Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Not THAT manic

Monday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"Just another Manic Monday. Wish it were Sunday. Cuz, thats my fun day" -- The Bangles.

Playing a little catch-up today. It feels like Monday today, even though it's really Wednesday. I think it's because it's rainy & dreary ... and because my schedule is incredibly packed & I've got very little "wiggle room." That being said, I still have time to blog & to watch a video on YouTube, so it can't be all that bad, now can it? *grin*

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Paxil Back

Now that I've learned the relatively simple "embed" command, I can post fun little videos from You Tube. Here is one that makes me dance ... and LAUGH! Brilliant parody!

Out in the rain

Sunday's quote for A Fancy Word for Simple:

A rainy day comes as a relief. Rain is your pass to stay inside, to retreat. It's cozy and safe, hanging out on this side of the gray. But then the sun comes out in the afternoon, and there's disappointment, even fear, because the world will now resume, and it expects your participation. People will get dressed and leave their houses and go places and do things. Stepping out into the big, whirling, jarringly sunny world--a world that just a few minutes ago was so confined and still and soft and understated, and refreshingly gloomy--seems overwhelming.

-Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Tonight it's supposed to rain. A lot. And I'm going right out in it. There are times that a rainy day does seem as though it's a free pass ... but for me, it's more of a celebration to see Mother Nature in action. Sometimes, it's a gentle, nurturing rain ... other times, it's a violent thunderstorm. I don't mind being out in either one of those scenarios ... or any of the one that fall between.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cutting myself some slack

Saturday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Love is saying "I feel differently" instead of, "You're Wrong".

Ah, this is so true. I would go further and say that love is remembering to say that, and being able to choke it out, instead of taking the easy route & lashing out. Love can be an awful lot of work, sometimes. When we're hurt or when we feel attacked, it's all too easy to lash out. Quite the effective shortcut, venting our anger and also pushing the other person away so we don't have to feel vulnerable. When I have the ability to do the truly loving gestures, I feel very good about myself ... and I wish I had that ability 24/7, but it just isn't so. Luckily, I have a life-partner who has the capacity to forgive & to cut me some slack once in a while.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Decluttering my brain

Friday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don’t know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do.

-Christopher Reeve

I have been a fan of Christopher Reeve for many, many years. This quote just cinches it for me. I think it can be so hard to shut out "the noise and clutter". Maybe that's why I am such a fan of decluttering -- it's a process I try to do almost every day, lest my life become overtaken by miscellaneous garbage. Noise is another one -- it doesn't take much to throw me off. When I meditate, I try to have white noise on, to filter out all the extraneous ones. It's hard enough to declutter my brain to listen to that internal voice!

Along the way...

Thursday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. -- Lewis Caroll

I almost always know where I am going, which means I also need to how I'm going to get there. But when I have a hazy, ill-conceived idea of where I want to wind up, it is a distinct pleasure to meander around until I find my way. I've learned that I can find all kinds of interesting places on the journey -- hell, the journey is some of the best part. Just not the bits that leave me stuck in a dull airport, squished into hard plastic bucket seats, compelled to remain at the gate. The rest of the trip, though, can be pretty cool.

Doing backflips of joy

I got the course catalog for our local junior college ... and flipped through it just in case my newly-beloved medieval long sword class was in it. My expectation was that it would not resume until the fall semester, but, hey, it can't hurt. WOO HOO!!! It IS held over the summer! And I think I'll be able to make almost all of the classes! I am so thrilled! I'm off to put the dates on my calendar & to put the registration information in my sword folder. AWESOME!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A third option .... and my real world decision.

After more reflection on TV husbands, I came up with a third possibility: Nick Knight (Nicholas de Brabant) from Forever Knight. I mean, it might be dangerous, being married to a vampire, but again, just like I'd mentioned with Jarod & Malcolm Reynolds, I've got my sights set on someone who is pursued (in this case, haunted by his own past), fighting for the forces of good, and always on the run. The interesting part about all of this, is that I am apparently looking for a paladin ("any determined advocate or defender of a noble cause") as a mate -- and I've already married one! I am nothing if not consistent.

