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!