Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who we create for sculpts our way of thinking about being creative

Once upon a time i use to create art on a daily basis. It grounded me, yet kept my spirits soaring high above the world at the same time. i created for me and only for me. Then i started working in the field of art and my love of creating just for me went from joy to discontent.

Over the past 2 years i have failed to stay on any task of creating art that was not for someone else. I miss creating, just to create. No deadline. No angry boss. No "it has to be THIS way!" Just creating because i wanted to see a finished product and sit back and say to myself, "i did that."

for fun:

for work:

something about having to work within the confines of what someone else tells me is Art... i get fed up with it. So i quit.

i think i am ready to get back into the creating just for me atmosphere. it might take me awhile to get back into a groove where i do not feel like what i am doing is work and not fun... but darn it, i miss creating graphics for just me!

i'll keep you posted on how it goes. right now i've got real work to do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

all grown up with attitude issues...

It seems like we have become our parents age... whether we want to accept that we are old fart parents or not, we are the same age they were when we looked up to them as children and thought, "man, you guys are really... old!" We also thought that they were very uncool.

I get frustrated when people ask me "awe, is this your little sister?
when meeting Claire and i. 

I went through 3 days of labor, wiped her ass everyday for almost 3 years, helped her learn to read/write/draw/etc. Not to mention that i have managed to keep her alive to the ripe age of 11 {and many more years to come!}. So, when people ask if we are sisters i snap back and say, "NO, i'm her mother." because i've more than earned the right to call myself her mom.

There is something that i am sure is inside of all of us moms... that desire to still be young and somewhat hip to what is going on in the world.  A desire to feel young, to look young, and to some degree still act young. We each have a bit of youth inside of us, its how we show it that counts either towards us or against us. We all talk on twitter, clearly a place where youth hang out {Justin Bieber isn't trending daily for nothing!}. We all drink soda, eat junk food, talk to our friends about the cool things we read online, and most of us tweet about our fascination with the Twilight crowd {be it pro or con}. And for the most part, we each hold our lives together by a thread just hoping that no one will notice that we truly do not have it all together. But that is us... the mom's of this generation.

June Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver. Circa 1957.

I love to look back at the moms of the 1950's and imagine what it would have been like to be a mom back then. Would i have been that rebel mom who wore pants to pick up my kid at school because i was too busy to frill myself up with a dress? Would my hair have been all done up, or a mess? Or would i have fallen in line with the rest of them looking like a cookie cutter image of June Cleaver?

I try to not look at anyone in the hollywood crowd as a role model or example of what it is like to be a mom or a person of the same age as me {35} because lets face it... Tv is not always based on real life, and people who live the life of a celebrity are not {for the most part} "real" moms with the same day-to-day struggles the rest of us moms have in our lives. I do not have a nanny, a maid, or anyone to help me with my kid - just me {ok, hubby counts towards 15% of the raising time}. So it is unfair to compare myself to people who are not like me in anyway... but last night we sat down to watch a movie. We watched Never Been Kissed and all of it's dorky glory. Claire turns to me and asks "how old is Drew Barrymore?" i had to think for a minute because she is one of those actors who never age in hollywood. They are not married, have no kids, and still look and live like a 20 year old. So we looked it up... 

Drew Barrymore, 2010, age 35.

She is my exact age {a few months older to be exact}. Yes, the exact same age as me. Yet, she looks and acts so much younger. And i look, act, and feel so old! How can it be that she looks so amazing and yet i look so blah? Oh, wait... it's that darn kid isn't it... having a kid stresses you out daily and makes you just look and feel --- old!

As i sit her feeling like an old lady, yet still feeling like i have not yet grown up yet or even figured out what i want to be when i grow up... i find it unfair that my kid looks up to me and thinks the same thing i did when i was her age as i looked up at my parents, "man, you are old!"


Monday, November 1, 2010

you remind me of...

it is hard to pin point a person's complete persona and see it in another person. Yet people often say to me, "you remind me so much of *fill in person's name here..." This is a phrase that i never (or rarely) use in life, because no one person is fully like another person in the way that they act.

So unlike looks, you are unable to fully grasp the understanding of what they are talking about when they say something about your being like someone that they know. I've gotten the "you look just like..." and they were able to show me a photo and say, "see!" and expect me to just accept that i look like this person that they know. But a way of acting like someone... this is much harder to translate and if you are not careful, you can insult the heck out of someone.