Missing out

Wednesday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. - Ruth E. Renkl

Wasted time is just terrible. One of my favorite lines from The Phantom Tollbooth is "It's bad enough wasting time without killing it!" I think there are some unhappy moments that just simply cannot be avoided. Our unhappiness represents a sense of loss, and it's okay to sit with that for a while and allow ourselves to adjust to our new life. After a while, though, it's imperative that we move along, rather than risk wasting whole chunks of our lives. There are wonderful things out in the world. It'd be a shame to miss them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

TV Husband Challenge

3/20/2007 - Trendy Tuesday TV Husband Challenge

The women over at A Fancy Word for Simple asked us to consider which man we'd pick from a television series to be our husband.

I'm not very good at this "imagine if..." type of game. I'm very imaginative, but it's hard for me to actually go along with the limitless fantasizing that most people seem to do so very well. So, it took me the better part of a day to come up with an answer, but I was able to pick two:

(1) Jarod from The Pretender, played by Michael T. Weiss

(2) Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, played by Nathan Fillion

At first glance, these two characters seem to have very little in common (aside from being enjoyable to look at). One is on the run from a force of evil ... okay, wait, BOTH of them are on the run from Bad People. One of them is unlucky in love. Hm. Okay, well, technically both of them are. One of them secretly rights wrongs -- uh, yeah, both of them are pretty focused on the doing what's right in the long run. Okay, so I guess I'm into a righteous, lonelyhearted man who's on the run. I think it speaks to my desire to join in the fight for what's right, to soothe troubled hearts, and to engage in the excitement of the chase, the cheap thrills of outwitting the Bad Guy. So, if I'm ever imported into TV land, I hope I wind up with one of those roles. I think it'd be tremendously fun. *grin*

Monday, March 19, 2007

*dancing around gleefully*

Oh, yes! Can you feel it? What a rush! It's as simple a breathing sometimes. I had a moment tonight, in sword class, where my brain and body were in complete synch. Simultaneously, they both said, "Oh, of COURSE!" and WHAMMO!, I exploded into action. I don't know if it looked like that to anyone who may have been watching, but I am telling you - for just a split second, I had it all together. It was beautiful. I rushed home to show Ken, after promising not to hurt him, and again -- WHAMMO! Somehow, my body just knows this move. I learned it less than 2 hours ago ... and my body responds as if it's completely natural. I can't explain it. I don't even know if I want to. All I know is that it feels like something I was born to do. Now, I just have to get myself in increasingly better shape, and say it with me: Practice, practice, practice.

Everyday excitement

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you never thought could be yours.

-Audrey Hepburn

I have to admit, I am very, VERY rarely bored with life. There's just too much fun stuff going on, everyday type stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love the excitement of travel & special occasions, but those don't come along every day, nor should they! Maybe it's because I have thrown myself into work that I believe in ... or that I have so many interests and such wonderful friends, I can hardly imagine having a dull life!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Earning the future

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

In old age you must put up with the FACE, the FRIENDS, the HEALTH, and the CHILDREN you have EARNED. -Fay Weldon.

I think I'm doing a credible job earning some pretty nice payoffs in my old age. I like my face, especially as it changes and creates new elements when time goes by ... My friends are just awesome! I am so glad to have cultivated some amazing connections with such magnificent people ... I am making my health more of a priority by constantly updating my eating patterns & working harder and harder for that cardiovascular rush ... I'm investing in time with my niece and nephew, such amazing children, I am delighted to be part of their development ... so all in all, I think I'm earning myself a very nice future!

Cultural ties

Saturday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

I've probably got some Irish blood in me somewhere. I'm a northern European mutt. I can definitely trace large segments back to Scandinavian & Germanic roots -- some English -- and the rest, who knows? I don't have any particular cultural ties, but I think it's just wonderful for people to be able to associate with their heritage & have familial and cultural bonds with others who place high value on those beliefs and traditions. I think it's one of the reasons I love Christmastime -- it's a worldwide celebration, lasting for almost a whole month, spanning Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Epiphany! EVERYbody gets in on the celebration!

