (and the baked beans had nothing to do with the tooting 3-year-old, although, I expect more tomorrow)

    3. My 3-year-old insists he is a giant squid, and my 5-year-old is the abominable snow monster. . . no, a T-rex (and I simply cannot take any more roaring!)

    4. That my local library is part of the Allegheny County Library Association, through which I have access to anything I could possibly want (except, apparently, anything by Grace Lin???)

    5. Teaching my 5-year-old how to do the Cuban Shuffle and the Cowgirl Twist

    6. That there are people like Feliciano Dos Santos in the world (http://www.massukos.org/)

    7. That 7-Imp is so packed with irresistible nuggets that it takes me a couple hours to read up on Sundays

  24. Little Willow, to answer your question, we saw “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the wonderful Nashville Children’s Theatre (oldest and most kick-ass children’s theatre in the country — isn’t it the oldest? I think so, but don’t quote me on that). Anyway, it was good. Lacked momentum at times, but you know, come to think of it, that’d be a hard story to adapt to the stage. They had their work cut out for them.

    RM, happy upcoming vacation! My husband ordered Guitar Hero. I’ll probably be all thumbs.

    Kathe, will you teach us how to do the Cowgirl Twist? …There is also lots of roaring around here, as my girls have always been and still are obsessed with dinosaurs. I hear your pain re the roaring.

  25. Jules & Eisha,

    I haven’t been around much lately–too much holiday cooking, eating, imbibing of the bubbly, and celebrating with friends and family.

    Your daughters look mighty adorable, Jules. I look back wistfully at my Sara’s early years. What great days those were!


    1. A friend sent us the following link to Robin Williams standup comedy act in London. What a riot!

    2. We spent a few wonderful days with close friends in New Hampshire–celebrating the New Year, eating delicious food, telling stories, and doing lots of laughing.

    3. Met with a good friend who also writes poetry yesterday at Borders. We chatted, drank tea and coffee, and I bought lots of poetry books and some CD’s.

    Happy New Year!

  26. Oh, Elaine, thanks for that link. I think Robin Williams is some kind of a genius.

    Glad you had a great holiday and have more poetry books!

  27. OK that makes more sense than what I was thinking, Eisha, which was like a glue stick that coloured your hair or something 🙂

  28. This is my first kick entry…better late than never, huh??!?!
    Number 1 kick: My family returned this past Sunday from their week-long journey to NJ. I stayed behind because of work and missed them terribly.
    Kick #2: On the bright side, while they were gone, I was able to reunite via Facebook with my dear friend, who’s name is very familiar to you all…Jules. I didn’t realize how much I missed talking with her until now. And, because of her…
    My third kick: …I am now a fan of 7-Imp and all the glorious things that she and Eisha post. I am amazed at their knack for finding talent and sharing their thoughts with everyone in such a clever way.
    The fourth kick: I am thanking The Man Upstairs for my family’s health and well-being, especially after hearing some tragic news about my husband’s family this week.
    # 5’s kick: I’m still laughing about the Tears for Fears video spoof. I LOVE that type of silliness!
    6th kick: Kind words and kudos at work given by my coworkers reinforces the fact that my decision to make a small career change was totally worth it! It’s the little things, really!
    last kick for now: The sunrises I see each (clear) morning outside my window before I go to work make me smile. There ain’t nothing like it during winter’s cold days.

  29. Hi, Angela! So glad you came kickin’…Late is okay, too. Sorry to hear about tragic family news, but I’m glad your sweet baby girl and hubby are home safe and sound. And I’ve seen one of your sunset photos. It’s pretty breathtaking. You’ve got a good view.

  30. […] My husband and I watched The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Remember what Eisha said about it in January? She was […]

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