This tends to often be the case when it comes to me. I am a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma! i am kind, but i am a cold hearted bitch. i am laid back, but uptight. i am a hippy but i am a preppy snob. i am a whole ball of random things! More often than not people pick my "nice/hippy/earth-loving" side to say i am like someone that they know. Which i take this to mean that they see the good in me and not the nasty - thank God! ;-)

However... when i meet the people they say that i am like, they are always whack-a-doodles! you know, those overly friendly, earth-loving, almost stoned acting people. Crystals and moon-beam people. And not that there is anything wrong with people like that... but it is SOOooOoOooO not who i am. i do my best to not take offense to them seeing me as that kind of a person, but often i think "what the f***?! am i really seen as a freak by the people i know and love?"

Part of me thinks i should stop doing so many kind things. Hide the fact that i am a vegan. Put away the buddha statues. Wear less jeans and t-shirt outfits. and never ever mention a thing about moon-beams... or crystals. ha!

so in the future, if you know me... and you THINK that you know me... trust me, you don't know crap if you think i am like the psychic you saw that one time in Vegas.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

the journey...

photo taken by me in Santa Cruz 2010, "the teal chair"

life takes you on journeys, down paths that lead you nowhere, down paths that lead you somewhere, down paths that lead you to new paths, and sometimes down paths that lead you astray. we each must figure out what the path is leading us to. If you shut yourself off from the lessons that life is teaching you... if you forget to live life each day... to learn... then you will never understand why you are on the road you are on.

sometimes we mistake the message, and it is not until we are on another path in life that we truly understand what the previous path(s) were teaching us in our life. There aren't many "signs" in the roads of life... but, it is up to you to read them, to interpret them, and to turn them into meaning. For without understanding the meaning, the messages are lost and without translation into your life.

it would be nice to travel high above the road to only observe the sights on your path. Never to be trampled. Never to be ignored. Never to be looked upon with hateful eyes. Never to be in the wrong. Never truly experience the life. But then... where is the fun in that? Life has meanings hidden inside of every tiny detail. If you only observe, then you will not learn. Life is lived through lessons. If you do not learn, you do not live. this includes those lessons that pain you. Just know that you will recover to live another day. And you will take the pain and turn it into something!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

mistake me...

When you look at someone, what do you see? Can you look past the ethnic color or their skin, the ethnic shape of their face, and all of the other characteristics that set us all apart?

It's a long running "joke" on Tv shows where people say things like, "you all look alike to me" to people of other races. But i have never got this joke. People all have characteristics that make them different from others - no matter what their race.

The reason i am bringing this up is that i had someone mistake me for someone else the other day....

unknown girl: hey, can you give me my ticket?
me: i'm sorry, i do not know you. *feeling awkward*
unknown girl: just give me my ticket to the movie so i can go in.
me: let me rephrase this... i do not know you and you do not know me...
*people all around us starting to stare and making me feel weird*
unknown girl: what? c'mon just give me my ticket, Britney.
me: *laughing a bit* i've never met you... and i don't have a ticket for you.
Michael: what's going on?
unknown girl: wait. what?
unknown girl #2: Hey! i've got your ticket right here!
unknown girl: oops, sorry!

This girl was standing as close to me as another person can get. We looked each other in the eye several times during our small back and forth. Plenty of opportunity for her to look me in the eyes and figure out that i was not the person she was with at the theatre - which was the person holding her ticket.

The girl who yelled to her that she had her ticket was much shorter than me. Anyone who had stood next to the other girl and then next to me would have noticed the extreme height difference.  The other girl had brown eyes. My eyes are bright blue/grey. True that we were both pale white girls. And true we both had longish brown hair. Beyond the hair, we looked nothing alike.

The girl who mistook me for another person was asian, but from America. Her english was perfect. She was in her mid to late 20's and seemed intelligent enough.

So is it true that for the most part, people of the same race see people of other races as looking all the same? And if so, how shallow is that.

I admit that i sometimes think i see people i know from a great distance and might even shout their name. But i won't argue with someone standing 1 foot in front of me that i know them. If i am that close, i can tell if i do or do not know them from memory. i have a strange knack for never forgetting a face. i drive hubby kind of crazy because if i see a child act in a movie (even if i have not seen it since i was a kid) and they are in another movie all grown up, i can pick them out and proof that they are the same person. Although it gets hard sometimes because hollywood loves to hire people who "look" like people just to have that effect on their movie. But when it comes to faces, i can just remember people. i might not always remember their name... but i will never forget their face.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco

We LOVED the Renegade Craft Fair! All of the booths, the colors, the amazing designs... it was a perfect day! And what could be better than having this photo for our memory of the day...
If there is a Renegade near you anytime soon, you should totally go!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do cows get called fat?