Life is sweeter

Friday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Unbeknownst to most historians, Einstein started down the road of professional basketball before an ankle injury diverted him to science. -- Gary Larson

Ah, poor Einstein. *grin* And yet ... lucky us! I like Gary Larson's wacky viewpoints, and the interesting life lesson of freak occurances sending us down different paths than we had originally intended. At a very young age, I wanted to be a pastry chef. While I was in middle school I even "apprenticed" in a bakery -- that's right, I got up at about 4 am on the weekends, and walked a mile to the bakery and started pitching in, making bear claws, sticky buns, cookies, cinnamon rolls... there was just one problem. It was awfully repetitive and didn't leave much room for creativity. So I got hooked on cake decorating. Now THAT was much more fun! I had so many options, and it gave me so much enjoyment. I started doing it for pay, for family friends, even! The income was much more gratifying than the money I earned babysitting, somehow. I hit a huge obstacle, though. I couldn't make roses on those stupid nailheads. I tried. I tried for a very long time. I got help from a professional cake decorator. Somehow, my hands just wouldn't work as needed. So, I hung up my apron and put away my decorating bags, and I looked into other options. I have to say that it's a good thing I did, because I absolutely love my career. It gives me a completely different way to make people's days brighter ... and life sweeter.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

One "Life Machine" Free to a Good Home

Thursday's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

“Life Machine: This is a machine that takes your life and does all the hard parts and leaves you all the parts you enjoy and almost everyone discovers they’re not the parts you’d think they were at first glance.”

-Story People / Brian Andreas

Yes, this is from a couple of days ago.The quote is quite apropos, because I have been having an extraordinarily busy life these past few days. In fact, as friends ask about availability, I am realizing just how full my schedule is. For example, I have tentative (and sometimes definite) plans every weekend through Mothers' Day. If you note the fact that we will certainly do SOMEthing with one or both of our mothers, then even that is a "tentative" plan, which means my next "free" (or as Karen would put it "jammie") weekend would be the first weekend in June. Yes, June. And it's only halfway through March. The kinds of things that are keeping me busy are all wonderful things ... both for myself and for my loved ones ... so I'm not complaining, I'm just trying to wrap my head about this Rubik's cube life I've suddenly fostered. If I had a "Life Machine" I don't know how much I'd actually be willing to surrender. It's similar to the movie "Click," which got some horrible ratings, but did deliver a poignant overall message: you cannot skip past the hard parts in life, because they are vitally connected to all the important parts, too. I might let the "Life Machine" have a good chunk of the cleaning -- definitely the litter box -- in my home, but there's a certain amount of satisfaction and comforting ritual in doing dishes & laundry, for me. I don't think I'd want to lose the sense of accomplishment of paying off a bill in full ... the sense of excitement of digging out decorations from the crawlspace under the stair ... or the sense of righteousness of pulling weeds out from the rosebed, so the roses can shine through. So, if I ever get a "Life Machine," I'll let you all know -- someone else can have it.

Dog's and Cat's Diaries

You've probably seen this one before ... but it still makes me giggle:

Excerpts from a Dog's Daily Diary:

8:00am Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30am A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40am Walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30am Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00pm Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00pm Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00pm Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00pm Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00pm Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00pm Wow! Watched TV with my master! My favorite thing!

11:00pm Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary:

Day 683 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and myself are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape...

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the floor. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. The audacity!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices last night. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released -- and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded! The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. The captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe... for now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

If I won the lottery...

...I'd be a pretty boring winner. I've had people ask me this type of question before, and I really struggle with it! I would, in all honesty, start with paying off my debt. I'd sock some away for later -- a retirement fund and/or a savings account. Only then would I start having fun with it. I would not quit my job, but if it was a LOT of money, I might encourage my sweetie to stop working. MIGHT. I think I'd go a bit insane if I knew he was home all the live-long day doing absolutely nothing productive. I just feel it's so vital to contribute to the world in a meaningful fashion ... I can't imagine just frittering away my days for weeks on end. I'd be so bored. If I won the lottery, my family and friends would be just thrilled. I think I'd see if I could buy a jet & hire a pilot, and then just fly people to all kinds of interesting destinations, to see one another. Yeah, I think most of my money would go to travel. And I'd donate time on the plane to needy causes -- organ transplants, kids with terminal illnesses, things like that. That sounds like fun & rewarding. That's my kind of life -- fun, yet rewarding!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday's Challenge from A Fancy Word for Simple

