Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Like o, like h, in your gut" -- tegan and sarah

I haven't figured out how to post you tube videos yet, so I'll just keep linking them. This one is for TTQ.

Labels: ,

I'll take "Things that are fun" for $500, Alex

I just ordered these for my work in progress kitchen. I got the orange and I'm so excited about it. Our kitchen cabinets will be very dark, so we will need the punch of color.
We bought this to be used as our table, but it is currently just the top slab sitting on our old table because this is meant to be used with cabinets, so we have to make a support frame for the inside because we will not be using it with cabinets like an island, rather, we will be using it as an island/dining table -- I freaking love it for a counter height table.

Picture #1 is the table top -- the sides are the same.

Picture #2 is my kitchen just moments ago. If you enlarge the photo, you will see a box in the window sill -- this represents where I will be adding a shelf to the window to bring the height up to table top level (once the table is put together.) My five chairs are down to three and no telling when the welds will go on those too -- they are the chairs Rich grew up with. My new oven, looking out of place with all the old stuff. The cabinet is new (the old one crumbled) however, we had to get temporary white fronts as the brown/black doors were not in stock and we needed a cabinet, pronto. The white fronts were fourteen bucks, so we live with them until we are ready to order all of the cabinetry. We will be getting a new fridge too.

Picture #3 is my current kitchen flooring -- lovely isn't it?

Picture#4 Is the flooring we will be putting in (right now, the sample is "the stage"). We are doing the flooring in the entire downstairs, so kitchen and living room with unite and look like more space.

I wonder how it will all get done -- we have the talent, we just need the time. My baby has time management issues -- he tends to grossly under-estimate the time projects will take. He has been getting more realistic lately though -- so there is hope.

But seriously? If we get the table together and have chairs for all of us to sit on at dinner, I will be so happy (right now we drag one chair from the living room and one person sits on the exercise ball and that makes our seating for five). Aesthetics aside, my kitchen is more functional than it has ever been and my oven is a mighty fine and even baker -- mmm, mmm, goods' coming out of that one.

That's the update on that topic.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Clip of the day

For Wordtryst -- Ellen Degeneres.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"A day on not a day off" -- MLK on line

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam.
I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak
for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I
speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the
leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not
revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of

Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and
violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge,
aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964.

"We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness"
-Dr Martin Luther King


Labels: ,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"It's a maze aaand a maraca" -- Lizzie

I'm taking Cecily up on her idea to post from the archives. I will be busy the next couple of weeks getting my grandfather moved to a new place and helping him catch up with some red tape items.

In the meantime, I picked a long post. I may not be posting for days, so you don't have to read the whole thing at once and you will have no guilt about getting behind if you are the type to keep up with everybody's posts.

This post is from my old blog and the title became the namesake for this one. The quote came from Lizzie's comment about a toy maze she had -- it was one of those encapsulated plastic mazes with the little metal ball that you need to work around the corners without falling into a hole. Lizzie recognized it's percussionary potential and when she shook it, she said, "Look mama, it's a maze aaaand a maraca" -- the phrase struck my funny bone with how well it summed up my thoughts about the human experience as well as my personal experience with trying to figure God out.

This post is rambling and filled with disconnected and obscure references. Basically, it's me thinking out loud with not a lot of regard to anyone being able to follow along.

From May 23, 2005:

I've been disillusioned more times than I care to remember. The nice thing about getting knocked from a semi confident stance is that it, eventually, takes the pressure off of having to know it all. I tinker with thinking and I used to like to think I had a lot of how it works figured out (on again off again, of course). I used to be prone to throwing the baby out whenever the wrecking ball of critical information made it's way into a current working theory. I have found I have far fewer suicidal tendencies though if I prune, rearrange and incorporate the new ideas.

I do have some clutter ideas. Ideas that aren't practical or plausible in their current state. The kind of thoughts upon which New Age cults are built. I've spent a lot of late nights listening to Art Bell and being seduced and unnerved by ideas such as, remote viewing. "What?! An alien pod has implanted somewhere in Africa and is now spewing pathogenic spore that will anigilate all plant matter on Earth --all except chlorella?! You saw this in your mind's eye and it's true because you developed this technique for the government before they fired you because they thought it was bunk, but it's true?!!! Lord help us all."