{as always, if an image is from, click the image}
this lovely little Cow image was found on

it often occurs to me that we as humans are obsessive compulsive on so many levels in our life, but few will openly admit it. One that stands out firm in my mind - our body image. Many of us strive to be a tall thin model looking women... and the men strive to be tall, dark and brooding (muscles) just like the celebrities we see in movies and magazines. We each walk around and view each other as a "size" and look first at appearance before we consider speaking to each other. We size up ourselves standing next to people around us - maybe we think we are too large in certain areas, maybe we think we are too small in other areas. When standing next to an attractive man, we are more aware of the way that we are standing - we are also more aware of how we look and feel about ourselves. Because chances are - that man has already sized you up and thought of you as either "attractive" or "not attractive" because of your shape, size, and looks.

Typically we go about our daily lives and give little to no thought about our weight, size, or shape... but from time to time we are made aware of who we are in our bodies. It can either make us feel really good - by standing next to someone larger than us OR it can make us feel really bad - by standing next to someone smaller than us. or perhaps visa-versa if you are ashamed of other features you have that are small and wish they were large (you know what i mean).

Currently it is that time of year when summer is quickly approaching and we are all starting to pull our our shorts, our tank tops, and our tiny tees - and putting away the bulky sweaters and sweatshirts that hid the parts we did not like about ourselves. We realize that over the winter we didn't take the opportunity to drop any weight or work out as much as we kept telling ourselves that we would do the summer before. We either have the choice of sucking it up and being who we are and being OK with it - or going on a crash diet to lose some weight before summer.  Recently hubby has taken it upon himself to become more serious about losing some weight. He has put on about 20 pounds this last year and it has not occurred to him that the year before it was 12 pounds and the year before that it was 8 pounds and so on. He is wondering what it will be by next year if he doesn't put a stop to it.

i have been fully supportive of his choice to get healthier by losing some weight - but he is going overboard and eating way less than he should. He is getting zero exercise and just losing weight by "crash dieting". As a forever recovering anorexic - i know just how dangerous having too little calories can be to the human body! I keep telling him "eat a healthy snack" and i keep begging him to stop working from 8am to 1am and  say almost daily, "let's go for a walk!" but he is set in his ways and sees results - so he thinks this is working and going to keep working for him.

Today i am asking - "do you think that one cow would call another cow fat?" is that what all that "mooooing" is about? i think not! Most animal species are not so specific about the appearance of size with those who they hang around, call friend, or even decide to mate with. There are some species that seek out the smartest, the most cunning, the fastest runner, etc. But the size doesn't really matter when it comes to who the animal is in it's group/society. A lot of times in nature - the bigger, the better.  i keep telling hubby - just get healthy, worry LESS about the size of your waist, the size or your pants, etc. But i do not think he is listening to me anymore - he seems to be eating less and less each day that he sees a change in the number on the scale, and it is making him more and more cranky! (another sign of under-eating! not to mention he is getting more headaches)

i too am less than excited myself about summer and having to put on tighter clothes and skirts/shorts - but mostly because i feel naked without my favorite pair of jeans or my favorite sweatshirt! it is not so much that i care about what my body shape will look like to OTHER people - although i do care somewhat about that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

faith and spirituality

I believe an important distinction can be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another. Spirituality I take to be concerned with qualities of the human spirit, love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, that bring happiness both to self and others.
- The Dali Lama

i could not have said it better myself. People often inquire in conversation, "what church do you belong to?" i never quite have an answer, and often times i feel put on the spot. i have strong values that come from many faiths. but on a whole, i consider myself more spiritual than religious. i have been part of many faiths in my lifetime, searching for that perfect fit. Each time, i found that the religion confined my beliefs. Each holding positive points of view and each one having some/many/few things that i could walk away with... but in the end i could not call myself complete while being of one set religion. Instead i am learning to be happy with not having a religion as my total base - but instead i focus on keeping myself centered in a spiritual mind.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adoring finds on the internet

using images found online to show a few of the things i adore in life...
(in no particular order)
good friends who have known me since the days of my funky hair styles...
and they still love me even today!
Ice Cream on a hot summer day
swinging... and easy relaxing days
when my favorite songs come on the radio
laughing at myself...
laughing until my face is sore...
laughing until i fall to the ground...
laughing for the sake of laughing!
getting messages the old fashion way...
i adore hearing from people by letters!
having my hair done...
brush it...
braid it...
play with it...
i love it!
taking photos of those i love...
old style photography...
old cameras
Old books with covers that aren't shiny and plastic looking
anything old and vintage...
anything from the 1940-50's
current clothes that are made to look like vintage clothes
family trips in the car...
driving to get where we are going...
taking our time in getting anywhere we need to be in our lives...