Scavenger Hunt

Capture the here-and-now with a few photographs that fit the following categories:

1. A sign of spring

2. A meal you’re about to eat

3. Something red

4. Self-portrait

5. Something that makes you smile

Monday, March 12, 2007

Clearing away the crap

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness. -- Mother Teresa

I'm no Mother Theresa, but I do try to spread sunshine when I can. I am a strong adherent of "Leave a place better than you found it," which was thoroughly instilled in me during my Girl Scout years. There's enough accidental garbage that piles up in our lives ... it's nice to feel like I'm instrumental in clearing away the crap. Some days, it's all I can do to leave it no worse off -- like right now I'd really like to do some cleaning in my house, but I am just wrung-out tired. I am probably better off having a cup of tea & going to bed!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A warning system

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. Mark Twain

I have to admit that I am a slow simmer-er when it comes to anger. I very rarely "flash" hot, but rather is creeps up on me slowly -- and it goes away slowly. It can mean I am prone to grudges. It also means that once someone has roused me to anger, they'd do best to steer clear of me for a while. Anger is a valuable warning system for me. It tells me that something in my universe is not going as I had expected. Sometimes, that means I need to modify my expectations. Others, it means I need to modify my universe. It takes some calm, focused time (i.e. not in the heat of anger) to sort out which one of those conditions applies.

Friday, March 9, 2007


Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. -Tom Brokaw

I find this to be so very true. And the thing I find interesting is that it is rare that I hear someone say "I don't feel like I'm making enough of a difference," but it is highly common that I hear "I don't feel like I'm making enough money." And ... if one projects forward and thinks about the end of one's life, I think that it'd be much more likely to be sad about not making enough of a difference. What is it about the "daily grind" that makes so many of us lose sight of the big picture? We have brains that are so much more evolved than animals', you'd think we'd use them more often! I try very hard to keep things in perspective, and worry less about the money coming in ... and more about whether or not my life is one where I feel I have "enough." Enough to survive, certainly, but also enough to be proud of, enough to feel like I am contributing, and enough to enrich others lives. How much is enough? Only I can answer that question!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Blend of Me

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself" -- Unknown.

I am an expert at being myself. Actually, it's easy to be an expert in a field of 1. No one else can do it. Others have tried and failed. I've been imitated, which I consider to be the most sincere form of flattery, but no one is me. *smile* I can try on different hats: careers, hobbies, interests -- but in the end, the blend of me is special!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Breathtakingly original

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

It is always better to be an original than an imitation. -Theodore Roosevelt

Damn straight! Don't we have enough knock-offs and cheap copies? I'd rather have an original creation than a mass-produced piece of garbage. Don't get me wrong, I'll never be able to afford a Monet or Renoir, so a print is just fine ... but it's not an imitation of a great artist, it's a representation of something that's an approximation of the original beauty. I like to think I'm an original. I am sure that not every action I take is something never before seen on the face of the planet, but I like to believe that I string ideas together just a little bit different ... use a slightly different set of perceptions, etc. It's kind of like listening to music "live" - you can FEEL the music in a way completely different from a recording, even if you have it at high volumes. Just breathtaking.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I must admit...

Trendy Tuesday 3/6/07 -- I Must Admit

Today's trendy Tuesday topic ... admit something!

This is a tough one, because I already made so many "confessions" in my album for Shimelle's class! I'll give it a shot, though:
(1) I don't like coffee. At all. In any way, shape, or form. My mom used to join me in this, but she's recently been subverted. I'm baffled by this.
(2) When I am under LOTS of stress & I practice t'ai chi, it makes me cry.
(3) I can lose myself in dance & electronica music. Just close my eyes and sway, and I'm gone.
(4) I want to be a mother.
(5) I like wearing perfume, but rarely wear it, so as not to create a stir in my workplace, to drive people nuts at the gym, or to bother the cats at the shelter...which, together, accounts for a HUGE amount of my waking hours.
(6) I have a weakness for fine jewelry. I don't know how, but I have a knack for picking out the most expensive item in the display case.
(7) I like frosting more than the cake. Just like my niece. My nephew is the other way around, so he often gives me his frosting. Love ya, bud.
(8) I associate pasta and red sauce with living just above the poverty line. It was a staple for me for years. I try to avoid it now. I'd rather have ramen noodles, which I associate with my childhood.