Okay, so maybe I can ditch the remote viewing file, but what about all the Richard Bach stuff? I've read several of his books (fiction). Did you know that after I read "Illusions" I spent the better part of a week trying to stick my hand through my couch? I was still drinking then. Today I think if you wash all of the sap and mysticism off, the ideas seem... seem what? Mathematical. They make me wish I knew more math. I don't belong to any physics clubs, so the best exploratory outlet I ever get is talking to people who have a good buzz on. Sober people won't usually go there with me and often mock me in addition to rejecting my topical desires. People who truly know their stuff would probably loose me in facts pretty fast. Thus far, the binding on my copies of "The Elegant Universe" and "Understanding Einsteins's theories of Relativity" have remained in tact. Stoners, however, remain on alert.

The current items rocking my boat involve brain chemistry. Here is some science I can get my head around and make work for me. There is nothing like having your personality stabilize through taking some vitamins, eating some protein, veggies and whole grains, to throw a cog in the theological wheel. "We've found God and he is made up of three chemicals all produced in the thoethalimus" ( I wish I could take credit for coming up with 'theothalimus', but that credit goes to friend Brian B.).

I have so many thoughts, it's going to be hard to sum up in one blog entry. Having been a fan of brain science for several years and realizing how easily/swiftly the wiring goes awry, --it's a wonder any of us are productive. The downer of most studies is that they suggest hard wiring problems; once you're screwed, you are screwed. These other ideas I've been reading up on are in the category of "so you're screwed, now what? --There's light at the end of the tunnel for the chemically impaired". There are solutions to some of the problems and I am curious about how far it can go. Not a permanent fix, but better than a pill. It seems you can achieve good brain chemistry with a good idea of what will de-stabilize it -- thus avoid. Through diligence (and you can be diligent via the new found solution), you can solve a lot of issues. There are some fantastic opportunities for previously lost minds of society. But just for the moderate to mildly lost?

The crime involved in compulsive/addictive personalities alone is worth tax dollars being spent on some good food for schools and prisons. Previously it's been medication which helps, but not entirely and not equally available to all. Good food, for the regular reasons, isn't equally available either, but more so than medication. And again, it's more effective in equalizing brain chemistry issues. This food thing doesn't cure, but it does manage the problem in a very promising way. Creating a "buy in" for either solution is a problem too. I'm moving away from the brief mentions I have time for. Back to the God thing.

The coincidences go beyond intentions and manifestations (one possibility). Synchronicity is no joke. I seem to get humiliated at all the right times. And the biggies are the files that get put on my desk at just the perfect moment. Sometimes it's something new, but in line with previous thought enough to be considered, "a hit". (By "hit" -- I'm talking about nay sayers who think life is random and only seems supernatural when you ignore most of reality and only count the times things seem to add up to something.) Other times, it's information that I needed, but didn't know I needed, and yet, is perfectly tailored. Those payoff points in life keep me going. I know better than to think I've ever capped off. Even when the waiting takes years and wonders seem to cease (or at least not matter personally), it's always clear in retrospect. It's so typical it might seem boring. But how can it be typical if there weren't rules? And there's probability and likelihood to contend with, but it's more than that.

Psychology or brain science (imagined and real) only explain so much. There's the math portion. If you cut to the chase and imagine you had all of the rules figured out, would one of those rules really explain origin? It's a real chicken and egg conundrum.

It's hard to imagine the Christian God being the King of all things great and small -- because when you really think about it, it seems he does an awful lot of screwing around with us. If he's so powerful and thoughtful and with reasons unfathomable -- why the cat and mouse shit? I have children and I really don't see a valid point in handing them over to a monster for to torture them just to prove they will trust and love me anyway. Why *should* my child trust me after a stunt like that? There's a name for that I'm sure -- it has to be some kind of syndrome. Am I really missing the point of faith? And old testament Bible stories aside, why set up real life so screwy? Other religions don't explain it for me either-- for soul school? All flunkies go to hell. No, they come around and do it again...