Friday, April 30, 2010

can't we go back to a simpler time?

We cancelled our cable a few months ago to save money and to save our minds! Too much time is wasted in front of the Tv watching pure crap. Most of the time the shows were not kid friendly, so we avoided them altogether. And there is only so much Disney a person can watch in a single day!

We have our Tv set up to watch Netflix live now. They have everything from Tv shows to movies. They aren't always recent Tv shows or movies, so you can't be too picky about something to watch! The last couple of weeks we had been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (B&A). The other show we like to put on at night is an old favorite of mine - The Dick Van Dyke Show. If you are not familiar with this show, it is a comedy from the 1960's. The thing i like most about this show, C loves it!
The other things i like about this show and notice while watching it...

It's clean cut. The men do not walk around in tighty-whities with giant bulges nor does the camera play tricks on a "naked" man walking around and then stopping where a vase is or something. The shows of the 50's & 60's could be fun, sexy, and tell a story without having to go to extreme levels of throwing it all in your face.
The shows represent work as it should be... people working side by side, man and woman in the same office... and none of them are having sex with each other or having an affair. I've worked several jobs in my life... and every single one of them had both men and women working side by side - and no one was sleeping with anyone else! Shows today make it seem like every job has sex going on in every closet and everyone is swapping partners. Its kind of sad to think that kids watch shows like this growing up and think that is something to do when they grow up. It use to mean something to have work ethic, its no wonder skill levels have gone down in the work place. People are too busy thinking they have to have sex with everyone in the office in order to be like it is on Tv.
Being a MOM meant something in the 50's & 60's. i am probably alone in my thinking, but i still think it means something to be a MOM and stay home and keep the house together. Now a days, so many people look down on women who choose to stay home and raise a family. The moms of the 50's and 60's also knew what it meant to be a MOM. Wake up, put yourself together, get your kids together, and do your day. I am not saying i am perfect, i have days where i'm still in my PJ's and it is almost noon, but that is because we homeschool now and don't even leave the house on some days! I have mixed feelings on how a woman should present herself as a mom. I think you should feel comfortable in your clothes, but a part of me misses the days where woman knew what it meant to be put together before they went into public. I can not count how many times (here in Cali and back home in the mid-west) i went to the store and saw grown women, with children in tow, shopping in their PJ's and slippers in the middle of the day! It makes me rather sad to think this is how they want the world to see them.
Boys played baseball and girls took ballet. Ok, i don't think that there is only one thing for a child to do as a kid... but it use to mean something, the sport of baseball being played by all of the little boys in the summertime... boys didn't sit at home watching Tv all summer or playing video games. The same goes for the girls... too many kids are overweight because they are not involved in a sport. The parents today don't get the kids involved in a sport or get they away from the Tv because it interferes with their own lives or either work or socializing with friends. This goes back to a MOM being a MOM. Dropping their life to make sure their kids are able to be involved in something other than sitting on their butt watching tV or playing video games.
Simpler times, when women knew how to sew and fix their own clothes. I love to sew! and i have so many people say to me, "oh i wish i knew how to sew... just so i can fix things instead of throwing them out when they come apart!" All being said by grown women with families. I don't think that all women should know how to sew a fashion dress or a dress of any kind, but simple sewing is something that all women should at least understand. Maybe this is just me, but sewing is pretty darn easy. If you can't even sew a button back on a shirt, or hem a stitch that has come undone... then you shouldn't have passed 7th grade! ;-)
slap stick comedy. i have laughed more watching this simple comedy from the 60's than i have watching any current show on Tv in a long time. There is something to be said for good humor that the entire family can watch. Not only watch but get the joke - not have a sex joke told and your 10 year old turn to you and say, "i don't get it... they want to stick what where?"
a time when people had good old fashion fun just sitting around playing music and hanging with their friends and family. If there isn't a game on the Tv or gossip being thrown about, most people don't get together to hang out much anymore. Good humor, good times, good people - i love this show!
a time when every home had a phone, and the number was listed in a phone book - C doesn't even know what a phone book is! when every neighbor knew that number. when you knew every neighbor and wanted to know the neighbor. simpler times.