Monday, March 5, 2007

How your life turns out

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

The first step in getting what you want out of life is this: decide what you want.

-Ben Stein

I completely agree. If you don't know what you want, you could be lucky enough to have it fall in your lap and you'd never even know. You run the risk of missing opportunities & tossing chances aside inadvertently, if you haven't identified your best dreams and goals. I try to check in with myself regularly, to ask myself what I want. What I want out of life right now is pretty simple, and I can, for the most part, just float down the river, letting it happen. Just a tiny bit of steering here and there, and I am confident I'll be very happy with my life. I'm thrilled with how it's turned out so far.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Lessons from T'ai Chi

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

What I feel more and more is how important it is to live your life in a better way, and not to worry about it. What happens will happen.
-Barbara Walters

This is something I used to really struggle with. I felt compelled to try and wrest control away from happenstance, and make certain things would turn out the way I felt they should. I realized that not only was I missing out on some really fun stuff, but it was also getting exhausting. Now, I try to apply principles from t'ai chi and get out of my own way. That is not to say that I try not to bend things to the direction I think will work best for me, but I try not to obsess or panic if I sense they are turning a different way. When I feel myself losing control of my vehicle on snow or ice, I say "wheee!!!" out loud, and gently try to regain control. I mean, honestly, what else can I do but celebrate the chaos & not try too hard to Make It Happen. Doing so in that scenario would certainly spell disaster ... so doesn't it make sense that it might also be disastrous in less-than-life-threatening-conditions also?

Friday, March 2, 2007

One Cool Dude

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Continue to expose yourself to new ideas. Trust your instincts and think for yourself. Make art, or at least value it.

-Samuel L. Jackson

I like Samuel L. Jackson. He's a cool dude. He's a very multi-faceted kind of guy, and I respect that. I totally agree with those quote. I love being exposed to new things! It helps me reshape my views of the world, bit by bit ... even if it's only to confirm what I'd already suspected or previously experienced. And as for thinking for myself, I got no problem in that department. I like hearing other people's takes on things, but when it comes down to it, it's my life & I've got to live with my own decisions, know what I mean? And art ... I'd like to think I make art. I know I make creative items that are meaningful to me -- and that's sufficient as far as I am concerned!

Thursday, March 1, 2007 do I get this open?

The cats, with a little help from me, captured a mouse in our study today. They kept tracking it down and preventing it from leaving the room ... and I moved furniture out of their way & trapped it under a mug when Isabelle pinned it down. Our cats are so clever! I rewarded them with treats for their hard work, after I secured the mouse in a container. Comet was not quite sure what to do with the mouse so close ... and yet ... so unreachable! I let the mouse go in the field near the gym. He paused briefly, then scampered to safety under some trees and undergrowth. With our rains, he should be able to find even more camouflage in the next few hours.

Within my control

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

If you want anything to actually change or to move ahead in your life you actually have to do it yourself, you can’t sit there and wait for somebody to talk about what you might want. . . you should actually keep dreams and desires inside and let them burn a little bit, and then they might come true.

-Russell Crowe

I completely agree with Mr. Crowe, here. I constantly have dreams burning inside me ... and it is what drives me forward every day. I like to dream big ... and then make them happen. I have had so many "dreams" come true in my life, because I treated them like goals, completely possible, and totally within my sphere of control. If I want to travel internationally, well, then I have to save my pennies, and cut back in other areas, and make sure I block out some vacation time. If I want to refurnish a room, I'd better start gathering ideas & looking for places that carry the things I really like. I've always been like this -- I cannot remember a time in my life that I felt like I should just sit and wait for something to show up. Opportunity does sometime knock...but if you don't even know you want that opportunity, you'll just shut the door in its face!