I do think there is something to Karma, but I think it has to do with the math. Now we are back to who designed the math! And who leaves all of these delicious bread crumbs laying around?
And Jesus. How do you explain him? He pans out. But again, hell? Really? Or is hell not an on purpose eternal mean thing done to you over a bruised ego, but merely a consequence of state of energy. If I were creating a place of eternal peace and happiness, I don't think I would invite everyone either. But I wouldn't burn them and make them deal with nashing teeth for *eternity*. Apparently, that makes me more compassionate than God.

Of course, I am too limited to fully understand why eternal hell is a good idea for anyone. I don't care what frame of rationale is being worked from -- you can't create a human race, expect it to have complete and utter faith, yet give it intense emotions and extreme potential for doubt and screwing up and provide a crazy ass booby prize for getting it wrong. "Here, I give you nothing solid to work with, a few tentative tools, and extreme consequences. Now, trust me, go have fun and relax." In any case, I do think this is my one and only life. I hope there is a wonderful afterlife (time would definitely have to go though because eternity is an awful long time to be anywhere).

I would hate to waste my entire life in a state of worry over my soul. I am finding that chemically more possible these days. Oh the wonders of brain chemistry and thank you to all who wondered enough to find solutions to problems. Keep up the good work!

As for the meaning of life quandary -- what about the seemingly thoughtful and kind gestures that come out of nowhere? Do I dare not care? No. It may not seem right that I only get credit for the screwing it up part , while you get to be the solution keeper -- reeling out the answers a problem at a time. But hey, that's how it's been working so far, so to you, all knowing being who gives me clues, thank you for pointing me to the brain chemistry solution, keep up the good work! Thanks for all of the helpful stuff. Please don't burn me in a lake of fire if I'm not realizing the true gravity of the situation. You can have all the crap too. Do something useful with it. (Hey, do you think God has a junk drawer for all the crap that might come in handy some day? Or is he Rumplestizlkin -- spinning all your troubles into gold for your first born. No, that's the other guy. I'd like it if God just spins my troubles to gold and I can keep my child.)

Speaking of one and only lives, I've gotta get going. The clock is a ticking and I have spent far too much time trying to organize these thoughts today. And for what? Monty Python has already done the movie. I could seriously loose a grand portion of my life to agnostic thinking. Even though I think doubtful thoughts, I feel secure in the existence of a creator. I really don't believe that the feeling is coming from my 'theothalimus' either. I do like thinking about all of it though, it feels productive, in a goofy sort of way.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Try it - you should do it Dahling -- I insist

Tuesday Winnie and I were home together - stricken by a tummy bug. As luck would have it, TCM was running an Elvis movie marathon and we stayed in bed and watched Elvis all day.

I've never really watched an Elvis movie from start to finish, so three in a row was a hoot. I love that girls just came up and started kissing him -- Winnie and I got a laugh out of that.

Okay, so now the kid is back in school and I am fully mended -- ask me how much I've gotten done around here -- go ahead, ask me.

That's right, not a thing. I've discovered the TCM channel, that's why. I am loving these old movies. No commercials is the only way to see them.

I love how much some things have changed and how little other things have, but my favorite of all is how everyone in the fifties movies seem to have a live in maid. If you're dying and need to visit your father real quick -- you can dash off and tell your husband (who doesn't know you are dying) you will be back in two weeks and that Ida will be here to take care of the child while you are out.

Man, this gig would be a lot easier if I had someone doing all the cooking, laundry, cleaning and child care. Why did we do away with live in maids? These weren't rich people, just regular folk with live in help. Screw the second bathroom -- build me quarters for the help (some unfortunate barren woman who would be only too happy to work for little pay in order that she might have a bitter-sweet taste of the family life -- even if it's only caring for another's'...told you, I've been watching them for two days straight now).

My absolute favorite though, is how they talk -- I'm driving my family nuts. But these people tell each other off so stylishly -- I have to talk that way now. If someone is being rude -- it bothers me not because I tell them so, "oh dahling, don't be such a bother -- surely you know where the snack cabinet is."

They're getting real irritated with me, but try it -- I'm telling you, no stress, all fun, when you say things like, "do be a dear and find your manners."

All I need is a hair do -- something very tight and purposeful.