there is something to be said about the times we live in today - fear, hate, mistrust, unknown, etc. Most people do not know their next door neighbors by name, let alone their phone number. Most people live their day to day life and don't think about much to do with how they are living it. i wouldn't want to give up my iPhone or my laptop - but i sure would love to see things like they use to be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

accepting life, unconditionally

"I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."
Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, April 25, 2010

if i were a lullaby...

i would be vintage...
i would have lots of ribbons...
i would be blue and sparkly...
i would leave everyone who sings touched, feeling sparkly and beautiful...

there would be bears with parachutes...
kittens drinking milk out of tea cups...
balloons that go pop by the water...
trees covered in stars...
and if lucky enough to sing my lullaby... you'd find the keys to my soul...

but only if i were a lullaby...

stumbled upon, Mikael Dubois

Mikael Dubois is a Stockholm based photographer that i stumbled upon the other day, and i thought i would share his website and work with everyone. 
Often times i find some of my best creative craft ideas come from viewing photographs of home interiors like the ones Mikael takes. Like a spark of total imagery! Sometimes it is the color, the shapes, the flow... or the whole package! If i am having an off day creating, i might take a look around online for photographers who spend their time photographing home interiors.
Here is just a sample of his wonderful images...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

hello past. meet future.

Although i do not recall what we were watching last night that sparked this train of thought... here it is just the same...

Every generation has things easier than the generation before them, and it will continue this way forever i suppose. Last night there was an image on the screen of a record player, it had the plastic insert in the middle to keep the record balanced... and i had this flash of memories of my childhood and the things that compare with what we had growing up, the changes that took place with all of these technologies, and all of the ease that kids have today because of these changes.

Age 7 - i was so excited to get my Donnie and Marie RECORD player!
Age 10 - i was so excited to get my very fist ever BOOM BOX with a tape deck!
Age 14 - i was so excited that my family got a DUEL TAPE deck player! We could now make mixed tapes!
Age 15 - i was so excited that we added a CD player to our sound system!
Age 20 something, Napster was huge - free music! I made so many mixed CD's back then.
Age somewhere around age 30, i got an iPod! No more making CD's... ALL of my music is in one tiny little machine.

birth-5 movies were for being seen at the theatre!
Age 5-8 (not sure) by Grandfather had a BETA player!
Age 10 we got our first ever VCR player - and it was the size of a small micro-wave!
* going to the video store was a huge Friday night treat!
Age 14 we got Laser disc (short lived fun)!
Age 20 something i got my first DVD player!
* Netflix became a huge part of our lives!
Age 34 (just last month!) we got a Blu Ray disc player!

birth to age 5 our Tv was black and white and TINY!
Age 5 we got a "big screen" Tv and you had to get up and walk to the tv to turn the channel! but it was in color!
Age 10 we had a tiny Tv (black and white with knobs to turn on it) downstairs for the kids to watch channels 2-13!
Age 12 we got a TV with a remote control!
Age 17 i moved out of the house, bought my own 14 inch tv, with remote control and it was cool!
Age 20 we purchased our first real size Tv! (i think it was a 36 inch)
Age 25 We purchased a BIG screen Tv that was the size of a small car!
Age 30 we purchased a FLAT screen Tv!

Age 9 i got my first camera, i had to not only change the film, but also the flash cube!
Age 12 i got a new camera, flash was part of the camera!
Age 20 i got my first SLR film camera, with lots of lenses and gadgets!
Age 24 i got to borrow my little brothers 3MP digital camera for a year!
Age 27 i bought my very own 5MP digital camera!
Age 30 i got for my birthday my digital 8MP SLR camera!
Age 32 i got a 10MP digital camera

Age 5 we got an in home computer, it was a VERY big deal!
Age 10 i took computer classes to learn DOS, i hated it! lol
Age 15 our High School got computers with a "windows like" program for ease of use!
Age 21 we purchased our first ever windows based computer! It was dial up and we payed to go online by the minute!
Age 24 We got DSL!
Age 25 we purchased our first laptop computer!
Age 28 we got Cable!
Age 30 we went completely wireless!
Age 32 i got a MacBook ;-)

birth to age 7(?) we had a rotary phone with a cord that only reached 5 feet! we also had a rotary phone that was attached to the kitchen wall, with the curly phone cord that was always getting tangled up around us all.
* i remember always having to carry a DIME with me incase i needed to use the PAY phone!
* i remember having to often use the PAY phone!
Age 8-10 we got our first cordless phone! it went staticy if you were more than 20-30 feet away from the base. and we got into trouble for playing "sword fighting" with the antenna.
Age 17 i got a beeper so my friends and my family could reach me when they needed me.
Age 20 i got a cell phone - it was huge and clunky!
Age 24 i got a tiny-tiny cell phone!
Age 34 i got an iPhone!

These might all sound like small things to kids these days. i can not imagine life without my computer, living so far away from the people i love is not so hard with the computer. C would not be able to communicate with her friends so easily. Text messaging is her new thing. Live chatting with all of her friends online at once is making life so much easier on her.

I keep wondering what new things will come by way of the tech universe... will C look back and think having an iPod was lame? What kind of things will she journey through and learn as she grows up and takes on the new world...

Hello future!

and a video of a song i love to listen to these days.

Monday, April 12, 2010

courteous or expectation?

Today i find myself wondering if the human condition is to be rude to all around?

On arriving home from the grocery store this morning, i realized both Claire and myself would be carrying up the load by ourselves. Normally Michael is with us and he takes the heavy bags up for us. So, as we now live in a building with a parking garage, a door entry with a key to enter the building, and then an elevator... i realized i would have to twist and turn my arms to manage getting things done with bags now weighing down my arms! But as i realized my situation i noticed that there was a women walking into the garage entry... i thought to myself, "saved! she sees us and will hold the door open for us!" This did not happen. After managing to enter the building by fumbling with my keys, i see the same woman standing waiting for the elevator. (there are two elevators, but 1 was in "priority use" - which means someone was moving today) Claire and i stood behind this woman for what seemed like forever... the bags growing ever heavier on both of our arms. Claire mentioned that she must have gotten the heavier bags, but i assured her mine were just as heavy. I am quite certain the woman heard us talking about how heavy the bags were.

Finally! The elevator arrived and the lady stepped in, she pushed her button and went about ignoring us. I stood there twisting and turning my arm trying to push the button for our floor. It seemed like i was trying to push a button forever. But as i stood there with my heavy bags - both arms full and trying not to drop my keys out of my hand - i notices that this woman could care less that i was struggling. She stood there with her stupid lip ring and funky hair style just playing on her iphone and making that "a-hughhhh" noise that people make when they are annoyed with a situation. A situation mind you that would have went much faster had she only offered to help me out by pushing a silly button.

There are times in life when i expect things from other people. this was one of those instances. but it also occurs to me that i should not expect help from any other person on this planet other than myself. Sadly, when push comes to shove - everyone is only out for themselves. Especially in the West! It should not be this way, but the reality of the game is that most people are only willing to help themselves around here.

I realize i say this often, so forgive my bit of complaining here... living in the midwest my entire life and for a brief few months in the deep south - there is no place nicer than the south - but having lived in the mid-west my entire life, i have come to expect people to be... NICE! And i often wonder if that is too much to ask in another human being. Am i asking too much for a neighbor to hold the door for me when she sees we have our hands full? Am i asking too much for a person to notice something is needed and help out - extend me a common courtesy?

I will never get use to living in California, everyone is in a hurry to get nowhere - and they could care less about helping anyone or being nice, there's no time for nice because they are in a hurry - to get nowhere!  Each day i am made more and more aware of this fact - and it makes me sad to realize just how little people can truly care about helping their fellow man/woman.  Cali is a lot like New York City - only at least in New York City it is just the one city and when you go there you do not expect people to be nice. Here in California it is the entire state - i have yet to find a store, restaurant, city center, etc where the people are courteous and helpful. Even the park rangers have a stick up the ass and have no interest in being kind to the people who visit. This was pretty obvious on our recent adventure to Yosemite. I suppose the rangers put up with a lot of tourists each year, so this wasn't of a great surprise when i got attitude from the Park Ranger when i asked him where i could get a map of the park.