Hold your tongue latterly flat, pretend you've already won dozens of awards for your acting -- now go and with conviction, tell your family what to do.


idea share

One year Winnie and Lizzie got a Barbie play set that was a coffee bar and coffee house furniture. We had a scrap piece of plywood laying around -- it was a decent size square of it -- I painted it "Starbucks colors" and did some fancy metallic gold sponge paint and, poof, Starbucks floor was born.

It's painted in random squares and rectangles separated by brown lines -- think Partridge family bus, only in green, gold, orange and purple. The look is unimportant -- the point is the $4 piece of plywood has gotten more use than any other toy they own. So much so, I made another one. The Starbucks floors are used for many things -- they see way more Barbie action than the expensive and pimped out Barbie doll house ever does, they are used as desk tops, for littlest petshop village, for leggo building, etc. They go outside, anywhere a decent play surface is needed -- Starbuck floors are there.

Home Depot has ready cut 2' by 4' sheets of plywood or particle board (better for no splinters) -- the thick particle board is 8 bucks -- oh the toy cars -- you could paint a road on one side and a general surface on the other...

The second idea is snap together flooring. We bought a box of the laminate wood stuff to see how it looked (New floors coming with the new kitchen!!!) -- well, it's an instant 4'9" by 3' 9" mobile stage. We have the expensive one, but I'm sure they have a brand for around 30 bucks a box. That's thirty bucks for a stage, a dance floor -- the rectangle of inspiration.

The girls dress up clothes have never gotten more of a workout -- I sat through a five act play yesterday -- so cute. It started strong with a Medieval princess looking for laughs from her favorite court jester (whom she hoped was funny so she wouldn't have to kill her -- thankfully she was hilarious, but tragically she fell ill soon thereafter, then luck again as the princess traveled to America for a cure and all was well for thou and thee once more). The play ended in a wandering fizzle with some girl living with her grandma and playing zingo -- the grandma was great, but the show did go on and on and on.

When not in use, unsnap the floor (five pieces) -- tuck in a closet and go.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'm a giver!

You Are An ENFJ
The Giver
You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.
In love, you are very protective and supporting.However, you do need to "feel special" - and it's quite easy for you to get jealous.
At work, you are a natural leader. You can help people discover their greatest potential.You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist. How you see yourself: Trusting, idealistic, and expressive
When other people don't get you, they see you as: Bossy, inappropriate, and loud
Got this from Wordtryst's blog
BTW-- I don't get jealous easy -- checking...checking...nope. no jealousy.
Change "jealous" to "resentful" and there you have something -- sad but true -- I'm working on it.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I heard Angels singing

Rich and I spent all day yesterday in Schaumburg, IL at IKEA.

Man alive, that place is huge! The first look from the car, we were driving along, turned a corner and AHHHHHHHH -- there she was -- this giant primary blue and yellow whale of a building. I got anticipatory shopping cotton mouth as we drove toward her.

Would you believe, even though Winnie needs a dresser aaand they had the largest selection of fun textiles that I have ever seen in one place -- the only thing we purchased was a $1.99 grocery bag holder for under the sink?!!!

I was able to pull that off by sticking with a singleness of purpose (new kitchen) and skipping floors one and two. We were there for five hours designing a desired kitchen layout and figuring out which fun functional thing should go where.

Unfortunately, no matter the effort, we were unable to think an extra six inches into the width of our kitchen -- six inches that would allow for the center island magic we so desire. We are still at the drawing board, but we made much headway and had a lot of fun dreaming and seeing what can be done.

I hope my remaining kitchen cabinets hold out for me during this process. I seriously had one section of cabinets fall apart -- collapse -- and now my stuff from that unit is on wire snap together squares from Target and I no longer have counter space near my oven.

Speaking of the oven -- Santa brought me a new oven for Christmas!!!


The new oven replaced the oven that came with our old house, that we moved to this house. The old oven was from the 50's. The only reason I never replaced it with a cheapie new one was because the burners torqued and that is a very good thing and not something I found in a cheapo replacement. So, even though the oven cooked half a pizza raw, while the other half would burn, I put up with it.

Santa finally saved up enough reward points from the business gas card and we got a real nice stove now. And I don't think that stove is going to put up with being in a shoddy kitchen for very long -- wish it luck will you?

Labels: ,