I suppose i grew use to the simple things in life being just that... simple.  If i flashed a smile at a stranger when passing them in an isle, they would almost surely smile back. If i do that here, i get a look of "who the hell are you - and why the F are you smiling at me?!" If i asked a person working at a store where i could locate an item - in the mid-west (and the south!) they would take me to the item - here they ramble off an isle number in the store and point their finger in a general location and then walk away from you before you can ask them any more questions. I have had people working in stores tell me to "move" out of their way because they needed to shelf items and that they were "there first". It baffles the mind to think these people are the "peace loving" hippy type people who supposedly made this state so great back in the 60's. It seems all of the negative, bitch, sarcastic people have taken over - i'd love to find a hippy with a smile on their face!

I certainly hope to return to the mid-west or the midwest at some point in my life. I can not truly see myself living amongst the hate and slum of humanity and still hope to escape becoming just like it. Until then, i'll keep doing what i do - help those who require help, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step and by taking my sweet ass time.  If the negatives who live here don't like it, then they can push me out of their way ;-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

you horn honker!

Are you a horn honker? Do you know what a horn honker is? Please let me inform you of a horn honker...

horn honker /n/ : 1. a person who locks their car door from more than 30 feet away by using the key FOB until the horn honks. 2. a person who "double clicks" the key FOB to lock their car doors so they get a "double honk" lockdown. 3. a person who locks their car door with the key FOB until the horn honks - walks away and does it again, and again, to make sure it really did lock, thus giving them the triple or quadruple honk lockdown. 4. a person who is clumsy with their key FOB and isn't sure what the buttons do, so somehow manages to set off the car alarm several times before the car doors actually lock.

Having never lived inside of a "city" area before moving to California, i never truly experienced the annoyance that comes with car owners. Our new apartment is located within very close walking distance of a shopping "plaza", a hotel, and a parking garage. Even if our windows are closed, you hear the honking of car horns as the masses all lock up their car doors. if the windows are open, it is almost like listening to an off beat musical melody during the lunch hour rush. It isn't so much annoying as it is unnecessary to add this sound to the world around you.

You see, when you exit your car, you can push a button to lock your car doors. This is my current method of door locking, and i assure you, it works quite nicely. You can also use the key FOB while standing in close proximity to the car and "hear" the actual locking of your doors. There truly is no reason to HONK the horn when locking up your car doors.

So please, i implore you to think before you honk! ;-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Happy Friday

A long time ago, i met my husband. i will not bore you with the details of our meeting story! But when i first started dating him he was just out of HS and a smarty pants. In HS he was in all college classes his junior-senior year and he graduated early because he had taken so many extra smart classes. Luckily for him i did not know these details until after we had been friends first for about a month - before we started dating. If i had known how smart he was up front i probably would have never dated him. Smart people make me very nervous, to the point of full on stuttering and stammering around them. And they do not even have to be extremely book smart, it could be street smart, or it could even just be a smart ass! But if the word smart describes a person in any fashion, i tend to freak out.

You see, i do not consider myself "smart" on any level. No, i am not dumb, nor was i ever held back a grade, nor am i illiterate or any thing like that. But i am dyslexic and i have big issues with doing anything in my head - if you give me paper and a pen (or a computer and a keyboard) i will amaze you! But if i have to use just my brain, it doesn't always work the way i want it to. This makes me nervous when i am around people who think quickly on their feet. This makes me freeze up and i tend to come off as dingy... or a total dork!

This isn't really about how i freeze up, but more about how even the smartest of the bunch do not always know it all!

Back to having first met my hubby.... i tell this story to C quite often, because she is a lot like me, she tends to put too much pressure on herself to be the best at something... at everything! When she was in 2nd grade she had a teacher that i disliked very much... a teacher who pushed little kids to be PERFECT in their grades or she gave them a hard time about it. But C was the kind of kid who took it to heart and thought she was a bad child if she even got 1 missed answer on a paper. This is when i started telling her the story of the things her dad didn't know... until i taught him ;-)

1. the months of the year. Oh sure, he knew there were 12 months in the year. And he knew the first 3 went in the order of January, February, March... and then he just would babble off random months. He knew that his birth month was in August and it was the 8th month of the year. But he just never learned the months in order. He knew all of them by name, and he knew what month of the year it was when he was in the month - no one ever bothered to teach him the order. This, the guy who took college Psychology when he was a Junior in HS. THIS guy didn't know his months when i met him. Sure he was only 18 when we met, but it made me realize that he did not actually know it ALL. and that made all the difference in the world to calm my nerves around him - and now we are happily married - going on 15 years this summer!

2. Happy Friday. Or as the rest of the world pretty much knows it as "GOOD Friday". I remember getting a call one day from my husband (we had been married for about 2 years at this point), he called to tell me they were getting out of work early. "for something called Happy Friday..." i remember sitting there going "huh?" he insisted that it was for "happy" Friday and that we should go out to celebrate this "happy" Friday. It took me all but a couple of minutes to realize that he meant "Good" Friday! Once i realized this simple mistake, i sat and laughed for a minute and explained it to him.

There are more stories about hubby and many stories about others i know who made me nervous until i got to know them more - and i realized that they all might be pretty darn smart, but they can not know it all.

So on this Happiest of Fridays - i will be spending it with my very smart hubby, my very smart daughter, my over the top smart little brother, his smart wife - and of course i will spend it loving every silly thing they do that makes me love them all even more! Because in life, we represent more than just being smart or silly or beautiful... we are all a complete package. Some of us might have the brains, some of us may have the charm, and then there are some of us who are just a ball of mystery! ;-)

Have a safe weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

toilet paper - a metaphor for life?

i sat down to use the bathroom this morning, as does every good person on this planet - so get your head out of the gutter! ;-) but as i went to grab the toilet paper, i noticed that there was hardly any left on the roll. Normally i like to use a nice amount - not over doing it, but a nice amount. i remembered that this was close to the same amount that was on it last night and how i only grabbed a tiny amount to use. i also only used a tiny amount this morning because i knew it was the last roll in our bathroom - something i noticed last night too!

but it got me thinking about how in life when we have an abundance of something, we use it like it will never end - but when we have very little of something, we are careful and use only what we truly need.

when we lived in the mid-west, my husband had a good job making lots of money. We spent lots of money on material things. for example in the 10 years we lived in our home, we owned no less than 4 sets of couches. We purchased them somewhat "cheap" and when we didn't want them anymore, we donated them to charity and purchased new ones. We took our money for granted. Currently we live in California, my husband is unemployed and i am working for penny's by writing. We purchased a very cheap IKEA love seat when we moved out here, it is horrible! We have made due with this couch, and will keep making it work for longer than we would have in the past.

The same goes for food. We use to spend $200 a week on groceries. You saw that right, $200 a WEEK. We had no problem buying a 12 pack of soda for $8.00. heck, if hubby wanted a soda we would have paid $8 for one can! We did not truly think about our money, because we new it was there - so we used it. Now that we are scrimping and saving every-single-penny (i use to say to the cashier "keep the 'change' i hate change weighing down my purse..." or i would give the coins to a bucket or a person near me - this makes me kind of sad to think how little i cared about our hard earned money!) but we are now saving like crazy to get our old life back. Our grocery budget is $200 a MONTH now. i am quickly learning about just how many meals i can make using Ramen noodles (not the sauce packet though, too much MSG!) and anything else i can find cheap.

It is hard for me to think about going back to a way of life where material objects were owned. We rent movies now instead of purchasing them, although there are a few that we do purchase. We use to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-200 a week sometimes on purchasing movies. My Husband was a "collector" of movies. Before we moved, we donated them out to all of our friends. We also only purchase iTunes music to not own the actual CD. i admit to being a "collector" of music, but before we moved i too donated away all of my music collection except for a select few. We use the Library instead of buying books - i had a nasty book habit - and probably more than half of the books purchased were never even read, i just bought a book to buy a book! We buy electronic books if we can to avoid having the actual book just sitting on shelf when we are done.

We down-graded our entire life to make the move out here easier... and as i look around we have kept doing this as we have lived here. We are not perfect, we still purchase things that we feel we need or perhaps we just want; however, instead of material things like movies, music and books, we now purchase things like hiking boots so that we can hike in safety - Or canteen's so when we hike we aren't using plastic water bottles - Or we purchase a basketball to go out and play - Or we purchase produce from the farmers market that is a little more expensive than the regular market, but we know that it means more to us because we get to know the people who grew it and we are contributing back to the local industry. Plus the farmers market is a great way to spend the day having family time. Or we might spend the little extra money that we have each month in buying an all day pass to a hiking park or a museum to give back to the local community. It gives us a sense of family and a sense of community. And both are far better feelings than buyers remorse after you spent your entire weeks paycheck on something frivolous like fancy clothes or a bunch of movies/music/books that will just sit on a shelf. i am truly happy for the lifestyle changes that took place when we made the move to California.

No, it is not a perfect world that we live in - and i would never claim to be perfect. today i am just happy to have taken notice of the little things in life that truly matter to me personally and i am glad that i am able to share it with the world via this blog.